2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Take that Cleveland!!!

...AKA The Peoples Socialist Republic of Cuyahoga....

WE WON ONE!!! No more law abiding CCW holders being cited for legally carrying because of your local ordnances...no more stupid "assault weapon" bans that keep weapons out of the hands of law abiding citizens and are ignored by criminals...

Just one little "Yeah!" for today...
Ohio Supreme Court affirms law ending
many cities' gun controls


Wednesday, December 29, 2010 09:50 AM

Associated Press

A man holds an assault weapon.
File photo
A man holds an assault weapon.

COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a 2006 state law that lifted cities' assault-weapons bans and most other local gun restrictions.

Cleveland had challenged the state on grounds that the law intruded on the constitutionally guaranteed right to home rule. The city's ban on assault weapons was among those invalidated by the law.

The state's highest court ruled 5-2 today that the law is constitutional and did not infringe on home-rule powers.

The law was passed in a dramatic showdown in 2006 between Republican Gov. Bob Taft and the GOP-controlled Legislature, which overrode his veto.


I hope Bloomberg chokes on his meal when reading this later....of course it will be appealed by the law dogs...but for now, victory is ours....

So...how was YOUR Christmas?...

Shamelessly stolen from Bring the Heat, Bring the Stupid...

..it does put a lot of things in perspective from the safety of our warm beds now, doesn't it?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas...part tres..

A few days late, but what the hell. Not sure my pastor would agree on this but I like it. All credit to the Everyday, No Days Off Gun blog for this one..

Random pic from the past...Ft. McCoy, WI 2006...

Smoking cigars after finally being certified to deploy as a unit..and yes I am wearing my black polypro jacket against regulations by not having it zipped 3/4 of the way up...I'm a rebel like that...

And for the record, Ft. McCoy was one of the most frustrating experiences of my military career..let it never be said that they do not misappropriate funds in the military...we were training to go overseas on one side of the base eating out of a condemned mess hall that could never pass a health inspection in the civilian world...while on the main post they eat out of a darling littleDFAC with ice cream and are were building a museum dedicated to themselves with taxpayer money...yeah!

Ruger LCP update..


I had someone that was nice enough to post another comment on my S&W Bodyguard .380 vs. Ruger LCP post, which has become one the of the most read pages on this blog. Just out of curiosity since it had been such a long time since I looked at it on their website, I checked out the LCP at Ruger's web site.. Lo and behold Ruger is now offering the LCP with the Crimson Trace LG-431 unit already installed as a package. The pistol is called, not surprisingly, the LCP-CT and apparently also comes with an appropriate pocket holster. Obviously they are trying to regain some of the original "cool factor" that came with the launch of the LCP and has since diminished with the introduction of the Bodyguard .380 with its integral laser.

Ruger has the MSRP as $548 on the web site, but one place on line has it for around $450, which is actually a bit higher than what I think you can put the package together yourself in some cases. Still if getting it all at one time is important to you, and you are sold on the merits of the LCP against getting the Bodyguard .380 this may be an attractive option to you.

Ah, just saw that The Firearm Blog reported this back on 12/23, been taking some time off of the net for the holidays so I didn't catch that. Still, it means that this has happened only withing the last few weeks or so.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Weapons retention in a self defense gunfight…need some advice.

gunretention

Many self defense and gun related blogs spend an inordinate amount of time discussing the draw of a defensive handgun against an assailant and engagement of said target as if it was a one dimensional task.  I am as guilty as anyone in this regard.  I believe I have stated before that most self defense shootings are up close, violent and quick.  The reasons for this are simple..

  • The attacker needs to be close enough to his victim to retrieve whatever item of value he normally is seeking..
  • If the engagement escalates to violence, both sides will usually employ there most violent form of attack to facilitate a quick resolution which leads to…
  • A quick resolution is normally the desired outcome by the attacker to not only limit the amount of time the victim has to gain information about them but also lessens there chance of being discovered in the act..

As myself, and many of you, often carry a weapon for self defense on us..have you ever considered what you would do if you do not get a clean shot at drawing and engaging your attacker as we often see demonstrated on the internet or in training classes.  What it you get surprised by an attacker who gets within your “safe zone” without notice and is able to grab for your weapon before you can employ it?  Then what?  The answer lies in techniques broadly titled “weapons retention drills”.  These drills and techniques are normally taught to some degree to law enforcement and security personnel who normally carry openly in their daily duties and are often in close contact with criminals due to these occupations.  To keep from being shot by your own weapon is a pretty good goal in this career choice.  As a CCW holder my weapon does not normally ride out on the side of my body in an open holster in plain view, so the issue with someone on the street randomly making an outright grab for it is not as great as with a LEO, but it is still a concern.  I have seen some mention in other gun and 2A type blogs but have never really had any training on it myself. 

Just out of curiosity I started searching YouTube for some videos about it and came across various vids depicting all types of techniques mainly being hacked by “security experts” or “martial artists”..not that I can critique any of them really since I am neither myself nor have I had any training in any such technique relating to weapon retention.  Below is one such video..I am not endorsing this technique, this just happened to be one of the short videos available to post (although it does seem pretty simple to learn)..

So my question is this, does anybody know of a solid, basic set of techniques that a “layman” could pick up to use to defend against an attacker gaining control of his sidearm?  If I could get some creditably feedback with hopefully some experience I would not rule out spending some hard earned $$ on material or training to learn it.  Thanks in advance for anything any of you may be able to offer.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Hope Santa brings everybody good swag this year..

We got the tree up, presents wrapped, family coming over for supper, church tonight and then its time to start enjoying…hell, I am enjoying the holiday already!!

An especially warm greeting to any and all service members away this year in some far off FOB for fire base who wishes that they were with their family this year. This clip from the year of my birth goes out to you!

Bob Hope Christmas Tour - Vietnam, 1968

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I trust guns...I don't trust people...

Found this dribble posted on Gunlistings.org under the Ohio section from someone claiming to be from Cincy in a listing called "to the crybabies complaining about overposts"....(the original post was all in caps btw, not my editing, I guess he was real mad)

BEFORE ALL YOU CRYBABIES OUT THERE START COMPLAINING AND ACCUSING THOSE OF US WHO TAKE THE TIME TO RENEW LISTINGS ON A REGULAR BASIS OF HAVING ITEMS NOONE WANTS TO JUSTIFY YOUR LOWBALL OFFERS, THINK ABOUT THIS... SOME OF US ARE IN THE
BUSINESS TO MAKE A BUCK OR TWO IN LIGHT OF TODAYS ECONOMY. IT IS OUR AND YOUR RIGHT TO DO. I PERSONALLY DON'T TAKE THE TIME TO CHANGE THE WORDING, PHOTOS AND PRICE ON A PARTICULAR ITEM WHEN I HAVE A INVENTORY OF MORE THAN ONE AND SOMETIMES MANY OF THE SAME ITEM. SO, BEFORE YOU ALL START WASTING MINE AND OTHERS TIME WITH YOUR B.S. EMAILS BUSTING OUR BALLS WITH YOUR UNJUSTIFIED AND OFTEN CHILDISH AND MORE OFTEN UNEDUCATED OPINIONS WHILE USING FAKE EMAIL ADDRESSES TO COVER UP YOUR COWARDESS THINK ABOUT THIS... JUST BECAUSE YOU USE A FAKE RETURN EMAIL ADDRESS, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THE EMAIL CAN'T BE TRACED BACK TO YOUR COMPUTER OR I-PHONE OR WHATEVER. YOUR DEVICE HAS ONE SPECIFIC WEB ADDRESS NUMBER WHICH I OR ANYONE ELSE WITH THE KNOWLEDGE CAN TRACE RIGHT STRAIGHT BACK TO YOU. ONE OF THESE DAYS YOU MAY HAVE SOME PSYCHO COME PAY YOU A VISIT. I READ SOMEHWERE THAT IT HAPPENED ON THE EAST COAST. A BIT OF ADVICE...DON'T PLAY STUPID GAMES WITH PEOPLE THAT PLAY WITH FIREARMS. THINK ABOUT IT. P. FRANCOIS



Wow dude, did you even read your own words before hitting the post button? That is a pretty overtly threatening email. Basically you are telling whomever you have a beef with to leave you alone or you will hunt them down and shoot them. You are part of the reason those of us who act responsibly with our firearms in the public eye need to constantly need to defend ourselves from the anti 2A crowd. If you are not mature enough just to ignore somebody or walk away from a freaking email you probably don't need that gun in your hand anyway. Besides, its not like they can stop you from posting your add anyway.


I have said it once and I will say it again..we need to police ourselves from exibiting behavior or communication that is detrimental to the 2A cause..or the government will have the real police step in and do it for us. None of us want that.


Oh and btw, if you think the BATF is not paying attention to these sites and seeing who is selling constantly and who does not have a FFL you are kidding yourself. Just FYI before you accuse me of anything, I have never sold a firearm for profit on these sites and have the original receipts to prove it. Generally when I sell on these places its because I wish to purchase another firearm to try, evaluate and shoot and need the cash to do so. I price any offering I have posted at what I consider to be a reasonable uses resale rate and generally get 10% - 20% less than what I paid for it in addition to losing out on money spent on accessories I may add to the sale.


Part of the reason I don't really look on these buy/sell sites anymore is the glut of small business owners that use them for free advertising (I have no background on what Mr. Francois' beef is with the other party but it sounds along those lines) has taken away the "fun" in it for me. Plus its aggravating for those of us individual that may post an item when some gun shop or FFL dealer from Toledo constantly posts 10 or more items that we need to compete with. And check this out Mr. Francois, when I am on the site and this behavior does not agree with my I click my address bar and go somewhere else..problem solved. Its also pretty easy to click "delete" on an email and even easier to forget about it entirely than it is to waste energy to reply.


Ironic that I took the time to write this then, isn't it? But hey, writing is in my nature I guess as was pointed out to me last night by a good friend.


So if by some strange way Mr Francois reads this I hope he takes the words with a grain of salt and learns something. I am but a casual 3rd party observer that is relating the alarm I felt reading your post on Gunlistings.org and hope you take this as constructive criticism. Hopefully he will not track me down and show up here...that would be a bad deal for both parties involved indeed.


So lets be nice and play well with others, shall we?



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bite the Bullet..random image from shopping tonight (slightly NSFW)



I am calling this “slightly NSFW” due to some graphic images..I normally don’t do this, but its goes along with the post.  Sorry in advance if anyone is offended.

So I see this thing while shopping with the wife tonight. No, we weren't at a gun shop, we were at a store called "Home Place" which sells home furnishings...



I know the person who made this was just probably thinking about some phrase that people would easily recognize that contained a readily identifiable picture..two problems though..

  1. Technically, the picture is of a round of ammunition commonly called a "cartridge", which while containing a bullet at the tip of the cartridge, is incorrect as nomenclature for us "gunnies"..
  2. The other thing is I wonder if the "artist" pondered the true meaning of the phrase "to bite the bullet" before they decided it was a statement meant to decorate someone's home?

Battlefield surgery has often been a gruesome endeavor. Early medical practitioners of the Roman legions were just as opt to help and assist a wounded legionnaire fall on his sword and die with honor on the field of battle as opposed to dying in a fetid hospital tent and being a drain on the resources of his legion days or weeks later. As firearms became the primary arm in fighting wars new and even more horrific fates awaited soldiers on battlefields across the globe. In its infancy, the musket usually fired a relatively slow and heavy round ball into its target. These rounds did not travel accurately over very far distances and quite a few battles were actually won by the use of the bayonet charge after the initial volley fire was accomplished. During the American Revolution, even the balls fired by the famous Kentucky rifles used at the time were only accurate out to a bit over 100 yards by most people. These round balls eventually became pointed and evolved into the Minie Ball of Civil War fame. This round, while still quite large, was far ballistically superior to its predecessor and could be accurate out to 300 - 400 yards or more by a trained rifleman. In addition they carried extreme amounts of energy due to their size and velocity.

If you were to take either a musket ball or Minie ball to an arm or a leg you were almost surely in trouble. The heavy rounds were known to splinter bone and flesh with great effect. Like I said before, battlefield medicine was a gruesome affair in these days. Vascular surgery and antibiotics were still a long way from being thought of, so in most cases a wound of this magnitude meant only one thing if the patient wanted any chance to survive..amputation.


An obviously staged picture of an amputation.  The lack of carnage and other casualties around the surgeon and him being in his field dress uniform are give aways.

Despite the reputation of being "hacks"..as in "hacking off a limb", most surgeons during the civil war were actually quite skilled. The image of the "hack" has more to do with the sheer volume that these surgeons had to deal with, compounded by the fact that unlike today with skilled medics and "combat life savers" in units, the surgeon was usually the only trained medical professional on the battlefield. They had to act as their own triage, surgery and recovery doctor..all at the same time. Because of this the amputation became a tried and trusted treatment program for extremity injuries that might (and often did) prove fatal if left untreated. When there was obvious signs of massive bone and tissue damage or when the disgusting stench of infection was noted an amputation offered an relatively quick and effective (as in better than doing nothing) method for dealing with the carnage.

In short, as opposed to just simply cutting straight through the limb, a series of large slices were made in the flesh of the wound longitudily along the axis of the limb and pulled back, much like the petal of a flower. These flaps provided material to wrap over the end of the stump and sutured to cover it permantly. Once these cuts were complete the surgeon would saw through the remaining tissue and bone with a saw and tie off the major arteries. While it sounds gruesome (it was) and time consuming, some surgeons became quite adept to it as their "bread and butter" technique and could perform them quickly and with ease...often at the chagrin of the patient who would rather not have to undergo the procedure. The patient is where the "bite the bullet" phrase starts to come into this story...

A typical amputation kit of the type used during the civil war, its tools were designed to be as efficient as possible to limit the suffering of the patient..they fell far short of this goal unfortunately.

The result of a days work by a surgeon of the battlefield of almost any engagement of the war..

Before the civil war the use of chloroform was common place for some surgeries of the period. Generally an assistant would place a cloth over the patients face and drip some chloroform onto it which the patient would be instructed to deeply inhale. This would (hopefully) cause a deep but non-lethal anesthetic affect on them long enough for the surgeon to do their job. Unfortunately for most civil war soldiers, there was usually not enough to go around or even available for battlefield surgery. In addition the use of chloroform on a patient who may already be dying due to hypovolemic shock would not be inclined to have a favorable outcome anyway.

If you were fortunate enough to have a compassionate person caring for you, you might get some "Class 6" material (alcohol to you civilians) to dull the pain and then the cutting would begin. Often a piece of wood or a lead bullet would be given to the patient to bite and bear down on while the operation proceeded. The lead used in bullets was somewhat soft and would give slightly under the most severe pressure from the patients jaw and hopefully give before a tooth did. Luckily for many, shock and the bodies response to severe pain often rendered them unconscious. Either way the term "biting the bullet" came to mean a task that had to be done despite the unpleasant consequences or experience of completing it.

"John decided to bite the
bullet
and buy the 4 new snow tires for his family van rather than
risk driving in snow with his family this year."
Despite the mortality rate (or probably more accurately the massive number of casualties in the war) many amputees did indeed survive and live for many years past the conflict. The sight of amputees across the country was quite commonplace for many years. Without any type of "VA" type benefits many of these amputees were often left as beggars and side show freaks for the remainder of their lives.

No SGLI insurance for this guy or his family…poor guy…I hope his life was as easy as it could have been for him.


So next time someone causally throws out "bite the bullet" or you see a piece of home decor with this colorful expression on it I hope you take a second and remember the warriors (on both sides) that truly endured the horror of "bitting the bullet" and be thankful that men still stand today in their place willing to put themselves in harms way for us.

 

If any of these pictures have troubled you, I am sorry. War is not pretty and I felt the images were necessary to convey my message. If you would like to help wounded warriors of today's conflict I encourage you to click on the Wounded Warrior Project emblem below to be taken to their site where you may securely donate to the cause of taking care of our newest generation of amputees and other wounded vets.
 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The ACU camo is dead...long live multicam!

I was just talking about this the other day....

Its been going around for a week or so...the Army is giving up the UCP pattern ACU uniform and adopting multicam in 3 different patterns as its camouflage. Now don't go running down to clothing sales to be the first kid in formation in the new uniform because fielding instructions have not officially been released, but it will be a RFI item first going to combat operations first and then pushed to the rear....

thanks to Powerpoint Ranger for the cartoon...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

God Bless the 2nd Amendment...

Friend sent me this...worth sharing...



I cruised thru a stop sign the other day, and got pulled over by a local policeman. I hand the cop my driver's license, insurance verification, plus my concealed carry permit.

"Okay," the cop says, "I see you have a CCW permit. Are you carrying
today?"

"Yes, I am."

"Well then, better tell me what you got."

I say, "Well, I got a .357 revolver in my inside coat pocket. There's a 45
semi-auto in the glove box. And, I've got a .22 magnum derringer in my right
boot."

"Okay," the cop says. "Anything else?"

"Yeah, back in the
trunk, there's an AR15 and a shotgun. That's about it."

"Sir, are you on
your way to or from a gun range...?"

"Nope."

"Well then, what
are you afraid of...?"

"Not a damn thing..."


More zombie blasting fun....in the Wild, wild west...Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare on the Xbox 360

I started playing a game on the Xbox 360 (I've become a big fan lately) called Red Dead Redemption (RDR). In it the player assumes the role of John Marston, a former outlaw who tried to go straight but is forced into confronting old comrades as foes in order to save his family. It takes place at the turn of the 20th century but the towns and people seem more at place in the wild west of the 1870's - 1890's. Anyway, its a good game but would not normally get a mention here but for the addition of one thing....zombies of course.

Yeah, I love zombies...zombie flicks, zombie stories...zombie anything these days...luckily there are so many outlets to choose from. I could post probably for a month straight, once a day, about a video game based on or containing zombies alone. But I (probably) won't any time soon. However, the twist on RDR by the introduction of zeds is worth mentioning here since I am actually playing it.

A $10.00 downloadable expansion pack on the Xbox 360 called Undead Nightmare continues the story of the orginal game (which I have not finished yet, fyi) with Marston confronting a zombie plague across the old west that is truely a great fight to undertake. Not only is every single NPC in the game (other than scripted characters) replaced with a zombie, it also introduces BIGFOOT too! In additon other animals in the story can also be infected and zombified!! Its a bit challenging, especially since I have yet to master combat in the original game, but it is a blast none the less!!

So for a nominal fee you get a 2nd game on top of a great game to begin with...and zombies!!



Thursday, December 16, 2010

RIP Bob Feller 1918 - 2010...part pitcher, part warrior...All American!

I am no fan of Cleveland, Ohio - or as I call it the Peoples Socialist Republic of Cuyahoga (county that is, where Cleveland is located). Their obsessive anti-gun politics and rhetoric constantly grate on my nerves whenever I read about local ordinances being passed that run contrary to our states CCW laws and of people being ticketed for legally carrying in and around those parts.

Despite this, I do begrudgingly follow the Cleveland Indians and Browns. There has not been much to follow in recent years and while I think the Browns are trying to make strides to becoming a winning franchise...the Indians seem to be content to be a second tier team year after year and groom great players to trade or sell them to other teams...Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Manny Ramirez...and the list could go on. But a long time ago the Indians were magnificent...world champions as a matter of fact in 1948 and a dominating force in baseball into the 1950's.

A large part of this dominance was due to an Iowa farm boy named Bob Feller. Feller started in the league at the age of 17 and was an instant impact to the game. As a pitcher his fastball was legendary in its time and since. They did not have radar as we know it to judge speed back then, but it has been estimated by analyzing film that his speed off the mound generally was between 97 and 104 mph during his career. That would be amazing even today...let alone 60 years ago without the aid of modern training techniques, diet, medicine and yes...even steroids.

Things were going pretty well for Bob when a group of jerks on a Japanese aircraft carrier decided "what the hell, lets bring the US into WW2" on December 7th 1941. Now back in that war a guy like Pat Tillman - who gave up millions as a professional football player to enlist in the Army after 9/11 as a ranger and was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan - was not a lone wolf like he is today. Today you don't see any other pro athletes deciding that a signing bonus, multi-million dollar contract, luxurious lifestyle is not as important as using their God given skills in the service of their country. That is partially why I am amazed that Navy can constantly field a team that is fairly competitive in college football every year (they gave my Buckeyes a good run for the money last year!). However, in WW2 entire companies of professional athletes were killed during the invasions of Europe and the Japanese empire. Most of them were raised with a value system much different than the one athletes were raised in today. Through the depression many suffered much..and were glad to have the chance to be compensated for playing a game for the enjoyment of others. Now in an era where we have to hold news conference for a high school junior to let us know where he is going to play in 2 years...or where a basketball player is signing in free agency..or find out a players father is out there demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars to get his son to play at a school...the thought of these "sacred athletic cows" being offered up for possible slaughter at the hand of our nations enemy is outlandish.

But this was 1941, not 2010. Players did take a look at their life and make the decision whether to serve their country or stay a pro athlete and possibly get drafted or maybe sell war bonds. Bob Feller was one of these athletes and took a long look into his heart and decide what to do..

..and he did decide to serve..and enlisted in the Navy to get some payback...

ON DECEMBER 8TH, 1941!!!!

Yeah, that's right...a little more than 24 hours after the attack Bob Feller left the world of professional baseball to enter an uncertain future as a guardian of American freedom. He served on a gun crew on the USS Alabama until 1946, and in that time was awarded for his actions during combat on several occasions. And this wasn't the Navy of today where some guy sits in front of a computer screen and tells an automated turret where to point and pushes a button. This was serious large marbles duty sitting in an exposed gun turret with bombs, machine gun fire and other havoc circling around you as you fought the enemy.

To this day the Navy is not sure if Feller actually fired anti-aircraft shells at Japanese planes from those guns or just reared back and let loose with his own personal cannon they called his arm like they were baseballs...

He was the first professional athlete to put his personal values and moral code to the test and volunteer to serve his country. And it is for this fact that I honor him today....

oh yeah...after the war he went back to baseball when a lot of people said he would be washed up after the war....and pitched 3 no-hitter...12 one hitters and even left Ted Williams with a lifetime batting percentage of .270 against him....and was a first round unanimous selection to Cooperstown.

RIP Bob....thanks for being part of our greatest generation and anchors away sailor.

Saluting now...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In all fairness...they did breech the door...

Cops and explosives.....



Oops...that'll leave a mark...maybe this is a situation where a ram or hydraulic breecher would of been more appropriate..

and btw...while they were all out there laughing in the kill funnel, the simulated bad guy on the other side who definitely knows they are there has grabbed his primary and is waiting.....

Still wondering what to get the kids for Christmas???

How about a modern world events inspired doll...er, action figure?



This the guy the terrorists doll's mothers warned them about!

Notice the detail in this guy!! Wow, even the stock on the AK is attached correctly with a tang and screw!! Guaranteed to scare the living crap out of every other toy under the tree this year!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So wrong….but so funny….

OK, don’t get me wrong here…I find this funny, not because Yogi dies but because I knew it was a parody of another film clip that I had seen somewhere…don’t let the kids watch this…

 

after searching for a while I found it was from The Assassination of Jesse James staring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck…

 

And no, I don’t think its funny because it depicts gun violence…but I love parody done well and in unexpected ways…this does both..

And I have to check out The Assassination of Jesse James…in addition to Pitt and Affleck, Sam Rockwell also appears in this clip and Jeremy Renner is also in the film. The film seems to be fairly well reviewed…please tell me I didn’t go see it the year it was out because I took my wife to see The Blind Side..

Welcome Home Steve!!

My buddy Steve just got back safe and sound from a tour over in Afghanistan (aka the 'Stan or Douchbagistan)...glad he is home safe!! Just another reminder to me of how this war has affected all of us to some degree, some more than others. My time in Bagram was spent training other US troops...he was out there doing the dirty deed in the field....and all of this while in his 40's...who says its a young man's game?

Welcome home "Doc"!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lego Black ops..

These guys last about as long as I do playing online...




but despite this...I am much cooler online..



a little levity after yesterday...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lest we forget…remembering the Gander crash tragedy 25 years later

101memorial

The Gander Crash Memorial at Ft. Campbell.

 

A friend of mine, currently stationed in Korea, reminded me of this on FaceBook this morning…thanks Mark..

Lest we forget…

We often think of Memorial Day as a day to salute our war dead.  In reality, we recognize those that have given their lives in the military in service to their country.  248 names were inscribed on that list 25 years ago today.  December 12, 1985 marked a very sad day for the families of many of the members of the 3rd Battalion 502nd Regiment of the famed 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).  248 soldiers, returning from a 6 month tour of duty protecting the tenacious peace accord signed between Egypt and Israel at Camp David in 1979, and 8 Air Canada aircrew were killed when their plane crashed shortly after taking off from Gander, Newfoundland en route to Ft. Campbell, KY.

Our soldiers died protecting the peace between two hostile nations half way around the globe.  Although named the “Multinational Force and Observer” mission, they did much more that just simply look around. They served as a buffering force in a hellish sandbox between two armies still fuming over recent conflicts.  The peace that these soldiers, and many more like them before and since, helped maintain a stability in the region that was unheard of before that accord.  Anybody that says that the US has no business being the world’s policeman has obviously never taken this mission into account.  While technically a U.N. mission, the U.N. is only as strong as the strongest member nation which to date is still the US.

So as we go about our business today…getting ready for Christmas…watching some football….shoveling the sidewalk..or what have you; lets take a moment to lift up our hearts to the memory of these 248 fallen warriors, given to us by God, taken from us by fate, rightfully enshrined in our praise for all eternity.

RIP Troopers….

Friday, December 10, 2010

We need the RPG..

I have seen in a couple of blogs pics and videos of US troops using old M72 LAW rocket launchers and AT4 rockets in combat against Al Queerdo and Talibastard forces.  My question is….why?  The LAW was in vogue over 30 – 40 years ago and I doubt the ones that they are being issued were made in any year beginning with “20” or possibly ending with a “9X”.  They were only marginally effective at stopping a MBT (main battle tank) in their heyday and fall way short of defeating the armor of a modern tank by a large margin.  They are now apparently being used against soft, static targets by our troops.  Same goes for the AT4, while newer in design or capability than the LAW, it still has been designed to be used against armor.  While the HEAT (high explosive, anti-tank) rounds used by these rockets (basically a shape charge weapon that concentrates the blast effects of a cone shaped piece of explosive on a small area) will go boom and defeat such targets, its residual spalling (little bits of white hot metal bouncing around the blast) and fragmentation against personnel in the area are not necessarily a designed in feature to these weapons.

Guess what is a man portable rocket system that has both anti-tank and anti-personnel capabilities?  Answer:  The RPG7.

rpg7a6dmug7

This Russian “pipe of power” has been a menacing threat on the fields of conflict for over 50 years and with the look of it, another 50 years to go.  Just like the AK, the RPG has become synonymous with guerilla conflict across the globe.  Don’t have the money for your own artillery, pack a couple of RPG’s and bring the ability to rain hot shrapnel on your enemy with you.  Yeah, the basic design and construction are really crude and the fit and finish may not be “showroom grade” by most accounts. The thing is, just like the AK…the damn thing just WORKS!!  It is simple enough for an illiterate peasant to learn, robust enough to survive most battlefield conditions and portable enough to allow the bearer to traverse almost any terrain…and bring the anti-personnel power of a light mortar where you need it…fast!   It has been a thorn in the side of the US trooper ever since we first came across it in the jungles of Vietnam being used by both the VC and the NVA against us.  Remember Blackhawk Down?  RPG 25 years later still causing us fits….in the streets of Sadr City and the mountains of “the ‘Stan”….RPG’s giving us fits.

Up until now our answer to the RPG has been the use of weaker 40mm rounds out of the M79 launcher (the bloop tube, or blooper) and later the M203 launcher which turns your AR platform into a pretty bad asses over/under affair.  Problem is the 40mm round has less anti- personnel performance than your standard M67 frag grenade with a range of less than 400 meters to use it fairly accurately in. In my opinion we need to come up with something more powerful that is constantly available to our troops.

So why don’t we just steal the damn RPG design and repay the bastards the favor?

rpg-7_2

It would surely cost much less than having some company and the government spend millions and millions to design something from the ground up to do the same thing.  Its simpler so the average troop on the ground could be given one and with very minimal instruction be sending folks to meet their maker in short order. 

Sure there would be some need to adjust the way we man our squads.  If you create a dedicated rocketeer in the TO&E you are taking oa rifle away from somebody.  This would be hard to accept by some…especially the Marines who have that entire “every Marine a rifleman” thing goine and have worked so long on the SMAW system being fielded.  And obviously having a RPG on your shoulder will not be useful in CQB encounters, so a decent PDW will need to be adopted to deal with this scenario.  But for “normal” operations where a soldier would normally be engaging targets with his primary AR…having somebody dedicated to lobbing 105mm rockets at the enemy instead of 62gr. bullets has some definite appeal.

 

And hell, we are already using ones procured from friendly Iraqi and Afghani units over there to a limited degree…so just steal the damn design, stamp “made in USA” on it and lets go get some payback!

So military…anyone listening?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A quick opinion on the Glock 4th Gen pistol…

A couple of days ago an anonymous reader from a bit farther North in Ohio left me this kind comment in response to my post Quote of the Moment..

“Hello Huey my friend! Let me just first apologize for leaving this comment here since it is off the topic. I couldn't find your email address anywhere so I figured I would post here. Also I would like to say that I love your blog. I too am an Ohioan (up in the Ravenna area) shooter as well as a south paw. I find your reviews of firearms to be very helpful in choosing my next one. Which is what I'm posting about now. What are your views of the Glock gen. 4? I'm looking at a Glock 22 Gen. 4 but I've heard mixed reviews about their reliability with this new duel spring. I was wondering if you could give me any information you might have with them personally. Thank you kindly, and sorry once again for the off topic comment.”

First off, I love the comment, thank you so much..I am truly flattered.  I originally set out to create this blog purely for myself but I get great satisfaction in knowing it is enjoyed by others as well.

To my anonymous friend, I am sorry this took a few more days to post than I had thought it would, but here goes better late than never…

Honestly, my personal experience with the Gen4 Glocks has been shooting Kev’s Gen4 G17, which I like greatly.  While I am not totally sold on the grip texturing on it, the use of the replaceable back straps is very worth the effort on their part.  I must admit they come to the party offering those a few years late since S&W and others have had them predominantly featured on their pistols for a few years, but they work. While I do not have any problems using the standard grip profile of the Glock, the “small” grip on the Gen4 (the use of the stock grip without the addition of a back strap insert) does feel a bit better.

Roughly the grips available on the Glock Gen4 fall into these categories (my opinion):

Size Grip Panel Notes
Small none Glock SF size
Medium Medium Standard Glock
Large Large Glock 21

Kev’s Gen4 G17 (top) and my Gen3 G19 (bottom)

The texturing on the grip is Glock’s rough text finish (RTF), not to be confused on the previously offered RTF2 (yeah, I am confused about that naming convention also being introduced before the standard RTF) on my G23 (which I eventually traded for a Gen3 G19).  While the RTF2 was very “bitey” in the hand and rough to the touch (think sandpaper, hurt to wear next to my skin under a shirt) the RTF finish is more “civilized” and comfortable.  Either would be a blessing if you used the pistol with gloves in combat with all types of weather conditions (especially the RTF2), but for my use I eventually chose to eschew the RTF finish all together for a Gen3 grip finish next to my baby soft skin…ok, love handles.

The reversible mag catch is a nice touch also..if they can pull off a slide lock design that works on both sides at one (a la M&P series) the pistol would be a truly ambidextrous shooter.   The enlarged size of the catch is a nice touch also, but I find using an extended release on my Gen3 feels just as usable.

But you know, his question was about the reported reliability issues with the new dual spring design that the Gen4 utilizes.  Frankly, I have not seen any widespread reports of this online or in the usual gun rags by reputable testers who spend thousands of rounds at the range testing these pistols to substantiate any of these claims.  The use of a dual spring in the “baby Glocks” (G26 and the like) has been standard for years now.  I would think that by this time the design of such a system would be worked out.  But then again, the dual spring’s “newnesss” did play a minor role in my decision to go with a Gen3 over a Gen4 G19.  I mean, if the Gen3 reliability is supposedly a legendary bell weather that is used to measure other pistols against…why change?  I couldn’t come up with a reason either…and with the smoother stippling of the grip of the Gen3 vs the Gen4 against my flanks on my mind..the Gen3 was my choice. This is not to say that the Gen4 is unreliable..quite the contrary.  It seems to have inherited Glock’s self promoting “Glock Perfection” from the Gen3 lineage and they are not being found all over the internet broken at ranges across the globe.  The dual spring is reported to aid with recoil and accuracy as well as extend service life.  I can honestly say with a 9mm I cannot really tell a difference in recoil, but I did shoot an excellent group with the Gen4 G17 that I have not been able to reproduce with my Gen3 G34, for what its worth.  As far as service life of the spring…springs are cheap for the amount of time that they are normally expected to be utilized.  For those SHTF types, buy a few now for $40 and have for later.

Gen3 spring on the left next to the Gen4 G17’s dual spring design.  Please note that the standard Glock guide rod is plastic,

I have replaced it with a stainless steel rod from Glockmeister on the Gen3 G19.

g26 spring

The dual spring of the G26 that has been used for years, I would venture to say it is

safe to bet that the Gen4’s spring is similar and just as reliable.

There are some other minor changes to the angling of the Gen4’s connector bar and some other modifications to the trigger mechanism that are really not worth going into here other than the fact that you cannot retrofit a Gen4 trigger assembly into a Gen3…so much for compatibility for spare parts if needed. 

So between the Gen3 and Gen4 I guess my recommendation would be to use the one that simply meets your tastes the best.  There is only a slight size difference in the dust cover size with the new spring assembly (the part of the underside of the frame right below the muzzle) so most holsters will accept either.  RTF or not, you decide.  Performance wise both will fit the bill and go bang when you need it to.

Now as for your caliber selection….I had a G22 for a while (matter of fact it was my first Glock) and while I do respect the .40, my reasons for switching to the “lowly” 9mm have been laid out here before.  For self defense shooting within 25 meters I find that modern 9mm rounds are more than adequate on most scenarios and the added round count opposed to .40/.45 is a nice insurance policy in my book.  There have  been volumes written on the subject online and in print so just take my opinion with a grain of salt. 

There is a ton of info out there on the Gen4…much of which is more detailed and informative than what I have given.  Sure, I have shot one and have been satisfied but like most thing, your mileage may vary.  I recommend Glock highly, but there are enough subtle differences between the Gen3 and Gen4 (and Gen3 RTF2) that I cannot say one over the other definitively. the fact that Glock continues to produce and sell both at the same time also muddies the waters.  If Gen4’s were all that were available that would simplify the selection process, wouldn’t it?

The “business end” of the Fen3 G19 (left) and the Gen4 G17. There is a slight size difference in the dust cover of the frame due to the larger spring diameter in the Gen4..can you see it?  Me neither, you shouldn’t have any problem finding a holster for it, especially if made of leather or nylon.  In either case, as with all Glocks, make sure you get one that adequatly protects the trigger and trigger guard area to avoid negligent discharges.

Sorry if I couldn’t give you a more definitive black/white answer, but going out and shooting one yourself is probably the best advice I can give you. I warn you though..many a pistol has found its way home after being handled at a range in a “just testing it out” moment… 

And I guess that was more than just a “quick opinion” on the matter..but hey, that’s just me in a nutshell.  Give me a penny for my thoughts and I will make sure I don’t have to give change back.

Oh, and as for that “I couldn't find your email address anywhere “ part of your comment, I just created a new email address for this blog, it is as follows..prepare to copy”

 

hueysgunsight@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Cougar turns 45…a Stoeger Cougar that is….

Clever add by Stoeger here.  For those not getting it, a “cougar” is a name given to middle aged women who like to sleep with younger men.  In this case the “cougar” turned “45”…get it.  And the experience they talk about harks back to its heritage from Beretta. 

One of the first reviews I did on this blog was for the Stoeger Cougar 9mm.  It was one of the first pistols I bought and I am still as impressed with the story of its existence as I am with the entire price vs. quality ratio of the pistol.  Since that review (which, by the way, is one of my most viewed posts on this blog) Stoeger has come out first with a .40 S&W model and now one in the venerable .45 ACP round.  I suspect that quality in these pistols is as good as ever.  Since the review I have found that I do not favor pistols with manual safeties on the slide.  They seem too difficult to flip on and off compared to frame mounted safeties if you absolutely need to have one on your pistol.  I cannot fault Stoeger/Beretta much on this point with the pistol though..a hammer fired design like theirs where the safety also acts as a de-cocker logically needs to have it on the slide.  Still, I would never discourage someone from getting this pistol based on this alone.  A very high quality firearm with a certified pedigree from one of the worlds premier firearm designers and a very affordable price…what’s not to like? 

cougar0001

Now that's art!!

Multicam vs. ACU in Afghaniastan

xBradTC over at the Bring the Heat Bring the Stupid Blog has a good pic up of multicam uniforms being used over in the 'Stan by it appears 34th Division troops...


Multicam is a 7 color pattern developed by Crye with the US Army. It uses a light green/tan as a base color as opposed to the adopted ACU UCP (universal camo pattern) pattern which uses "foilage green/grey" as its primary pattern. There have been critiques of the UCP pattern ever since its adoption of its effectiveness in the desert, but for every naysayer there is a picture like the one below to show it being used effectively..
Personally I think by looking at various pics found on the net that the ACU pattern is good enough for our current environments in Iraq and Afghanistan if you allow it to get dirty a bit and pick up native color. It also looks OK on top of the vast plain of rocks that every camp, FOB and base is built on top of over there, as I demonstrate here in Kuwait..

It does look out of place when placed against a purely tan background like in the desert..or against the Marines MARPAT desert scheme..which I will be the first to admit kicks some major ass..
Really, what I think is that the camo you wear is at least partially offset by the type of war we are fighting on a wide spread basis over there. Sure there are still guys out humping the boonies and mountains over there (and many of them are Specop guys who get to wear whatever they need), but a lot of our folks are still driving around looking for targets in large, loud vehicles that give themselves away long before the effectiveness of their camo uniforms would come into play. Regardless, camo is not a static idea. There is no "all in one" pattern that looks good EVERYWHERE! I remember doing a LTX (Lane training exercise) a few (OK, a lot more than a few) years back as a young sergeant and my team was the only to ace it because I made my guys take the time to recamo with new vegetation as we traversed from an open grass plain to a wooded area and back. Yeah me!

So, what do you think? ACU or Multicam? hell or MARPAT for that matter, BDU, that Brit stuff or what have you...what do YOU think is the best camo pattern that could be used over there?

A 5 minute review...Blackhawk Legacy XP-6 flashlight..

Whats in your pocket?

Its lunch...I have eaten and I have a few minutes...lets try something new. Fishing through the pockets of my jacket lets take a look at something that I am carrying. I do not have a dedicated EDC - every day carry - setup like many folks outside the fact that generally I will be carrying a pistol in my vehicle or on my person, my wallet, watch and a phone. Other items tend to follow me around though. Let me take 5 minutes to crank out a quick and dirty review of this item and even take a pic or two with my phone's camera and see how it turns out.

First what do I have? A flashlight!


To be more precise a Blackhawk Night-Ops Legacy XP-6 light...I found that out by searching prices on line, Blackhawk only shows one flashlight on their web sight. It's a good little flashlight with a rubberized polymer exterior with aggressively molded sides and a anti-roll bezel. I remember picking it up at Vance's for around $35 just as a cheap second flashlight. I own a Surefire flashlight that I picked up overseas for around $90 and this seems to be a good, cheap alternative to that.


One thing I like about it is that the switch does not require it to be twisted or anything like the Surefire. Just simple press lightly to turn the light on for a brief illumination (as if you were taking a quick glance into a dark corner before "getting off the X"), or depress it fully to stay on continuously. It does not have an adjustable beam and the beam is not fully focused on the center..but this does not matter much for what I use if for. As a general purpose and defensive light it is more than adequate. The beam is rated for 65 lumes and when I have used in in my backyard the beam has been strong enough to clearly illuminate my dog hiding way in the back of my fenced in yard under a tree...a distance of over 100 feet without a problem.

Overall, I am very happy with this light and would recommend it to my readers. Blackhawk is generally known for making quality tactical/tacticool stuff and this seems to be no exception. Finding one may be tough as it seems to be discontinued, but a little googling found one online through a retailer for $35, same as the store price I paid.

So there...5 minutes start to finish.

Huey tested, Huey approved.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Quote of the moment….

gunsandammo0001“In short, the 1911 is tough. 

To call it as tough as nails is to give nails extra credit.”

~Patrick Sweeney, Guns & Ammo Magazine,

                                  January 2011, page 30.

Reminiscning about snubbies....

I was sitting in "Der Bunker" yesterday reflecting on the weapons that I have sold or passed on in the last couple of years. One pistol keeps coming back to my mind...the S&W 637 J-Frame .38spl+P that I got rid of to get the Ruger LCP I now carry. The Ruger is a great pistol but one thing I notices last time I was at the range working with the CT laser was that it was difficult to get a good position on the trigger quickly due to the short length of the grip. I actually found myself having to reach back more to get my finger in the trigger guard in order to get a secure position on the trigger. This is important for be able to get to know your pistol and gauging the breaking point of the trigger and reset for accurate, rapid fire.

I remember the snubbie fitting quite well in my hand, being of a high level of fit and finish and shooting better than I would have expected from such a short barrel. I doubt I will revert but it would be nice to get to shoot one again....

Immersion - Do video game taunts affect a real operator?

Big thanks to Kev for digging this up and putting on the FaceBook for me to steal...

Never heard of these guys before, looks like they are a YouTube only show by a group called Rat Laboratories that takes conventions in the gaming world and applies them to real life scenarios. Kind of a rip off of Myth Busters in my opinion, but to each their own. Hell, I'm not making a web series so what do I know. Anyways, in this case they take a 13 year special ops vet and pump Internet style taunts at him while shooting at a 100 yard target. The guy is a pro and doesn't get phased by it. Matter of fact, flips them the bird while he is shooting the final couple of shots. I am going to have to get my kneeling position going and see how good I am at 100 yards like that, don't know if he was using the Eotech or not. Good comparison between a real operator and some of the folks you find online that are probably greasing my rear end on a regular basis in multi-player COD: Black Ops matches.

Btw, NSFW....

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Chanukah

I'm not Jewish, but I have Jewish friends and I wish them a happy and safe Chanukah. And yes, I most probably spelled that wrong.

And just so I can keep this "fair and balanced", a belated but joyous Eid to any of my Muslim readers out there. I have nothing against your religion, just some of the fanatics in your midsts...same as we have religious extremests on this side of the aisle, so to speak, that I do not like either (I'm looking at you Reverend Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church...)

And here is a clip of one of my favorite Jewish characters from recent cinema that also includes a 1911....Walter from The Big Lebowski....