Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 13, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web



Firearms/Self-Defense:
  • "Basic Rifle Marksmanship (BRM) Series- MOA Theory vs. Reality"--AZ Rifleman. In theory, a "click" adjustment on a sight (telescopic or otherwise) should be a certain value of the MOA (for instance, 1/4 MOA per click is pretty standard on most scopes). But, as the author discusses in detail, actual practice may be different.
  • "More on the Body’s 'Freeze' Response"--Active Response Training. Greg Ellifritz explains that you may "freeze" up based on emotion/fear response, but also due "rational" actions by your brain: stopping to gather more information.
  • "A small .380 ACP pistol may not be a good primary choice for self-defense"--Bayou Renaissance Man. The reason, according to Peter Grant, is that hollow-point bullets may lack sufficient penetration (meaning expansion without depth) or that the bullets may not expand. He discusses some comments on the .380 from Buffalo Bore Ammunition, and findings from FBI studies. He concludes:
       I still carry a .380 auto pistol . . . but only as a backup to a larger, more powerful handgun that's easier to control and likely to be more effective on target.  ...  I suspect you'll find your little .380 to be a lot harder to use effectively, under those circumstances, than a larger, more hand-filling, more controllable weapon.
            In particular, given that most small pistols of that sort are carried in pockets rather than in holsters, consider your speed of accessing the gun.  If an attacker jumps you from 2-3 yards away, you won't have much time to react and draw your gun, particularly while you're backpedaling, ducking and maneuvering to avoid his attack.  Something you can fire from inside your pocket, in a halitosis-range emergency, is likely to be more useful than something you have to take out first!
               Unfortunately, it's difficult to train that way, given the expense of constantly having to buy new clothes.  Nevertheless, thrift stores such as Goodwill offer cheap, used trousers and jackets.  I suggest you buy a few of them, take them to the range, and expend them on pocket-shooting training with your chosen carry gun.  You might be surprised at the results - and you'll learn a lot, including why we shouldn't use high-flash, high-pressure ammunition in pockets.  The resulting fires - not to mention muzzle-blast and cylinder-gap burns - can be painful.  Also, note the effects of muzzle blast on fabrics that can melt, such as nylon.  When they do so on your skin, it's not funny!
      • The FAL lives on: "IMBEL’s new 7.62x51mm IA2 carbine and rifle"--The Firearms Blog
      • Americans still buying guns: "NICS Checks in the Trump Era: March 2017 Near Record"--Ammo Land.
      • They want their cake and to eat it too: "The Army Wants A New Rifle"--The Captain's Journal. The complaint is that the 7.62x54R rifles and machine guns used by the Taliban can reach out to 1,000 yards (they should be able to do much better than that with the machine guns, but perhaps they don't know how to use indirect fire or lack tripods), but the SAW is limited to an effective range of 700 yards, and M-4 carbines are even less. The proposal is to field a new rifle in 7.62 NATO and teach all soldiers to be skilled marksmen out to 1,000 yards (which is beyond the current range of the rifleman employing a designated marksman rifle). 
      The idea of going back to something like the M-14 or AR-10 is another case of the military wanting to fight the last war. Right now they are focused on fighting in the mountains and on the plains of Afghanistan, where the ranges are long. However, even their own military planners tell us that the wars of the future are largely going to be in built-up areas (e.g., mega-cities) that will favor a shorter, lighter rifle.
      Here is my interim solution: attach a 60 mm mortar intended for direct fire (so no heavy base plate to carry) to each platoon.


      Other Stuff:
               The United States dropped the “mother of all bombs” — the largest conventional bomb in the American arsenal — on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan on Thursday, the Pentagon said, unleashing a munition so massive that it had to be dropped from the rear of a cargo plane.
                  The bomb, officially called the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast — hence its moniker — hit a tunnel complex in the Achin district of Nangarhar Province, according to a statement from the United States military in Afghanistan. It did not say how many militants were killed.
                 Twenty-four of Mexico's 32 states registered increases in homicides, reflecting a broad-based trend toward more violence. The increases were especially concentrated in Colima and Zacatecas, which respectively witnessed four-fold and two-fold surges in homicides. Baja California, Michoacán, and Veracruz also registered substantial increases. Guerrero remained the most murderous state in Mexico last year. 

                 With the exception of Veracruz, which lies along Mexico's Gulf Coast, all of these states are key to Pacific trafficking routes. Most of these states have long been among Mexico's most notoriously combative areas, though Colima has largely been spared the worst of the drug-related violence in years past.
          • Related: "Border Wall Contractors ask for Guns"--The Truth About Guns. At least one of the contractors seeking the contract for the border wall anticipates that its workers will be attacked, and is asking for special federal permission to have armed guards and immunity for firing in anger.
          • Remember that this is what the pro-immigration crowd wants to bring into this country: "Latin America Again Dominates World’s 50 Deadliest Cities Ranking"--Insight Crime. 43 of the 50 most deadly cities are in Latin America. Caracas, Venezuela, leads the lot, with a murder rate of 130 per 100,000 inhabitants. Acapulco, Mexico, is second with a rate of 113.2.
          • Remember what I've said before about Chicago being the primary distribution hub in the United States, and the growing influence of the cartels in Chicago: "Suburban men charged in connection with Mexico-to-Chicago drug pipeline"--Daily Herald. All the suspects named in the article have Hispanic names. According to the article:
          The charges describe various narcotics distribution organizations operating in the Chicago area, including instances in which heroin shipped from Mexico in secret compartments of semitrailers was unloaded at warehouses in Naperville, Sugar Grove and St. Charles. The trailers were then filled with cash for the return trip, authorities said.
                   Last year, a strange self-driving car was released onto the quiet roads of Monmouth County, New Jersey. The experimental vehicle, developed by researchers at the chip maker Nvidia, didn’t look different from other autonomous cars, but it was unlike anything demonstrated by Google, Tesla, or General Motors, and it showed the rising power of artificial intelligence. The car didn’t follow a single instruction provided by an engineer or programmer. Instead, it relied entirely on an algorithm that had taught itself to drive by watching a human do it.
                       Getting a car to drive this way was an impressive feat. But it’s also a bit unsettling, since it isn’t completely clear how the car makes its decisions. Information from the vehicle’s sensors goes straight into a huge network of artificial neurons that process the data and then deliver the commands required to operate the steering wheel, the brakes, and other systems. The result seems to match the responses you’d expect from a human driver. But what if one day it did something unexpected—crashed into a tree, or sat at a green light? As things stand now, it might be difficult to find out why. The system is so complicated that even the engineers who designed it may struggle to isolate the reason for any single action. And you can’t ask it: there is no obvious way to design such a system so that it could always explain why it did what it did.

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