Monthly Archives: August 2015

Submarines: The Soviet Sub Experience in WWII

This remarkable documentary is an English dub of an episode of a Russian TV series. In English the series, which ran in the UK in the dubbed version, is called Soviet Storm, and this is episode 13.  (Fear not the language; while the charts and maps still appear in Russian, the narration is professionally rendered in native English). This episode deals with the sea war, which really means, essentially, the sub war. The video shows why: when the Soviets tried surface operations, the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe cleaned their clock. So Stalin’s sailors took their war below the surface, at great risk, but also, to great effect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQXeaTBB5KU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQXeaTBB5KU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQXeaTBB5KU

At the start of the War, for instance, the Red Navy was weak in surface power, but it had a numerically strong submarine fleet — not as big as the Germans’ but the Soviets weren’t trying to contest the Atlantic convoy routes.

We didn’t know about the 25-mile-long submarine net barrier that the Germans erected in the Gulf of Finland, from the Porkkala-Udd peninsula to Naissar Island and Makilyuto Island off Tallin.

The guts and daring of the Soviet skippers and crews you learn a little bit about here are not much different from their Allied or enemy counterparts. So are their fates — the Baltic Fleet lost nearly half of their subs in 1942. A sunken sub usually bore its entire crew down to the eternal depths; if sunk on the surface, there might be a handful of survivors. As we saw recently with the cunning mine trap the British laid for U-Boats, mines are deadly to submarines; German and Finnish minefields accounted for many of the Russians’ subs whose fates are known.

For a clearly nationally-oriented production, it’s notably even-handed, with neutral phrasing during a discussion of disputed Soviet sub incursions into Swedish waters. Likewise, neutral phrasing handles the  There is a very interesting treatment of German attacks on Halifax-Murmansk PQ convoys; it hadn’t struck us before that the first seven convoys got through without a scratch, because it took the Germans a while to react to the problem.

Unfortunately, there’s very little about Soviet sub technology. It seems to have been at par with that of other nations at the start of the war, but the thrust of this document is operational, not technical. There’s also nothing about the training or life of submariners, whether they were ace commanders, long-service salts or new recruits on their first patrol. These omissions merely whet our appetite for more knowledge of Soviet sub technology, tactics, techniques and procedures, and for some first-hand accounts.

Also, be aware that the show is very dependent on CGI, and the CGI is dated and blocky by today’s standards.

This link should work to take you to a playlist of all episodes:

Crew Drill, Service of the Piece, M1917 Browning. With Kids.

Everyone knows you shouldn’t turn a nine-year-old (or several) loose with a submachine gun. Let alone several nine-year-olds.

Here’s one good, clean, wholesome alternative that’s fun for the whole family!

That’s the ticket. Crew drill develops physical strength, teamwork, and the most important kind of discipline kids can have, self-discipline.

Thanks to the commenter who tipped us to this, it really made our day.

Sunday Sticker Shock

Rainsplash Drop from Vanderbilt.edu.

We’re finally getting some rain around here after a dry summer. We blame Global Warming. For both the rain and the dry, naturally, because Global Warming is behind everything, especially politicians who become billionaires selling indulgences carbon credits (sorry, got our religions crossed there for a minute).

In any event, this Sunday finds us nursing some sticker shock, or just general number shock. Like anyone who’s in the stock market, we got shelled rather badly at the end of last week (although we were just talking to a fellow who lost three-quarters of a million Friday, so we’re not as bad off as all that. Nothing like another man’s anguish to give one perspective). Most of what we “lost,” of course, was unrealized gains, so it is a paper loss against a paper gain — we’re still better off than we were before. So far.

There are many approaches to investing. We invest for long term growth and income; we don’t try to time the market. That way lies the abyss. We’d rather leave money on the table than see the table yanked out from under our elbows because we got greedy. For excitement, we make small investments in start-ups and give them advice, if they’ll take it. These investments usually go poof, as most start-ups do, and yet they were all good ideas with able people behind them. We suppose you could call it an entertainment expense, although in the poof moment it is not entertaining to contemplate what the meaning of the poof is in dollars. (We nearly wrote “dollars and cents,” but does anyone figure cents any more?). It’s nice when a start-up takes off and you get a wild multiplier for your early money. But for real money, we try to pick something that is going up, and/or something that pays a nice dividend.

The other aspect of sticker shock came when we needed to replace some windows in the Manor. Turns out the maker of the current (installed 1992) windows, Rivco, has gone to that great warehouse in the sky, and while the windows still are all in good condition — something the window guys all say is uncanny with this brand — we have a lot of shade and what tends to be a wet location, and many of the sills are undergoing wood rot. We already dealt with this on the trim (by writing a large check for a contractor to rip off the old stuff and install ha-rot-this-mother-nature Azek), and thought we could just replace the sills, but the contractors said no, gotta do the windows.

So we did the get-quotes thing and got several bids: the $399 any-window guys who are on the radio nonstop, a local installer of Marvin windows, and Renewal by Anderson. The $399 guy was more like a $1499 each window “deal,” when all the extras were toted up, the Marvin guy ran away screaming after one look at Hog Manor (well, maybe not screaming, but our interview was short indeed), and the Anderson guy was half-again the staggering cost of the cheap windows. All of them had some technical limit to what they could do with the windows, too. We loved the Anderson windows — they were definitely better. We collapsed into a catatonic state, at least with respect to windows. Then last week the Blogfather called, and a guy at his golf club had some windows done and was pleased with the entire project. After listening to Dave rave, we called these guys and their quote came in at less than half of the $399 guys and therefore, well under a third of what the Anderson windows would be.  The window? It’s not exactly the same as the $399 guy’s vinyl window, but it’s pretty close; maybe better. As near as we can tell, the price difference is all those jeezly radio ads.

The other shocking thing is just how many windows we had, and that no two vendors counted them the same way. From 30 to 40 windows!

We use a ton of oil here in the winter, and the new windows will help ease the sticker shock with that, but they certainly won’t pay for themselves. So we sign with the guy Dave and the Blogfather found at 0930 Monday. And well, we justify the cost of the windows because, all in, it’s less than the bath that we took Friday.

Apologies for no Matinee or TW3 yesterday. Family weekend; we may catch up or we may not.

We’s just been sitting here for a bit, queueing up some good blog posts for this week, listening to music that charted in 1964 for a project we’re working on in fits and starts. Yeah, we’re going to listen to all 714 songs that made the Billboard pop charts that year (not counting Christmas songs, and yeah, it’s going to take about a week).  A brilliant fellow named Joel Whitburn has compiled all these charts and they’re a great boon to students of any era’s music — and doesn’t the music shape the era?

At the bottom end of the chart it seems to include dreadful stuff the Mob paid (or threatened) somebody to put on the charts, at the top end it’s all early Beatles, and in between it’s a mulligatawny of British Invasion, old-time crooners, crossovers from the R&B and country charts, and novelty songs. Musically speaking, the year was an inflection point.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Ducks

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Unfortunately, this guy wasn’t killed, which is kind of what you expect when someone uses a duck for a weapon — they’re going to fail at lethality. “Unfortunately” because he was one of those animal-rights knuckleheads.

“Where animals are worshiped, humans are sacrificed.” — Chesterton.

In this case, the animal rights goon was trying to disrupt a rural Spanish festival that is, depending on your point of view, either “quaint” or “weird.”  People tend to like to stick to their traditions, something that animal rightists steeped in the nascent tradition of livestock worship just don’t get.

He didn’t get the duck either — just one end of it. The bird, fortunately, survived.

An animal rights activist was beaten with a duck by a Spanish woman defending one of the country’s most bizarre and controversial festival traditions.

The man was whacked with the bird while he filmed the annual “duck chase” in the Catalonian seaside town of Roses, where every August ducks are thrown into the Mediterranean and then caught and brought back to the shore by swimmers.

“Continue, continue. Continue to abuse, I am filming you. A little bit of empathy for the animals. They also have a life, like your children or your family,” the man who was filming can be heard saying in a video of the incident released by animal rights group Animal Rescue Espana.

Yes, animals also have a life, but they’re not easily equated to anyone’s children or family. They’re ducks, for crying out loud. They’re food, not people. We suffer them to live in peace most of the time, because they’re generally not as tasty as chickens, game hens, or turkeys. But there are some good recipes out there.

The footage shows a young woman wearing a white bathing suit attack the man with a duck — holding it by the legs as she repeatedly lashes him with it.

As the attack goes on, animal rights activists gathered on the shore can be heard chanting, “You would not do that to your dog,” before they were removed by police.

Right, that’s a dog. It’s not a duck. A duck is just the latest in a long line of dumb critters beginning with therapod dinosaurs. If sizes were reversed, it would merrily eat you. But lacking a human mind, soul, and refinement, it wouldn’t even cook you first. Bestial!

Every year since 1918 about 50 ducks are thrown into the sea in the town north of Barcelona, with swimmers then racing in to catch them and bringing them ashore however they can.

But after Sunday’s incident, the town’s mayor is mulling putting an end to the “duck chase”.

Interviewed by local online news site Emporda, the mayor of Roses, Montse Mindan, prosposed “holding a referendum next year on what residents think, if they want to keep this festival, a tradition that will celebrate its centenary in two years.”

via Animal rights activist beaten with duck in Spain – Yahoo News.

Nice try, lady, but next time you beat the guy, don’t use a duck. If you don’t have a badger, try a hammer, an axe or any of the many fine melee weapons frequently featured in When Guns Are Outlawed. 

Lord love a… well, you guys know.

Correction /Update on the French Train Attack

As is usually the case, the initial media reports were incomplete and incorrect. Today, we have more details on the incident. Rather than a counterattack by US Marines, it was a self-organized “pack, not a herd” of young men that disarmed and disabled the attacker, a known Islamic fundamentalist named Ayoub el-Qahzzani, 26.  (Sounds close enough to Ala-kazam! to us).

three train heroes

L-R: Anthony Sadler, Aleck Skarlatos, and Chris Norman show off medals they received from Mayor of Arras, France, Frederic Leturque. Note bruise on Sadler’s nose and blood on Norman’s shirt. Spencer Stone was in hospital.

  • The four men were three young friends: Spencer Stone, an Air Force airman on leave; Alek Skarlatos, a National Guard soldier on vacation; and non-vet Tony Sadler; plus a middle-aged British man Chris Norman, who lives in France and is identified as an “IT Consultant.”
  • They disarmed ala-Kazam! and beat the snot out of him; that part of previous reports is correct.
  • He was yelling at them, “Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!” But as Sadler put it, “We just carried on beating him up.” Good call, kid.
  • Ala-Kazam! was a member of a former terrorist cell that was rolled up before it could attack in Brussels. He was on the radar of Belgian, French and Spanish counterterrorist police.
  • Ala-Kazam! was prepared with a cover story. His cover story is that:
    1. No, he’s not an Islamist or terrorist…
    2. He was just planning a robbery!
    3. Gun? What gun? Oh, that gun. He found it under a bush in a park in Brusells.
Spencer Stone, 22, was injured in the fight, as were two passengers. This is his USAF basic picture.

Spencer Stone, 22, was injured in the fight, as were two passengers. This is his USAF basic picture. He recognized the sound of an AK being loaded, and charged the gunman when he came out of the restroom.

The cover story is amateurish, but it will be believed by those who want to believe. Already French officialdom is trying to minimize any terrorist or Islamist motive,  and certain elements of the press are going with the “how do you know it’s Islamic,” or the good old “root causes” search. In 5-4-3-2-1 expect editorials about the importance of avoiding “anti-islamic backlash,” and expect these heroes’ faces to be crowded off TV by the terrorist apologists of CAIR.

As more details emerge, they get more remarkable. Anthony Sadler’s dad, also named Tony Sadler, a soft-spoken guy who seems to just radiate good will and decency, remarked that he expected his son to learn something on his trip and then he goes…

… and seems to become France’s national hero — I’m told he might even meet the President of France. Still wrapping my head around that.

French President Hollande would probably be honored to meet these guys, actually. Any leader can always make time for good news and praiseworthy countrymen, or in this case, tourists.

Skarlatos's pre-deployment picture. He, Stone and Sadler were friends sightseeing Europe after his Afghan tour.

Skarlatos’s pre-deployment picture. He, Stone and Sadler were friends sightseeing Europe after his Afghan tour. He shouted, “Spencer, GO!” and followed his friend against the Arab terrorist.

Skarlatos, whose first name is variously spelled Alec, Alek, and Aleck in news reports, is confirmed to be a member of the Oregon Army National Guard’s 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team and an Afghanistan veteran. Oregon Guard spokesman Major Stephen Bomar said:

It’s fantastic that no matter who it was, someone stepped up to stop such a horrific event. We’re absolutely proud that it happened to be someone from the Oregon Army National Guard

Frankly, this is the best possible outcome. None of the victims will die; the terrorist has failed. Moreover, despite being armed with an AK and a basic load of ammunition, and having possibly received training in Syria, he was beaten up by an international group of civilians and off-duty troops including a part-time soldier, an Air Force junior enlisted guy, and two pure civilians, one of them old enough to be his father, from a profession (IT) noted as a refuge of nerds and the non-physical.

It was, in fact, fully in the spirit of the heroes of United 93, but with a much better outcome, and it illustrates one of the weaknesses of ISIL’s and al-Qaeda’s current epidemic-of-lone-wolves strategy: as Kipling wrote, “the strength of the wolf is the pack,” and they’re finding out that when they show up without the pack, they misclassified their targets. Not sheep at all, but able to spontaneously organize a counter-wolfpack.

Finally, Ala-Kazam! is lucky he’s just in jail, not in Hell. On a video shot by another passenger, the Americans are heard fully in charge of the situation:

US voice 1: Dude, I tried to shoot him.

US voice 2 (amused): He did!

Apparently, Ala-Kazam!’s gun had an ala-ka-jam. He may have had a handgun, also.

US voice 1: You’re also missing the handgun.

Euro voice (maybe Chris Norman?): The handgun is missing.

US Voice 2: Can we just look under chairs, and shit?

At that point, the audio on the video becomes a multilingual discussion of the search for the missing pistol.

FMI:

  • El País (Spain; Spanish language): El autor del atentado contra el tren Ámsterdam- París vivió en Algeciras. (The perpetrator of the attack on the Amsterdam-Paris train lived in Algeciras). It also identifies his weapons as an AK with nine magazines and a 9mm “Lugger” with one magazine. Oh, here’s an English translation where they spell Luger right. Pity, a Luger wasted on a bum like this. The stories contain some details on ala-Kazam!’s pre-beatdown life; for all his extreme Islam, he’d done time for dope dealing.

That’s it for now or we’ll never go live with the post!

PS: it would have been nice if the gal in the platform shoes had been one of the beaters, but apparently she’s one of the French cops. In the French media, the police spokesman telling this story of failed jihad with evident relish was by appearance and name a Frenchman of Arab heritage (as was one of the victims in the small arms attack).

Another 3D Firearm Approach: Plastic Casting

Here’s the situation: say, you want to test a new firearm or part design, and because you’re iterating rapidly, 3D printing would be ideal. But the mechanical properties of common 3DP polymers, polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) are insufficient, and it’s either more challenging or more expensive to print in materials with better mechanical properties, like nylon.

Lost PLA 10-22 receiver. The casting with filler and riser still attached.

Lost PLA 10-22 receiver. The casting with filler and riser still attached.

One answer, that we’ve covered before, is to use Lost PLA casting. (Indeed, industrial specialty printers are made for printing in wax for the very similar process of lost wax casting; small ones are widely used by jewelers, and at least one major investment-casting supplier to the firearms industry uses a pair of large ones every day). But while you can 3D print in your office or kitchen, metal casting requires working with a great deal more heat, and molten metal. And casting itself is a complex knowledge domain with lots of things to go wrong and a wide gulf of tribal knowledge between the amateur and today’s professionals.

So we give up, right?

Nope. Wrong. There are still several technologies open to us, like metal injection molding (which probably made the fiddly bits inside your carry handgun, unless you’re old school). But even that has some complexities, even though it shows signs of integrating really well with 3D printing. Basically, you can do the prep work, but someone with an industrial setup needs to do the actual MIM for you.

How about plastic casting? There are plastics that are a pain to 3D print, but that can be cast at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. Fosscad experimenter FP gave it a shot, and produced some gratifying results: plastic AR lowers that appear to be superior in strength to 3D printed versions.

The difference between plastic casting and plastic injection molding which is how your Smith or Glock frame is made is that injection molding is done under pressure, and casting is done in atmospheric conditions. That means that casting will usually be less dense and will be done with materials that are poured and set at lower temperatures, as a rule of thumb. Molding is commonly used on Hollywood sets and props, for example, but it also has architectural and industrial applications. Both the silicon “rubber” for the mold and the plastic for the castings come in parts that react and solidify when mixed.

Mold silicon and casting plastic

This page on imgur walks you through two complete batches of plastic casting multiple AR lowers using two different molds, one contained in a see-through plastic box and one in a wooden box.

The sequence of events is:

  1. Print and prepare (i.e. strip off support material, acetone-vapor treat, etc.) your lower or other master part (called a “pattern” in casting).cast plastic -- 3DP pattern
  2. Prepare a mold box and place your pattern in it. Include some material to form a pouring inlet, runners or sprues if needed, and an air release hole.cast plastic lower - mold box 1
  3. Prepare and mix the mold RTV and pour it into the mold box. Let it cure. Beware of exothermic reactions.cast plastic lower - mold box
  4. Once the mold has fully set, remove it from the box, and carefully cut the silicone away from the pattern, taking care to neither damage the pattern (you may want another mold; they don’t last forever) nor, especially, the mold.  Cut apart, the mold will have four parts: left, right, bottom, and core. cast plastic lower - pattern out of mold
  5. Reassemble the mold in the mold box.
  6. Mix and pour casting plastic; let it set.
  7. Open the mold and remove the cast lower. cast lower - out of the chrysalis
  8. Repeat as needed.

Initial testing suggests that these lowers are stronger than printed lowers, and there are stronger, more exotic casting plastics available. Some of this testing has already begun. Here’s a lower cast in “Simpact 85A” showing off its ability to be bent 90º and snap back to original position — probably not useful as an actual gun, but could be a stage or stunt prop.

flexible simpact lower

Next week we’ll show you some impact tests of different printed and cast lower materials, done by “Freedom Printing 3D”. These bear out the supposition that some plastics are much stronger than others.

More testing is required to determine the number of cycles the molds can bear before they begin producing out of spec parts.

Some suggestions moving forward.

  1. Rather than cut the mold open after pouring it around the pattern, use mold release compound and a cope, drag and core system to make the mold so it can be disassembled without drama. This would make for faster mold-making. But only testing will tell if this makes a good-enough mold, or if the cut-apart kind is dimensionally/structurally superior.
  2. While using a printed lower is convenient because it’s easy, and it’s also a lower design already modified to strengthen a weaker material, you could use this system on a lower carved by hand.
  3. You could even use this system to duplicate a factory aluminum lower, but the plastic almost certainly won’t be strong enough in what we’ve learned are the AR’s most vulnerable areas: buffer tower, pivot pin bosses, pistol grip boss, and trigger guard “ears.”

Friday Tour d’Horizon Week 34

We’ll cover the usual subjects: Guns, Usage and Employment, Cops ‘n’ Crims, Unconventional (and current) Warfare, and Lord Love a Duck! And maybe some other stuff, because whatever the hobgoblin of our little mind is, we can pretty much rule out consistency.

Guns

We really wanted to write more about these gun stories. So many guns, so few fingers….

Slo-mo shot of a shot

This video appeared at Time.com, which says it’s from the TV show Mythbusters, and the shot is, “never-before-seen slow-mo”.

It isn’t, of course, but it’s still cool to watch the gas dynamics of muzzle blast.

 

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

There’s safety, and there’s safety.

The Associated Press via Fox News:

ND-shot-in-footAn operator of the store’s Facebook page directed reporters to a statement posted late Tuesday that called the shooting “an unfortunate accident.” The statement claimed the man who shot himself came over to the shop to help fix a door in the office “and, as he bent over, his weapon fell from a malfunctioning chest holster and went off when it hit the floor.”

Um, not safety.

“The way they were holding their weapons, with the fingers on the triggers, you can tell a couple of these gentlemen have no idea about weapons safety. It’s like the Clampetts have come to town,” Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson told the online news outlet muskogeenow.com, comparing the armed men to the family in the TV series “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

Funny how the Sheriff assumed everyone would know who the Clampetts were, and the AP reporter assumed everyone wouldn’t.

If you’re making that nest of terrorists, CAIR, look responsible and sensible? Whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong.

Hat tip, Jonn Lilyea at This Ain’t Hell. “[P]aying for a gun is only part of the responsibility of gun ownership.” Amen, brother.

He Didn’t Take Andrew Branca’s Seminar

Law of Self Defense Andrew BrancaThe guy described here by Dean Weingarten chose not to be a victim. But he didn’t stop when the home invaders fled, leading to the peculiar case in which the defender and the surviving home invader are both charged with homicide. Once the guys were fleeing they were no longer an imminent threat. That they’d come back and kill him in his sleep? Cops don’t care. They’re gonna spend all day investigating murders anyway, yours makes no difference to them.

This guy may beat the rap, but if he’d attended a Law of Self Defense seminar and/or read the book, he’d never have fired those shots and his life wouldn’t be on one side of the scales of process (does anybody really think courts do “justice” any more?), with the evidence piling up on the other, principal piece of evidence being the carcass of some worthless skell with his brains blown out back-to-front.

In a closely related subject, Guns’n’Freedom tries to make a preemptive strike on the idea of Shooting to Wound, Warning Shots, and Brandishing — all three are bad ideas, or to be more specific failures of judgment and of understanding the legal terrain.

The Bullet from Nowhere

ND-shot-in-footThe New York Times and its writers would clearly like to ban all guns — at least, the ones not in the hands of the governmental and private hirelings that keep the paper’s only stakeholders, wealthy Manhattanites and people who wish they were, safe from the roiling proles. And that bias sets one’s teeth on edge whilst trying to read this story by one Jack Healy, which is all about how evil hunters, target shooters and plinkers are inflicting their unclean redneck ways with the Right People who are just hiking in the Great Outdoors, with nothing between them and Ursus spp. but their fashionable hiking shirt. As Healy tells it, the urban daytrippers were here first:

America’s cultural divide over guns has gone into the woods. As growing numbers of hikers and backpackers flood national forests and backcountry trails searching for solitude, they are increasingly clashing with recreational target shooters, out for the weekend to plug rounds into trees, targets and mountainsides.

“Growing numbers… flood… searching for solitude.” Hmm, Still, Healy has a point about the death of this man:

Glenn Martin said “ow,” his daughter said, and when his family ran to help him, there was a hole in his shirt and blood pouring from his mouth.

Martin, 60, camping with his family, was killed by a stray shot, possibly fired a mile away. What Healy only mentions very, very late in the article, is that five shooters questioned by Bureau of Land Management police voluntarily allowed their weapons to be tested. None of them fired the fatal shot. The investigation continues.

This is less a problem here in New England where we’re acutely conscious of the borders of our small parcels of land, and there aren’t that many large swaths of land owned by the Federal Government and managed nihilistically by BLM’s Luddite urban environmentalists. But what happened to this poor fellow Glenn Martin was no less than the predictable consequence of a shot fired over a backstop, and we shooters as a community earn the opprobrium Healy and his readers heap upon us, any time we let one go like that.

Know your target and what’s behind it. Sure you’ve heard that before. So did whoever it was that launched the sky ball that dropped in a ruined the Martins’ outing. You don’t get any free errors with a firearm. Any mistake can end somebody’s world.

Training Makes a Shooting Less Likely

John Johnston has an interesting post on what training does and doesn’t do for you. He notes that many people self-defend successfully without training. But argues that training does something almost paradoxical: by raising your Situational Awareness, training makes it less likely you’ll be in a shooting — which is the best possible outcome of a shooting. A rich essay, worth reading and Rereading The Whole Thing™.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

Professor Moriarty is a Fictional Character.

Real criminals are more often rockwits like these two humanoids who decided to gun up, despite being Prohibited Persons, by employing the well known Stealing $#!+ Loophole.

In documents filed in U.S. District Court, prosecutors alleged Johnson and Moore broke into the store through a back window and used a pry bar to smash a display case before filling a bag with the guns. They then ran to a waiting getaway car, according to the documents.
Investigators found the pry bar inside the store and the two cell phones in a back storeroom. On the phones, police found photos that identified Johnson and Moore as the suspects, according to the documents.

Give that man a Wile E. Coyote card, give both of them one. Cops recovered at least 4 of the 19 stolen guns, one of them buried in a place where it was probably a “community gun,” meant to be dug up and used by any local gangbanger. The others will turn up in future robberies and homicides, but remember, the crimes committed by these career criminals in South Bend, Indiana were caused by, say, non-criminal Hoosiers having a gun or a license. Bloomberg said so.

Gun – Situational Awareness + Robber = Robber with Gun

The video at this link has what appears to be praise by the newsreaders for the licensed carrier(!) but he’s lucky to be alive. If you watch the surveillance video, you see that the robber, a lanky black dude in a baseball cap and plaid shirt over pink t-shirt comes up behind a customer at the counter (looks like a lighter-skinned black guy, green shirt and black and white shoes). Plaid shirt went right for green shirt’s gun, and they fight for it. Plaid shirt gets it and fires a round. Green shirt attacks (!) and gun or no gun, plaid shirt bugs out. His face is so clear on the video that he’s hosed; his momma’s gonna want a print to remember him by. But then, criminals never think things through or they wouldn’t be criminals.

With any luck the cops will have some excuse to plug him when they roll him up (if they haven’t already by the time you read this). Some black lives don’t matter, and some people the world’s better off without. This oxygen thief will never amount to anything, so why bother incarcerating him?

As for the legal carrier, whose black (or whatever) life does matter, +2 for an aggressive counterattack and not giving up, and -2 for losing control of his firearm. As we said, he’s lucky to be alive. Good time to check in with a good defensive tactics instructor and get a better holster for your pistol (if you get it back after the cops bust or whack plaid shirt) or the one you replace it with. And keep your situational awareness. Urban convenience stores are favorite robbery targets.

PS. Another link at that site: Gunman holds up Post Office. We dunno, every time we go to do this there are 10 robbers in line in front of us. In all seriousness, though, armed robbery is a violent crime, a crime carried out by threat of murder; why should an armed robber ever see the light of day again?

PPS. Tam discusses this incident (the guy jacking the carrier’s gun, not the PO holdup) among other things, and, as usual, she displays less inchoate rage and more cold logic than we do. She actually discussed it on an earlier post before that. The analyses she links are good, too.

 

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields

Didn’t Jack Ryan’s Career Start Like This?

A Sudden Jihad Syndrome outbreak on the Amsterdam-Paris train ended prematurely because three Marines, traveling off-duty and unarmed, heard the distinctive sound of AK-mag loading in the toilet. When the 26-year-old Arab nerved himself and burst out of the restroom shooting, he barely got a burst and an “Allah!” out before the Marines showed him who’s really akbar, giving him a good old-fashioned beatdown. He’s the guy on the floor of the train in this picture.

Suspect in France

No idea whether the chick in the platform shoes is one of the Marines. Probably.

The French cops in Arras happily took the jihad failure and his AK (and Jungle Jim killer knife) into custody. Turns out he was an individual already You can see the attacker’s AK mags on the train platform in this image.

Suspect AK mags

Unfortunately the still-unnamed wannabe shaheed did succeed in wounding two passengers seriously (they’re in critical condition) and one lightly. The lightly wounded man has been identified as French actor Jean-Hughes Anglade, who plays TV tough guys. Now he’s seen some real ones in action, and he can take that back to work.

French politicians are trying to suggest that it’s premature to suggest a terrorist motive.

Got Law if you Want It

Lots of people are writing about the DOD’s new Law of War Manual without reading it. Don’t be that guy: read it here (.pdf). Or just do like us, assume it’s all bullshit from lawyers who will do whatever it takes to stab the GI in the back when the time comes, and don’t read or write about it. But it’s there for you.

Be Very Afraid

Hillary Clinton, whose reaction to the death of diplomats she abandoned to an attack in Benghazi, Libya, was “What difference does it make?”, and who ran an email server stashed in a closet someplace that had dozens of classified emails including TS/SCI codeword material, still has an active security clearance.

If that was you who’d done all that, you’d be so far back in Leavenworth they’d have to feed you with a Wrist Rocket.

Government is just a name for the things we decide to all do badly together.

Veterans’ Issues

headstone patioYou kind of have to read this and see the pictures to believe it.

A man in the Ozarks who built a patio out of what he said were discarded military headstones found in a landfill told a TV station on Tuesday that he will remove it.
KSPR TV posted a report with an interview with the homeowner on Tuesday evening.

Navy veteran Ed Harkreader of Mountain Home, Ark., had posted photographs of the arrangement on Facebook last week. The post triggered scores of outraged comments and was shared thousands of times, but the post has apparently since been removed.

The homeowner, whom the station did not name, said: “I was just making something out of nothing. Ninety percent of them are broken. They were never in a cemetery. They went from the monument to the landfill. There were mistakes. I didn’t know.”

So this is a little different from the other sphincter muscle we had lately who was using stolen grave markers as a foundation for his tool shed in Rhode Island.

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.

“Common Sense” Looks Like This

No one is coming for your guns, or magazines. You’re just being paranoid. Oh, those formerly “grandfathered” standard-capacity magazinesNevermind. You didn’t need those for duck hunting. Yep, registration led to confiscation, again, like usual, which is why there is registration. Don’t wanna turn ’em in? That makes you insane, you gotta turn ’em in. Don’t like it? What are you, some kind of Johnny Reb?

Scott Adams of Dilbert Fame

We haven’t gotten around to the Scott Adams (cartoonist of Dilbert fame and patron saint of engineers everywhere) blog in a long time, but this week he’s had a series of posts admiring Donald Trump — with respect to his techniques for shaping an argument, deflecting a “gotcha” question from some mediot like Chris Cuomo, or getting what he wants (by proposing a negotiating position that will leave falling back to his real position looking like a humble compromise). Some of those negotiating points are of value to anyone. Adams is not political and he looks at this, like everything else, with a slightly jaundiced engineer’s eye. His blog is here; nothing to do with guns, so he can’t be a W3, but an entertaining read.

 What Swears Are Sworn Where?

jack-grieve-swear-map-of-usa-gi-z-score-bastardIt’s interesting to see what swears are current in what part of the country, and naturally, there’s an idle professor somewhere who’s mapped it out. Turns out here in New England we’re not too into some pejoratives, but we’ll call anybody a baahstid. 

 

You Can Always Trust a Sheriff, Right?

Does your county sheriff have 3 tons of food ratholed in his basement armory? How about blasting caps stored with the C-4? No? Well, has he got one of these?

Acting Sheriff Dwight McNiel of Christian County, Missouri, has (or had) all that stuff. He inherited it from the outgoing sheriff, Joey Kyle — when Kyle went up the river for embezzlement. He also inherited a real financial can of worms.

Since becoming the interim sheriff in May, [Dwight] McNiel said he’s continually found surprising, unnecessary or simply wasteful purchases or acquisitions made by the department. One of his first tasks was sorting through the department’s armory — a closet directly underneath a county courtroom — where C4 was found, he said.

“That’s how I started my first day here — started with the Springfield bomb squad,” McNiel said.

Springfield Fire Marshal Mark Epps said there wasn’t adequate space to safely store explosives. While Epps said it was not a huge safety concern, he noted that the “highly sensitive” blasting caps were stored in proximity to the more inert C4. It’s the blasting caps that are used to detonate the C4.

The explosives are currently being safely stored in Springfield, Epps said.

An unarmed rocket-propelled grenade launcher was also found in the armory. There’s Arabic script on one side of its handle and on the other side is written: “MADE IN IRAQ.”

McNiel said it was taken after deputies responded to a domestic disturbance in which a female caller said a man had a gun. There was a short standoff with the man, the rocket-propelled grenade launcher was confiscated, no charges were filed regarding the launcher and the man is not in police custody.

via Was disgraced sheriff Joey Kyle preparing for Armageddon?.

If the RPG is demilled, it’s not a weapon and not subject to any law that doesn’t apply to a stick or pipe of the same length. In that case, the guy from whom it was confiscated should probably get it back.

If it’s not demilled, it’s an unlicensed Destructive Device and the ATF would probably like to come collect it. In that case, the guy from whom it was confiscated will be lucky if he stays out of Club Fed. It’s not something that a rural police or sheriff’s office has any earthly use for (or any practical way of getting ammunition for).

It’s an ill wind that blows no good: the three tons of food were donated to a local charity, and will be deployed to feed families in crisis.

Hey, Sheriff McNeil, if you aren’t going to return the RPG to its original owner (maybe he’s in pokey), and it is legally demilled, drop us a line. We can use one as a wall hanger, and will make a market-value contribution to the department or a charity of your choice.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Blankets

Brittany PilkingtonThis is a serial killing you probably didn’t hear about, because it didn’t go off with a bang, or, for that matter, three bangs.

Three boys, one 4 and two aged three months at the time of their deaths, were silently smothered by their own Bat Guano Crazy mother over a period of five months. One turned up dead in April, one in July, and the last, now.

The government protected those kids. It took one of them and his sister (who survives) into protective custody after the first boy was murdered… then a judge sent them home to Murderous Mom.

Brittany Pilkington, 23, was charged with three counts of murder on Tuesday and is being held in the Logan County jail. She is scheduled to appear in Municipal Court this morning.

The charges accuse her of the deaths of 3-month-old Noah Pilkington on Tuesday; Niall Pilkington, who was 3 months old when he died on July 22, 2014; and Gavin Pilkington, who was 4 years old when he died on April 6 of this year.

Logan County Prosecutor William Goslee said that he spent much of Tuesday interviewing Mrs. Pilkington, who admitted she killed the boys by putting a blanket over their heads and suffocating them.

“In her mind, she was protecting her daughter from being not as loved as the boys were by their father,” Goslee said.

Their daughter, Hailey, will turn 4 later this month. She was taken into custody by Logan County Children Services.

via Bellefontaine mom says she killed 3 sons because husband ignored their daughter | The Columbus Dispatch.

Most people, thank God, can trust their mothers to keep them safe. Failing that, you can only rely on the Government. And, as this case shows, if you rely on the Goverment… God help you.

Everyone Named in this Story is a Dirty Rotten Something.

Donald Trump called dirty rotten traitor Bowe Bergdahl a “dirty rotten traitor,” which caused Eugene Fidell to call Trump “contemptible and un-American.” With us so far? The media, like Thomas Gibbons-Neff in the Washington Post, quickly rushed to amplify Fidell’s comment. Who is Fidell, and why is he defending Bergdahl’s somewhat tattered honor? The Why bit is pretty simple: Fidell is Bergdahl’s lawyer. Bergdahl is facing the 21st Century version of this:

(It could be worse. He could be getting the full Danny Deever).

Funny how a mere sergeant can afford very expensive legal representation.  Think a guy at Fidell’s level represents other NCOs about to get the Big Chicken Dinner for wife-beatin’ or messing with drugs? Nope, there must be something special about Bergdahl. Maybe he has something in common with some of Fidell’s other cases. (We’ll get to that).

Fidell went on to say of Trump’s comments:

They are a call for mob justice. Sergeant Bergdahl cannot speak out in his own defense because he is facing a preliminary hearing in the military justice system. Nor, as a practical matter, is he in a position, for the moment, to bring the defamation lawsuit Mr. Trump richly deserves.

You don’t say. Of course, Bergdahl can speak in his own defense, there’s no gag order. It is this very lawyer that is encouraging him not do it — because, of course, he’s a dirty rotten traitor, and anything he says has a high probability of screwing up his mouthpiece’s efforts to help him walk away from it without a penalty.

As far as a defamation lawsuit is concerned: we’re not lawyers, but a guy who walked out of his base and joined the enemy, to the detriment of his unit and former colleagues, would seem to us to be defamation-proof. Of course anyone can file a defamation lawsuit — military poseur John Giduck did (and wound up settling on unfavorable terms, paying his opponents’ legal fees), and convicted terrorist, bomber, perjurer, and not least adjudicated pedophile Brett Kimberlin makes a habit of it. You can sue anybody for anything, in a country where all the rules are made by lawyers. But you have to have something like a case to win. Bergdahl suing for being called a “dirty rotten traitor” would be like Michael Jordan suing for being called “tall and athletic.”

No American should have to put up with this kind of unprincipled behavior, especially from a person seeking public office

Fidell is expected to support the highly principled Hillary Clinton. And we weren’t aware that one of our duties as citizens — office-seekers or not — was to keep mum about scoundrels. To find that in the Constitution, the poor document not only must be “living” but also “out of its mind on drugs.”

… six soldiers died searching for Bergdahl — something Fidell said the Army found to be untrue.

What, they’re not dead?

Now, as to who Fidell is, as you might expect for the guy that some aspect of trying to get a dirty, rotten traitor off somehow rewarding, he’s a key member of the al-Qaeda and terrorist detainee bar, whose millionaire lifestyle and low workload as a Yale professor allows him plenty of time to work diligently to spring the Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees that Gulf Arab terror sponsors are interested in springing. Indeed, he and his wife, a New York Times columnist, worked hand in glove to try to enable these men’s return from Guantanamo to their homelands (where many if not most of them predictably reverted to their prior terrorist behavior). The conflict of interest at the Times went undisclosed until they were caught, and then was given a high-handed brushoff by the Times’s then- ethical-criticism goalkeeper, Clark Hoyt.

As to why he’s defending Bergdahl, well, we don’t know why, except he has a lot of experience defending other enemies of America, which he says he does out of the good of his heart — but damn, he sure does live well.

Maybe Bergdahl isn’t the only dirty rotten traitor.

Still… did it have to be Trump?

He’s hardly our role model of martial virtue — he’s a dirty rotten draft dodger!