Monday, January 22, 2018

January 22, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Top 7 Guns I Wish I Didn't Buy"--Honest Outlaw Reviews (9 min.)
I have to agree with the Kahr pistol. I have an acquaintance that purchased a small 9 mm Kahr concealed carry pistol several years ago. She almost immediately started having malfunctions--failures to feed, mostly. The problem is that part of the feed ramp was polymer, and bits of it were being scratched or melted loose (it wasn't clear what the immediate cause was), and catching on the cartridges as they were being cycled. 

  • Shot Show 2018 has begun, which means that firearms news this week will be dominated more than usual by new products (although a few companies were releasing new products ahead of Shot Show in an attempt to steal some of the thunder). One of these is Mossberg's response to the Remington 870 DM: the Mossberg 590M which also uses detachable magazines. In this case, however, Mossberg has used a double-stack magazine in order to squeeze more rounds into the same length of magazine. 
  • We knew this was coming: "Honor Defense Offers Voluntary Upgrade for Honor Guard Pistols"--The Truth About Guns. To fix the risk of discharge if the pistol is dropped so that the rear of the slide strikes the ground.
  • For want of a flashlight: "'I was in the middle of this rock with no way to get off': Injured hiker missing for THREE days on California trail recounts his harrowing experience after he slid down a cliff and fractured his shoulder"--Daily Mail. The guy is lucky. He had an opportunity to be rescued earlier, if he'd had a flashlight with which to signal a search plane. But he didn't have a flashlight.
  • "Ruger Security 9 | First Shots"--The Firearms Rack. An initial review and impressions of Ruger's new budget 9 mm pistol. Daniel R. didn't think it was perfect, but thought it was a pretty solid pistol overall--especially considering the price-point: the MSRP is $379. It seems to fill basically the same niche as Ruger's P-series of handguns in the 1980's and early 1990's which were good basic firearms, even though there was little after-market support for them.
  • "Gun Review: Ruger PC Carbine"--The Truth About Guns. This is the most talked-about firearm over the last couple of months. It seems that every firearm magazine, blog, and YouTube channel has been reviewing or discussing this weapon. Pistol caliber carbines were the hot topic this past year, and Ruger has offered pistol-caliber carbines in the past. However, Ruger has learned its lesson from past releases, offering this firearm with different magazine well inserts to accept magazines from different manufacturers. For instance, the weapon ships with not only the insert for Ruger proprietary magazines, but also an insert that accepts Glock magazines. (Imagine how much more popular the Mini-14 would be if it had been designed to accept AR magazines). I expect that these will sell like hotcakes, and I anticipate that we will soon see a .45 ACP version. The question is whether we will see a .40 S&W or 10 mm version. Right now, .40 S&W's star is waning, while 10 mm is seeing a resurgence. Thus, if we see this carbine offered in any of the latter calibers, I'm guessing that it will be 10 mm over .40 S&W.
  • "Loading Down the .44 Magnum Safely"--Shooting Times. The seemingly obvious solution would be to use .44 Special. But .44 Special ammunition and brass is generally hard to find; although the price per case appears to be the same at Star-Line Brass. The author seems to like Trail Boss powder (which I have not used), although he includes a couple other powders (including Unique, which I have used extensively). Unique is a flake shaped powder that can be difficult to get consistent feeds from a powder measure (I have found that +/- 0.1 or even 0.2 grain variance is not uncommon). It also does not fill up the case very much on the longer revolver cases, which can lead to variances in velocity and pressure depending on how the powder is distributed within the case at the time of firing. While I like Unique for semi-auto rounds, I think other powders work better in the longer revolver cases. I (and many others) prefer 2400 for the .44 Magnum because it is fills up the case to a better extent, and is easier to consistently measure.
  • "AR trigger upgrade: The ALG Defense Advanced Combat Trigger"--Loadout Room. The ALG trigger reviewed here comes with springs so you can set it up at about 6 pounds pull, or 4.5 pounds pull (the latter is probably about right for a combat trigger, but is a little heavy for a target trigger). The price is, according to the author, $70 at Brownells, which is substantially less than most substitute triggers. 
  • "Five hikers stabbed at Silvermine"--Cape Times. This article reports on the stabbing of 5 hikers on a popular hiking trail outside of Cape Town, South Africa. Per this report (and others--here, here, and here), a group of hikers was moving along the trail when they were joined by two men. The men hiked along for a short while, then suddenly attacked the other hikers--one was armed with a knife. A few of the hikers were severely injured. Although the attackers stole items, it is not entirely clear that the motive was wholly theft. It is also suspicious that, although the articles indicate that the police wanted people to watch out for the suspects, no description beyond the attackers' gender have been provided. Given the propensity for violence against whites in South Africa--particularly the Boer--it leaves me suspicious that the attack may have been at least partially based on race. In any event, it illustrates that numbers may be an insufficient deterrent to an assault (although if we all wore stripped clothing, like a zebra's hide, we might be able to confuse the attackers as we race about trying to escape). 
  • Only police should have firearms (sarc.): "French Presidential Palace Guard Wounded in Apparent Negligent Discharge"--The Firearms Blog. The article briefly describes three incidents: two that only resulted in bullets fired into walls, but one where the officer shot himself in the leg. The excuse is that the officers are transitioning to a new submachine gun, and aren't yet used to its lack of passive safety features. Hopefully they won't be issued Glock pistols.
  • Cultural enrichment: "Charges: Former student set fires on St. Catherine campus in retaliation against U.S. military intervention"--Star Tribune. The perpetrator, Tnuza Hassan, told police that "You guys are lucky that I don't know how to build a bomb." She also stated that the attacks were in retaliation for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq against Muslims. Although no nationality is given for Hassan, the article indicates that she had been a student at St. Catherine's but left because her parents were planning on vacationing in Ethiopia.
  • The (in)tolerance of the left: "Justin Trudeau Puts Pro-Lifers on Notice that Their Views Won't Be Tolerated in Public"--PJ Media
  • Refugees welcome! "Subway Drivers Passing Violent Stations In France"--Anonymous Conservative. AC comments on news reports that subway operators in France, for their own safety and the safety of passengers, are no skipping stops where there is too much cultural enrichment. AC observes:
       Separation is the first step in splintering. Already France has begun the process of splintering.

    * * *

             At this point, war is inevitable. The French right needs ... to make sure their people can get weaponized and arm up now, because you know the Muslims will be heavily armed when it goes down.
        A firing squad wouldn't cause severe suffering, doesn't require drugs Campbell might be allergic to or the need to find a vein. It also doesn't require the involvement of a doctor, the attorneys said in a 533-page filing.
                   North Korean officials desperate to feed Kim Jong Un’s hungry army are ransacking the homes of drought-stricken farmers to collect every last grain of food inside, according to a report that highlights rising tensions between the regime and the public.
                    The raids come weeks after news surfaced that soldiers in Kim’s army are being given months off at a time to scrounge around fields to find food.
              The Norks don't have the logistic capability to fight a war, even if only for a few days. If they can't "win" within 24 to 48 hours, they won't win. 
              • Related: "Corporate America's nightmare in Venezuela is getting worse"--CNN Money. Venezuelan oil production continues to decline--notwithstanding an increase in oil prices--because the country (which had nationalized its oil industry) has not been paying the companies that provide maintenance and supplies for its oil infrastructure, and these companies are cutting their losses and stopping delivery. Venezuela has run out of other people's money.
              • The wages of sin socialism (U.S. edition): "REPORT: New England Faces A Future Of ‘Rolling Blackouts’ As Power Plants Close"--Daily Caller. New England states have been closing older power plants and relying more heavily on natural gas powered electrical plants. However, environmentalists have successfully stopped dead any new pipelines to bring natural gas into the region. Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been particularly opposed to any new pipelines. The consequence is that there is insufficient pipeline capacity for periods of peak natural gas usage, such as the recent cold snap that hit much of the East Coast. This should become more interesting as we progress deeper into the solar minimum over the next decade. Cuomo and his ilk probably believe that "global warming" obviates any need for new pipelines. I suspect that as the lie of "global warming" becomes irrevocably plain, it will engender a significant loss of trust in government and science.
              • Evidence that discrimination in employment is dead--blacks can't even meet the minimal requirement to show an adverse employment action was in any minuscule part due to racial animus: "Being black in America is a ‘disability,’ black law professor argues"--The College Fix. The article indicates: "A black law professor argues that African Americans should embrace the notion that being black in America is a disability as a new legal strategy toward enacting protections for the black community against unconscious bias, stereotyping and structural inequality."
              • And the land grab over Syria begins: "Turkey warned US ahead of Syria airstrikes, report says"--CNN. The Turks have launched air strikes and moved troops across the border into Syria, ostensibly to fight the U.S. backed Kurds. 
              • Related: "America Sleepwalks Towards a Clash With the Turks in Syria"--American Conservative. Pat Buchanan warns that "[t]he war for dominance in the Middle East, following the destruction of ISIS, appears about to commence in Syria—with NATO allies America and Turkey on opposing sides." The reason for the U.S. being at odds with Turkey is as I noted above: the U.S. is backing the Kurds, which the Turks regard as a mortal peril to Turkey and its security (because of restive Kurds in Turkey's eastern provinces). He also predicts that "[i]f Erdogan is serious, a clash with the United States is coming, as our Kurdish allies occupy most of Syria’s border with Turkey." I think that Buchanan underestimates Erdogan's imperial ambitions, and that any excuse would have been found to try and snatch territory from Syria. It must be remembered that the borders of these Middle-Easter countries are largely arbitrary, drawn up by the winning powers following World War I, and Turkey has long historical precedent for seeking to recover territory it lost after the First World War. However, as I've noted before, the U.S. strategy in the Middle-East for at least two decades has been to keep the region in such turmoil that no single nation can become a regional power. That is, as George Friedman has described, we don't need to win, we simply have to keep anyone else from winning. Thus, we should expect to be ensnared in the Middle-East for some time to come.
                        According to the team, firehawk raptors congregate in hundreds along burning fire fronts, where they will fly into active fires to pick up smouldering sticks, transporting them up to a kilometre (0.6 miles) away to regions the flames have not yet scorched.
                            "The imputed intent of raptors is to spread fire to unburned locations – for example, the far side of a watercourse, road, or artificial break created by firefighters – to flush out prey via flames or smoke," the researchers write.
                              This behaviour, documented in interviews with the team and observed first-hand by some of the researchers, sees prey driven toward the raptors by a wall of flame, enabling them to engage in a feeding frenzy upon fleeing or scorched land animals.
                    • The past is a foreign country, and we don't even have a good map: "Beringians"--West Hunt. Commenting on DNA evidence from the remains of a 11-thousand year old individual in North America, the author states:
                              One very important point, naturally mentioned in none of the press accounts, is what they didn’t see: the Alaskan kid didn’t have any of the Australo-Melanesian, Andamanese-like component that exists in Amazonian Indians today. The Clovis-complex Anzick-1 skeleton from Montana, about 12.6k years old, was a member of the southern Amerindian branch – but it didn’t have any Andamanese-like component either.
                                 So we’re saying that a Beringian population, pretty close to the common ancestors of the Northern and Southern Amerindians branches, didn’t have the Andaman-like admixture.
                                   The Northern branch doesn’t seem to have it today.
                                     Only some members of the Southern branch have it today: the earliest known sample from the southern population doesn’t have it.
                                       Therefore the Southern branch (some of them) very likely picked it up after they left Beringia, also after they split with the northern branch. Which means it was already there before the Amerindians came down from Beringia. Probably in Brazil.

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