Saturday, November 05, 2005


Real ones. No, I'm not kidding.

I've been reading about this for years. It's been worse in the southwest Asian waters where piracy is a looong tradition, but it's never actually gone away anywhere, including the Caribbean. What brought it back to mind was a post at Publicola on an incident off the coast of Somalia, pirates attacking and trying to board a cruise ship(Muslim corsairs strike again!). That made me look around, and I found this at Hell in a Handbasket.

Which, in particular, makes me wonder what the rules are on cruise ships. I know some have shotguns for skeet shooting, are the crew told/allowed to use them to repel boarders? Birdshot wouldn't be that good, but if you had a case of 00 buck on board, pirates and inflatable boats like those in this incident would be vulnerable. 'Course, the lawyers and weenies in a cruise company would probably have fits at the idea(why wouldn't the idea of having several hundred people with no defense except running bother them?), and some countries would have cows at the idea of a non-naval ship with arms for self-defense.

The latter has been a problem for a lot of people. I think it was last year a guy leaving Singapore(I think) was chased down and boarded by police because a crewman the owner had fired told the police he had guns on board. Turned out to be a shotgun and handgun(again, I think) specifically for pirates. That's a wonderful thought; he's leaving, almost out of their territorial waters, and they chased him down over this. Jeez, don't you just love it? Being Singapore, if the ship was looted and burned the pirates- if caught- would probably have been hanged or something, but that wouldn't have done the crew any good. A lot of countries get real snippy at the thought of someone having guns of any kind on a ship in their waters, including small private boats. They won't protect you if someone's coming over the rail in the middle of the night, but they'll damn sure jail and/or fine you to death for being armed.

Over time I've seen several reports of people repelling boarders with shotguns and/or rifles, and in some of them I remember they waited until they were home to talk about it; being worried about being jailed by the local authorities(when you can find them in some cases) will cause you to do that. The two cases I remember best, one woke up in the night to find them coming into the hold(he grabbed a Mini-14 and opened up) and in the other the ship was attacked in daylight; while one guy handled the boat the other used a shotgun and 00 buck to take care of business.

I've never had a chance to take an ocean trip. On a cruise ship I'd think the risks from run-of-the-mill pirates would be less, but nowadays the chance of terrorists trying to grab and/or sink the ship is greater; on a small ship(no, I can't remember the difference between a ship and a boat other than size) in many parts of the world pirates would be a real concern. In the case of a boat of my own, I'd damn well have at least a shotgun and handgun with a sufficient amount of ammo, and good places to hide them from customs inspectors, coast guard, etc. Damned if I'd trust my and other people's lives to the hope that if I call for help the cavalry will arrive in time.

Which does bring up a question: you're a member of crew or passenger on a ship sailing through an area where pirates(or just call them theiving assholes on water) could be a concern; what weapons would you take? In addition to the shotgun and handgun, I'd also like a semi-auto rifle, preferably something with a large magazine. I have little experience with automatics, and the paperwork for getting one is a pain and some places that would choose to ignore other things would break out in spots and handcuffs if you had a select-fire weapon on board. Since you'd be thinking of damaging their boat as well as the pirates, for the shotgun 00 buck and slugs in plenty. For the handgun, probably heavy hollowpoints like the Federal 230-grain Hydra-Shoks in .45; good stopping power on people and good penetration on their vessel. For the rifle? I'd lean toward something .30-caliber, this being a place where an SKS might be good. Reliable, plenty accurate for the work, ammo sufficiently powerful for both boat and people, and if it was damaged or lost overboard you wouldn't have the same level of screaming and upset as if you lost a $1000+ AR15 or something. What do you think?

(Yes, I know the U.N. has forbidden piracy and other such anti-social acts. I don't think I trust the bad guys to obey the U.N. Hell, nobody obeys the U.N. Except us, in too many cases where we should tell them to kiss our ass. But that's another post)

Update 11/9: Les Jones had a piece here that included some piracy information, including a link to The High Road that has the story of the sailing ships with the shotgun, here. Thank you Les!
And speaking of .50 Brownings and pirates

Friday, November 04, 2005

Paris(while it's still there)

Ok, it probably won't be that bad, but it's pretty damn bad. I've been looking at different places and different accounts, first- and second-hand. So far, this seems to be the worst:
"A handicapped woman was doused with petrol and set on fire by youths during another night of rioting in Paris. The 56-year-old suffered third degree burns to 20% of her body in the attack."

I've had second and third-degree burns; they hurt like a sonofabitch, and mine were over nowhere near 20%. And any burns over that large an area can kill you. But let's ignore that for a moment, and try to figure this: what kind of asshole does it take to do this?

And this is one incident of many. Instapundit and Michelle have a lot of links on this mess, and it's pretty bad. It looks like the incident of the two kids being electrocuted was the excuse these bastards needed to start this; they've been building up to it for a long time. For the last several years there've been articles about the mess in these parts of French cities; gangs ruling, police afraid to go in except in groups with automatic weapons, gang rapes, Jewish cemetaries and places of worship damaged and burned, Jews attacked, the whole damn list. I can't remember where the article was, but about a year ago read where there's been a regular circular trade going on; ragheads in France stealing high-dollar cars, smuggling them to eastern Europe to sell, taking part of the price in and/or taking money and buying automatic weapons and RPGs, then using those to knock off banks and armored cars and such. And, as one or two people have pointed out, here for instance, a lot of big media have gone way out of their way to avoid mentioning that muslims are the rioters; to the point that it slaps you in the face that instead of reporting news they're actively trying to manage and control what people hear and how they'll hear it. Which means, more than ever, what you get from the BBC or whoever has to be viewed with great suspicion and cross-checked('course, we've been doing that for a while anyway, but still...).

A guy who wrote to Insty wrote this:
"There's just no damn jobs. White college grads can't get jobs, what hope do immigrants from regions with bad schools have? I think this is more like the LA Rodney King riots -- there's people there who want the French dream, just as in LA people wanted the American dream, but they just don't see it when they look around, and they resent the fact enormously."
There's an amount of bullshit there, the King riots were a bunch of assholes using that trial as their excuse to loot and burn(much like these clowns and the electrocuted kids).From what he says, though, the muslims in question in France have no choice where to live or go to school and little chance of getting out, which would definately push things toward 'worse'. Especially with the fundy kiss-the-prophets'-ass people stirring it up further.

And, if what can be dug out is correct, the French government is making it worse by, instead of taking concrete action to stop the rioting, arguing about whether 'tis better to appease the assholes or actually, maybe, making them stop.

The French really have two options; play appease and pay and plead and watch the rioting get worse, or do something hard and nasty that , while it'll cause condemnation by the usual suspects, might actually help. 'Course, if the commenter at Insty is correct, one of the things that would have to happen to really make a difference would be to make big changes in the French government and society, and barring a flat-out civil war that ain't gonna happen.

At least not in time.

Carnival of Cordite #37

At the usual place, the wondrous Gullyborg, and including a couple of pieces by yours truly.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ah, the tormenting of friends...

Also a range report

As mentioned before I wasn't able to make the NoR shoot(forgive me, K, for I have sinned), but there was a, ah, slight compensation. Which leads to the 'torment' above.

There was a small gun show I went to. Didn't know it was small until I got there, but a nice one in any case; found some things I needed/wanted, including the item in question here. I mentioned to Og what I'd found, he replied "!!*%#! Not a .22?" I said yes, and he called me unkind things, some of which referred to my family and parentage.

What I found was this, an Enfield training rifle:

Looks just like a standard #1 Mk3, except it's bored for .22 long rifle. One of the interesting things about the Enfield series is the two-piece bolt, body and head. With a standard rifle, if excess headspace developed a larger(longer) bolt head could be installed to correct it. In this case, a standard bolt head had an insert fitted to the inside with an off-center hole extending through the face. A firing pin was placed in the hole; the standard striker was cut off in front of the wide section near the front, so when you pull the trigger the striker hits the pin and bang. The extractor was modified to reach and hold the rimfire cartridge, and there's no ejector; the magazine is just the shell, and when you pull the bolt back the empty is pulled out of the chamber and falls into the mag body. So you have a rifle that is slightly heavier than the same rifle in .303(more steel left in the barrel), same sights and all, so you could start trainees off with a fairly quiet arm with virtually no recoil. A friend of mine got hold of one of these a couple of years ago, and it's a fun rifle to shoot, so when I ran across this one I was quite happy.

What caught my eye originally, though, was one of two unusual things about this one. In the rack it looked like another #1 until I saw this:

That is the rear sight from a Ross rifle. The Ross is a straight-pull bolt design, so what was that sight doing on it? Then I found that it was a .22 and... You'll notice in this picture the other oddity: that sling swivel in front of the magazine. It's not on my friends' rifle, or on a standard #1. The swivel base is part of the trigger guard, and if it was welded on it was a damn nice job; I'm thinking it was forged this way originally. I'd seen this third swivel on the WWII sniper rifles, but not on anything else. So it's a training rifle with the standard front and rear sights, with this bracket mounting a Ross sight on the receiver and a third swivel. Which information caused Og to say more unkind things about me, the brute, because these indicate it's one that was set up as a match rifle.

But the big question is, does it shoot? Yeah, yeah, collectable, blah blah. If it won't shoot well, I don't really want it. There are things I would make exception for, but a .22 that won't hit anything? So today I hied myself and it off to the range. Being short on time I went to the indoor range(H&H) where I mostly practice handgun. They have a 30-yard rifle side, and you have a rest for the forend, so I wasn't trusting to my somewhat wavering offhand style. The following four targets were:
First, with the Ross sight removed(pull one screw and it slides off the base) and the standard rear sight, using Eley Sport ammo:

This one was the same ammo with the Ross sight:

That high one was a called flyer.

Third was some of the Sellier & Bellot ammo that's on the market:

Last was shot with my favorite: Federal Lightning(now Champion):

Low shot was called flyer.

So yeah, it shoots. When I can I'll put it on a solid benchrest at 50 and 100 yards and see what it'll do, and I think it'll do well. This is about the same accuracy I get with this ammo and the Martini match rifle under the same conditions, so I'm quite hopeful of the results.

It doesn't make up for missing the shoot, but it's very nice anyway. A fine rifle, a variation of an already hard to find piece, with some undoubtedly interesting history behind it, and I get to care for it for the next however long.

Steam, Og. Mwahahahahaha!

Additional: The Eley Sport ammo seems to be very good stuff, it's one of the two most accurate in every rifle I've tried it in. And while the top-grade Eley Tenex runs about $11/box, the Sport can be had for $1.50 or so. And I remain amazed by the results from the cheap(pricewise) Federal ammo. In several rifles, from a Remington bolt to Martini match to Marlin semi-autos, it's consistently shot at least equal to and in most cases more accurately than anything else, including some $5/box match stuff. No, I'm not spending fifty dollars to get several boxes of the Olympic-grade stuff to test, not when these two give such good results. If you're shooting serious matches, it may well be worth it to you; it ain't to me, not now.

Remember that guy Ritter?

Scott Ritter? The 'former Marine Officer', as the 'anti-war' people liked to put it? Who turned out to be both a liar and a jerk who talked-up kids? Tim Blair compared some of his statements from 1999 and last month here. Example:
"Scott Ritter last month:
[B]y 1995 there were no more weapons in Iraq, there were no more documents in Iraq, there was no more production capability in Iraq because we were monitoring the totality of Iraq’s industrial infrastructure with the most technologically advanced, the most intrusive arms control regime in the history of arms control.
Scott Ritter in 1999 (extract from Ritter’s Endgame):
In 1995 Unit 2001 conducted tests on live human subjects taken from the Abu Ghraib prison, using BW and binary CW agent. Around fifty prisoners were chosen for these experiments, which took place at a remote testing ground in western Iraq. The purpose of these experiments was to test the toxicity of available agent to ensure that the biological agent remained viable. As a result, all the prisoners died."

Be it said, I have a huge respect for the Marines and the men they turn out. Be it also said that, being a big organization, there's no way it can avoid having its' share of jerks. And just because someone was a good Marine doesn't mean they'll be wonderful at all other things. Look at John McCain; fine officer, fine service to his country, but look at what he's done as a Senator. Financial scandals, selling out people who trusted him and so forth. Ritter seems to be one of the bad ones, selling out when he saw benefit in it. And this is a good example of his selling out, and of how a lot of the 'peace and anti-war' people use the military when they take notice of them at all; he said what they want to hear, so he's a 'former Marine who should be listened to' when their usual reaction toward the military is moaning about fascists and those who allow the U.S. to ruin the world.

Ok, that's enough bitching on my part. Read Blair's post.

Additional: I mentioned yesterday the Democrats taking the Senate into closed session and the bullshit involved. Here's some interesting quotes from the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act. Let's see, Bush wasn't President then, was he?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I's back

And a bit rested. So I need to catch up on some stuff.

First, the Carnival of Cordite(number 36 yet!) is up at Gullyborg. The announcement came out after I left town, so this is a late notice. And I don't care; I couldn't make it to the NoR shoot, but it was a good trip.

Speaking of the NoR, Gun Guy has pics up the the NoR site, plus his reaction to a presentation a lot of us put something into, plus his usual observations and a fine bunch of blog links. Start at the top and work your way down, it's worth it.

Speaking of Gullyborg, he's got a fine post on the Democrat weenies taking the Senate into secret session here.

So the Pres chose a guy named Alito as his pick to the SCOTUS. I admit that before I read anything about him, the fact that Reid and Schumer were speaking solemnly of their 'disappointment' and generally having the vapors(along with the usual suspects) told me a lot of what I needed to know.

I had a whole list of things in mind last night, but after sleeping and eating and taking care of things around the house, I can't remember most of them. Shut up. It'll happen to you, too.

I'll add some of them in when they come back to mind.
Remembered a big one. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership(here) found that when ATFE was questioned as to their testing manual for firearms, they came back with this: they ain't got one. Think about that; their 'experts' are testifying in court, people go to jail and/or have their lives ruined, and they don't have a standard testing procedure... There is no excuse for this kind of crap. Remember when all the screaming after the 'sniper murders' in MA tended to center on "ATF can't audit a firearms business more than once a year"? Bullshit. My understanding is they can make as many announced audits as they want, but can only do one unannounced audit a year, and the reason is their own past. A few years back a bipartisan congressional committee that investigated ATF slapped them with this restriction, among others, because they'd been abusing their authority. This feeds right into it; how can a law enforcement agency have their people testifying in court, under oath, when they don't even use a standard procedure? Because it's easier to jail people that way, I guess. There were reports in the past of ATF 'testers' taking semi-auto rifles, putting in a light firing pin spring or a heavier pin and using ammo with sensitive primers to 'test' them; if they got it to double once, "Well, we got us an illegal machine gun here!" and somebody winds up on trial. It's a lot easier to get away with crap like this if you don't have a standard procedure that a: you have to follow and b: can be pointed out in court. JPFO has the document available here, and you really should read it.
I'll add that this is another case of the assholes making is hard for the honest. I've dealt with some ATF people who were as helpful and easy to deal with as you could wish, and their job gets harder every time something like this comes out.

Little Green Footballs has this and this on the rioting by primarily muslims in France. You know, that multi-culti heaven where all is well, and we should follow their example? Like this example, I guess:
"Sarkozy says that violence in French suburbs is a daily fact of life.

Since the start of the year, 9,000 police cars have been stoned and, each night, 20 to 40 cars are torched, Sarkozy said in an interview last week with the newspaper Le Monde."

The caliphate, anyone?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Did you miss me?



In any case, back whole and reasonably healthy. No trick-or-treaters, which is a bummer. It's now late, I'm tired, and I've got stuff to write about. Tomorrow.

Except for this. Val notes that Castro and Chavez have been caught paying off politicians in Bolivia; and now the same in Brazil. You know, where the president was pushing for a ban on the ownership of arms? The president who, it turns out, has been bought and paid for by the worst dictator in the Western world? Gee, why would a corrupt politician, bought by a communist dictator, want the people disarmed? Any thoughts?

To borrow from Misha again, 'Lamppost, rope, politician: some assembly required'.