Somebody actually did do this, and imagine our lack of surprise that it was the Germans in World War II, those same whacky guys who never let mere impracticality stand in the way of weapons development. These are the same guys who came up with explosive robot tanks that were tethered to the human operator by a short and vulnerable control wire, and a sound-pressure weapon that could shatter enemy troops and aircraft with sound waves (technical problem: it was also fatal to any human operators, which turned out to be an unavoidable impediment to combat deployment). So why not a flamethrower on an airplane?
Hell, why not two?
The German aero-military historical page, LuftArchiv.de, has a short blurb on this with two photos of one of the weapons (it’s at the end of the page that has some other interesting weapons, including a quasi-automatic 88mm recoilless rifle with a ten-shot drum magazine and a 10 rounds per minute rate of fire). Here’s their explanation:
Bereits Ende 1939 machte Leutnant Stahl, Technischer Offizier beim KG 51, den Vorschlag, angreifende Jäger durch im Heck der Bomber und Fernaufklärer eingebaute Flammenwerfer abzuwehren. Der angreifende Jäger sollte in die ausgestoßene Ruß-Ölwolke hineinstoßen, so dass seine Kabinenscheiben schlagartig blind wurden. Im Februar 1940 fanden entsprechende Versuche mit He 111 und Ju 88 in der Erprobungsstelle Tarnewitz statt. Das Gerät wurde dann auch probeweise bei Beginn des Russlandfeldzugs beim KG 51 eingesetzt, scheint sich aber bei der Truppe nicht durchgesetzt zu haben. Als Angriffswaffe wurden die Flammenwerfer »Gero 11« A, Bund C bei der Fw 190 für Tiefangriffe verwendet.
What’s that? You don’t read German? How does it feel to be dumber than a third-grade kid… in the German-speaking countries? Here it is in quick and dirty English, for you monoglots (or polyglots who are not Teutonglots, a word we just made up):
By the end of 1939, Lieutenant Stahl, the technical officer at KG (Bomber Wing) 51, had made the proposal to defend bombers, and long-range reconnaissance airplanes, against attacking fighter aircraft, by means of flamethrowers built into the rear of the airplane. The attacking fighters would be caught in soot from oil smoke, so that their windscreens would be struck blind. In February, 1940, experiments with a Heinkel 111 and Junkers 88 took place at the Tarnewitz test center. The device was also used experimentally by KG 51 at the beginning of the Russian campaign, but does not seem to have actually been employed by the troops.
The last line of that paragraph addresses the second flamethrower developed by the Luftwaffe: “As an offensive weapon, the “Gero 11″ A, Block C was used by the FW190 for low-level attacks.” [“Gero 11 A Block C” is a reference to a Luftwaffe nomenclature model that sorted modified weapons into “Bunds” or batches, so we’ve translated it as “Block” as the USAF uses such as “F-15C Block 52,” it’s also like the US Navy’s Mark X Mod Y nomenclature system].
Ganz einfach, as the Germans say.
The problems with the defensive flamethrower are obvious. It brings more inflammable material into the fuselage of the plane (the He111 and Ju88 were well designed, with the highly inflammable avgas being in the wings, giving the crews — who were clustered near the nose of the plane in both designs — a fighting chance at escape from a torched plane. Fear of fire was a very real thing for the WWI veterans who dominated Luftwaffe command in the years between the wars; the Imperial Air Service had been the first to issue parachutes to pilots in the Great War, and Nazi disregard of human life didn’t extend to the lives of expensively trained technical specialists like aircrews.
But the inflammability of the mixture aboard the plane is the least of it. The sooting-out-the-windows approach seems to depend on fighter pilots willing to cooperate by flying into the plume, or staying in it. In other words, fighter pilots with really crappy reflexes, a very small subset that is not likely to be effective at shooting down bombers in the first place. The defensive flamethrower just wouldn’t work 99 times out of a hundred. And worse, the long plume would draw attention to the plane. Air-war stories, from any war, are full of The One that Got Away because the fighter pilot lost sight of him. A plane trailing one length of fire and three more of black, billowing smoke would ring the dinner bell for every fighter for miles around.
Now one possible use might be to allow a plane to “play dead.” The idea being, to make the fighter pilot think, “Hey, I flamed him, let’s go find another target.” But the Germans don’t seem to have conceived it that way.
As far as actual flame effect on fighters, Lt. Stahl was too technically astute to suggest that. As you can see, the flame extends barely a planelength behind the hurtling bomber.
One gets the sense that some of these German development programs were followed not because they had hope of practical result, but because a a couple of engineers were taken with the technical challenge — the WWII equivalent of “sharks with frickin’ laser beams on their heads.”
The pictures are from LuftArchiv.de and we strongly suggest you spend some time there, particularly on the Bordausrüstung and Bordwaffen pages.
UPDATE: Turns out that it may have been more widely used that LuftArchiv.de thinks. This forum page contains a picture of a Ju88 of KG51, Lieut. Stahl’s unit, in Romania in 1941. The page also describes a combat use of a flamethrower by a Do17 of another unit, KG76,which is well documented by both the British attackers (who shot the plane down) and the surviving German aircrew. The Dornier was captured nearly intact; its disposition is unknown but it was probably scrapped during or soon after the war.
We’ll be uploading the photo of the KG51 Junkers’s tail area with a crewman, once we fix a small problem with the image file.
Fortunately, the US Navy did. Yes, it’s an hour long.
Make the hour. Thank us later.
We should probably rathole this thing for April 30th next year, but we just watched it and have to share the story with you.
Sometimes, you go off to war and wind up someplace else entirely. Such was the case for the crew of USS Kirk, a Destroyer Escort/Frigate that led the greatest naval rescue, in terms of live saved, of all time.
Kirk sails on under a new name and pennant number in the Navy of the Republic of China on Taiwan.
The suspect, one Flint Farmer, was lying on the sidewalk. The officer, Gildado Serra, who had had two other questionable shootings (one suspect wounded, one killed) in the preceding six months, steps over him.
And fires again, a double-tap.
The latest revelation: Serra may have been drunk, but police department bigwigs stalled for some nine hours before Breathalyzing him.
Where did this happen? In the only-the-cops-can-have-guns paradise of Chicago, naturally.
The city has already paid off the large sum Farmer’s family’s lawyers demanded.
Now it looks like Serra’s going to go on trial. Watch and see why. Read the details.
Thank your God you don’t live in Chicago, at the mercy of the grifting pols and this kind of cop and this kind of police department.
Update: it’s not supposed to autoplay with that spam ad for the crappy Motorola Droid. That’s the one that’s kind of a brain-dead copy of an iPhone. Those things must really stink if they have to use autoplay spam to sell them.
Update II: apparently the autoplay spam is a “feature” of News Corp’s flash video player. Therefore, the video (and its accompanying autoplay, and its fellow-traveling Droid spam have been booted under the fold — click the more button to see them.
Lord love a duck. A friend sends the following which he saw on the news the night before Christmas Eve.
The death of a Navy SEAL commander in Afghanistan is being investigated as a possible suicide, military officials told ABC News today.
On Saturday, the Pentagon announced the death in Afghanistan of [a Naval officer]. [He] died Saturday of what a Defense Department press release described as “a non-combat related injury” while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
[He] was assigned as the commander of SEAL Team 4, a Naval Special Warfare unit based in Virginia Beach, Va.
The suicide speculation is not helpful, tying it to the guy’s name and hometown is doubly not so, and the assclowns who are braying about this stuff to the ghouls at ABC News ought to be duct-taped to the targets in the tire house — when the Afghans are running through.
It is the Christmas season, so for Christ’s sake give the man’s family and friends some breathing room. Did they do that? Naw… they tried to send a live truck to his home. It’s enough for you to wish them a very Unchristian comeuppance — coal in the stocking, perhaps.
Of course, this will just encourage the Lifson-trained “suicide prevention” pshrinks. (Exercise for the reader: list all the pshrinks you know. Draw a line through the names of the ones who themselves evidence some psychological problem or other. Any names left? We didn’t think so. That’s why they became pshrinks in the first place).
There’s the Iowa kid who ran out in front of the firing line on a range.
In September, we covered the case of a Massachusetts kid who shot his brother dead. The DA in the case determined in early December that it was an accident and the gun was legally owned, so no legal action. We imagine that was a pretty unhappy house this Christmas, anyway.
There will always be accidents on ranges and at home. But most of our stories this time out are about what happens when negligence puts its field boots on in hunting season.
Then there was the 71-year-old Florida guy who was hunting coyotes on Saturday. Apparently he didn’t get the word that it’s Wile E. who’s supposed to outsmart himself. Looks like he’s going to survive, anyway. We often say these stories are new people having the same old accidents, well, how many times have you heard this story: “He told wildlife officials he was climbing over a fence when his gun discharged and a bullet hit him in the abdomen.”
Sounds exactly like this sad tale of coyote hunting gone awry: “He propped his gun on a fence as he was closing the gate, lost his balance, and accidently grabbed the gun, which went off and struck him in the chest.” Same guy, different news writer? Nope. This one was a different chucklehead, in Paris, TX, on Friday. There’s really no limit to the number of new people that can have the same old accidents!
We think we know why coyotes always look like they’re laughing at us. They are.
Split the distance between Paris and Gainesville and you wind up in deepest, darkest Mississippi, where they love to hunt and aren’t particular about what. In a strange story, deer and squirrel hunters joined forces that ended with neither stag nor rodent in the game bag, but hunter with a game leg:
[Hunter Brian] Grove ended up firing his weapon at a squirrel, startling the girl who was behind him and she accidentally discharged her firearm, [Mississippi Wildlife Department official Jim] Walker said. Grove suffered a wound to the back of his right leg.
Grove was taken to Ocean Springs Hospital, where he was treated and released.
You might be inclined to suspect youth and hormones as contributing factors, along with the evident lack of judgment: the guy was 20 and the girl 16. (The third hunter, an eyewitness, was not IDd by name or age in the story).
At least the various unlucky Nimrods survived to see Christmas. A St. Paul, NE, man who died in a hunting accident, may not have been a shooting, but the odds are…
And then there are times when the negligence shocks the conscience. This is one of them:
[Harry] Hale shot his neighbor, Richie Pope, while Pope was walking his dog on a residential street.
He apologized in court yesterday and claimed that he had mistaken Pope for a deer.
The Virginia courts agreed, and Mr Hale will spend the next year in the state house of corrections, and will have to pay restitution to Mr Pope’s widow (which boggles the mind. What restitution could be meet for such a towering lapse of judgment and character? How could Hale ever pay it, were he rich as the House of Saud?) Hale not only failed to ID his target, he fired in a residential area and from his vehicle. These things are all fundamental hunting safety and legal no-nos and only a moronic cretin or a narcissistic sociopath could have taken that shot.
One lousy year? Are they serious?
This is another post that’s been lounging around the draft queue whilst we’ve been lounging around the real world — sorrt about that. But Paul Schroeder deserves recognition, and not the good kind.
At first glance, his sentence is demeaning, to see with all that this scrote did he got a lousy 30 days. You get that for refusing to take your hat off in the courtroom. But as we’ve seen, judges don’t think veterans should get the respect due, for instance, judges.
But then, it does show that even with the Stolen Valor Act invalidated by anti-military judges, people are making prosecutions of professional phonies like Paul Schroeder.
Of course, his career as a PTSD counselor is also on the bricks. Unless that’s “Phony Trauma Simulation Disorder” in which he’s now a court-certified expert.
According to the military records he presented, Schroeder had the necessary credentials – a Silver Star and three Bronze Stars. He also claimed to have graduated from several elite Army schools, including Special Forces, Rangers, Pathfinder and Jumpmaster among others.
But on Monday, Schroeder admitted it was all a sham. His true records showed 10 years of Army service but as a military policeman stationed in New York, Panama and Texas. He was discharged before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan even began.
The investigation against Schroeder began after April 2009 when he applied for a set of special military meritorious service license plates with the Texas Department of Transportation.
This blowfish was an actual vet who couldn’t resist puffing up his CV for personal gain. It all fell apart when this grifting bum tried to seize one more bauble — silver star license plates, getting him out of paying registration fees — and it wound up in the grips of an FBI agent who was a vet himself and took, as they say, a dim view.
The lawyers and judges who defend these scrotes and call it a “victimless crime” haven’t met the misled friends, ripped-off vets, defrauded wives and girlfriends of these guys. They haven’t seen the fallout of lives built on the quicksand of lies. They haven’t seen real veterans struggling with the usual postwar demons who flee from VA”help groups” because they’re full of phonies telling knee-deep-in-claymore-clackers, stackin’-up-the-skulls stories to other phonies.
Few people realize the disheartening universality of the two WeaponsMan Unified Laws of Military Phonies:
- It’s never just one fraud with these guys.
- They will never stop until they are made to stop.
… but real veterans the world over, do. If the wannabe busters of the world had a nickel for every wannabe who went on to serious felonies, and a penny for every one that even after being busted returned to making false boasts when he thought nobody was watching, they’d be sitting on the market capitalization of Apple, Inc.
OK, we couldn’t resist the alliteration, and he may deserve to do the sniveling… but our read on this was a bit chilling. The image here (click to embiggen) was Time’s choice to illustrate this story, and represents a Free Syrian “sniper” position, not necessarily this Free Syrian sniper’s position. You’ll see from picture and text why we use the scare quotes. We’ll explain at the end for the 5% who are always late to get the word.
We’re also not at all sanguine about how Syria will look out if this guy’s side, or any one element of what’s a very chaotic, disorganized resistance, “wins.” Too many Americans including too many political, military and IC leaders seem to think that overthrowing the dictators of the middle east is a blessing for small-d democrats who can then be governed with bread and circuses like big-D Democrats. The problem is that popular opinion in these nations is ignorant, easily swayed, and committed to a religion whose principles are often indistinguishable from naked barbarism. The bread they demand comes from our taxpayers, frequently; their circuses are the three-ring sharia spectacle of public stoning and beheading.
We “empowered the people” in Iran; does any reader suffer under the delusion the outcome was better for the Persian people, their neighbors, or the USA? We “empowered the people” in Egypt, producing a government that grows more like the Iranian one daily, and and have just sent them over $1B in military aid which will be used against us and in support of terrorism. a squadron of the latest block of F-16s, which will at some time in the not-distant future be dispatched against our troops or our allies, or our citizens.
But that’s OK. We’ve just named to our two most senior foreign and defense policy positions, two of the weakest doves in the sad history of our sad Senate, an institution distinct from Caligula’s only by his having both ends of the equine. Well, we were wondering “what could be worse?” than Mrs Clinton and Million-Dollar-Commute Panetta. Fasten your safety belt and keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times, kids, the answer’s coming.
Now that the stage here in the US is set with sufficiently bleak scenery, let’s check in with our man in Aleppo:
To the other men in his Free Syrian Army unit, he’s simply known as the Sniper, a 21-year-old army-trained sharpshooter who defected on Feb. 21 and joined their ranks. Few of his colleagues know his first name let alone his surname — and that’s the way he wants to keep it.
He hails from a Sunni military family in a town on the outskirts of Damascus, the capital. His uncle is a serving general in President Bashar Assad’s army, several of his other relatives are also high-ranking military officers. Apart from his parents and siblings, his relatives all think he’s dead — and that’s the way he wants to keep it.
A trim young man with closely cropped black hair and beard, he looks intense but calm as he sits in complete silence for hours, finger on the trigger, peering through the telescopic sight of his Dragunov sniper rifle. He’s careful not to let its barrel protrude through the double-fist-size peephole he has punched through an apartment wall lest it give away his location to the regime’s sharpshooters, some of whom are only about 50 m (165 ft.) away.
He may look calm, but he’s deeply troubled. After some nine months of fighting with several Free Syrian Army units, first on the outskirts of Aleppo and then in the city itself after the rebel push into it in late July, he has grown disillusioned with the fight and angry with its conduct. “I did this when it was clean,” he says. “Now it’s dirty. Many aren’t fighting just to get rid of Bashar, they’re fighting to gain a reputation, to build up their name. I want it to go back to the way it was, when we were fighting for God and the people, not for some commander’s reputation.”
First place, a Chinese SKS is not much of a sniper system even if you graft an el-cheapo 4X scope on it. Then again, a Dragunov isn’t much as a sniper weapon, either. A sniper positon you shoot over (like a pop-up target? — Ed. Exactly — us) doesn’t speak school-trained sniper, unless that school somehow was operated by Detroit or Washington, DC public-school teachers.
But the real trouble is in what this guy says about the allegiance of the revolution’s commanders and sub-commanders, and what that says about the war. The allegiances are personal and probably ethnic in origin, and will likely persist after the instant question (Bashar or no Bashar?) is resolved.
Anyone who’s spent time in this area knows where the US can find friends… and that’s in the corteges of dictators, in a vanishingly small clique of democracy activists, in Israel, and in Jordan (and even the Jordanian street goodwill towards the USA — the only such in the Arab world — is threatened if Islamist forces can produce the fall of the Bani Hashem.
The sniper-guy himself is motivated at least in part by religious extremism. When the US signed off on aid for the Free Syrians, did the signatories think that they were overthrowing the terrorist Assad regime and replacing it with a terrorist Islamist regime, with more support at home than Assad pêre et fils ever did?
Did they think, period?
Green? Well, the weather guessers would have to be radically wrong for it to come out white.
Christmas is a huge secular pageant, but it’s actually not the most important date on the Christian calendar (that would be Easter, when the promise whose fulfillment began with the Advent is fulfilled). But saints like our readers, sinners like us and those atheists who consider themselves above it all, all alike are running around like madmen buying gifts for those we love.
No guns under the tree this year. We’re procrastinators and all the good stuff was out of stock. There may be archery targets and supplies for weapons-happy kids. The economists and MBAs among you will go, “Aha! Substitute goods.” Unfortunately, so will the kids.
If you are a praying type, or even if you’re not and are willing to abide an exception, a good prayer today would be mercy and rest for those who have died violently and unexpectedly recently, and comfort for their survivors. Certainly not obligatory, just a suggestion.
Twopid Number 1: Smart Guns
It’s hard to decide what’s a bigger blight, the politicians and pundits who take glee in a murder because they can use it to pus their pre-loaded policy preferences, or the marketeers who delight in the carnage because they can use it to underline a sales pitch. Maybe that’s because the one’s lust for power and influence, and the other’s lust for money are, at the core, the same thing. In a long opinion piece masked as a report, Reuters’ Jonathan Kaminski begins:
When Irish gun entrepreneur Robert McNamara learned of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, his immediate reaction, like that of most people, was one of horror, shock and sadness….
…but that quickly turned to delight and greed, when he realized how well-placed he was to profit from the massacre. There are problems with his technology, which Kamimski tries to gloss over: for one thing, he quotes a New Jersey Institute of Technology (what’s that? MIT for the Jersey Shore set? Carnegie-Mellon with short school buses?) project that is hoping to achieve… 99% reliability. That sounds good when you realize it means an FTF once every seven normal pistol magazines, or so.
Sure it works. Anybody else own a late-eighties or early-nineties GM car with the smart chip in the key? They worked about 99%, too. Anybody get stuck with a BMW with iDrive? (Fortunately, Chris Bangle’s styling reduced the impact of that botch, by turning people off before they learned how bad the car’s technology was).
What may be most amusing about the piece is the way that Kaminski gives the briefest of quotes to opponents of this idjit, unreliable crap, and then relies on anti-gun lefties from banster organisations to tell his readers what gun owners and manufacturers want:
“Law-abiding, responsible gun owners who choose to have a gun to protect their families would rather have a gun that was safer,” [Brady center lawyer Jonathan] Lowy said. (By “safer” he means, “that won’t shoot.”)
If smart guns were viable, [Josh Sugarmann of the VPS] says, gun makers would welcome the opportunity to expand their shrinking customer base.
Hey, Kaminski, call us, and we’ll tell you what liberals want. A good beginning is “a national socialist security state.”
There are a number of problems with MacNamara’s immature, untested technology, problems that Kaminski must have been unable to see, willing to ignore, or eager to conceal.
- Overall reliability. If he had a system that was, perhaps, reliable to nine sigma he might have something. It would still detract from the reliability of a defensive weapon, but he’d be able to argue that it detracted a negligible amount because, for example, failure of quality commercial ammunition is also about a nine sigma incidence. But in fact he doesn’t say that, or anything like it. It may be that he has done reliability testing and dare not report what his results were — such testing would only be worthwhile if it were independent and double-blind — but it’s a lot more likely that he hasn’t done any formal reliability testing. Want to sell this thing to anybody, even the most anti-gun managers of large urban police forces? Show them an independent test with 10,000 rounds fired from each of 100 individual serial numbers by at least 300 shooters of a normal distribution in size, shape, and handedness, and zero type 1 or type 2 errors (failure of personalized weapon to fire, failure of non-personalized to not fire) in those million rounds, and then you can begin arguing your technology works. That should not just be the standard for initial adoption — it should be the standard for its rollout on any weapon.
- Disables gun in weak hand. The technology relies on a mated pair of chips, one in the gun and one in or on the hand, and they need to be within 2.5 cm of one another to work. Exercise for the reader: you are wounded in your strong hand and arm and the arm is hanging limp. Three pounds of steel, polymer and ammo are hanging inertly in the dead hand.
- Requires a ring or an implant. Both are bad ideas — a ring is something you should not be wearing if you’re in a job that requires some athleticism. Don’t take our word for it, go here for four case studies (and note that’s a peer-reviewed publication, something MacNamara’s technology is not now, and probably never will be, ready for). Army aviators have seen plenty of safety posters with finger avulsions; it’s a staple of the Safety Center’s hectoring. And an implant? Really. What happens when the cop union or an individual cop sues? What happens when someone has a reaction? Or, much more likely, gets infected?
- Makes it impossible to lend gun, instruct with gun, etc. How do you introduce a new shooter to the sport if the gun has to be in your hand? You don’t. Of course, the Kaminskys, Sugarmanns and so forth may think this a feature rather than a bug.
- Makes it impossible for a wounded or slain user or officer’s gun to be picked up and used by another, in an emergency. This alone kills this as a military technology. Kills it deader’n disco.
- Has no means of self-test — the only time you’ll learn whether it’s working is when you need it to save your life. Given the care many cops, for example, give their guns, cleaning them once a year whether they need it or not, how many cops will be carrying dead iron around for months or years, completely unaware of it? This isn’t, like the others, a conceptual problem, but a failure of MacNamara’s specific implementation.
So perhaps it was a noble attempt at doing something with RFID and similar technologies that wasn’t overtly Orwellian. But it foundered on the originators’ lack of knowledge of guns — not surprising, in Ireland where guns are regulated to the nth degree, but terrorism and murder has been rampant regardless.
Twopid Number 2: Knife Control
Generally, the octogenarian or so Senator from Iowa, Charles Grassley, is good on gun policy. He’s been one of the few in Congress interested in the DOJ’s ATF’s curious policy of clearing weapons buys for Sinaloa Cartel support cells, and even, it turns out, ATF officials buying guns directly for the criminals. He’s even investigated, to the limits he can, the Gunwalker programs, and reported on them, to the extent the press will write something critical of a policy they approve. Some people are angry because Grassley does not go beyond what is practically and politically possible, but that’s not reasonable. He’s a dependable vote for the gun culture.
Which is why his latest pronouncements are, well, twopid. Sample:
But, the discussion should go beyond just guns to include other weapons like knives, Grassley said.
Twopid? Yeah. They’re stupid on their face — for all the reasons gun control is ineffective in fighting crime, knife control is even more so. (Like guns, knives have beneficial uses that far outweigh any criminal abuse of them. Like guns, there is no material difference between knives that can be abused criminally and knives that are useful tools). And they’re stupid politically, opening more doors for the power-drunk liberal fascists like Feinstein. (Liberals have suggested a ban on knives with 3″ or larger blades before, as a crime-fighting strategy they prefer to incarcerating or executing people who commit mayhem with knives).
In addition, Grassley seems to be generally willing to support a Feinstein-drafted assault weapons bill in this interview. (It’s hard to know what he actually said, because the reporter, Tim Rohwer, seems to much prefer his own voice to his interview subjects, and shies away from direct quotes. He’s a newspaper reporter, and that alone is enough to call his integrity into question). So how stupid is Grassley? Not quite as industrially stupid as MacNamara with his blinkered, grasping greed; instead it’s the routine, banal stupidity of the nonentities we send to Congress.
But hey, maybe MacNamara’s voodoo technology can be adapted to knives. Perhaps we should just trust Robert MacNamara. Now, it’s true it was a different individual, but last time we trusted Robert MacNamara and his press waterbearers, we got Vietnam with ROE that guaranteed an expensive loss.
UPDATE: Here’s another smart gun article, by rumored Journolist member Farhad Manjoo (Manjoo denies having been a member, but did seem to coordinate his stories with Ezra Klein, Dave Wiegel and the rest of the “Juicebox Mafia”). This new rash of articles seems to be coordinated among the left-wing press — expect more of them. All the same deficiencies in the technology overlooked by Kaminsky were overlooked by Manjoo, suggesting the same sources are feeding him. The writing’s on the wall, though, for many media publications. This is the reason and this is one of the results. Here’s another: 1,850 layoffs in the newspaper industry in 2012. So far.
When unprecedented demand for weapons and mags hit over the last few days, both Brownell’s and Cheaper Than Dirt ran out of common magazines. CTD chose to more than triple the price of PMAGs, stop online sales of guns, and basically give one bit stiff finger to the public.
Here’s what a Brownell’s rep posted on ARFCOM Thursday, in toto:
I wanted to take a minute to shed some insight on the magazine situation if i can. First of all I wanted to offer an apology for the situation that Pacs and anyone else encountered with magazines being “In-Stock” and Backordered moments later. Cedjunior had it correct, the demand for magazines actually exceeded the ability for the system to keep up with the volume that was being ordered. They way that our website works is that inventory is fed from our ERP system directly into the website in “real-time”. Unfortunately, “real-time” is the amount of time that it takes for the transactions to work both ways. During normal circumstances, it is nearly instant. However, we’ve been receiving orders at such a pace that these transactions have gotten slower. We absolutely apologize again, we definitely don’t want that ever to be your experience.
To shed some more light on the magazine situation at present, it really has been unprecedented in the last 5 days. (Edit – Sorry guys, meant 72 hour period) we sold the “average demand” equivalent of about 3 1/2 years worth of PMAGS, and and an even greater amount of our Brownells magazines. We’re working like crazy to get these orders to you as quickly as possible.
We’re working directly with Magpul daily to forecast out the next couple of months deliveries. Magpul is focusing their efforts on the BLACK magazines, so we’re limiting backorders to only Black for now.
On the Brownells 30 and 20 round magazines, we’re still flowing those into the system daily, and are producing those at 100% capacity as well. We ordered more material yesterday that will allow us to up production again in the coming weeks.
Our apologies for the delays! We’ll keep working as hard as possible to get these going and will keep you updated always. Let us know if we can do anything at all. – JC
This policy is transparent, sensible and correct. Contrast this with the price-gouging at 2nd-string retailers like Cheaper Than Dirt or the overtly anti-gun position taken by vendors like Dick’s Sporting Goods, who do not want sportsmen’s business this Christmas, and didn’t get ours.
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.