Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May 10, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

I always thought that the primary difference between KeyMod and M-LOK would be the income of the buyers because M-LOK was designed with polymer accessories in mind: basically, KeyMod for the "discerning" buyer and M-LOK for the rest of us. However, The Firearms Blog reports that the military looked into it, conducting tests on the point of impact after an accessory was removed and replaced, drop testing, strength testing and ease of installing accessories. M-LOK performed better on the POI test and overall strength. KeyMod only did better on the ease of installing an accessory. You can read more about the testing and results at Soldier Systems. Now, this isn't saying that if you have KeyMod that you need to replace it, but if you are still on the fence about which system to invest in, this will probably be enough to convince you to go the M-LOK route.


Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
  • "Ham Radio: Concerns, Comments and Frequently Asked Questions"--Security and Self-Reliance. This is a really good article for someone thinking about radio communications, the different equipment, licenses and capabilities, and considerations for what you might want or need for your particular situation. For instance, if its just you (or a very small group), perhaps radio communications won't be an important issue: a scanner or receiver might be all you need to monitor what is going on around you or what is in the news. CB's and hand-held radios may satisfy your requirements. Or perhaps you really need to be able to reach out a long distance. If this is something that interests you, this is a good article to answer some of your questions.
  • "Reloading by the book, but…"--Surviving Urban Crises. Typically the best source of information on particular hand loads for ammunition are the reloading manuals published by bullet and powder manufacturers. But even those may not be correct for various reasons. The author of the linked article discovered that the cartridge overall length (COL) given in one of his reloading manuals was too long for his particular pistol, with the result that after the first shot, the firearm jammed. Another factor to consider that powder recipes can change, and load data from a decade or two ago may no longer be correct. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but it bears repeating. I was finishing using up an older batch of Unique and using the loading recommendations from a manual that I bought about the same time as I had purchased the powder. Finishing that particular container, I opened a much newer container (Unique, used for loading medium caliber handguns goes a long way), and used the same load as always. Later testing showed signs of over pressure. Looking in a more recent manual, I noticed that the maximum safe charge was lower than that in the older manual, substantially so. 
  • "Survival Hygiene While On The Road"--Urban Survival Site. The article discusses the importance of hygiene. We all know from history that poor hygiene killed more troops than any other cause. While this has improved, it is the result of better attention to hygiene and the availability of antibiotics. In fact, the invention and availability of cheap soap beginning in the 1600s was more significant than even antibiotics. The author of this piece discusses different hygiene issues and common problems from poor hygiene before going on to review a product from Combat One. 
  • Some AK goodness:
  • "All-American AK: The Century Arms C39 7.62x39mm Rifle"--Tactical Life. A billet machined receiver, all American parts. The author had 3 to 4 inch groups at 100 yards using steel cased ammo, and 2 inch groups with better quality ammo. Reliability was as good as would be expected from an AK design.
  • "AK-47 / AK-74 Buyer’s Guide"--Savannah Arsenal Project. A list of resources (mostly videos) reviewing and testing various AKs from different manufacturers.
  • "AK-47 / AK-74 Magazine Buyer’s Guide"--Savannah Arsenal Project. A similar guide, but discussing surplus and new magazines for the AK from different countries and manufacturers. I was lucky enough to pick up some East German steel magazines, but they don't review them. Very good quality, though.
 If the blackout lasts for a few hours then just waiting it out with a flashlight will do, but for several days you actually need a game plan, a strategy to get by. How are you going to heat your home, how are you going to heat water, cook food, illuminate the house, keep the fridge going, get work done. All of these need to be addressed and if you haven’t prepared ahead of time and know what to do then everything gets a lot more complicated.

Other Stuff:
  • Related: "How Venezuela Ruined Its Oil Industry"--Forbes. The article explains that it comes down to two root causes: (1) then-President Hugo Chavez fired experienced employees in order to replace them with political loyalists and kicked the foreign companies out, leaving no one with experience and knowledge to run the industry; and (2) he diverted the profits to his own gain and social programs, instead of reinvesting it in the equipment, with the result that equipment broke down and wasn't repaired. 
  • "Murder Isn't a Nationwide Problem"--John Lott at Real Clear Policy. This is Lott's article on how only a small number of counties have half of the murders in the United States. He writes: "The worst 1 percent of counties have 19 percent of the population and 37 percent of the murders in 2014. The worst 2 percent of counties contain 47 percent of the population and accounted for 51 percent of the murders. 68 percent of the murders occurred in only 5 percent of counties."
  • Speaking of murder: "A Hundred Years of Communism"--Quillette. After discussing the major purges, famines and mass murders perpetrated in communist countries, the author warns that all is not well in the West: "In an age of materialism, deconstruction and the rise of solipsistic individualism, Westerners have been divided on their animating principles of citizenship and cultural meaning." He goes on:
       In an interview after the fall of the Soviet Union, when Kołakowski, the great Polish philosopher, might have been expected to sound optimistic, he was bleak. There was no liberal triumphalism. “The need to belong to a tribe…is as strong as ever,” he declared, “Secularization hasn’t eradicated religious needs”. Kołakowski was concerned about the “disappearance of the sacred”, by which he meant “religious heritage or historical tradition”:
       The only way to ensure the endurance of civilization is to ensure that there are always people who think of the price paid for every step of what we call “progress.” The order of the sacred is also a sensitivity to evil—the only system of reference that allows us to contemplate that price and forces us to ask whether it is exorbitant.

       The values whose vigor is so vital to culture cannot survive without being rooted in the realm of the sacred.
           As we reach a hundred years since the October Revolution we should think back to a time when the Tsar governed Russia, and the Kaiser ruled in Germany, and the British Empire was alive and well. An awful lot can change in a hundred years and an awful lot will change in the years ahead. We have to prepare for the changes to come, and know what we value, as well as what we oppose.
    • "The March To World War III"--Benjamin Baruch at News With Views. The author takes the position that the United States no longer has a decisive technological edge over Russia or China, and that military action in North Korea would lead to a world war. I'm not so sure on either account. I believe that North Korea's military would collapse quickly in a fight, and that it would take intervention by China and/or Russia to forestall such an eventuality. But I'm not sure that China or Russia have sufficient interests tied up in North Korea to risk a war on its behalf.
    • Feathered dinosaurs. "Baby fossil of a new species of winged dinosaur that would have grown to the size of an ELEPHANT is found in China"--Daily Mail

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