Saturday, June 10, 2006

FMJ and dum-dum and hollowpoints, oh my!

Ok, it's bad. But the stuff James put up on the subject is good. Very good. Know where the term 'dum-dum bullet' came from? Go check it out.

The newest fuss about the .223 M16

Few days ago Kim simply posted this article without comment.

On the M16 itself I'll stay out of the argument. People like Chris think it's a fine platform; people like Ogre think it sucks rocks. I put a total of about ten rounds through an AR15 one day, so I don't have a personal basis for comment. On the ammo, I'll argue based on what I've heard from people who've used it in combat and the great amount of written documentation on it.

Overall, I tend to think it sucks, and very few people seem to disagree. It's a cartridge designed for whacking varmints and putting very small holes in targets as the .223 Remington, and calling it the 5.56x45mm and fiddling with the bullet doesn't change that. You can increase penetration, but with anything short of a soft-point still leaves you with the same thing: a small-caliber bullet of light weight with serious drawbacks as a combat cartridge. Yeah, you can carry a lot of it for the same weight as a smaller amount of .308 or 6.8 or whatever, but if you are counting on spraying a lot of shots without really aiming you get this attitude:

“The brilliant thing about that bullet is that it allowed the infantrymen to easily carry 300 rounds,” Sprey says. “Whereas the old sharpshooter’s heavy, slow round — he could only carry 100.”

In the chaos of war, the more bullets the better, he says, because bursts of automatic fire beat one big bullet at a time.

“There is no such thing as a well-aimed shot in combat, because combat is fought by scared 18-year-olds who haven’t been trained enough and are in a place they’ve never seen before,” Sprey says.

'No such thing as a well-aimed shot'. I call bullshit on that. Among other things we have the evidence of action reports of bad guys taking numerous well-aimed shots and not going down until after they've wounded or killed someone. And what's this 'heavy, slow round' bullshit? The bullet is indeed heavier but the velocity difference isn't much.

And there are so many possibilities for better! There's the new 6.8 Grendal, there's the 6.5 Swede, there's the bloody 7mm Mauser for God's sake! Don't want an old cartridge or something called a 'Grendal'? Take the .308; shorten the case, go to a 120-grain bullet and call it the .30 Short or 7.62 Improved or something.

Just as a thought, I have to wonder if Sprey, quoted above, was one of the MacNamara 'whiz kids'? It would explain a lot.

Friday, June 09, 2006

7.5 Swiss progress

Got the full-length die set in(yay!) and, since this involves both expanding the neck of the cases from .284 to .308 and setting the shoulder back a touch, I decided to invest in a can of Imperial Sizing Die Wax, which Midway has on sale right now.

It's a small tin full of a medium-hard whitish wax. Rub your finger across it and it does come off on your skin. Gave it a try and this stuff is great! Slick as the proverbial greased owl snot. The label says 'Use Very Sparingly' and they're not kidding. I wiped a coat on the cases, and used a cotton swab to wipe some inside the case neck. All 50 cases went through very nicely, no splits or other problems, and all fit- the bolt closes and locks on them with no problem.

One reason I wanted to load is so I can work up some cast-bullet loads for practice, and I think I'll use these for the first firing of these cases, both to work up the load and to fire-form the cases to the chamber. Checking some of the gun boards I found a couple of load suggestions. I've got a RCBS mold that throws a 150-grain gas-check bullet that I use for .30-30; it also works nicely in a .308 I tried it in. I'm going to try it in the 1903A3 when I get a chance, and if it works well in the 7.5 I'll have a bullet I can get a LOT of use out of. And one of the powders suggested is 2400. This is one of my favorite powders for a number of things, partly because it meters so well; it flows through a powder measure like water, no binding or sticking. I use it in a cast-bullet load for 8mm and .30-30, so I'm hoping it works well here also. A lot of people say they get the best results with a heavier bullet; we'll see how this goes.

Not just for the 7.5: Midway also has factory seconds of the Caldwell 5.5" stick-on targets on sale, the kind that changes color around a bullet hole so it's easier to see at a distance: pack of 50 for $3.99. I ordered some same time as the sizing wax. I have no idea why they're seconds, I can't find a thing wrong with them. And since the usual price is about $15, if you use these I'd suggest ordering while they've still got them.

Congressional hearings coming in OKC Bombing

KTOK reported this yesterday, and links to the story at the McCurtain Daily Gazette:

In what some on Capitol Hill are calling a surprising decision, U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde has given the nod for hearings into the long-debated question of whether those responsible for the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building had help from any foreign source.

Spurred to action by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., Hyde has given Rohrabacher’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee the wide-ranging authority to conduct interviews and subpoena documents related to the April 19, 1995, terrorist attack that left 168 dead, 19 of them children.


Forecasting the areas of particular interest the congressional investigation could take, Rohrabacher promised to look carefully for any evidence linking the cabal to Arab terrorists and or to a German national in this country illegally in 1995, Andreas Carl Strassmeir.

In his letter seeking authority for hearings, Rohrabacher wrote: “It is highly likely that the Arab connection and/or the Strassmeir connection played a significant role in the planning and execution of the murderous bombing of the OKC federal building. In both possible scenarios, the official investigation fell short and further investigation has been discouraged ever since.”

There's been a lot of controversy from the first about various connections to foreign nationals, and just maybe this'll finally get through some of the walls that had been thrown up.

Rohrabacher also noted that much of the investigation would focus on a spate of documents recently unearthed during a Freedom of Information lawsuit in Salt Lake City, Utah.

While attempting to piece together evidence in the mysterious death of his inmate-brother in August of 1995 at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center, attorney Jesse Trentadue has sued the Oklahoma City FBI office for documents that might shed light on the inmate’s bizarre demise while locked up in a suicide-proof cell.

While the documents obtained in the suit have been heavily redacted, they do appear to link Strassmeir to a foiled “sting operation” involving the federal government, McVeigh, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Oklahoma City bombing conspiracy.

I've mentioned some parts of the Trentadue case before; the documents dragged out of the Justice Dept. and the FBI have plainly shown that various lawyers and federal agents flat lied in the investigation of this mess. Maybe, maybe, this'll finally drag more of this out in the open.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Have I mentioned that the U.N. can kiss our ass?

Especially after this?

Let's see, they stand around while mass murder happens, take about two weeks to show up at a disaster site where we and the Aussies and Japan have had people doing relief work for the said two weeks, their blue hats run child rape and prostitution rings- with UN protection for the blue hats, of course, officials take bribes from Saddam, but it's OUR FAULT the UN is being seen in a bad light.

Let's not forget the attempts to trash our Bill of Rights, because of COURSE us PEASANTS can't be trusted to own arms.

Oh no, Kofi, it's not Rushs' fault; it's yours. Yours and every other corrupt, nanny-state bureaucrat and politician trying to take over our lives and pissing on us while they do it.

YES! Zarqawi has assumed ambient temperature!

(The pieces of him, anyway)

Murdering terrorist waste of oxygen confirmed dead. The al-Quaida pig fornicators are of course speaking of the 'martyrdom' of this shameful example of humanity, but what would you expect from a bunch of sterling examples of retarded development such as them?

Now to bury the remains with a few nice strips of bacon.

Additional: check out Lileks' column on those who refuse to see or admit the 'common thread' in the terrorist arrests in Canada.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Thoughts on rifles for home defense

I'm not speaking of firefight in SHTF situations, I'm speaking specifically of home defense. I'd break this down into two categories: home defense in a city, and in a rural area.

City, to my thinking, you're somewhat restricted. Most rifles you'd consider as fighting tools are too powerful; unless you use some type of frangible bullet that'll break up on hitting a target, overpenetration cannot be avoided. That leaves two categories: .22 or other rimfire rifles, or rifles chambered in pistol cartridges.

A .22 isn't much, but as it's been said "A .22 in your hands is worth a lot more than a .45 you don't have with you". Probably a semi-auto would be best, you could keep the magazine loaded/chamber empty until needed. And half-a-dozen 40-grain bullets in the boiler room is going to slow ANYBODY down unless you're dealing with a true nutcase or someone wigged out on drugs or something. In which case, you keep firing until the threat ends. With something like a Marlin or tube-mag you can have up to 15 rounds of .22lr; that's a lot of damage in waiting. And three advantages of a .22: first, you can get a good-quality rifle for less than $200 new; second, someone with recoil-management problems can handle a .22 with no difficulty; third, good ammo is cheap which means someone on a tight budget can afford to practice more. Big downside, not a lot of power there in each shot, which means practicing firing multiple shots into a vital point(see here for some good info on that).

Now, rifles(strictly speaking, carbines) in pistol cartridges. Now you're into a whole 'nother deal. You've got everything from .38 Special up to .44 Magnum available, in semi-autos like the Ruger and slide-actions like the Taurus and lever-actions from a bunch of people. A .357 Mag out of a handgun is hot; give that load a 16" rifle barrel to come out of and you've got a real boost in velocity & power(you might have to consider over-penetration with some of these loads; probably hollow-points, no soft-points I'd think). Like a .22, you can keep the magazine of any of these loaded & chamber empty, very fast to charge. It's easier for most people to learn to shoot a long gun accurately than a handgun; you've got really effective cartridges available; and in some cases, like a .357 chambered rifle, you can shoot .38 Special loads for most practice(lots less expensive).

Type of action depends on your preference. A semi-auto you don't have to worry about short-stroking a slide or lever in the heat of the moment; lever or slide you don't have to worry about getting picky about functioning if some ammo isn't quite up to par. Whichever you choose, practice. Make sure the ammo you choose functions smoothly, all the time. Turn the rifle sideways and upside-down and make sure it works that way; you might by lying in bed or leaning out around the dresser to shoot.

Rural area, all the above holds true except you have somewhat less to worry about with over-penetration; no house next door, though you still have to consider other rooms in your house, or the barn outside. All the arguments over 'the best self-defense rifle' have been fought over and over, and I am NOT getting into that. Be it said that if you have the light to aim by, you have very long reach if needed with a rifle, and can pick anything from the above noted choices to a varmint bolt-action to a battle rifle.

Just my thoughts on it.

Additional: few years back read a column by Jeff Cooper about a guy who came to one of his Gunsight classes from Chicago. He couldn't have a handgun, so he'd picked up a Winchester Model 94 'Trapper' version- 16" barrel & chambered for .45 Colt- and cut the stock down to make the thing minimum legal overall length to make it a little handier indoors. Cooper said he was somwhat surprised at how well it worked out.

I just can't say this any other way,

Fucking idiots who worship animals will get someone killed

Was looking at Instapundit and found this post, which had a number of links; in particular this one about a cougar who has a: killed their cat right in front of them, b: A week after the first encounter, Carrie and Shaffer were smoking outside when they heard the lion screech.

Carrie made it inside the front door first. The lion crossed a 60-foot dirt road in a few seconds. Carrie Warner slammed the door just as her husband got through. The lion's head was caught in the door. She slammed the door on its head again and it backed out."
and c: "But what disturbs the couple the most is that the big cat has crouched outside the bedroom window of their 6-year-old son Schylure and stared at the boy.

"We're scared out of our minds," Carrie Warner said. "There is something very strange about the way this lion is hunting us. I'm at the end of my rope."
. Disturbed. They're disturbed.

And what is their reaction to this? Summed up in two parts:

Shaffer Warner was building a metal cage around his back porch for protection on a recent evening. He figures he can videotape the lion from inside the cage to show officials how dangerous the animal is."
The Warners don't want the animal killed. Shaffer Warner said he wishes the animal to be tranquilized and relocated.

Tranqed and relocated... the damn thing has made an attack on them, and is stalking their kid, and they build a fucking cage around their porch to video it and want it relocated.

"Oh, don't hurt the poor animal, it's just following its' instincts! Just take it somewhere else so it can eat someone else's kid, we don't want its' death on OUR conscience!"

Just God-damn. I'd have had a rifle or shotgun handy after it took the cat; when it made the pass at me I'd have killed the damn thing. If not then, if I caught it stalking one of my kids I'd have administered a permanent tranquilizer, .30 caliber or 00 buck. But these idiots are building a cage around their porch to prove how dangerous this cat is after it attacked them and started stalking their kid!!! I can't put it any other way; God-cursed fucking IDIOTS!

Ms. Warner, I present you with a solution to the problem: boomstick, cartridge, rug. Or, if you don't want to upset your 'progressive' neighbors, boomstick, cartridge, shovel. Your choice.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Sixth of June, 1944

62 years later.

One of my great uncles was in Pattons' Third Army in Europe. I don't know if he made the D-Day landings, or entered after that; he never spoke of it to the family. I do know that he was there from somewhere in France to the end, and some of the things seen and done haunted him. To him, to those who made it back and to those lying in a piece of ground they made their own, we owe much. Raise a glass to them, one andall.

A few years ago I ran across an article on Patton's speech in England just before the invasion. Being new to computers at the time I didn't save everything, so I don't have where I found it. In any case, here it is, including some history about it and about Patton:

Herein follows a copy of General Patton's (unabridged) speech to 3rd Army on the eve of D-Day. Although not Politically Correct by contemporary standards, in the context of the pending invasion of Europe and the human losses anticipated, it communicated an important message to his target audience.

General Patton's Address to the Troops Part I The Background Research
Anyone who has ever viewed the motion picture PATTON will never forget the opening. George Campbell Scott,portraying Patton, standing in front of an immensely huge American flag, delivers his version of Patton's "Speech to the Third Army" on June 5th, 1944, the eve of the Allied invasion of France, code named "Overlord." Scott's rendition of the speech was highly sanitized so as not to offend too many fainthearted Americans. Luckily, the soldiers of the American Army who fought World War II were not so fainthearted. After one of my lectures
on the subject of General Patton, I spoke with a retired Major General who was a close friend of Patton and who had been stationed with him in the 1930's in the Cavalry. He explained to me that the movie was a very good portrayal of Patton in that it was the way he wanted his men and the public to see him, as a rugged, colorful commander. There was one exception, however, according to the Major General. In reality, Patton was a much more profane speaker than the movie dared to exhibit. Patton had a unique ability regarding profanity. During a normal conversation, he could liberally sprinkle four letter words into what he was saying and the listeners would hardly take notice of it. He spoke so easily and used those words in such a way that it just seemed natural for him to talk that way. He could, when necessary, open up with both barrels and let forth such blue flamed phrases that they seemed almost eloquent in their delivery. When asked by his nephew about his profanity, Patton remarked, "When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little
old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can't run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn't fight it's way out of a piss-soaked paper bag." "As for the types of comments I make," he continued with a wry smile, "sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence."

When I appeared on a local San Diego television show to discuss my Patton
Collection a viewer living in a suburb of San Diego, was very interested for personal
reasons. Her husband had been a lieutenant assigned to General Patton's Third Army
Headquarters, code named "Lucky Forward" and he had known General Patton quite well. He had recently died and had left to his wife a box that he had brought home with him from the European Theater of Operations. The lady invited me to her home to inspect the box to see if there was anything in it that might be useful to me in my search for "collectibles."

Opening the box, I immediately thanked her. Inside was one of only a couple hundred copies printed of the Official United States Third Army After Action Reports. It is a huge two volume history of the Third Army throughout their 281 days of combat in Europe. She said that she had no use for it and that I could have it. I left with my new treasure. When I arrived at my office and removed the foot-thick, oversized books from the box, I had an even greater surprise. Under the Reports lay a small stack of original Third Army memos, orders, AND a carbon copy of the original speech that had been typed by some unknown clerk at Lucky Forward and had been widely distributed throughout Third Army. A few years earlier, I had
discovered an almost illegible Xerox of a carbon copy of a similar speech. This one came from the Army War College and was donated to their Historical Library Section in 1957.

I decided to do some research on the speech to obtain the best one possible and to make an attempt to locate the identity of the "unknown soldier" who had clandestinely typed and distributed the famous document. I began by looking in my collection of old magazines, newspapers, books that have been written about Patton since his death, and dozens of other books which had references to Patton and his speech. I discovered some interesting facts. The most interesting probably being that George C. Scott was not the first actor to perform the speech. In 1951, the New American Mercury Magazine had printed a version of the speech which was almost exactly the same version printed by John O'Donnell in his "Capitol Stuff" column for the New York Daily News on May 31, 1945. According to the editors of the New American Mercury, their copy was obtained from Congressman Joseph Clark Baldwin who had returned from a visit to Patton's Headquarters in Czechoslovakia. After publication, the magazine received such a large reader response asking for reprints of the speech that the editors decided to go one step further. They hired a "famous" actor to make an "unexpurgated"
recording of the Patton speech. This recording was to be made available to veterans of Third Army and anyone else who would like to have one. The term "famous" was the only reference made by the editors about the actor who recorded the speech. In a later column they explained, "We hired an excellent actor whose voice, on records, is almost indistinguishable from Patton's, and with RCA's best equipment we made two recordings; one just as Patton delivered it, with all the pungent language of a cavalryman, and in the other we toned down a few of the more offensive words. Our plan was to offer our readers, at cost, either recording." Unfortunately, a few years ago, their was a fire in the editorial offices of the magazine which destroyed almost all of their old records. The name of the actor was lost in that accident. Only one master recording of the speech was made.

The magazine Editors, not wanting to offend either Mrs. Patton or her family, asked for her sanction of the project. The Editors explained the situation thusly, "While we had only the master recordings, we submitted them to our friend, Mrs. Patton, and asked her to approve our plan. It was not a commercial venture and no profits were involved. We just wanted to preserve what to us seems a worthwhile bit of memorabilia of the Second World War. Our attorneys advised us that legally we did not need Mrs.. Patton's approval, but we wanted it." "Mrs.. Patton considered the matter graciously and thoroughly, and gave us a disappointing decision. She took the position that this speech was made by the General only to the men who were going to fight and die with him; it was, therefore, not a speech for the public or for posterity." "We think Mrs.. Patton is wrong; we think that what is great
and worth preserving about General Patton was expressed in that invasion speech. The fact that he employed four letter words was proper; four letter words are the language of war; without them wars would be quite impossible." When Mrs.. Patton's approval was not forthcoming, the entire project was then scrapped, and the master recordings were destroyed.

Patton always knew exactly what he wanted to say to his soldiers and he never needed
notes. He always spoke to his troops extemporaneously. As a general rule of thumb, it is safe to say that Patton usually told his men some of his basic thoughts and concepts regarding his ideas of war and tactics. Instead of the empty, generalized rhetoric of no substance often used by Eisenhower, Patton spoke to his men in simple, down to earth language that they understood. He told them truthful lessons he had learned that would keep them alive. As he traveled throughout battle areas, he always took the time to speak to individual soldiers, squads, platoons, companies, regiments, divisions or whatever size group could be collected. About the only difference in the context of these talks was that the smaller the unit, the more "tactical" the talk would be. Often he would just give his men some sound, common sense advice that they could follow in order to keep from being killed or maimed. From innumerable sources; magazine articles, newspaper clippings, motion picture biographies and newsreels, and books, I have put together the most complete version
possible that encompasses all of the material that is available to date.

Part II The Speech Somewhere in England June 5th, 1944 "Be seated." Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, every one of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful
to an American.

You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes , every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men. Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen.

All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call "chicken shit drilling." That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. I don't give a fuck for a man who's not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready for what's to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you're not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit! There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on the job. But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did. An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is pure horse shit. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about fucking! We have the finest food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world.
Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we're going up against. By God, I do. My men don't surrender, and I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That's not just bull shit either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man! All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain. What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn't like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, 'Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.' But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would we be now? What would our country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be like? No, Goddamnit, Americans don't think like that. Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns and machinery of war to keep us rolling. The Quartermaster is needed to bring up food and clothes because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man on K.P. has a job to do, even the one who heats our water to keep us from getting the 'G.I. Shits.' Each man must not think only of himself, but also of his buddy fighting beside him. We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the Goddamned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men. One of the bravest men that I ever saw was a fellow on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of a furious fire fight in Tunisia. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at a time like that. He answered, 'Fixing the wire, Sir.' I asked, 'Isn't that a little unhealthy right about now?' He answered, 'Yes Sir, but the Goddamned wire has to be fixed.' I asked, 'Don't those planes strafing the road bother you?' And he answered, 'No, Sir, but you sure as hell do!' Now, there was a real man. A real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time, no matter how great the odds. And you should have seen those trucks on the rode to Tunisia. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-bitching roads, never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting all around them all of the time. We got through on good old American guts. Many of those men drove for over forty consecutive hours. These men weren't combat men, but they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it, and in one hell of a way they did it. They were part of a team. Without team effort, without them, the fight would have been lost. All of the links in the chain pulled together and the chain became unbreakable. Don't forget, you men don't know that I'm here. No mention of that fact is to be made in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell happened to me. I'm not supposed to be commanding this Army. I'm not even supposed to be here in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the Goddamned Germans. Someday I want to see them raise up on their piss-soaked hind legs and howl, 'Jesus Christ, it's the Goddamned Third Army again and that son-of-a-fucking-bitch Patton.' We want to get the hell over there." The quicker
we clean up this Goddamned mess, the quicker we can take a little jaunt against the purple pissing Japs and clean out their nest, too. Before the Goddamned Marines get all of the credit. Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler. Just like I'd shoot a snake! When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a German will get to him eventually. The hell with that idea. The hell with taking it. My men don't dig foxholes. I don't want them to. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. And don't give the enemy time to dig one either. We'll win this war, but we'll win
it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cock suckers by the bushel-fucking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you'll know what to do! I don't want to get any messages saying, 'I am holding my position.' We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing
regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like shit through a tin horn!

From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard. I don't give a good Goddamn about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder WE push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that. There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON'T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, 'Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.' No, Sir, you can look him
straight in the eye and say, 'Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a- Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!' "That is all."

Side note: my great-uncle did not like Patton in the least. Though he did think that a redeeming quality was that if his troops needed something, he'd order, borrow or steal to get it. But he still didn't like him.

Note: corrected the date at the top; when I'm tired I can't count.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Further evidence of how the nanny-state sucks

and not in a good way

Over at Kim's found this on how Scotland(SCOTLAND, for God's sake!) is both a: [T]he Scottish Executive… is warning landlords and bar owners that they may be forced to stop serving traditional pub meals. and b:Alcohol misuse has been identified by ministers as Scotland's next major health issue, it has emerged. And when socialist politicians speak of a 'major issue', it means they're going after another part of your life. For your own good, of course.

Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said everyone must do more to tackle drink-related problems. An action plan will be published later this year. An action plan! BOHICA.

The Scottish National Party is calling for drink adverts to be banned on children's football strips. They advertise booze at kids soccer fields? Whose bright idea what that?

"Scotland has a well-known culture of drinking that dates back centuries and has a massive human and financial cost to our society," he said.

"While government will always have a role to play, we all must do more to tackle alcohol-related problems.

"Producers, the licensed trade and retailers as well as the general public have a responsibility to promote sensible drinking."
Also read as "You're too stupid to control yourself, so we'll do it for you".

Help group Alcohol Focus Scotland said drink problems cost Scotland about £1.1bn a year. That's a hell of a lot of spillage.

He said: "Scotland needs a comprehensive debate on the way forward between the alcohol industry, the health sector, voluntary groups and the police.

"Simply legislating against irresponsible drinking will not work. A comprehensive solution will only come from a co-ordinated approach from all of these groups.
It would work if it actually meant anything; of course, actually holding someone responsible and punishing someone committing a crime or something is so barbaric and cowboyish, don't you know? Can't expect that to happen, now can one?

Meanwhile, a doctor in Dundee has spoken of concern at having to treat 11-year-olds for alcohol poisoning.

Dr Bill Morrison, of Ninewells Hospital, said problem drinkers seemed to be getting younger.
Well, let's see, if you actually discipline a kid you're liable to wind up in jail, the whole country has been force-fed "You can't take care of yourself or your kids, so we'll do it for you", and damn little, from what I've heard, is actually considered an offense against society over there, at least by the authorities, so why do they keep showing surprise when things keep sliding downhill?

Dammit, this crap is depressing.

Long guns for home defense

Been thinking about this since I read this at James' place. It's not a new idea, and it's a good one. I've told a few people who asked "Look, unless you're set on a handgun or have some particular reason to go with one, for home protection get a shotgun". If they live in a rural area I might lean toward a rifle, but the principles stay the same:
1. It's easier to shoot accurately with a long gun.
2. It's easier to teach someone to shoot accurately(generally) with a long gun, and
3. No handgun ever made can match the close-range stopping power of a shotgun. Period.
And it's not a general recomendation, but in very close quarters a shotgun or rifle can be thrust forward to ram the muzzle into someone, or you can butt-stroke them. NOT things I would recommend, but in a pinch it'll work. The muzzle ain't no bayonet, but all the force of your highly stressed body hitting someone in an area less than an inch square...

Right now, concentrating on shotguns, if someone cannot handle/won't work past the recoil of a 12 guage(and even with reduced recoil loads it can be too much for some), a 20 guage will do just fine; we're talking about across the room or down the hall ranges here, the bad guy won't know the difference. As to shot? The scattergun I keep in the house is stuffed with Hornady TAP 00 buckshot; it's a reduced-recoil load of 8 pellets instead of the normal 9 and it groups tighter out of my gun than anything else I've tried. And the recoil is noticably lighter. If I could find a reduced-recoil #4 buck load I'd give it a try; more pellets=more weight hitting the bad guy and even less chance of shooting through a wall to a neighbors house than 00. If you're really worried about overpenetration, go to a heavy birdshot; it'll probably have lighter recoil than most buckshot loads, too. And again, at the ranges we're talking about, the bad guy shouldn't know the difference.

Generally I'd recommend buck, but I do have to note that Peter Capstick once wrote of the lioness who charged him when he was out bird hunting, and all he has was, as I recall, some #8 field loads. He busted her in the chops at about twenty feet(can't find the piece right now) and reported that it did a truly fine job on her head and dropped her dead at his feet. If it'll kill a lion, it'll take out a man.

As has been written, if you decide on a shotgun get several different types of shells and try them out, preferably from a rest at a paper target; find out what actually hits where you're aiming and gives the most appropriate pattern. I like the TAP loads partly because they produce a tight pattern at home-defense ranges; I've known other people who used loads that spread out as much as possible, figuring that gave them a better chance at getting a piece of a moving bad guy in the house at night. I knew one guy who made up his own loads using a 'spreader' wad, at fifteen feet the 9 shot were in a pattern two feet across.

And, unless there's some special reason for it, DO NOT USE SLUGS! In a 12-guage most slugs are 7/8 ounce to 1 ounce in weight, overpenetration is what you WILL get. I read a while back of a police department deciding to test this on some houses scheduled to be torn down. They found that a standard 7/8 oz slug fired from the curb, unless it hit the water heater or something else heavy and solid, would go through the entire house and come out the other side with enough energy left to penetrate at least the outer wall of the next house.

If anyone out there is wondering about my expertise, I'm very happy to inform you that I've never shot anybody with anything; I'm going by what I've read and been told by people who've extensively tested it and, in some cases, used it for real. Generally speaking, what I've read has been split between 00 and #4 buck as being best, with some votes for sizes in between. Like I say, I think a reduced-recoil #4 would be just the thing. Anarchangel once tried some Federal loads(no longer listed, dammit) that were reduced recoil with a mix of 00 and #4; he said it was great stuff.

One last thing: as a bugout gun, a shotgun has the wonderful versatility of using a mix of ammo. You could use buckshot in/around the house, but for longer ranges you can keep some good slugs handy; with decent sights and practice many scatterguns will give accuracy close to or equal to many rifles out to 100 yards or so with slugs they like.

My opinion, for what it's worth.

Note: in his book Last Horizons Capstick has an article he wrote for Guns & Ammo magazine in 1976 on buckshot for hunting; there's a good chance your library has it or can get it, and it's well worth reading.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I forgot about this, but I remember it now

The Palistinians published a picture of a kid pissing on the Statue of Liberty.

Here's Denny's response:

Further thoughts on the early Americas

Been thinking about 1491, the book I wrote of here. Aught6 made a comment that brought an old question back to mind: WHY didn't any of the American Indians develop any metals technology beyond jewelry and decoration?

The craftsmanship in gold and silver and stone and pottery of many South & Central American nations was marvelous, but they didn't make use of iron that I've read of other than maybe an occasional meteorite hammered into something. In northern/northeast parts of North America were huge, rich deposits of iron and copper and other metals. One early explorer found iron outcrops that were essentially pure; break a piece off and it looked like refined iron inside, and there are copper deposits that were also of high grade. But they didn't develop the tech to use it.

Stone tools are not better except for not needing to be refined; a flint or obsidian blade can be incredibly sharp, but they're brittle, and while a well-made stone axe works pretty well, any decent iron or steel blade puts it to shame. These were intelligent, capable people, so how is it they never developed any real metals industry in the North? And Central & South no real tool or weapons use?

Yes, I know there were some pieces found in some places; that's not what I'm talking about. People who could refine gold and silver, and find ways to purify it, could have figured out iron, or copper and tin.

THE biggest trade good for the Europeans to the Indians was metal. Iron pots and pans, needles, axes and knives, flint strikers. The British shipped strikers alone over here by the keg and that was after the populations of many tribes had been chopped up by disease. If the Europeans had found a people with even a rudimentary iron industry, a number of things would've been different. And why, after exposure to iron and steel tools and seeing the blacksmiths working these metals, didn't anyone try working with those metals in the ground?

Steve Stirling wrote the Fifth Millenium series, much of it set in North America after a combination of war and natural disasters dumped the human race back to roughly late stone age/early iron age. People remembered/kept enough knowledge to keep some tech alive and it led to different developments. Think the Sioux tribes with compound bows('wheelbows') and armor and mounted lancers. Leave out the compound bows, and think of the early Europeans meeting tribes with iron and/or steel arrowheads and lance points and knives and axes and swords, and the armor that this would have led to... And once exposed to firearms, they'd have done the same thing the Japanese did; copy them, and quite possibly come up with improvements.

Makes me wish I was a better writer.

It sucks watching someone self-destruct

Continuing my parade of things I forgot over the last few days

Specifically, a lady I met a few years ago. Never girlfriend, there was something a bit manic about her, but friends. Very pretty, but problem 1 was she was never happy with how she looked. The "I need to lose ten more pounds" bullshit. Losing ten pounds would have made her look a little emaciated, but you couldn't tell her that; she was convinced she needed to lose it.

We'd sit and talk, and a lot of ground was covered. Including that from the time she was about 13 to about 20, she smoked a lot of grass. As in three joints a day many days. Personally, I think half her troubles could probably be traced to that, but that's a different story. I can't remember which happened first but she lost her job and started taking diet pills to lose that 'last ten pounds', and went steadily downhill from there. She started drinking some, too, and at about 5'6" and 110 lbs it didn't take much to get her fairly swozzled, and then she'd drive. Which scared me to death when I found out, for her and for any poor jerk she might run into or over.

This crap went on for a while and she'd make a point of driving past cops and flipping them off, taking walks in parts of town that it's either a miracle or something about her scared off the vultures that kept her from being raped and/or murdered; if she didn't want to wind up dead or in jail, I have no idea what was wrong with her.

She finally crashed, happily into a tree and hurt only herself. Which led to being arrested for DUI and jailed and all that happiness. Which led to counseling which I'd hoped would help matters out. Fat chance. After she was out she did admit that she had problems, but she also bitched about the cops and bitched about how her bosses had been unfair. And she started putting on weight. A lot of weight. Which made her more unhappy, and so on in one of the truest downhill spirals I've ever witnessed. At least she was off the diet pills and not drinking now, but her big plan for the immediate future was getting on disability 'because of her problems'. And since getting a job would hurt her chances at that, she wouldn't take one("It doesn't pay enough, they won't hire somebody with a DUI, I can't live on that!")

So now she's almost my age, living with her mother, taking a couple of prescribed meds that, among other things, make her shaky which makes it almost impossible to get a decent job(she did make it onto disability, after which "If I take this job I'll lose most of the disability and I can't afford it!") She bitches about her weight, but she won't get any exercise, and at this point I have little hope she'll pull out of it.

And I don't know whether to stay in contact with her in case I might be able to help her break the cycle, or whether to stop talking to her and get a sad case out of my life. I hate watching this.

Downtime for any big projects at the forge

Last couple of times I started to forge the stock for a good-sized blade, my elbow started telling me it wasn't happy with this activity, and I had to stop. So I've been stuck with making smaller stuff. Which is fine; there are a number of things I need to make a bunch of, but still...

Og told me about a stuff called Sombra that he uses, I got a jar and I'll give it a try.

I get a chance on my next days off, I'll use some small stock and forge a blade and take pics, start to finish and get it posted.

And so it goes.

I remembered!

Part of it, at least.

In the post on buttpack carry, in the comments Amouse asked " Have you done armed response/ self defence (what ever it's called) training? reason I'm asking, you seemed to have a very clear idea of what you were doing."

Back in the Interglacial Warm Period when I was young(it feels like that at times) I took a lot of martial arts classes. Kung Fu, karate and aikido. Enjoyed the hell out of them, but found later that they'd all suffered from the same flaw; they were mostly taught as sport/fitness styles, not as serious fighting methods. By 'serious' I mean by a teacher who says "I want you to be in one piece and walking if you ever have to defend yourself" and teaches based on that. I'd like to find one like that now. You could indeed use the methods, or most of them, for self-defense, but the focus wasn't really on that, and without it lots of people(like me) tend to get into the 'game' mindset of "how can I score points?" instead of the survival mindset. One thing they did teach me was the power of repetition; if you practice a motion enough, with actual mental focus on it, it becomes a reaction that doesn't require thought. Which is one reason to practice draw & fire, so in extremis you don't have to think about the motions.

One of the things that helped me the most in mental preparation was a book, something like 'Secrets of a Barroom Bouncer'. It was actually a very good book, based on first, watch what's going on and see the threat before it fully develops, and second if you can't defuse it/walk away, fight to end it. No "This secret technique has been handed down" crap, very simple things like developing punching ability that will actually do damage, and mental preparation. That got me, more than before, planning scenarios out. "If I'm in the store and somebody does this, what can I do? If I'm walking through a parking lot and somebody approaches, what options?(which is where the response I wrote about came from), If I'm in a bar or restaurant and (fill in the blank) happens, what do I do?" Or, for that matter, "I hear something in the house at night that I shouldn't hear, what steps do I take?" . Not 'grab a gun and run into the hall', but what specific steps do I take? Think about the first actions, then what can follow if someone is approaching the bedroom or if you have to leave the room and check it out. What can go wrong, what can go right? If you actually work through that, it can scare hell out of you because you plan out what all can go wrong that ends up with you or someone you care for winding up hurt or dead instead of a bad guy run off or put down.

I think most training is basically that: make your mind work out what to do if faced with X situation and practice dealing with it. Which means if X happens, you're acting on the situation with motions/your own actions that are already in your mind & reflexes.

Back in those days of yore, I met with a lady from the aikido class to practice one day. We spent a while working on locks and throws, and when we took a break I started talking to someone who came by. While I was talking, she got one of the plastic knives I had in my bag, snuck up behind me and stuck the point in my back. With no thought I spun, elbowed the knife aside and started a backfist at her temple. As the fist was snapping up, my conscious mind clicked on practice partner/fake knife/oh shit and while I couldn't stop the strike I was able to relax enough to take a lot of the force out of it. She still got a perfect two-knuckle backfist in the temple and went down like a bag of rocks. Happily only stunned, but she rested there on the mat for a bit, and it scared hell out of me.

It boils down to observation/threat stimulus/reaction when you get down to it. Nice & simple. If you see a threat/potential threat as it develops you can bypass it or prepare to strike if needed; if the trained reflexes are there, if something pops up out of nowhere you can act without having to see/analyze/decide what action/act. Nice & simple, like in the 'Murphy's Laws of Combat' rules: The important things are always simple; the simple things are never easy. The only way to be prepared is to work through it both physically and mentally, and it is work.

If there's a good class around that you can take, take it. Learning from a professional is always good. If there's not a good class or money/time prevent your taking it, read the good stuff out there and work through things in your mind.

It's like the comment "ANY gun, even a .25, is better than no gun in time of trouble"; ANY practice/preparation is better than none.

Side note: for shooting, try to find one of the life-size targets that's an actual picture of a bad guy, with the target zones marked so you can't see them at shooting ranges. Seeing a target with a face and no lines can be a surprise. I read a few years ago when the first 3D targets came out(a head-down-to-hips plastic body shell) a firearms instructor took one of those, put a shirt and hat on it and had that pop up instead of a standard silhouette one day. Almost everybody hesitated, and when some of them-normally good shots- finally fired, they'd either be all over it or even miss it completely, from the shock of a target that actually looked like a human.