"The Gun Industry's Dirty Little Secret"--The Gun Rack (9 min.)
A frank discussion of why reviewers will often spruce up their reviews of products.
- Active Response Training's Weekend Knowledge Dump for this week. A couple articles that caught my attention in particular is an article the defensive use of knives, and a police officer's account of coming under fire in an ambush by a bank robber using a rifle. Check it out.
- "The Reality of Barter and Trade in an SHTF Economy"--The Survival Place. An interview with Selco concerning his experience in Bosnia concerning barter. An excerpt:
What were the general rules of trade during this time?
The value of things and trading “rules on the ground“ were similar to trade rules at normal life flea markets.
A few of those “rules on the ground“ during the trade were:
- If YOU need something then the price is going up. (Do not look like you desperately need something.)
- Do not offer all that you got in “one hand“ or on one try. (Do not go to trade with your best shots all together, it looks desperate, and you are losing all the advantage then.)
- Do not ever give a reason for someone to take the risk of attacking you because you have way too cool stuff (or way too much stuff) with you. (Have some amount of food, or ammo, or whatever, do another trade at another time with more of that. Remember people will take chances if they calculate it is a risk worth taking.)
- Never give info how much of the goods you actually have at home. ( The reason is same as above.)
- Never do trade at your home (unless you trust the person 100%) because you never know to who you are giving valuable information about how much you have, what your home look like, how many people are there (defense) etc.
- Doing the trade in other trader s home might mean that you are at his “playground“ (or he is stupid) so you are losing the edge. You are risking of being on unknown terrain. Always try to choose neutral ground somewhere that you can control the situation, giving the opponent the chance to feel safe. (But not safer than you).
Read the whole thing.
- "Study: A barrage of viruses and bacteria is falling from the sky"--Watts Up With That. The researchers were attempting to discover why genetically identical viruses and bacteria could be found hundreds of miles apart. They discovered that the germs can be swept up into the atmosphere on small particles such as dust or sea-spray. Also: "Using platform sites high in Spain’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, the researchers found billions of viruses and tens of millions of bacteria are being deposited per square metre per day. The deposition rates for viruses were nine to 461 times greater than the rates for bacteria."
- "REUTERS: Remington Seeks Financing To File For Bankruptcy"--The Firearms Blog. Based on the information on the article, Remington is trying to restructure its finances, which indicates it is seeking a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, rather than a dissolution under Chapter 7. (See also this article at The Truth About Guns). I might as well throw my two cents in: Remington has had a rough time, what with significant quality control issues across most of their firearm lines and major recalls, that have dampened enthusiasm for its products just as many companies are coming out with less expensive, competing products (e.g. Mossberg for shotguns, and Ruger, Savage, and others with inexpensive but good quality hunting rifles) and just as the panic market under Obama came to an end. It also hasn't helped that some of their more recent products just have not been all that compelling. For instance, the Remington R9 is just one of a plethora of new plastic striker fired handguns in a glutted market, with nothing that really stands out about it. While I really like the R51 Gen 2, I would be the first to admit that Remington's rush to get it to market with significant flaws got a lot of people hating the weapon, which was reflected by a definite bias against it by reviewers when the Gen 2 finally came out.
- "Palmetto State Armory MP5 Clone Revealed"--The Truth About Guns. There seems to be quite a bit of interest in retro style firearms lately, and this has shown up with a number of manufacturers showing off Heckler and Koch MP5 clones at this year's Shot Show. Most of the models shown off were closer to $2,000 than not. However, Palmetto State Armory showed off a model that, while there is yet no set MSRP, hints that the MSRP will be just north of $1,000. The author tries to defend the pricing of these clones by stating:
Building a reliable MP5 is much more difficult than building an AR15. The pieces require hand fitting. A stamped receiver must be welded. Man/woman/Non-cisgender work hours will be high. Quality control will be tough to maintain, especially at an budget friendly price point.
Well, since I have used and studied the roller-lock system used by HK, including its history, I have to laugh at the insinuation that the weapon's manufacture is akin to that of a finely made revolver. The initial design of the roller-lock systems was made in Germany toward the close of World War II and shifted to Spain following the war. Part of the purpose of the design was to allow inexpensive manufacture under wartime conditions. Thus, the stamped sheet metal receivers that could be folded and welded; the use of a trunnion to hold the barrel; welding of the trunnion into the receiver; and the use of many other stamped or molded parts. The barrels are pressed into the trunnion and pinned into place, and head-space adjustment is made by varying the size of the rollers used in the locking mechanism. In other words, the complexity of manufacture and assembly is comparable to that of an AK style weapon.
- "How To Stop A Nosebleed"--Doom and Bloom (Survival Medicine). This detailed article describes the anatomy of the nose, the cause of a nosebleed, signs of a serious nose bleed, and some methods used to stop a nosebleed, including using a nasal pack, and some tips on preventing a nosebleed. Check it out.
- "Start With Food Storage Basics"--Family Survival Planning. This article introduces some basics about long term food storage, then has links to other articles about specific food storage topics. What this article (and associated articles) are: these articles are on how to store specific types of foods, particularly those well suited for long-term storage, as well as discussion of other necessities such as oils and comfort foods. What this article is not: It is not a discussion of physical storage arrangements, such as building special storage racks, or how to fit all this in a small house or apartment.
- Related: "Common Sense Preparedness – Preparing for Everyday Emergencies"--Common Sense Home. A comprehensive overview of common prepping topics, as well as links to additional resources. This is a good resource for the beginner or someone wanting to double-check that they have hit all the main points in their preparedness plan.
- "Refuting the Pundits - Red Dot Problems?"--Gabe Suarez. As you probably know, Suarez has long advocated the use of red dot/reflex sights on handguns. In this article, he responds to a few of the more common criticisms or complaints about red dots on handguns. For instance, to those who have problems acquiring the red dot when quickly aiming, he writes:
If your dot is co-witnessed to be on your front sight (either on top of the sight, just below the top, or on the tritium vial), and if you have trained countless times to visually acquire that front sight, what will you automatically begin to see when you present the pistol and catch the sights?
Wait for it....the dot of course. If you see the front sight, you will see the dot. Now what happens is that as your eye becomes accustomed to seeing that dot, it will always look for the dot and actually begin to ignore the irons. That is when using the dot becomes faster than using the irons.
Does it take some effort? Of course it does.
- "Lots Of Q Drops"--Anonymous Conservative. "Q", or "Q Anon" has been busy the last few days with a lot of new posts. This article discusses some of those earlier in the week, including an arrest or similar operation in Shanghai, China (FYI: the photographs which Q shows are of the King Tower building in Shanghai).
- Related: "Another longtime Comey aide leaving FBI"--Fox News. Michael Kortan, who was the assistant director of public affairs, is retiring. He served under both Comey and Robert Mueller. The article suggests that Kortan was privy to portions of the FBI interview of Hillary Clinton that were not produced to Congress. Also, the chief of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, David Laufman, has resigned.
- Related: "Feds Scrambled to Redact Information Showing Top Secret Spy Abuse"--Washington Free Beacon. From the article:
Federal authorities scrambled to redact and keep classified key information revealing major abuses of the U.S. surveillance apparatus that targeted President Donald Trump's associates in the lead up to the 2016 election, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation who said the latest information corroborates findings recently made public by House Intelligence Committee officials.
On the heels of the release of a classified memo by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee disclosing that the FBI relied heavily on a widely discredited anti-Trump dossier to carry out unwarranted surveillance on Trump allies, Senate investigators this week made public their own findings that appear to corroborate the events.
- "NGSW: Industry Competitors to FACE OFF to Replace the M4 Carbine by 2021 in Next Generation Squad Weapon Program"--The Firearms Blog. (See also: "US Army Will Not Buy USMC M27, Sets Course for Next Generation Squad Weapon, Cased Telescoped Ammunition"). Rather than go the Marine Corps route and adopt the M27 or something similar, the Army is pushing ahead with developing a new weapon system based around a cartridge able to defeat ceramic armor out to 600 meters (i.e., the Next Generation Squad Weapon or "NGSW"). The current concept calls for a caliber in between 5.56 and 7.62; a Textron test system used a 6.5 mm bullet in a telescoping casing made of polymer (for more on telescoping cartridges, see this Popular Mechanics article and this Military.com article). The problem was that the Textron rifle came in at 8.3 pounds, stripped down--significantly heavier than a stripped down M-4--and a lower capacity magazine of only 20 rounds. So, the Army wants to open the process up to competition to see if another manufacturer can get something to work that is lighter.
The problem I see is that firearms are a mature technology: all the low- and medium-hanging fruit has long been harvested, so there are large costs to obtaining even minor or incremental improvements in cartridges and ballistics. Most of the advances we see today reflect that. Rather than seeing large improvements in cartridges, we instead are seeing improvements in areas such as better manufacturing techniques (e.g., CMC machines) to reduce cost and/or improve quality of manufacture; improvements in tertiary items such as sights and rail systems; and some improvements in materials technology (although we are still relying principally on aluminum and steel alloys that have been used since the 1950's and 60's).
The area I think offers the most promising prospects would be to focus on the barrel and its weight. Specifically, carbon-fiber wrapped barrels. With those, you can get all the benefits of a heavy barrel, but lighter, stiffer, and with better heat dispersion. I would also note that a couple AR manufacturers have developed rifles that use a lower receiver midway between an AR15 and AR10 receiver, allowing for more powerful cartridges than the AR15, but more compact than the AR10 models.
- "Rhi (finally) Builds Her Bug Out Bag"--Blue Collar Prepping. A lengthy and thoughtful article on putting together a BOB, including selection of the bag, as well as different contents for different uses. The author indicates that she spent about $300 for everything. Anyway, if you want to compare what you have or get ideas, take a look at the article.
- Apparently President Trump's alleged s***hole comment is still producing ripples: "White Nationalism Is Spreading In The Orthodox Community"--The Forward. Reading between the lines, the author of this piece equates agreeing that some 3rd world countries are s***holes to being a white nationalist. Crazy, but there it is. With that in mind, the author describes his shock and horror (!) that many in the Orthodox Jewish community actually agree that third world s***holes are, well, s***holes. He provides a couple of examples:
As one argued, “Option A: El Salvador isn’t a ‘shithole,’ so they don’t need 17 years of Temporary Protected Status, and migrants from there should be sent home immediately. Option B: El Salvador is, in fact, a ‘shithole.’”
Another Orthodox friend, who had left South Africa for Israel, remarked, “I’m so glad I emigrated from a shithole.”
And another frum Jew wrote, “So, how many snowflakes would like to move to Haiti?”
When I facetiously wondered if that commenter also believed in “white genocide” (a term popular in the white nationalist community), the person responded: “I have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t know any white supremacists, so I don’t know what they ‘sound like.’ By 'genocide’ do you mean blacks murdering white farmers in South Africa?”
So what is the author's concern? Well, his stated one is:
That countries dominated by blacks are shitholes was the broad consensus, it seemed to me that weekend. Despite the concerns about Trump’s “crass” wording, far too many Orthodox Jews agreed with the content.
[Even though the alleged comment by Trump included non-black countries, note well how the author automatically equated the term with black-ruled countries. So who is being racist?] However, the real concern of the author appears to be that Trump's popularity is growing among Orthodox Jews. And that can't be allowed. So the author argues that anyone supporting conservative viewpoints should be prohibited from sharing their beliefs within the Jewish community. And he makes his argument against racism on racial grounds: that it is un-Jewish to believe that third world s***holes are s***holes.
- "Study: Early humans witnessed global cooling, warming, and massive fires from comet debris impacts"--Watts Up With That. A new paper linking the Younger Dryas to a cometary impact. The article states: "The KU researcher and his colleagues believe the data suggests the disaster was touched off when Earth collided with fragments of a disintegrating comet that was roughly 62 miles in diameter — the remnants of which persist within our solar system to this day." And, quoting an interview with one of the researchers:
“The hypothesis is that a large comet fragmented and the chunks impacted the Earth, causing this disaster,” said Melott. “A number of different chemical signatures — carbon dioxide, nitrate, ammonia and others — all seem to indicate that an astonishing 10 percent of the Earth’s land surface, or about 10 million square kilometers, was consumed by fires.”
The primary impact probably was in the skies over North America (by the present day Great Lakes), although there may have been lesser impacts in other areas. The impact would have led to the extinction of the mega-fauna (i.e., large animals) in North America during that time, as well as the collapse or extinction of the Clovis Culture and its people.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "Elon Musk's red Roadster is now officially a celestial object: NASA adds the orbiting sports car and 'space-suit wearing mannequin' to the log of objects in the solar system (and reveals it's also towing sci-fi novels and a toy Tesla)"--Daily Mail. Check out the various photographs of the car in space, some from Earth's orbit, and a couple others as it heads into interplanetary space.