2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Anyway, this is a great blog by a fellow former infantryman, the "Load Heat" posts should be of interest to my male readers...
So welcome to my world "Heat"!!
A couple of massive fail bombs were thrown out by the duo, among them...
- Mo told about going to a local gun shop (one of which I am not a fan of btw) and not knowing what the caliber of the handgun he owned was. To make matters worse Mo also claimed ot have a CCW permit. How in 12 hours of classroom and range instruction to get one of those do you not figure out what caliber you own? Apparently the guy behind the counter gave him the old "what type of gun do you own" line of questions. Tell you what Mo, when the guy behind the counter goes there he is making fun of you and wants you gone. Also, Mo claims to have loaded the incorrect rounds into the wrong firearm at the range, well Mo, if you don't know what you are shooting how do you know what to load?
- Blazor told a story about how he was in Kentucky with a .38 revolver and went to Wally World for some ammo for it. They gave him .380 instead of .38, honest mistake I guess. But then he proceeds to tell how he actually pulled a round out and dropped it in the cylinder and it wouldn't fit. Really? You could not figure out that the rounds you bought were 1/2 the size of the rounds you normally shoot with it?
Both stories were told with much bravado and humor like "hey, look at us, we're goofy stupid with guns! Haa ha!" At least Mo apparently had the good sense to buy a Glock.
Look, as you know if you have ever read a few of my posts I am very pro gun ownership. However, I think that we in the gun owning community must police our own before the "anti" crowd can do it for us. The most paramount quality of being a gun owner is not sill and proficiency, its maturity and responsibility. If we as a collective group cannot be seen as being able to handle the responsibility that goes along with owning a firearm, sooner or later the other side will get their way and remove that right from us.
A few weeks ago when I was out with Kevin making the video for the CMMG .22 AR conversion review we shot next to a group of young men that rented a few pistols at The Powder Room for the first time. The could not even figure out how to load and fire them. After asking our assistance and us showing them how to properly and safely fire them they proceeded to make asses of themselves by rapid firing at target sheets not more than 7 feet away and hitting pretty much nothing. Not only did I have to keep a eye open in their direction less they decide, on purpose or not, to flag me with their pistol, but it took away from my enjoyment in other ways like making me waste my time teaching them just to see them go "Rambo" for no reason.
Look people I get it. Guns are "cool" after you use them in Call of Duty and Medal of Honor on your PS3's and XBoxes. Yeah, you think you are all "trained" because you know the sound a M1 makes when it ejects a clip. Here is a hint, you're not. Before you even think about picking up or firing a weapon PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO LEARN HOW. If I observe you acting unsafely with a firearm in my presence I will point it out to you. Do it twice and I will consider you a threat and act accordingly, including defending myself if necessary.
Not trying to be a jerk here, but with the current attack in progress against our rights from the likes of Brady, Obama and Bloomberg, we can ill afford to look irresponsible in the public eye.
Monday, September 27, 2010
The guy who brought us the hesco barrier dies in a segway crash, ironic because he owned the company...
Hesco barriers, those dirt embankment devices that guard many a FOB or Firebase in Iraq or Afghanistan has saved countless lives as well as man hours filling and refilling sandbags by the use of troops or TCN labor. The guy whose company brought those to us, James Heselden, was apparently killed when his segway devise went over a 30 foot embankment. This is ironic due to the fact that he bought the company that makes them only a year or so ago.
Here's to you sir, rest in piece and thank you for developing a product that has improved soldier safety and well being.
Friday, September 17, 2010
The former The Price Is Right host collapsed while shooting yesterday at a range in Los Angeles. Funny, I never would of pictured him as the type to go shooting, but more power to him!
Side note, Bob has some family here in Central Ohio and I actually dated one of his nieces a long time ago (late 80's). Nice girl but it didn't work out.
Here, quite frankly, is the very best of Bob Barker...
Happy is lucky Bob didn't rock out with his Glock out and pop a cap in his ass...bitch
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Alright, who has an AR? Alright, who shoots it a lot because .223/5.56 ammo is so darn cheap these days?....Yeah, me neither. I take the AR to the range on occasion to verify my zero or for a couple of boxes of ammo to have some fun, but putting serious round counts through it can be a costly affair. Even the cheap Russian rounds will end up costing you in the end. Luckily, the folks at CMMG (who also make all types of AR components) already considered this problems and came up with a nifty solution. The standard .223/5.56 barrel will shoot .22LR rounds, so why not come up with an adapter for the AR that fires them. Brilliant!
This unit has been out for a while and there are plenty of technical reviews on it so I will just give an overall impression of the device. First off, I found the basic parkerized unit (stainless is available) without mags for $99 at Botach.com and got two 26 round mags for about $17 a piece, total cost was about $144 shipped. Unit seemed pretty well made so I slapped some lube on it shoved it in place of the regular bolt on my M&P15 and headed to the range.
Well, the initial results and my impressions were not good! The were numerous FTF/FTE issues in the two mags I ran through it and the mags themselves had to be forced in and out of the weapon. Oh no, money wasted! Well, not quite. I was in such a rush to get it to the range that I did not fully read the instructions (total finger pointing at myself here). After I got home I read them. DOH!! Right on the magazines there had been a piece of paper (that I ripped off) that showed that there were some plastic "bumps" on the back that may need to be sanded down to fit individual weapons. Odd, as the STANAG standard for the AR mag has been around forever, but I guess you got to keep the oddballs in mind too. It also said that the unit would break in over the first couple of hundred rounds. DOH!! AGAIN!! I put about 50 through.
With this knowledge I renewed my quest to get .22's downrange consistently with my AR. I dremmeled off the tabs on the back of the magazines. "Detail stripped" the bolt group (not in the instructions but not hard to figure out either) and gave everything a good coat of lubricant and headed to another range. This time she ran like a champ!! Taking the tabs off of the mags (which are a solid piece of polymer) solved the feeding issues and after 250+ rounds downrange we (Kev and I) only had ONE FTE!! Upon cleaning the rifle afterward I found small bits of metal shavings in the lower of my AR from where the unit obviously "broke itself in" by use.
Now my impression is "MY GOD THIS IS FUN!!" The adapter works pretty much as advertised and its a hoot to shoot. The Rounds were dropping low but that was probably because the sights were zeroed at 50 meters with 5.56 ammo. I wasn't going to change the Magpul BUIS unit just for these but may start using the carrying handle sights that came on the carbine just for .22 fun. I didn't put my EOTech XPS on it just because I wanted to keep the rifle light and fun to shoot.
Next step, going to take it to Appleseed and use part of the day to see how it does on accuracy there.
However, as a option to turn your SHTF rifle into a weekend plinker for half the cost of most .22 rifles appeals to you, this will certainly fill that role!!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Got a few minutes before the season finale of True Blood…
Went shooting Friday night after work (more on that tomorrow). Before leaving I took at look around the shop, The Powder Room in Powell, and found this interesting tool . It was only $8.95 and seems to be just chocked full of some helpful tools for the range. Its from a company called Avid (link to their page here) and they seem to be a real solid outfit. It seems to be well made and has some real useful tools (listed below).
hell, they even have a video of it!!
Again it seems well made. I, however, have never dealt with their products. Anyone have any first had experience with this tool?
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Last year I dedicated a page to some of the heroes of that fateful day nine years ago. In a chilling interview taped over 3 years prior to the attacks that took his life, Rick Rescorla talks about the future he sees for the country and the challenges it faces….chilling. He also offers some views that are quite shocking on other topics (such as the US involvement in Vietnam, but hey he got his hands both dirty and bloody in that conflict so the right is his to do so) but all in all, he pretty much predicts the nature of the attacks on 9/11.
“..hunting down terrorists, this will be the nature of war in the future.”
~Rick Rescorla, July 28th, 1998
God bless all of the victims of 9/11, the service members and other American and Foreign allies that have served, fought and died fighting terrorism since 9/11 and my he protect all those that continue to do so.
"Today is a day to be proud to be an American, Tomorrow the world will be looking at you, and the world is still looking as us.”
~Rick Rescorla, to members of Morgan Stanley on the morning of 9/11/2001
Friday, September 10, 2010
Went shooting with Kev this evening and got a chance to finally shoot his Gen 4 G17 (3.5# connector) with the Sevigny Series Competition Sights by Warren Tactical with the fiber optic front post..AWESOME!! The narrow front post is easily acquired in the rear notch and I was able to get a great group (minus a couple of called flyers due to my fault) at about 30’ with them. Designed by Dave Sevigny for his Glock 34, I bought a set off of Brownell’s tonight for my G34 (which I still need to do a write up on!).
For more info visit the Warren Tactical website by clicking here.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Took the CT unit to the range and took some video of the results (below). All in all the unit is a pretty good addition to the pistol, though the bullets don't magically go to the intended place like you were guiding in a smart bomb using a laser or anything. The one big thing I took away from this visit is that the long trigger pull required of the LCP (and other similar pocket pistols) really needs to be mastered with this unit installed. I was constantly pulling shots low with it unless I used a very steady position, which is something that the CT unit is indirectly advertised to not need. In their videos (available on the Crimson Trace web site here) they show in a few scenarios people shooting from behind cover using their lasers to aim in lieu of a standard sight picture. Of course many of them are using pistols with better triggers than the LCP, that isn't that hard anyway! With the LCP I could see this being a good tactic when first drawing it, putting the dot on your attacker and then firing the first round as a hip shot. Again though, practice is the key here. Without a good knowledge of how this weapon will shoot in those situations (and I am sure my shooting low tendency is shared by many) you do not have the ability to confidently shoot these types of shots without possibly endangering other individuals.
Bottom line: practice, practice and yet again, practice.
Wounded Warrior Project
I posted here before about my (limited) involvement in the WWP and since then I have signed up to be a local volunteer for them in Central Ohio. I think that this organization is a fantastic way to give back to some of our most deserving service members, and if you can afford a bit of time or money to their cause I encourage you to donate as you see fit!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Name: Travis Haley
Title: CEO, Magpul Industries
Best known for: Magpul Industry’s The Art of the Tactical Carbine, The Art of the Dynamic Handgun
from the DVD, The Art of the Tactical Carbine (with his tactical partner Chris Costa)
Official bio: (from Magpul’s web site)..
Travis Haley is a veteran Force Reconnaissance Marine with 14 years of dedicated real world experience including; combat tours in the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and other classified locations around the world.
After leaving the military, he served as a special operations and security contractor for both other government agencies and private sector security companies employed by the US Government, including numerous PSDs(Personal Security Details) for well known government officials, military leadership, and foreign diplomats.
The founder, President and Director of Operations of Simply Dynamic Tactical, Haley designed a range of unique tactical training programs tailored to military, government security, law enforcement and private citizens which have become the foundation for the curriculum at Magpul Dynamics.
Currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer for Magpul Industries Corp, Haley regularly participates in classes as an instructor CONUS and OCONUS.
His “Badass Man of the Moment” Moment: Here is a vid of Travis spending a lovely afternoon in Najaf, Iraq in 2004 keeping hundreds of insurgents at bay with an specialized AR while working for Blackwater. Just got to ask, how does he walk around with balls that large in his pants…jeez, and I thought I had problems…
OK, If I have to get training on tactical rifle drills, can I really find someone with more expertise on a DVD format that Travis? Maybe, but combination of skill, presentation and humor (along with Chris Costa) translates well from the screen to the viewer. Win…
The Ruger SR9, quality and value all rolled into one.
About a month ago I was standing in a local gun shop waiting my turn to get the guy behind the counters attention when I spied a Ruger SR9 pistol sitting in the case. I had seen them advertised in the gun rags and in Ruger promotional materials before but had never given them much attention. I mean, hell, Glock, Springfield and S&W are the people you go to for polymer pistols, right? When it was my turn to be helped, even though I came there for ammo I had the clerk take the SR9 out of the case for me to paw over. Man, if felt GOOD in the hand. I ejected the magazine and, even though I knew it was a double stack mag, was surprised to find it held 17 rounds of 9mm ammo in the slim grip. I knew I had at least one friend that had one, so I contacted her a few weeks back and arranged to switch my Glock 19 for her SR9 so I could review it. My friend, Rhonda, had bought it after looking at various pistols with her husband and chose the SR9 because it fit her small hands. After shooting my Glock she still prefers the grip of the SR9 over the more “blockish” grip of the Glock, understandable…but that is a story for another time. One thing that grip has going for it is a removable back strap system. The removal of a simple punch pin (which also doubles as a lanyard loop) allows for the back strap to be removed and the choice of either a rounded or flat back strap is given to the operator. I prefer the rounded profile myself but either is comfortable to use. The back strap itself is made of soft rubber that grips in the palm quite well aiding in the stable handling of this pistol.
The back strap assembly removed, and then views of the arched side and then the flat side installed.
Even though the SR9 is a full sized pistol the overall impression when holding it is that it is more compact than it actually is. The slender grip profile, low bore axis and rounded edges greatly contribute to this feel. The design of the pistol suggest (and it is rumored on the internet, but unverified) that the design is a direct copy of the defunct Kimber KDP pistol. I cannot verify this but an external comparison of the two does show a striking similarity. This would not but unheard of from Ruger as their LCP pistol is a direct copy of the Kel-Tec P3AT and the M77 rifle is a copy of the tried and true Mauser bolt action. Not that this is bad mind you, both the Kel-Tec and Mauser designs are solid and making improvements, as long as they don’t detract from the originals functionality, are a good idea. If the original Kimber design is indeed the basis for the SR9, well then it itself was a very solid pistol. More of a pity Kimber did not continue with it. It includes the obligatory accessory rail under the dust cover so you can attach your lights and whatnot for use.
left to right. right and left sided views of the SR9, notice the ambi safety and mag releases. The low bore axis of the pistol along with the slim grip profile makes the SR9 seem more compact of a pistol than it really is.
Back to the Ruger, its a “classic” striker fired semi-automatic pistol utilizing a polymer frame and stainless steel slide. I say “classic” in that if you look at the internals of the firing mechanism you will find several key similarities between the SR9 and the Glock Safe Action System. So if this is a copy of the Kimber KDP, Kimber must of been borrowing heavily from Glock in the first place then. Again, not that this is a bad thing. Despite all the nay sayers, the Glock action has been proven to be safe, reliable and tested in real world scenarios time and time over. One noticeable difference is on the size of the “caming block” (called the locking block on the Glock), it is visually larger than the one used on the Glock and has much larger rail surfaces for the slide to ride on. Hopefully, this is a indication of the long term durability of this pistol, my examination will not be able to guarantee this but in some things big is better. The first generation of the SR9 had a one piece trigger, but after a safety recall (the second in a year for Ruger, the first being on the LCP for basically the same issue) due to a potential discharge hazard if the pistol was dropped, a 2 piece trigger – pretty much an exact copy of the Glock’s – was upgraded to the SR9 to address that concern. Even though the trigger bars are not interchangeable there is enough of a similarity in the operation to assume that Ruger may be paying some type of licensing fee to Glock for its use..a la the S&W agreement with them for the Sigma line of pistols. Overall, my impression of the pistol is that it is very well made, the fit and finish are above average and the slide fit is excellent for this type of pistol. The stainless slide on the model I evaluated had a black “Nitrodox” finish on it which is Ruger’s version of a nitriding process akin to the Tennifer finish from Glock or the Melonite finish from S&W. Its a nice finish on the gun, but personally I think that I would prefer the brushed stainless finish purely for aesthetics myself, just my tastes.
Left to right: The frame internals showing the obvious influence of the Glock design. The slide showing again the Glock influence. The plunger halfway down the striker is where the magazine disconnect interacts, basically another plunger safety in addition to the “normal” firing pin block just behind the chamber.
The pistol uses a take down pin to remove the slide from the frame (much in the same way as the “P Series” of pistols from Ruger) and also incorporates a means to remove the slide from the frame without having to pull the trigger (kind of similar to the S&W M&P series). With the slide locked back, reaching into the chamber area and pressing down on the ejector simultaneously disengages the sear in the pistol and activates a magazine disconnect safety as well that allows the slide to come off the frame without having to pull the trigger. Just like the M&P series from S&W, this also forces the operator to manually and visually check the chamber area for any rounds in the pistol. A very good system indeed. If you want you can also just pull the trigger, a la Glock, to remove the slide if you obey all basic safe handling instructions that go along with that method (once again, that being said, somebody just put a round though their floor pulling that trigger after not checking the chamber!).
left to right: looking down into the chamber area at the ejector/magazine disconnect safety that you depress to slide the frame off of the slide. The SR9 field stripped.
The sights on the SR9 are surprisingly well appointed. It uses a 3 dot Novak style setup in a narrow set configuration that is actually quite easy to bring on target and acquire. I think that the lack of distance between the center and outward dots in the arrangement does not cause the operator to fuss with “centering” the dot as much and makes them (at least me) concentrate on the front sight that much more. While not target sights by any means, although they are drift adjustable for windage as would be expected on a service pistol of this type, the rear sight is actually screw adjustable for elevation! I am unaware if Tritium night sights are offered as an option, but there are after market units out there that can be utilized on this pistol.
Left to right: The 3 dot sights on the SR9, you can see the screw adjustment for elevation on the rear sight assembly on the top of the pistol, a standard Novak style sight picture.
The control are pretty basic, there is a slide stop and magazine release in their normal locations, and a two position manual safety in the rear where you would expect to find on on a 1911 style pistol. While the safety and magazine release is ambidextrous, the slide stop is not. Big kudos to Ruger for putting the safety on the frame and not high on the slide like their other pistols. Of course this not being a hammered fired pistol there would be no reason to have it in the slide, but you never know. I guess maybe for design continuity between their pistols they might have decided to keep it in the same location so operators of their other pistols would want to transition. While some people have said that the safety is small and hard to operate, I did not find this to be the case. While it is a bit on the “smallish” side, I was easily able to flick it off with my thumb without problems. If I need to draw and employ this pistol this is the important part of the “on/off” equation. When you are experiencing duress you need to have the operation of the pistol be as easy as possible, once the situation has been neutralized and controlled, you will have ample time to engage the safety without much concern for time. One thing I would like to have seen on the pistol was the same “red fire, white safe” markings on the right side of the pistol for left handed shooters as there is on the left side of the pistol for right handed ones. While an ambi slide release would of entailed some re-engineering of the design, all the markings would of entailed was some small relief work on the slide and the application of the paint.
Again, just my personal opinion, but following the Glock philosophy (and design to boot) I feel manual safeties are not required on a striker pistol like this with redundant internal safeties if it is used and trained on properly. Simple, keep your finger off the bang lever and everything else is a non issue. The trigger safety, drop safety and firing pin block safeties in the design ensure that, carried and used properly, there is very minimal risk in accidental/negligent discharges in this weapon. However, being the overly safety minded and caution company that they are, this is a logical control to implement for Ruger and is required by some individuals and other law enforcement and military agencies to have on any pistol considered for purchase.
Left to right: The manual safety in the “fire” position, the loaded chamber indicator in its “loaded” position (using snap caps), and the striker status indicator…pretty worthless as a night time safety aid IMHO.
Other safety “features” of note are the striker status indicator, the loaded chamber indicator and what I like to call the Ruger B.A.L. (Big Ass Lock). The striker status indicator is basically a hold in rear of the slide that allows you to see the striker move back and forth. Personally, I don’t get it. Its a black striker moving in a black hole that doesn’t even protrude while cocked (like the XD pistol from Springfield) so you cannot see if the pistol is charged in the dark. I though that maybe painting the rear of it yellow or orange would provide some improvement, but still without it protruding to let you manually feel if the pistol is cocked, its kind of like dressing up a pig. The loaded chamber indicator on the other hand is very helpful in determining the status of the pistol. It sticks out of the top of the frame quite a bit when a round is in the chamber and displays a red dot on both sides. Not only is it visible when handling the weapon, it can easily be indexed in the dark to indicate the status of the weapon if need be. The last safety feature is the B.A.L. Ruger gives you a big ass lock for the pistol, no cable lock here, this thing is tempered steel and probably weighs half as much as the pistol itself. Put through the action and this pistol turns into a huge paper weight.
The pistol comes with two high cap 17 round steel magazines that are well made. Bill Ruger is probably spinning in his grave knowing his company is selling large cap mags these days…and an AR to boot. For those of you unfortunate enough to live in areas where we can have more than 10 rounds in the mag, pistols with 10 round magazines are available for you folks. To help load all of those 9mm rounds, a steel (yes steel) magazine loader also comes with the pistol standard.
The included magazines are steel and well made, a steel mag loader is included with each pistol.
OK, so the Ruger SR9 seems to be a pretty damn nice pistol well equipped with features. Probably runs upward of $599 or so and competes at the same price point as the Glocks, S&W M&P pistols and Springfield XD poly pistols, right? Wrong. Right now in Columbus, Ohio you can pick one of these up for under $450!! That’s right $450, perhaps lower (or slightly higher) depending on which shop you purchase it at. That puts the Ruger SR9 right up there with the Bersa Thunder and Stoeger Cougar as one of the best values in price vs. quality that I have come across on this blog. Hell based on that alone I am almost tempted to go snatch one up. I have been thinking about picking up a compact 9mm lately and the SR9c model (compact) would be a nice addition for the price.
The SR9c (compact)..maybe, just maybe one will find its way to my house…
But how does it shoot?
This is one question that I still have to answer. The day I took it out to the state range in Delaware, Ohio it was raining so I only got to run a couple of boxes of Winchester 115 grain white box FMJ rounds through it. Rain is the reason that you will not find a range video of it below also. Those rounds were fired at a 8” target 45’ away (the length of the range at that place). While shooting at a closer target would of let me establish grouping patterns better, at this distance I was regularly able to hit the 8” circle as long as I did my part to make it happen. As I stated before the sights worked well when acquiring the target. I did find that the trigger is a bit gritty and hard compared to what I am used to. By cleaning out the packing grease that had been left on the pistol and apply some Slipstream in its place I was able to smooth out maybe 1/2 a pound off the trigger, but it was still at least a 6 pound pull. There wasn’t much slack in it and it broke evenly once the sear broke off the trigger. I did find that when dry firing there was a noticeable improvement in trigger pull when firing with the magazine in as opposed to an empty well. This undoubtedly has something to do with the magazine disconnect/ejector. I know that Rhonda has not shot the pistol a lot so I am hoping this trigger will smooth out even more over time for her. Some info on the internet leads me to believe that this will be the case. I had no FTE/FTF problems or any other type of malfunctions in that 100 rounds, but again I was firing FMJ ammo and did not have either the time or available spare HP rounds to test in it. Still, based on experience I feel that this pistol is a reliable shooter whose accuracy has yet to be tapped by this reviewer.
Well, whether copied from the Kimber KDP or not, I think Ruger has a solid pistol for sale in the SR9. And for the price I think that you would be hard pressed to find another in its class that is as good of a value as the SR9. Unfortunately, Ruger does not have the same “street cred” in this market niche as Glock or some of the others that I keep mentioning in this review. That and the early recall on these have hurt sales for them I think. Still, if you look at the product as it is now against others in its class, I think you will find a very nice pistol for the taking at a bargain of a price point. The fact that I am actually considering buying one of these is my personal recommendation of the Ruger SR9 as being a pistol worthy of your money.
My Video Review
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
No matter how you say it, Mr. "E", Mystery, Meals Rejected by Ethiopians, Meals Rejected by Everyone or what have you, the military ration, Meals, Ready0to0Eat, or MRE has been a staple in the US Serviceman or woman's diet since the early 1980's. They replaced the famous "C" Ration, or C-Rat, that had served the troops since the days of WWII. I was even fortunate enough to eat a couple of C-rats that some "old" timers had (trust me, the MRE is a better product). The MRE is now ubiquitous with the presence of US servicemen where ever they are stationed or deployed and the MRE has even become a staple of international disaster relief and aid missions.
Over the course of its lifespan, the MRE has gone through various evolutions, both in content and the way food was prepared in them. when I got in the Army waaaaay back in 1986 the prevalent theme was "dehydrated". Meat patties, fruit and other items came as dehydrated pieces of somewhat edible cardboard that you had to add hot water to in order to make into their intended forms. The problem was two fold; first it took a lot of water to do this, which for the average grunt is a pretty precious commodity in the field, and second, there was no standard way to heat water in the field. A canteen cup and a triox tab (trioxane fuel tablets, burns with a blue or colorless flame hotter than the devil's furnace) were the norm, if you were lucky enough to have either or the luxury of being able to use them in the field. Most troops would just break down the individual food packages from the main pouch and gnaw on them as time and mission allowed. Often, eating the dehydrated pork and beef patties or dehydrated mixed fruit would actually leave the soldier worse off and more dehydrated themselves as water was drawn from the body into the food to make it pass in the intestines. Ouch. This is where the myth that MRE's give you constipation and that the Ex-Lax brand laxative was in the chewing gum came from.
Later on "wet packs" became the norm with food packed with adequate moisture to make it palatable and flameless ration heaters were included to heat up the rations in each meal. The ration heaters worked by simple adding a small amount of water to the heater which starts a chemical reaction that creates a intense but short lived burst of heat to get the meal tasty. The reaction also vents a lot of hydrogen gas, leading to the invention of the infamous MRE Bomb!!
(and no, I won't outlined how they are made!!)
The meals themselves changed considerably to reflect the changing tastes and diversity of our service members. Originally a collection of quasi-Americana dishes (franks and beans, beef and pork patties, chicken a la king, tuna and noodles, ect), the menus evolved to include more ethnic type foods (Asian and Hispanic meals being the most liked) as well as special meals for vegetarians and religious (Kosher, Halal) personnel.
I have not had one in quite some time (over in the current conflicts a surprising amount of food you eat is prepared in the chow hall, such is the nature of the conflict). Yet, the nostalgic in me can still relish the memories of sitting under a poncho, shivering cold in the rain eating my not-so-cold-yet-not-so-warm franks and beans MRE with a hot cup of black coffee in a paper cup while quietly talking to my fellow soldiers as night fell upon the forest we were in. It wasn't comfortable, and the meal wasn't delicious....still I would trade a thousand memories of eating lunch at my desk here at work now for just one more of those moments.
Anyway, found an interesting article in the NY Times, its an interactive comparison of field rations from other countries around the world. Pretty neat to see the contents of each. Its funny, but I think that being a nation of immigrants that Americans can probably better identify with the food in the other nations' meals than they can with ours. One thing that I think was neat is in the Spanish ration. It includes both glucose tablets (for quick energy) and a salt/energy tablet (for recovery from dehydration) in there meal. Good idea, but then again with Gatorade being handed out by the truckload over there and the prevalence of energy drinks (Red Bull or Red Camels) I guess maybe the US serviceman doesn't need them.
Go check out the article, its a fun read!
Field Rations from around the globe!
Just noticed that the "new" counter on the right just went over 50,000 hits the other day and from the locations of some of them, I know all of those are not me! Combined with the "old" counter that was reset that makes over 100,000 page hits to date. Not many compared to some web sites and blogs, but for little 'ol me just plugging away at a hobby, I am very impressed.
Thanks to everyone who has stopped by to take a look and especially to those of you that post comments to keep my fires stoked to keep this blog running!
Pic of the day:
Thought of the day:
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity" --Sigmund Freud
Monday, September 6, 2010
I was randomly looking at vids on YouTube the other day when I came across a scene from the outstanding 1976 movie Taxi Driver starring Robert DeNiro. Its the scene where he goes to meet a guy selling handguns from a suitcase in a hotel room so that he can possibly assassinate a presidential candidate whom a former romantic interest who scorned him works for. The film is an American masterpiece and if you haven’t scene it just go do it already. Politically I do not match up with DeNiro at all. Even though his name appears on the list of NYC residents approved for a concealed carry permit, he has consistently championed candidates that push anti-2A legislation. Once again, another liberal elitist who thinks his position as an entertainer gives him permission to access rights he would have denied the common man. However, he still remains a favorite actor of mine..
The movie itself translates fairly well from its original context and themes in 1976 to today and most people can relate to at least something in the film.
Lets take this film and look at some of the things that could conceivably be translated into a film set into 2010…
- The main character, Travis Bickle, played by DeNiro (for which he was nominated for an academy award) is a “burned out” Marine veteran of what is strongly suggested and hinted as the Vietnam War (that conflict had been over for roughly a year when this movie came out). He suffers from what is clearly a series of mental disorders including insomnia and anger issues. Classic PTSD but that term and awareness had scarcely been invented at the time of the films release. You can transfer that character to a Marine suffering from PTSD from any of our current conflicts today.
- New York City is depicted in the original as a cesspool of crime and corruption in the film. Even though we are now supposed to show NYC as this jewel in our country’s crown post-9/11, it would still be a more than adequate background for the story if made today.
- The was a lot of Political activism going on in the 70’s, part left over from the 60’s and part in due to the war in Vietnam and its lingering after affects…there is a lot of political activism now also. Although much of today’s activism is from the “other” side of the spectrum than what was depicted in the film. Whereas the presidential candidate in the film, Senator Palatine, is obviously a liberal progressive, the political activism today centers on The Tea Party Movement and other conservative, grass root organizations from the right side of the political spectrum. This is only natural since in 1975 when this film was made a Republican was in The Oval Office and today a Democrats occupies that desk. You don’t normally see political activism from the party in the power. This would be used, I fear, by a film maker of the normal Hollywierd Liberal mode to portray Travis as a “typical” right wing “gun nut” and used to promote the position of gun ownership abolishment and the like.
All of these are good points for discussion, but what does this have to do with firearms? Other than the gratuitous use of guns in the final shootout and the (at that time) over the top gore (the films color was toned down in the final cut to reduce the appearance of red blood on film…it was deemed to “offensive” at the time) one of the more famous scenes was when Travis purchased his illegal guns from “Easy Andy” in the hotel room, the scene I mentioned above….lets take a look at it…
Well, that was quite an arsenal for him to purchase….in 1975. A lot has changed in 35 years. I wonder what Travis would purchase in today’s market in a film set in 2010…hmmm…
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|Gun in 1976||Gun in 2010||Notes|
|.44 Magnum Revolver (possibly S&W 29) with a extremely long barrel||Desert Eagle .44 Magnum||First gun Travis asks about..“stop a car at 100 yards, put a round right through the engine block”…well not quite, not in the 1970’s when everyone was driving around in a 350 cubic inch powered V-8. While there are much more powerful cartridges available for handguns today (.460 Casull, .500 S&W ect) the .44 magnum still is familiar to the general public and resonates with power in the listeners ear. Keeping with Hollywierd tradition, we shall upgrade this to the (in)famous Desert Eagle…don’t knwo if these are actually used for anything other than range toys and safe queens in real life, but every movie has to have one I think…hell it maybe a law in Hollywierd.|
|Nickel Plated .38 J-Frame Revolver||Glock 19 9mm.||Back in 1975 the Glock was unknown in this country (hell it wasn’t even developed in Austria yet!) and the 9mm round was still a round that most shooters and civilians alike had little exposure too. The .38 on the other hand was a well used round by police out of standard 4” service revolvers. The Glock 19 is the modern equivalent to the .38 revolver for today’s NYPD and carries well for a concealed carry weapon. A logical upgrade in my book. Its not as flashy as the nickel plated snubbie, but unlike the Travis of 1976, the Travis of today would probably be a bit more on the ball than 1976 Travis and shiny metal would probably not be as attractive to him.|
|Colt .25 Automatic||Ruger LCP .380 ACP||Just to show you how ignorant the character of Travis is, he buys this piece of crap. .25 ACP? seriously? Travis goes in there for a .44 Magnum and also buys this. Still a pocket pistol is a pocket pistol. This is the gun that he famously modifies to ride on a rail he cuts from one of his kitchen drawers on his arm to snap out ready to fire. Still by today’s standards (ok, even by 1975 standards) the .25 is severely lacking as a defensive cartridge. I up the ante for our anti-hero a bit by giving him the same basic package in .380 ACP with a polymer frame and lighter carry weight.|
|Walther PPK .380||FN Five-SeveN 5.7x28 mm pistol||I am sure this was picked in the film as an “exotic” choice for Travis to purchase. “Used by German Officers in WW2” seems to be its main selling point…”oooh, a foreign pistol, you know what great craftsmen the Germans are” blah blah blah…well, I already gave him a Austrian gun, which is as good as a German made firearm in my book, and just as exotic. I guess that I could “upgrade” him to a Sig P232, which is basically a PPK anyway, but with a cooler pedigree…but I already used the .380 cartridge…so in keeping with Travis’s original gaffe of carrying 4 pistols without a common caliber to swap ammo if needed I need to select another “exotic” for him to use. The FN Five-SeveN handgun (yes, it is spelled with a capital “N” at the end) fits that bill. Firing the “oddball” 5.7x28mm round from a 20 round magazine this is the pistol that the fuckwad, terrorist traitor Maj. Hasan (just try and sue me for libel you worthless bastard) used at Fort Bliss to murder 13 soldiers last November. Its got everything Hollywierd needs for the part..exotic looks, a foreign manufacturer, and notoriety (Muslim extremist use versus Nazi use)|
|N/A||M4 style “assault rifle”||Not in the original movie, but any liberal retelling of this flick would have to include an “assault rifle” to show how serious and sinister Travis’ intentions truly are. I chose the AR over the ubiquitous AK for the simple reason, Travis is a Marine Veteran and he would be drawn to what he was familiar with.|
|N/A||Short barreled shotgun with a pistol grip||Another weapon not in the original flick…I chose this simply because it could be something they could show him concealing under his field jacket (even though troops today don’t wear those anymore) and what would a Hollywierd movie with guns in it be today if there wasn’t a slide to rack needlessly every 10 seconds.|
|N/A||1911 Pattern .45 ACP pistol||Don’t know why Scorsese and crew didn’t include this in the original movie, it would of been familiar to the Travis of 1976, would of been familiar to the audience at the time and would of made for great publicity stills. There looked to be one on the bed in the suitcase that he doesn’t even look at, but another angle shows what appears to be a double stacked magazine in it…maybe a Browning Hi-Power 9mm? Regardless, I am including it now because it should of been there in the first place.|
Well there it is, my armament remake for the 2010 version of this 1970’s classic. This was kind of fun. Maybe I should start going back over other famous films from the past and updating the weaponry for the 21st century. What do you think? Drop me a comment with your ideas of anything I may have missed in the above list. Also send me your thoughts on who would make a good replacement for DeNiro as the actor to play Travis Bickle in a 2010 remake. Names suggested will be voted on in a poll on this blog in the future.
You stay classy America!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Got it yet?
Shouldn't take more than a few seconds for a "gunnie" to find out.....
here's a hint..........charging handle.....
got it yet? here's another hint......"Airborne"
Ah yes!! THE PICTURE IS BACKWARDS!!
There were no left handed M-1s and the unit patch is reversed as well....
Still a great pic from the show!!