28 February 2012

I've Been Frocked!

Larry has given me this award.  Scoundrel!

As with every award, there are terms and conditions.

1. Copy and paste award on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award.
3. Pick your five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received an award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.

Who to name in return?

Here's the problem: I'm pretty sure everyone on my list who has fewer than 200 followers has also been named.

1.  Have to mention Jennifer.  She sticks in my head (pun!) because she emailed me to thank me for a positive comment on her blog.

2.  Erin because she rekindled my interest in my dusty GURPS books enough to actually do some work with them.  Sadly, the Tampa area seems devoid of GURPS players.  Yet I shall endeavor to persevere!

3.  Jeff who doesn't seem to have any followers at all.  I don't know why, but he reminds me a bit of Acidman and I hope that he has a happier future than Rob.  I also hope his rough times end soon.

4.  Blue.  A fellow Iowan and veteran (even though he walked instead of rode).

And 5?  I give this to ALL the little bloggers out there!  We're not the cool kids and we're not the big names.  Occasionally we have something wry or snarky to add that gets some thoughts flowing.  I especially want to point out those who are using Livejournal as their blog because that's where a few of us started and your journal is every bit a blog.


Compensating for my little wieners.  Get it?

27 February 2012

Dont Talk to Police


I don't find evidence of a divine being.

I remain open that there may be such evidence and that there may be such a being.

I don't find this openness in many self-styled atheists.

That could be embarrassing someday.  Or not.


I did some research.  Atheism is the correct term.  A case could be made for my belief being a pragmatic (or apathetic) agnostic:  "The view that there is no proof of either the existence or nonexistence of any deity, but since any deity that may exist appears unconcerned for the universe or the welfare of its inhabitants, the question is largely academic."

26 February 2012

Asking For It

Jaguar is going to make an electric car?

Isn't that like dividing by zero?

Watch Out Fred!


We may now attack people for insulting our beliefs!  Fred Phelps had better start watching his back!

Your faith has rendered you incapable of being impartial and unbiased.  You should be removed from office.


Cue the "What About Islam?" dancers in 3...2...1...


We keep saying drill.

They keep saying that there will not be results for 5-10 years.

There's no drilling.

5-10 years later, we say drill.

They say there won't be any new oil for 5-10 years.

How about we drill this time?  It has the novelty of having not being tried before.

Help, Hinder or Harm?

There's four things to ask about anything having to do with the military.

Does this help?

Does this hinder?

Does this harm?

Does this matter?

If it helps, do it!

It it hinders or harms, don't do it!

If it doesn't matter, don't spend any money to provide or prevent it.

There will be a lot of politically incorrect things happening if these four questions get asked about any and every policy.

It might mean no women on submarines.  It might mean banning homosexuals from the military.  It might mean female fighter pilots.  It might mean segregated units.

Remember, the military is there to kill people and break shit.  Does the politically correct goal serve those needs?  Anything that impedes the primary tasks of killing people and breaking shit is a hinderance or harm.  I don't care whose feelings get hurt either.

Kipling Corner

The Grave of the Hundred Head; Rudyard Kipling

There's a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There's a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun,
And there's Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.

A Snider squibbed in the jungle,
Somebody laughed and fled,
And the men of the First Shikaris
Picked up their Subaltern dead,
With a big blue mark in his forehead
And the back blown out of his head.

Subadar Prag Tewarri,
Jemadar Hira Lal,
Took command of the party,
Twenty rifles in all,
Marched them down to the river
As the day was beginning to fall.

They buried the boy by the river,
A blanket over his face--
They wept for their dead Lieutenant,
The men of an alien race--
They made a samadh in his honor,
A mark for his resting-place.

For they swore by the Holy Water,
They swore by the salt they ate,
That the soul of Lieutenant Eshmitt Sahib
Should go to his God in state;
With fifty file of Burman
To open him Heaven's gate.

The men of the First Shikaris
Marched till the break of day,
Till they came to the rebel village,
The village of Pabengmay--
A jingal covered the clearing,
Calthrops hampered the way.

Subadar Prag Tewarri,
Bidding them load with ball,
Halted a dozen rifles
Under the village wall;
Sent out a flanking-party
With Jemadar Hira Lal.

The men of the First Shikaris
Shouted and smote and slew,
Turning the grinning jingal
On to the howling crew.
The Jemadar's flanking-party
Butchered the folk who flew.

Long was the morn of slaughter,
Long was the list of slain,
Five score heads were taken,
Five score heads and twain;
And the men of the First Shikaris
Went back to their grave again,

Each man bearing a basket
Red as his palms that day,
Red as the blazing village--
The village of Pabengmay,
And the "drip-drip-drip" from the baskets
Reddened the grass by the way.

They made a pile of their trophies
High as a tall man's chin,
Head upon head distorted,
Set in a sightless grin,
Anger and pain and terror
Stamped on the smoke-scorched skin.

Subadar Prag Tewarri
Put the head of the Boh
On the top of the mound of triumph,
The head of his son below,
With the sword and the peacock-banner
That the world might behold and know.

Thus the samadh was perfect,
Thus was the lesson plain
Of the wrath of the First Shikaris--
The price of a white man slain;
And the men of the First Shikaris
Went back into camp again.

Then a silence came to the river,
A hush fell over the shore,
And Bohs that were brave departed,
And Sniders squibbed no more;
For the Burmans said
That a kullah's head
Must be paid for with heads five score.

There's a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There's a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun,
And there's Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.

25 February 2012

I Admit, I Don't Get It

Why is Steve McQueen regarded as a great actor?

Why are his movies likewise considered great?

Can someone share some insight?

The World Has Changed

I figure the Republican candidate for president is a shoe in.

Wendy's has a burger called the "W" and there aren't protests.

Driving in Texas...

Just a brief anecdote.

Last time I was out in Texas I spotted no less than three DPS cars who punched it hard to get on the road and come after me.

When they got close enough to see the plate, they all gave up.

I think they were doing front license plate enforcement, which Florida doesn't have.

Same trip I got a couple people pulled over when I was going the limit.  You see, in the eyes of the police doing traffic enforcement, THE VETTE IS FELONY SPEEDING.  If you're going faster than the Vette, you are a dangerous madman.  I suspect what happened was the Vette caught the cop's eye and the SUV blasting past at about five over sealed their fate.

The RIght Tool For The Job

If a Dodge Caravan is the correct tool for the job, perhaps the job isn't worth doing.

Choke and Smother

Seems they are a false flag for the anti-gunners.

Spread the word.

h/t Weer'd.  Who led me to SnarkyBytes, who links to Uncle.

24 February 2012

Getting Involved

Two threads about the relationship of the police to the community.

In the original thread's comments, someone mentioned Sir Robert Peel.  There's a follow up on a commenter's own blog.

Robert Peel's Principles are what's lacking in today's law enforcement.  The police are merely people paid to do this job, not the only people who can.

It's simple delegation of power.  We people have delegated some powers to the government in certain, restricted, circumstances.  The catch is we cannot delegate a power which is not ours by right.  What that boils down to is the police, literally, cannot do anything a citizen may not.

Note my use of the word "powers" and not the word "rights".  Governments do not have rights, they have powers.  Citizens have rights.  The People have rights.

I find that government at all levels, but especially police, do not like to be reminded that they are the creation of the people rather than their masters.

I differ with the attitude that an officers life is worth more than a common citizen's and deserves special protections.  When you put on a uniform, any uniform, you become an extension of The State.  A very small extension.  So small that your spontaneous combustion into base elements will not harm the health of the state even one iota.  Sacrificial and interchangeable; to the state.  You are The State, you are the instrument of The State's powers.  Remember, The State has no rights!  That means you, as an agent of The State also have no rights while you wield its powers.

The scratchy part is cops are people as well as citizens.  This is where the theory and the practice diverge.  To me it is simple, the individual officers get the same rights as I have.  No more, no less.  If I shoot a bad guy in self defense, I am on my own hook for all the legal repercussions, aren't I?  I have to hire my own lawyer, take time off work and my life and liberty hang in the balance.

Can many police say the same thing when they've shot someone?

I've long been an advocate of when a cop shoots someone, they are unemployed by any government agency for at least 6 months.  That proves to me it was serious enough for The State to take a citizen's life.  Remember, officer, when you shoot someone wearing that uniform, YOU ARE THE STATE.  The State can spare you.  Because I am compassionate, I will let you defend your life in my service, but you must show that it was the only thing you could have done.

In cases like Canton, Ohio the punishments for police should be more severe than an individual performing the same act.  Remember, it's not officer Harless violating the motorist's rights, but The State.  The government of Canton, Ohio; through officer Harless committed assault.  The State of Ohio though incorporation of The City of Canton committed assault.  Harless should be punished severely and criminally for what he did in that video, because most assuredly I would be in jail for identical activities.  If the department covers for such officers, we have such laws as RICO.  Punish up the stream until you meet someone pushing back down with charges!  By the way, the citizenry clamoring for justice here, is a top down demand not a bottom up request.  That's another topic entirely about the servants forgetting their place and who is really in charge here.

As I hear over and over from law enforcement, if you don't want to get into trouble, obey the law.  You first; you too: Officer.

This is harsh because The State or Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

Didja Ever Wonder?

Did you ever wonder if there are some gun shops that remain open simply because it's illegal to get a gun mail-order?


I don't remember where I first heard this, or if I've already posted it here:  But it bears repeating, often.

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

Poor Damn Customer Service.

I got a $20 credit for my inconvenience when DSA recalled the trigger housing on my FAL.

I've been desperately trying to find something, anything, to buy from them to use that up.

First I tried to get a Harris bipod adaptor.  Back ordered for four months.  Cancelled the order.

Next I tried to get a double hump buttstock, I prefer the looks over the Austrian pattern that's standard.

I called ahead to make sure it's in stock.  First time it was, "call back in a couple of weeks, we're expecting an order."

So I waited a couple of weeks and called again.  The guy on the phone said they had them.  So I ordered one.

Confirmation email says it's backordered!

So I called back, and complained that I had called to make sure it was in stock.  He said he'd expedite the order because he knew they had them.  My order status on their web page has not changed.  It's still showing backordered.

I'll give them a week for it to show up or to tell me it's on the way.

Then I cancel the order and never do business with DSA again.

23 February 2012

Chink in the Armor

David Brock used the term "Chink in the Armor" and there's a Chinese player on the team described.

People are all up in arms about how racist it was.


Welcome to English.

Here's an example of one word having different meanings.

Not Safe For Work.  I mean it.  Don't say you weren't warned.  Not Kidding.

22 February 2012

To Hell With SPORTS

This is a good write up about what's wrong with the Slap Pull Observe Release Tap Squeeze drill.

Related to my ramblings in the comments to this post.

Tools. Time. Thag. Trouble.

I have described AR's as a manly confluence of Barbie® and Lego®.

I have the tools to build just about any combination.

I have the parts to make just about any combination.

I'd just have to take apart existing guns and swap parts around.

I am thinking about taking Sabrina's barrel and putting it on Kaylee.  This would make the XM177E3 I'd sort of imagined at the start.

The barrel from Kaylee would move to Sabrina.  If I steal Charlotte's upper, I can make Sabrina into an Air Force R654.

With Sabrina's upper on Charlotte I could remake her into a late M16A1.

This would also put all three of my 5.56 guns down until I could get to the range and zero.

Stop me.  Someone.  Anyone.

Or encourage me.  Your call.

Or provide me with your parts to assemble.

To Mr Jay Z

In 2006; when Frederic Rouzaud was asked if rappers and hip-hop people drinking his champagne would hurt the brand, Cristal, he was displaying contempt, not "patronizing disrespect".

There's a difference, particularly in that the former is earned.

And you earned it, didn't you?

Smoke and Thunder

If you see my name on an account there, it's not me.

If I intend to endorse something you will see that endorsement here and I will provide a link.

Another clue is that I don't use the McThag monicker to register on forums or social sites with a very few exceptions.

McThag is my blogger and commenter nom de plume.  I am certain it's shockingly easy to get my real name.  Luckily, it's a nom de plume and not an attempt to hide my identity.

Think of it as a screen name.  After all, who'd see a movie starring Bernard Schwarz?

PS: Gunbloggers!  STOP LINKING TO THEM!  Links feed the trolls!

21 February 2012

Just an FYI

Telling me what I think right after telling you that's not what I think will not endear you to my heart.

20 February 2012

50 Years...

50 years ago they fired a Marine into space.

Oddly, they also returned him safely to earth.

So close...  So very close...



When all of your justifications for continuing or ending a policy come out as racist or sexist; it may be time to reconsider your position.

Gentleman Feminist

I believe, as a gentleman that a man should render assistance to a woman.

As a feminist, I believe that a woman is capable of helping herself.

Combined: I'll get that for you when you can't; when you can, I have your back.

17 February 2012

An Observation

I tend to carry a 1911 in a shoulder holster.

I wonder how much of the comfort in this is derived from being a tank crewman and carrying a 1911 in a shoulder holster when we went to the field.

It's pure familiarity I am sure.

Logistics Follow-Up

Jake in comments to this post asked about chambering the wrong ammo.

Here's the result of 5.56 into a 6.8 chamber.  Notice it's not locked up?  Firing pin can't reach the primer like this.

Here's 6.8 into a 5.56 chamber.  It's even less locked up!

Kipling Corner

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

- Rudyard Kipling

Abortion Is A Big Issue This Cycle?


Purity about abortion is the make or break issue again?

Got a clue for you, Holmes; lots and lots of women voted for Obama because of how they perceive Republicans on abortion.

Woman who otherwise hate everything about him.

As gun owners we should understand the single issue voter viscerally.

Clue number two.

What happened to unwanted babies before surgical abortion?

It's called exposure.

That's what Moses' mom was doing to him when she sent him on his rafting adventure.

That's what dumping baby in the dumpster or toilet at the prom is.

Yes, the ultimate ivory tower solution is to stop fucking if you cannot afford or do not want children.  Get back to me when you can make that work without murdering someone.

Clue three.  Driving people to empower the likes of Obama over the abortion issue is going to return the world to an agrarian medieval society.  The kind of world where there's no entertainment other than fucking and it's expose Jr or someone starves; someone who works.  Buhbye Jr...

This is known as a pyrrhic victory.  Notice that it doesn't end up saving babies in the long run?

In The Immortal Words of the Great Western Philosopher Nelson Muntz


31 states don't get above 10 points.

8 more are under 25.

5 more are under 50.

Only five score between 50 and 75 and only ONE scores 75 or more.

Brady's Page of Shame.

From their score card.  The Mode is 4.  The Median is 6.5.  The Mean is 16.4.

Not winning, won.

16 February 2012

Damn Muse...

I have a great line.  It'd fit nicely in a bit of exposition.

"Magic?  Magic is just the science of the impossible, dear."

Of course, my Muse doesn't give anything else but a glimpse of a feeling of a setting.

15 February 2012

Gun Safety Tip

When you have LSA on your hands; don't rub your eyes.


Living In The Future

Living in the future is neat.

Earlier I took a picture with my Android phone.

I emailed it to a friend all the way across the country.

She made it her desktop background and took a picture of it.

I posted her picture on my blog.

When I was a child taking a photo would have required developing the film.  Sending that photo to Seattle would have required physically transporting either a negative or a print.  There would have been no making it a computer background.  To show the picture in her office would have required the same process of taking a picture, developing film and physically mailing it to Tampa for me to see it.

We did this in less than a day.

When I rage about how the world is going to Hell, I have to stop and look around and recapture the wonder of living with commonplace items that were too outlandish to consider even as science fiction even as late as high school.  How do I know?  None of it is accounted for in Traveller, Star Frontiers or 2300 AD.

Here's to living in a science fiction setting!

A pity it's got lots of dystopian characteristics, huh?

Horsepower Therapy

I was feeling a bit down today.

So I took the top off and headed out for a drive!

Stopped at Howard Park in Tarpon Springs to snap a pic for the people in Seattle.


The people in Seattle have made it their desktop!

14 February 2012

13 February 2012

GURPS 4e Note

The rules for single skill talent for a racial skill bonus is on p. 453 of the Basic Set (Campaigns).


For the record, innate spells work just like they did for 3e except you have to buy a -40% limited magery (innate spells only) if the race has no magery listed.

12 February 2012

174th TFS

That F-16C that I made tail art for in Falcon 4.0?

It's not the only time this squadron has come up in a flight sim.

Strike Fighters 2: Europe has them in the F-100C, and A-7D.

F-100C in 1962.

A-7D(75) in 1979

11 February 2012


I bought a carry-handle mount for my Trilux scope.  The mounting nut is retained to the mount by a piece of monofilament.  Monofilament that promptly broke.

Today I repaired the lanyard by replacing the monofilament with some stainless steel fishing lead wire.  The crimped things holding the loops together are known as lead sleeves.

I also have enough material to do this fix a hundred more times.

The original part.

The repaired mount on a carry handle.

The scope on the mount.  Cheek weld?  What's that?  Are you making up words again?

Not So Very Long Ago

I think I was almost mugged.

I was at a Wal Mart seeing if they had any .308.  They didn't.

I tend to park the Vette in the middle of the parking lot as it's down hill from there in all directions.  It keeps the shopping carts from rolling into her tender paint.  I also selected the cart corral to be next to the driver's side.

When I parked there I was all alone.  When I came out of the store there was a truck with two very alert people standing near the back of it.  Another person was heading our general direction from off to my right (car and truck being on the left side of the aisle).

I gimped a little faster and got to my car before the third guy could get up to me.  I had the door open, but couldn't get inside before he would be on me so I turned around and waited.  This slowed him down a lot.  The other two had disappeared behind the truck.

The single starts to ask me if I have some spare money.  I glance behind me (I have my door to my back and it's against the corral).  The double is looking at me over the hood of the truck now.

I tell the single I have no cash, just dropping someone off.  But I have my hand in my pocket on my little SIG.  His eyes were working the angles and seeing the double couldn't get around to me before I could maybe draw a gun.  He muttered something like thanks and the other two evaporated.

I got into my car and skedaddled.

Things I realize now.

There's no subtle way to put your hand on your 1911 in a shoulder holster; that's why I was limbering my pocket gun.

I should have stopped being subtle.  Being unsubtle is rude, but so's begging in the Wal Mart parking lot.

I am not SURE they were up to something by the hair on the back of my neck was all tingly.


Taking Stock

This is sort of a companion piece to my earlier post on upper receivers.

What we have here are the major variants that Colt issued to the US Military.

Carbines first.

This is the R607 stock.  It's Colt's first attempt at making a stock that can be shortened.  The design of the AR recoil system prevents the use of a more traditional folding stock.  It was heavy, awkward to change position and expensive.  It did not last long. (Picture taken from this thread in the Arfcom retro sticky on carbines)

This is the first major production collapsible carbine stock.  The receiver extension that is still in production was introduced with this model (although the number of positions has changed).  It is aluminum covered in vinyl acetate.  The first weapon it appeared on was the XM177E2 "submachine gun".  This is actually the second version of this design, the original was merely anodized the same color as the receivers; that appeared on the XM177 and XM177E1.  The vinyl coated one was in production from the late sixties to the early eighties.

The aluminum proved to be a bit expensive and could break if dropped in the butt.  So Colt introduced the "fiberlite" stock.  This stock was made from the late eighties into the early 2000's.  The early versions of the M4 and M4A1 carried this stock.

The modern M4 stock!  It has a bit more butt area and a sling swivel to match a standard rifle.

Now to rifles.

This is an M16 stock as would be found on early R603 and R604 models.  This is called a "type D" stock by us retro AR types because there are three earlier variations for the R601 and R602 rifles.  All Air Force M16 (R604) use this stock and it was standard on the XM16E1 and M16A1 until around 1971.

The Type E or M16A1 stock.  The sling swivel no longer swivels and a trap-door was added to the butt for storing a cleaning kit.  It's a bit heavier than the Type D too.

The M16A2 stock.  It's similar in design to the Type E, but is made from different materials and is about 5/8" longer.

Of course we must mention the aftermarket.  This is a MagPul CTR.

10 February 2012

OK, He's Not A Vampire...

Nicholas Cage isn't a vampire.

But is he biding his time waiting for The Gathering?

Two Things...

Mr Lucas.

Two things you cannot change no matter how hard you try to eradicate them.

Han shot first.

The Star Wars Christmas Special exists.

...About That.

I guess there's a boycott of Guns America because the owner is an asshat.

I'd love to participate, but I was already de-facto boycotting.

Way back when I tried to purchase a firearm listed on the site.  I was informed by the seller that the item listed was no longer available.

After the fourth time of getting that response from sellers there, I stopped bothering with the site.

This was years ago...


I am a staunch advocate of 6.8x43mm SPC II.  It outperforms 5.56 in every meaningful way and most 7.62x39 loads as well.

It will never be adopted by the military.



Let's look at my AR in 6.8 compared to one in 5.56.

Which one is 5.56?  This is problem one.  When the transition begins, there will be weapons of both calibers in the system.

The 6.8 (the green one by the way) takes a different magazine than the 5.56.  But you can insert the wrong magazine into either gun!  I've taken to marking my 6.8 mags with electrical tape around the base for a visual and tactile indicator.  Knowing what gun takes those mags is up to my memory.

The logistics problem is getting the right ammo and magazines to the troops with the new rifle.  This is not insurmountable; but the Army no doubt remembers the early 1980's.  That's when the M16A2 began to be issued along with its new M855 ammo.  Lots of commands had units with the old gun and units with the new gun.  When I arrived in Germany in 1988, my unit had the M16A2.  During the orientation zeroing lots of the people there had M16A1's.  The range had to have both M193 and M855 on hand so we could zero our weapons.

At least the magazines were the same.

More than once we went to the range and the crated ammo was M193 and we couldn't shoot.  I can imagine that the reverse happened as well.  In a pinch, though, we could have fired the old ammo.  That will not be true of a transition to 6.8.

This was peace time.  It gets a lot more complicated in war.

This is just where the fun begins!  What about optics?  An ACOG with a bullet drop compensator is marked wrong for 6.8.  Now you have to replace the scope along with the rifle.  Although this could be a blessing to a civilian shooter as all of those fine optics are dumped as surplus!

What we have is a rifle that looks just like the old one.  A magazine that can be inserted, but not fired from the wrong model and ammunition with the same issue.  It's a logistics nightmare.


Looks like Florida, along with nine (maybe ten) other states, is going to be exempted from No Child Gets Ahead Left Behind.

I do love President Obama's statement about it though: "What might work in Minnesota might not work in Kentucky."

Really?  Can we get this new attitude applied to other federal encroaches into federalism?  Like say, for example, health care?  Environmentalism?  Energy?

Yeah, didn't think so.  This is taking apart something Bush did.

However, the stopped clock is right twice a day.  The blinking VCR once.


Bonus fun!

There's no provision in the law for the president to make exemptions or issue waivers.

09 February 2012

My Writing Style

I need to work on it.

I'm a college graduate for Heaven's sake!

I know how to do this, but I don't really frame what I am going to say before I start.

What I end up posting is more of a stream of consciousness.

I should really work on making my posts more along the lines of introduction/body/conclusion.


M855A1 is the Army's new "green" ammunition.  It's NATO spec and replaces the old lead core with steel penetrator M855.

The M855's copper jacket comepletely encases the steel portion and there's a lead plug behind that.

Pic sourced from here.

The new M855A1 round has no lead and the steel part is exposed at the tip.

Pic sourced from here.

Look Ma!  No lead!  Same 62gr bullet weight, slightly longer projectile.  Lots and lots of information touting its superior performance in penetrating armor and barriers.  It can penetrate a 3/8" steel plate at 300m where the old M855 and 7.62x51mm M80 cannot!  What I am not seeing is how it performs in people.  The entire point of an infantry round is killing people after all.

This might be another example of the non-emotional approach GURPS took to ammunition performance may be prescient.  M855A1 behaves very much like AP.  AP ammo gets to divide the DR by 2, but it will also be one stage less wounding.  Ball is pi, AP of the same type is pi- after penetration.  Or half damage.

It's a means of saying that an AP round will make a nice .22 caliber hole without expanding.  This is a problem that M855 has as well.  Especially in very thin people where the fragmentation that 5.56 is famous for occurs just behind them.

The more I learn about wound ballistics the more convinced I become that the old fashioned M193 was the best 5.56 round we issued in terms of tissue damage and NATO's chasing the ability for the 5.56 round to penetrate body armor and light barriers has compromised its ability to perform its primary function, stop bad-guys.

The 5.56's ability to penetrate armor was basically to convince NATO members to drop their 7.62x51mm guns and change over to the new 5.56x45mm.  Recall that SS109 (which M855 is) was developed by FN-Herstal; and who benefits most from an army changing to a new rifle?  Gee, could it be a gun maker?  Pity the FNC didn't take off, huh?  Gang oft aglave.

This also wouldn't have been an issue for NATO if we 'Mercans hadn't bailed on the entire idea of a 7.62x51mm service rifle.  Yeah, that made NATO happy.  You may recall that NATO was considering the German 7.92x33 Kurz and .280 British when we declared that we'd not accept a round that wasn't identical to .30-06 in performance.  Hell, M59 (7.62x51mm) ball uses the same bullet as M2 (.30-06)!  Then just a couple of years after shoving our pet round down their throats we chuck it in the waste basket.

What nobody doubts is that 7.62x51mm is effective at distances, effective against barriers and is lethal.  It is also much heavier than 5.56x45mm and so are the guns that fire it.  Note my FAL and it's 10.4 lb. tare compared to a 14.5" barreled AR at 6.6 lbs.  20 rounds of FAL ammo in its magazine is 1.7 lbs. compared to 30 rounds for an AR for 1 lb.  That's hard to work around.

This is why I am a proponent of 6.8x43mm.  Due to the mass of the bullet, it's better on barriers than 5.56.  Hogs and deer make a good stand in for people, and 6.8 is snuffing them and how.  The weapons are the same mass as a 5.56 gun, the draw back is the ammo weighs more; 1.7 lb. for 30 rounds in an AR type magazine.  For a typical combat load we've added almost five pounds to our poor grunt.

But we gain a lot.  By the way, most any argument for 6.8 will also work for 6.5 Grendel.  In the long run though, 6.8 would be better once we started talking about needing belt fed guns.  The case design comes into play here.

Today's AWWWWWWW Post

Shi Shu is such a tired home defense dog.

08 February 2012

Is It 1995 Again?

"After the setbacks the party has suffered, the Tea Party is finally dying down, and people are getting fed up with the Republicans in Congress."

I said it in 1995-96 when the contract with America didn't materialize.

The reason people get fed up with the Republicans after they wrest control back from the Democrats is that they don't get done what they were sent to do.

For example.  The Assault Weapon Ban and Brady Act were what I voted on in '94.  The candidates brought it up often and the NRA hit me up for cash to get them repealed, touting the candidates who were running.

Why is it that they were never repealed?  The AWB had to expire and the Brady Act is still law.

In 2000 we had a majority in both houses and a Republican president, perfect time to act.  Nothing.

The supreme court, whom I don't get to vote for, has done more to recover my rights than any creature running for office I have voted for.

So, Republicans, I challenge you do DO something.  Put the healthcare repeal in EVERY SINGLE BILL. Put the damn thing in quorum calls!  This is what your opponents did with countless anti-gun items; including the Hughes amendment.

The Great War Has Passed From Living Memory


06 February 2012

Odd Convergence

Blue posted a picture.

I have a history with that plane!

Screenshot from Falcon 4.0.  I changed the stock skin by manipulating it one pixel at a time in MS Paint.  I used a 1/72 model I'd built to get the art right.

What Is Worse?

What's worst?

Never knowing something.

No longer knowing something.

No longer knowing something, but remembering you used to know it.

Common Sense Over Aesthetics

I love how the Romat looks!

What I don't like is how the wood makes the gun a pound heavier.  Beech is dense stuff!

As it shipped from DSA it was a 9.9 lb. loaded weapon.

Adding the Romat furniture made it a 10.9 lb. gun.  Changing the aluminum trigger housing made it an 11.4 lb. gun.

The L in FAL stands for léger or light.  11.4 lb. is too much.

So I've decided to give up on the Israeli narrative and embrace the more generic right arm of the free world configuration.  And have a 10.4 lb. loaded rifle.

The things wrong with my Romat were almost legion.  The lower was entirely wrong.  The gas block, rear sights and muzzle were also wrong; with the barrel and gas block being the hardest part to correct.

05 February 2012


Why am I reading this?  I ask.

I don't enjoy this, why do I come here just to get angry?

Then I realize, I don't have to!

Damn habits.

Morons, I've got morons on my team.

A.K.A flying off into a pedantic rage.

Words mean something.

Using the wrong word changes the whole meaning.

When someone corrects you, don't double down and declare victory because "lots of other people are wrong too!"  The whole herd being wrong doesn't make it right; it makes it tragic and sad.

Shelley Rae is simply wrong, but like Charlie Sheen; she thinks she's right and she's winning.  Sad.

Update:  One sure sign you've lost the debate is to send your post down the memory hole; however, the internet is forever.

Assault rifles are select fire.  That means there's a lever or switch that allows the user to choose between semi-automatic and some form of automatic fire (full auto or bursts).  It's part of the very definition!  Select-fire, detachable box magazine, intermediate cartridge.

Assault weapon is a term that the anti-gun people latched onto in order to scare people about semi-auto guns that look like select-fire guns.

Caleb's "defense" that, "'Assault rifle' is the term for these guns with the mainstream public," doesn't work.

By gently correcting and explaining the difference in the terms people are starting to understand that an M16 is not the same thing as an AR-15.  EDIT: The explanation also shows them how dishonest the anti-gunners are about this.  To give in to their terminology eliminates the opportunity to inform.

The response from Gun Nuts Media has been a petulant, "we know we're wrong but we don't care."  It makes me wonder what else they've been wrong about.  Can I trust their recommendations?  Is what they're saying actually true or is it just their uninformed bias?  When they say 9x19 do they mean 9x18?  When they say .380 ACP did they really mean .38 ACP?  Surely those are the same thing; right?  Or is getting that right being pedantic?

Pedantic is how people get when they talk to people who respond like children.  They use small words because they don't think you can understand big ones after making such an elementary error.

You got caught being wrong and insulted the people trying to let you know.

Respect and contempt are earned, plus you can trade one for another.

04 February 2012


Nothing makes you appreciate your "heavy" 6.8 AR isn't really all that heavy like a day with the FAL and Garand.

John C and the Dude were talented engineers, but they made heavy guns.

Of course, they are chambered for real-live full power rifle rounds not some upstart intermediate.

01 February 2012

Black History Month

Something is different this year.

I'm looking at the TV schedule and there isn't show after show scheduled about black history.

Almost as if the meaning has finally been lost.

I've long maintained that the history they rammed down our throats every year for an entire month was merely U.S. history.

And to be truly honest about black history we'd have to bring up Africa.  Lots of failure there, huh?

It's hard not to draw some racist conclusions when viewing nation after nation fail to thrive once their colonial governments left.

I was reading about the history of Rhodesia.  Part of the problem about its independence was majority rule. There was a strong contention that the average citizen of Rhodesia was not prepared to be a voter after being colonial subjects their entire lives.  The policies of slowly bringing the populace up to speed was called racist, or worse.

How's things in Zimbabwe nowadays?

Is it still racist if it's the truth?

From what I read, the policies in place in Rhodesia were, on the surface, racist.  They would also have, by now, have lead to an educated and empowered populace.

The true tragedy is the colonial powers washed their hands of their colonies and basically said, "fuck it, we're outta here; you're on your own; good luck!"