Monthly Archives: November 2012

You can’t do anything in just one step

So here we are, trying to install internet in the Weapons Bunker and Hog Manor. And you would think that would be rather straightforward: we have telephone lines, we’re close to the CO, the place is thoroughly wired for cable, we have the equipment, installer’s on site, a network engineer available for adult supervision… it should be easy. Right?

Plan A was what the old Bunker had, T-1. “Not available in this location.” Even if we pay to have the cable pulled (a not inconsiderable sum). Just can’t do it. We’re reminded of a couple of mantras that we adopted and developed in combat days: the venerable “two is one, one is none” and our own, “you can’t do anything in just one step.”

Plan B: DSL. We tried  and the installers tried, but we have buried utilities in this street, and 20 years underground has not been kind to the phone wires. Too noisy for internet. Uninstalled the install. (This is a grossly oversimplified version of a week-long ordeal that thoroughly instantiated the “you can’t do anything in just one step” rule).

Plan C: Cable. The install was easy to schedule, and like we said, the place was already wired for TV and internet just about everywhere. Ordered a cable modem from Amazon, avoided buying the latest high-speed version by checking the cable provider (which is running two versions back), corrected order to order the previous generation, which is it came on schedule, all was good.

Installer arrives. New Motorola cable modem is DOA. It shuts itself down and starts a reboot cycle every minute or so. We substitute one from his truck (great, now we’ll be paying to rent the piece of crap). The DOA one has to go back to Amazon.

Net’s up, it’s all good, Installer shakes hands and leaves. Now to install the wireless router alongside the cable modem.

Oops. Installer used the wall wart from the wireless router to power the replacement cable modem.

You can’t do anything in just one step.

Bradley Manning whines UPDATE: partial deal

Update:

As God is our witness, we’re going to stop wrting about trials. Every time we start there’s a new twist and turn. The latest? The defense has changed pleas, admitting what we’ve known all along, that Bradley is a leaky traitor. The defense has pled out on about half the charges (the less serious half). As we understand it (remember, we’re weapons guys here, not law guys), there are no guarantees on this. It’s a plea, not a plea deal.

The prosecution can choose to dismiss the remaining charges, or they can pursue them. The remaining charges, including Aiding the Enemy, are the ones that can net the Military Intelligence poster child life in Leavenworth. The ones he has pled to already guarantee him several years in there, but max out at 16 years.

If the prosecution pursues the other charges, the judge may at her option dismiss them. There is a strong incentive for judges to do this, for if they dismiss all the contested charges and sentence only on the admitted charges, the defendant can’t contest the findings of guilt on appeal, eliminating or at least greatly reducing the possibility of reversal. The partial plea was a bold tactical move and likely reflects the defense’s conclusion that their case is an absolute loser, especially after Manning’s sniveling performance on the stand today. That the prosecution gave up nothing for these 16 or so admissions of guilt suggests that the prosecution also thinks the defense case is an absolute loser.

In other words, Manning is guilty of all charges, everyone knows it, and what’s left is a canned procedural and dispositive minuet, done only to run the lawyers’ meters. It will arrive at a compromise position that even now probably is understood completely and thoroughly by the attorneys on both sides. But the meter needs to be fed.

End of Update

Original Story:

Bradley Manning has taken the stand in his court case, in pre-trial motions, essentially whinging about how his jailers have been so bad to him, and that prison is unpleasant. That this last fact was apparently a shock to his disequilibriated system may give you some idea how out of touch he is. He is a Unique And Special Snowflake, and don’t you forget it.

He said that he was initially given little or no information about the charges against him.”My nights were my days and my days were my nights,” Manning said. “It all blended together after a couple of days.”

Manning said he was confined to a structure he called a “cage” just eight feet square located inside a tent. He suffered a breakdown about a month after his May 2010 arrest, and guards later found a noose in the cage. Manning had made the noose but failed to recall he had done so because he was so disoriented, he said.

“I remember thinking Im going to die stuck here in this cage,” Manning said. “I thought I was going to die in that cage. Thats what I saw – an animal cage.”

via U.S. soldier in WikiLeaks case says he was held in a cage | Reuters.

Well, he hasn’t died yet. Pity.

Springfield, MA, the gun (theft) capital

These are the recovered Smiths. 80-odd more remain at large. According to the BJS, about 232,400 guns are stolen every year and 80% of them are never recovered.

Springfield, Massachusetts, was once one of the gun-making capitals of the world. The Connecticut River town hosted dozens of gun companies, and a major national arsenal, but most of them have been driven out by Massachusetts’s hostility to their products and the people who use them. Most of the arsenal is now a content-lite community college that struggles to deliver remedial education to quasi-literate students who shuffle to class occasionally, dull-eyed zombies who can’t quite keep a schedule. The sole survivor of the gun industry is Smith & Wesson, and both the mayor and governor have wished it gone.

Today, the majority of residents of the decaying city, descendants of ambitious workers who moved there in the 20th Century to build everything from revolvers to Bee Gee racing aircraft, Rolls Royce cars and Indian motorcycles, are on some kind of government assistance and support the one-party state that keeps their rich benefits (MA even provides cars to welfare layabouts, for the love of God) flowing. Despite getting enough benefits to support a middle-class life with zero effort, most of the welfareniks blow the money on drugs, cigarettes and booze. A considerable number supplement their meth-n-oxy money by burglary, robbery, writing rubber checks, forging prescriptions, and various other modalities of stealing stuff. (The courts’ wrist-taps grow lighter by the year, emboldening the thieves).

What thieves want is portable and of high value — sounds like “guns” to us. The fact that they also are objects of utility in a life of crime probably adds to their appeal to this demographic. So if you own guns — let alone make guns –in this Mad Max environment, you had best take precautions.

Despite that, Smith keeps churning out guns in its Roosevelt Avenue plant, and despite hostility at every layer of Massachusetts’s one-party officialdom, there are still individuals who own guns, to collect, shoot, and even carry (although not in Springfield, where the de facto may-issue law in MA lets the police disarm any threat to the criminal majority). And so the thieves have targets.

First, Smith & Wesson. Defenders of Springfield, if there are any, will note that the victim here, Smith, is in Springfield, but the criminal came up the river (as it were) from Bridgeport, Connecticut. We stipulate that, but note that every fact in our description of Springfield, above, except that the welfare leeches don’t get cars — yet — applies to the other former manufacturing city downriver. But here’s the story from the New Haven Register:

A Bridgeport man is facing more than 200 criminal counts after he allegedly stole a truckload of 111 handguns from a Smith & Weston plant located in Springfield, MA.

The firearms were allegedly transported to Bridgeport by Elliot Perez, a tractor-trailer driver for Pace Motor Lines located in Stratford. The theft from the plant occurred on Nov. 8, according to police.

The investigation seems to have involved the local cops in the two Connecticut towns, and the BATFE, fighting actual criminal diversion of guns rather than participating in it for once.

Some of the firearms allegedly came into the possession of Michael Murphy, of Bridgeport, who was also arrested by police. The guns are believed to have been sold on the street, according to police.

So far, police have retrieved 28 of the 111 handguns. Police are working to recover the rest, said Detective Sergeant David Gugliotti.

So there’s 83 Smith & Wessons still out there in criminal hands of some kind.

Perez has been charged with 111 counts of criminal possession of a firearm, 111 counts of theft of a firearm, one count of illegal sale of a firearm, one count of transfer of a firearm by a person ineligible to possess and five counts of weapon in a motor vehicle. He was held in lieu of $500,000 bond.

“Transfer of a firearm by a person ineligible to possess” is interesting. We first read this as a felon-in-possession, but on reconsideration, it sounds more like a state violation for not having a gun license. Murphy has a different array of charges, which you can see at the link if so inclined.

Now, that’s not the end of Springfield gun crime this week. We have the resourceful burglars who found a 500-lb gun safe no obstacle to stealing the guns inside. They just took the whole safe.

Sgt. John Delaney, aide to Police Commissioner William Fitchet, said the resident returned to his Marmon Street home Thursday to discover the break it and reported it to police.

The guns were locked securely inside the safe, Delaney said, but the safe itself was not anchored in place. When the robbers could not open the safe inside the house, they picked it up and carried it out of the house, he said.

“The safe probably weighed about 500 pounds, fully loaded, with the weapons he had in it,” Delaney said.

Because of the weight involved, police believe at least two people were involved, Delaney said.

The safe was later found, broken open and stripped of any weapons or ammunition, he said.

Detectives are investigating the safe to see who took it, but a bigger concern is the 15 guns that are missing, he said. They included various rifles and semi-automatic handguns, he said.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ latest report [pdf[, using data from up to 2010, half a billion dollars’ in property is lost each year in burglaries in which guns (and other things) are stolen, and at least $26 million in guns are stolen in crimes that take only guns and no other objects.

Those numbers are alarming even if you don’t live in Springfield.

How Danny Nightingale’s Glock arrest happened

Glock 19 (file photo)

As reported in the update to our 1400 post today, Danny has been freed. He actually won an expedited appeal of his sentence at the Court Martial Appeals Court in London, Britain’s equivalent of the US Court of Military Appeals. The judges reduced his sentence to a year, which allowed them to suspend it. He still remains convicted, but he’s free, and he’s gone from feeling betrayed to feeling grateful (albeit to two different sets of people).

Details on the appeal results are found in this Channel 4 News story, which also has the following explanation of how his conviction happened:

The weapon found in Sergeant Nightingale’s accommodation – a 9mm glock [sic] – had been given to him by a group of Iraqi soldiers he helped train in 2007. Sergeant Nightingale was planning to pass on the pistol to his SAS regiment as a trophy.

He’d been given it in 2007 by the Iraqi army. When he returned to Britain in a hurry, colleagues packed it up with his other equipment. A couple of years later, he took part in a charity run in Brazil – but collapsed and suffered brain damage and memory loss.

It wasn’t just any old run — it was a 132-mile run. Should have been well within reach of any ground SOF guy, but back to back tours in the sandbox play hell with one’s physical fitness.

Then two years ago, Sergeant Nightingale – now recovered – moved into an army house with a fellow soldier, in preparation for being sent to Afghanistan. The Glock – still packed alongside his other kit, went with him. But because of his brain injury he says he forgot he had it.

While the two men were in Afghanistan, his housemate’s wife complained to police that she was a victim of domestic violence. She told police that her husband kept ammunition. They searched the military accomodation and found Seargeant Nightingale’s gun.

via SAS soldier Danny Nightingale released after winning appeal – Channel 4 News.

That last bit’s got something skwewy going on, as Elmer Fudd would say. Her husband was in Iraq, but she was the victim of domestic violence? By whom, Danny’s wife?

Perhaps this just illustrates that nothing can screw up your military career like a woman, and it doesn’t even have to be your woman!

From Hero to Zero — SAS sergeant thrown in jail

UPDATE: Between writing this at 1000 EDT this morning, and its scheduled publication at 1400, we got word (just after noon) that Danny has been released and will spend Christmas with his wife and daughter! So as a plea for his release, it’s moot. As a story of what can befall a member of a volunteer soldier in a nation that rejects the warrior culture, it’s still instructive.

Danny Nightingale, Sergeant, SAS, in better days.

The British press is on this like a pack of terriers, but it’s still quite hard to tease out the facts of the case. But Sergeant Danny Nightingale is in a British military prison — hopefully it’s not like the one in the Sean Connery film The Hill – and the root of the matter appears to have been a Glock. Nightingale is a member of our ally’s elite special operations force, the Special Air Service.

At one point, he worked with Iraqi forces, who are armed with Glocks thanks to the largesse of the American taxpayer, They presented him one, which came back to Bradbury Lines after his return to Hereford (yes, the stories are that vague on this point, but we have learned that he returned early to assist with a funeral for two squadron mates, and his mates in Iraq packed and shipped the Glock with his other gear), and it later wound up in his home and somehow came to the attention of police (more vagueness). And that was it for Danny.

Britain has no sense of humor at all about handguns; they are so thoroughly banned that the British Olympic team has to go to France to practice pistol shooting, although Parliament made a one-time exception for the 2012 Olympics. (To Commons’ presumed surprise, even the American Olympians didn’t commit mass mayhem with .22 Short rapid-fire pistols). Since the 1996 ban, the only people with guns are an increasing number of the  once-unarmed police, and any of the criminal element who feels the urge to take one up. Since the ban, gun crime in Britain has soared. The criminals break the law? Who could have predicted that?

While actual violent criminals have a hard time getting punished in the UK, travesties of justice await self-defenders and anyone else whose possession of a handgun is innocent. Public opinion and elite opinion diverge widely on the subject, and it’s public opinion that’s created pressure for the release of ex-Sergeant Nightingale, who completed 11 years’ honorable service with SAS and previously 6 years with another regiment. People calling for his release include old mates, his old CO, and even the Prime Minister. And there are some mitigating circumstances in his case — for example, brain injury from heat stroke makes him unable to remember what he actually did.

Lt Col Richard Williams, who was Sgt Nightingale’s commanding officer in Iraq, who will give evidence as a character witness at the appeal, said: “ I hope the sentence is reduced to the point so that he can go home to his family immediately.”

One of the key parts of the appeal will be the medical evidence supporting Sgt Nightingale’s claim that he had no recollection of being in possession of the pistol suffered a severe traumatic brain injury while taking part in 132 mile jungle marathon in Brazil in 2009.

He collapsed after running 30 miles when his body temperature rose to 111F. Over the next eight hours he suffered 13 epileptic fits, some of which last 30 minutes.

The soldier was in a coma for three hours and when he regained consciousness had no recollection that he had a daughter and struggled to remember key events in his life.

That seems like reason enough to let the guy go. In fact, the UK and the US should revisit their restrictive, legalistic war trophy rules and liberalize them. The problem with crime in either country is not rooted in the veteran demographic, no matter how frantically journalists may try to push that narrative at times. (The “veterans” in those crimes are often wannabes who never darkened a recruiter’s door, or rejects who were thrown out whilst in training).

In Nightingale’s case, there’s also a question of equal justice before the law:

It has also emerged that in a similar case in 2008, another Army sergeant who was in the illegal possession of two pistols and admitted stealing ammunition, was given a £1,500 fine. A crown court judge said that he had decided on a fine rather than imprisonment because of the soldier’s service in Iraq.

These snippets come from the Daily Telegraph which has extensive coverage on the Nightingale case. Just read the linked article and then check out the Related Articles linked near the top.

Black Friday’s NICS Blackout

10 highest days in the 24 years of NICS. 3 of them this month… so far.

OK, it was more like a brownout, but we’re always suckers for alliteration and parallelism around here. Inevitable result of combining an expensive education and cheap thrills. In any event, sellers everywhere are complaining that last week’s top sales day became a lost sales day because the FBI’s NICS system kept crashing. Some see it as a conspiracy to suppress sales, by lefties in the government.

Define “everywhere”? Alabama. Arizona. Colorado (at least as far as delays are concerned). Maine. West Coast states. Virginia. We thought we saw one from Missouri, but couldn’t find it again.

The FBI doesn’t love the members of the gun culture any, and there are those among them that seem eager for the role of partisan political police — as in l’affaire Petraeus. But in our view, it’s probably incompetence, not enemy action. Our points of evidence:

  • We weren’t blogging yet last year, but the exact same thing happened then. So if it’s a conspiracy it’s a remarkably slow-acting one that’s content to strike only on high volume days.
  • Despite the FBI’s failure (for which no one at FBI will ever be held accountable — they’re bureaucrats, after all) they still managed to set a record.
  • The online e-NICS system ran all day without a single burble. So those FFLs and SOTs willing to install a jeezly certificate on their PCs or Macs and operate a browser had a faster way to do instant checks.
  • The FBI has no backup, failover, or fail-safe system for NICS. It has dozens of single points of failure. And nobody’s evaluation at the FBI depends on it working. So guess what happens?

The FBI said they supported 154,873 NICS checks on Black Friday. Last year, which was also plagued by outages and crashes, they supported 129,166. Over the whole weekend, 283,423 checks were processed, versus last year’s 215,192.

In a later, revised statement, the FBI’s spokesman crayfished away from the bureau’s earlier admission that the system had gone down:

“The NICS never actually went down,” said FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer. “The call centers experienced two short outages — one of 14 minutes and one of 18 minutes. These outages were caused by exceptionally large call volume.”

How’s that again? It didn’t go down, but there were “outages.” Unfortunately, this quibbler works for an agency that sends agents into courts to testify under oath. Let’s give the bureau another chance to explain:

According to FBI officials when West Coast gun dealers opened for business on Black Friday the system was briefly impacted and FBI officials decided to take call centers offline so systems could catch up with calls that were already in the queue.

Oh, so it was only for a few minutes! So where does this come from?

“We had several delays that didn’t clear till the following morning,” said Chuck Nesby the Chief Firearms Instructor at NOVA Firearms in Fall Church, Va.

Somebody’s not telling the truth.  Also, it’s interesting to note that unspecified “FBI officials” can — and do — take the system off line on a whim.

 

Two numbskulls, a gun and a lawyer…

…who turns out to be another numbskull. That’s the story told by this dry legal opinion, rehosted at NSSF.

Short version of the story: Regis Ellis and his friend Williams were at a range, fooling around with Williams’s handgun, a Hi-Point C9. At some point, Regis shot himself in the hand. It’s hard to establish exactly what happened, as Regis’s story has changed a great deal, as has Williams’s, and they were the only witnesses. But after his visit to the ER for a through-and-through gunshot of the hand, Regis apparently concluded that he had just won Lawsuit Lotto.

He found an ambulance chaser named Jason Schiffman of Schiffman and Wojdowski, and sued the gun maker and the jobber (a separate corporation), both of which do business as “Hi-Point”; Federal Cartridge Company, the civilian-ammo branch of ATK Corporation, which presumably made the offending cartridge; and, for good measure, his wife Bonnie. (That’s the tale told in the original filing from 2009. Maybe some lawyer/reader can explain the legal strategy involved in suing your own wife for something other than divorce).

The Hi-Point C9 doesn’t activate any of our snob-appeal receptors, but a lot of people out there need a $150 gun.

By the time the case matured under US Judge Alan Bloch in the Western District of Pennsylvania this month, Bonnie had migrated around to the Plaintiff’s side, like a flounder’s eye. And Bloch had had his sense of humor and judicial restraint tested to the limit. He spanked Ellis’s attorney (presumably Schiffman, although the memorandum opinion names him not) and sanctioned him for a frivolous complaint.

Why?

Reading between the lines, it sure seems like Bloch believes that either the plaintiff or his attorney damaged the gun subsequently to the accident to try to make it appear that the gun blew up. (The damage to the lawsuit gun appears identical to damage to an exemplar gun that the defendants shot with another gun, actually). But he didn’t need to use that to tee off on the plaintiff’s attorney.

The attorney had the gun from the very beginning of the case, and never had it professionally examined. He retained an expert witness, but misrepresented the defendants’ evidence to his own expert, and then canned the guy anyway. He repeatedly asserted claims that he didn’t have evidence to support, that the evidence that he had contradicted, or that had already been dismissed as frivolous. It was a campaign of bold bluffs, but the defendants repeatedly called every bluff, and then made the poor fellow eat them.

How bad were the claims? The attorney claimed that the cartridge somehow “just went off” and then exited through first the side of the slide, then the trigger guard of the beefy Hi-Point before ventilating his client. (DARPA called, they want their round that can take a 90-degree turn inflight back). That the assertion was physically impossible did not seem to deter the plaintiff, good ol’ nine-fingers Regis, or his attorney, in the slightest.

It looks suspiciously like the attorney was that kind of lawyer who writes a lot of demand letters to firms he expects to roll over and settle as a nuisance cost of doing business, and makes a rich living on 33.3% of lots of small settlements for nuisance suits. If so, he failed his clients again, this time by not doing due diligence on the defendant. Hi-Point makes cheap handguns and for that reason has been under assault by anti-gun, left-wing legal groups for many years. Some of the best legal talent in Washington has tried to shake Hi-Point’s principals down, and they’re still standing. A patently dopey product-liability case is not going to score.

In the end, Judge Bloch had some fun with the case:

In light of the above, the Court finds that this case was “a shot in the dark” and unfortunately for Counsel, he not only missed his mark, his gun was not even loaded. The Court finds that monetary sanctions are warranted against Counsel and his law firm.

As Son Tay Raider Paul Poole [RIP] taught the generation of us who followed him, “Never dry fire in a firefight. Bwa-haw-haw!” Hi-Point’s attorneys have asked for all their fees to date to be paid by Ellis’s inept lawyer (presumably Schiffman). The judge hasn’t committed to that yet, but says he’ll consider that if it’s reasonable.

This is probably time for the lawyer in the crosshairs to recognize that his own skills are not getting the job done, and he’d better hire another lawyer. A good lawyer.

 

New folks, same old accidents #002

Here we go again. There are more ways to shoot yourself or someone else than the Russian roulette idjits we’ve already discussed. There are also right ways and wrong ways to shoot skells invading your home. Do it wrong, and the legal system that was so lenient towards them will land on you with both feet.

  • There’s the marital-squabble idjits who were fighting over a gun. Victory went to the gun as both were injured, the husband critically.
  • There’s the GI whose accident’s specifics are unreported. Yes, being a professional gun user does not inoculate you from accidental death and dismemberment. Only following the basic safety rules. And it doesn’t matter whether you use the NRA’s or Cooper’s slightly variant rules. Follow either one and there is no fatal ND in your future.
  • There’s the Tennessee teenager who was downrange checking targets with his dad when a woman back at the firing line decided just to “move” a .22 single-action revolver. “It just went off.” Sure it did, put your finger on the trigger and they do that. It was a near-run thing, but the kid is expected to recover now. “Cheatham County Sheriff John Holder said that basic gun safety rules were broken, leading to the accident.” Sounds about right to us. The careless lady will not be charged (which is probably the right decision in a case which was simple carelessness and not malignant negligence).
  • There’s the Missouri 11-year-old whose father was teaching him — we are not making this up — gun safety. What a memorable lesson, to get an ambulance ride, an air ambulance ride, a surgery or two, and, oh yeah, gunshot wounds to the hand and jaw! (The kid’s going to be OK. Family hunting trip’s postponed. Prosecutors considering charging the dad, which in our opinion would be the wrong decision… he probably ain’t gonna do that again). Hell of a way to teach yourself gun safety. It is better to try to learn from the other guy’s experience than hope to survive learning from your own.
  • And then there’s something different. Meet Byron Smith, the Minnesota retiree who told investigators that, after wounding two home invaders, he executed them, one with a “good, clean finishing shot” to put an end to her suffering. Yeah, this one doesn’t really look like an accident, does it? Looks like he’s going to Crowbar Motel. It’s hard to feel any sympathy for the home invaders — play stupid games, win stupid prizes — but this would-be home defender seems scarcely any smarter, and the same aphorism applies to him. For any one who moans that “Tony Soprano did stuff like this and got away with it,” remember two things: 1. Tony Soprano was a fictional character, and a violent criminal at that. And 2. Tony always took care to hide the bodies, whether it was in the sausage grinder at Satriale’s Meat Market or on Uncle whatshisname’s farm. This assclown let them ripen overnight, then called a neighbor to ask if he knew a lawyer — the neighbor called authorities. The link at the Minneapolis Red Star Tribune goes on and on about the innocent wonderfulness of the two home invaders, and shows innocent happy pictures. Who seem to have been drug users (there’s a shock) and hardened criminals despite their youth and may have been responsible for five to seven previous break-ins of the same guy’s home, as well as other burglaries, one of them a few hours before their well-deserved removal from the gene pool. As another one of their burglary victims put it, “…[V]ery sad that they lost their lives.In the same instance, if they hadn’t been breaking into houses, they’d be alive.”

Of course, from the point of view of the two dead burglars, it’s a story of unintended death. Sucks to be them. No doubt the public has been saved the cost of future trials and incarceration for those two worthless punks. But the public will have to pay to try and incarcerate Byron Smith, the home defender. The prosecutor and cops wouldn’t bother with small-time burglaries, but now they have a real crime to prosecute. Luckily for the prosecutor, we’re not in his jury pool, but we do understand the concept of minimal use of lethal force. That’s why it’s important to use a suitable defensive caliber and make incapacitating bullet placements with every shot. If the guy hadn’t armed himself with .22s and fired ineffectual shots initially, he wouldn’t have made the blood-up bad decision to execute the punks.

Dirty Harry can do that. He’s a fictional character, too.

W4: XRayGuns.com

The patient was on the stretcher. The computerized axial tomography machine was ready. And then the advanced medical imaging technology went to work.

But it wasn’t imaging a human, or even a veterinary, patient. It was imaging a clone of an HK 23E, a 5.56mm machine gun similar to the 7.62mm HK 21 that will evoke a certain nostalgic era to veterans of a particular US special operations unit.  Both the before and after pictures are found in this blog post, and they came from a unique site, XRayGuns.com.

It all started when a package arrived for one of the guys at the imaging center — a guy known as a gun collector. A couple of co-workers thought they’d “read his mail” and wound up with a beautiful image of the hardware inside. They sent it to him and afterward, an idea was born: this could be art! Hangable art. Wearable art. And now it is, and you can buy prints (suitable, naturally, for framing) and t-shirts at the site.

The same Michael’s Machine HK 23E clone. We took it for an HK21 at first glance!

The pictures look like the X-Ray images doctors view of your kid’s leg after he plunges from a tree (or of your leg after an ill-advised hook turn at the end of a parachute jump, but that’s another story). Except the hardware in the images is not broken.

You should take the time to look at every page of the site, as there are more intriguing gun images there.

The t-shirts are rather clever. They have an image of the weapon in question on the front — M4, HK, AK, MAC-10 — and its specifications – in its native language – on the back (we did see one translation error, we think. Just one… this is not a robo-translation but done by hand by someone who knows gun argot in multiple languages). And you have to love their guarantee:

While it will certainly hurt  our egos, if you feel the shirt or print you receive doesn’t meet your expectations….we will gladly refund your entire purchase amount (minus shipping) upon receipt of the unused product.

Wrong size? No problem. Mail the shirt back with a brief note and we’ll exchange it for you.

We know exactly who needs an AK shirt for Christmas. We just have to figure out what size fits a 13-year-old.

Hat tip: GunSpec.com via The Gun Wire, which you need to be checking every day (it’s the Drudge Report of the gun culture).

USMC joins Army aftermarket mag ban

Well, the Army tried to copy the Marines’ promised women-in-Infantry initiative (which has flopped badly in the Corps), now the Marines repay the plagiarism by boosting the Army’s rifle magazine ban, although they have reasons of their own.

There’s a lot of second-hand second-hand stuff on the gun blogs on this message from yesterday, so we thought we’d direct you to the actual message, MARADMIN 668/12. (You’re welcome). And we’re going to excerpt the relevant text of it right here.

3.  THE EXECUTIVE STEERING COMMITTEE (ESC) BROUGHT FORWARD THE FOLLOWING ITEMS THAT WERE APPROVED BY THE ADVOCATE, DC, CD AND I:

3.A.  DC, CD AND I ESTABLISH, VIA THIS MESSAGE, THE POLICY FOR USE OF 5.56MM MAGAZINES IS RESTRICTED TO THE PURCHASE AND USE OF [ONLY] MARCORSYSCOM TESTED AND APPROVED 5.56MM MAGAZINES WITH NSN: 1005015617200 (TAN FOLLOWER), 1005009215004 (GREEN FOLLOWER), 1005000562237 (BLACK FOLLOWER).

4.  ACTION ITEMS:
4.A.  DC, CD AND I HAS TAKEN DIRECT ACTION ON THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
4.A.1  ITEM 3A:  THE MAGAZINE POLICY FOR THE MARINE CORPS IS ESTABLISHED VIA THIS MESSAGE, AND ONLY THOSE RIFLE MAGAZINES LISTED IN PARAGRAPH 3A AND IN THE ANNUAL EQUIPMENT MESSAGE (PUBLISHED SEPARATELY) ARE AUTHORIZED FOR USE.

7.  RELEASE AUTHORIZED BY LIEUTENANT GENERAL RICHARD P. MILLS, DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR COMBAT DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION.//

 

MagPul PMAG — doesn’t fit the IAR M27

The Symposium at which Marine leaders and experts reached this decision had a great deal of participation by combat Marines, marksmanship trainers and experts, and this message is not a unilateral decision from Lt. Gen. Mills, although it’s been spun that way in the media. It’s also not cast in concrete: the next Symposium is in June. They also covered several other interesting subjects, including moving-target training (the Marines plan to teach a one-body-width lead for moving men), but we snipped out only the magazine-related matter.

Reportedly, the reason for the mag restriction is the finicky magwell of the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, which is essentially a 20″ HK 416. That magwell has also spurred MagPul to redesign their popular PMAG, the previous version of which does not fit in the M27.  Before we all get out our H&K pitchforks, the reason some mags don’t fit is because the wily Teutons designed the mag well präzisionsweise according to the NATO mag-well spec, which derived from the original Colt technical data package for the M16A1 way back in 1967 when the Army was pursuing second-source M16 contracts. But the actual M16s were not made to the spec, due to the limits of the technology used at the time. As a result, some designers of aftermarket magazines who worked off of existing mags and magwells may have designed mags too large for a minimum-tolerances mag well. That’s certainly the case with MagPul PMAGs prior to the new G3 mags… which don’t go into a 416 or M27.

As an aside, there’s a lot of noise about the PMAG as having a National/NATO Stock Number. Yes, but… only two parts do, black PMAG with and without the round-count witness window. When you see PMAGs of any other color in military use, they were bought by the service member or by the unit. The new G3 PMAGs which fit H&K mag wells are not covered by these NSNs.

Now, this Marine admin message is being spun as a PMAG ban, and it is that, but not exclusively so. It bans everything but the three Army-issue mags, two of which have been replaced over there because their reliability and durability is weak (green follower) or dreadful (black follower). (The Army continues to accept the green-follower mags as substitute standard till they wear out, but has recalled the black-follower units). Even the best metal magazine for ARs — the HK stainless maritime mag, which fits the M27 magwell perfectly fine — is banned by this message.

The Army ultimately relaxed its ban, allowing unit commanders to permit the use of aftermarket magazines at the commander’s option. It’s probable that the Marines will follow suit after an interval, at least as far as magazines which will fit the tight H&K mag wells are concerned.