Action – Reaction

In response to situations such as this:

Two teenagers have been stabbed to death within days of each other as Britain’s knife crime bloodshed continues.

…a judge in Britishland has come up with a solution:

A judge has called for a drastic rethink on the way we use knives in kitchens in a bid to reduce the number of young men dying on our streets because of knife crime.
And he has come up with an idea for a scheme that could be rolled out across the UK where members of the public could take their kitchen knives to be ‘modified’ and the points ground down into rounded ends.

After all, nobody except a professional chef (trained in its use) has any need for a pointed knife, anyway.

I report, you wet your pants laughing.

 

This Won’t Be Good

So this little snippet arrived in my Inbox a while ago, sent on by Loyal Reader Max H., who asks, “Waddya think?”

Oh FFS.

The US Army’s PEO Soldier – Project Manager Soldier Weapons has issued an Request for Information (RFI) to obtain industry feedback on possible submissions to Sub Compact Weapons (SCW) evaluations. The specification details offered by the Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PMSW) are scant and extremely broad. Describing potential SCWs as being select fire weapons, chambered in 9x19mm and having MIL-STD 1913 rail (Picatinny Rail) space.
The RFI, published 2 May, makes no mention of physical dimensions such as size or weight and instead seeks to cast as wide a net as possible for potential submissions. It does, however, call for suppressors, spares and slings for the weapon (not holsters). Potential future SCW submissions will have to chamber ‘9×19 mm military grade’ ammunition – meaning both M882 ball and the new XM1153 Special Purpose 9mm Round from Winchester.
The RFI gives interested parties until the 18 May to submit their responses. It remains to be seen what purpose the SCW would serve and to whom it might be issued. If earlier Army references to a Sub Compact Weapon system are to be believed the new weapon is likely destined for rear echelon troops – in the traditional PDW / submachine gun role.

It starts when the new acronym SCW (Sub Compact Weapon) is used instead of the universally-known SMG (Sub-Machine Gun). (When did the .dotmil start this fucking bullshit? Never mind, I know the answer.)

People, this is not difficult. You take a simple, basic and easy-to-produce concept like the venerable M3 Grease Gun, add the doodads the Army wants, and away you go. Most of the serious firearms manufacturers like SIG, CZ or IMI could do this in their spare time, like over a couple weekends.

Why use the Grease Gun concept as the platform? Because it fucking works, as countless dead Nazis, Japs or Commies would tell you, if they could. With modern steel and production CNC machining, you could have a prototype put together in two weeks, and after a couple months of testing, into full production.

Which is kinda what the .dotmil did with the M3 (minus the CNC) back in the Big One, and it served until the 1990s when the .dotmil ditched it because OMG it wasn’t cool enough anymore. (That’s not the official reason, of course, but it’s the real one.)

Simplicity is just not gonna happen here, of course. What will emerge is some massively over-priced, over-engineered and over-complicated abortion which will be too heavy and too unreliable, because the current loose parameters of the RFI are going to be tightened and tightened until they cry for mercy, and the REMFs are going to get something which they’ll ditch in favor of their handguns at the first opportunity. Something like the HK MP7:

…which begs the question, “Why not just use the MP7?” (It sure as hell is ugly enough.) Of course, that would be just too simple. The .dotmil hates simple, which is why they got rid of the perfectly-capable M3 Grease Gun.

Also, the .dotmil would never adopt a foreign-made SMG with a simple operating mechanism — such as the MP7 or Kalashnikov’s KR-9 SBR (short-barreled rifle) — because OMG Russia, even though Kalashnikov USA is the same type pf corporation as Beretta USA (which supplied the .dotmil with the M-9 pistol, lest we forget).

And the KR-9’s operating system is simple — again that damning word — when we all know that the Pentagon will only consider whizzbang-gee-whizz-complicated guns because that’s how they’ve operated since WWII.

Never mind that everything the Pentagon wants is right there in that photograph, and ready to ship for testing tomorrow. But that would be too easy. Let’s rather take five years to reach a decision and end up with something that doesn’t work well, costs too much and will be in production only after a further five years. (The cost of the KR-9, in the quantities that the Pentagon would order, would be about $395 per piece. Unthinkable.)

And I haven’t even broached  the touchy subject of the .dotmil wanting to use the under-powered and pointless 9x19mm cartridge…

Bah.


Just so we’re all clear on the concept: I’ve fired some of the “modern” SMGs myself, notably the Uzi, Skorpion, the MP5 and yes, the Grease Gun. Of all, the little Skorpion was the easiest to manage and the most reliable, probably because of its dinky lil’ cartridge. But neither the simpler Uzi or Skorpion designs will ever be used because old and made by furriners. Also, they just don’t look ugly modern enough for today’s Army.

Other Means

So according to Lefties, if we ban public gun ownership, all that icky violence stuff will just vanish. Or not:

Britain’s knife crime epidemic has spread to the Home Counties as stabbings are now more likely in Bedfordshire than in Merseyside.
Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Norfolk and north Wales’ rates of knife crime have all increased by more than 100 per cent in the past three years, while London’s rate only increased by 20 per cent.
The epidemic is being fuelled by city gangs expanding their territory and going into rural areas, forcing out local gangs with extreme violence, according to experts.

— probably the same “experts” who supported gun bans, and are now scratching their heads.

Of course, this would be the time to relax firearm ownership laws as well as the stupid laws which all but prohibit self-defense for ordinary Brits, but I won’t hold my breath because Lefties can’t handle the truth. [/Colonel Jessup]  They think that all they have to do is pass a law with good intentions, and the problem will be solved.

They all deserve to be stabbed, as well.

Extra Ammo

Some wiseguy said this:

“I still don’t get the fascination for high-capacity mags in a non-military / non-law enforcement scenario. I mean, seriously: if the average gunfight is pretty much over, one way or another after three rounds have been fired, the remaining dozen in your double-stack mag are superfluous.”

That was in response to Tami Keel’s article about the low-capacity drawback of the 1911 as a carry piece.

But lo and behold, she’s just come out with a new piece which agrees with me, sorta:

Let’s get this out in the open: You can count the number of private-citizen defensive gun uses in the U.S. when a rapid reload made the difference between a dead good guy and a live one without taking off both mittens.
Reloading a handgun mid-gunfight, outside of a military or law enforcement context is pretty unlikely. Although he’s talking about carbines rather than pistols, a great quote from trainer Randy Harris springs to mind: “If you empty one 30-round mag in civilian-world USA, you’re going to be on the news … if you empty two, you’re going to be in the encyclopedia …”
Another trainer, Claude Werner, studies the reports of private-citizen defensive gun uses as collected in sources like the NRA’s Armed Citizen column. Over time, he’s found the average number of rounds needed in these encounters is low. One month, May of 2017, the average round count across seven reported gunfights was only 1.43 rounds per incident. That’s not a lot. Unless you find yourself caught up in the middle of an action-movie shootout, you’re highly unlikely to need that reload.

And of course, we both agree that having a spare mag is nevertheless A Good Thing should the one in the gun malfunction: the “drop [the mag], clear [the gun], reload” mantra is repeated endlessly in training, with good reason. (I myself generally carry two spare 8-round 1911 mags, by the way, because terrorist assholes / spree shooter possibilities and for another reason that I’ll discuss below.)

But I love the pic which accompanies her Recoil piece:

I think I saw that guy at the range a couple weeks back.

I know all the arguments for carrying spare mags but there’s only one sound reason I do, and it’s not because I’m likely to face off suddenly with a dozen rabid coyotes or the Plano chapter of MS-13, either; it’s just in case my hitherto-infallible PowerMag becomes suddenly fallible. Everything breaks, sooner or later.

And let’s be honest: the aforementioned terrorism / spree shooter thing is probably even less likely to happen to me than a mag breakdown. Any of these scenarios may be unlikely, but experience also tells me that most of the time, you don’t need a fire extinguisher in your car; but when you do need it, you need it really badly. Ditto ammo, hence my 16 spare rounds. I’m just not going to carry around a hundred spare rounds in ten 10-rounders — it’s heavy and spoils the look of my trousers. (Yeah, that’s me: Mr. Fashion Plate lol.)

Of course, the one qualifier to all this is geography. If your business trip takes you to or through unsavory neighborhoods full of gangs and similar goblins, why then, take as much ammo as doesn’t cause your trousers to fall down, with my blessing. There’s no need to be stupid about this issue, after all.

As with all things, your opinion may differ from mine (and in this case from Tami’s too), and that’s fine. Just don’t think you’re somehow deficient if you’re the only guy at the picnic who’s not bow-legged because of an overloaded ammo belt.

“Take Away Their Guns”

…and they’ll just use something else. Such as knives:

London saw four fatal stabbings on New Year’s Eve, taking the total of such knifings in the capital to 80 for the whole of 2017.
And the use of knives in general is now a serious problem all over the country. In June 2017, the Office for National Statistics listed thousands of ‘blade offences’ in the previous 12 months, including 214 killings, 391 attempted murders, 438 rapes, 182 other sexual assaults, and 14,429 robberies.
There were also more than 18,500 assaults involving an injury or intent to inflict harm with a blade and 2,816 threats to kill with a knife.

So much for taking away guns to reduce crime. But that’s not the worst part of the linked article. This is:

I have long known that crimes which would once have been classified as murders are often now downgraded to ‘manslaughter’. This is done to save money and time, and to make it easier to release the culprits early to stop the prisons from bursting. But in most cases it is legally difficult to point this out.
The Johnson case is different. He is a murderer, but people who should be alive are now dead because he was wrongly convicted of a lesser crime.
In 1981, Johnson pushed his wife Yvonne off the balcony of their ninth-floor flat, after first hitting her with a vase and an ashtray. He was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of ‘provocation’. She had, he said, been arguing with him.
She was, of course, not there to give her own version of who did the provoking. He was sentenced in 1982 to three years in prison. That’s right. Three years, though in those days it really meant three years. He was out by 1985.
In 1992 Johnson strangled another woman, Yvonne Bennett, with a belt. She had annoyed him by refusing to accept a box of chocolates which he had bought her to try to win back her affections.
He tried to hang himself from a tree, but the string snapped. String? Yes, string. He was much better at killing others than at killing himself. Doctors decided he was suffering from a ‘depressive illness’ and he was sent ‘indefinitely’ to a secure hospital.
Not indefinitely enough. He was out and under ‘psychiatric care’ after two years. He went on to kill a third woman, Angela Best, by beating her with a claw hammer and throttling her with a dressing-gown cord.
As after his second killing, he tried and failed to commit suicide afterwards, this time by jumping in front of a train.Now, having first tried the manslaughter plea again, on the grounds of ‘diminished responsibility’, he has pleaded guilty to murdering Angela Best.
His injuries from the attempted suicide have left him in a wheelchair, though I wouldn’t like to guarantee that he is harmless even now. Far too late, the courts have sentenced him to 26 years, which might just be enough.
Once, I would have said this was all evidence of a system which had lost all force since it stopped treating murder as a specially hideous crime. So it is. Once, I would have said that we should restore the death penalty for heinous murder. Now, I know this cause is lost. So I can only urge you to take care.
The law refuses to protect you. Those in charge of it lack the courage or the resolve to do so. Get used to it.

The next time some idiot tells you that the death penalty doesn’t prevent murders, feel free to use the above example to show that the death penalty applied to this asshole after his first murder would indeed have prevented two more.

Fortunately, we in the United States don’t have to “get used to it”; it’s our criminals who have to get used to the fact that a career of crime might be deadly — to themselves.

Carry a gun, and make sure you know how to use it. The life you save might well be your own, or of your loved ones. The life you take will be of no consequence to anyone except the goblin’s future victims.

Remember: when anyone asks you if your wallet is worth a life, remind them that that decision was not yours, but your assailant’s. He made the decision that your wallet was worth taking a life (yours), and all you did was go along with his decision, simply substituting his life for yours.

And be glad that you live in the U.S. and not in Britain, where you would face imprisonment for self-defense, instead of congratulations.

Proper Kit

Several people have asked for details on the shooting equipment we used in the Angus Glens last week.

Here’s a pic of the rifles we took up:

From left to right, they are: Combat Controller’s Browning A-Bolt, Mr. Free Market’s two Blaser R8s (the other is a “back-up” in .308 Win), my Mauser M12, and Doc Russia’s Remington 700. All of us used Harris HBLMS (9″-13″ tiltable) bipods, as they’ve proved to be the most reliable and rugged.

Here are their details, in order of seniority. (Mr. FM has been going up there for the past twenty-odd years, CC for seven, and Doc for four.)

Mr. FM:
Rifle:  Blaser R8 Professional
Caliber:  .300 Win Mag
Ammo:  RWS Evolution 165gr RapidX
Barrel length:  24″ (six groove, 1:11″ twist)
Scope:  Swarovski Gen 1 Z6i 2.5-15×56 w/ illuminated reticle + Swarovski ballistic turret
Binoculars:  Leica 8×42 Geovid w/integral 1,200-meter rangefinder

CC:
Rifle:  Browning A-Bolt
Caliber:  .300 Win Mag
Ammo:  Federal Premium 165gr Trophy Coppertip
Barrel length:  20″ — cut back from its original 24″ –(1:10″ twist)
Scope:  Trijicon Accupoint 2.5-10x56mm
Binoculars:  Steiner Safari 8×42

Doc Russia:
Rifle:  Remington 700 M40 long action (custom-built by Fivetoes Custom Rifles)
Caliber:  .300 Win Mag (Hornady  140gr)
Ammo:  Hornady Superformance 180gr SST polymer tip
Barrel length:  22″ (Proof Research Carbon-Fiber)
Stock:  McMillan M40A1 synthetic
Scope:  Nightforce NXS 2.5-10×32mm, with ballistic turret and Vortex Optics anti-cant device
Rangefinder:  Sig-Sauer Kilo 2000 (doubles as his binos)

Kim:
Rifle:  Mauser M12
Caliber:  6.5x55mm
Ammo:  RWS Dual-Core 140gr HP
Barrel length:  22″
Scope:  Minox ZX5i 2-10x50mm 30mm tube w/illuminated reticle, on Mauser Hexalock Quick-Release mounts. Unusually, it has a German #4 reticle:

My equipment was based simply on my own experience and, as we all know, was not tested on this trip. But all agreed that my rifle and scope, at least, were quite adequate for the task. (The rifleman, maybe not so much.)

Just a few additional thoughts:
We all agree on the wisdom of using range-finders. In featureless terrain such as in the Glens (and in places such as eastern Montana and the prairie states), it is almost impossible to gauge the correct distance to target because of hidden crests, no reference points such as trees, and so on. If possible, get a range-finder that can reach out to 1,000 yards/meters at minimum — not because you’re going to take many shots at 1,000 whatever but because the longer the reach, the higher the quality. If the range-finders are incorporated into binoculars (e.g. Mr. FM’s Leica), so much the better. And when it comes to binoculars: cheap ones just don’t work, period. I tried using the “back-up” Bushnell 6×32 binos, and they were just inadequate. Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss, Steiner, whatever: don’t skimp on the quality because it will almost certainly screw up your hunt.

Ballistic turrets are not absolutely vital, but they certainly make your precision a lot easier to come by. With his turret, Doc Russia calls his shots to within an inch of point of impact at almost any distance, and his number of one-shot kills has climbed to close to 100% on flat terrain (the uphill- and downhill shots still “need work”, as he himself admits). Also: have a ballistic chart for your ammo’s performance in your rifle (the manufacturer’s specs may not reflect reality, in this regard), and keep it handy. All three of the experienced stalkers in our group had them taped somewhere (sleeve, rifle stock, wherever).

Doc also has an anti-cant device (bubble-level) built onto his scope. When the horizon is hidden in the mist or otherwise unreliable and your firing position is not on level ground, a tilted rifle makes nonsense of ballistic tables.

Personal fitness. Muscle pain, puffing and panting, pounding heart and gasping for oxygen are no way to go through hunting, son. All the pros like Craig Boddington emphasize serious exercise as preparation for every hunt. I walked a couple miles each day before my trip back to the UK, up and down quite a steep hill between my residence and the village. I should have carried a heavy pack and done the thing twice or three times a day. Even Doc Russia, who works out in the gym in his garage, referred to himself as “fat and out of condition” after his first stalk. Our Head Stalker Dougal can walk the glens all day, and has been known to run(!) up to four miles in search of a wounded deer — and even if you can’t get to that level, halfway is an absolute prerequisite.

One last point: all our rifles, as seen in the pic above, carried sound suppressors / moderators, and I cannot impress enough on my Murkin Readers what a difference  these can make to hunting. Quite apart from the noise reduction (itself a wonderful benefit), the reduction in felt recoil is considerable and therefore makes target re-acquisition much quicker. The noise reduction, of course, simply turns “ear-splitting” into “bloody loud”, as we all know. (Ignore Hollywood’s depiction of a small phut! when shooting anything other than a .22 or 9mm subsonic cartridge. When sighting in our rifles on Day One, Doc touched off a shot before I could get my hands or plugs to my ears, and they were still ringing a half-hour later.) I would urge everyone to write to their Congresscritter(s) and urge them to get the HPPA (pro-moderator/suppressor) legislation to the President’s desk ASAP. It’s long past due that Americans can enjoy the benefits of suppressed-fire hunting and target shooting that our European counterparts have always had.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Any further questions can be asked in Comments or via email, as usual.