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)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

We Remember....2LT Frank Luke, Jr., MOH



Second Lieutenant Frank Luke, Jr.
On 29 September 1918, Second Lieutenant Frank Luke, Jr., of the United States Army’s 27th Aero Squadron, flew over an American balloon squadron dropping a note, “Watch for burning (German) balloons” just beyond the German lines. As predicted, observers saw the three explosions of three balloons. Luke did not return. It was not until after the war that a grave’s registration unit learned the conclusion of Luke’s “3-kill” attack.
After destroying the third balloon, Luke was wounded and his Spad was so shot-up that he could barely control it. Nevertheless, he maneuvered his airplane to strafe German infantry columns. He crash-landed and was immediately surrounded by Germans. Rather than surrender, he drew his .45 automatic pistol and started firing at the Germans. They returned his fire, killing Luke immediately. Frank Luke was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fixing aiming issues

Thought about this a bit after reading some posts on other forums about people having problems shooting.  Figured my 2 pennies on the subject might not be too far off the mark in this issue.

OK, lets say you head to the range and after a couple of mags down the pipe your target looks like this....


Trouble is, you're not using your shotgun and you want to make it look like this...


What to do?

Well, chances are that you have either a HARDWARE or SOFTWARE problem, or a combination of both.   What, did I turn this into a tech related blog? No. But if you look around the 'net, you will find that the terms hardware and software are often used in the shooting sports arena to describe two types of issues.

Hardware.

Hardware is the actual firearms and related accessories we use while we are shooting.

Folks, meet the "Geardo" courtesy of Bob On The Fob (SSG A.J. Merrifield, creator and one hell of a cartoon artist).  This is pretty much the military equivalent of the "Mall Ninja"....every issue is related or solved by a piece of hardware.   I have known several in my time and may have actually been one myself on occasion.

You will often hear people talk about this gun or that gun shooting wrong because "the XYZ doohicky is misaligned with flux capacitor on the barrel"...this sentiment is usually expressed after shooting while a statement of  "my buddy gave my new G-Lock a ninja special upgrade" before heading onto the firing line.   Its always the firearms fault and not theirs.  Sure, there are times when legitimate issues with the weapon may cause it not to shoot optimally.   There is great scene in the move Heartbreak Ridge the shows this type of guy in action...


By using a logical progression of deduction trying to recreate the error with the same equipment, under the same conditions with a different user may confirm that a problem with the hardware does indeed exist (same methodology I use to help diagnosis technology issues at work).  If so, a qualified gunsmith should be sought out to remedy the issue.  However, most issues with bad shooting fall into another category...

Software

Software are those things related to shooting that reside in the cranial space between our auditory sensors....that is stuff we keep in our memory related to shooting and the means in which we acquire these bits of shooting information to use later.  The brain is over rated you say?  Well let me remind you of this warrior you may know....the samurai.


Far from being just a swordsman, most Samurai were also well versed in philosophy and poetry and could read and write in times where illiteracy were quite common.  This was done to help build a "complete warrior" who was guided by intellect as well as skill.  His sword (katana...his hardware) was only as good as the mind that wielded control over the body that held it.

In my world (and it is a lovely place in the Fall I must say) this category is broken down into two areas:

Training
In order to learn you got to be taught.  Sometimes this training is done in a formal setting such as the military, LEO academy or private firearms instruction.  Sometimes its informal done via written or audio/visual means.  There is a lot of good training resources on the 'net for firearms (and a lot of bad ones as well!).  Want a good, relatively cheap training event you can find locally across the US?  Try an Appleseed event (www.appleseedinfo.org)  to get a good solid foundation of rifle marksmanship - and as a bonus you will qualify to purchase a surplus M1 rifle from the CMP (see link on the right column) too!  As long as the information is relayed effectively to the student the conduit is unimportant.  What is important is that the student actively takes in what he is being taught and that the instructor looks for feedback that the student is understanding the material and can be validated by some type of performance standard based test.  This is true even with self taught informal training out of a book, it does no good to read and understand what you are looking at in print if you can't take that and turn it into an actual usable skill.  This brings us to my second part of Software....

Practice
A lot of us have spent time in the military.  If you are like me you remember countless hours sitting on an empty rifle range on in a field dry firing your weapon going over the entire BRAS (breath-relax-aim-squeeze) cycle with a drill sergeant or other instructor...ad nausea! I often wondered why they needed to beat that into us so many times as a younger man.  As I got older I realized it was to make sure that we had a solid foundation in rifle marksmanship to build other skills and tasks onto.  A lot of folks talk about building "muscle memory" on the firing line where they automatically do things without thinking because they have repeated them so many times.  Well, "muscle memory" is a misnomer as muscles don't actually have memory,   matter of fact, like other tissue groups muscles break down and are replaced over time so any "memory" a muscle would learn would have to be relearned by new tissues over time. It the neurotransmitters and paths that become accustomed to sending signals to those particular muscle groups that gain memory. Its the brain being trained, not the muscle. Practice time is seldom wasted as long as it has some type of purpose and outcome.  Instead of heading to the range to put a box of ammo into a target as fast as possible to be the "Billy-Badass-Of-the-Moment", take time to slow down and practice the basics of pistol or rifle marksmanship.  Work on getting comfortable shooting for accuracy and then add speed, not the other way around.  And practice does not only happen on a range, take the time to dry fire your weapon at home (after ensuring its clear of course and no ammo is in it or any magazines being used) to practice keeping your front sight steady, changing mags or drawing from concealment.  I spend a least a couple of hours a month on the last bit there in my basement...er, man cave.


Conclusion

So where did all of this lead?  Well, next time the X ring is out of reach for you...instead of going and spending your cash on new sights or a widget you probably don't need at the LGS, spend some of that cash on a class at your local range or on range time to slow down and analyse your issue.  We have become a society used to the "quick fix" or "convenient" solution to a problem.  Sometimes its better to slow down, fix a marksmanship issue correctly and then once you are assured your fundamentals are sound, spend some money on better hardware to improve on this foundation.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Let's help a soldier celebrate their live day by helping him out!

Today is the 9th anniversary of my friend Gary's live day.   I would like to make a special request of my readers.  If you would be so kind, please consider donating money to the Building Homes For Heroes fund to renovate a home for Gary and his fiance in Florida.


After serving in Operation Noble Eagle after 9/11 with my National Guard battalion, Gary volunteered to be embedded with the 4th ID during the early stages of OIF when our vehicles lacked sufficient armor protection.   As a result of an IED Gary lost an eye, gained some souvenirs in the form of shrapnel still in his body and has residual affects of mild TBI.  He is doing well now working for a group who supports other veterans and life is going well for him.  It could go better with our help.  Just a few dollars can help the process of renovating a  permanent home for him and his fiance to move into down in Florida.

Please click on THIS LINK to donate.

The charity is tax deductible so I am assuming any donation you make will be deductible on your itemized 2012 tax return.

Thanks for you consideration.

Glad to still have you around Boggsy...

Another run with the Posse...


Hit the range for some camping and shooting with the Posse last week, that group of mostly retired Ohio National Guard folks, their family and friends I sometimes shoot with.  What a great time.  As per our usual SOP we set up camp and stayed overnight on Thursday to sit around a campfire, swap stories, update each other on things, discuss firearms, politics, sports and just about any other subject under the sun.  Friday we got up and, after breakfast,  we set up our range targets, had a safety brief and starting putting steel on target.

FOB Posse
It is still kind of surreal sometimes to be sleeping in tents around guys that up until a few years ago would of all been crashing on the ground wrapped up in ponchos and poncho liners.  Still, I have no complaints and am actually thinking about doing some more camping with my family (hopefully) or by myself.  There is something about being in the woods that just makes me smile inside.  Don't get me wrong, I like my creature comforts and am not going to be one of these bush craft guys that goes into the woods with nothing more than  a bandanna and mora knife, I will be well equipped.  If you like that stuff though, check out fellow Buckeye,  and co-host of the Discovery Channel's show Dual Survival, Dave Canterbury's Pathfinder School, located in Southern Ohio.  Word of caution, his advanced courses are not for the queasy as you may very well have to kill your dinner with your own hands.

I got up early to get a fire built from the still glowing embers
of the one from the night before.  There is just something about
sitting there in the cool morning air by the warmth of the
fire that just makes me reflect on all that is still good with
this otherwise messed up world we live in.  

Casa de Huey
I like to think that the Posse runs about as safe a range as can be run by a bunch of civilians.  Big thing is that we stress safety and we mutually trust one another not to do the wrong things around firearms.  This leads to a greater amount of enjoyment for all.  I can remember many times I have left our state firing range in Delaware, Ohio due to some yahoos on the line doing their own thing and not paying attention to the safety of others. (sorry buddy, if I am down range adjusting my targets after getting a cease fire and I turn around and you are meat pawing your Glock I am going to get up in your shit!).

This firing line is definitely ready...
Well, what did I shoot worth mentioning this time around...lets see.  Oh yeah, I got to shoot a model 1873 Springfield Trapdoor rifle in .45-70!  You want to talk about cool!  Not only was this the first actual .45-70 I have gotten to shot, but it was in one of the first firearms specifically designed for it!
Don't ever mistake age for inefectiveness...
What a neat gun, so full of history.  If you have read about the battle of Little Big Horn where Custer made his famous (and some would argue fatally stupid) Last Stand, this was the rifle those Cav troopers died holding.  It's a neat design as the breach block actually flips on a hinge over the top of the weapon, hence the name "Trapdoor".  Overall its a very interesting design and when you shoot it the .45-70 very authoritatively lets you know its left the building...just like you know who...

"Ladies and Gentlemen.....the .45-70 has left the building!"
 There were the normal mix of both old and new weapons, plain old shooters and a few exotic pieces.  In general, members of the Posse like old wooden service rifles and this time was no exception.  I brought both my 1903 and M1 for folks to shoot and also got a chance to fire some other military memories that could still go "boom" when asked to do so!
Oh yeah, I did bring another new addition to the gun locker worth mentioning....a Springfield Armory Loaded M1A!  Totally bought on impulse this rifle is now the love of my life.  You hear people talk about man and rifle becoming one, I now have a glimpse into what they are talking about.  This is a beautiful rifle, walnut and steel, cold and warm all at the same time.  When I hold it I feel almost like you can take on any obstacle it may be called onto engage.  Sure its heavy compared to an AR, but it also shoots a honest-to-God actual full power rifle round.  General George Patton is often quoted as saying the M1 was the finest battle instrument ever devised by man, I think he would of revised that opinion had he lived long enough to shoot a M14 (which is what the semi-automatic M1A is directly based off of).  I will do a more thorough review of this rifle later, but for now lets just say that it puts rounds where I want them consistently. 
Don't hate me because I'm beautiful...hate me because I can tag your ass out to 800 meters...
Overall a great time was had.  I had to leave early on Friday for personal reasons, but I can hardly wait to make up for that lost time our next excursions to the beautiful hill region of Southeastern Ohio!


Army still too fat to fight?


Is the Army too fat to fight?  Maybe yes says military leaders in an on going concern started a few years ago over the increasing obesity in the ranks.  Apparently 1 in 4 people applying to enlist are turned away for being too fat. This report from CNN gives just a glimpse into this issue plaguing our armed forces.  But is this really a crisis of national security?

Pictures like this circulate the internet, often by member groups of other
branches, truth is, the obesity problem stretches across all services...
...see
Traditionally, the military has tried to combat obesity by diet and exercise programs that troops are required to enroll in if they fail to pass set standards for height, weight and body fat percentages.  I can only really speak from the Army perspective, but I know all branches have some type of weight management program. The governing regulation in the Army (at least as of 2007 or so) was AR 600-9, The Army Weight Control Program.  As of my last period of service the height/weight standards for men and women were as follows....

Even in my youth at 19 at 72", I weighed over 200 pounds...but I also benched 325 pounds, could do 65 push ups, 75 sit ups and run 2 miles in under 14 minutes on my PT test too....
If you exceeded these screening table weight standards you were then measured with tape according to your sex - men on the neck and abdomen, women on the abdomen, hips, wrist and neck - and a body fat percentage was calculated.  This method was not perfect as water displacement and electric current resistance methods are more accurate, but like the PT test at the time, it did not require any special equipment other than the measuring tape and could be done "in the field".  Upon enrollment the soldier would be required to undergo nutrition and exercise counseling, to include additional PT periods, and weighed and taped monthly with an expectation that they would lose 3 pounds a month of maintain enrollment in the program.  Failure to do so could result in discharge from the military.  Regardless, the entire time you were found to be overweight your personnel records were "Flagged", meaning that (back in the "old days" of paper 201 files) a card would be stapled to the front of your personnel file which signaled that you were barred from any favorable personnel action like promotions and awards.  When I worked full time for the National Guard I had a Readiness NCO (top full time soldier in a guard unit) who had the phrase "flag him out" as part of his lexicon.  Of course this guy was old school and didn't realize that the program was designed to help soldiers and not run them out of the military unnecessarily.  Of course, I did do many discharge packets for weight control failure.



As a matter of disclosure, I will openly admit that I have been on the AWCP in the past, mostly later in my career.  Any pictures I may of posted previously of me on deployment will show a soldier who is "being all he can be", often more that Uncle Sam liked.  I was always a "big guy" and as a youngster I could handle the extra weight by exercise and activity.  Later in life and the military as genetics and my metabolism caught up to me finding time and energy wasn't always easy, especially when not in an active military status where you actually get paid to work out.  I wasn't always the best soldier I could of been, but I always passed my PT test regardless of how many extra pounds I may have carried.  Oh yeah, I was never flagged while I was an 11Bravo (Infantryman) either, it all came after I switched to Admin and sat in an office with coffee and donuts nearby. Yeah, all of that's an excuse, you can call me on it if you like....won't frost my balls.  I take full responsibility for my mistakes in this regard...and its all behind me now.   And no, I don't mean I have a fat ass....actually, I have no ass according to my wife.

Anyway, while the AWCP (and other similar programs in other services) combated the symptoms of what is a national disease, they did not address the problem.  That being that as a country...WE ARE FATTIES!

Our "heroes"?
We eat..and eat...and celebrate eating.  Ever seen Man-vs-Food on the Food channel?  We "biggie" size everything, including our food.  We even have game shows based on people losing weight.  Hell, even our PETS are fat! We are a fat nation...and apparently we are creating a fat military. 

Really?
Fat Cat and Porky Puppy
How did this happen?  Well in two words: American Exceptionalism.  We just got too damn good at being ourselves.  Centuries ago a "Rubenesque" figure was a sign of wealth and prosperity, we truly have (had) that.

We are a nation that actually has so much food we can afford to get fat.  You don't see too many commercials on TV with missionaries showing pictures of starving kids from this country (although we do have people right here every day that go hungry).  We throw and estimated 20% of our food away...20%!  When they talk of people in this country being worried that the won't have enough to eat a lot of times it means folks are worried about having enough food for multiple meals.  Many in the rest of the world relies on eating just once a day, if that. 

We are also more urban that rural now.  Back when we had an agrarian society many more people had to do manual labor to earn a living.  This helped burn calories in their diet that now go unspent with today more sedimentary lifestyle.  As we reached the industrial age people started to congregate in cities.  This had a few important impacts on American nutrition.

  1. The more regulated schedule of the industrial work in the factory conditioned people to force themselves to eat when "appropriate" instead of when hungry (the "lunch break").  Additionally,  the traditional rural practice of eating a larger meal in the middle of the day and lighter in the even was reduced with the introduction of the short lunch period, thus putting more food in our stomachs at the end of the day when our metabolisms are the slowest while sleeping
  2. The urban American lost contact with where their food came from.  Instead of being in an environment where they grew or purchased their own fresh vegetables and meat locally, the urban dweller was forced to buy their food from stores that grew larger and larger as time went on.  Advances in canning and other food storage technologies meant that less and less fresh vegetables and grains were consumed, replaces with salt laden canned and frozen varieties and breads lacking in whole grain nutrients stripped out for appearance sake. 
  3. Our desire for convenience extended to the food service industry where the words "fast" and "nutritious" didn't necessarily coexist in the same context.  Fat and sodium added flavor to the food but also added calories.  Also, the preparation methods were not always the healthiest with foods fried in saturated animal fats and palm oils being a the cheapest method but not very healthy.  To make matters worse, to attract business from the competition, chains started offering more food at lower prices.  A larger drink didn't cost them that much more and the increased business meant that profits soared.  Remember the move Supersize Me?  I don't agree with some of the stuff Morgan Sperlock has done in other political areas, but he was dead on in this movie.


What does all of this have to do with the military?

As I have stated before, the military is just a representative slice of America, if America is loaded with fatties who do you think will be walking into the recruiting stations to enlist?  I think its fair to say that the problem is more prevalent in the reserve component where guys and girls are not on duty 24/7 and have to balance a job, family and other commitments to make a living and doing PT may not be a regular occurrence.  In addition, many of the conveniences in the civilian world that helped caused the obesity epidemic have made it to the controlled environment of military life.  Burger King, Red Robin Sandwich shops and Anthony Pizza chains are located in all major military installations.  Even deployed locations are covered with fast food shacks to placate the pallet of the American soldier.

A Burger King at Kandahar, Afghanistan.  Since March 2010 these MWR food shacks have been shut down by Army leaders concerned that soldier's comfort facilities were using supply channels that could be better served providing combat supplies to the troops instead of burgers and coffee drinks.  
 We have a national epidemic of obesity that will someday come crashing down on us, if it hasn't already started to do so. What does obesity cost us as a society?

Well, the associated medial cost of obesity have risen to approximately $1 Billion for just military member, retirees, veterans and their families alone.  Take into consideration that the military is just a sample representation of the rest of the country, and that less than 7% of the population are veterans and you can guess at the total cost to our country.

To obese individuals, the costs are much more personal and higher...

  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood pressure
  • High "bad" cholesterol
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gall Bladder disease
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Issues related to structural strain due to joints and bones supporting more weight than designed
  • Sexual dsyfunction
  • Lack of enjoyment of life activities 
  • And the list goes on....
 I personally suffer from a HBP and Cholesterol issues that are partly genetic but no doubt aggravated by my current weight level.  And I am not alone.   Its too late for my personal health to affect the readiness of our military, but its not too late to make some changes for my personal benefit and that of my family.  A few extra minutes walking a day, fewer trips to the coffee shop for donuts during the work week, cut back on desert...oh yeah, and some physical exercise.  All of these would contribute to a few inches off of the waistline over time.  Right now I weigh 256 pounds, plus or minus a couple of pounds here and there around the holidays.  Lets see if I can get my weight down to 245 by Christmas and get at least within sight of my "fighting weight" by next Spring.

Anyone else want to join me for the challenge of slowing the progression to the grave? 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hooked a big one....

With my luck at fishing I would hook a Hi-Point... 
So a guy up around Boston goes fishing with his son, hooks what he thinks is a fish and too his horror finds a handgun on the end of the line.  Some people would be like "hooray!"  This guy was like "Run away!".

Story here.

OK, so finding something like this may be a big shock to some, but to Mr. Pina here, it was a harrowing and frightening experience...one he hyperventilated apparently while telling a reporter and apparently it was a "horrible" experience that his son had to see that as well.  WTF is this world coming to?  Horrible to just have you child look at a gun?  What about when reality sets in later in life and he learns that there are some 80 MILLION of them in the hands of his fellow US citizens.  Well, if he should cower in fear at the thought of one handgun, that information might make one just break down and die from fear now, wouldn't it?

OMG!...Its a GUN!!

This is why there are anti's in this country to begin with, we have a nation of "haves" and "have nots" in regards to firearm experience.  Those that "have" would think nothing of the sight of a handgun NOT being used unsafely, those that "have not" recoil in horror because they have been brainwashed into thinking that a gun will spontaneously kill everyone in the area on its own.  Sorry folks, it doesn't work that way.  A gun is a machine, just like any other machine it obeys the laws of physics in its operation.  Its no more likely to go off on its own than a car is to start up and drive away on its own, a washing machine to do the laundry without you there, the lawn mower to mow without you (although that would be awesome for yours truly if that actually worked) and so on.  A living, breathing and, most importantly, thinking person must activate it in order for it to fulfill its intended purpose.  As long as the person the closest to that pistol is thinking and rationale....and not panicking like and idiot in front of their child....that pistol poses no particular threat.  In this regard it appears Mr. Pina failed.
“When I pulled it up, I dropped it over at the pier. I didn’t dare to touch it.”
Really, you dropped it?  Now the vast majority of modern pistols have some type of drop safety mechanism in them to prevent discharges if dropped...that is when properly maintained.  This pistol (and I do not know if it was loaded or not) had been submerged in salt water for an extended period of time.  In this condition there is the possibility that a safety may malfunction.  So, by dropping it (and I do believe he means this literally because nothing in the article leads me to believe he would even think of touching it) you did probably the most unsafe thing with it possible at that moment.  Way to go. 

Respect firearms, don't fear them unless they are pointed directly at you by a person intent on doing you harm.

Another "Doh!" moment with firearms....

Tell me if you've heard this one before....

"....So this airline stewardess walks into an airport with a loaded .38....BANG!!"

Article over at Hellinahandbasket.net with full linkage to the news article.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Aiming at nothing...

Just a little food for thought...as applicable in life as on the range..



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Army decides to stick with the M9 pistol


Despite what some would of hoped would result in a new service pistol for the US Army, recent research into replacing the Beretta made M9 pistol have resulted in the ordering of another 100,000 of the pistols over the next 5 years, thus entrenching the 9mm pistol as the de facto standard sidearm for the foreseeable future.

I have nothing against the M9, to tell you the truth I never really had to use one other than qualifying with it one year (grabbed an expert badge for it the first time I ever picked one up and shot it that day!) back while I was still in the National Guard.  I think its a big pistol for the caliber and the grip is too big for some shooters with smaller hands.  I also am not a big fan of the slide mounted safety/decocker (Taurus copies the M9 as the PT92 uses a frame mounted safety which I think is better, just my two pennies worth...).  Other than that the larger frame and weight does help in managing recoil, the pistol is well made and strangely attractive in its appearance. It uses a double/single action, hammer fired, delayed blowback design (first shot it double action if carried with a round in the chamber and safety on, all consecutive rounds are single action).  It has a 15 round magazine (a source of much controversy of the weapons reliability depending on the manufacturer of the magazine) which is ample for its normally intended purpose as a secondary weapon to a rifle or carbine.

Then there is the caliber debate.... The 9mm round does not necessarily have the reputation for being a fight stopper in the hands of our troops.  A lot of folks were hoping that a pistol in either .40 or .45 would be picked over the existing round in use.  Matter of fact, the Marines just adopted the 1911 again for special ops types (including their MEU-SOC guys), in part because of the caliber.  For me it comes down to two basic root causes, ammo and training.

We are still clinging to a clause in a document we signed over a hundred years ago that forbids the use of hollowpoint ammo as being designed to produce excessive wounding.  Yet in that same 100 years we have developed weaponry that does much more horrific damage with a solid bullet than any hollowpoint could have been dreamed of doing in 1907.  We routinely arm our police officers with hollowpoint rounds even though our own Constitution forbids "cruel and unusual" punishment.  HP rounds work, in fact you could make the argument that they would extinguish a targets life faster than an round nosed bullet, thus actually reducing the amount of suffering.  But I digress, as long as we issue our troops +P solid core, round nosed bullets (our current M882 9mm round pushes a 112gr. FMJ at over 1250fps) we are going to keep punching nice little round holes in our enemies without effectively producing any stopping effects unless they hit bone or a CNS item (brain or spinal cord).  We have found out that psychological stops against our enemies don't happen all that often.  Lets get our troops some Hydrashoks or PDX-1 rounds and let them end the fight when it starts.

Secondly, its training.  No matter what round you give them, without proper training in using that weapon we could be shooting 105mm rounds at the bad guys and it doesn't matter unless you actually hit them.  That and hit them center mass and where it counts to make those bad people sit down and think about their evil ways. As far as I know, pistol training has never been very good in the Army.  Maybe that's changed recently and I just haven't noticed, but the people primarily given pistols (officers, medic, mortar gunners and the like) generally had other duties that precluded the active engagement of the enemy with their sidearms.  The general concept as I saw it happen was that the individuals would draw their pistols, be given a quick refresher on loading them so that they didn't shoot themselves or someone nearby, and then be put on the range to qualify.  The qualification standards weren't exactly like shooting an IDPA match either.  Like I mentioned before, the first time I ever picked up an M9 I took it to the range and qualified expert with it.   Hopefully, we are teaching our warriors better and I just have missed it being retired and all of that.
Can't be training...its not raining  (how many of you remember that!)
All-in-all, its not surprising we didn't switch.  The Army is a bitch to get to change directions once we have invested that much time and money into a platform (look how long the AR family of weapons has hung onto service with no end in sight) and with all of our NATO allies still firmly entrenched with the 9mm (part of the original reason with did away with the 1911 to begin with) it really made sense to them just to keep the status quo with a weapon that the troops were already familiar with and we had ample ammo already on order for.

Anyway, well congratulations to Beretta on getting another lease on life with the US Army and for producing a genuinely fine product worthy of being on the hip of our service men and women.



Friday, September 14, 2012

Stolen and I Know it...

"Man, I got to get me some of that fruit salad!" ~ Lil' Abner, Battleground


Tim McGraw is freaking awesome...

Country music isn't everyone's cup of tea, but you got to respect the following video where Tim helps give a new home to a Vet and his family, to include a new puppy for their little girl...

If this doesn't make you swell up a bit get the hell off my blog!


Rock the .mil vote!

Just a reminder....


Vote folks...I did it from Kuwait in 2008....exercise the rights you're defending over there,...I don't care who you vote for as long as you exercise the right to do so.

Godspeed to all of our troops and fellow Americans in harms way these days...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Brad Pitt...one of us?



“America is a country founded on guns. It’s in our DNA. It’s very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel the house is completely safe, if I don’t have one hidden somewhere. That’s my thinking, right or wrong.”
                                                                           - Brad Pitt

The above quotation was taken from a recent interview with the Hollweird acting star.  Many in the pro-gun community may take it as a sign he is a right wing political spokesman now.

Is Brad Pitt one of us?  If "us" is a gun loving American you are totally correct, if you expect it to mean he is going to be a card carrying Republican, well I am going to have to disappoint you.  Mr. Pitt is a strong backer of our current President and certainly not a republican.  This just goes to show what I have said for a long while, the 2nd Amendment does not apply just to one section of America, but ALL Americans.  Still, why Brad would back someone with an obvious anti-gun bias when he himself has such opposing views is beyond me, but then again voting based on just one platform position is often dangerous in an of itself.  I will respect both his right to choose whichever candidate he wants as well as his right to exercise the same 2A rights I do. 

Apparently his fiance, Angelina Jolie is also a gun gal as Pitt announced they will be constructing a private shooting range at their home in France as a wedding present to her.  

Jolie's father is actor John Voight, who is a republican by the way...and also a gun guy. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Monster Hunter: Legion

Author Larry Correia has released his 4th book in the MHI universe, Monster Hunter: Legion.


According to Amazon:


Monster Hunter International might be the premier monster eradication company in the business, but they’ve got competition.
 When hunters from around the world gather in Las Vegas for a conference, a creature left over from a World War Two weapons experiment wakes up and goes on a rampage across the desert. A not-so-friendly wager between the rival companies turns into a race to see who can bag the mysterious creature first.
Only there is far more to this particular case than meets the eye, and as Hunters fall prey to their worst nightmares, Owen Zastava Pitt and the staff of Monster Hunter International have to stop an ancient god from turning Sin City into a literal hell on earth.

I raced through the first two books in the series like a liberal through taxpayer money,  but got bogged down reading the third.  I got to go finish that one so I can get this one now!

Click  here to be taken to Amazon to buy it.

Oh and btw this is Larry showing his "support" for Recoil magazine...


Is that a banana in your holster or are you just happy to see me?

Posted over at EDNDO....


You just know I had to post this!!


Egypt and Libya pull the bull's balls.....


If you want a sure fire way to get your ass kicked...go ahead and find a bull and pull on his nuts...just try it, they don't like it one bit so when you are getting curb stomped and gored by it after it turns around and runs over you don't be surprised.

You pulled its balls, didn't you?
Yesterday mobs in both Egypt and Libya attacked our embassies and consulates and in the case of Libya, killed our ambassador and 3 other US personnel.

Congratulations folks in the mob....you just pulled the bull's balls.


This was all over a movie someone in Hollywood made that apparently makes fun of the Islamic prophet Mohammed.  So much for the "hope" and "change" the "Arab Spring" was supposed to bring to the oppressed people of these countries.  I didn't like Khadaffi (obviously you know this unless you are new around these parts) but dammit, our embassies never got attacked when he was in charge.  But now, we have governments that cannot provide security for our diplomatic missions...missions that have provided not only humanitarian but also military support (in the case of the Libyans) for their movements.   All I have seen is that the Libyan security forces stood up and then down against the mob, have not heard or read anything about Egypt even doing anything to stop them.

About that ball pulling....

Just to remind you folks in Tripoli (and other places like Benghazi where the rioting occurred) that it just wasn't a coincidence that your name appears in the lines of the Marine Hymn....

...good idea 200 years ago and still a good one today.

Not that I am necessarily condoning military action, just saying when American interests and especially lives are at risk I am a firm believer that our government, via the military, should take every possible precaution, measure and action to do what is needed to secure those interests and save lives.

And to our congress and senate mulling over BILLIONS of dollars in financial and humanitarian aid to these countries while our own deficit climbs....well, you know where I am going with this....

A cut above the rest...

The epic movie "Saving Private Ryan" has been on a few times this week on one of the cable channels.  I have watched it many times, but the scene I always have trouble watching is the one where Private Mellish is killed is still painful to watch...


I don't know...maybe its the way Mellish tries to plead for his life but the German won't relent (in all truth I doubt Mellish would of done any different and he did, after all, want to kill this particular guy earlier in the film) while the German offers this almost whispered delivery to him as he drips sweat and plunges his bayonet into Mellish's chest...
"Give up, you don't stand a chance! Let's end this here! It will be easier for you, much easier. You'll see it will be over quickly."
Maybe because its just because its simply its too horrific to think about dying like this.  Just thinking about knowing your life was about to end by this guy hovering over you and there was nothing you could do to avoid the pain of that blade being sunk into your body.  I know why Speilberg put this in the story, to show the personal horrors of war and all, but still I feel almost a "survivors guilt" type feeling that I never had to endure this type of event.  I know that sounds lame but its as close to an explanation that I can come up with.  

For Thousands of years death by a blade on the battlefield was the norm. I mean, before firearms, military forces really didn't have any choice.  Hell, as a form of honorable death many societies allowed captured soldiers to fall on their own swords instead of being executed.  Today though, the thought of having to get that close and personal to your target is not something most of us feel comfortable with.  When using a firearm there is much more distance between yourself and the physical body your are about to assault, at least in most cases the affect of not having to pit your strength and agility against your opponents directly.  



When I went through US Army Infantry training in 1987 we were still preoccupied with the thought of fighting a large mechanized war in Central Europe against the Soviets.  Hundreds of thousands of charging commies unleashing a wall of automatic weapons fire from their AK's and armored vehicles at us.  Not a whole lot of thought as to what would happen if you actually got close enough to one to tell they type deodorant he was wearing (trick question, they didn't wear any).  We got a day or so worth of training with a bayonet attached to a rifle to include the infamous assault course which guys actually went to the PX and got bars for their qualification badges with...wth?  Drills ate those guys alive when they found that shit out on their Class A's during pre-graduation inspections!  Hand-to-hand was about the same, a day in the saw dust pit to check a box off of a list in order to get us our treasured blue cords and discs....not a whole lot more than that. 
Current and former grunts know what this signifies....
Nowadays there is a whole new emphasis on going one-on-one with your enemy.  Lower intensity conflicts and a more urban combat space lately have caused more than one bad breath distance encounter to end at the point of a knife.  I think the USMC should be rightly credited for bringing hand-to-hand back to prominence across the board despite the fact that all special ops types have had advanced combatives taught for years.  Their Marine Corps Martial Art Program - MCMAP - has been well received by the Marines and has in my opinion caused the Army to follow suit with its Modern Army Combatives Program - MACP. 

From what I can observe through videos and documents on the net, both "styles" are more "MMA like" in their approach and do not strictly adhere to one particular philosophy or style or fighting.  There are a few differences that I can make out though. 


  • The Marines place a lot of emphasis on a rank structure than the Army does, even awarding different colored belts to be worn with the duty uniform (all belt colors are "tactical" in color and shading).
  • The Marines teach a lot more of their program in their boot camp than the Army does in BCT, its more of unit program in the Army.
  • The Army seems to do more ground work than the Marines do, and the Marines seem to incorporate more weapons training.


Check out the vids and decide for yourselves...

MACP


MCMAP

These are just a few casual observations from a guy who has watched some video, please do not take them at face value as an evaluation of one style over the other.  The important thing is that the services are teaching something other than what I was given access to as a young private.  Learning a combatives art like either of these allows for personal discipline and a warrior attitude to be built.   Those are important things in times like these where we may just send our young warriors into harms way and a knife or shovel may be all they have to fight with at the worse of times. 




Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good news for 9/11 - Al Qaeda #2 taken out!

Some good news on this somber anniversary....

Some drone jockey just got free drinks for a week down at the club for taking out AQ's #2 guy, Abu Yahya-Al-Libi, with a predator strike in Yemen yesterday. Burn in hell bitch...

To all that would try and do us harm as a nation even after we have kicked your ass for the past decade and decimated your ranks I give this warning...


Remember 9/11

Thoughts and prayers to all of the victims of 9/11 and to those that have given their lives since in the fight against terror in all corners of the globe...both Americans and our allies.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Most unique gun safe in the world (at least Ohio) for sale...

From Gunlistings.org....


Price drop**Custom Pepsi /Pop machine gun safe**


Up for your consideration is a very unique Gun safe. I custom built this Pepsi vending machine into a very nice Gun locker. . Its equipped with 2 LED touch lights. Fully carpeted, Custom built shelves , Rewired the lights and replaced with brand new Halogen bulbs , Lights up and looks very nice. I replaced all the labels with brand new labels and added 200LBS of sand. Constructed very sturdy. Brand new key and lock. Brand new decals, clean. Very sturdy and well built. Price is 650.00 , would possible trade. Thanks Will trade for: Firearms , Cash , A combination of both.







Wish I had the cash right now...