Showing posts from October, 2014

Who decides who carries what, and where?

From the Washington Times: 3 robbed at gunpoint after N.C. state fair declares gun-free zone By Jessica Chasmar - The Washington Times - Thursday, October 30, 2014                                  Three people were reportedly robbed at gunpoint Saturday leaving the North Carolina State Fair after a judge ruled earlier this month that concealed weapons would not be permitted at the event. Wake County Superior Court judge Donald Stephens decided more than two weeks ago that it would be “unwise and imprudent” to allow concealed weapons at the state fair this year... Read more: Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter It appears to me that the most competent person to decide whether a gun should be carried or not is the person who might have a use for the gun. Individual rights come with individual responsibilities, and if it really is an individual right, the individ

Rube Goldberg's contribution to small arms

A look inside the M2 Carbine If the conversion of the M1 Carbine to the M2 was not done by the great master of mechanical silliness, it was certainly done by a student or admirer. An ingenious chain reaction among a series of retrofitted parts subverts the operation of the carbine's trigger group, which  worked in a straightforward manner originally, and does it in a way that will delight all admirers of perverted design. Conceptually it most resembles the old trick of tying a bit of string to the operating handle. This Army footage uses a large cutaway model to explain the M2 Kludgebine's internal operation:

New dog on the block

Very good news for fans of bullpup rifles: Steyr has just released a new version of the AUG. It has a fully modern Picatinny rail system. You add the sight base that best serves your needs. Options include an AUG scope with rail slots on it. Steyr AUG A3 M1 So now people shopping for a bullpup, and wanting to take advantage of modern options in sighting equipment, have an additional gun to look at. Steyr quality is always very good and the AUG is a well proven design. The basic AUG rifle has been around since the late seventies and is in military and police use in a number of countries around the world. A rifle in the bullpup configuration makes outstandingly good sense for personal protection or home defense and is great for hiking. Because the receiver is set back into the buttstock, you can have a usefully long barrel in a rifle of short over-all length. The idea is an old one but it has taken a long time to catch on. There are certain technical issues to sort out in b

Swordsmanship the Navy's way -- Say what!?

Contradictory instructions and a touch of historical mystery make turn of the century Navy manuals more confusing than enlightening Something very strange is to be found in The Petty Officer's Drillbook , Unites States Navy, 1904 Revised Edition: In this book there is a peculiar fencing method that combines the saber parries with point ripostes. Here is the PDF: . Herein we read "In this exercise all attacks are made by thrusting with the point of the sword, instead of attempting to cut with the edge. The attack with the point is more deadly, and there is less exposure to counter attack than there is in making slashing blows that alone render the edge effective." That, of course, echoes common talking points in the point-versus-edge controversy as expressed around the turn of the century (19th to 20th). Gen. George S. Patton or some other point-only enthusiast could have written those words. As to the provenan

Rare fencing manual free online

Fans of fencing master A.J. Corbesier will be pleased to learn that his short treatise on fencing with the foil, published in 1873, is available online. Permalink: The printed book, Theory of Fencing; With the Small-Sword Exercise,  sells for hundreds of dollars on the collector's market. If all you are interested in is the information in it you can save 100%.  As a bonus you get some extraneous diagrams of a rather curious sort of gun, a mitrailleuse, at the end of the electronic book. I am not sure how those got in there, but readers of this blog will likely enjoy them, anyhow. A plate from Corbesier's Theory of Fencing

Playing games with numbers

. . . There you have the reason why pistol caliber debates go round and round interminably. Everyone wants something that does not exist: a pistol cartridge that is small enough to be practical and is also highly effective. At the same time that the military is making noises about going to a bigger pistol caliber than 9mm, the FBI is talking about going back to the 9mm, giving up their present .40 S&W pistols. A difference worth noting here is that the military mostly shoots FMJ while the FBI uses expanding bullets. But there is a sameness too. Arguments about pistol effectiveness are debates over very little. That is to say, pistols have little effectiveness to debate. The numbers can be jiggered any way you want, of course.  L: .45 ACP;  R: 9mm Parabellum I remember that when the military's switch to 9mm was being debated back in the eighties, numbers and charts were offered showing that the 9mm was just as effective as the old caliber, the .45 ACP. This brought f

A headlight for your snubnose

I have mixed feelings about mounting a flashlight on a pistol. In some circumstances it is no doubt a good idea, giving you one thing to handle, a combined pistol and illumination unit, not two separate items. On the other hand, people got by for years and years with separate flashlights that they could pull out and use at the same time as the pistol, if needed. If your flashlight is bolted onto your pistol you may be tempted to violate  Rule Two . For safety reasons, you should not pull out your pistol-flashlight combo unit and use it for illumination when all you really need is a flashlight. All that said, here is an ingeniously compact version of the pistol light, designed for the little J-frame S&W revolvers. It is available from the NRA Store:   I am considering it, but it occurs to me that if I carry this I will still carry a separate flashlight, in case I ne

The derp of the sword (snark)

Smallsword, mid-18th century Online discussion groups tend sometimes to be weird echo chambers where people repeat each other as authorities, add to and encourage one another's suppositions and at last come up with ideas existing only in the hothouse environment of online fora. Case in point--While looking online for something else, I found some talk going on in sword and fencing discussion boards that concluded that the smallsword must have been ineffective, lacking in "stopping power." Let us grant that it is true that the smallsword was a deficient weapon. Then let us apply a little logic and see where that takes us. (Nyuck, nyuck.) We must conclude that the typical socket bayonet was likewise ineffective, since it had a smallsword blade profile: hollow ground, triangular cross section. Top to bottom: Socket bayonet, another socket bayonet, rod bayonet, knife bayonet The numerous triangular, cruciform and square section poniards, stilettos and