Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2017 Week 14

Again, we find ourselves throwing together this week’s Tour d’Horizon on Friday night. We hate that. It makes us late, and you hate that.

So much hate. As the Patron Saint of this blog, Rodney King, says, “Can’t we all just get along?”


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

How Much Does the Blackhawk! Serpa Suck?

We honestly haven’t written much about this, because we thought everybody who couldn’t see they were junk would take the advise of everybody who’s anybody in the training world. So if you don’t know, go read this rant by Bob Owens. Who concludes:

Why on earth would you bet your life on a poorly-made, poorly designed holster that has been banned by many law enforcement agencies, top tier instructors, shooting schools and ranges, when there are so many better options on the market?

Why, indeed?

We had them bought for us and used unit money to buy Safarilands instead. Result — the only guy shot in the fourth point of contact was the battalion commander, and he insists an enemy sniper did it. (We weren’t there but the guys who were said he did not plug his own gluteus). Whoever shot him, he stayed in command after field treatment, impressing us with his fortitude.

Banned in Boston (and 49 other US states): CZ-92

This is a CZ you can’t own here. It’s an 8-shot, DAO .25 that can’t hope to pass the ATF’s Nazi-sourced “sporting purpose” test. It’s owned in Lithuania, and its new owner laid out €50 for it. (It has the Lithuanian national symbol, the Pillars of Gedminas, on it). Source.

If you really want an 8-shot, sightless, DAO .25, though, there are still options. There have been four versions of this pistol made by CZ, plus an American quasi-clone, plus its design has inspired others, including Seecamp’s LWS-25 and the ZVI Kevin / DesertTech Micro Desert Eagle. Without giving you the whole chapter of the book, the CZ versions are:

  1. The CZ-36, designed by František Myška and made in small numbers before and during WWII. It had a wrap-around checkered plastic grip with the old CZ logo, and most CZ-36s had a manual safety on the frame.
  2. The CZ-45, an update of the CZ-36, redesigned by Jan Kratochvíl for easier manufacture. A few early CZ-45s were made with the manual safety, but there are several cues that allow the models to be distinguished reliably.
  3. The CZ-70, a further production-improved and restyled CZ-45, not to be confused with the CZ-70 service pistol used by Czechoslovak police. It can most readily be distinguished by its grips, which have a pattern resembling that on the CZ-70 service pistol.
  4. This CZ-92, restyled again with two grip scales and a solid backstrap on the frame for the first time.

The American copy, the Intratec ProTec-25, is only a partial copy: many parts don’t interchange, etc. Intratec’s designers were George Kellgren (later founder of Kel-Tec) and Carlos Garcia, and their objective seems to have been lowest possible cost. The frame and slide appear to be made of el cheapo pot metal or powder metal, die cast. There were supposed to be several finishes and a second caliber (.22 LR) available, but even though they’re mentioned on the box and in the papers with our example, we’ve never even seen one.

CZ-36s are rare firearms, but the CZ-45 turns up at auctions frequently. CZ-70s and -92s postdate the 1968 pocket pistol import ban.

Gun Stocks update

Anyway you want it: we have the table, our analysis, and the popular chart. We have simplified to one chart and table, incorporating Olin.

An interesting split. Ruger is up notably, as is Smith, while Vista Outdoor has resumed a sharp decline and Olin has lost a dollar. Ruger repurchased 1.1 million shares of its own stock this week, and March raw background check numbers were strong. Yet analysts, probably reading news stories about the death of the gun market, have rated these stocks underperform or hold. (For example, a couple of analysts have assigned a price target of $48 to Ruger). All of the stocks were volatile this week.

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger holds RGR, bought at about 56.40 on 9 Nov 16.

Gun Poly-Ticks

Stunt Doesn’t Work

An anti-gun legislator in Tennessee made an attempt to straw-sell an AK before the adoring local media, but didn’t find any buyers. His stunt was in aid of a back-door registration “background check” bill pending in the legislature at the time.

His bill didn’t pass, either.

Rotary International Goes Anti-Gun

The 19-member, mostly foreign, board of Rotary International have thrust the organization into the United States gun control debate through a new series of anti-gun positions, which apply only to the United States.

Left: Logo of Rotary, which wants no guns under its emblem. Right: Rotary’s inspiriation, logo of the Nazi union DAF, which felt the same way about peasants’ guns.

If you are solicited by a local Rotary for support, membership, or facilities, be alert to the fact that they are an SJW-converged, anti-2nd-Amendment, anti-gun organization. Let them get paid by Bloomberg, like the rest of their movement.

Usage and Employment

 The hardware takes you only half way.

Cop Wisely Ducks

Here’s a series of several videos of the same shooting in San Ysidro, way deep in the south of California, on 28 Mar 15 (video just released at the conclusion of the investigation). Cops responding to a domestic encountered a man, later determined to be Alberto Hernandez, with a handgun that appeared to be a 9mm Beretta. Later, he exits and refuses to put down the gun. Not surprisingly, three cops engage him and he’s killed.

Tentative conclusion: suicide by cop. But what we thought was interesting was the first cop bodycam, where you see the cop take cover and you don’t see the shooting. You can see this cop’s actions from the other angles as well, especially from the crisp FLIR in the helicopter. And it’s clear that he did just the right thing in taking cover behind a concrete wall.

It’s great to approach an enemy or a suspect from many sides to try to get him to surrender. But when the shooting starts, you have to make sure your buddies don’t shoot you!

Two more things: the 9mm Beretta was actually a Daisy Powerline 340, which is styled like the Beretta. It comes with an orange muzzle cap, but the cap had been removed, making it indistinguishable from a firearm without close examination. And the investigation (.pdf) learned that Hernandez was mentally ill (bipolar), full to the gills with psychoactive drugs, and juiced up to a BAC of .30, which probably explains why he didn’t flinch when first shot — he wasn’t feeling any pain.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Sumdood Picked the Wrong Time to Rob the Store

‘Cause he only thought he was a badass. As he learned, if he retained any of the lesson after the concussion, a whole other dude was the badass. Fun with John Correia and ASP.

She’ll Never Make 35 Million Bail

That’s what the California courts thought about Tiffany Li, who seems to have murdered her estranged husband in a custody dispute, and whose ties to China are more solid than any to the USA.

She made bail.

Most of it by other overseas Chinese pledging their property (which means the court has more like $65 million in property if she bugs.

What’s the over/under on her showing up for court? If she does, what’s the over/under on her showing up for sentencing?

The Family that Does Crime Together Does Time Together

Wesley Leverett is accused of murder in McMinnville, TN. He’s being held on $1 million bail. His immediate relatives — mother and two grandparents — were also busted, as accessories after the fact, and accused of evidence tampering.

I guess the difference between murderers and the rest of us, is the difference between parents who destroy evidence for you and parents who pinch your ear and drag you straight to the station.

The Perils of Kathleen: Longest 15 Warhol Minutes in History

How can we miss her if the state won’t put her away?

  • Item 5 Apr: Williams Turned Into Kane, that’s his problem, according to D’Annunzio in the Legal Intelligencer. It does seem like more than the average number of Pennsylvania prosecutors wind up prosecuted these days. Like Kane, Williams belongs in jail. They both might still go there.
  • Item 3 Apr: We Read a Book on the Jerry Sandusky case, by the kid who was identified as Victim 1. Our interest: was Kane mentioned at all? She made her pursuit of Sandusky proof of her prosecutorial bona fides. Her name is absent.

What, It Wasn’t Rent Boys?

Forgive us, for we have stereotyped. But we saw a monsignor (a grade of Catholic priest) was arrested in Philadelphia, and we jumped to the conclusion that buggery was a factor. (Ever notice that with seven deadly sins, that isn’t one? Hmmmm…) But as it turns out, it wasn’t buggery at all, but another one of the Big Seven: greed.

Federal prosecutors accused Msgr. William A. Dombrow, 77, of siphoning funds for nearly nine years from a private account set up to support Villa St. Joseph, the facility in Darby Borough that also houses priests who have been accused of sexual abuse.

OK, so there’s a buggery angle, but the newsman is stretching, there.

Much of the money that flowed into that account came from the life insurance payouts of priests who had died while residing there or bequests from the estates of parishioners who intended to support the facility.

The theft was discovered, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Rotella said, after the bank that administered the account flagged several suspicious payments and deductions at Harrah’s Casino in Chester and notified the Archdiocese of Philadelphia last year.

Yeah, it does look amiss when the money donated for the benefit of elderly and infirm priests winds up being gambled away. Apparently Dombrow blew over a half million on high living. What vow of poverty?

Dombrow is a recovering alcoholic who devoted his time to helping other priests with struggles with alcohol. He previously led the Archdiocesan Priests’ Committee on Alcoholism and a center for those seeking religious-based addiction treatment.

A recovering alkie, but a practicing gambler.

Among the funds he is accused of embezzling was $14,410 left to Villa St. Joseph by the Rev. Francis P. Rogers, who had numerous sexual-abuse complaints lodged against him prior to his death in 2005 — the same year a Philadelphia grand jury issued its report detailing the allegations against him.

Okay, so two buggery angles.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

She Was in a Safe Job

Safest service? The Air Force, hands down. As the old joke goes, “An honorable alternative to military service.” But mortal danger is where you find it, or, as Staff Sgt. Alexandria Morrow, USAF, discovered, where it finds you:

Alexandria Mae Morrow, 25, an Air Force weapons loader known to her comrades as “the mom of the flight line,” died Wednesday, March 22, during noncombat operations in the Middle East, the U.S. Defense Department reported.

Staff Sgt. Morrow was loading or unloading a bomb near a jet when the device slipped off its track, hitting her on the head. The Air Force is investigating the incident.

Of course, we’d never suggest a mismatch between a 100-lb airman and a bomb several times her weight may have been a factor. And you may rest assured that the officers doing the investigation won’t suggest it, either.

A seven-year veteran and the mother of two young daughters, she had been deployed for five months to Jordan with the 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, although she was assigned to the 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

 It was a safe job. Or it should have been. Everyone take care out there.

Syria – The International Players

Here’s the program, courtesy of The Daily Mail. Syria doesn’t just have Russia and Iran, but also a few other friends in low places.

Syria Strike

Here’s some BDA on the Syria strike. There was no attempt to disable the base, but some facilities and some aircraft were hit.

The dog that did not bark was the SA-300 Growler missile system that the Russians have deployed at the airfield. The Russians had an hour to thirty minutes notification of the strike, and yet they did not engage the missiles at all. Our best guess is that they do not have the capability to detect the TLAMs until they are within the Growler’s minimum engagement range.

Pre-attack airfield. The fan-shaped paved areas around the ends of the runways are the Hardened Aircraft Shelters. More aircraft dispersal is on individual pads in the east-northeast.

Post-attack airfield:

The next image shows the the lower right HAS area. Some HASes have been hit, and some not. If you look to the right of the five-trail intersection in the lower right area of the image, you’ll see several oval defensive structures which may be AA related.

The westernmost array of HASes was hit pretty hard.

Then there’s this image, promoted by the Syrians and Russians as proof that the US dropped the attack ball.

As the Daily Mail put it, “Unscathed: This collection of five jets on al-Sharyat Air Base somehow escaped the bombing raid, despite being located out in the open, on a patchy grass plain”.

“Collection” is a pretty good term for these museum pieces. The first and probably the last (foreground-to-background) are MiG-21F-13s, an early 1960s variant that was already being replaced at the time of the Six Day War. The middle jet is a MiG-21PF, the one that replaced it. The other two are MiG-21MFs, we think; late seventies or possible early eighties jets. In other words, the US recognized and didn’t hit a line of decoys.

Sorry about that.

It’s harder to tell whether the jets we hit in the HASes were modern jets or more old junk, because they’re really junk now.

An unidentified single-engine jet lies in ruins. In the background, two jets in facing HASes appear to be intact. The one on the left is a 1970s jet, like a MiG-21 or Su-7 or -22. One on the right, unidentified.

This could be another MiG-21 or an Su-7 or -22, planes of broadly similar vintage. It’s hard to tell.

Veterans’ Issues

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

Health & Fitness

Nothing new. 

Lord Love a Duck!

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


This struck us funny. This unit must be too small for a sergeant major, as there’s no reflective belts on anybody.

About Hognose

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