Friday, December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Understanding Minute of Angle (MOA) - Long Range Shooting Technique"--National Shooting Sports Foundation (17 min.)

  • TGIF: This week's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. Among the various articles and links are two that, in particular caught my eye, which were links to videos discussing exploring how hitmen think.
  • "UPGRADE: Ruger RedHawks get Sleeve & Shroud Barrels to Improve Accuracy"--The Firearms Blog. These are the 4.2" and 5.5" 8-round .357 Magnum models. Look like nice weapons.
  • "Schrade SCHF38 Frontier Knife: Great value knife for $30"--The Modern Survivalist. A good quality high-carbon steel outdoor knife that FerFal likes. Blade length is 5-3/4 inches. FerFal also indicates that "[t]he knife comes with basic but functional nylon sheath, a diamond sharpener and a rather nice quality ferro rod."
  • Good guy with a gun: "Father shoots and kills teen robber who burst into a Texas Popeyes and threatened his kids with a gun"--Daily Mail. The interesting thing is that the father did not initially attempt to engage the robber, but merely wanted to get his family out of harm's way. The robber seemingly agreed to let the father and his family leave peaceably, but when a couple of the kids came out of the restroom, the robber pointed his pistol at them. That is when the father administered the tax payer relief shot.
  • Juxtaposition this:
  • An anti-gun nut explains "Why the AR-15 Is So Lethal" at The Atlantic. Except he doesn't. Sure, he includes a quote from Stoner discussing the 5.56 mm bullets tendency to yaw quickly and how that makes it more lethal than the 7.62 mm. But there is no context or explanation, such as how the M-16, as originally produced, had much lower twist rates than today, which made the bullets much less stable than what we see today. There is also no explanation that this increased lethality is only when comparing military full metal jacket rounds, with no discussion of the impact of bullet construction and expansion, velocity, or their impact on terminal ballistics; nor any comparison to popular hunting rounds. In fact, the article is so misleading, I expect that the author, James Fallows, has probably never actually put any time or effort into understanding terminal ballistics. Interestingly enough, when he originally wrote about the M-16 in 1981, the focus of his article was arguing that the weapon was lousy for its intended purpose; and now he argues that the AR-15 is too effective to be in civilian hands.
With this:  
  • "Marine: .223 May Not Be Lethal Enough for Civilians"--The Truth About Guns. The author opines that "[t]he .223 is a varmint round, meant to kill targets no larger than a rabbit or coyote. Because of its horrible terminal ballistics and external ballistics, many people build AR’s in other calibers." As is generally the case, the truth is between the two extremes.
  • Considering the foregoing two articles, it always good to return to the basics of terminal ballistics: "Effective Game Killing"--Terminal Ballistics Research.
  • "Counter Surveillance: Carrying Weapons Without Telling Everyone"--Gabe Suarez explains common "tells" that people have or engage in when carrying a concealed weapon. These are such things as telltale bulges, knife clips that are visible, touching or adjusting the weapon on your clothing, the weight of the weapon causing a jacket to droop on one side or otherwise hang unnaturally.
  • Because surveilling Muslim terrorists is not politically correct: "Germany to surveil far-right doomsday 'prepper scene'"--Deutsche Welle. According to the article:
The "prepper scene" refers to a loose network of people collecting firearms and other supplies in preparation for a collapse of state power. There are thought to be well over 100,000 preppers in Germany, and there are suspicions that some members have connection to the far-right, though few details are publicly known.
Ostensibly, the cause for this surveillance stems from an "anti-terrorism" raid on 6 preppers which didn't yield any arrests, but turned up a list of left-wing politicians. Also, the preppers--all members of the German military reserve association were--shock!--discussing troop movements and vaccine shortages as part of a internet chat group. The article goes on to report:
        On its website, the German prepper community (PGD), identifies its own roots in a 19th century American movement that originated among farmers during lean times in the US Civil War. "The prepper educates himself in various areas and specializes in them," the PGD website says. "The prepper acquires capabilities over time, during which he makes his preparations and studies the most diverse possible danger situations such as tornados, flooding, earthquakes, economic collapse, wars, etc., as well as circumstances in his immediate surroundings."
             The skills listed on the PGD site include finding food, treating water, hunting skills, self-defense, first aid, as well as building shelters and bunkers. The site also describes firearms as the "biggest difference" between preppers in the US and Europe.
      The website for the PGD is here, if you are interested. They also have a small library of materials for preppers (in German, of course).
                Products such as grain, wine, liquor and processed foods are among the cargo that are most frequently stolen but building supplies and automotive parts have also been targeted by thieves, Aranda said.
                   A series of robberies in the space of a single weekend in the municipality of Tehuacán, Puebla, in September was described as “the theft of the century” after criminals got away with 1,000 tonnes of grain.
            The concern is that robbers will cause the spill or release of toxic chemicals.
              Natural gas from fracking has displaced oil as the fuel of the Western economy, with the result that OPEC (and, less critically, Russian oil) can no longer hold anybody’s economy hostage. For the Saudi government, moreover, no longer can cartel-inflated oil revenues pay for the gigantic welfare state that supports so much of the population in non–working, gilded, state dependency. What can’t go on, won’t, said economist Herb Stein sagely; and MbS, as the new crown prince is called, saw this reality and stepped in to take precautionary measures before a rapidly collapsing economic order sparked social anarchy, with an outcome no government could foresee or control.
                Part of his strategy, according to the author, is create a more liberal, secular society that will encourage economic growth. But he is not guaranteed success. The article concludes:
                          ... Crucially, the royal family will find it harder to fund the radical Wahhabi Islam that OPEC has let grow like mushrooms. It’s hard to imagine that this well-established, well-fed worldwide network of terrorist-supporting fanatics, in their opulent mosques and madrassas—and especially in the more Spartan ones in Pakistan—will go quietly; little wonder that the prince has surrounded himself with a repressive security apparatus reminiscent of the Shah of Iran’s. He appears to be a quiet but inexorable foe of Muslim extremism, and consequently it is uncertain that he will emerge from his heroic and visionary remaking of the Saudi order with his head intact on his shoulders. Many a social liberalization has spun out of control and produced anarchy or fascist counterrevolution. But well-wishers have long hoped that some Muslim Martin Luther would purge Islam of its quotient of bloodlust and allow the self-perfecting, ethical version of its peaceful adherents to prevail in a secular society, where separation of mosque and state makes religion a private matter. In a medieval region like Arabia, it turns out, a king might do the job equally well—if he can survive to inherit the throne and rule from it. And then the question will be whether his revolution can last, as the Pahlavis’ and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s did not.
                               It’s not just the Wahhabi mullahs, along with the royal kleptocrats, who will try to kill this project in its infancy. So will the Iranian Shiite fanatics, who, for all their vehement and resentful disagreements with their Sunni “brethren,” don’t want to see a strain of moderation take hold. So will a Sunni–Shia war ensue?
                                  Recall that the Protestant Reformation ignited three decades of ferocious religious warfare in Europe, laced with massacre, torture, and forced exile. Let’s hope that the Islamic version is short and mild, but conclusive enough to deglamorize the dream of terrorism not only in the Middle East but also in the minds of those Western Muslims whose cultural alienation has sparked so much vile carnage. They, like so many others, have nothing to lose but their ideological chains.
                        As the advocates of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights made clear in every jurisdiction where they achieved victory, holdouts who resisted the new dispensation on marriage and “discrimination” would soon discover that their religious conscience provided them no safe harbor from legal coercion. On the contrary, their reliance on religious faith, as the source of their morality in interacting with others, would only paint a target on them.

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