Thursday, May 17, 2018

May 17, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

"Stupid Simple Targets"--Tier 1 Citizen (4 min.)
Instructions on making some simple target stands that won't blow over--however, they do require that you be able to pound a spike (a short length of rebar) into the ground, so there are some areas here in Southern Idaho where these might not work because the basalt is so close to the surface.

            An eruption from the Kilauea volcano's summit shot ash and smoke into the air early Thursday on Hawaii's Big Island, and the resulting plume is expected to cover the surrounding area, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
               The volcanic cloud reached 30,000 feet, the US Geological Survey said. That's a little below the cruising altitude of a jetliner.
                  "At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent," the USGS said. "Ballistic projectiles may be produced should steam-driven explosions occur. Impacts will be limited to an area around Halemaumau."
                     Halemaumau is the crater within Kilauea's summit caldera.
                        Nearby residents are being asked to shelter in place if they are in the path of the ash plume, which the wind is carrying to the northeast of the volcano, the USGS said.
            • "Gear Review: SecureIt Agile Model 52 Gun Cabinet"--The Truth About Guns. This is a heavy duty steel gun cabinet that incorporates a key pad lock, locks with three (3) one-inch steel bolts, and can be assembled yourself. It also features an interesting system allowing you to customize how the interior is set up for storing weapons, ammunition or other odds and ends. MSRP is $600, but the author indicates that retail is generally about $100 less. Total weight of the cabinet is a bit over 100 lbs. The manufacturers selling point is that you get the same level of security as most gun vaults, but in a smaller, lighter, less expansive package. The author of the review writes:
            Again, this isn’t a safe. It won’t protect its contents in a fire and given a few minutes and the right tools, a good burglar can pop it open. But that’s not why you’d buy the Model 52 cabinet. It’s strong enough to keep guns away from family members who shouldn’t have access. It’s reasonably priced and light enough to move from one room to another without calling a mover. It’s hard to imagine a better product for its intended use.
            However, if your primary purpose is to "keep guns away from family members who shouldn't have access," then a standard locking steel cabinet will do the same, and they weigh and cost even less.
            • For those of you in living in the Treasure Valley: "It’s time to plant tomatoes and other warm-weather veggies"--Idaho Statesman. Also: "Fruit trees are loaded, but I’d suggest waiting until after 'June drop' to thin fruit. During the 'June drop' event, natural selection expels many fruits."
            • "The Daily 202: The far left is winning the Democratic civil war"--The Washington Post. This article is a run down of some of the primary races around the nation, and how far left candidates pulled some upset wins over more moderate (aka not-as-far-left) candidates. It also mentions the Idaho gubernatorial race, both the Democratic winner and the Republican winner. The Republican winner was Brad Little, a long time state level politician and the current Lieutenant Governor. The other major candidates were Raul Labrador, who is leaving the U.S. House of Representatives (and was a founder of the House Freedom Caucus) and Tommy Ahlquist, who is an ER doctor and (together with his father and another partner) a wealthy real estate developer. Labrador and Ahlquist split the conservative Mormon vote--otherwise, I think Labrador would have won the race. (If the race had only been between Ahlquist and Little, I think Little would still have won). Part of me wonders if Ahlquist was pulling a Ross Perot--running not with the intent to win, but to undermine another candidate.
            • "USMC to Transition to 12-Man Rifle Squads"--Overt Defense. Another article on the Marine Corps' decision to change the composition of their rifle squads. However, this adds some details that are missing from other articles. As  a reminder, however, the current rifle squads have three 4-man fire teams and a squad leader. The new squad will have three 3-man fire teams, and then a commend element with a squad leader, assistant squad leader, and a communications/systems operator. The latter will not only be in charge of communications, but will pilot drones embedded at the squad level and handle other network/intelligence duties. Also, all squad members will be armed with the M27 (a piston driven AR style rifle), and the squad will include a designated marksman using an M27 as an M38 (basically an M27, but with a variable power scope attached). (Marines in non-combat roles will be issued the M4 carbine). Another change is that each squad will be issued three M320 grenade launchers (most likely as a stand alone weapon rather than mounted under the barrel), presumably split up with one to each fire team. It appears that each squad may also have a MAAWS (Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle).
            • "Theory vs. Practice"--Civilian Gunfighter. The article notes that Yogi Berra said: “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.  In practice, there is.” The theme of the article is that what seems will work in theory may not do so under stress and "on the street." Accordingly, they recommend classes, competition, force-on-force training (if available), and hunting as means of testing your theories.
            • On a similar note: "RED DOT PISTOLS - MYTHS AND MISTAKES"--Gabe Suarez. An excerpt:
                    The pistol is useless if the red dot is occluded or covered with mud:  Absolutely not.  When I hear things like this I know the writer is a range shooter with likely no real life street or battlefield experience.  In class I take a red dot pistol, tape up the RMR so not even Superman with X-Ray vision could see the dot and go through close range gunfighting drills out to 7 yards, getting not only solid hits on the chest of the target, but at closer distances...face shots as well. 
                      I have said it time and time again (insert image of Tony Stark rolling his eyes) the sights or dot do not align the weapon, your grip and body do.  The ability to point shoot accurately when necessary is the mark of the professional.  The inability to do that is the mark of a range-based duffer. 
                        And incidentally, I have seen many more front sights fly off or get broken off in training, and on the street, than I have seen red dot problems with a quality and properly installed red dot.
                • "Army Action Shooting Team Wins Big In Vegas"--Shooting Sports USA. The U.S. Army's team took top spot in this national 3-gun style event. What caught my attention were the photographs of some of the Army shooters. They were using tricked out AK rifles!
                • The wages of sin socialism: "Venezuela seizes Kellogg cereal factory after closure"--BBC. The other day I linked to an article about Kellogg closing down its operations in Venezuela. Now, the Venezuelan government has seized the Kellogg facilities with the intent of resuming operations. The article reports: 
                         "We've begun judicial proceedings against the business leaders of Kellogg's because their exit is unconstitutional," Mr Maduro told cheering supporters in the central state of Carabobo.
                           "I've taken the decision to deliver the company to the workers in order that they can continue producing for the people."
                      When you push bullets above 4,000 fps, strange things happen. I’ve seen paper targets sprayed with molten lead from a bullet’s core as it passed through. Apparently the heat and stress of the trip up a rifle barrel at that speed melted the lead cores. I’ve seen highly frangible .22 varmint bullets go through mild steel plate that .30/06 slugs couldn’t penetrate. Perhaps the bullets acted in the manner of a shaped charge and burned their way through.
                        To the best of my knowledge, the .220 Swift is the only cartridge offering factory loads with 4,000+ fps muzzle velocities.
                        • "David Brooks and the Lizard People"--American Greatness. Donald Trump's experience as a real estate developer in New York City and Atlantic City has given him great insight into how the Swamp works.
                        • "DB warns of US debt crisis."--The Grumpy Economist. The Deutsch Bank (Germany's central bank) is warning of an impending debt crises. What's the difference between now and past times when the debt has been run up? The author explains:
                          US deficits have, historically, been driven overwhelmingly by the state of the business cycle, and have very little to do with tax policies and spending decisions that dominate press coverage. In booms, income rises, so tax rate times income rises. In busts, the opposite, plus "automatic stabilizer" spending kicks in.
                            This time, however, we see debt climbing while employment drops and incomes are rising. Whether this continues to be an issue will likely depend on whether Democrats gain power in Congress this fall.

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