"Why Ballistics Gel Works and Caliber Arguments are Dumb"--Lucky Gunner (13 min.)
An interview with Speer/Federal about why ballistic gel is such a useful tool, and what is (and isn't) important about handgun performance for self-defense.
- Same as it always was: "New Zealand Passes Law Banning Most Semi-Automatic Weapons"--NPR. From the article:
Current owners of the now-banned firearms will have until the end of September to return their weapons for compensation under a buyback program. If they don't return them, they could face up to five years in prison.
Speaking before lawmakers, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she knew her country would approve a ban after the police commissioner described the deadly nature of the guns used in the attack, which had been obtained legally and easily modified to hold more than 60 bullets per magazine.
"I could not fathom how weapons that could cause such destruction and large-scale death could have been obtained legally in this country," Ardern said.
What an idiot. Wait until she learns that people can buy or rent trucks.
- More: "New Zealand Legislature Votes 119-1 To Ban Semi-Automatic Guns"--The Truth About Guns.
- Flattery will get you nowhere: "Idaho depends on the gun industry more than any other state, study says"--Idaho Statesman. The criteria considered included the prevalence of guns in the state, the political culture toward firearms, the proportion of the population working in the gun industry, the number of gun shows per capita (although Idaho actually scored quite low on this metric), and others.
- Safety scissors? What is this -- kindergarten? "Building a TSA-Compliant Bug-Out Bag/Get Home Bag"--The SHTF Blog. The author relates that "notable TSA approved carryon-able items include one book of safety matches, sub 7-inch tools including screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers, and scissors with plastic tips and blades of less than four inches’ length." He lists the items that he carries, including what he carries on him, what is in his "murse", and what is in his carry on.
- "Overview of the .45-70 Henry All Weather and Cartridge"--The Survivalist Blog. The lever-action rifle he reviews gets high praise, as does the cartridge. But the author acknowledges that .45-70 probably should not be the first (or second) choice of preppers:
The .45-70, for all its merit and surging popularity, it is a bit of a question mark as to why one would choose such a massive, expensive round as a primary or even secondary choice for self-defense or SHTF unless one was living smack in the middle of bear or moose country. Any other animal in North America can be harvested with much cheaper and lighter recoiling rounds that allow more ammo in a rifle of the same size.
- "Survival Antibiotics – What You Need to Know About Fish Antibiotics for Humans"--Survival 101. The author notes that fish antibiotics are generally safe, but "[y]ou need to make sure you are buying the exact fish antibiotic that you are looking for that has not been enhanced to give the fish 'shiny scales' or any other type enhancement. Simply look at the ingredients and make sure there are no other ingredients." After that advice, the author gets into the meat of the topic, discussing when you might want to take antibiotics, the different types of antibiotics available through the "fish market" and what they are used for, and so on. The author also cautions:
Obviously, if you are allergic to penicillin you would not to take the majority of fish antibiotics on the market. There is however an alternative to penicillin within the fish antibiotics genre, Keflex (Cephalexin) which is used to treat infections caused by bacteria.
- "Montie’s Law of Self-Defense"--Wim Demeere's Blog. Short and simple: “It’s never the other guy’s turn. He doesn’t get a turn. It’s always my turn.”
He swarms his opponents with constant attacks and uses overwhelming force to get the job done. If the opponent is lucky, he might get in a first shot, but after that, it’s never his turn again. I liked that a lot and expanded that idea into what I use it for now.
- "CONCEALMENT ISSUE 11: SOLITARY KNIFE FIGHTING"--by Chad McBroom at Recoil Offgrid. The author writes:
The choice to carry a knife as a means of self-defense brings with it the responsibility of learning how to use it, but just knowing how to do something doesn’t make you good at it. Skill comes from repetition through dedicated training. Attending a couple edged-weapons seminars might give you a base knowledge, but it won’t make you proficient with a blade. You must incorporate that knowledge into a regular training regimen to hone your skills.
The great thing about blade training is it can be done pretty much anywhere. Unlike firearms training, you don’t need a designated training area. You don’t need to worry about noise and backstops, and your neighbors aren’t likely to call the police if you do it in the backyard.
The author then discusses various ways to train at home, including "shadow shanking" (like shadow boxing but for knives), using a mirror, using a training post or something like Century’s Body Opponent Bag or the Rubber Dummies 3D Silhouette Body Target or just a ball on a string.
- "6 Things To Consider Before Buying Your First Revolver"--The Truth About Guns. The points the author raises are: (1) ask yourself for what you will be using the revolver; (2) be careful of the "magnum bug" (and by this, he mostly means the big-bore magnums, not the .357 Magnum); (3) ammunition is going to cost more (especially compared to 9 mm); (4) the trigger technique is different than a Glock or other striker fire pistol; (5) you may have to choose between easy to shoot (a full size revolver) or easy to carry (a small J-frame, for instance); and (6) revolvers are addictive.
- "TFB REVIEW: The Just Released Remington V3 TAC-13"--The Firearm Blog. So what makes this better than the other similar short-barreled firearms? "Two words; Semi-Automatic. Finally, a PGF auto-loading shotgun using Remington’s new Versaport Gas System to mitigate recoil. No more unnecessary kick, or pump-reload fumbles that plague pump-action PGF style shotguns."
- While we are on the subject of shotguns: "Choosing a Buckshot Load for Home Defense"--Active Response Training. A couple of main points are raised. First, you want a tight group. Accordingly, Ellifritz recommends against the low-cost 9 pellet buckshot loads, but says you should instead get something like the Hornady TAP Semi-auto 8-pellet 00 buck load (which he tests and compares in the article) or at least an 8 pellet load. Second:
... the true advantage of the shotgun isn’t that it has a wide pattern spread to easier hit moving targets. The advantage of the shotgun is in the sheer devastation those buckshot rounds create. Shotgun wounds are far more impressive than most rifle or handgun wounds. It’s rare that someone will need to be shot more than once or twice with buck shot. We regularly see criminals and enemy soldiers soaking up half a dozen or more handgun or carbine rounds.
We, unfortunately, see this with some of the mass shooting events, such as the Navy Yard shooting or, even, the recent Christchurch shooting, where the shotgun proves to be deadlier on a number shot-to-death ratio than a carbine.
- Red flag laws are nothing more than a legalized form of "swatting": "The folly of 'Red Flag' gun laws"--Washington Times. As the author of this article points out:
Depending upon the state, anyone from a family member, intimate partner, ex, house or apartment mates, or police can file a complaint. Under Colorado’s proposed law, anyone can make a phone call to the police. They don’t even have to be living in the state. There is no hearing. All the judge has before them is the statement of concern.
- Related: "What To Do If Police Show Up At Your Door With A Red Flag Confiscation Order"--The Truth About Guns. Basically, the author recommends cooperating and fighting the point in court later.
- An elegant weapon for a more civilized age: "Review: Beretta Model 84FS"--Shooting Times. From the article:
The Beretta Model 84 Cheetah pistols have been around since 1976 and are immediately recognizable. These pistols, also known as Series 80 or Series 81 pistols, have an open slide and exposed barrel like the Beretta Model 92 pistols. They are, in fact, scaled-down versions of the 9mm Model 92 and are chambered for .22 LR, .32 ACP, and .380 ACP. Even though the Cheetahs are considered full-size guns for these calibers, they are midsize pistols.
The author continues:
Part of the aesthetic appeal is the gun’s visual balance. The barrel does not look too long for the grip/frame height. Also, it does not have an accessory rail on the dustcover, which I think ruins the sleek look of many pistols. The Model 84FS feels balanced in my hand. The open slide reduces its weight in the front compared to a full-profile slide, so it does not feel front-heavy like some pistols.
* * *
Ergonomics on the pistol are superb. It reminds me of a Model 1911, a Browning Hi-Power, or a CZ75. It feels great in the hand. Many guns are noted for their natural pointability, and this one must be among those at the top of the list. The grip angle is ideal, and the pistol points where the shooter points.
There is a lot more in the review, if you want to read the whole thing.
- "HOW TO PRACTICE TRANSITIONING FROM RIFLE TO PISTOL ON THE RANGE"--Wide Open Spaces. The link has an embedded video of Kyle Lamb instructing on transitions.
- "'Wrong house buster!' Shocking moment a homeowner fends off a shotgun-wielding thief who broke into the apartment looking for drugs, as his fiancée huddles in terror on the sofa"--Daily Mail. The homeowner stepping in, past the muzzle of the shotgun, and it turned into a ground fight. Most of the fight was caught on surveillance. Fortunately for the homeowner, the attacker did not appear to know anything about ground fighting.
- Related: A reader sent me a link to a video showing a failed assassination in Brazil. The attacker went into a cafe and shot a guy 3 times, but then got the beating of his life ... including from the guy that was shot. He (the reader) offered some important points to notice, such as the length of time between when the people at the table recognized the danger and were able to react (in fact, their initial reaction was to start to run away prior to their turning on their assailant). He also noted that the melee was ineffective punching, pushing and shoving, and recommends that your hand-to-hand must be directed to serve the purpose of degrading your assaulter's ability to attack: break and crush things. Good points.
- For the electronics enthusiast: "DIY Build Your Own PVS-14"--The Firearm Blog. The author relates: "It is widely accepted that night vision is expensive. PVS-14s with gen 3 image intensifier tubes cost on average $2,500-$4,000 depending on the tubes used inside. However, just like building a budget AR-15, you can save some money by building it yourself." The cost of the imager tubes is still high, but the author says that you can save money by getting some with minor blemishes. Anyway, a list of parts and instructions follow.
"After Action Medical Report - Stab Wound Victim"--Skinny Medic (12 min.)
- Only if being "American" is having a piece a paper that says that you are permitted to live here: "'I'm as American as everyone else is': llhan Omar hits out at 'double standards' after she was criticized for referring to 9/11 as 'some people did something'"--Daily Mail.
- "Foreign investment"--Vox Popoli. Vox Day observes that "[t]his destruction of the housing stock by rich foreign owners is the sort of consequence the free traders never factor into their 'it's good for the economy' arguments...."
- Notice that the argument is always "it's good for the economy": "Japan's new visa regulation opens door to foreign labor"--DW. From the article:
New Japanese visa regulations went into effect on April 1, allowing more migrant workers to enter Japan and take up some of the tens of thousands of blue-collar jobs that are currently unfilled.
While the Japanese business community welcomed the new regulations with a sigh of relief, there are many in Japan who say that the government has made a mistake and is putting people's jobs, social harmony, and even national security at risk.
- Speaking of risking social harmony and national security: "Police raids across Germany target alleged Hamas-linked charities"--DW. It's interesting to compare the sympathetic tone of the preceding article about the terrorist supporting charities, versus the tone in this article, also from DW on the same day, discussing police arrests of "far-right extremists."
- Ditto: "If Liberals Won’t Enforce Borders, Fascists Will"--David Frum at The Atlantic. His main point:
Demagogues don’t rise by talking about irrelevant issues. Demagogues rise by talking about issues that matter to people, and that more conventional leaders appear unwilling or unable to address: unemployment in the 1930s, crime in the 1960s, mass immigration now. Voters get to decide what the country’s problems are. Political elites have to devise solutions to those problems. If difficult issues go unaddressed by responsible leaders, they will be exploited by irresponsible ones.
- A reminder that Obama said we can't drill our way out of dependency on foreign oil: "Exxon Plans for $15 per Barrel Permian Costs"--Rigzone. From the article:
Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to reduce the cost of pumping oil in the Permian to about $15 a barrel, a level only seen in the giant oil fields of the Middle East.
The scale of Exxon’s drilling means that it can spread its costs over such a big operation that the basin will become competitive with almost anywhere in the world, Staale Gjervik, president of XTO Energy, the supermajor’s shale division, said in an interview.
Development, operating and land acquisition costs will be “in and around $15 a barrel,” he said on the sidelines of the CERAWeek Conference by IHS Markit in Houston. West Texas Intermediate futures traded at almost $59 on Thursday. “The way we are approaching it is very unique compared to most, if not really everybody out there, as far as the scale," he said.
The shale revolution has made the Permian into the world’s largest shale field, with production topping 4 million barrels a day, almost as much as Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest member. But the rapid growth has often meant that producers burn cash flow to reinvest in the expansion, prompting investors to call on them to focus more on returns in 2019.
Exxon plans to deploy 55 rigs in the Permian this year, by far the most of any driller, as it aims to increase output in the region fivefold to about 1 million barrels a day by 2024. Its strategy also includes building its own takeaway infrastructure from separation tanks to pipelines, and it’s even joining a giant conduit project to make sure its oil doesn’t get stuck in bottlenecks that have depressed prices in West Texas.
- "The End of Aspiration"--Joel Kotkin at Quillette. From the author's introduction:
Since the end of the Second World War, middle- and working-class people across the Western world have sought out—and, more often than not, achieved—their aspirations. These usually included a stable income, a home, a family, and the prospect of a comfortable retirement. However, from Sydney to San Francisco, this aspiration is rapidly fading as a result of a changing economy, soaring land costs, and a regulatory regime, all of which combine to make it increasingly difficult for the new generation to achieve a lifestyle like that enjoyed by their parents. This generational gap between aspiration and disappointment could define our demographic, political, and social future.
And he concludes:
Ultimately, this poses a threat to the powerful democratic ideal that arose in the second half of the last century. Instead of spreading the wealth, many of the leading Silicon Valley oligarchs’ solution to marginalization is to have the state provide housing subsidies as well as unconditional cash stipends to keep the peasants from rising against their betters.
The oligarchs understandably do not want a populist rebellion from below; the Trump victory and Brexit were demonstrations of that threat. But nor do they worry all that much about being burdened by a call for societal generosity. Such people tend to be skilled at tax avoidance, so they won’t be picking up the bill. Instead, as occurred in the Middle Ages, the taxes will be paid by the remaining middle- and working-class residents, while the regulatory clerisy, both in government and the universities, enjoy cushy pensions and other protections unavailable to the masses.
The erosion of upward mobility threatens a deepening conflict between the middle orders and the elites. It also threatens the future of liberal democracy. A strong landowning middle order has been essential in democracies from ancient Athens and the Roman and Dutch Republics to contemporary Europe, North America, and Australia. Now with fewer owning land, and many without even a reasonable expectation of acquiring it, we may be entering an era portrayed as progressive and multicultural but that will be ever more feudal in its economic and social form.
- There, but for the grace of God, go I: "A belief in meritocracy is not only false: it’s bad for you"--Aeon. The author contends that good fortune plays a bigger role in success than most people acknowledge. Also:
In addition to being false, a growing body of research in psychology and neuroscience suggests that believing in meritocracy makes people more selfish, less self-critical and even more prone to acting in discriminatory ways.
Although the religious context is not explored in the article, this article has application to the sense that one's successes are due to gifts from God rather than due to one's own ability. Essentially, the difference between worshiping God and the works of our own hands.
- Immanuel Velikovsky smiles: "Jupiter’s unknown journey revealed"--Lund University. Researchers claim that "The giant planet Jupiter was formed four times further from the sun than its current orbit, and migrated inwards in the solar system over a period of 700 000 years."