Monthly Archives: June 2016

A Defense Policy Opportunity

Unless you’ve been under a rock —  in which case we’re profoundly grateful that your first act on emergence was to check out WeaponsMan.com — you’ve heard about Brexit, the British vote to exit the EU. This was profoundly shocking to the ITV commentators watched live, and redounds to the frustration of Jean-Claude Juncker, Angela Merkel, and all the latest generation of would-be Napoleons who meant to crush British sovereignty and exceptionalism. (Not to mention all those Britons whose fondest dream is to be the Vidkun Quisling of such a European imperium).

Ah, but what does British exit from the EU’s dream of a continent ruled by a hereditary cast of technocrats mean for the greater world? It could mean greater integration of the Anglosphere. Writing in USA Today, James C. Bennett suggests that Britain should look to the lands of the British diaspora.

…[T]here is an interesting development, which to date, has been under the radar of most international political observers, but which now has been given a green light by yesterday’s and today’s events. This is the growing movement for closer ties between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, the so-called CANZUK nations. A Change.org petition calling for bureaucracy-free movement between those 4 nations recently gained over 100,000 signatures in a few months without any financial backing or big names in support. Boris Johnson, the flamboyant ex-mayor of London, and now victorious leader of the Leave movement in the Brexit referendum, has endorsed CANZUK free movement as a near term goal.

Beyond free movement, commentators such as Canadian publisher Conrad Black, and British economist Andrew Lilico, have called for some form of confederation of the CANZUK nations. As a superior alternative to the European Union, such a confederation would be a globe-spanning advanced technological, economic and military power bigger than Germany or Japan, and whose 4 members have individually been Americas most constant and capable allies. Unlike many so-called “allies”, when America has asked for help, these usually have shown up with soldiers, ships and planes. If such a plan went ahead, America could end up with the kind of partner it had always hoped the EU would be but which never showed up in reality. Brexit is a good thing even on its own terms. However, if it became the starting point of such a development, it could bring much much more for its own members and for the USA.

Such an Anglosphere Union has been at work for decades — since 1940, really — in the defense, security and intelligence realm. You’ve probably seen declassified documents marked REL FVEY — It means “releasable to the Five Eyes,” the five being in alphabetical order: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and US). (A SECRET REL FVEY document can’t be given to any random Kiwi or Canuck any more than it can to any random American: this is a mechanism for intelligence sharing among cleared members of cooperating intelligence agencies). For a while, the Kiwis were out over a political disagreement over nuclear weapons, but all in all it’s been a strong alliance, and it’s well placed to frame greater defense, economic and political ties between the Anglosphere nations.

It is unlikely our current President, who affects a bogus African loathing of Britain as a colonial power, will be interested in supporting an Anglospheric Common Market or unified trade and travel treaty. It is unlikely that America’s rotten political elites will support it, absent signs that they can somehow turn it to greater graft. So it seems probable that, if such a thing comes to pass, the US will be on the outside looking in. However, most Americans of good will, whose lives and imaginations aren’t crippled by the daddy issues from an absentee father and the facile nonsense of academic dogma, would welcome such a development.

Do Read The Whole Thing™. And consider how it might extend.

One Cool Tool

US Tool Manual Bolt Extraction Device 556-308Here at the Wile E Coyote Institute for Applied Aeronautics (and Gunsmiting) we occasionally find a tool we really like. Here is one such tool that not only belongs in your shop toolbox, but in your range kit, and that goes double if you’re a unit or department armorer (or a small department’s go-to gun guy), or an SF guy that has to run ranges for the Third World, or a range officer at a range open to the public (almost the same thing).

We’ve all seen the stoppage you get when an overpressure round, or maybe a nasty chamber in an unlined barrel on a bargain-basement AR, solidly stuck. It’s like the thing brazed itself in there! It’s hard to get enough leverage on a charging handle to move the bolt carrier back and unlock that damn-near-welded bolt. If the carrier is fully forward, you can separate upper and lower and attack the carrier from underneath, but if it’s back just a few millimeters it’s hard to separate the upper and lower.

You can get a similar problem with a double-feed, commonly caused by crummy or worn-out magazines. Your gun is out of action until you can reduce the stoppage.

And then there’s the circumstance, when some schmo brings the seized rifle in to the shop after getting the case stuck and then letting it sit for three months in the salty sea breeze, hoping that time heals all wounds.

The US Tool & Design Manual Bolt Extraction Device is simplicity itself: a lever with a yoke at one end that can be inserted through the magazine well and pry the bolt carrier back. That lets you open things up and get the gun back into action, or at least, troubleshoot the problem. Here’s an image showing how it works, with the upper absent for clarity:

US Tool Manual Bolt Extraction Device 02

It’s available in three versions: compact 5.56mm and 7.62mm versions, and a double-ended dual-caliber variety. (Of course these will work with other calibers on the same platform, so order the 5.56 one for .300 BLK, for example; the critical sizes are the bolt and bolt carrier).

US Tool Manual Bolt Extraction Device three versions

The dual-ended one is perfect for the shop workbench, and we could see the other attached by a clip to the rails on one’s field rifle. It would give you a way to clear this kind of stoppage in combat.

US Tool Manual Bolt Extraction Device

Here’s what they say about their tool, for which they’ve applied for a patent:

The Manual Bolt Extraction Device (MBED) is designed to be used in the event of a malfunction where you need direct access to the bolt carrier group (BCG) and the leverage provided by the charging handle is insufficient. The MBED is effectively used to clear the most common stoppages such as a double feed where the second round is wedged above the BCG. The MBED can also be used to clear an over pressured round or any stoppage where the casing is stuck in the chamber and has seized function of the rifle.

The MBED can be used to aide in any stoppage where direct access to the bolt carrier is needed. The AR-15/AR-10 platform does not allow for the user to have access to the bolt like the AK47, M1 Garand or M14 style rifles. The charging handle gives minimal leverage to the bolt carrier group and requires multiple tools and at least two individuals to clear these stoppages. The MBED is a single tool that a single individual can use to get the rifle back into working order in a short amount of time.

This is simple and that’s what makes it brilliant. We’re ordering one for the bench and one for the range bag, at least until we can figure out the rail clip that we want to make. You can buy the MBED here: https://www.ustoolanddesign.com/products/manual-bolt-extraction-device

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 25

This Tour d’Horizon is the laziest, most telegraphic, check-the-boxingest one in at least a week.

Guns

I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

A Collection of Bubba’d Glocks

At TFB, there’s a collection of different Bubbafied / WECSOG Glocks. Like Lizard Skin here:

ugly glock

When you’re done using it as a pistol, you can tan its hide and make a coin purse.

And then there’s its Meccano brother, below. Engineers, help us out here: is that a Warren or a Pratt truss?

ugly glock 2

Really, though, you gotta Read The Whole Thing™ to get to the very best bit, the gaudy (and sometimes, finger-paint lookin’) Cerakote jobs.

Think Your Guns Get Shot a Lot?

Don’t go making any wagers on that, unless you can beat this guy. He has some great facts about common firearms in a high-round-count environment. This detail surprised us:

USGI mags have outlasted all of the other brands. We use UGSI (Brownell’s with tan follower) and on a mag for mag basis, they have outlasted Pmags and a few of the other mags that we get from mfg’ers with new weapons. We don’t have to worry about various generations with different weapons like the MR556, SCAR, F2000, Tavor or a couple of others that use AR15/M4 magazines.

You don’t say.

Turns out Kuntzman Fabricated Parts of his Story

You know, the reporter that just about peed himself when handling the dread power of the mighty AR-15? The Philadelphia gun store owners he depicted as gun control advocates aren’t, quite:

[W]e did not know that Mr. Kuntzman would completely turn things around and make our establishment look like one of anti-gun advocates. We have received dozens of phone from all over the country in regards to the article. Many of these callers expressed disgust with the article and told us to stay away from the media.

Yeah, now they tell you.

Most reporters would never tell a lie, except on days that end in “Y”. Remember, we just had Katie Couric’s fake documentary, and NPR’s fake story on the myth of the “ordinary mom” who was a political flak for the Carnahan machine before becoming the pretty if heavily worked-on face of the gun ban movement. You can tell when they’re lying: words come out of ’em.

Speaking of Reporters Lying: The AR-15 Market was “Saturated” 18 Months Ago

And all the millions of ARs that have sold since then are figments of your imagination. Reporter John Boyle, of the Asheville NC Citizen-Times, used the old “some people” dodge that dishonest reporters use when they want to sneak their own opinions in:

Some even call it a glut.

Dishonest John’s article was picked up by USA Today, and therefore read by millions of people who are resolutely uninformed about anything.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Michael Yon shares a Friend’s Post: 4GW Comes to America

Apart from the recommendation of Grossman, it’s a good article. Our favorite line:

It is clear that our federal and local law enforcement agencies are not capable of protecting us from the Islamic Jihadi threat.

You might want to write that down.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

Another Lutheran Shoots a Cop

It seems like Pennsylvania is discovering how to keep our cops alive: breed a race of cops as hard as woodpecker lips. First we had the Philly cop run down his Sudden Jihad Syndrome ambusher, and now they’ve just had one survive seven hits, some to the vest but at least one to the face. And the trigger man — who goes by Abdul Wahi, but that may just be street posturing — is in the jug.

Christopher Dorman, 25, a Folcroft police officer, was in critical but stable condition late Friday as a result of the incident, which police said occurred about 10 a.m. near the 1500 block of Elmwood Avenue in Folcroft outside an apartment building.

“I’m shot in the face! I’m shot in the face!,” Dorman shouts to a police dispatcher, according to a recording posted by NBC10.

District Attorney Jack Whelan identified the suspect as Dante Brooks Island, who goes by the alias Abdul Wahi, and whom he called a “career criminal.” He was to be arraigned Friday night.

Officials said that an altercation ensued after Dorman responded to the scene. Shots were fired, they said, but Dorman did not return fire. Other officers also responded.

The heads of the DOJ, DHS, FBI and the President were mystified by his motive, same as with everybody else’s motives these days.

Thank You for your Assistance to Law Enforcement

An armed robber was doing fine evading Dallas, Texas cops in a Dodge Challenger until he came to a gaggle of cars stopped at a red light. He made his best effort to fit between an SUV and a minivan, which wasn’t all that good an effort.

And then, his troubles began.

 

The SUV was sent across the intersection like a croquet ball. Three angry people burst out of the  minivan. One, a woman, collapsed, injured. The two guys paid her no mind but seized the robber (they couldn’t have known he was a robber yet) and his further getaway attempts turned into a beatdown. When the cops finally

Was the Challenger stolen, too? He certainly drove it like he stole it.

Remember that Murder of a Whole Family in PA?

Case Closed. See the details at Officer.com; two suspects are in custody. It was a botched revenge whack among competitors in the thriving urban recreational pharmaceuticals industry.

To Be a Happy Crook, Be a Big Crook — or in Government

It looks like the VW mileage cheating scandal is going to wind up with a bunch of lawyers made rich, a bunch of government lawyers getting a slush fund, the few owners of the “cheat chip” diesels getting from $1k to $7k each, VW’s stockholders out between ten and eleven billion dollars — and no consequences for the cheating executives.

On Wednesday VW chief executive Mr Mueller issued a fresh apology to shareholders, saying the “misconduct goes against everything that Volkswagen stands for”.

Says the guy whose company’s cornerstone was laid by one Adolf Hitler.

Sorry We Lied to You… Well, Sorry We Got Caught

Who lied to you? ICE and DHS. So that’s your “shocked” face, huh? Anyway, last year they told the House Judiciary Committee that their policy of non-enforcement of law against criminaliens and release of 85,000 deportables into the interior had led to a “mere” 1,423 crimes. Where this number came from is uncertain, but it was probably from the lower end of some SES’s digestive tract, because the actual number of crimes committed by the Catch And Release Class of ’14 — at least, the crimes that they were subsequently caught for, not the ones for which they remain at large was 13,288. It’s a nice, convenient near ten times the lie they told under oath.

The list of convictions for offenses committed by criminals ICE did not deem worthy of deportation in FY 2014 includes: homicide, kidnapping, assault, sexual assault, drunk driving, and other offenses. Yet despite the clear knowledge that its policies resulted in thousands of avoidable crimes, ICE doubled down in FY 2015—releasing nearly 20,000 additional deportable criminals.

We don’t know what crimes the Criminalien Class of 2015 has committed yet, because they’re not done committing ’em.

Of course, if you lied in testimony, you’d be in trouble. But a Cone of Impunity™ seems to have settled over the region from Prince George’s County to Manassas, and, really, everything in that area. Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

Heroin Rescue Comes Undone

John Cramsey is a crusader against heroin — the scourge that slew his 20-year-old daughter Lexii. Called to “extract” a terrified 16-year-old from a New York flophouse — something he’d done before —  he launched from Allentown, Pennsyvania with two friends.

His error was putting a post on Facebook saying he was coming. Big Brother was listening.

He was intercepted by cops lying in wait, and he and his two friends were arrested and charged with gun possession, which, unlike heroin dealing and pimping out trafficked teens, is something the NYPD takes seriously.

The official story is now that Cramsey was stopped because of a cracked windshield, although no one mentioned that at the time and it took quite a few cops to concoct that story. In fact, unlike Omar Mateen, he seems to have been under surveillance, and the ex post facto “cracked windshield” seems to have been “parallel construction” to preserve the secrecy of warrantless surveillance and license-plate reader programs.

Oh, the 16-year-old kid? She didn’t get rescued, and who cares? NYPD and DHS had no interest in her. They’ll call a bus when someone calls her in, OD’d, dead. Until then, they’re fighting The War on (some) Guns, and they have to do it shorthanded a number of indicted senior managers, some of whom made a habit of using those trafficked 16-year-olds.

The Perils of Kathleen: She’s In the News Every Week

This is our ongoing series where we examine the ongoing meltdown of the paranoid, vengeful and extremely anti-gun Pennsylvania attorney general, Kathleen Kane.

  • The Bizarre Tenure of Kathleen Kane Continues.” Sometimes the headline really does say it all. “This would really be funny if we weren’t all paying for it,” say the editorial board of the Lancaster News-Press. Heh, we’re in a  whole other state, we’re not paying for it, and you bet we’re laughing.
  • Kane Sat on Nearly $2M in Seized Money for Two Years. Nobody can figure out why, except for her general level of paranoia, which has infected the office. At that link, the Morning Call tries to figure out what the hell was and is going on. Not encouraging:

One source called the seizure by the state’s Mobile Street Crimes Unit “screwed up from the get-go” in part because it broke a rule against using relatives as informants.

Lord love a duck.

Lawsuits from ex-staffers and court filings in the criminal case against Kane detail a culture of paranoia that took hold as she engaged in a protracted war with former prosecutors and then reacted to the consequences of those disputes.

“If I get taken out of here in handcuffs, what do you think my last act will be?” Kane reportedly told her first deputy, Bruce Beemer, according to court documents.

  • Kane Still Has FansThe link is to a slobbering tonguebath by three ABC News reporters.
  • Kane’s Bid to Stop Trial FailsThis one is the latest of many, and she’ll probably throw more legal nonsense at the courts before she finally gives up and pleads out. It’s amazing to think that the person behind all these pathetic legal tactics is the attorney general of a state (sure, she’s basically recused from everything because she lost her law license, but she’s still spending the paycheck).

 

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. 

FARC Signs on the Dotted Line

After three years of negotiations, following decades of fruitless war, the Colombian rebel group FARC signed an initial peace agreement with the government, with a final agreement coming “soon.” Under the terms of the agreement they will report to camps, be guarded by the Army against death squads, and will marshal and turn in their weapons to UN monitors.

You’ve got to have been pretty deep in the jungle for a pretty long time, to still trust the UN. That went out somewhere between U Thant and Kofi Annan’s Oil For Food (and millions for no-brain son, Kojo Annan) racket.

Still, the local ADN Bogotá edition slugged the story, “Farewell to Arms.” Sure, it’s all done except the implementation, right?

In 1998 or so, they put a $50,000 price on your humble blogger’s head whilst he was working in Ecuador.  “Do I need to be concerned about this?” “No, señor,” our counterpart responded, “Everybody knows they do not have the money.” “But if they had the money, someone would shoot me?” [Counterpart puts on serious face]: “If they had the money, would shoot you.” (By the time the Taliban got around to putting a price on the same scalp, its value had diminished to $6,000. Perhaps due to male pattern baldness).

We Need More Jihadis, Don’t You Think?

So the Administration is pushing to admit 10,000 more Syrian rapefugees before the fiscal year is out on 1 October. Remember, 1 in 10 is a ringer, on average, among all refugees everywhere.

We Found One, But He’s Already in the Can

For some reason, the media doesn’t want to report these guys’ chosen Moslem names, but continues to call them by their rejected pre-jihadi monickers. Now, the President probably thinks this guy’s motivation is a mystery. What did this guy allegedly do?

Alex Hernandez, 31, of Worcester was charged in U.S. District Court in Boston with two counts of threatening to kill and inflict bodily harm upon the president of the United States.

In March 2015, Hernandez talked about his desire to kill Obama with another inmate as they attended a Muslim service, saying he was “upset about the way his people were being treated,” and wanted to kill the president in a “lone wolf” style attack, the affidavit states.

We guess we’ll never know why he was planning such a crime. Hernandez…

…has been charged with plotting to kill President Obama in order to help his “brothers” in the mujahedeen, according to a Secret Service affidavit.

Yep, what ever could be his motivation?

Afghanistan’s Even More Fabulous Army

A peculiar (in all senses of the word) tradition in Afghanistan is bacha bazi, which literally translated means “boy play,” but basically means institutionalized child buggery. It’s the part of Pushtunwali that they don’t teach you about in “cultural orientation” class. Agence France Presse manages to hold what we imagine to be a large Gallic nose, and reports:

Bacha bazi, which the US State Department has called a “culturally sanctioned form of male rape”, peels away the masculine identity of boys in a society where the sexes are tightly segregated.

In conservative areas women are mostly invisible in public — and often unattainable due to steep bride prices. Bachas supplant the role of women, adopting a feminine gait and sometimes wearing makeup and bells on their feet.

Many in Uruzgan see bacha bazi neither as paedophilia nor homosexuality, which is forbidden in Islam. If social norms had a pecking order, violating boys would be seen as far more ethical than violating women.

Insider attacks by child slaves have also been reported in recent years from neighbouring Helmand and Kandahar provinces, where bacha bazi is prevalent.

But the tactic appears more deep rooted in Uruzgan, where the boys are widely flaunted as a totem of affluence, with some officials openly displaying cellphone images to AFP of their “handsome bachas”.

Well, it looks like the Great Buggernaut has assimilated Afghanistan even more than the US Army, but the Taliban have been able to exploit the resentment of the buggered.

“The Taliban are sending boys — beautiful boys, handsome boys — to penetrate checkpoints and kill, drug and poison policemen,” said Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Lewanai, who was Uruzgan’s police chief until he was removed in a security reshuffle in April amid worsening violence.

Hey, one good penetration deserves another.

“They have figured out the biggest weakness of police forces — bacha bazi,” he told AFP.

The assaults, signifying abuse of children by both parties in the conflict, have left authorities rattled, with one senior provincial official who echoed Rogh Lewanai’s view saying “it’s easier tackling suicide bombers than bacha attackers”.

The killings illustrate how bacha bazi is aggravating insecurity in Uruzgan, a remote province which officials warn is teetering on the brink of collapse, unravelling hard-won gains by US, Australian and Dutch troops who fought there for years.

“These bacha attacks have fuelled deep mistrust within police ranks,” Seddiqullah, a police commander at a checkpoint near the provincial capital Tarin Kot, told AFP.

The insurgents are using boys as honey traps, said 21-year-old Matiullah, a policeman who was the only survivor from an insider attack in Dehrawud district in spring last year.

He said the attacker was the checkpoint commander’s own sex slave, a teenager called Zabihullah. Late one night, he went on a shooting spree, killing seven policemen including the commander as they slept.

“He brought the Taliban inside and poked all the bodies with rifle butts to see if anyone was alive. I pretended to be dead,” said Matiullah, who now works as a tailor, pointing out a gash on his forehead.

“As his Taliban accomplices gathered our weapons and ammunition, Zabihullah declared: ‘Everyone is dead’.”

Now there’s what’s down at the bottom (no pun intended) of the slippery slope of Diverse Vibrancy™.

A Few Red Flags?

Jim Geraghty adds ’em up, and now we see the stuff ever’body overlooked about the Sudden Jihad Syndrome schmuck in Orlando who flew under the rader until he shot 100 people — that even woke up the FBI, which is pretty hard to do these days. Geraghty (with our inserted dates):

11 Sep 2001 — Mateen celebrated the terrorist attacks that day, claiming that Osama bin Laden was his uncle. “We joked that he’d become a terrorist. And then he did.”

Spring 2007 — Mateen erupted when his hamburger touched a piece of pork….Mateen told his classmates not to laugh at him because this was serious and “was going to come back and shoot us,” she said.

August 2007 — …authorities … escorted him off [police academy] property. An official told cadets Mateen had threatened to bring a gun on campus.

August 2007 — Mateen threatened to carry out a similar massacre [to the VA Tech massacre] at the police academy….

Supposedly, up to this point and for some years thereafter, nobody dimed him out to FBI or DHS.

May 2013 — Mateen first came to the FBI’s attention in May 2013, after making a series of “boasts” to co-workers about his various ties to terrorist groups.

May 2014 — Mateen is back in the FBI spotlight when one of the members of his mosque became a suicide bomber. This mosque has just 130 members. Two of them committed terror attacks.

Mateen’s pal Moner Mohammad Abusalha commited a suicide bombing in an Aleppo, Syria restaurant.

? 2014 — an informant told the FBI that Mateen had mentioned watching videos by Anwar al-Awlaki….

April 2016 — Disney security officials told the FBI they believe Mateen visited Disney World on April 26….

May 2016 — [A] gun shop owner says they immediately alerted the FBI about the suspicious man …. But the feds never followed up….

Geraghty quotes a satisfied FBI Director James Comey as saying, “I don’t see anything in reviewing our work that our agents should have done differently.” And you know, he’s probably right; we know that there’s some risk involved in having robust protections of privacy and requirements that agents must meet to conduct surveillance or investigations.

Remember, the police and the FBI cannot protect you. They can only avenge you. You have to protect yourself.

GAO: Visa Waiver Program has some Problems

The Visa Waiver Program, which brought you 19 mostly Saudi hijackers and 3000+ mostly American dead, is still going strong — with security holes you can drive a 767 through.

More than a dozen countries participating in a program that allows visitors into the U.S. without a visa are not sharing terrorists’ identities and other vital information as required by law….“more than a third of VWP countries are not sharing terrorist identity information” or criminal history.

…list of specific countries in non-compliance is classified… three of the top 10 countries supplying the Islamic State with people are VWP countries.

The GAO report is here.

These countries can’t be bother to tip us to terrorists, but they can place names ex parte on the US Terrorist Watch List — you know, the one with no due process that some folks in Congress want to use to ban guns? (See pp. 13-14 of the GAO report).

The country’s in the very best of hands.

Hundreds of Terror Plots, Scores of “Refugees” Implicated

If a “Refugee” is seeking “refuge,” then what are these guys, reallyTarget-fugees? Fugees-us H. Christ.

For the period September 2001 through 2014, data shows the U.S. successfully prosecuted 580 individuals for terrorism and terror-related cases. Further, since early 2014, at least 131 individuals were identified as being implicated in terror.

Across both those groups, the senators reported that at least 40 people initially admitted to the U.S. as refugees later were convicted or implicated in terror cases.

Among the 580 convicted, they said, at least 380 were foreign-born. The top countries of origin were Pakistan, Lebanon and Somalia, as well as the Palestinian territories.

Hmmm. Good thing the DHS is looking for Christian terrorists everywhere!

Head of Benghazi Review was Paid Under the Table by Boeing, Iran

Former diplomat Thomas Pickering is profoundly loyal — to whomever is paying him.  It turns out that during the period he was trying to spin the Benghazi attack as something other than Islam being Islam, he was being paid vast sums by Boeing to promote its interests — including the sale of some 100 dual-use passenger and cargo jets to Iran, the better to transport the IRGC’s murderers of Americans (and citizens of many other nations).

But hey, it’s a dollar in Tom Pickering’s pocket, and what does he care if some distant schmo who’s beneath his notice dies of it?

Pickering never disclosed his conflict of interest, but says it was enough that he never denied it when asked. (Since he kept his shameful sellout a secret, who knew to ask?)

Likewise, State Department spokesman John Kirby, a deracinated naval officer, sputters with indignation when asked about the Department’s limp-wristed response to Iranian terrorism.

Any suggestion “that we would or will turn a blind eye to Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism or their terrorist-supporting activities is completely without merit,” Kirby said.

“…Kirby said, while turning a blind eye to Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism and terrorist-supporting activities.” There. Fixed it for you, Kirb.

If you want to know why the US Navy is more screwed up than a screen door on a submarine, consider that Jivin’ Johnny Kirby, who replaced the irritable, confused Jen Psaki and the undergrad dope connoisseur Marie Harf as the lying face of Foggy Bottom, retired as a flag officer.

 

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?

Thanks for Your Service, Now Let Me Steal your Stuff

That’s basically what the cops say a crook named Kevin Lima did in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, on Old Cape Cod. He befriended a veteran who was visiting as a tourist; the vet and his family got the good old Massachusetts Treatment (for Veterans and other undesirables):

The veteran, who was visiting from Jacksonville, North Carolina, with his wife and two children, told Yarmouth police the family met a man and his young son at Cape Cod Inflatable Park on Wednesday night. The two befriended them and thanked the veteran for his military service, according to a statement from the police department.

“The victim and his wife and children left their belongings to take their children down a slide for a few minutes,” the statement said. “When they returned, the man was gone. At the same time, they realized that their belongings — which were all together in a beach bag — were missing.”

The wallets of the veteran and his wife were in the bag, along with his military identification cards, veterans affairs card, health care card and Social Security card, according to the statement.

Lima better be careful. The VA doesn’t like competition in the fine art of ripping off veterans!

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to. 

UK Votes LEAVE

This kept us up last night, and we’re not even Britons. Turnout was a remarkable 72%. All of the polls were strong for Remain (in the EU), including the two conducted on the day of the referendum. It’s almost as if the pollsters were missing people, or people were lying to the pollsters.

 

At the BBC page, color coding showed that Leave was big in England and Wales, and Remain won in Scotland.

How long until someone does one of those Downfall parodies with Jean-Claude Juncker getting the news of the election?

Five Tips for Gun Shop Staff

Rather than rave about what we see people doing wrong, here’s some “do” bullet points for you.

5. Listen three-quarters of the time.

Your customers are not in the shop for what interests you, but for what interests them. Talking about what interests them is a good way for you to sell them products and services that you can provide. It’s also a good way to establish yourself as an excellent listener, a personality type that is never in oversupply.

4. Know your products and inventory.

We really, really hate to go into your store and be the know-it-all, and we’ll never do it just to kill your sale. But if you’re recommending something entirely wrong, especially to a newbie, we’ll probably set you straight — tactfully, if you let us.

3. Be careful with assumptions about your customers.

The ancient Greeks used to believe that the gods periodically took on human form, often the form of an inconsequential character. The gods would then reward the decent folks who had been kind to what they thought was a fellow human, and punish the folks who had abused them. We’ve never heard of a gunstore encounter with Apollo or Hera, but we’d just like to remind you that among the people who go to gun stores are people who really are experts on some aspect of your inventory.

2. Greet everybody who comes in your store.

No exceptions. Nothing you are doing is more important that a customer who just walked in, especially a new customer. It is the customers that enable everything else; it is the new customers that may need all kinds of nice, high-margin accessories.

1. Always tell the truth.

And stop when you run out of truth. If you don’t know the truth, don’t try to bullshit. Just say you don’t know, and offer to find out. The customer may know more than you do, for one thing.

 

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Currents

Kristi-PisanoThere are two kinds of current that can kill you. This wasn’t the kind that comes in electrical wires.

A 24-year-old woman is the second person this month to die at Long Beach Island because of strong ocean currents.

The Associated Press reported that Kristi Pisano, of Port Jefferson, New York, was hit by a wave and pulled out by the current about 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Pisano had been visiting the Jersey Shore to attend a wedding, and was unresponsive when people pulled her from the water.

Al Della Fave, a spokesman with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, told NJ.com Pisano was swimming with her boyfriend, who initially didn’t notice she had been underwater and pulled into the ocean. He didn’t know Pisano wasn’t a good swimmer because they hadn’t been dating long.

via At Shore for weekend wedding, woman drowns in rip current.

One wonders why the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is involved. Who’s the chucklehead going to prosecute — Poseidon? Captain Nemo?

Will SEALs Do Anything for Publicity?

To wit, these SEALs.

There’s an old joke that goes, “Why does an SF A-Team have 12 men, and a SEAL Platoon 14?”

“Cameraman and producer.” Ba-dump-bump. Thank you, you’re a wonderful crowd, we’ll be in the blog all day… but seriously, if our frogman brethren are trying to stay out of the limelight these days, then at least one frog is doin’ it all wrong.

Shaun Day, 29, was on a two-week leave when cops harpooned him for running a red light at 12:30 a.m. at Second Avenue and East 26th Street.

When cops searched his pickup truck, they discovered a 9mm semiautomatic and three ammunition clips.

During the arrest, Day was rambling incoherently and harped that he was a SEAL — but had no proof for cops.

He claimed he was an elite commando with “top-secret clearance,” cops said.

Eh. When arrested by the locals, the right thing to do is to clam up, not tell them you’re John Rambo. “I can drive a tank… I can fly a helicopter…” don’t waste your breath. They don’t give a rip, and you’re going downtown, and it’s in your best interests to go quietly.

Sources told The Post the Navy sent staffers to talk to Day in Bellevue Hospital, where he was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

“He was released [Friday] in their care, and they were going to treat him for post-traumatic stress,” a source said.

Note how the Navy has backed their guy up. Army wouldn’t do that, at least, not SF; they’d let the guy twist in the wind. Some specific commanders (you know who you are) would laugh at him.

Note the incredible flexibility of the PTSD diagnosis. Is there anything it can’t do? For it does seem like our young sailor was more likely to be suffering the effects of ingesting a bad ice cube in one of the fifteen or so mixed drinks he’d chugged, than struggling with combat trauma.

The charges against Day of weapons possession and a traffic violation have been deferred.

via Arrested guy’s the real SEAL | New York Post.

If the SEAL commanders do what the better SF ones do, he has (or can be made to appear to have had) a commander’s letter authorizing him to carry, which gets him out of NY jail.

 Update

For some reason, the NY Post is throwing this story up as a new one to readers (which is how someone sent it to us), but it’s four years old. No doubt Day (whether he’s still in the frogs or not) can laugh about the whole thing now, as it stayed out of the press after that. .

Paratroops vs. Tanks, 1945

C-47_transport_planes_release_hundreds_of_paratroopsThe little-studied and nearly forgotten last airborne operation of World War II, Operation Varsity, eventuated along the Rhine River on March 24, 1945. The participants had no way of knowing it, but they were six weeks from V-E Day and the end of the War in Europe. That end happened for many reasons, in part because the Western Allies forced the Rhine in March. (But had the Allies been held or thrown back, the Germans still would have lost, because the Red Army was coming from the East in any event).

Both sides came to the Rhine fight with Operation Market-Garden in Holland and Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (called “The Battle of the Bulge” by the Americans in its path) in the Ardennes fresh in mind. One was an Allied fight, one a German, but both were ambitious offensives that fell far short of their goals. The American division that would be tabbed for Operation Varsity,  the 17th Airborne, had come in at the end of the Bulge to hold the cleared salient to Bastogne open, and to push the Germans back. They knew what fighting against German armored counterattacks would be like. The Germans holding their side of the river knew that the Allies had as many as four paratroop and glider divisions opposite them, and they knew just how weakened their units were by the endless meatgrinder of combat (one division was down to 4,000 men, counting walking wounded; that was about what the 17th was short after the Ardennes casualties, but the American unit got replacements).

One thing everybody knew: paratroops were overmatched by tanks. The Germans expected the Allies to land by night and planned to crush them by tanks at first light. The paratroops knew they needed to kill tanks. The problem was: it takes a hard hit by a heavy shot to kill a tank, and things that fired hard-hitting heavy shots tended to be bulky and heavy — not something you could jump out of a C-46 or C-47 with.

In the Ardennes, along Dead Man’s Ridge northwest of Bastogne, a paratroop sergeant named Isidore Jachman had engaged a German tank formation with the only organic AT weapon the airborne infantryman had, the 2.36″ (~60mm) Rocket Launcher (aka Bazooka).

M1-M1A1 2.36 inch bazooka

Jachman engaged two tanks, killing one and forcing a German retreat, but enemy fire killed Jachman, who became, posthumously, 17th’s only Medal of Honor recipient prior to Varsity. His citation:

For heroism January 04, 1945 at Flamierge, Belgium. When his company was pinned down by enemy artillery, mortar, and small arms fire, two hostile tanks attacked the unit, inflicting heavy casualties. Staff Sergeant Jachman, seeing the desperate plight of his comrades, left his place of cover and with total disregard for his own safety dashed across open ground through a hail of fire and seizing a bazooka from a fallen comrade advanced on the tanks, which concentrated their fire on him. Firing the weapon alone, he damaged one and forced both to retire. Staff Sergeant Jachman’s heroic action, in which he suffered fatal wounds, disrupted the entire enemy attack.

57mm and halftrack

57mm and halftrack prime movers.

The AT armament of the paratroops would be carried by gliders. By 1945, the inadequate 37mm gun (called by the British the two-pounder) was retired and the standard gliderborne airborne-unit AT gun was the 57mm, a good weapon for 1941 but hopeless against 1945 main battle tanks; the British users called it the six-pounder. (British and American guns had different carriages but the same tube).

In other American units, the prime mover for the 57mm AT was a half-track or a 1 1/2 ton Dodge 6×6 truck. The glider units had to make do with jeeps as prime movers. Carrying a sufficient ammo supply was a problem, and the gun and the jeep each needed their own Waco or Horsa glider.

An American AT gunner in another unit remembers this weapon:

My platoon was three 57mm Anti-Tank guns. A squad of 10 men for each gun. This gun was a reworked British “6 pounder”, so called because it fired a 6-pound projectile. Our version had good ballistics. A muzzle velocity of about 3000 fpm. It would penetrate 2 inches of armor plate and ricochet with killing velocity about 50 times. It sure didn’t look very impressive. The gunner had to kneel or sit to look though the sight.

A British 6 pounder (57mm) showing the crew's kneeling position.

A British 6 pounder (57mm) showing the crew’s kneeling position.

His crew got a lucky hit on a Panther that let them barrage the tank and drive the crew out of it.

We had gotten our kill!  That hole in their defense had to be covered by adjoining Panthers.  Later a Bazooka team got another one. …  At least we were no longer kidded about our “Little Pea Shooter”.  Most didn’t consider the 57mm much of a weapon.

The 57 had definite limits when engaging modern tanks.  But it was far more accurate and longer-ranged than the bazooka!

British forces had another option. Two batteries that airlanded on Varsity had three troops each with 6-pounders and one with 17-pounders. The 17-pounder was a high velocity 76.2mm weapon. This was, much more than its 6-pounder sibling, an effective AT weapon, but it was a lot bigger — by the time it, and its crew and prime mover were all lined up, it was a 17 thousand  pound logistical nut to crack. They could only deliver these by the gigantic General Aircraft Hamilcar glider. And glider delivery was always risky. Two Glider Pilot Regiment Sergeants, Peter Young and Neville Shaw had one of these heavy guns in a Hamilcar that didn’t get off its departure runway. Young:

Our load was a 15-hundredweight truck and a 17-pounder antitank gun, with a crew of eight soldiers, 70 rounds of ammunition, and spare petrol. The total weight was around 17,800 pounds.

We have the distinction of completing the shortest flight. On take off, the Halifax [tow plane] got into a tangle in the slipstream of the aircraft in front and cast me off. There was no choice but to put down in the overshoot. There was a spare loaded glider, but it was decided not to use this.1

Shoulder patch of the now-forgotten 17th Airborne Division.

Shoulder patch of the now-forgotten 17th
Airborne Division.

In the American forces, there was no formal anti-tank organization, unlike the British unit’s. Instead, the 17th’s 155th Anti-Aircraft Battalion picked up anti-tank duty, and the weapons to go with it. (This may have been because of the weakness of the Luftwaffe by March 1945). Oddly enough, the unit had a mix of British 6-pounders and American 57mm, but since the tubes and ammo were the same, the mixture had no practical effect.

But a new wonder weapon came to the battalion less than two weeks before showtime: the 75mm Recoilless Rifle.

Exactly two of these newfangled gadgets replaced six-pounders, one in each of two batteries. One of the crewmen, Corporal Eugene Howard, remembers:

It looked a lot like a fancy bazooka. It had a 7 foot long rifle barrel mounted on a yoke, with a pin on the bottom of the yoke to fit onto a .50-caliber machine gun tripod. The rifle weighed about 175 pounds and the tripod weighed about 65 pounds.

75mm rifle

M20 RCL sightThe gun was fitted with a new electronic sighting device that made it more accurate than the sight on the 57 mm [recoilless rifle]. In one respect it was like a bazooka: when the gun fired, a blaze of hot gases came out the rear of the gun with an equal force to the projectile coming out the muzzle. It had an effective range of about 1,500 yards.

The jeep was modified to carry the gun. The tripod mount was secured to the floor of the back section of the Jeep. A cradle for the barrel was welded to the front bumper of the jeep. One of the advantages of the gun was that it could be fired from the jeep. It could even be fired with the Jeep moving. Since we did not have to pull the 57-millimeter we would get a jeep trailer to haul ammunition. This meant we could haul more ammunition than we could for the 57-millimeter.2

Howard found the 75mm recoilless rifle worked well. The first time they were called on to use it, they killed a “self-propelled 88” (probably actually a 75mm StuG-III). Then they got the jeep into defilade, and began running the 75 against German vehicles, troops, and even an OP in a church steeple.

But that’s another story. What Howard and his gunner Pete found out was that the 75mm was an effective tank buster, within its limits, and they set a trend in paratroop AT weapons that lasted until the missile age. (Indeed, Russian and Chinese factories still produce much improved, larger caliber lightweight recoilless rifles).

Notes

  1. Wright, p. 68.
  2. Wright, p. 9.

Sources

Wright, Stephen L. The Last Drop: Operation Varsity, March 24-25, 1945. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2008.

Auction Action

Tomorrow, the Rock Island Auctions regional auction is underway. We’ll be bidding on a few items. Some of the bids are for things we really want, and we bid appropriately. Others, we’d kind of like to have, and so we lowballed. Here’s one we’d like to win:

CZ 36 L

It’s a rare CZ 36, which was made from 1936 to 1945; it’s a compact, DA pistol in 6.35mm/.25 ACP, and that one’s in superb condition. It was replaced by the CZ 45, which is rare in the USA, but not worldwide — it was produced continuously from 1946 to 1970, when it was replaced by a new version, and in 1992, a newer version still; these latter-day versions have never been legally imported to the USA, under the “sporting test” that the Gun Control Act of 1968 borrowed from Nazi gun law.

A lot of the things are auctions for multi-gun lots where we only want one or two guns. If that’s the case, we’ll be selling the extras and thinning out the safe a little. We’re going to keep our own bid amounts secret for now, but here’s what we’re bidding on (we may mention a couple lots we considered bidding on but didn’t).

All the bids and some more photos in a table after the jump. (We may add more photos tomorrow).

Continue reading

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Inlaws

hatchetThink you have in-law problems? Try walking a mile in the shoes of a Pakistani.

A man’s throat was slit by relatives of his wife who disapproved of their marriage in the latest “honour killing” to hit Pakistan, police said Saturday.

Hundreds of women are murdered by relatives in Pakistan each year on the pretext of defending what is seen as family honour, but it is rare for victim to be a man.

Hey, progress for The Sisterhood®.

The murder happened at a marketplace in the Punjab city of Burewala on Friday, when Muhammad Irshad, 43, was attacked by his father-in-law and two brothers in-law, police said.

“The assailants were armed with knives and hatchets and after inflicting several wounds on Irshad’s body they slit his throat,” district police chief Ghazi Salahuddin told AFP.

Knives and hatchets. See, they had studied their Rogers’s Rangers Standing Orders, notably #19.1

Irshad had married Mussarat Bibi, the daughter of a rich local agricultural family, about an year ago and fled as he feared his in-laws would kill him, but he had returned to see his parents, the police chief said.

A manhunt had been launched to find Irshad’s in-laws, who remained at large, he added.

But these things are pretty rare, right? Um, maybe not.

Last week 16 year-old Zeenat Bibi was killed in Lahore by her mother for marrying a man of her own choice in a case that sparked condemnation throughout the country.

It was swiftly followed by another killing, of a couple in Lahore who married without their family’s consent.

On Thursday relatives slit the throat of a young mother who was pregnant with her second child after she married against their will in the village of Buttaranwali, some 75 kilometres (46 miles) north of Punjab provincial capital Lahore.

On Sunday a young girl was killed by her brother for insisting on marrying the man of her choice in the city of Sialkot, also in Punjab.

A film on honour killings in Pakistan won an Oscar for best documentary short in February.

via Husband murdered in rare male Pakistan ‘honour killing’ – Khaleej Times.

That’s Pakistan for you. Njal’s Saga come to life, with extra head-taking.

Notes

  1. Yes, we know the Standing Orders came not directly from Rogers but from a scene in the 1937 novel Northwest Passage, where an old hand explains them in folksy dialect to a new guy. However, that was the version that WIlliam O. Darby read to his guys before hitting the enemy coast, and that’s why it’s the “official” Ranger version, not the much dryer version in Rogers’s own memoirs.

Insight on the Media from Australia in 1969

RAR Soldiers in Vietnam. Note slightly different uniforms from Yanks, plus they're armed with SLRs. (Many Aussies also used M16s, especially on reconnaissance patrols, etc.).

RAR Soldiers in Vietnam. Note slightly different uniforms from Yanks, plus they’re armed with SLRs. (Many Aussies also used M16s, especially on reconnaissance patrols, etc., but the standard rifle was the 7.62mm SLR).

In 1969, Major D.K. Atkinson of the Australian Army suggested that Vietnam might be “The Unwinnable War” in the pages of the RMCS Journal, the professional magazine of the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham, UK. (Now — God help us — an institute of defense management). His British peers at the college, and the journal editor, had pestered him for insights about Vietnam. Turns out, he had them — he was straight off a tour in-country as an operations officer with the Royal Australian Regiment — but he also had insights that are just as functionally utilitarian today. For example, one of the downsides of a free press:

It is the lack of definition of terms and a lack of public education in the United States and in Australia which may prevent us from winning. Peace is an attractive word to everyone but does the word mean the same thing to a Communist Party member and to the well-meaning clergyman marching beside him in the same demonstration? It is in this field that national mass communications media can he of the greatest assistance, or do the most harm. At the moment. through either deliberate editorial policy, ignorance. or a plain desire to make money. the press inhibits our capacity to win.

An example of distorted reporting was the Viet Cong Tet offensive in January and February 1968. The majority of enemy objectives were known and allied forces were redeployed to meet the threat approxi- mately one week prior to the offensive. The 1st Australian Task Force moved from its normal base area in Phuoc Tuy province to cover approaches to Bien Hoa approximately 100 kilometres away. The ofiensive was a military disaster for the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong. Returning from the operation after three weeks we had our first opportunity to read the world press. There was no doubt that by incompetent. inaccurate and hysterical reporting we s u l k e d a propa- ganda defeat. A typical example of the irresponsibility of the press was a front page headline in a Melbourne paper – ‘Australian Battalion Wiped Out.’ The three paragraph report gave details of a supposed action in which 7 RAR had been lost. The last sentence admitted that the report was unconfirmed. In fact, the battalion had five men killed.

He goes on to describe actions in country, including a day-long fight when an Australian unit thought it had latched on to a local force VC company, but had actually come to grips with a main force NVA battalion.

And he goes out with another poke at the media:

One of the first Viet Cong acts in the attack on Saigon was the ruthless massacre of the families of South Vietnamese soldiers in a barracks there. Presumably this act of terrorism was designed to further destroy the morale of the army. I saw many photographs of buildings full of slaughtered women and children; of soldiers crying over the dead babies in their arms. I didn’t see any of these pictures published in the national press. What I did see was the photograph of the Police Chief summarily executing a Viet Cong. It was not a nice picture and was extensively used in anti-war propaganda. But what that picture did show was the hate, the fury, the ruthless determination of these people to rid their country of the terrorists, stand-over men and murderers that are the Viet Cong.

Maybe one of our down-undrian readers can explain what a “stand-over man” is.

In the end, of course, the USA, Australia, and most of all the RVN all lost. Re-education camps, Montagnard massacres, and the Boat People all lay ahead.

The quotes are from Australian Army Journal, No. 253 (June, 1970), in which Maj. Atkinson’s article is reprinted on pp. 3-8. (Here’s a link to the magazine in .pdf).