As long-time readers know, Tour d’Horizon is French for Clearing the Tabs. KWe’ll cover the usual subjects: Guns, Usage and Employment, Cops ‘n’ Crims, Unconventional (and current) Warfare, and Lord Love a Duck!


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

A New Press Release Aggregator:

We prefer link aggregators like The Gun Feed to press release aggregators like Ammoland, but the new, just launched this month, is a good press release aggregator.

Colt Complications

Remember the Colt bankruptcy? It’s bogged down in acrimony between the bondholders and the hedge-fund owner-managers, who are trying to hang on to the company despite having managed it into the ground.

In this Hartford Courant article — which quotes from Bloomberg’s Paul Barrett without naming him, something we hope we haven’t done in our coverage of this mess — we get the latest news: the UAW (which is not just the union representing Colt workers, but also a minority owner) has asked the State of Connecticut to bail out the company. Problem is, Connecticut has done that three or four times before — and lost their money every time.

Sheriff Jim Wilson likes Custom Guns

Here’s the key reason why, in his own words:

A truly custom handgun—any handgun, not just the 1911—is built from only the best parts and those parts are hand-fitted. Quality parts and hand fitting costs money. What you get for your money is an accurate, reliable pistol that will last virtually forever

In our view, factory guns are pretty good, better than most shooters can maximize (we too), but customization can make the gun fit you better — physically, psychologically and operationally. For instance, we like tritium sights in a pistol, Vickers extended releases in Glocks, etc. But we kind of like the 1911 the way it was first issued to the horse cavalry.

Too Pretty for Words

We really want to do a story on Austrian gunsmith Peter Hofer’s incredible sporting guns, but, well, just go there and look at the pictures. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it: base prices begin around $115k, and record price recently is $2.2 million. 

A Couple of Ultralights

Oleg Volk is always interesting, but he’s been on fire lately. Here he’s promoting MAG Tactical’s ultralight (4.5 lb. with a micro optic) AIR15. Gun manufacturer link here. If that’s not light enough for you, how about a kid-friendly 3-pound Volquartsen custom 10-22 clone with Blackhawk! Axiom stock and carbon fiber barrel?

Naturally, since it’s Oleg, expect perfectly-composed photography and eye-pleasing models (including a reappearance of Maria Butina, whose appearance some of you hard-asses were critical of in the Russian reform story) handling firearms safely.

How Long Does a Service Rifle Last?

We all know the answer: pretty much indefinitely, with care (we shoot lots of century-old guns here).  But Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons explains why they last so long, even if neglected, in a short White Paper for ARES (.pdf).

No, TrackingPoint Rifles Haven’t Been Hacked

Despite what you may read on the net. If someone turns the Wi-Fi on and leaves it wide open, then people can get in and might be able to compromise the system (internally, it’s a Linux box), and then he might be able to screw with the system. He can’t load or fire the rifle, though.

CandRsenal Gunsight Views

We think we’ve mentioned these before — CandRsenal is a great site — but this story at warhistoryonline led us to their gunsight views of historic firearms. Very cool stuff.


There’ll Always be an England

Just when we start thinking there are people in England who know something about guns, there’s a post like this with the misleading title, Brit GUN NUT builds WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of scrap metal!

Actually, a guy found a neglected but bog-standard Lee-Enfield action and had a gunsmith assemble a barrel to it, and then added the furniture and some other parts. Being Britain, they got the barrel mounting of a firearm that was the British service rifle for much of the 20th Century wrong.

Usage and Employment

Firearms as Fashion

Susannah Breslin at Forbes (wasn’t she their reformed-hooker-in-residence) visits a high-end “Guntry Club” and has a look at Gun Culture 2.0. (From her photos, it’s a cool range. We’d consider it if our FL pied-a-terre was also has a story of an experience with Gun culture 1.0 that ought to make your skin crawl. Dudes, a lady that walks into your store is a customer. But what are we saying? Scads of gun shops treat their male customers crappy too, just not by creepily hitting on them.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Did You Hear The One About the ATF SES….

No, not the dude that had a glory hole in his New Orleans hotel room. (What, ATF hired Ivancev…?) Seriously, this is a new guy, Scott Sweetow, and he got frogmarched out of HQ last month for involvement in a “data breach,” further unspecified. No matter what he did, nothing’s going to happen to him: it’s ATF.

About the Cleveland Cop charged with murder

We haven’t had time to look at the tape, or read any of the documents, so we’ll reserve judgment. We generally take a dim view of cops shooting at cars, even though 99.9999% of them get away with it.

How Not To Complain about your Neighbor’s Drone

That would be, blow it to Kingdom Come. The drone critic was arrested. Suboptimal decision making.

Nonetheless, flying your drone over your neighbors may be legal, but not everything that’s legal is smart. 

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

Movie this Winter: 13 Hours

There’s a movie coming out called 13 Hours that’s about the heroism and sacrifice of a small personnel security detail of 6 men in Benghazi, Libya the night jihadis attacked two United States facilities in the seaport city, one diplomatic and one of an intelligence nature. The short clip we’ve seen (there should be a trailer online now, too) suggests a rocking action film.

Unfortunately, the movie is made by the hack Michael Bay. (“Hack?” Have you seen his Pearl Harbor? Hack). We fear wholesale departures from the survivors’ book the movie’s supposed to be based upon, and either silence or reversal of the political aspects of the film.

Russian Spooks Killed the Guy Russian Spooks Killed

Alexander Litvinenko, dying in hospital. They could do nothing for the victim of ionizing radiation from a "dirty" assassination weapon.

Alexander Litvinenko, dying in hospital. They could do nothing for the victim of ionizing radiation from a “dirty” assassination weapon.

Unless you were under a rock, you know that Russian FSB agents murdered dissident Alexander Litvinenko in London, using an assassination weapon that fired a lethal dose of Polonium-190. Litvinenko suffered in hospital, but there was nothing they could do but provide palliative care.

The Russian agents have now been publicly named. The two nuclear button men were Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, who have been decorated for their role in the murder by Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

The Treaty Making Trouble

It’s not just the State Department trying to stealth-repeal the 1st Amendment with ITAR regulation, cyberdefense has been compromised by an international treaty called the Wassenaar Agreement.

Funny how these treaties always mean unilateral disarmament to those who take them seriouly, and absolute bugger-all to those who do not.

Sudden Jihad Syndrome Isn’t a Novelty

Turns out it’s not such a new thing, but an old one. How old? Well, here’s an incident with a couple of Pathans in Australia — 100 years ago. The Australians didn’t take it lying down, unless by “lying down” you mean “firing from the prone position.”

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to. (nothing tonight, sorry).

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

8 thoughts on “Friday Tour d’Horizon 2015 Week 31


As for the drone shooter… I’d say he made a fine decision. It had a camera, and was hovering over his sunbathing daughter, which is not something I would take lightly… He also used No. 8 birdshot, so absolutely no danger to people down range.

And he reacted quite calmly and reasonably to the whole thing, it seems. I have to say, I’d take the same course of action. Besides, they released him the next day.


The drone operator claims the drone had an altitude of over 200ft when shot down. Is that accurate? Who knows. But the video does show that the flight path ended up way outside the father’s yard, so presumably it had some time to fall. Unless this was forged data, I’d say it was probably not hovering close to the ground in his backyard.

The operator claims it took about two seconds from the time it started losing altitude to when it crashed. Given an altitude of about 290ft, the drone would have fallen to the ground in 4.5s in a free fall, assuming it was not climbing at the time it started losing altitude and it did not flip over and accelerate towards the ground, which is entirely possible. So his story is within the realm of plausibility.


Cincinnati, not Cleveland. Believe me, Cleveland has 99 problems, but this isn’t one of them.

Hognose Post author

Those two always run together in my mind. Apologies to all Ohioans out there.


FYI – Shooting Wire has been around a long time.

Dan F

I have seen the trailer for 13 hours. It looked like a straight up action movie. They claimed that “This is a true story”. So it won’t even get close to accurate based on Hollywood tradition.


Fired polonium?

I read they put it in his tea.