Saturday, September 10, 2005

The more I hear about NO, the more pissed I get

Geek with a .45 has numerous links to video of the actions of these clowns. Including an old lady being body-slammed into a wall. She wasn't threatening; an officer asked to see her gun, she showed it to him, and he slams her into the wall and takes it.

On top of everything else, this is- I'm so damn mad it's hard to type. There is, as various stuff at the Geek's place and others listed there and at the Carnival point out, nothing legal about this. This is violation of the highest law of this land, and the police and Guard and feds helping with it do not care. They've got their orders, and that's all that matters.

It's as clear a demonstration as possible, that all too often the police are NOT your friend; they are a tool of whoever gives their orders. It's a disgrace, and I'm looking forward to hearing of lawsuits and trials. The officers/personnel doing this, and the chief of NOPD should be charged AND sued for this.

God, I'm mad.

Oh, and let's not forget that the private security guards, including the guys with M-16s and other automatic weapons, aren't being disarmed; oh no, THEY'RE just fine in the chief's eyes. The sorry bastard.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Double-Barrel Carnival of Cordite

Now up at Gullyborg. Lots of disaster related stuff. And updates on the gun seizure BS in New Orleans.

They can't prevent looting, but they can steal your gun

The New Orleans PD, that is.

I first read about this on some news site earlier, and now Publicola has more on it, including links to other information and video. And a fine rant. It seems that there may well be federal agents and National Guard troops helping out in this. If so, want to be the Feds are using those NICS records they're not supposed to keep to tell the NOPD where to go? Illegal as hell, but want to bet against it? After that mess in VA at the gun show a couple of weeks ago?

Notice that the superintendant of police says ""No one will be able to be armed," Compass said. "Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns."" Not 'nobody carrying guns', but "allowed to have guns". Coming from the idiot who couldn't do anything about looters, in an administration that didn't bother to follow their own damned evacuation plan.

And how much are you willing to bet that the owners will EVER get their firearms back?

Isn't this crap just wonderful? Brings back that saying about "I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help".

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Wounded Warriors

Go to Mr. Completely, here, and read it. Then write.


With all the disaster preparedness posts going around, one thing that's almost always mentioned is flashlights. A standard-type can be found at the dollar store, along with batteries; quality, so-so. If you're willing to spend the money, you can find something like a Surefire; the least expensive G2 ain't cheap; but it'll blind somebody in a dimly-lit room or outside at night to amazing distances(thanks to the Geek for originally introducing me to these). And their bigger ones? DAMN! they're bright.

However, the one I mostly wanted to mention here is this beast, which doesn't even have a brand name on it:

I found it on Ebay, and the shipping cost more than it did. It's 3.5 inches long, the head is 1" across and holds 12 LEDs, and it runs on one AA battery. It puts out a nice, bright light with no shadows and a little bit of blue tint. I got this thing because I wanted a small light for the motorcycle kit, and it's a new gadget; having been without benefit of artificial light a few times, I tend to collect flashlights.

I've been using this thing for several months, a minute here, a couple there, and decided to see how long it'd last. So about 8 last night I turned it on and left it. When I left for work four hours later it was still bright. When I got home it was still on; not nearly as bright, I'd say enough to let you see where you put your feet at night. So this thing, on the battery that had already had use, put out full strength for at least four hours and was still burning at roughly 1/4 strength after 12 hours. That's not bad at all.

There are a lot of LED lights out there now, some good and some not. So for general use and for emergency kits, you might want to check them out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Axe, a test

I posted some pictures in the past of a fighting axe I made. I've used it off & on for trimming branches cut down in the yard, but never thought to treat it as a test. Then today, while I was pruning the trees(again) and cutting up the branches to stack, I remembered a: I have a camera and b: this would be interesting to actually check out. I had been snipping off stuff up to about 3/4" with short chops, not a lot of force, so I decided to measure some stuff and try some things.

First, this is the implement in question:

The head is a fraction shy of 7" long, the edge is 4 3/4"(following the curve), and it weighs about 1.25lbs. I'm guessing weight, I don't have a scale. The haft is oak, 36" from butt to bottom of the eye.

I took a couple of branches and propped them upright. Figure a full swing as being one you'd use with a timber axe to cut wood; one hand at the butt, one near the head, swing it up or sideways and then into the target, one hand sliding down to meet the other to amplify the swing of shoulders and upper body. This was made with one hand at the butt, the other about 2/3's up, making about a 1/2 distance chop with the hands staying in place:

This is elm, measured at 1.25".

Next was a piece 1.5" thick with just about a full-distance swing with hands same as before:

Both of these were a single cut. I've read that a sapling or branch of 1" diameter is roughly equivalent to cutting a human arm or leg bone, which means that either cut could neatly amputate an arm, and would come damn close to taking a leg off in one swing.

When they dug up graves at the Battle of Hastings site, among other things found were a body that had been cut in two at hip-level, the forensics people said by a single stroke. Some of the Saxons, the housecarls(most trusted warriors) of the chieftains in particular used axes with an edge up to a foot long, weighing several pounds, on a five- or six-foot haft. In the hands of a trained fighter, I have no doubt a single stroke could do it.

I've cut through 1" branches with single swings with a sword with no trouble, too. No wonder battles were so bloody.

Oh, while I was doing this my security team was doing some research of their own. Notice the apprentice testing tooth penetration, while the supervisor -er, supervises.

Further thought on disaster guns

A comment on my last post on this brought up shotguns, which for some reason I neglected to mention. Happily, others did not forget this(American Drumslinger here).

Big oversight. Two of the reasons a shotgun is recommended as a self-defense weapon are a: it's easier to hit accurately with a longarm than a handgun and b: NO handgun ever made can equal the close-range stopping power of a shotgun. Period.

Another reason often mentioned is sound effect. Just about anyone who might enter your home or business with ill intent will know what it means when they hear the sound of a pump or semi-auto shotgun being charged, and it often makes bad guys decide to leave very quickly.

I think I passed over them before mainly because I had in mind the reports from NO about idiots potting shots at people from rooftops and windows. Generally speaking, a rifle is a better weapon as the range stretches out, allowing accurate fire at greater distances. I say generally because a shotgun(especially with a rifled barrel) and slugs that agree with it can be amazingly accurate to 100-150 yards. If I could choose only one arm to have in case of a disaster like this, good chance it'd be a shotgun. With a mix of buckshot and slugs available, you can take on literally anything out to the aforementioned range- including, if you live in a place where they are, bears and moose if you're stuck in the boonies or they come into town.

There are two problems with a shotgun; recoil and weight. A 12 guage with buckshot or slugs has what some people have described as 'brutal' recoil, and in a lightweight arm it can be nasty. It makes practice more difficult for some folks. You can reduce this by using a 20 guage instead of 12. At home-defense ranges the bad guy won't know the difference, and recoil is significantly less, making it more comfortable to shoot(making practice in good times and accurate repeat shots in bad times easier). Weight is more of a problem. Not in the weapon, in the ammo. No way around it, if you're carrying sufficient ammo for the possibility of having to fight off a gang of looters, shotgun shells are heavy and take up more space than rifle/handgun ammo.

Price is a good factor with them. You can pick up a good quality pump for less than $200 in some cases, and if the barrel is too long it's easy to have cut down; a gunsmith or a gunny friend who knows the procedure can take care of it. And some/I think I've seen Mossberg put out this out/ can be had with a short slug barrel and a longer bird barrel as a set, fast and easy to change.

Overall, the shotgun has a definate place in this. If the comments about recoil above scare you, I apologize, that's not the aim. Recoil sensitivity varies a lot with people(I know grown men who don't like .45's for that reason, and small women who aren't bothered by it), so try it out; it may not bother you at all. If it does a bit, there are options, like adding a high-quality recoil pad or, as I mentioned before with the Benelli Nova, a recoil absorber that fits in the butt.

So don't forget the shotgun as you weigh your options.

Monday, September 05, 2005

St. Penn's Bogus Navigational Journey; I can't pass this up!

If you haven't already heard about this, Sean Penn decided to heroically rescue people from New Orleans. In a small boat. Including "...with members of Penn's entourage, including a personal photographer". Wearing "what appeared to be a white flak jacket". And almost sank.

This was so funny I almost choked laughing, and that was before I read Steve's take on it. And then, praise be, at Little Green Football he's got links to PICTURES!

It's just bloody wonderful. Idiot kisser of dictator ass goes for a big photo op and almost drowns himself. Of course, there's so much pollution in the water right now it's a shame to add more...

And if you're wondering: hell no, I don't think he seriously intended to rescue people. If he did, he'd have had a bigger boat and left his entourage back home. Including the damn photographer, whose presence is one of the big giveaways as to the real intent. If he actually DID believe he was going to accomplish something with that mess, then he's too stupid to be out in public without a keeper. Which he probably is, from past evidence.

In any case, go read and enjoy.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Another thought on disaster guns

The posts I linked to earlier (here) had a number of good suggestions, both in the articles and in the comments. I thought I'd add two things here.

A tube-magazine rifle, like a lever- or some pump-actions, has two problems: they're slower than many others to load/reload, and more difficult to unload. But if that's not a problem for you, there's two good possibilities to consider. First, a lever-rifle in a pistol cartridge, like .45 Colt, .44-40 or .357 Magnum. If you have a pistol in any of these cartridges, you can use the same ammo for both pistol and rifle. And if you have problems with handguns, for instance living someplace like Chicago, these can somewhat take the place of one. Jeff Cooper once wrote of a man who lived in Chicago and showed up at Gunsite for a training class with a Winchester Trapper, a lever-action in .45 Colt. Since he couldn't have a handgun he'd taken this rifle, which has a 16-inch barrel, cut the stock down to the minimum overall length, and used that as his home defense weapon. Cooper said it worked out pretty well. This can also help out if you live in a place where an eeeevill assault weapon, like an SKS or AR-15, could cause you problems; few places will cause you heartache over a cowboy rifle like this.
The same could be said for a new rifle out, the Taurus Thunderbolt(reviewed here). It's a remake of the old Colt Lightning. From the report it's fast, accurate and reliable.

Another thing in their favor is power. All these cartridges have good reputations as fight-stoppers in handguns; add in the velocity you get from that 16-inch barrel, and you've got a serious boost in power, enough to make them able to give accurate fire out to 100 yards or a bit beyond.

One more thing. A .357 Mag chambered rifle can also fire .38 Special ammo, so you can use less expensive .38s for practice, and if stuck somewhere and you need to whack small game, use a .38 instead of the magnum.

The other thought was, if you have a problem with noise/recoil/whatever and just cannot deal with a powerful centerfire rifle or pistol, consider a .22. Not exactly the ideal cartridge for self-defence, but it has the following going for it:
Quiet, compared to just about any centerfire.
Virtually no recoil.
This last in important because if you trust in a .22 for your defense armament, you need to be able to hit where you aim, and make multiple hits(especially at close range); you don't have enough power to trust in 'close enough'. .22 ammo is CHEAP. Match grade can run as high or higher than some centerfire, but good-quality stuff can be had for anywhere from less than a dollar to two dollars for a box of 50. You can find what gives the best result in your firearms, buy it by the brick(500 rounds) and shoot a lot for not much money, which both increases your skill level and is fun.
And a good .22 rifle or handgun can be downright cheap compared to a lot of other firearms. A Ruger Mark II or 22/45 can be had for less than $300 new, same for the Browning Buckmark. Add a half-dozen spare magazines and go to the range. And there are a number of revolvers that are also very affordable. In rifles a slide-action or semi-auto can be had for less than $300, often less than $200. For instance, a Ruger 10-22 will run about $150-175 new, maybe less for a good used. Get a bunch of spare magazines, and you can deliver accurate fire as fast as you can aim and shoot for as long as the magazines hold out. And the fact is, you're not liable to need than many. If you need them, though, they're right there in your pocket or bag.

Just some thoughts I thought I'd throw out. Or in. Or whatever.

Gun show weekend!

And for a change, I was able to go.

I almost hate going to these things at times, because at a good show there's so much stuff you'd like to buy! Guns and ammo and cleaning stuff and knives and slings and reloading gear, and so on. This was a pretty good show, so a lot of drooling was done. Yes, I mopped up after myself.

Lots of surplus rifles, Enfields and Mausers and SKS and AK-47 clones; commercial and military pistols and rifles; knives; not as much cleaning stuff as usual. Some clothing, belts, lots of holsters of various types. And lots and lots of ammo. Ammo for almost everything.

This was a sort of family affair, too. My dad came in for it, and since my son was off work, he came along. Dad found some stuff he wanted/needed, I did, and my son found something he wanted. In the kids case a soft-air gun(I think his roommate has an annoying cat).

So a good time was had by all. Only things I was actually looking for that they didn't have was some case lube for reloading, and I need a bullet mold to throw a .38-caliber bullet of 200 grains. No luck on either of those.
But overall, quite nice.