Friday Tour d’Horizon Week 22

We’ll cover the usual subjects: Guns, Usage and Employment, Cops ‘n’ Crims, Unconventional (and current) Warfare, and Lord Love a Duck!

Guns

We really wanted to write more about these gun stories. So many guns, so few fingers….

Larry Vickers and an AK-74

The sheer industrial tractor-factory function of an AK here, with the receiver cover and upper handguard (and sometimes the gas tube!) off. Look at those parts bounce!

There are guns that are the product of iterative engineering, and there are guns that are the product of inspired trial and error. The AK has been defending, attacking, and overthrowing most of the nations of the world since only a few years after the first Ivan plucked an MP43 off a cooling German and said, “Bozhe moi! We sure could use something like this. But made with Soviet worker and peasant simplicity and reliability.”

ITEM: The Clock Ticks for Armatix

Armatix, the anti-gun gun company best known for its one-jam-in-ten-shots iP1 “smart” .22, has been in the news a lot, mostly because it’s gone belly up, had a hard parting with its former gun guy, Ernst Mauch of the “Because You Suck and We Hate You” era at HK, and is in the German equivalent of Chapter 11. The majority owner, Swiss Bernd Dietel, is looking to stiff creditors without losing his ownership. The company had been scheduled to attend an anti-gun expo with gun ban activist Joel Mosbacher

Rumors are they’re putting the arm on some American and international anti-gun billionaires to try to relaunch the company, which will depend on rent-seeking: getting governments to mandate their inferior, unsafe product, as State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg has tried to do in New Jersey.

Before the smart gun, Armatix made a series of supposedly uncrackable gun locks that are just as low-quality as the iP1 — a video on German TV showed the lock being cracked in minutes, but Armatix had gotten the German authorities to mandate the lousy locks already!

ITEM: A Better Bump Fire Stock?

With the Hughes Amendment seemingly intractably embedded in 18 USC, a lot of people have turned to Slidefire stocks for a simulacrum of automatic fire (and simulacrum is all it is, really). There is an alternative to Slidefire that works, and is made of metal. Downside? More money. Fostech Outdoor has solutions for AR, AK, 10-22, etc.

ITEM: Is Gun Ownership in Decline?

The Violence Policy Center, a group that promotes the banning of all guns, issued a rather thin press release — a five-or-so-slide-deck, which gives you an idea of wha they think of the attention spans of their fellow travelers in the press — suggesting that gun ownership was in steep decline, and the press release was dutifully plagiarized across the major media. Since gun sales continue at record-high levels, and every retailer we know is reporting lots of first-time buyers, we knew it was bullshit, and planned to write about it, but Bob Owens did it pretty well, and probably more concisely than we would have done:

The shooting sports industry is seeing not just record sales growth, but growth with incredible staying power. There hasn’t been the expected surge and then crash many expected post-Sandy Hook. There was a tremendous surge, and then sales of nearly everything have remained near peak levels. From firearms to ammunition to holsters, slings, optics and other accessories, there now appears to be a “new normal” median level of consumption, though we’ve not be able to peg precisely what that new normal is just yet as we don’t yet know what that carrying capacity might be.

That’s just one graf. The whole post is full of wisdom and not long, so go Read The Whole Thing™. Basically, for the VPC to be right, their information, based on self-reporting in an intrusive telephone survey, has to be right and everybody’s sales data has to be wrong.

Meanwhile, the Washington Times (note, nasty ads if you don’t have a popup blocker or NoScript) says, nope, gun sales are soaring.

Some Administrivia

We did manage to get one of our back Saturday Matinees up, Week 18’s. Stukas (1941) was a German propaganda film of World War II, made back when things were looking rosy for Hitler’s boys. We put the review where it should have gone live on 2 May 2015; and yes, we have a number of other Matinees hanging fire, which we’ll try to kick out from time to time.

To continue on to our tales of Usage and Employment, Cops and Crims, Unconventional Warfare, Lord Love a Duck, Veteran’s Affairs and all kinds of cool stuff that didn’t quite rate its own post this week, click “More”.

Usage and Employment

We have observed that Darwin is a bumptious servant, and a cruel master. Case in point:

Elijah Lambert. Is that a mullet on his head?

Elijah Lambert. Is that a mullet on his head?

Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies said 21-year-old Elijah Lambert faces a murder charge in the death of 19-year-old Miguel Henry Martinez, who was identified by family members.

Martinez’s older brother, Tom Cline, said Martinez died in the most senseless way.

Around 9:45 p.m. Friday, “Miguel was fooling around with his buddies. They were in possession of a gun and a bulletproof vest,” Cline said Saturday.

Cline said friends encouraged his brother to put on the vest. The three friends with Martinez assured him that he would not be hurt, Cline said.

According to the sheriff’s department, Lambert fired the gun.

“The kid had shot my brother. The bullet penetrated the top of his vest,” said Cline. “My brother was hit. My brother said he couldn’t breathe….

…. and soon enough, he really couldn’t breathe. A great lesson in how not to pick your friends, delivered too late to do Miguel Martinez any good.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

ITEM: Rapper Got Wrist Slap for Gun Charges

What does a Felon in Possession get for arranging a 5-NFA weapon illegal buy from the ATF? My Fed guys say, minimum 2-3 years, but if they feel like slamming him, the Guidelines can let them set up the charges to get him all 20. Unless he’s a celebrity (well, being able to hire a good lawyer, and not be one of fortyleven cases a public defender is pleading out at any given time, is probably a plus, too). In the case of rapper T.I., he got one year and…

1,000 hours talking to kids about making good decisions after he was caught trying to buy machine guns from federal agents.

Naomi Schaefer Riley in the NY Post, there, is making a larger point on scumbag celebs who get “community service” instead of actual consequences; but it made us look up “T.I.” He actually sent one of his bodyguards to make the gun buy, and the “rap community” has come down hard… on the bodyguard. For “snitchin’.” Got that? Basic rap values:

  1. Man with violent crime history tries to buy machine guns and silencers: he bein’ persecute by The Man.
  2. Man who gets jammed up working for #1 above, and tells investigators the truth: he a no-good snitch.

That value system may disappoint in its full-spectrum results.

Crime begins in criminal culture. It’s a free country, and for 99% of the listeners, it’s just background music of their young lives; but young people need to know where that rap lifestyle leads.

Again, we oppose all forms of censorship. But it’s always entertaining to watch entertainment executives, whose sybaritic lives stand upon a foundation of wealth constructed by belief in the power of advertising, assert that their medium is not influential.

ITEM: Burglars on Burglary

Columbus, Ohio, police, came up with a good way to educate the public about burglary and what countermeasures are effective (and which are not): get the burglars talking, while rolling tape. Then edit it down and release it so that people can take suitable countermeasures.

Burglars on Burglary, Tales from the Big House Part I (about 17 minutes):

Burglars on Burglary, Tales from the Big House Part II (about 7 minutes):

One guy admits he burglarized cars more than houses… @ about 4:30 “It’s not a crime that… somebody’s gonna wake up and shoot me.”

Hat tip, Officer.com.

ITEM: Killed a guy for his backpack.

We don’t know what made this Philly criminal do that. Greed, and rotten impulse control, are pretty good guesses. Cops found a print on the killer’s bicycle, and the bike’s owner noted he shared it with a wide variety of crims, and gave up the killer, Tyreek McNeill. Good police work, that. In Baltimore or DC this would have been an unsolved.

ITEM: FBI 2, Suspect 1

The suspect appears to have abducted his 9-year-old niece, and when cornered, he wounded an FBI agent. However, the FBI shot him dead, and recovered the girl, safe. (Actually, rereading the article, “shots were fired,” so it’s possible the FBI shot both the suspect and their agent. Good luck getting the truth out of them if that’s the case).

ITEM: Stop Us if you’ve Heard This One: Fugitive LAPD Cop…

…No, this isn’t Chris Dorner, it’s another cop-turned-murderer, Henry . He’s been busted in Mexico. The Mexicans won’t extradite anyone with a capital charge, so he’s not getting the needle, more’s the pity (if his homicide was in CA, he wouldn’t get the needle anyway. Prison guards’ union is too powerful to give up any inmates!)

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

ITEM: Finland, which last fought a war 71 years ago, has always fought them against the same enemy: Russia. And Russia has been rattling sabres on the Finnish border lately, and threatening the Baltic States, former Soviet-area slave states of the USSR that are culturally close to the Finns. But the Finnish Ministry of Defense doesn’t think we should read anything into the test draft notices they just sent to almost a million reservists. The notices tell the Finns (including Finns living and working overseas) where to report in the event of a war.

ITEM: Lion in Decline?

Fareed Zakaria, whose stuff is usually plagiarized from somewhere (but MSNBC and the Washington Post don’t care), has lifted a column from somebody that bemoans Britain’s having “resigned as a world power.” Well, they’ve been doing that since Suez, or maybe India.

ITEM: Secret of Sourcing High-Tech US Arms? Baksheesh.

And the baksheesh came from both the repressive Third World totalitarians who wanted the weapons, and the big Defense and Aerospace prime that wanted the money:

[T]he Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise [H]illary Clinton has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing — the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 — contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.

Hey, you can’t read anything into a single instance. It could be happenstance. Well, two large payments, could be coincidence.

The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure — derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) — represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House.

What’s that saying… “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, dozens and dozens of times is…”

But hey, it’s nice knowing that somebody’s getting the latest missiles and jets, while our guys are still flying F-15s from Nixon’s defense budgets. Kind of sad it has to be militant Islamists, but we guess that in Washington, money talks and bullshit walks.

Lord Love a Duck!

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

ITEM: Rum, What!, and… Wait. Eeeeeww.

The Royal Navy had just convicted and given their equivalent of a Dishonorable Discharge to two guys who… eeeew. Yuck.

 

The two pervs get to register as sex offenders. Among the items in evidence in their trials numerous photos and videos.

ITEM: A Man Breaks a Religious Rule for a Good Reason

Like people who follow other religions, Sikhs, a sect originally from India, have certain rules they follow as strictly as possible. The one at issue here is that male Sikhs (who generally have the surname Singh) grow their hair long, but always keep it covered, in public, with a turban. Singh, a New Zealander, heard the sounds of an accident and ran outside. Seeing an injured child, he used the nearest material to hand — his orange turban — to comfort the kid.

harman singh

Singh was modest about his action, noting that others also helped, and that “anyone would have done the same thing.”  A TV station didn’t think so, and arranged a gift of furniture that he needed. His turban? Back on his head. And the injured boy is making a full recovery. 

We hate to stereotype, but Harman Singh seems a lot like the Sikhs we’ve known. Does the religion attract great people, or create them? God only knows.

Veterans’ Issues

Buzz Aldrin had a pretty good Memorial Day tweet:

Buzz Salutes

My proudest moment – when I saluted the flag on the moon. Today I salute those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Yeah, that.

There’s a Brooklyn War Memorial.

It contains the names and memorabilia of the eleven thousand (that’s 11,000) citizens of the New York City borough who lost their lives in service during World War II.

But it’s out of money. So it’s closed. It’s always been so broke, it has never been open to the public. Not since it was erected, in 1951.

Marine Corps Lt.Gen. John Kelly’s Memorial Day Message

From 2010.

One of the Iraqis elaborated, and with tears welling up, said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life. ”What he didn’t know until then, and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal. Choking past the emotion, he said, “Sir, in the name of God, no sane man would have stood there and done what they did. They saved us all.”

As we’ve learned from our experiences with the young men and women of all services, the heritage of the military is in the right hands.

13 thoughts on “Friday Tour d’Horizon Week 22

  1. Y.

    The AK has been defending, attacking, and overthrowing most of the nations of the world since only a few years after the first Ivan plucked an MP43 off a cooling German and said, “Bozhe moi! We sure could use something like this. But made with Soviet worker and peasant simplicity and reliability.”

    If it was influenced by that, it must have been it’s predecessor. Perhaps the Soviet decision to start intermediate cartridge development stems from exposure to the MkB 42 (machine carbine), which saw action as early as april 1942, and by mid 1942 several thousand had been made and sent to the east.

    1. Sommerbiwak

      Actually the russians were toying around with intermediate calibers ans even high velocity small caliber cartridges in the 1930ies already. Just like all others around the world. In a way the Fedorov Avtomat from 1916 was already using an intermediate cartridge with the weak sauce 6,5*50SR Arisaka for most intents and purposes. Except for cartridge size.

      A clue or two Kalashnikov will have taken from the Sturmgewehr, but many other influences can be seen. The safety swith is directly stolen from the Remington Model 8 rifle for example. And the general layout with a lose cover for the action can be put in line with SVT and SKS and other developmental prototypes the soviets were working on at the time. Bolt head from the Garand, trigger looks similar to the Rifle, M1 too. Kalashnikov combined the in his opinion best parts into one rifle. And not to forget soviet doctrine of massive automatic fire with sub-machine guns like PPSh. The soviets even equipped whole regiments with SMGs only. And to give such formations a better gun with more reach is obvious.

      What the Nazis did was to demonstrate the usefulness of the concept in combat.

      1. Hognose Post author

        The trigger of the AK is very similar to the Garand… which is classic Browning design, that Remington Model 8 or the earlier Auto-5 shotgun. ISTR one of the guns Kalashnikov said he had examined was the Model 8, though. AK in 7.62 x 39 is a much sweeter shooting gun than Model 8 in .35 Rem! Model 8 lets you know it’s been shot.

        The Germans used high volume fire at close range from stocked pistols with large mags and from SMG in WWI as well.

        1. TRX

          I dunno, felt recoil is a funny thing. My Model 8 in .30 Remington (granted, less powerful than your .35, but more powerful than 7.62×39) has noticeably less recoil than my AK in that caliber… and the Model 8 is a lighter gun.

          Oh, just in case you didn’t know – Izhmash and Molot both made civilian-market AKs in .35 Remington up until 5 years or so ago.

      2. Y.

        Well, we are in agreement – I didn’t say they weren’t toying with them. I have this book by someone called A.B. Zhuk where I learned that gun engineers mostly figured out the entire intermediate cartridge thing after WWI, but inertia and lack of imagination on higher levels prevented adoption.

        (Could’ve been quite bad had that not been the case. Had the Japanese developed a reliable select-fire carbine for their old rifle cartridge..

      3. Y.

        >>What the Nazis did was to demonstrate the usefulness of the concept in combat.<<

        IIRC, the concept was demonstrated to be useful back in WWI and Civil war. There were units equipped with the Fedorov avtomat.

        1. Sommerbiwak

          Of course. But its different to read a report from about twenty years ago, or having the direct experience on the receiving end. But without going through soviet archives we won’t be able to follow the decision processes. And even then not everything will have been archived.

  2. Sommerbiwak

    To the Vickers slomo video:

    Did I see the projectile yaw (tumble, wobble, whatever the technical term is) after exiting the muzzle?

    And funny that he presents a bulgarian AK with plastic furniture and then shoots a different AK with wood… :D

    And shooting without gas tube reminded me, that I had read somewhere long ago, that the so called “gas tube” is named a guide tube in soviet and russian literature. Looking at the rifle working without it supports this, but can anyone with russian language skills confirm?

    ——

    IMHO with Aldrin the right guy was sent to set foot on the moon. He seems genuinely a good guy.

    ——

    The Queen should knight the helping Sikh. We need more positive news in this world to encourage good behaviour.

    1. Brad

      Okay, I guess I’m not the only one who saw that 5.45mm bullet wiggling beyond the muzzle.

  3. Y.

    Interesting article on PTSD in Vanity Fair, by a war correspondent (S.Junger)

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/05/ptsd-war-home-sebastian-junger

    . This counselor, who asked to remain anonymous, said that many combat veterans actively avoid the V.A. because they worry about losing their temper around patients who are milking the system. “It’s the real deals—the guys who have seen the most—that this tends to bother,” this counselor told me.

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