Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kevin’s Final Resting Place

Bronze marker at the NH State Veterans Cemetery.

The New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery is in Boscawen, NH, a small town just north of Concord, our state capital.  Kevin had always wanted to be laid to rest in a veterans cemetery, and we’re lucky to have the NHSVC so close.

We had Kevin’s remains cremated and placed in a columbarium at the cemetery, and I’d invite you to pay a visit if you’re ever up in the Granite State.  You’ll find his marker in section A7L, Row E, Site 3.  (This location will make sense when you are there, and they have resources to help you find a particular marker.)

Kevin’s marker is among many others, and I can imagine him having endless, rolling conversations with his neighbors.  They probably would have liked each other.  There’s Louis M. Chartrand, who served in the US Air Force In Korea and lived to be 84.  The inscription reads “God has you in his arms.  We have you in our hearts.”  And Gerald S. Sturdee, who served in Vietnam.  He was a loving family man and friend.  They had a good run.

Here’s Jacqueline D. Crawford, about whom I would love to learn more.  She was an ensign in the Navy in World War II and a “Beloved Wife, Dear Mom, Hero, Gramma, Meme, Nurse and Friend,” and lived to be 96.

And here’s Paul J. Wojcik, US Navy, 1939-2017, whose inscription reads “Gone fishing, so long.”  Did he write that himself?  Would that surprise you?

Kevin never told us what he wanted for an inscription, so we had to write it ourselves.  And so he is: Beloved son, brother, uncle, teammate and friend.  And I think he’s probably happy with that.

Something to Remember Him By

It won’t shock you to know that Kevin had a lot of firearms, firearm accessories, knives, bayonets, swords and other military memorabilia.

As we have been cleaning out his house to get it ready for sale this fall, we are selling most of his collection on consignment through Original Bobs Shooting Range & Gun Shops in Seabrook, NH and Salisbury, MA (

There are also two Class 3 firearms that will be made available for sale by MAC Tactical (

This means you have a chance to get something to remember him by. All of these items are for sale NOW or in the near future.  Some of them may be gone already.  Please contact Original Bob’s or MAC Tactical directly if you are interested.  Remember, MAC only has the Class 3’s – everything else is at Original Bob’s.

At the bottom of this post will be a list of his firearms. Original Bob’s has a lot of other items and knows what comes from “The Collection of Kevin O’Brien.”

Now before you ask, yes, I am keeping some of his stuff. But there was never a possibility that I would keep any weapons.  I’m not a “weapons man” myself and I would prefer to see his weapons and related items in the hands of people who would enjoy them.

Some of the other most personal items have been distributed to his closest friends. Just the other day the helicopter chair (remember that?) left Kevin’s house for its new home in the Lakes Region of NH.  It now belongs to a good friend who served with Kev.  Other stuff that honestly holds no sentimental value is going to be sold at an “estate sale” on Saturday, September 9th.  Most of his books are going to team members and friends.

I’m keeping all the airplane parts, all the tools, all the “active” computers, a few oddities (did you know Kevin had a recumbent bike?) and a few practical items. I am keeping his diplomas and other military records, his dress uniform, beret and dog tags.

But that leaves a lot for Weaponsman readers, if you want. And somebody else will buy and enjoy whatever is left!

Here is a list of firearms:

  • Pistol – Astra (Spanish) Model 100 Special pistol w/ Asian markings SN 8862
  • Pistol – Astra Unceta Pocket Pistol SN 294895
  • Pistol – Bauer .25 ACP SN 13141
  • Pistol – Belgian New Model type 1 Melior Pistol w/ holster SN 4028
  • Pistol – Bryco Arms Model J25 pistol w/box SN 536456
  • Pistol – Colt (CMC) M1910/72 .380 Model SN A3166
  • Pistol – Czech “Z” r6.35 mm SN 249700
  • Pistol – Czech (little Tom) .32 Pistol SN 30941
  • Pistol – Czech (Little Tom) 6.25mm (.25 ACP) SN 26854
  • Pistol – Czech 45 Nickel plated & engraved SN 89325
  • Pistol – Czech 75 compact, P-01 cal 9mm Luger SN B798603
  • Pistol – Czech CZ 45m proofed 1946 SN 30200
  • Pistol – Czech Jaga Model Pistol w/holster SN 5550
  • Pistol – Czech Model 1922 9mm SN 16947
  • Pistol – Czech Model 1936 w/holster SN 18615
  • Pistol – Czech Model 27 SN 568818
  • Pistol – Czech Model 50 7.62 cal w/mag SN 678961
  • Pistol – Czech Model 50/70 w/2 mags SN C59705
  • Pistol – Czech Model 52 pistol with holster SN D13662
  • Pistol – Czech Model 70 VZOR .32 ACP SN 652090
  • Pistol – Czech Model 83 SN 2846
  • Pistol – Czech Praga Model 1921 SN 10024
  • Pistol – Czech Type 52 pistol VOZ 77 78 SN EE13370
  • Pistol – Czech vz. 22 w/holster SN 53789
  • Pistol – DWM Luger SN 7433
  • Pistol – DWM Luger (Artillery), Reblued SN 2778
  • Pistol – East German Makarov 9X18 SN BV 1693
  • Pistol – FN Unique FN 1900 Copy Melior Pistol SN 20322
  • Pistol – French SACM 1935A w/mag SN 1135A
  • Pistol – Glock 17 G3 w/ paddle holster SN RXH737
  • Pistol – Italian Rigami Pistol SN 51108
  • Pistol – Nagant M1899? Revolver cut off SN 10195
  • Pistol – Soviet Tokarev Pistol w/ holster SN 3540
  • Pistol – Unknown Afghan double-barrel percussion pistol SN (none)
  • Pistol – USA Intratec Protec-25 ACP pistol with box SN 022114
  • Pistol – Walther Model 8 6.35 pistol SN 715820
  • Pistol – Walther PPK beater SN 864119
  • Pistol – Walther PPK RZM SN 843183
  • Pistol – Double-barrell pin fired SN 5435
  • Rifle – Barnett London V.R. 1869 SN (None)
  • Rifle – Chinese Type 56 carbine (SKS) SN 11363875
  • Rifle – Chinese Type 56 carbine (SKS) SN 14839
  • Rifle – Clayco Sports AKS-47 semi-auto SN 100574
  • Rifle – Czech 7.92 MM Model vz. 24 SN 2431N2(?)
  • Rifle – Czech Brno 7.92mm Moilet vz. 24 SN 3026M3(?)
  • Rifle – Czech Vz. 52/57 Rifle 7.62mm SN G 65221
  • Rifle – FN (A Coruna) Model 1949 SN FR8-05014
  • Rifle – FN (Egyptian contract) Model 1949 .8mm Mauser SN 11507
  • Rifle – FN (Venezuelan) M1949 Venezuelan SN 4955
  • Rifle – H&H Enterprises AR-10 SN 006470
  • Rifle – Johnson Automatics M1941 SN B0542
  • Rifle – Mosin-Nagant M44 Carbine 1955 SN 124738
  • Rifle – Mosin-Nagant Russian 1943 SN 2942746
  • Rifle – NDS (NoDak Spud) Model 601 SN C00794
  • Rifle – NDS (NoDak Spud) NDS-16A1 SN A02615
  • Rifle – NDS (NoDak Spud) NDS-16A1 SN A01669
  • Rifle – NDS (NoDak Spud) NDS-16A1 SN A01512
  • Rifle – Springfield M1 Garand SN 5855309
  • Rifle – Springfiled Model 15 .22 cal SN (None)
  • Rifle – Tokarev SVT-40 SN 3L5170
  • Rifle – Tower V.R. 18?6 (1836?) SN (None)
  • Rifle – Unknown Afghan percussion Enfield carbine SN
  • Rifle – US Carbine Iver Johnson 22 LR SN 1342
  • Rifle – Valmet M62S SN 131700
  • Rifle – Winchester 190 .22 SN B1157752
  • Rifle – ZB Brno Bolt action Rifle SN 2845
  • Rifle – ZB Brno Model 24?? Mauser SN C730 & 434
  • Rifle – HK HK416 conversion setup SN 88-101046
  • Class 3 – Colt M4 Carbine SN LEO98039
  • Class 3 – Kahr Auto Ordnance M1A1 Thompson SBR SN KC6544


Last Chance to RSVP!

Hi guys.  Sorry I haven’t written in a while, but I do want to let you know that your last chance to RSVP for Kevin’s Celebration of Life is this Sunday, June 4th.  We have to provide a final count to Abenaqui the following day.  The Celebration itself is Sunday, June 11.

RSVP by sending an email, subject line “RSVP”, with the number in your party, to

Many people have RSVPed and I am looking forward to meeting you (them?) all.  I will be sending out emails to the RSVPers in the next few days with details.

There will be future blog posts concerning a) the future of the blog, b) a scholarship that has been established in Kevin’s name, c) his unpublished material (there’s a lot of it!), d) his final resting place and e) anything else that comes up.  I have ideas for all these things except e), which is an unknown unknown, as Donald Rumsfeld might say.  I will be interested in your input!

Blogging was a full-time profession for Kevin, but I have an entirely different full-time job that requires a lot of attention, that’s why you haven’t heard a lot from me lately.

As always, thanks and love to the Weaponsman community.

Latest Update: Please RSVP if attending Kevin’s celebration

Hi all.  Sorry for the delay in updating.  We have been moving forward on a bunch of things.

First of all, if you are planning to attend Kevin’s celebration of life on Sunday, June 11, in Rye, NH, and you haven’t RSVPed, please do so by sending an email (subject line: RSVP) to  I have a feeling there are many people who are planning to attend but haven’t RSVPed.  (And just a reminder, everyone in the Weaponsman community is invited.)

Second, if you know somebody (maybe another teammate) who has mentioned that he is coming, but is not a Weaponsman reader, tell that person to RSVP.

Why do I care so much about RSVPing?  Because we are only going to have food and seating for the people who have RSVPed.  You don’t want to be the hungry standing guy who didn’t RSVP.

I don’t think Kevin mentioned it much in the blog, but in the last few years, he had become interested in cooking.  This is the guy who thought “oven” was always preceded by “microwave” up until about 2012.  He really liked cooking for other people and did some interesting experiments.  They didn’t all work, but he made up for the occasional error by always making a lot of food.  Sunday dinner at our house might be burgers and tater tots.  Dinner at his house was a seven-course extravaganza.

My point is that he would really feel bad if people came to his party and there was nothing to eat.  So RSVP!

Now for some bullet points.

  • We got to visit Zac (Small Dog) yesterday at his new home.  He’s doing great!  My sister-in-law and her husband, who are wonderful people, have a lot of experience with dogs and they’ve made him very comfortable and happy.  How much does he remember about his life with Kevin?  Hard to say.  But I hope he’ll always remember, at least a little.
  • We really need to get in touch with a friend of Kevin’s named Joseph Cunningham.  If any of you folks know Joseph, would you please ask him to reach out to me through the email address?
  • We won’t need any help paying for the celebration or blog upkeep, such as it is, but thanks so much to all those who have offered.
  • Does anybody have a simple way of getting a copy of a DD-214?  We can’t find Kevin’s.
  • It may take a while, but we expect Kevin’s final resting place to be at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, which is in Boscawen, NH.
  • I’m now updating the blog with my own account, which is awesome.

Keep the pictures and stories coming, and if you’re coming June 11, don’t forget to RSVP!

Update on Kevin’s Celebration, future of the blog, and more

Hi all friends of Kevin, I have some updated information you will want to read.

First, I’m gratified by the number of people who have written some variation of “Don’t take down the blog!”  It’s great that you believe his work should be preserved online.  So we will find a way.  Rest assured that absolutely nothing will happen to the current blog for at least a month.  It seems to me the obvious choices are a) keeping it alive at and b) handing the content over to one of the many tech-savvy folks who have commented.

I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do, not because I’ve been intimidated by hundreds of people with military training and serious firepower.  Heh.

Second, we have specifics on Kevin’s celebration of life.  It will be on Sunday, June 11, at the Abenaqui Country Club in Rye, NH, from 10:30 am to 2 pm.  All are invited.  I hope you will come.  I’d especially love to see a heavy turnout from Kevin’s SF teammates, 122, USAFSA, Afghanistan, other Army buddies and fellow members of SOA.  I have already heard from a number of those guys.

We will need a firm headcount to provide Abenaqui.  So when you know you can make it, please email with “RSVP” in the subject line.  Let us know how many people will be in your party.

This is also a great opportunity to meet new friends with shared interests or reunite with old friends.  My wife and I will be hosting an informal get-together at our house the day before and you are all invited to that.

I would not be at all surprised to see some of you guys plan other informal meets.  Will you let me know about them (where and when)?  I’ll try to stop by.

The New Hampshire seacoast is absolutely beautiful and is a popular tourist destination in the summer.  This is my way of telling you to book your hotel early.  We may also be able to provide “sleeping bag” accommodations at Kevin’s house.  We can provide advice about things to do, where to eat, etc., for anyone who asks.

Now, about the official celebration.  We want it to be a positive affair.  Please feel free to speak.  It’s okay to make jokes at Kevin’s expense.  He would have done it to you.

I am hoping to have a blessing and some military recognition at the celebration.  One friend of Kevin is a retired three-star general (nice work, bro!) who might be able to help with the latter.

People have asked about contributing to a cause in Kevin’s memory.  I’m inclined to direct such contributions to the Green Beret Foundation, unless someone has an objection.  FYI Kevin was not a fan of the Wounded Warrior Project.

Finally, I missed some opportunities to thank people.  Obviously I’m grateful to all of you for your support and love of Kevin.  The doctors and medical staff at Portsmouth Regional Hospital did their very best to stabilize Kevin when he was first brought in last Friday afternoon.  The doctors and medical staff at the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston did their very best to save Kevin’s life, and when we all realized that would not be possible, they were supportive and kind with us until the end.

Weaponsman commenter Mike_C is actually “Dr” Mike_C, a trained cardiologist and internist who does medical research in Boston.  He gave up his Easter Sunday to join my dad and me at the Shapiro Center and explained everything.

That’s all for now.  Hope you can join us for June 11!

Kevin O’Brien

I’m sorry to have to tell you all that my brother Kevin O’Brien, host of this blog, passed away peacefully this morning at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Let me start with some housekeeping.  First, the email address remains active and you may get more and better updates there.  I say this because frankly I’m having trouble posting here.  I don’t know Kevin’s WordPress password and I’m afraid that if I restart his computer, I will not be able to post any more because the password will not autofill.  Therefore I can’t guarantee I will be able to make more updates on the blog.

We are planning a celebration of Kevin’s life for all of his friends some time in early to mid-June, here in Seacoast NH.  I will have details in a couple of days.  All those who knew and loved Kevin, including all Weaponsman readers, are welcome, but we will need an RSVP.  Again, I will make details available to those who write to  This is not restricted to personal friends of Kevin, but space will be limited, and we will not be able to fit everyone.  It will be a great opportunity to share memories of Kevin.

We will be looking for stories and pictures of Kevin!  Please send to the email address.

I expect that some time after the celebration, I will be shutting down the blog.  No one other than Kevin could do it justice.

Finally, you should know that Small Dog, whose real name is Zac, has found a home with other relatives of ours.  Of course the poor guy has no idea what has happened to his beloved friend but his life will go on.

Now I’d like to tell you more about Kevin and how he lived and died.  He was born in 1958 to Robert and Barbara O’Brien.  We grew up in Westborough, Mass.  Kevin graduated from high school in 1975 and joined the Army in (I believe) 1979.  He learned Czech at DLI and became a Ranger and a member of Special Forces.

Kevin’s happiest times were in the Army.  He loved the service and was deeply committed to it.  We were so proud when he earned the Green Beret.  He was active duty for eight years and then stayed in the Reserves and National Guard for many years, including a deployment to Afghanistan in 2003.  He told me after that that Afghan tour was when he felt he had made his strongest contribution to the world.

Kevin worked for a number of companies after leaving active duty.  He had always loved weapons, history, the military, and writing, and saw a chance to combine all of his interests by creating  I think the quality of the writing was what always brought people back.  Honestly, for what it’s worth, I have no interest in firearms.  Don’t love them, don’t hate them, just not interested.  But Kevin’s knowledge and writing skill made them fascinating for me.

Kevin and I really became close friends after our childhood.  We saw each other just about every day after he moved to a house just two miles away from mine.  In the winter of 2015, we began building our airplane together.  You could not ask for a better building partner.

Last Thursday night was our last “normal” night working on the airplane.  I could not join him Friday night, but on Saturday morning I got a call from the Portsmouth Regional Hospital.  He had called 911 on Friday afternoon and was taken to the ER with what turned out to be a massive heart attack.  Evidently he was conscious when he was brought in, but his heart stopped and he was revived after 60 minutes of CPR.  He never reawakened.

On Saturday, he was transported to Brigham and Women’s where the medical staff made absolutely heroic efforts to save his life.  Our dad came up on Sunday and we visited him Sunday, Monday, and today.  Each day his condition became worse.

As of last night, it was obvious to everyone that he had almost no chance of survival; and that if he did by some chance survive, he would have no quality of life.  Kevin’s heart was damaged beyond repair, his kidneys were not functioning, he had not regained consciousness, and he had internal bleeding that could not be stopped.  We made the decision this morning to terminate life support.

I’m not crying tonight.  I got that out on Saturday.  What I feel is a permanent alteration and a loss that I know can never be healed.  I loved Kevin so much.  He was brilliant, funny, helpful, kind, caring, and remarkably talented.

At dinner tonight, we agreed that there are probably many people who never “got” Kevin, but there could not be anyone who disliked him.  Rest in Peace.

Please feel free to express your thoughts in the comments and to the email address.

Update on Hognose

Hi, this is Brendan, Hognose’s brother.  I wanted to let you know that Hognose is dealing with a serious medical situation and has had to step away from the blog.  He cannot answer email or texts or take calls at this time.

I am not planning to post or moderate comments during this time and I will not be providing details here.

Hognose loves you guys, but I feel certain he would not want all the details of his situation shared with everyone.  However, I do want to reach out to his many friends who know him beyond his status as a blogger, especially anyone who comes here and served with him in the Army or knows him from one of his many other activities over the years.

For that reason, I have set up an email account at  Please email to that account if you are a personal friend of Hognose’s.  You can prove this by including his first and last name and a detail about how you know each other.  I will write back with more detail.

Please respect his and my wishes and:

  1. Do email if you are a personal friend of Hognose.
  2. Do not if you only know him by reading the blog.
  3. Do not try to email, text or call him directly.  I mean, you can, but he won’t answer.
  4. Do not comment on this post.  I won’t be monitoring comments.
  5. Do keep him in your prayers.  His situation is really quite serious.
  6. If you know other friends of Hognose who may not be WeaponsMan readers, please let them know they can contact me through the email address shown above.


Brendan (aka KevsBlogBrother)

The Problem of Theft from FFLs

We’ve been troubled by the apparent increase in the number of brazen FFL robberies and burglaries lately, and started tracking them to see if we were just seeing more reporting, or just seeing more spectacular thefts that got more media coverage — or whether these crimes are really up.

Well, ATF answered our question with a new report on thefts and losses from FFLs in the United States, and the answer is: hell, yes, thefts are up. In the last five years, the number of actual crimes is up 48% for burglaries and 175% (!) for robberies. Robberies are still much rarer than burglaries, because most criminals are not brazen and stupid enough to rob a place where armed people may expect them, but there were still 33 FFL robberies last year. And more guns are being taken in these thefts, too. Here’s a graphic depiction (source):

Along with the robberies and burglaries, larcenies are up. What’s a larceny? A theft that’s neither a robbery or burglary. In FFLs, these are often employee thefts — “inside jobs”. FFLs are plagued by shoplifters, but relatively few of these larcenies are that kind of theft. The shoplifters mostly steal small and highly portable items that are displayed openly, like ammunition or accessories.

There are many reasons for an upturn in FFL victimization. Crime is increasingly driven by organized gang activity, and gangs are well suited for some of the dynamic smash-and-grab burglaries we’ve seen in the last couple of years. Most gun shop burglars go uncaught, despite the common practice of rewards (usually, ATF will put up a reward and NSSF will double the money), so the probability of being caught is not much of a deterrent.

Judges and prosecutors tend to treat robberies and burglaries as beginner crimes, and “discount” them deeply, so the consequences of being caught is not a deterrent.  The very large delta between burglaries and robberies may exist in part because the fear of being shot by a store owner, worker or customer, is a deterrent.

ATF is certainly more concerned this year than last. Last year’s infographic was focused on alerting FFLs to their reporting duties (source):

Reporting a lost or stolen inventory item, of course, is a lead-pipe guarantee that you will be assisted in doing 100% inventory by your friendly neighborhood Industry Operations Inspector.

The ATF is taking FFL thefts extremely seriously

Part of the ATF core mission is to protect the public from violent crime involving the use of firearms, including firearms stolen from FFLs and used by violent offenders in the commission of crimes, posing a substantial threat to the public and law enforcement.

A total of 18,394 lost or stolen firearms were reported nationwide last year from FFLs. Of those firearms, 9,113 were reported as lost. Firearms are considered lost when an FFL takes a firearm into its inventory and later cannot account for the disposition of the firearm from its inventory during an inventory reconciliation.

Losses (some if not most of which are certainly thefts, but can’t be proven to be thefts) are up much less than thefts. Here’s the the 2015 version of those 2016 stats in the previous paragraph:

A total of 14,800 firearms were reported lost or stolen nationwide last year from FFLs. 8,637 were reported as lost. 6,163 were reported as stolen.

Tentative conclusion: thieves have found thieving effective, and will continue thieving.

There are about 140,000 FFLs, and normally IOIs only get to about 9,000 of them in any given year. Their major focus is on documentation, regulatory compliance and inventory control.

One interesting table in the report breaks down firearms lost, burgled, robbed or larcenized by type. It’s interesting to see that (as you might expect) thieves really prefer pistols. It was a surprise to us that machine guns were stolen by burglary, but an even bigger surprise that over two dozen machine guns were lost by FFLs. As the table makes clear, pistols are more likely to be stolen than lost, but more uncommon firearms are much more likely to be lost than stolen.

Firearm Types Totals Burglary Firearm Count Larceny Firearm Count Robbery Firearm Count Loss Firearm Count
Pistols 8,647 4,665 858 278 2,846
Rifles 4,246 1,293 237 25 2,691
Revolvers 2,000 858 180 42 920
Shotguns 1,640 548 67 11 1,014
Receivers/Frames 1,421 52 48 4 1,317
Silencers 265 31 14 8 212
Derringers 92 31 13 1 47
Machine Guns 38 5 4 1 28
Unknown Types 29 1 2 26
Combinations 10 4 6
Destructive Devices 4 4
Any Other Weapons 2 2
Totals 18,394 7,488 1,423 370 9,113

Here is one of the more brazen burglaries of 2016:

At least some of those gang members were bagged soon after the crime.

The tactic remains popular, as does the simple smash-and-grab, like this burglary in Montgomery County, Maryland last month:

You can find literally dozens of these videos on YouTube, and it is plausible that criminal organizations have learned and been inspired by the criminal equivalent of tactics, techniques and procedures as displayed in these shows. Note for instance that they’re gloved and masked, suggesting at least a minimal awareness of investigative techniques. They also proceed with minimal conversation.

Without knowing how many weapons the FFLs are holding, it’s not possible to develop usable rate information. That is a pity, as the ATF provides by-state breakdowns of losses and thefts that would be fascinating to compare to FFL numbers and inventory totals… but we can’t.

There are presently about 136,000 FFLs of all types nationwide. That makes these lines from the ATF report all the more interesting:

ATF data provides that the 10 FFLs with the most firearms reported in Theft/Loss Reports are associated with 2,582 firearms reported lost or stolen. This data is limited to Type 01 (Dealer in firearms other than destructive devices) and Type 02 (Pawnbroker in firearms other than destructive devices) FFLs.

ATF data provides that the 100* FFLs with the most firearms reported in Theft/Loss Reports are associated with 7,664 firearms reported lost or stolen. This data is limited to Type 01 (Dealer in firearms other than destructive devices) and Type 02 (Pawnbroker in firearms other than destructive devices) FFLs.

* There were 8 FFLs tied in the final ranking of the 100 Type 01 and Type 02 FFLs resulting in 107 total FFLs.

Using the 18,394 total loss and stolen number, then, 10 FFLs (0.0074% of the total, seventy-four ten-thousandths of a percent) were the source of 2,582 firearms, 14% of the total lost or stolen.

100 FFLs (0.0735%, seventy-three point five thousandths of a percent) were the source of 7,664 firearms, 41.67% of the total lost or stolen.

But those percentages might be meaningless… perhaps those 100 FFLs stock over 42% of the total firearms inventory? (It seems unlikely, but it’s possible).

Note that this report only counts firearms that disappear from FFL inventories. Firearms lost by or stolen from the Feds (hundreds annually), State and local Law Enforcement (thousands) and private citizens (untold tens of thousands) also swell criminal armories.

In any event, as long as hitting FFLs is rewarding for criminals, we can expect to see more of it.

The ATF .pdf report is here; their press release on it is here; ATF’s public infographics here.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2017 Week 14

Again, we find ourselves throwing together this week’s Tour d’Horizon on Friday night. We hate that. It makes us late, and you hate that.

So much hate. As the Patron Saint of this blog, Rodney King, says, “Can’t we all just get along?”


I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

How Much Does the Blackhawk! Serpa Suck?

We honestly haven’t written much about this, because we thought everybody who couldn’t see they were junk would take the advise of everybody who’s anybody in the training world. So if you don’t know, go read this rant by Bob Owens. Who concludes:

Why on earth would you bet your life on a poorly-made, poorly designed holster that has been banned by many law enforcement agencies, top tier instructors, shooting schools and ranges, when there are so many better options on the market?

Why, indeed?

We had them bought for us and used unit money to buy Safarilands instead. Result — the only guy shot in the fourth point of contact was the battalion commander, and he insists an enemy sniper did it. (We weren’t there but the guys who were said he did not plug his own gluteus). Whoever shot him, he stayed in command after field treatment, impressing us with his fortitude.

Banned in Boston (and 49 other US states): CZ-92

This is a CZ you can’t own here. It’s an 8-shot, DAO .25 that can’t hope to pass the ATF’s Nazi-sourced “sporting purpose” test. It’s owned in Lithuania, and its new owner laid out €50 for it. (It has the Lithuanian national symbol, the Pillars of Gedminas, on it). Source.

If you really want an 8-shot, sightless, DAO .25, though, there are still options. There have been four versions of this pistol made by CZ, plus an American quasi-clone, plus its design has inspired others, including Seecamp’s LWS-25 and the ZVI Kevin / DesertTech Micro Desert Eagle. Without giving you the whole chapter of the book, the CZ versions are:

  1. The CZ-36, designed by František Myška and made in small numbers before and during WWII. It had a wrap-around checkered plastic grip with the old CZ logo, and most CZ-36s had a manual safety on the frame.
  2. The CZ-45, an update of the CZ-36, redesigned by Jan Kratochvíl for easier manufacture. A few early CZ-45s were made with the manual safety, but there are several cues that allow the models to be distinguished reliably.
  3. The CZ-70, a further production-improved and restyled CZ-45, not to be confused with the CZ-70 service pistol used by Czechoslovak police. It can most readily be distinguished by its grips, which have a pattern resembling that on the CZ-70 service pistol.
  4. This CZ-92, restyled again with two grip scales and a solid backstrap on the frame for the first time.

The American copy, the Intratec ProTec-25, is only a partial copy: many parts don’t interchange, etc. Intratec’s designers were George Kellgren (later founder of Kel-Tec) and Carlos Garcia, and their objective seems to have been lowest possible cost. The frame and slide appear to be made of el cheapo pot metal or powder metal, die cast. There were supposed to be several finishes and a second caliber (.22 LR) available, but even though they’re mentioned on the box and in the papers with our example, we’ve never even seen one.

CZ-36s are rare firearms, but the CZ-45 turns up at auctions frequently. CZ-70s and -92s postdate the 1968 pocket pistol import ban.

Gun Stocks update

Anyway you want it: we have the table, our analysis, and the popular chart. We have simplified to one chart and table, incorporating Olin.

Gun Stocks since the Election
11/8/16 64.40 28.45 38.94 22.45
11/18/16 53.20 24.13 40.02 25.16
11/25/16 52.50 23.82 41.05 25.69
12/2/16 50.25 21.10 39.66 25.94
12/9/16 51.90 21.07 38.62 25.87
12/16/16 53.45 21.59 36.81 25.42
12/23/16 54.05 22.11 38.03 26.21
12/30/16 52.70 21.08 36.90 25.61
1/6/17 54.15 21.00 38.08 26.39
1/13/17 51.35 20.60 28.70 27.07
1/20/17 50.65 20.13 27.78 26.64
1/27/17 51.90 20.58 28.33 26.69
2/3/17 50.05 20.12 26.18 30.83
2/10/17 50.15 20.07 21.58 29.81
2/17/17 49.70 19.22 20.89 30.86
2/24/17 49.85 19.45 20.72 30.78
3/3/17 48.75 18.83 20.47 32.34
3/10/17 52.15 19.52 20.71 31.70
3/17/17 53.55 19.45 20.89 33.07
3/24/17 51.90 18.73 20.31 32.77
3/31/17 53.55 19.81 20.59 32.87
4/07/17 56.00 20.63 18.42 31.80

An interesting split. Ruger is up notably, as is Smith, while Vista Outdoor has resumed a sharp decline and Olin has lost a dollar. Ruger repurchased 1.1 million shares of its own stock this week, and March raw background check numbers were strong. Yet analysts, probably reading news stories about the death of the gun market, have rated these stocks underperform or hold. (For example, a couple of analysts have assigned a price target of $48 to Ruger). All of the stocks were volatile this week.

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger holds RGR, bought at about 56.40 on 9 Nov 16.

Gun Poly-Ticks

Stunt Doesn’t Work

An anti-gun legislator in Tennessee made an attempt to straw-sell an AK before the adoring local media, but didn’t find any buyers. His stunt was in aid of a back-door registration “background check” bill pending in the legislature at the time.

His bill didn’t pass, either.

Rotary International Goes Anti-Gun

The 19-member, mostly foreign, board of Rotary International have thrust the organization into the United States gun control debate through a new series of anti-gun positions, which apply only to the United States.

Left: Logo of Rotary, which wants no guns under its emblem. Right: Rotary’s inspiriation, logo of the Nazi union DAF, which felt the same way about peasants’ guns.

If you are solicited by a local Rotary for support, membership, or facilities, be alert to the fact that they are an SJW-converged, anti-2nd-Amendment, anti-gun organization. Let them get paid by Bloomberg, like the rest of their movement.

Usage and Employment

 The hardware takes you only half way.

Cop Wisely Ducks

Here’s a series of several videos of the same shooting in San Ysidro, way deep in the south of California, on 28 Mar 15 (video just released at the conclusion of the investigation). Cops responding to a domestic encountered a man, later determined to be Alberto Hernandez, with a handgun that appeared to be a 9mm Beretta. Later, he exits and refuses to put down the gun. Not surprisingly, three cops engage him and he’s killed.

Tentative conclusion: suicide by cop. But what we thought was interesting was the first cop bodycam, where you see the cop take cover and you don’t see the shooting. You can see this cop’s actions from the other angles as well, especially from the crisp FLIR in the helicopter. And it’s clear that he did just the right thing in taking cover behind a concrete wall.

It’s great to approach an enemy or a suspect from many sides to try to get him to surrender. But when the shooting starts, you have to make sure your buddies don’t shoot you!

Two more things: the 9mm Beretta was actually a Daisy Powerline 340, which is styled like the Beretta. It comes with an orange muzzle cap, but the cap had been removed, making it indistinguishable from a firearm without close examination. And the investigation (.pdf) learned that Hernandez was mentally ill (bipolar), full to the gills with psychoactive drugs, and juiced up to a BAC of .30, which probably explains why he didn’t flinch when first shot — he wasn’t feeling any pain.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Sumdood Picked the Wrong Time to Rob the Store

‘Cause he only thought he was a badass. As he learned, if he retained any of the lesson after the concussion, a whole other dude was the badass. Fun with John Correia and ASP.

She’ll Never Make 35 Million Bail

That’s what the California courts thought about Tiffany Li, who seems to have murdered her estranged husband in a custody dispute, and whose ties to China are more solid than any to the USA.

She made bail.

Most of it by other overseas Chinese pledging their property (which means the court has more like $65 million in property if she bugs.

What’s the over/under on her showing up for court? If she does, what’s the over/under on her showing up for sentencing?

The Family that Does Crime Together Does Time Together

Wesley Leverett is accused of murder in McMinnville, TN. He’s being held on $1 million bail. His immediate relatives — mother and two grandparents — were also busted, as accessories after the fact, and accused of evidence tampering.

I guess the difference between murderers and the rest of us, is the difference between parents who destroy evidence for you and parents who pinch your ear and drag you straight to the station.

The Perils of Kathleen: Longest 15 Warhol Minutes in History

How can we miss her if the state won’t put her away?

  • Item 5 Apr: Williams Turned Into Kanethat’s his problem, according to D’Annunzio in the Legal Intelligencer. It does seem like more than the average number of Pennsylvania prosecutors wind up prosecuted these days. Like Kane, Williams belongs in jail. They both might still go there.
  • Item 3 Apr: We Read a Book on the Jerry Sandusky case, by the kid who was identified as Victim 1. Our interest: was Kane mentioned at all? She made her pursuit of Sandusky proof of her prosecutorial bona fides. Her name is absent.

What, It Wasn’t Rent Boys?

Forgive us, for we have stereotyped. But we saw a monsignor (a grade of Catholic priest) was arrested in Philadelphia, and we jumped to the conclusion that buggery was a factor. (Ever notice that with seven deadly sins, that isn’t one? Hmmmm…) But as it turns out, it wasn’t buggery at all, but another one of the Big Seven: greed.

Federal prosecutors accused Msgr. William A. Dombrow, 77, of siphoning funds for nearly nine years from a private account set up to support Villa St. Joseph, the facility in Darby Borough that also houses priests who have been accused of sexual abuse.

OK, so there’s a buggery angle, but the newsman is stretching, there.

Much of the money that flowed into that account came from the life insurance payouts of priests who had died while residing there or bequests from the estates of parishioners who intended to support the facility.

The theft was discovered, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Rotella said, after the bank that administered the account flagged several suspicious payments and deductions at Harrah’s Casino in Chester and notified the Archdiocese of Philadelphia last year.

Yeah, it does look amiss when the money donated for the benefit of elderly and infirm priests winds up being gambled away. Apparently Dombrow blew over a half million on high living. What vow of poverty?

Dombrow is a recovering alcoholic who devoted his time to helping other priests with struggles with alcohol. He previously led the Archdiocesan Priests’ Committee on Alcoholism and a center for those seeking religious-based addiction treatment.

A recovering alkie, but a practicing gambler.

Among the funds he is accused of embezzling was $14,410 left to Villa St. Joseph by the Rev. Francis P. Rogers, who had numerous sexual-abuse complaints lodged against him prior to his death in 2005 — the same year a Philadelphia grand jury issued its report detailing the allegations against him.

Okay, so two buggery angles.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

She Was in a Safe Job

Safest service? The Air Force, hands down. As the old joke goes, “An honorable alternative to military service.” But mortal danger is where you find it, or, as Staff Sgt. Alexandria Morrow, USAF, discovered, where it finds you:

Alexandria Mae Morrow, 25, an Air Force weapons loader known to her comrades as “the mom of the flight line,” died Wednesday, March 22, during noncombat operations in the Middle East, the U.S. Defense Department reported.

Staff Sgt. Morrow was loading or unloading a bomb near a jet when the device slipped off its track, hitting her on the head. The Air Force is investigating the incident.

Of course, we’d never suggest a mismatch between a 100-lb airman and a bomb several times her weight may have been a factor. And you may rest assured that the officers doing the investigation won’t suggest it, either.

A seven-year veteran and the mother of two young daughters, she had been deployed for five months to Jordan with the 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, although she was assigned to the 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

 It was a safe job. Or it should have been. Everyone take care out there.

Syria – The International Players

Here’s the program, courtesy of The Daily Mail. Syria doesn’t just have Russia and Iran, but also a few other friends in low places.

Syria Strike

Here’s some BDA on the Syria strike. There was no attempt to disable the base, but some facilities and some aircraft were hit.

The dog that did not bark was the SA-300 Growler missile system that the Russians have deployed at the airfield. The Russians had an hour to thirty minutes notification of the strike, and yet they did not engage the missiles at all. Our best guess is that they do not have the capability to detect the TLAMs until they are within the Growler’s minimum engagement range.

Pre-attack airfield. The fan-shaped paved areas around the ends of the runways are the Hardened Aircraft Shelters. More aircraft dispersal is on individual pads in the east-northeast.

Post-attack airfield:

The next image shows the the lower right HAS area. Some HASes have been hit, and some not. If you look to the right of the five-trail intersection in the lower right area of the image, you’ll see several oval defensive structures which may be AA related.

The westernmost array of HASes was hit pretty hard.

Then there’s this image, promoted by the Syrians and Russians as proof that the US dropped the attack ball.

As the Daily Mail put it, “Unscathed: This collection of five jets on al-Sharyat Air Base somehow escaped the bombing raid, despite being located out in the open, on a patchy grass plain”.

“Collection” is a pretty good term for these museum pieces. The first and probably the last (foreground-to-background) are MiG-21F-13s, an early 1960s variant that was already being replaced at the time of the Six Day War. The middle jet is a MiG-21PF, the one that replaced it. The other two are MiG-21MFs, we think; late seventies or possible early eighties jets. In other words, the US recognized and didn’t hit a line of decoys.

Sorry about that.

It’s harder to tell whether the jets we hit in the HASes were modern jets or more old junk, because they’re really junk now.

An unidentified single-engine jet lies in ruins. In the background, two jets in facing HASes appear to be intact. The one on the left is a 1970s jet, like a MiG-21 or Su-7 or -22. One on the right, unidentified.

This could be another MiG-21 or an Su-7 or -22, planes of broadly similar vintage. It’s hard to tell. 

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to o disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?  Taking a break this week.

Health & Fitness

Nothing new. 

Lord Love a Duck!

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


This struck us funny. This unit must be too small for a sergeant major, as there’s no reflective belts on anybody.

History of SF Documentary

Here’s another video for you. We watched this with an occasional cringe as they got something wrong, but a great deal of delight to see old acquaintances and one or two old friends.

To call this a “complete history,” even to its circa 1999 broadcast date, is a bit of an overreach. And since then information about other SF antecedents, like the 6th Army’s Alamo Scouts who operated in the Pacific, and the OSS Maritime Unit which operated in the Med and the CBI, has become available.

Among the old acquaintances and friends of Your Humble Blogger that appear as talking heads in this film include the late Robin Moore, the late MSG and Ambassador Ed Sprague, now-retired Colonel Jack Tobin, O&I school buddy and later CW3 “Joach” Griffith, CW3 Don Mills, an acquaintance we’ve known so long we forget where from, Dan Winschel who went on to success as a Physician’s Assistant, and good friend and teammate Steve Kalvelage.

The original, unofficial SF crest was a winged Trojan Horse.

As well as those guys, who probably won’t have the same meaning for you that they do for us (except, of course, for Moore), there are real SF luminaries interviewed here, like Lieutenant General Bill Yarborough, Col. Vladimir Sobichevsky, Col. Ola Lee Mize MOH, CSMs Hank Luthy, Tyrone Adderly and Joe Lupyak, and founding SF Group Commander Aaron Bank. (Whom people keep calling Aaron Banks, but his name was singular). Many of these men are no longer with us.

This has to be one of the last interviews Bank gave before he became seriously ill and passed away at, IIRC, age 99. Our guess is that it happened around the time the 2000 SF Association Convention was held in Boston. (Your Humble Blogger missed it, due to a JCET to Jamaica). Moore is wearing the shirt of Chapter LIV, SF Association, which is based in the Boston area, and of which he was a member. That chapter sponsored the Convention that year, and the SF Convention is a great place for a documentary filmmaker to get a whole bunch of normally camera-shy SF guys before the red eye of the camera.

Yarborough is the guy who got President Kennedy to sign off on the Green Beret as SF headgear (forever irritating Big Green), and he tells the story in this video.