Thursday, January 22, 2009

Insty had a post on space weather,

specifically what big solar flares can do to power grids and other electronics. Which reminded me of this book, Flare, by Roger Zelazny and Thomas T. Thomas. Set in the near future, the Maunder Minimum has gone on for a long time, and the danger of solar storms has been mostly forgotten. And then sunspot activity starts back up, and things go to hell from there. Good read.

Back when I was dispatching, we had a couple of summers with high sunspot activity, and it played hell with radio communications; Florida Highway Patrol used the same frequencies we did, and at times the skip was so bad we could hear units in Florida better than we could hear our own thirty miles away. Couple of times someone relayed a message to a FL headquarters because the unit couldn't get through.

I have to note, after I mentioned the accuracy of the Mosin Nagant the other day Gerry said in comments(among other things):
I do however have a 1943 dated Ishevsk M91-30 which does have rifling and does shoot well. four or five rounds in quick succession, though and a hardwood bat is required to operate the bolt. I would really hate to have to use this gatepost in battle as it is an indifferently made example of a bad design. When I got it, it was arsenal new and unfired.

I call the M91-30 the Yugo of rifles, a bad design poorly done.

The old M-91's are a bad design very well made.
"The Yugo of rifles". Snork.


Anonymous said...

I worked with a fellow who had been a Lt. in the Soviet Army in WWII, "The Great Patriotic War." He said he cried when "his boys" were issued new M91-30's because he knew that nine out of ten of them would be dead in a few days because all the 91-30 could be depended on was to be a pike with the bayonet attached. Their PPSh's were taken and given to a more elite unit. And yes, nine out of ten under his command were dead or captured within a week.

I sometimes get a funny pissed off feeling when I read someone's glowing range report of the 91-30.

When I was an apprentice in the mid 60's one of the older guys I worked with was a veteran of the Archangel Expedition to Vladivostok in WWI. They were armed with spanking new Remington made M91 M-N's that hadn't been delivered to the Russian Imperial Army because of the Bolshevik Revolution. On the way home he and most of the other soldiers threw their rifles into the Pacific so no one would ever have to risk going into battle with them again. He said there were no disciplinary actions taken.

Mosin Nagants are fun plinking rifles and have been used to hunt with. Some successfully.

Gerry N.

Windy Wilson said...

No, the M-39 is a bad design very well made. Something like the VW Beetle. Underpowered, fiddly carburetors, flaky handling --center of gravity ahead of center of pressure (think of an arrow flying through the air feathers first), dodgy heater system, inadequate luggage space (by design!) on the early models, a flakey turn signal indicator, and for decades, NO GAS GAUGE.
The Finns took the Mosin Nagant and made a good rifle out of it, good enough to beat the Russkies. That still doesn't make it a Mauser.

Firehand said...

I like the M39. Kind of amazing it's the same basic rifle, with more attention to details. And finish. and fit.

Anonymous said...

And it'll still find a way to jam itself . My SAKO M39 had a disconcerting little quirk. It punched little firing pin hole sized discs out of the primers and somehow sucked 'em inside the bolt utterly jamming it. Again, requiring a clobbering iron to open the bolt.

To be fair it shot Lyman 311299's cast out of Wheelweights like nobody's business. Yup, 10 gr.of Unique would plop 'em into an inch and a half at fifty yds all day.

No matter how much lipstick you slather on that sow..............

Maybe I should go into the M-N Bolt Handle Bat Business.

Gerry N.