Monthly Archives: March 2012

Now You Know Why Mom Said, “Don’t Jump on the Mattress”

There are negligent dischrges and then there are grossly negligent discharges. We stopped counting when our number register overflowed trying to add up all the things that had to be done negligently for this accident to happen:

CHICAGO (CBS) – A 5-year-old girl jumping on a bed was injured by a bullet early Saturday when a gun beneath the mattress went off, police said.

The incident occurred at about 12:22 a.m…. The child was jumping on a bed when a weapon discharged, apparently from underneath the mattress.

See Girl Jumps On Mattress, Causing Gun To Fire And Hit Her « CBS Chicago.

This may be a rare case where the passive voice is justified, briefly and locally, in talking about a gun that “went off.” Because there was no human agent actively operating the gun. But there was an idiot whose gross negligence set this mishap up.

First place, someone had to violate that Chicago gun ban that keeps everybody safe, except for the hundreds of murder victims that the Mayor, who loves him some ban, doesn’t care about because they were dumb enough to be born black and poor and live in bad neighborhoods, while he was smart enough to be born rich and Jewish and never has to see a bad neighborhood.

As he would no doubt say, [something that Cee-Lo Green famously sings] them.

But snark aside, somebody put a loaded gun. Under a mattress. Round in the chamber or in the cylinder, under the hammer. Protected by nothing. Without a manual safety engaged.

Then this mental giant had to turn a five year old loose in the room with the unsecured gun.

Then said brainiac had to allow the kid to use the bed for a trampoline. (“Hey what do we care. It’s a furnished Section 8 rental, to us it’s free!”). After midnight.

The good news: the wound was in the ankle and the girl will live.

No one appears to have been charged. The authorities in America’s capital of Third World corruption reserve that treatment for transiting tourists.

W4: Ohio Ordnance Works

Our Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week for Week 13 of 2012 is less a website where you can learn cool stuff (which is our usually preferred Wednesday morning target) but rather a website where you can get cool stuff. Ohio Ordnance Works (OOW for short) went, over the years, from Class III dealing to automatic weapons and accessory manufacture, to, the thing that makes them interesting to us, making semi-auto, legal clones of historic and current machine guns.

This is a market that was only created by an artifact of Federal law, the 1986 ban on production of new machine guns for civilian users. Unless that law changes — and it had then and has now the full-throated support of the NRA, which ostensibly represents shooters and gun owners — the supply of legal machine guns is frozen at the current level. There are about 180,000 weapons on the NFA registry, but many of them are “dealer samples” that can’t be transferred to mere citizens, and weapons held by law enforcement agencies, who are exempt from the law’s restrictions — with the supply frozen, the demand coming from tens of thousands of new shooters every years can do nothing but drive price levels up — beyond the reach of all but the richest of those new shooters.

Enter OOW and other companies that do the same thing: make semi-auto clones of legendary machine guns. OOW’s current big hits are the M1918A2 BAR, a weapon usually associated with WWII that was taught in Special Forces Weapons School until the 1990s, and the M240, the belt-fed general purpose machine gun that replaced the problematic M60 in US service. The M240 is a civilian version of the FN MAG, a weapon in use since the 1950s worldwide. It wormed its way into US service as a tank coaxial gun, and there established such a good record that the infantry finally got their own.

Here’s an excerpt of OOW’s own take on their history, then we’ll say a few more words about the semi-auto guns they make.

During the years 1981 – 1990, OOW engaged primarily in buying and selling military firearms, parts and accessories in the commercial market. Qualified employees and manufacturing machinery were added which facilitated the development of a repair department and the ability to build small orders of firearms from scratch for the commercial market.

Beginning in 1990, OOW began manufacturing firearms and ordnance for supply to different foreign and domestic government agencies. This capacity has expanded steadily over the years….

Over the past 15 years, OOW developed and patented its own line of semi-automatic firearms and related accessories. These firearms include the 1918A3-SLR, M240-SLR, and the VZ 2000. This process led to the formation of our own Engineering and Quality Assurance Inspection departments.

See, you learn something in everything you read: we didn’t know that OOW had patents on some of its weapons. Now, a few more words about the semi-auto rifle versions of famous machine guns. As well as the BAR and M240, they have regular and extended-barrel versions of the Czech Vz58 rifle and make semi-auto AK receivers for folks who’d build from a kit. (You can make your own AK receiver, but then the resulting semi-auto rifle, although legal to possess, can’t be sold — ever. An AK built on a factory receiver from OOW or NDS transfers like any other ordinary rifle).

Some people have sticker shock when they see the prices of OOW’s semi-autos. The BAR goes for over $3,000, a build-it-yourself 1928 Maxim is $4,000, and the M240-SLR is an eye-popping $14,000.

But two things drive these prices: one is the rarity of the product. Supply and demand… it’s not like the quality and price race-to-the-bottom that’s happening in the AR-15 market, there’s not many other places that can hook you up with a BAR or M240.

The next price driver is the quality put into the guns, the unique parts, the machining operations (there’s one reason that the USA dropped the BAR with its 79 parts and thousands of machine operations to manufacture). Because of the high quality, and because OOW’s weapons fire from a closed bolt (a BATFE requirement for semi-auto weapons), they’re actually capable of much greater accuracy than their GI counterparts. The M240-SLR has, in fact, demonstrated MOA accuracy, and that in a weapon that can be fired from a tripod and T&E for sniper accuracy — and then deliver fairly high rates of fire — and that should be worth something.

Is it worth $14,000? Shhhh. Don’t interrupt us while we’re counting our money.

 

Handlowali Polską? Trans.: “Did they sell out Poland?”

Poland is a nation with a distinct language, culture, and location, and an utter lack of defensible borders. As a result, European history features the periodic appearance, flowering, defeat, enslavement, relocation and sometimes erasure of the Polish state. No one is more aware of this than the Poles, many of whom are old enough to remember their last period of de facto slavery, under the Russians from 1945-89; and some of whom remember the enslavement before that, under the Nazis.

If you can know something of a nation by its enemies, the Poles, unwilling doormat and unruly subjects of kings, emperors, Reichsprotektors and commissars, must count among the greatest of the races of man.

No one in Poland is under any illusions about the intentions of Vladimir Putin vis-a-vis their nation, nor about the degree to which the West will sacrifice on their behalf. And they’re very attuned to being expended as a bargaining chip — which their top papers think that Barack Obama, breathlessly eager to ingratiate himself with Putin, is doing.

Fakt.pl (“Fact”) says (our translation):

At a meeting with Dimitry Medvedev, President Barack Obama — not knowing that the conversation could be overheard — begged the Russian president to “give him room” on the american missile defense system, which the Russians oppose.

Handlowali Polską? Zagadkowa rozmowa Obamy z Miedwiediewem tarcza antyrakietowa – Fakt.pl.

“Did they sell out Poland” was their headline before it was ours. And the Gazeta (“Gazette,” in the bad old days the “Workers’ Gazette”) had a similar report (our translation again):

At a meeting with Dimitry Medvedev, Barack Obama begged the Russian president to “give him room” on the decision about the American missile defense system in Europe, which the Russians oppose. Both didn’t know that the conversation was overheard — and the video was released by the American media.

Both reports were featured on the splash page, above the “fold” of the newspapers’ websites, the cyber equivalent of a Page 1 story. Fakt included a classic Obama image: strutting by a Polish guard of honor, nose in the air. It’s likely that the Poles (and Czechs, and Balts, etc…) didn’t trust this Administration very much already, but the work of American diplomats in the region just got a good bit harder, and any trust these nations had in the USA just evaporated.

While the Poles may not be buying it, US media figures like ABC News’s Jake Tapper were quick to type up the administration’s spin (and Tapper’s report also transcribes the Obama-Medvedev exchange). Part of Tapper’s job, after all, but the Poles aren’t buying what the White House is selling.  Nor are the other Eastern European allies, already experienced with Obama’s double-talk on defense.

The English words alone don’t convey the connotation of the Polish word choices. The Poles understand exactly what happened at the meeting — they are playing the role of Eduard Benes in 1938, and Obama is on his knees in the role of Chamberlain — if not that of Benedict Arnold.

We’re reminded of a Polish friend, whose would answer any Polish joke with a barrage of abstruse academic po-polski. “Did you get that? No? Well, how does it feel to be dumber than a Polack? Bwahahahaha!” If anyone at the EOB, Pentagon or Foggy Bottom thinks they’re trusted in Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, Talinn, Vilnius… etc., etc.,

One by one, the rubes are waking up. The only ones left at the table are a subset of Americans. And if you’re dealt into the game, and you don’t know who the mark is… it’s you.

Tom von Kaenel and the Sea2Sea 2012 Challenge

There’s no shortage of good charities you can support that support the troops. Tom von Kaenel, a Yank who lives in England, is trying to raise a pretty good chunk of money for several of those charities: £5 million and  $10 million to support wounded and injured UK and US soldiers respectively.

Tom knows what it’s like to be a family member of a soldier — a close relative is in Special Forces. And he knows what goes on at a military hospital, because he was admitted to one himself — Landstuhl Regional Military Hospital — after a terrible bike accident in France. “I saw for the first time the selfless devotion,” he recalls, of our troops and of the people that care for them.

This is Tom on his way to Landstuhl from France last September. A long way from biking again at that time.

Since biking is what Tom knows, he’s going biking. In Britain… well, all across Britain. And in the USA.. well, you got it, all across the USA. 4200 miles in all.  And people will be riding with him — including other vets, and possibly some wounded warriors. And he has some corporate support, too (including from the rehab center that got him back riding again, after Landstuhl’s emergency surgery saved his life.

You can hear him in his own words:

Why we’re undertaking the Sea2Sea 2012 Challenge & how you can help. – YouTube.

 

Tom’s the kind of guy that would be riding his bike anyway, but instead of just riding for the hell of it and gazing at his navel between rides, he’s riding to help others, and he’s getting others to pitch in — many hands make light fundraising. They’d better, because the goal, roughly $20 million total, is an ambitious one. The ride kicks off on 21 April 2012 and will conclude 08 July 2012 back at RAF Brize Norton — where Britain’s wounded warriors and fallen come home. The US wrap is on July 4th in Washington — a bit ironic that an event that celebrates our greatest alliance comes to town on the anniversary of our greatest schism, but there it is.

For us vets, it’s helpfully spelled out here in 5-paragraph op-order format.

The event is well supported social-media style with Facebook and Twitter accounts, a website, and a couple of blogs: Tom’s and Bruce’s (he’s the indispensable “chief cook and bottle washer” or support guy; he’ll shadow Tom across America in an RV, or in British parlance, camper van).

So… pitch in if you can, make a donation to one of the chosen charities, or show up and ride along when they pass near your town on the way to the US finish line: the Lincoln Memorial on the 4th of July. It’s for a good cause.

The Victory Two Rifles Won

The Bulgarian Martyresses: Makovsky's painting of bashi-bazouk misconduct was pan-Slavic war propaganda.

In 1877, Turkey and Russia were two empires experiencing the latest of many wars around their peripheries. The issues were the usual: territory and religion. You could as easily have said that it was one two-century war punctuated by tense armistices; for the nations had fought on and off since 1676.

The initial casus belli was a series of Ottoman atrocities committed by irregulars called the bashi-bazouks against Christian civilians in Bulgaria. Tsar Alexander II declared war, having secured the neutrality of the other European powers. The Russians marched into Romania (then an Ottoman province) to the applause of the Romanians. The Russians had a larger army and better organization. The Turks, though, had more modern weapons, thanks to a well-timed international buying spree. And when the Turks found themselves besieged in Plevna, the weapons made the difference — particularly the rifles, although the Turks also had modern Krupp artillery.

Russians (r.) dislodge Turks at the battle of Ivanovo-Chiflik

1878 was a time when the armaments of the world’s armies were in a transitional state. Smoothbore muskets had yielded by midcentury to the muzzleloading rifled muskets that worked such deadly execution in the US Civil War. But by war’s end, the coming thing was the round of fixed ammunition, which would enable repeating and automatic weapons…. someday. But this day,  in 1878, those weapons were in their infancy. Most armies, including the US and British forces, were issuing weapons that were muzzleloaders modified to fire single rounds of fixed ammunition. The US weapon was the 1873 Springfield “trapdoor” rifle, and the British equivalent was the .577 Snyder.

1857/67 Krnka, from militaryrifles.com. Lots more photos of this (and all the other rifles mentioned in this post) over there.

The main rifle of the Russian Army — for that horde of 300,000 men was not armed in strict uniformity — was the 1867 Krnka. It was a conversion of the “6-line” (.60 caliber) muzzle-loader; the Krnka had a brass or bronze breech with a steel bolt that hinged up and to the left in Snyder fashion. In addition, some Russian troops had two rifles designed by the American ordnance officer Hiram Berdan; one (the 1868) had a hinged bolt like a Trapdoor Springfield, and the later 1870 model was a single-shot bolt-action rifle. The 1870 Berdan was the fastest-firing of these, but its 10.6 x 58mm blackpowder cartridge (about .43 caliber) wasn’t terribly accurate. Basically, none of these weapons provided an improvement in accuracy over the Civil-War era rifles they replaced, just a quantum improvement in rate of fire.

Ghazi Osman Pasha: authentic pre-Internet tough guy.

So when thousands of single-shot-armed Russians swarmed around the Bulgarian fortress city of Plevna, they expected the similar number of Turks inside the city to be roughly similarly armed. But Osman Pasha, the Turkish commander, had a trick up his embroidered sleeves: each Turk in the defensive works had two rifles. The Encyclopedia Britannica wrote:

In the matter of armament the Turks had the advantage. The artillery were armed with a Krupp breech-loading gun, which was better , than the Russian bronze gun, while the Peabody- Martini rifles of the infantry were superior to the Russian Krenk. The firearm of the Turkish, cavalry was the Winchester repeating carbine, which was inferior to the short Berden with which the Russian cavalry was armed. But this advantage in armament was discounted by the fact that, from motives of economy, the Turkish soldier had done but little rifle practice.

So as the Russians charged the fortress, shouting and firing, and awkwardly reloading thieir Krnkas or Berdans. Meanwhile, the Turks lay in wait, each with a British Peabody-Martini, capable of great long-range accuracy, and a loaded Winchester 1866, capable of rapid fire. When the Russians came into Martini range, the Turks began to pick them off, until they’d closed to within the 150 to 100 yard range of the brass-framed .44 rimfire Winchester. There at practically point-blank range the Russians ran into an unprecedented buzzsaw of rapid fire. The survivors retreated in disorder.

They organized, and attacked again, and were thrown back again. And so it went, Osman Pasha buying time for his nation to mobilize as the Russians crashed against his fortress. But the Russians cut off every source of resupply for him, and in time, the Turks no longer had the means to resist. Making a daring night sally, they threw up bridges and tried to get away — only to be intercepted and thrown back into the fortress.

Osman Pasha assessed the situation. He had no more means of resistance. With some trepidation, for auxiliaries and irregulars on both sides had visited terrible brutalities on prisoners and other noncombatants, he struck the Ottoman flag and surrendered. The Russian general treated him with respect. (For more on the defense of Plevna, read The Plevna Delay at militaryrifles.com).

In holding Plevna much longer that considered possible, by dragging out defeat and making the enemy pay and pay for it, Osman Pasha and his two-gun Turks had won an unexpected victory. In a just world, that might have won them the war. But in this world, the inept Ottoman Empire squandered the win; the Russians, buoyed by fresh Bulgarian and Serbian troops, ultimately advanced almost to Constantinople, and the Turks accepted a peace that cost them Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, and Bulgaria.

Russian Winchester 95 from 1915-17. This one is for sale by collectiblefirearms.com on their site and gunbroker.

Someone in Russia had a long memory, though. In World War I, when the Tsar’s armies were desperate for rifles, they contracted American and Swiss manufacturers to build their Mosin-Nagant rifles. But they also ordered 300,000 lever-action Winchester 95 rifles, and issued the 299,000 that came before the Revolution to frontline units.

New tool for history buffs… great potential…

…but it’s hard to say if the potential will be fulfilled. ChronoZoom is a web application which is, its developers say, “A timeline of all time.” Their main goal was to try to illustrate the proportions between cosmic geological time-scales and human-historical ones. But they may have created a remarkable powerhouse for understanding and communicating vital concepts in history.

Right now, ChronoZoom is in the hands of academic historians, which means it’s getting packed full of their prinitive obsession with race and sex. For example, the one illustration I found of World War Two was an in-depth audiovisual narrative of the USA’s mistreatment of a Japanese-American man and his white wife under FDR Executive Order 9066. This should be a link to that point.

While it may have been the most important thing that happened to them in World War II, it wasn’t the most important thing that happened in the war… unless you are an academic, who sees all the world through prisms of race and sex and, when you let your inner Marxist rip, “class.”

The ChronoZoom interface and links take some navigating… and they’re a rocky beta at this time, The tutorials in the ChronoZoom YouTube channel help (especially Video #3). It’s worth noting that in the tutorial, the years of human existence were measured in the traditional BC/AD scale, but they have now been changed to the Orwellian PC neologisms BCE/CE.

Still, as a presentation tool, ChronoZoom has considerable promise. The academics’ dream is for it to be as widely used and as content-packed as Wikipedia, but to do that they’ll have to give up their grip — and slant — on it. And ChronoZoom goes back… back… back through all recorded history… to prehistory… to geologic time… to cosmology predating the advent of Earth… to the Big Bang. So the creators aren’t lacking ambition.

And the student’s presentation on Arthur and Estelle Ishigo and their experiences with internment (Arthur had to go, Estelle opted to go with her husband) is interesting, fact-packed, and reinforced with photos and documents.

So the good news is that ChronoZoom is up and crawling, at least… and that Microsoft has taken an interest in the project. The bad news is that Microsoft has taken an interest in the project, which means it will not be safe to use until Version 3.1. The ugly news is that Microsoft wants to apply its buggy, security-challenged Silverlight software to the project.

Hat tip: Robert Wright at The Atlantic.

U.S. Coast Guard out of Counterterror?

This one’s been sitting in the browser tabs for a while, based on a February 25th story in USA Today. It took a while to percolate to the top of the stack, and it took a while to think about what we think about it. And Bottom Line Up Front: it’s probably the right thing for the Coast Guard and the Nation.

In an internal memo from Vice Admiral Robert Papp Jr., the Coast Guard commandant nominee says that starting in 2012, he would slash funding for programs in the agency’s homeland security plan that would include homeland security patrols and training exercises.

The memo, marked “sensitive — for internal Coast Guard use only,” was obtained by the Associated Press.

Papp’s outline is significant because it could mean major changes for the more than 200-year-old agency that took on a significant homeland security duties after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Obama’s 2011 proposed budget cuts for the Coast Guard already has caused outrage from some lawmakers.

According to Papp’s memo, he would scale back the Coast Guard’s counterterror priorities in favor of traditional search and rescue operations that save people in imminent danger on the water and maintaining the maritime transportation system.

In the memo, Papp said he wants to eliminate teams that are trained to respond to and prevent terror attacks. These teams also train other Coast Guard forces on counterterror operations.

Papp said the strike teams were created after the attacks “to fill a perceived void in national counterterrorism response capability.” He says in the memo that other federal agencies are better at this type of mission.

 

We agree. The Coast Guard rescue and safety mission, and the Coast Guard mission to maintain waterways and aids to navigation, are things no other service can do. And the thing is, concentrating on those missions does not take them out of the battle against seaborne terrorism. The mere fact that smart people are on the waterways and in the ports and harbors every day, knowing “what right looks like,” and alert to things that look wrong, is probably the very best thing they can do to prosecute the GWOT.

Anti-terror SWAT type teams are all very photogenic, and every agency and government boondoggle (even Amtrak) apparently has to have one, but the fact of the matter is that any first responder who has to deal with a major terror attack or hostage situation in the USA is going to get bigfooted by FBI. Whether that’s good or not, that’s the fact. And if it’s overseas, they’ll get bigfooted by JSOC. That’s just the way national CT doctrine rolls, and smart people roll with it, and don’t waste their resources trying to duplicate FBI-HRT or JSOC capabilities — you can’t match their decades of operational tribal knowledge, and you’d still get bigfooted even if you did.

Meanwhile, if you tried to get the FBI to maintain the channel buoys off Sandy Hook, you’d wind up with a freighter double-parked on East 18th St. or something worse. Horses for courses, people.

The US reacted spastically to 9/11, and it’s going to take years to roll back all of the ill-considered organizational bloat that resulted from not recognizing that we already had the organizations we needed in place. What we needed was to open channels of communication at lower levels. Instead we built castles of new sclerotic organizations with stovepipes paralleling the old, and we pushed some valuable agencies out of their own lanes into imitation counterterrorism. The disruption to the Coast Guard was mild compared to the pure waste of the Transportation Security Agency (3,000 payroll patriots hired at HQ alone, average salary there over $100k, times zero of them competent, equals zero contribution to national seucurity). You can similarly call out DHS (wait, hasn’t someone been covering homeland security pretty well since 1775 or so?), and DNI (yeah, we were too bureaucratic to catch 9/11, so let’s build another inside-the-beltway bureaucracy. That’ll work!). All these errors will have to be remediated, and the associated waste arrested, for us to return to the level of safety we had on the morning of 9/11 — because in fact, these new bureaucracies have left us less safe and worse off all round.

The only things that have been effective against terrorists are: intelligence-driven pre-emptive strikes against them, and increased vigilance by first responders and common citizens. The TSA hasn’t kept bombers off airplanes, but the flight attendants and passengers have beaten up and secured the bombers. An Army of Davids is out there.

The USCG is still the frontline of bright, talented people who are out and about in the stream of commercial traffic and pleasure boaters, saving lives, rescuing dumbasses, recovering the bodies of the ones that were too dumb to leave themselves any hope of rescue, and… and here is what their best contribution to the fight against terrorism is, and always was. Admiral Papp deserved better from USA Today, but then, so does everybody.

Almost 6 million rifles later…

Ruger 10/22 Carbine: Going on 50 years and 6 million units. (Image: Ruger).

…the Ruger 10/22 is still going strong. The Daily Caller posted, with permission, the first review of the then-new Ruger 10/22, from the NRA’s American Rifleman. It was in 1964. It was another world.

To put 1964 in perspective: if you wanted a top luxury car, you could get the suicide-door Lincoln Continental in sedan or convertible, or several models of Cadillac, for about seven thousand dollars. The Japanese made cheap, shoddy toys and buzzy motorbikes, and a European import meant a 36-hp VW Beetle. If you wanted a gun, you could send a check in the mail to a dealer and the gun would come back in the mail, no questions asked. Not many people outside of Special Forces and the readers of Foreign Affairs had ever heard of Vietnam. A rising Communist colossus bestrode all Eurasia, and many new democracies were being born in Africa amid great hope and promise. Almost all of Central and South America was ruled by uniformed refugees from comic opera. And here in the United States, Jim Crow was still law across the south.

Most American gun enthusiasts, as the previously mentioned Guns Magazine archives make clear. were Elmer Fudd: interested in target shooting and hunting. Gun licenses were rare, and jurisdictions that wouldn’t issue them common. And when you took a box of .22 ammo to the range, you were usually going to load them five at a time in a bolt-action.

The 10/22 changed all that. Light and handy, styled after the popular M1 Carbine of wartime renown, it was made with a mixture of old-world materials (a steel butt plate, a walnut stock) and the latest in industrial technology: the receiver and many small parts were die-castings, and some small parts were investment castings. The manufacturing progress evident in the 10/22 let Ruger make it at an attractive price point — and make money on every one.

The 10/22 lineup, 2012. There's also a 10/22 action in a weapon styled like an AR-15, but it's not called a 10/22..(Image: Ruger).

 

Still in production today, the 10/22 has seen some subtle changes. The trigger guard is now cheap plastic, not 1964’s aluminum, and most versions have much cheaper wood stocks, or plastic ones, than the American walnut that once graced the little rifle. There are also numerous sub-models: target, tactical, sporter, you name it. Variants and versions have come and gone, and they’re still selling… the last information we had was a couple of years ago, and Ruger had sold 5.7 million of the handy little rifles. You don’t have to go far, in the American gun culture, to hear a 10/22 story. It dwells in that beloved cultural space where shooters’ first guns go.

To say the least, the American Rifleman’s assessment from nearly fifty years ago holds (a typo from the Caller’s OCR job has been corrected):

Over-all performance of this rifle was excellent. It is neat, compact, and functionally reliable. It is perhaps handicapped by its open sights, but receiver is drilled and tapped for standard telescope mounts. Trigger pull is about 7 Ibs., but let-off is crisp after initial slack is taken up. Finish on wood and metal parts is above average. Receiver, trigger guard, and barrel band are anodized matte black. Barrel and buttplate of the 10/22 are blued.

via Ruger | 10/22 | The Daily Caller.

That excerpt reminds in another way just how long ago 1964 was: Picatinny Rails be damned, .22s didn’t even have grooved receivers for clamp-on rimfire scopes yet. The past is truly another country.

So, is Ruger’s 6 million or so 10/22s a record? Nope. Not even close. Around twice as many of the Marlin Model 60 were made (not counting its many other iterations as Clenfield, Sears, etc.which would add millions more to the total). And the Marlin, too, lives for many in the misty environs of first riflehood. But the Ruger is about to enter its second half-century of production in a couple of years… with no end in sight. And the Marlin is out of production; the brand is in the Freedom Group’s bag of assets but no one expects production of the simple, entry-level Model 60 to resume.

Hat tip: the Professor.

Sunday Doing Overdue Saturday Stuff…

….and plugging it in where it needs to be. This is supposed to be a day off… it says so in our Amalgamated Weapons, Veterans and Cat Blogger Union Contract and as soon as we can find the Shop Steward we’re gonna give the plutocrats around here what for.

Until then, then.

That Was the Week that Was: 2012 Week 12

We haven’t had a TW3 post in a while, and this one is being posted a day late (and a dollar short, perhaps). But it was a good week for posts and for interaction. Here’s what we discussed, in case you missed it.

Here Be the Posts:

Sunday Night Football, our Sunday-we-ain’t-posting post, also explained the three posts we try to put up every weekday. Along with the gun technical post, the SF history and lore post, and the “whatever” post, we have some weekly and monthly features too, including the popular Assclown of the Ides shaming an SF or other military poser, on the 15th of the month, the Monthly Wrap-up, which isn’t always done (time, gentlemen) and two weekly features (apart from this weekly wrap), the Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week and the Saturday Matinee movie review, which tries to bring you a movie with, well, lots of guns and/or unconventional warfare.

Ten Years Ago…, we told you, you could barely give away the Colt scopes that fit the carrying handle of an old AR-15 or M16A1. Now, we see one on GunBroker with a buy-it-now of one thousand dollars. But maybe we’re premature to dig through the blueprints for our time machine plans, because with one day still to go, no one has yet bid.

Where this brotherhood began is a story we lifted in toto from the US Army Special Operations Command feed, because it was an irresistible human interest story. It told how a young Bolivian soldier was impressed with the Spanish-speaking sergeants who came to his country to train his unit. He never forgot, and much later, as a member of the same Special Forces Group that had once trained him, the now-American soldier trains his counterparts in Latin America.

Cop Caps Cop who Cuckolded him, then Self. Title pretty much tells the story. Not a responsible use of firearms. Better to apply divorce lawyer in a case like this; it’s also therapeutic to go cuckold some other guy. Preferably not one who carries a gun 24/7 and has anger management problems.

Nerf: The gateway to violence? Seriously? takes the clue-by-four to a Catholic priest who seems to think the gangbangers that turned his Chicago parish into an abbatoir did so because they played with Nerf guns. It can’t have been because they were raised by child addict mothers in an environment where a space alien would see so few fathers he’d assume humans reproduce by parthenogenesis.

Veterans’ Support Organization — a scam? answers its titular question in the affirmative. Some “non-profits” exist so their staffers can do well by doing good, and some exist so that their staffers can do well by pretending to do good. How about conditioning no-tax status on paying no more than $100k salary and benefits to any one staffer, and $200k to any one family? But those non-profits that overcompensate their execs give a bad name to the other two percent. Read the comments, too.

Fearless Felix has a flawless jump. Red Bull Stratos’s Felix Baumgartner, backed by an all-star team of technicians and experts, made a 71,000 plus foot jump from a helium balloon, wearing a pressure suit. He means to break Joe Kittinger’s 1960 record. Joe Kittinger (who is 83) is helping him. Video at the link.

When one .45 just isn’t enough gun, Arsenal will happily sell you a double-barrel, double-magazine Siamese-twin .45. If that won’t handle your threat, better take off and nuke it from orbit. That’s the only way to be sure.

Lights, Camera… Amphibious Assault. The USMC’s goosebump-inducing recruiting video. Serving in the Army can be just as cool, but you’d never know it from Big Green’s soporific beige ads.

These Guns Can’t Shoot, but… they look cool, hanging on pegs in the arms room or onboard this New Zealand company’s replica World War I fighter planes. Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week.

Ignorance is His Excuse. We list a few audacious operations that our alleged foreign-policy expert Vice President never heard of. “Wait, we fought Japan? Who won?” Actually, listing these ops out makes us want to add a feature about Great Special Operations of History, concentrating on unsung ones. Interested?

For the kid who has everything: 1911 XRB. It’s a handmade, exotic-wood rubber band gun. Unfortunately, we did correspond wit the guy who makes them, and our attempt to buy one has gone nowhere so far.

What are the odds on hostage rescue? We look at some hostage rescues in recent history, doing the math that fellow SF vet Jack Murphy over at SOFREP hasn’t done (but using his data shamelessly).

Chainsaw Suicide: Let’s Blame Guns. One of the more ridiculous things to come out of some idjit professor’s mouth, which is saying a lot.

Safety Update. Early on we covered the sad story of a hunter who accidentally wounded his neighbor. We update you on her progress… she’s still in rough shape, but she’s home, and it could be a lot worse.

Machines Making Machines: Inside a SiG Factory takes you along on a SIG-Sauer P226 (and other pistol) production line in Germany. Yes, the title was stolen from Rossum’s Universal Robots.

Can You Help an SF Widow and Extended Family? Pretty straightforward question about a family that has faced unimaginable loss. Please follow the links and do a good deed if you can.

SFO Sheriff: Don’t Do as I Do, Do as I Say. That’s a pretty common theme in law enforcement circles, but it’s pretty bad when a guy who beat his wife black and blue walks out of a courtroom with a 1-day sentence, his guns given back, and struts back onto his job as the local chief law enforcement officer. He says you shouldn’t have a gun because you can’t control your temper. But he’s a unique and special snowflake.

She was fine(d) when they caught up with her… Hot tip: it’s probably not a good idea to apply for a gun permit if you’re a criminal. They actually do check that stuff you put on the form.

Saturday Matinee 012 (er,Sunday?): 1911. We look at a rare movie (in the USA at least) with Jackie Chan as serious as a heart attack. If you can only follow the convoluted plot, you can learn a bunch about the Chinese Revolution. But the battle scenes are good. Chan & two Broomhandles is a screen full of awesome.

That Was the Week that Was: 2012 Week 12. Which is this post you are reading. So this is a silly recursive link. But that’s how we roll.

Boring weekly statistics:

21 posts, 16 substantive comments, 11,413 words (approximately). About average on the numbers. However, that long post borrowed in toto from a military PR feed really inflated our word count. But it was such a good story we had to share it with you.