Monthly Archives: August 2015

Friday Tour d’Horizon Week 35

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.


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

Good Stuff at Forgotten Weapons

Ian has been mining the upcoming RIA premier auction for interesting stuff. Here’s a Russian FN 1903 shoulder-stocked pistol, for example, or a 1960s retro-futuristic GyroJet Rocket Carbine.

Like Ian, we’ve always found stocked pistols cool, and fun to shoot.

The Continuing Adventures of Bubba the Gunsmith

No comment.


Really, no comment.

State Department’s 1st Amendment Revocation Headed to Court of Appeals

The State Department’s attempt to put firearms technical information under a complete lockdown won the preliminary injunction stage at Federal district court, so the next step is a trip to the 5th Circuit. A report on the case by Scott J. Gruenwald, who appears to be suffering a degree of cognitive dissonance between his pro-liberty and anti-gun preferences, ran in Nothing is filed yet and the DD v. US page has not been updated as of press time, but the filing will likely go there when it is delivered to the Court.

Bubba Again? There’s Gotta Be an Easier Way to Make a Bicycle

Found on Teh Interwebz:


Actually, this is the level of handcraftsmanship that the Bubbas at Century aspire to.

Is that mag catch going to snag a rider’s shoelaces, or what?

Apparently no one ever told this cat that you can buy a bicycle for $50 at Walmart, $10 on Craigslist, %0 on Freecycle, or just do like a Black Lives Matter poster child and steal one.

Printed? Casted? Just celebrate diversity!

That’s probably not what the President means when he’s talking about “Diversity.” But printed? Casted? Red, green, yellow, black or white? (That’s +1 on the races of the world right there).

Celebrate Diversity printed and casted

Not the President’s diversity? Just goes to show, with all due respect for the man and the office, he’s wrong.

Colt is Hiring, Sort Of

Colt has a few positions open, while it still negotiates the bankruptcy produced by a rapacious management. Meanwhile, the managers who seek to hang onto the company while expropriating bondholders of $350M have demanded millions of dollars in bonuses from the courts. The open positions are all management/exempt positions. Given the politics of Connecticut courts, they don’t dare address any part of their cost issues that relates to staying in high-cost Connecticut, or maintaining a high-cost, low-quality UAW labor force.

If the Court approves the bankruptcy as proposed, Colt’s failure is not solved, but the day of reckoning is kicked further along the road, and more to the point from the managers’ viewpoint,  they get to keep pocketing other people’s millions, which is why they became hedge fund managers in the first place.

New Flamethrower Threatened With New Ban

We recently covered the new Ion Productions flamethrower, which is made in Warren, Michigan, a decaying industrial suburb of Detroit. The Mayor of Warren, one Jim Fouts, is so alarmed that people may be buying something inflammable from his town, other than Pintos, and so determined to keep the people on welfare where he can be their Supreme Personality of Godhead, that he’s trying to bull a ban through the City Council.

“I support Second Amendment rights,” the mayor, a national socialist, says…. do any of you care to get the next word after his comma?

Yes, that would be the “abnegatory ‘but'”, the conjunction that cancels out the first clause of the sentence. Fouts doesn’t support the Second Amendment. He probably looks really spiffy in a black Hugo Boss uniform. After all, you can’t spell “Boss” without the last two letters!

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Exercise with Guns?

We don’t wear form-fitting stuff (at this age, the form is rotund anyway) and simply carry a pocket pistol in a pocket, if the event doesn’t work with a holster. But NRA has a simple one-pager of suggestions for staying gunned-up when you’re working out. It’s mostly common sense, but you’d be surprised how uncommon that is.

Defoor’s on De Toor

CT Closed OutOK, we’ll cop to the terrible pun, but Our Traveling Reporter tells us that Kyle Defoor has his 2016 schedule up (albeit incomplete, as he’s still placing dates on the calendar)…
….and they’re already filling up. (Not surprising as he’s very reasonably priced for that level of instructional skill). We confirmed this with a visit to his page, during which a Connecticut pistol class closed out (and Connecticut is a lousy place to take a class, as it’s a ban state with a 10-round mag limit, and the state’s staggering taxes make food and lodging in CT a poor value).

Kyle Defoor continues his wiseass hashtaggery. His stuff is worth reading for that alone.

Kyle Defoor continues his wiseass hashtaggery. His stuff is worth reading for that alone — in this case, especially if you’re a fan of Billy Joel’s 1980s Beatlesque album, The Nylon Curtain.

We mentioned that our handgun skills were somewhat atrophied and we were back in the Crawl stage of the famous military Crawl, Walk, Run cycle. This brought a sharp response from OTR: “Do not go to Defoor unless you’re at Run!” What he means by that is that you’ll get the most out of it if you’re already at a decent level. Here’s how Kyle explains typical prerequisites:

The 2-Day Pistol course is recommended for those that have attended shooting courses before or who have a thorough understanding of pistol and carbine basics and already have safe gun handling skills.

If your pistol, precision rifle or carbine skills meet basic professional standards and you want to take them up a level in a single weekend, he’s a great instructor. (Mike Pannone is another, and Mike’s an SF guy. Defoor is one of those frogman creatures. NTTAWWT).

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

New Jersey Cops bag another Concealed Carrier

Cops in New Jersey don’t pursue criminals. You could get hurt doing that! Instead, they make a regular practice out of rolling up unwary residents from other states who don’t realize that Christiestan is a rights-free zone. They just bagged another, Brian Fletcher, who had come in from North Carolina because New Jersey’s native population of hedge fund clerks and welfare recipients need to call out of state to fix their cell towers.

How Crims Get Guns in CA: From Cops

Dateline, Oakland, August

The theft of the semi-automatic pistol and other items belonging to the officer was reported about 9:59 a.m. Wednesday [26 Aug.] in the 3000 block of East Ninth Street near a Starbuck’s coffee shop in the Fruitvale Station shopping center.

Dateline, Richmond Point, August

Last Friday [21 Aug.] a loaded gun, badge, and other items were stolen from an unmarked SUV belonging to UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennett, who had parked the vehicle at Richmond’s Point Isabel Regional Shoreline while she jogged before work.

Dateline, San Francisco, July.

In another incident in July, a gun stolen in San Francisco from the car of a federal Bureau of Land Management agent was reportedly used to kill Kathryn Steinle on Pier 14 in the city.

Neither of the August thefts has turned up. The July stolen gun was recovered after a criminal alien used it in the murder. While California laws about gun storage are strict, being a cop means never having to say you’re sorry. In California, none of the reckless cops who left weapons unattended have been charged or disciplined at all — and none of them has said they’re sorry, the heartless, soulless BLM agent particularly maintaining a position of contemptuous, haughty and lawyered-up silence to his victim, Kate Steinle.

The CA Attorney General says this about firearms storage and responsibility:

You may be guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony if you keep a loaded firearm within any premises that are under your custody or control and a child under 18 years of age obtains and uses it, resulting in injury or death, or carries it to a public place, unless you stored the firearm in a locked container or locked the firearm with a locking device to temporarily keep it from functioning.

Unless you’re a cop. Then you have the Thin Blue Patent of Nobility.

Australian Cops Step Up Confiscation

Savage-coverIn Western Australia (one of the States into which OZ is organized) the police have been confiscating rifles. Not semi-autos, and not pumps — they already got all those, and they’ve been making noises about lever-actions. But the Target for Today is bolt-action rifles that look, in the inexperienced eye of any one Bronze at any given time, like they might be military.

The actual stocks used in our M24s? They’re OK. Some of the chassis stocks made for the civilian market, and heavy-as-the-Great-Barrier-Reef stocks made for benchrest competitors? Nope, some guy says they’re military, so to the smelter they go.

Elmer Fudd thinks the tiger isn’t going to eat him if he throws the collectors and self-defense shooters in its path. It’s just going to eat him later. 

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

Irish Democracy meets Red-light Revenue Cameras

Here are three stories of a guy who got jammed up for knocking red-light cameras out of line and crimping crooked cop/bureaucrats’ free flow of lucre: The Federalist, Sachem Patch, and Stephen Ruth’s own Facebook Page. Most of the money from these schemes go to the politically connected, crony crapitalist companies that fun this for-profit venture.

The Train Attack — It Can’t Happen Here

Because Amtrak is a gun-free zone… just like the Thalys express train in Europe. How did that work out. Katie Pavlich writes in The Hill:

Since moving to Washington, D.C., years ago, I’ve become what is known as a Northeast Corridor Acela passenger. I often travel to New York City for work, and the train goes straight to Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan. It’s convenient, but the majority of the time I don’t feel safe. I can’t imagine I’m the only one.

Three years ago I was on the Acela headed north, on Sept. 11, when the train stopped between D.C. and Baltimore. The Amtrak engineer came over the loudspeaker to explain that there were wires down in front of the train on the tracks and wires down behind us, and that we wouldn’t be going anywhere for a while. “A while” turned into 10 hours of sitting on the tracks, with no option of getting off.

While we were waiting — and as I often do when there’s a delay — I thought about how we were helpless, defenseless, sitting ducks. We couldn’t get off the train, the train couldn’t move and it would be easy for someone on the train to carry out an attack or for someone outside of the train to make their way aboard.

Fortunately, if terrorists wiped out the habitués of the Acela Express, the country would survive. Yes, even the loss of the flower of Wall Street, congressional staffs, and big-J Journalism. Survive, hell, it’d probably benefit.

Veterans’ Issues

They can get ’em to join, in a major initiative to bring vets into the Federal government, but they can’t get ’em to hang around.

The bad news is that once veterans get into government, they don’t stay long. They’re more likely to leave their jobs within two years than non-veterans, the Office of Personnel Management reported.

The Small Business Administration had the most trouble keeping veterans in fiscal 2014, with just 62 percent staying two years or more, compared to 88 percent of non-veterans. Former service members left the Commerce Department at similar rates, with 68 percent staying two years or more compared to 82 percent for non-veterans.

Even the Department of Veterans Affairs, traditionally a draw for former troops, lost a little more than a quarter of its veterans within two years, compared to 20 percent of its non-veterans.

The initiative has fueled tensions in federal offices, though, as longtime civil servants and former troops on the other side of the cubicle question each other’s competence and qualifications.

So why don’t the vets stay? Maybe cause working for the .fed has all the embuggerments of serving in the military, without any of the rewards?

Lord Love a Duck!

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

Here’s a Congressman with a Clue:

massie non gun free zoneIs yours like this, or is he the other kind?

Hat tip, Aaron Spuler at (This guy is Aaron’s Congressman).

You can’t keep a good technology down

Goodyear’s blimps are being retired, and will be replaced by a new generation of semi-rigid airships. After the US (Akron and Macon), UK (R100-R101) and Germany (who can forget the Hindenburg) had some bad experiences, the only airships left for decades were nonrigid, frameless blimps. But in recent years Zeppelin NT and others have shown that modern materials and other technologies make a framed or partially-framed airship a machine of great potential.

A more serious threat to the airships is the US blowing out Government helium stocks, which are mostly being wasted because of the subsidized low price, and the price shock coming when the ancient US reserve bottoms out.

Buy My Degree for 1/4 Of What I Wasted On it!

That’s the pitch from a woman who got a degree in the jobstopper field of Theatre from Florida State University. Hot tip kid: schools that are known for their football program are not where Broadway is looking for its next generation of talent

Stephanie Ritter, a 26-year-old Florida State University alum, has listed her diploma on eBay for the staggering sum to cover the ‘actual cost’ of attending the school.
Now $40,000 in debt and living in Southern California, Stephanie is fed up with being unable to find a job in her field, despite having a Bachelor’s degree – so she’s come up with a drastic solution to pay off her loans and ‘validate my use of time between 2007-2011’.

It’s only a solution if someone thinks an FSU Theatre degree is worth $50k, which seems unlikely. She has a Plan B and Plan C though:

Though Stephanie seems to recognize the unlikelihood that someone will actually purchase her very expensive piece of paper, she hasn’t given up all hope of achieving financial stability, and told BuzzFeed that she dreams that ‘a very rich family would adult Daddy Warbucks me.’
And if that doesn’t work out either, she has a back-up plan.

‘If that falls through, honestly, [I will] just do that thing where I pay the minimum for 25 years and then the government feels so bad for you that they wipe it clean,’ she said.

Anybody wonder why our generation thinks a large slice of her generation comprises a bunch of sniveling, spoilt, entitled wastes of skin?

A Theatre degree signals to employers: drama queen. It’s not the worst degrees, those are any kind of Grievance Studies.

Off Topic but Fascinating: Mormon and Orthodox Jewish Dating Demographics

This article at the usually worthless Time magazine is an excerpt from a book that examines, among other things, the sex imbalance in dating in certain closed communities (meaning they don’t seek a match outside their group), like Orthodox Jews and Mormons.

In both cases, a surplus of young women is facing too few men, and the reasons are demographic but different: among Mormons, young men are more likely to drop out of LDS than young women, leaving a lot of potential perfect wives unclaimed. Orthodox Jews have a very low religious drop-out rate, so the cause there is different. The demographic growth of Orthodox Jewry (thanks to their preference for large families) means that each year the cohort is larger, so a 2-3 year age difference (male over female) means there will always be more younger women for the men who are a couple years older to choose from. And unusually, among the flavors of Orthodox Jews, Hasidic Jews do not have a marriage imbalance, because their marriage practice is for husband and wife to be of equal age.

Funny, the difference between two couples, one 21 year olds and the other a 19 and 23 year old  might carry within it the demographic seed of many “extra” women who can’t find husbands. (Meanwhile, in China and other Asian patriarchal societies, the advent of ultrasound and abortion has ensured that the “extras” will be men, which has different societal problems). You can’t really match the Chinese men with the “extra” Mormon and Jewish women, not when this is all driven by culture, religion, and identity.

TSA Protected the Living Daylights out of Her

tsa checkpointWhat would a GEICO ad featuring the godawful Transportation Security Administration say? Probably something like this: “If you were a TSA agent, you’d steal stuff and molest people. That’s what they do.”

That’s a pretty good shot at it, as we have documented their normal behavior here over the years. And we continue to believe, based on a mountain of evidence, that no one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever. Case in point:

A TSA agent is accused of sexually assaulted [sic] a woman at LaGuardia Airport after telling her she needed to be searched in the bathroom.

According to authorities, the suspect was arrested following an investigation of claims by the 22-year-old victim, a college student from Korea.

The victim was in Terminal B at around 8 p.m. Tuesday when she was told by the suspect to go into the bathroom for a search.

Once there, the agent molested her, said police.

After the attack, the victim found witnesses who recognized the suspect. The suspect was wearing a TSA uniform at the time of his arrest and she picked him out a photo array.

via Police say TSA agent molested college student traveling through LaGuardia in airport bathroom |

Naturally, TSA officialdom had nothing to say about this, not even the usual banal boilerplate bullshit about “isolated incident” that they issue daily as their mouth-breathing bottom-feeding employees create one “isolated incident” after another.

Don’t forget that the only reason this particular TSA rapist is being prosecuted is because the victim went to real law enforcement, not to TSA management, who would have covered the whole thing up, maybe fired the rapist, and not even given him a bad employment reference. Because a TSA job is a form of welfare, an entitlement, and you can’t take it away from one of them just for raping somebody! What, have you no heart?

Given the degree to which all TSA personnel are evil, the degree to which all TSA personnel are incompetent turns out to be a good thing.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Dragonflies


Why is this bug smiling? Is this bug smiling?

What mayhem a small carnivorous insect can do! In the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, one turned tons of Coca-Cola products into an unguided missile; fortunately, the injuries to the individual in question, a delivery truck driver, seem minor.

A man driving a Coca-Cola truck escaped serious injury after he lost control of his vehicle on Rte. 140 yesterday when a dragonfly flew into his window and became lodged between his glasses and his eyeball.

Police Sgt. James McIntire said the unnamed driver tried to remove the insect from behind his glasses but swerved the truck and blew out a tire.

The truck drove through the drive rail, said McIntire and landed on its side, spilling Coca-Cola products into the ditch and along the highway.

It’s kind of funny because it’s just property damage and non-life-threatening injuries. But it’s easy to imagine a scenario in which the dragonfly-driven juggernaut collected an oncoming car, or a family on bicycles, or a school bus full of kids on an outing before coming to rest in the ditch.

McIntire said the driver was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia for evaluation. The dragonfly has not been located.

via Dragonfly said to have caused Coca-Cola truck overturn in Northfield.

Sure the reporter is making a wry joke, but there are actually people who worry about the souls of the insects. I don’t know what you can do for people like that. As Chesterton said (and we’re fond of quoting), where animals are worshipped, humans are sacrificed.

No sacrifice this time, but it was a near-run thing.

Archaeology Find Confirms 1777 Battle Story

Archaeologists are always surprised to find that historical information from contemporary sources, pamphlets, or news stories is confirmed by the results of a dig (probably because they read the New York Times and watch TV news and assume today’s media is fabulistic, in the tradition of yesterday’s). The latest unexpected discovery is this cannon shard which from a New Jersey dig which seems to confirm some details of the October, 1777 Battle of Red Bank, a small but dramatic Continental victory, in which attacking Hessian mercenaries suffered extreme casualties under an artillery and small arms barrage, and the American casualties were light, comprising primarily a single gun crew slain when the gun exploded.

Historians who studied the Battle of Red Bank in 1777 have long known the tragic story of an American gun crew.

It was one of several defending Fort Mercer against a much larger army of Hessian soldiers, who were trying to dislodge them and open up the Delaware River for British ships to supply the Redcoats occupying Philadelphia.

The crew loaded a massive cannon, lit the fuse, and fired – but the breech exploded, killing a dozen members of Rhode Island regiments who were manning the gun and earthworks.

The battle, while a Continental victory, took place amid a series of strategic setbacks and defeats. Washington’s objective had been to cut off Philadelphia as he had in the previous year cut off Boston and forced a British defeat, and much as later in 1776 the British had forced him out of New York. To that end, the campaign that began with the upset of Hessian forces at Princeton and Trenton in December ’76 gave way to a plan to ring Philadelphia round with a number of fortifications. But Washington was in a weak position; he had to be strong at every fort, and he just didn’t have the men. The British, on the other hand, could use the Royal Navy to bring overwhelming force to one fort at a time, as they were not placed well for mutual support.

Hessian Map of the Battle Area

Hessian Map of the Battle Area. Fort Red Bank at lower right. As was customary in the 18th Century (under Vauban’s influence), the map’s legend is in French, which both the English and German officers could understand.

The fortifications at Red Bank were part of this ring around Philadelphia, which British forces had been rolling up through the summer and fall of 1777. A fort named Fort Mifflin stood on a rather insubstantial island in the Delaware called (appropriately) Mud Island, toward the Pennsylvania side; the fort on the Jersey side (in or just south of modern Camden, NJ) was called Fort Mercer (named after Brigadier General Hugh Mercer, a doctor turned warrior who died of wounds from the Battle of Princeton in January, 1777), but not knowing that name, the British called it Red Bank. The forts guarded water obstacles, chevaux-de-frise, and covered those obstacles with the observation and fires necessary to prevent English engineers from dismantling the blockages. To achieve Lord Howe’s strategic objective of the relief of Philadelphia, these forts had to go.

It was Red Bank’s turn to be reduced by amphibious attack on 21 October 1777. The operation was a success, in that the British took the ground they sought; but it was a costly success.  First, here’s the commanding officer’s spin. This is the report of the British commander, General Sir William Howe, in a letter he wrote to Lord George Germaine from Philadelphia on 25 October 1777.

 My Lord,

The enemy having intrenched about 100 men at Red-Bank, upon the Jersey shore, some little distance above Fort Island, Colonel Donop, with three battalions of Hessian grenadiers, the regiment of Mirback, and the infantry, Chasseurs, crossed the Delaware on the 21st instant to Cooper’s Ferry, opposite to this town, with directions to proceed to the attack of that post. The detachment marched a part of the way on the same day, and on the 22nd in the afternoon was before Red Bank; Colonel Donop immediately made the best disposition, and led the troops in the most gallant manner to the assault. They carried an extensive outwork, from which the enemy were driven into an interior intrenchment, which could not be forced without ladders, being eight or nine feet high, with the parapet boarded and fraized. The detachment in moving up, and returning from, the attack, was much galled by the enemy’s gallies and floating batteries.

Colonel Donop and Lieutenant Colonel Minningerode being both wounded, the command devolved upon the Lieutenant Colonel Linsing, who after collecting all the wounded that could be brought off, marched that night about 5 miles towards Cooper’s ferry, and on the following morning returned with the detachment to camp.

Colonel Donop unfortunately had his thigh so much fractured by a musket ball, that he could not be removed; but I since I understand there are some hopes of his recovery. There were several brave Officers lost upon this occasion, in which the utmost ardour and coverage or displayed by both officers and soldiers.

Contemporary woodcut of the Battle of Red Bank.

Contemporary woodcut of the Battle of Red Bank.

On the 23rd, the Augusta, in coming up the river with some other ships of war, to engage the enemies gallies near the Fort, got a-ground and by some accident taking fire in the action, was unavoidably consumed; but I do not hear there were any lives lost. The Merlin sloop also grounded, and the other ships being obliged to remove a distance from the explosion of the Augusta, it became expedient to evacuate and burn her also.

These disappointments, however, will not prevent the most vigorous measures being pursued for the reduction of the Fort, which will give us the passage of the river.

I have the honor to be, &c.

W. Howe.

PS I have the satisfaction to enclose to your Lordship a report just received a very spirited piece of service performed by Major-General Vaughn and Sir James Wallace up the Hudson’s river.

We’d planned on stopping the excerpt here, because Vaughan’s report doesn’t bear directly on the Red Bank fight and the attempted (and ultimately successful) relief of Philadelphia by Crown forces, but we know you guys would ask, and it’s a brief report, and illuminative of Vaughan’s character so here it is:

Copy of Major General Vons report. On board the friendship, off Esopus, Friday, October 17, 10 o’clock, Morning.

I have the honor to inform you, that on the evening of the 15th instant I arrived off Esopus; finding that the rebels had thrown up works, and had made every disposition to annoy us, and cut off every communication, I judged it necessary to attack them, the wind being at that time so much against us, we could make no way. I accordingly when did the troops, attacked their batteries, drove them from their works, spiked and destroyed their guns. Esopus being a nursery for almost every villain in the country, I judged it necessary to proceed to that town. On our approach they were drawn up with cannon, which we took, and drove them out of the place. On our entering the town they fired from their houses, which induced me to reduce the place to ashes, which I accordingly did, not leaving a house. We found a considerable quantity of stores of all kinds, which shared the same fate.

Sir James Wallace has destroyed all the shipping except an armed galley, which run up the creek, with everything belonging to the vessels in store.

Our loss is so inconsiderable, this is not at present worthwhile to mention.

I am, &c.
John Vaughn

Esopus, New York, burned by Vaughan’s forces, was the initial capital of the state in rebelliion, so Vaughan’s irritation with the town was on solid ground. The name dated to Colonial Dutch times; when the city was rebuilt it was (and is) known as Kingston, NY. The Esopus fight was much more a British victory than was Red Bank, despite Lord Viscount Howe’s spin in his report above.

christopher-greene2-largeAt Red Bank, the Hessians drew up and demanded a surrender, threatening no quarter. The militia in the fort, under the command of Colonel Christopher Greene, defied the threat and informed the Hessians that no quarter would be given to them. (In the end, it was, and the militia did not murder their prisoners).

The colonials at Red Bank retreated in good order and their primary losses were the gun crew killed by the explosion of the gun; the Hessians suffered hundreds of casualties. But Red Bank was the exception; one after another the British forces levered the Yankees out of their positions and opened the sea roads to Philadelphia.

The Reduction of Fort Mercer at Red Bank. Modern sketch from a period Hessian sketch by Capt. J. Ewald.

The Reduction of Fort Mercer at Red Bank. Modern sketch from a period Hessian sketch by Capt. J. Ewald. The New Jersey militiamen escaped to the left of this sketch (southwest) after killing and wounding 325-400 Hessians. On withdrawal, the Hessians abandoned their wounded who joined other Hessians as prisoners, also.  

Howe’s report is full of spin. He tends to minimize casualties; for example, Colonel von Donop of the Hessians was in no way on the path to recovery, and he shortly died, and while he lists officer casualties in detail he evidences little interest in enlisted casualties, especially among the German mercenaries and local auxiliaries that were the bulk of his force. And he probably knew well that the two ships he lost were lost because of Continental obstacles, and the Augusta (a 64-gun ship of the line) was burnt by American fireships.

The house the Continentals used for their headquarters and hospital, and in which von Donop was treated a prisoner, still stands and is part of the Red Bank National Historic Site. (Von Donop was removed to another house, where he expired from his wounds three days later).

There is a ghost story involving Hessians with mismatched heads.

The surviving Hessians, beaten back by musketry and cannon fire, exfiltrated overland to Woodbury, leaving their casualties behind. The question of Hessians that died with their boots (and heads) still on was one of the things that motivated the modern archaeologists, who descended on the popular park this summer, and they did find buttons and bone fragments that indicate that they may have found a mass grave of the unfortunate Germans. (More analysis of the bones is required before that can be stated as fact).

Red Bank Cannon FragmentBut the most interesting discovery is a large fragment of a cannon breech, taken as being the one that exploded during the battle (we would need to see more documents to make sure the Hessians did not capture and blow up guns also, as it could have been one of those). Still, the archaeological team was not expecting such a historic find.

In the end, Howe kept coming, and he occupied Fort Mifflin on 16 November and Fort Mercer — finally abandoned by the Americans after the fall of Mifflin — on 20 November, 1777. The defenders had bought time, bled the occupying army, and most of them had slipped away to fight another day. Before they could do that, the privations of their winter in Valley Forge lay ahead.




Some days you eat the 3D Bear…

…some days, the bear eats you.

And, it turns out, Ursus trikademensionalis has a number of different ways to put you on the menu.

some days you eat the bear

Not all these prints are bad, and not all the bad prints are unsalvageable, but some of them are the veritable Thalidomide prints that turn an hours-long print job into a face-planting disaster.  Anybody who works with 3D printing at all, whether he’s printing weapons parts, experimental aviation bits, or ghey little Yodas, has a collection of these prints after a while.

Fortunately, some plastics are recyclable. (Some people even have home-grown setups for grinding up the botched prints and turning them back into filament. Those, too, have a number of ways to go nonlinear on you).


The Thin (and Neat) Blue Perv

Newton PDQuick, what would happen to you if systematically used the threat of force (or abused the color of authority) to try to intimidate people into sex with you?

If you’re a gay cop, apparently, not much. A cop named Jason Miller in Newton, New Jersey (where guns are outlawed and the cops are the worst people in a state that starts off with its average below average) used to use blue lights and intimidation as a way to get oral sex from random men and boys.

He’d pull over some guy he took a shine to, and approach the motorists car with, instead of a ticket pad, something, uh, else, in his hand; you could take the ticket or you could kiss him there and make it all better.

Miller either unzipping or (more likely) zipping up. Little of this video was available because he customarily turned his camera off.

Miller either unzipping or (more likely) zipping up. Little of this kind of video was available because he customarily turned his camera off. As you can see, he’s not thin and neat, so the Seinfeld reference in the title doesn’t fit. But we couldn’t resist it anyway.

If a regular guy used a power relationship that blatantly to get sex — say, a professor greeting co-eds at office hours, unzipped and tumescent — the State of New Jersey would zang him so far back in the cellblock that his gruel would have to be delivered by GPS-enabled drones. But a different set of laws apply to the law’s insiders.

Indeed, Jason Miller is a perfect storm of two minorities beloved by prosecutors and courts — gay rapists, and dirty cops. He got away for it for a very long time, until two of the motorists he’d waggled his truncheon at called a tip line and exposed him (pun definitely intended).

The prosecutor forbore to charge Miller with any felony. Furthermore, he’s only asking for sixty days, and, Miller has to promise not to work as a cop any more. In New Jersey. (Hey, the Chester, PA Police Department has room for guys like this).

Jason Miller, 37, appeared before Judge Thomas Critchley in Sussex County Superior Court Monday with his attorney, Anthony Iacullo, for the first time since being arrested in November 2014.

Under the terms of the agreement, Miller pleaded guilty to turning off the video and audio components of his patrol car’s dashboard camera system “to conceal unprofessional and inappropriate conduct” between March 1, 2014 and Oct. 23, 2014.

If there’s no video from the dashcam, the cop’s story is always a lie. That needs to be written in to the Rules of Evidence. But as the photo above shows, there was some dashcam video of Patrolman Perv.

Additionally, Miller, who is currently suspended indefinitely without pay from the Newton Police Department, will be barred from seeking employment as a law enforcement officer in New Jersey, Sussex County First Assistant Prosecutor Greg Mueller said.

The state is also seeking that Miller serve 60 days in county jail, as well as be subject to a probationary period of between one and five years, Mueller said.

via Newton cop, accused of exposing himself during traffic stops, takes plea deal |

His mouthpiece — it’s not clear is Iacullo is the go-to defense attorney for gay rapists, or if Iacullo is the Police Benevolent Association’s retained guy for dirty cops — is no doubt pressing to let him off with Time Not Served.

You have to wonder how many other cops on Miller’s department knew about this behavior before a couple of citizen’s complaints did him in.

Remember, in places like New Jersey, police like Miller are the only ones who can be trusted with firearms. The same way they’re the only serial rapists who can be trusted to walk free in two months or less.


Here’s an incident at LiveLeak, that answers, in part, the question in the initial paragraph of this article. (Note, badly digitally-clipped audio). In the video, a guy is being arraigned on charges that he impersonated a cop for sex, or, more specifically, used the threat of arrest to get a hooker to give it up to him without him using a condom. His attorney does his best to spring the guy, arguing that the words of the statute imply that what his client, Dindu Nuffin, dindu is not a crime. But you can see this suspect get hammered a lot harder by the judge (even in the arraignment phase) than Miller did — because he wasn’t really a cop using his cop-hood to get laid, he was pretending to be, and mere impersonators don’t inherit this droit du seigneur that New Jersey law apparently extends to the state’s dirty cops.

(Editor’s note: looking for an illustration for this we googled ‘gay cop’ thinking (1) there was probably such a thing as gay cop pr0n, and (2) the search results would probably a G rated but suggestive image to use here. Answers: (1) oh yeah, and (2) not really. There is not enough brain bleach in the liquor cabinet. Worse, it now is in google’s memory of the crap we have searched for. We’re going to see some, can we say, queer suggestions in the weeks ahead. Dumb, dumb, dumb. –Eds.)

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Get Locked Up With Guns

BehindPrisonBars001Is there a more gun-free Gun Free Zone than inside a freakin’ cell? 

Apparently, yeah.

The Baltimore Police Department confirmed Thursday that a handgun had been found in a holding cell in the Eastern District station house.

Department spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Connolly said the incident is “very concerning and unacceptable,” and that the department has launched an investigation.

“Concerning”? “Unacceptable”? The subtext here seems to be, “beats us with a stick.”

Connolly did not say whether anyone was in the cell when the gun was found.

Three possibilities here:

  1. Connolly didn’t know and was too simple to ask the people who did. This is possible; PR officers are often selected from visually-pleasant people who can’t do the actual job, and she may be one of those;
  2. She knew and is lying to the press. SOP for most government flacks. The reporters know this too. It’s all kabuki;
  3. The guys running the investigation don’t know this simple fact. If that’s the case, it bodes ill for the prospects of investigational success.

But hey, we should probably cut the Baltimore PD some slack. It’s the first time this has ever happened, right?

We’re just dealing with one isolated incident! Nothing too see here.

Er, wrong.

Last month, a gun was found in a holding cell in the same district’s station house.

Well, that’s not very encouraging (we’re sure Connolly said at the time it was “unacceptable” and “concerning,” but here it is again 20 days later and they’re just accepting it. Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence. Nothing too see here.

We’re just dealing with one two isolated incidents! Nothing too see here.

And in August 2014, 38-year-old Tyree Woodson smuggled a gun into a police station and fatally shot himself in the head in a bathroom stall.

via Baltimore police find handgun in holding cell – WTOP.

Three isolated incidents in a year of something that most departments never see could just be statistical clustering. Or it could be a sign of really lousy leadership.

Which way to bet?

LA Times ID’s Afghanistan’s Problem: Toy Guns!

There are some ideas that are so retarded you just about need to have a Columbia J-School ticket for your brain housing group to contain them. That includes the idea that the ultima causa of mayhem in Afghanistan is that Afghan kids, unlike, say, LA Times reporters’ precious, coddled Unique and Special Snowflakes™, have mamas that let them play with war toys.

Yeah, that’s it.

Afghan boys with toy guns

It certainly can’t have anything to do with the unrelenting warfare kicked off by a Communist overthrow of King Zahir Shah in 1973, and the unstable state of war that has flowed like a red tide across the landlocked and desperately poor country ever since. It can’t have anything to do with a nation that, after successive governments by wooly-headed Commies, actual Soviet puppets, bloodthirsty mujahideen, and the Bat Guano Crazy Taliban dropped clean off the UN Development Index in 1996, and that therefore for about four generations on the Afghan scale has had nothing to offer an Afghan boy but the prospect of growing up to be killed or crippled in intramural combat like his male ancestors all have been.

(Well, he could be a chai bacha, an Afghan euphemism for a professional catamite, at least until he’s too old. That’s a role that LA Times reporters could probably aspire to).

Anyway, it can’t be any of that. 

Nope, gotta be the toy guns. So cue up the latest masterstroke that will fer-sure-this-time-forget-them-fortyleven-other-times erase the bloodshed that’s been part of Afghan life since before Afghan was a word, and get your ban on, and in 5-4-3-2-1 Afghans will start behaving just like Swiss.

Or not.

Finally, after years of outcry by politicians, parents and civil society groups, the Interior Ministry announced last month that it was officially enacting a ban on the sale of plastic firearms in Afghanistan.

At a news conference in Kabul, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said: “After this, there is a ban on the sale and use of plastic guns…. The interior minister directed police in all provinces to collect these toys and prevent their sale.”

Sediqqi said the ministry would work alongside the Ministry of Commerce and the nation’s various trade groups to prevent the import of such toys, mainly from nearby Pakistan and China.

The news comes as a welcome relief to a growing number of parents who for years have refused to buy plastic guns for their children.

“Why should I buy them weapons rather than something that would teach them something positive,” said Geran Popal, a teacher, who has repeatedly denied requests by her three children to buy them fake weapons for the Muslim holiday.

Zuhra Bahman, who last month had started an online petition calling for a ban on the “the manufacturing, import, advertising and sales of imitation weapons in Afghanistan,” also welcomed the news.

Yeah, online petitions. A major factor in Afghan power politics, especially petitions started by women community organizers, the traditional bedrock of Afghan society. Amazing thing is, the guy writing this article has an Afghan name. Did he get a complete cultural brainwashing at UC Irvine or something?

“I am very pleased, this is people power at work,” said Bahman, the mother of a 3-year-old girl.

Bahman, who has studied child development, said that further legislation or a presidential decree should be directed at other imitation weapons, such as plastic knives and hand grenades.

Calls for such a ban have met with resistance, mainly from other parents, she said.

via Afghanistan’s growing toy gun problem has gotten so bad the government finally acted – LA Times.

At an age when most American kids are still being driven to school by mommy and are completely unable to solve personal problems without helicopter-parental intervention, many Afghans are engaging in the national pastime, mayhem. We’re not entirely sure one childhood pathology is superior to the other.

The LA Times, on the other hand, is.

And by the end of the article they’ve tied it to their real agenda: a ban on real guns.

“I find it pathetic that Afghanistan has banned toy guns but not disarmed 99% who shouldn’t own real ones,” tweeted Roya Aziz, an Afghan American who spent eight years in Kabul.

A U.S. raid in June on a weapons cache belonging to Jan Ahmad, a strongman in the northern province of Parwan, stirred a debate in the nation.

Those who supported Jan Ahmad, including Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive of the Afghan government, said the raid, conducted by a foreign army, violated civil rights and the sovereignty of the Kabul government.

Critics of the anti-Soviet, anti-Taliban strongman saw it as the first step in the disarming of militiamen and other powerful figures maintaining illegal arms stashes.

They’ll never figure it out: arms are downstream from culture. In Afghanistan, it’s logical and even necessary to band together with those of your family, tribe, race or ethnicity is a necessity in the absence of a strong national government (and the absence of a strong national government is guaranteed by the preference of Afghanistan’s powerful neighbors, and by the lack of a strong national identity compared to those ties of family, tribe, race an ethnicity).

This isn’t the first rodeo with banning toy guns. This link is to a photo with a caption indicating that the Germans, who probably have more national experience with gun confiscation that anybody, having at one time done it from the Pyrenees to the Crimea and everywhere in between, were confiscating toy guns in Kabul in 2003. To “prevent children to get used to playing war games.” How’s that working out?

The US has wasted, now, 15 years of effort in building cross-family/tribe/racial/ethnic institutions, including mad efforts like trying to build an Afghan National Army organized by American diversicrats to “perfectly represent Afghanistan” by counting ethnic beans. “Oh, that kandak is short Hazaras, transfer some Hazaras in from this one.” The third-raters that become American personnel officers can’t manage American personnel effectively, so you can imagine how their failure-prone policies do when imposed on a radically different culture and set of motivations.

Telling an Afghan who lives in a village that is his because its previous owners were ethnically cleansed out of there in 1998 or 1987 or 1898 under the Taliban or Soviets or Abdurrahman Khan, that Diversity is Strength, and getting him fired up about the American national pastime of racial beancounting, is about as effective as telling him his sons ought not to have toy guns, when a couple of years from now they will be firing real ones in actual combat — regardless of what overall trends occur in Afghan history.

The Quiet Special Purpose Revolver

We were sure we’d written about this before, but if we did, we can’t find hide nor hair of our previous report. So, just maybe we haven’t. Recently, we got some new information, and will share it with you.

The QSPR is an extremely rare special-purpose revolver that was developed and produced by the AAI Corporation. Formerly Aircraft Armament Incorporated, the name was abbreviated officially because they never sold any of their aircraft armament concepts. They worked on several ill-fated futuristic small arms of the 1960s (like the SPIW) and one very successful one, the M203 40mm grenade launcher.

The QSPR from the original report (the bad reproduction is due to the records being stored on microfilm or microfche).

The QSPR from the original report (the bad reproduction is due to the records being stored on microfilm or microfche).

The QSPR was made from a Smith & Wesson Model 29. Frames in white were provided to AAI by Smaith, and they were modified with a .40 caliber smoothbore barrel and the cylinders were bored out to 0.528″, leaving a minimal web between chambers. (The lost strength was made up for by the strong cartridges). The weapon was innocent of any sights — it was meant to be used at contact range, inside tunnels, although accuracy to 25 feet was claimed (and Vietnam users reported it was more accurate than their .38 revolvers). Both standard large-frame Smith and aftermarket or custom grips were tried.

The gun was issued with a flap shoulder holster and two ammo pouches holding an odd 7 rounds each.

The gun was issued with a flap shoulder holster and two ammo pouches holding an odd 7 rounds each.

The objective was to provide a weapon for tunnel combat, a weapon with reduced blast, noise, flash and yet increased lethality over the standard pistols and revolvers of the era. It was designed to produce a column of lethal buckshot at very close range, with no flash and very limited blast. Noise in the enclosed tunnels was equivalent to a .22LR firearm outdoors, which was a great improvement over the eardrum-shattering blast of the alternative, the M1911A1 .45 pistol.

Eleven QSPR revolvers were made, of which one was retained by AAI (and is still reportedly retained by a successor, Textron systems). Ten were deployed in 1969 for combat testing in Vietnam; one was reported as a combat loss. Of the existing revolvers, apart from the AAI reference piece, two (#5 and an unknown example) are in a US Army museum, and one is in the ATF reference collection. It was the missing Vietnam gun, which was used in a homicide in California and recovered, according to Dockery.

THE QSPR seems very sophisticated for a first shot, and that’s because it wasn’t. A previous S&W based tunnel revolver was a Model 10 M&P with reduced cylinder gap, a suppressor and an aiming light. It was part of a comprehensive suite of gear assembled by the boffins in the Army’s Land Warfare Laboratory and called the Tunnel Engagement Kit, illustrated here. (The vane switch in the guy’s mouth turned on the VC aiming point on his cranium). You can almost hear them saying, “Do bring it back this time, Mr Bond.” But this bit of lab genius was not what the guys needed, and so the boffins went back to the lab and cooked up the QSPR.

Different tunnel rat rig

Ladies and gentlemen, here is a recent photograph of a unicorn — a live QSPR round. This is believed to be the last and only live round in existence (the ATF caused the destruction of most of them maintained by AAI and the military museum system by declaring them suppressors). The material is high-carbon steel, because the case contains the entire energy of the round, inside a piston. An end cap is screwed on the base of the round; threads in the muzzle end act as a trap to catch a piston. A plastic sheath called a “sabot” wraps around the projectiles and is discarded, much like the sabots used with subcaliber projectiles, when the projectile column exits the muzzle. The muzzle end of the round has a silicone (we think) material applied as a sealant.

QSPR Round 01

The round has a dark finish which appears to be some kind of high-tech proto-melonite coating, although most resources describe the ammo as “blued.”

This is a schematic of the round from what appears to have been the final report on the weapon after development and combat testing in Vietnam. The report recommended further improvements and then general issue to Infantry and Ranger units. Those improvements were not pursued, and the firearm was never manufactured.


The high pressure inside the round breaks the “rim” of the piston free of an annular slot that initially retains the piston in the rearward position and forces it forward, ejecting the sabot-contained shot load, until the pressure snaps the piston rim into a similar annular slot positioned to receive it, and drives the “nose” of the piston into the muzzle-end threads. These two engagements arrest the piston’s forward motion. One purpose of the rearward slot is to retain the pistol and prevent it from sliding and ejecting the payload during normal gun handling.

This is the muzzle end of the round. As you can see, the sabot (or the sealant atop it) comes closer to the muzzle than indicated in the diagram.

QSPR Round 03

This is the breech end. As you can see, there are no markings on the round. The revolvers themselves were marked with the S&W trademark, so we suspect the lack of markings on the ammunition was more a reflection of the toolroom nature of the project than in any attempt to make a deniable or clandestine weapon.

QSPR Round 02

The missing detail from most of the reports, the reason the initial report was classified (albeit only at the Confidential level), and the cause of the QSPRs unusually high terminal effect for a handgun was in a material breakthrough. While most open source reports suggest that the projectiles in the shot column were lead, steel or even tungsten (Wolfram to you Europeans), they were actually depleted uranium.

DU is uranium from which the fissionable isotopes have been removed. It is a side product (a waste product, really) of uranium enrichment for weapons production and has a number of properties making t an excellent choice for projectiles.

While the US was developing the QSPR, Soviet scientists were working on similar captive-piston technology. But in the end, the complexity and cost of the system seems to preclude it from ever being made in more than nominal numbers. The ATF’s Firearms Anti Technology Branch has rendered research on this type of weapon in the USA functionally impossible; Russian designers, who have produced a great many widely varied quiet weapons, seem also to have moved on away from this technology.

The resources below are all worth reading but the most valuable is certainly the official report:

ACTIV QSPR Report OCR .pdf

Sources & Resources

Dockery, Kevin. Tunnel Weapon: The Bang in the Dark. Small Arms Review, Volume 5 Number 9. Retrieved from:

Popenker, Maxim. Smith & Wesson / AAI Quiet Special Purpose Revolver / QSPR / tunnel revolver (USA), World.Guns.Ru. Retrieved from:  Note that Max’s report on the QSPR is pretty accurate but his photoshop job has the barrel a tad too long.

Schreier, Conrad F., Jr. The Silenced QSPR Revolver: An Answer to an Age-old Military Problem. Guns and Ammo Magazine, “Ordnance Department” feature, Guns & Ammo Magazine, October 1971, p. 64. Copy: Guns & Ammo QSPR Article .pdf

Weddington, David E., LTC, IN. Final Report: Tunnel Weapon. Army Concept Team in Vietnam (ACTIV), (Linked above).


Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week 2015 35: Vitaly Kuzmin

vitaly_kuzmin_netAs you might guess from the name Vitaly Kuzminthe website in question belongs to a Russian — in this case, a Russian photographer who’s well wired into the Russian defense and security establishment, or at least, into those parts of it that Russia likes to show off.  Vitaly is an excellent photographer, whether of equipment or of action, and his site is a good visit for anybody who thinks today’s Russian military and paramilitary forces are unchanged from Soviet days.

His posts are in Russian, usually with an English translation or at least an English gist so that foreigners who don’t know the language of Tolstoy and Chekhov (the writer, not the fictional space officer, thank you) can follow along.

He has some excellent photo essays on Spetsnaz, including a multipart rundown on the weapons used by the “Saturn” corrections Spetsnaz element. (These guys are, in effect, the SWAT team for prisons in the Moscow area. While the Gulag is no more, to the relief, we’re sure, of Russians and the world, Russia has its share of criminals, and has to lock them up. Here’s their official site, in Russian of course… we wonder how many of the photos were taken by Vitaly Kuzmin!)

You might also like his archive of posts that are explicitly labeled “arms,” which includes detailed pictures of rarities like the KS-23M shotgun, used primarily with nonlethal ammunition…



This is not your dedushka’s 870. Note the stamped receiver: it was built to work, not to catch attention on a gun-store shelf.

Here’s the internally silenced (in the style of the Vietnam era Quiet Special Purpose Revolver, QSPR, the ammunition contains the expanding powder and kicks the projectile out with a piston) 7.62 x 41mm pistol PSS Vul:


This pistol is a fascinating blend of conventional and unconventional. The rough finish of the grips not only provides a good gripping surface but also (important in an assassination weapon) rejects fingerprints.

Note that the PSS has typically European slide safety (presumably a hammer-drop in the Walther/Makarov style) and butt-heel magazine catch. The sights are fixed, but highly visible, reminiscent of the TT-33 which had excellent fixed sights for its day.


And just so you don’t think Vitaly’s all about little popguns, here’s a type of combat vehicle that is, in 2015, unique to the Russian forces of all the world’s militaries: the BMD-4M airborne combat vehicle, called Bakhcha-U.. This airdroppable light armored vehicle is the latest iteration of a concept the Russians have been using since they were Soviets in the 1970s; BMD-1s spearheaded the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. This latest version is well armed with a 100mm main gun that can also fire ATGMs, and a 30mm coax, controlled by computerized systems.

2015AlabinoFirst-17In the 1960s through 80s, the US had a conceptually similar vehicle, the M551 Sheridan light tank. It was used in the armor unit of the 82nd Airborne Division but also in Armored Cavalry Brigades in Korea and Germany. The M551 had a lot of problems and few were sad to see it go, even though its absence adds to the “speed bump” nature of US airborne forces.

The M551 could be delivered by a C-130 aircraft at conventional drop altitudes (1,000-2,000 feet) or delivered out the back on a skid pallet by the Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System, where a gigantic ring parachute of the sort developed for the Apollo spacecraft recoveries drew it out of the back of the 130 like a veterinarian delivering a calf. When a unit had to provide a Sheridan for a LAPES drop, they never gave up their best one.

The BMD, conceived by designer Arkady Vassilievich Shabalin, is dropped from a larger aircraft (usually an Il-76, although the BMD-1 could be delivered by An-12) at a higher altitude and descends under a cluster of parachutes. An Il-76 can deliver two BMDs to the same or separate drop zones. Its integral cargo crane can pick them up and move them in on to the cargo rails. Because the parachute cluster descends at a faster rate than, say, a normal personnel parachute’s 18-22 feet per second, a secondary deceleration means is required. In the 1970s, this was retro-rockets that were part of the parachute rigging up above the heavy load. Currently, a system of airbags that inflates under the vehicle’s delivery pallet after exit from the aircraft is used.

The Russian system has always been designed with a view to the idea that the crews can be dropped inside the vehicles and be combat ready straightaway. For that reason, the Russian heavy drop system cuts away all the canopies once the pallet is firmly on the ground. Dropping BMDs with live paratroopers inside is a capability the Russian airborne arm VDV very rarely exercise, but Russian sources say it had been done in the recent past (2010) with BMD-2 vehicles.

When they drop a BMD and crew separately, the crew uses a homing beacon to find their own vehicle and get underway in minutes.