Sigma 3 Survival School (7 min.)
- TGIF: This week's "Weekend Knowledge Dump" from Active Response Training. One of the articles he mentions is from Cap City Outfitters discussing what is their favorite gun:
Now, you may be thinking this has to be the Glock G19, and we certainly have a big place in our heart for that pistol. But it isn't our favorite. It's not the G43, or a custom 1911, a tricked out wonder pistol or even Han Solo's blaster.
Our favorite firearm is the one in our hand at the moment we need to do serious work. And at that moment, having a gun is far more important than having the perfect gun. (Except for a HighPoint, we might take a Noveske Assault Hammer over one of those).
As Mike Pannone from CTT Solutions has said, "you need a quality pistol in a quality holster." That pretty much sums up the requirements.
That particular pistol should be safe, reliable, chambered in 9mm, and loaded with high quality, modern hollow point ammunition for defensive purposes. The holster needs to retain the pistol securely and cover the entire trigger guard of the pistol.
- "Pentagon to Conduct Another Camo Test for Afghanistan"--Kit Up. As you may remember, Army SOCOM studied this matter, and decided on Multi-Cam as the best for the Afghan environment; then the Department of the Army conducted another test, also finding Multi-Cam to be the best. But that was not good enough, and so the DoD is going to spend more time and money to determine what is the best pattern for use in Afghanistan.
- "There is No Spoon"--Telluric Group. In this handgun drill, you are supposed to intermix a few dummy rounds into your magazine to simulate weapon stoppages. Details of the drill, including the time requirement and a downloadable target, are at the link.
- "The Value of Accuracy"--Gabe Suarez. He begins:
On the face of it, the title seems obvious. Sort of like saying water is wet. But it is something that must be discussed in the realm of combat shooting as there seems to be a great deal of the "complacent quest for adequacy" creeping into the study. "Its good enough for gunfighting", one man may say as he views his pizza sized group on the cardboard, not taking into consideration that what he is viewing was not the result of an hour of busting off the x in reactive drills...but rather his best in non-pressured proactive group shooting.
The combat crowd might scoff at our standards of all shots touching as an indicator of accuracy (both of man and gun and ammo). But the more accurate the shooter is, and the more accurate his weapon is, the greater a margin for error he has if things are less than optimal when he has to shoot. ...
Read the whole thing, as he discusses the components needed for good accuracy from the shooter and the weapon.
- "On Damaged Edge…: Historical Evidence, Practical Experience"--by J. Clements at The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts. The author discusses why you don't want to parry or block using the edge of the blade, and it is because it will put nicks and gouges into the blade reducing its cutting ability, and possibly compromising its strength. From personal experience, I can tell you that even at a slowed speed for beginning practice of technique, a parry or block with the edge can leave nicks in dull blades--I can only imagine what it would do if a blade had been sharpened. As the author explains in another article, if you have to parry or block with a cutting blade, do so with the flat of the blade. (I have a cutlass that I will probably have to replace because I've made a few mistakes when blocking). Anyway, good stuff if you are into historical European martial arts or swordplay.
- "Preparedness: How Much is ‘Enough’?"--The Truth About Guns. The author discusses how much of various supplies you should have on hand for an emergency. He begins by discussing food and water:
So, how much food and water should you put away for an emergency?
Two weeks’ worth makes a great start for your personal preparedness. If you have nothing currently, seven days’ worth is a 1000% improvement over your current state of readiness.
* * *
For the average American, a two-week supply of emergency supplies will get them through 99.999+% of anything life will throw at them.
One issue the author brings up, and which I have touched upon once or twice, is that for various reasons it will be hard to conceal the fact that you have food and others don't, one of these being the smell from food preparation. I've stated before that I can walk down the sidewalk in my neighborhood during the dinner hour when the weather is mild and windows open, and smell what is being cooked in the various homes.
Anyway, the author goes on to discuss extra ammunition and magazines, medications, fuels, etc. (I would note that the one possible exception to "aftermarket" magazines for pistols is Mec Gar because, in many cases, they actually manufacture the "factory" magazines).
The author touches upon barter and brings up a couple important points:
The first rule of barter is never trade away anything that can be used against you. You don’t buy stuff with ammo – not even .22s. You never trade away a gun.
Top three things to store for barter: fuel, alcohol and sugar. Everyone will need fuel: treated gasoline, diesel, kerosene, etc.
I would add to this list salt and pepper (or other spices), as well as any produce you grow or eggs (if you have chickens) or honey (if you have bees). Salt was one of the very first commodities traded over long distances and often used as salary in ancient societies. And, for much of Western history, pepper was literally worth its weight in gold.
- The Religion of Peace has been very busy over the last couple of days. In addition to the vehicle attack in Barcelona, we have the following:
- In Cambrils, Spain, the terrorist wearing bomb belts struck a police car and people nearby, and were killed in an exchange of gun fire. The five suspects in the vehicle were all killed. Six bystanders were apparently injured, although it is not clear if this was a result of the crash or the gun fire. Authorities have linked this attack to the one in Barcelona. (Sources: story from Associated Press; Washington Examiner). The Daily Mail also reports that the "Baby-faced jihadi, 17, who hired van driven into Barcelona crowds WAS among five terrorists shot dead by the beach say police as manhunt continues for remaining ISIS cell member." The Barcelona attack could have been much worse--incorporating canisters of butane--except that at least one of the terrorist was blown up while attempting to assemble the bomb prior to the attack.
- Meanwhile, in the United States, the Left continues its erasure of pre-Progressive era history:
- "Work crews remove statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney from Maryland State House under the cover of darkness"--Daily Mail.
- "Junipero Serra Statue Vandalized In Mission Hills"--CBS Los Angeles.
Lexington Green, at Chicago Boyz, points out that this penchant to destroy artifacts of a despised ideology has happened many times in the past, noting examples from European History and the communist revolution in China. As to the latter, he writes:
The Chinese Cultural Revolution seems the most apt comparison to where this is going. The Red Guards tried to stamp out the entirety of Chinese history up to their own time. Everything that had occurred before their revolution was corrupt and any attempt to preserve it was a political offense requiring the harshest possible personal attack, including violent attack, and including death. Further, the activities escalate because people must engage in increasingly extreme behavior to show their commitment and fervor. Slacking off becomes suspect.
He also warns that it won't stop at just Confederate memorials:
Absolutely everything that occurred in the American past is necessarily, in this view, tainted and corrupt, valueless and worthy only of elimination. For example, most of the Founders were slave-owners. All depictions and references to them must be destroyed. George Washington, a slave owner, was no better than a Nazi. All institutions and documents associated with slave-owners, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, are no better than Nazi documents. All of them must be destroyed.
Christian churches have traditionally been associated with condemning homosexuality as sin, or fighting against Islam. These religious buildings and their images must also be destroyed, by this logic.
Buildings traditionally associated with male privilege, or capitalism, for example old office buildings with traditional lobby spaces, or clubs that were once restricted to men, are tainted. These also have to be destroyed.
At a certain point public monuments will be attacked if they are old or have figurative statues simply because everything from the past falls short of the ideal politically correct standard and is therefore evil.
- Another Obama mess: "Before Anyone Further Appeases Iran..."--Forbes. The author notes that Iran is in multiple violations of the nuclear agreement, including:
- "Tehran has exceeded its heavy water production cap, necessary for a plutonium nuclear bomb,"
- "testing more advanced centrifuges,"
- "illicitly procuring highly sensitive nuclear and ballistic missile technology in Germany, according to Berlin’s intelligence services," and,
- "surpassing its uranium enrichment cap, another key non-compliance factor".
- Speaking of messes from past Presidents: "What will Kim do next? Sixth nuclear test seen critical for North Korea"--Reuters. From the article:
North Korea says it has developed intercontinental missiles capable of targeting any place in the United States.
Now comes the hard part of fulfilling the declared goal of its leader Kim Jong Un: perfecting a nuclear device small and light enough to fit on the missile without affecting its range as well as making it capable of surviving re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.
To do that, weapons experts say, the isolated state needs to carry out at least another nuclear test, its sixth, and more tests of long-range missiles.
North Korea's two tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last month likely carried a payload lighter than any nuclear warhead it is currently able to produce, the experts said.
One way to have a lighter warhead would be to concentrate on developing a thermonuclear device, or hydrogen bomb, which would offer much greater explosive yield relative to size and weight.
- In the aftermath of the faux outrage over Trump blaming both sides for the violence in Charlottesville, including from erstwhile conservatives, it is interesting to see the push back in the comments to some of the articles or op-eds. For instance, Andrew Bernard at the American Interest decided to play "Stump the Trump" as to comments concerning what General Pershing had done with Muslim Moro guerrillas in the Philippines. He note only got schooled in history (Pershing would have prisoners shot with bullets dipped in pig's fat and buried with pig carcasses--and believed it was effective), but was mocked by others pointing out that ISIS fighters have fled from female troops in Syria rather than be killed by women, and criticism for his support of the "hearts and minds" approach to fighting insurgents which has so spectacularly failed every time it has been used. Rick Moran at PJ Media also got severe push back when he criticized Trump's reference to statutes commemorating Confederate soldiers or leaders as "beautiful." I predict that Trump is removed from office, or forced to leave, it will not lead the happy ending for which the Establishment Democrats or Republicans hope.
- "Sacrificing Smart Asians to Keep the Racial Peace"--The Unz Report. The author argues that reducing the number of Asians in Ivy League schools in order to boost the number of Blacks is a necessary evil to ensure peaceful co-existence with the Black Community (by co-opting Blacks that would otherwise act as revolutionary leaders) and a small price to pay for such peace.
- A couple interesting items on the electrical fields, the Sun, and health:
- "Electrical grounding technique may improve health outcomes of NICU babies"--Penn State University. From the article:
A technique called "electrical grounding" may moderate preterm infants’ electromagnetic exposure in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and improve their health outcomes, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.
Equipment in the NICU produces low-frequency electromagnetic fields that can have subtle yet measurable effects on the autonomic nervous system, the system that regulates involuntary body functions. Preterm infants may be especially vulnerable to these effects.
Previous research in adults has shown that exposure to electromagnetic fields can affect the vagus nerve, a key component of the autonomic nervous system which regulates the body’s internal organs during rest. Previous research also has shown that electrical grounding, which reduces the electrical charge to the body, can improve the functioning of the autonomic nervous system and the vagus nerve, producing improved vagal tone.
Vagal tone, which is measured by analyzing heart rate variability between inhalation and exhalation, is a valuable indicator of health. ...
- "Impact of space weather on human heart rate during the years 2011–2013"--Astrophysics and Space Science. From the abstract:
A total of 482 individuals treated at Hippocratio General Hospital in Athens, the Cardiology clinics of Nikaia General Hospital in Piraeus and the Heraklion University Hospital in Crete, Greece, were assessed from July 2011 to April 2013. The heart rate of the individuals was recorded by a Holter monitor on a n hourly basis, while the hourly variations of the cosmic ray intensity measured by the Neutron Monitor Station of the Athens University and of the geomagnetic index Dst provided by the Kyoto Observatory were used. The ANalysis Of VAriance (ANOVA) and the Multiple Linear Regression analysis were used for analysis of these data. A statistically significant effect of both cosmic rays and geomagnetic activity on heart rate was observed, which may indicate that changes in space weather could be linked to heart rate variations.
- This is from yesterday: "Florida prisons — all of them — on lockdown"--Miami Herald. The article reports that all correctional officers were required to report to work, and "[a]ll of Florida’s 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about potential rioting, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday."
- They've been lying to you: "Uncovered: decades-old government report showing climate data was bad, unfit for purpose"--Watts Up With That. The author of a document from 1999, including later members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), show that they knew the climate data upon which they were relying was unreliable.
- "NASA looks at reviving atomic rocket program"--New Atlas. This is all stuff we could have had in the 1970s if our attention and money hadn't been going elsewhere:
Atomic or nuclear engines for spacecraft were conceived of almost before the ink was dry on Albert Einstein's famous E=mc² equation. The exploding of the first fission bomb in 1945 and the development of the first power reactors shortly thereafter made the idea seem feasible, and from 1955 to 1972 the US government pursued a test program to create a practical engine.
The reasons for this were obvious. With its higher exhaust velocities and greater specific impulse, a nuclear rocket could carry larger payloads or smaller payloads at greater speeds. Today, as the hazards of spaceflight are better known, such engines are particularly attractive because they could cut months off a trip to Mars, resulting in less exposure time of astronauts to weightlessness and cosmic rays. In addition, once on Mars, the engine's reactor could provide a round-the-clock, high-density power supply for an outpost.
Under the NERVA project, a workable engine was developed, but it was never used on any space mission. Part of the reason was that, though the rocket was twice as efficient as chemical rockets, its need for highly-enriched uranium as fuel, plus its need to operate at temperatures of 3,000 K (2,727° C, 4,940° F), made it the very definition of "risky". Small wonder then that when the Apollo program wound down and the NASA Mars mission was scratched, so was NERVA.
Today, with NASA once again considering the challenges of sending astronauts to Mars, the nuclear option is back on the table as part of the agency's Game Changing Development program. ...
Unlike previous designs using highly enriched uranium, BMXT will study the use of Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU), which has less than 20 percent of fissile uranium 235. This will provide a number of advantages. Not only is it safer than the highly enriched fuel, but the security arrangements are less burdensome, and the handling regulations are the same as those of a university research reactor.
In addition, LEU allows much of the testing of the technology to be done without any fuel at all because the destructive radiation effects are much lower. Also, the initial live engine tests can take place in a single, closed-loop facility that has no outlet to the natural environment.
Key to the concept is the development of an isotopically pure form of tungsten that, mixed with uranium, could be used to create a ceramic-metallic (Cermet) fuel, which would be more stable under the tremendous heat created by the engine.
Under the contract, BMXT and NASA will manufacture and test prototype Cermet fuel elements with 90-percent pure tungsten, as well as look to solve problems in making the fuel, seeing if an LEU engine will have the required thrust, and work on resolving nuclear licensing and regulatory requirements. In addition, BMXT will study the costs of building and operating such an engine.
If NASA determines next month that the LEU engine is feasible, the project will conduct testing and refine the manufacturing process of the Cermet fuel elements over the course of a year, with testing of the full-length Cermet fuel rods to be conducted at Marshall.
This type of engine would not be used for Earth to orbit launches, but could be used in lieu of ion engines to move craft to and from the Moon or other objects in the Solar System.