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Showing posts from September, 2014

Yes, cops have trust issues

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(H/T to http://www.softgreenglow.com/wp/ ) Properly understood, there is nothing particularly anti-cop about this, it's just reality. When the blues arrive at the scene they are coming upon a situation they do not yet fully understand and they are trying to make sure they live long enough to figure it out. So if a cop treats you like a suspect or a criminal although you are the good guy, please remember that it is nothing personal. It's simply business.

Invasion USA -- 1952 B movie

If you were wondering where Occupy Wall Street got its rhetoric, here you are: The clip starts at 1:06:10 . But watch the whole movie. As well as promoting a strong national defense and opposing military cuts, it is in several ways a fifties nostalgia gem. A glaring glitch in the film is that the foreign invaders are flying US aircraft. It was common to use military stock footage in movies back in the fifties, whether it actually fit into your movie or not. A little later in the film the careful observer will see the US forces flying US planes too. Okay, maybe to the average moviegoer a plane is a plane. A ship is a ship, a gun... A Russian PPSh-41 prop gun appears at about 36:45, but the Roosky's sidekick has a good old American M-1 Carbine, stock movie gun wherever a gun was required in the fifties. Cheap war surplus... those were the days. The ubiquitous William Schallert has a brief role. He was the obnoxious bureaucrat in Star Trek TOS's "The Trouble With Tribb

Meanwhile, in Syria...

H/T to The Weapon Blog

Smallsword simplified

"Fencing made easy" is an impossibility, but in earlier times there were some attempts made to at least simplify it a bit. The smallsword developed as a shorter, lighter rapier, very fast to maneuver. In its ultimate development it lost its cutting edges, the blade being formed as a hollow-ground spike of triangular cross section, very light, and very stiff for its weight. Thus all other qualities were sacrificed for speed, and attacks were perforce made with the point. This is the weapon that gave us the intricate maneuvers of foil and épée fencing. As anyone knows who has tried it, such fencing involves a complex apparatus of defensive techniques--parries and deceptive moves and attempts to push the other fellow's blade around. Use of the smallsword is, though, simple in one respect. All attacks work alike. You extend your arm, pointing your blade to the target, and then you lunge. The reason for the many and complicated defenses is that it is very easy for both

Pick just two guns: one short, one long

There are some people who will get hives from even considering the question, so they are excused from the following exercise. Select one handgun and one long gun for self defense, with the idea that these will be what you rely on permanently, come what may, till death do you part. It will be interesting to find out what other people say. For me the choices are a .38 snub and a 12 gauge riot gun. The snubnose revolver is small, easy to conceal and vastly reliable in any good brand. Because you can carry it discreetly there is little reason not to have it with you, provided you have honored the legalities. The ballistically correct and tactically grim crowd will roll their eyes and say, "Ken, that's not much of a gun! You need at least a..." I have thought about this and experimented over the course of many years. I conclude that people who say you can conceal a full sized fighting pistol in everyday life don't get out much. In some settings, in some modes of attir

When is a scout rifle not a scout?

Ruger has announced  that they now offer their Gunsite Scout Rifle in 5.56/.223. This contravenes the scout rifle's very definition, which calls for a full powered cartridge, but it will prove a fine rifle none the less--nearly recoilless, cheap to feed, handy and accurate. When Steyr introduced a scout rifle in the same caliber, Col. Cooper dubbed it the " poodle scout ," and spoke rather scornfully of the idea of a light caliber scout rifle. I see his point of view; such a weapon is useful for fewer things than one chambered for his recommendation, .308. He wanted the scout rifle to be useful for as many things as possible. But we need not be persuaded by his reasoning. A scout in .223 goes against the scout rifle concept, but it is not inherently a bad idea. It would be a great gun for pest control, small deer as found some places in Europe, and likely some other things as well. Of course Cooper was right about the versatility factor. There are varmint loads for t

Self driving Cadillac to go on sale in 2017

Details here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-07/gm-to-introduce-hands-free-driving-in-cadillac-model.html It'll no doubt be expensive. I've experienced the far more basic GM traffic sensing technology that is available now, in a rented 2014 Impala, and I'm led to believe the upcoming system will work, but not in all conditions, just as the above-linked article states. The sensors do a great job of detecting vehicles in front and to the sides, of figuring out where your lane is, and warning of conflicts. The only false positives I experienced were warning beeps and flashes on a twisty mountain road, where for an instant it can seem that cars are heading for each other when in fact they are simply negotiating a bend while going in opposite directions. Linking the sensors to the steering wheel and pedals is a dramatic move and will be marketed with all possible hype, but it really isn't a big step technically. The computer already knows where you are, where you

Reflecting on ammo shortages

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Optimistic voices are arising around the web to say the ammo drought seems to be easing. That's nice, if so, but the shortages of recent years have underscored a couple of points for those paying attention. 1. Keep an ammo reserve that you will not dip into for practice purposes unless and until you can get more cartridges to replace the ones you shoot. How many cartridges to keep on hand and what kind are up to you, but a gun without ammo is useless and your ammo stockpile should reflect that. There is a lot of variability in ideas about how much is enough. The proverbial one box every few seasons deer hunter is good to go if he has a few spare boxes. I refer to the chap who fires a few shots at the start of the season to be sure he is still sighted in, uses another shot or two to get his deer and is then done with shooting for the year. In contrast, a 'prepper' prone to entertain lurid future scenarios will want much more. I fall somewhere between the two in my own thi