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, May 30, 2012

Kids and guns, lock them up...the guns that is, not the kids

You know, a quick Google search yielded a plethora of pics with babies with guns that I could have used in this post...but the tragic nature of the material means that you will just have to read it straight up.

A sad story here in Central Ohio of a 3 year old that shot himself in the head with a .45 and died. The toddler's mother on 911 told the dispatcher it was on top if the TV where he "where he usually can't reach it" (sic).  Now a toddler is dead in what the Knox County Sheriff is calling "an unfortunate accident" - what I would call a negligent homicide.  The family will grieve and then I am sure face some type of judicial punishment for such a lackadaisical manner of securing firearms.  From the article...

The dispatcher asked Campbell how the toddler got the gun.“I don’t know if he climbed up ...,” Campbell said before trailing off. She continued: “ Oh, my God, he so knows better. He’s never touched a gun before. Never ever has he ever messed with a gun. He’s always known better.”
She said the gun was atop the television, “where he usually can’t reach it.”
"He knows better?"  The boy was 3 freaking years old! Come on, common sense folks.  Three year olds get bigger to where they can reach things they couldn't before, they are inquisitive, they climb and they touch....touch things they shouldn't!  Yes, at some point children should be taught about firearms and how to treat them with respect, in no way does that include keeping a loaded firearm around them to find for themselves and then have this happen!
I feel sorry for this little boy now deprived of a live that now goes unfulfilled.  Maybe its just me getting older and realizing that there may be more road behind me than in front of me, but when I see or hear about something like this where a child is killed needlessly by stupidity I cringe a bit.  
Use them as needed...
I really hate to have to say it, but if you have kids in the home and firearms you need to secure them from their grasp in some manner that provides a barrier to the operation of the weapon.  Whether that barrier be a cable lock (required to be given with the purchase of of a firearm, at least here in Ohio), a locked room or a $2000 firearm safe...you need to keep the kids away from the guns until they are old enough and mature enough to be trained in their use.  Even then, everything they do with a firearm until they are adults is still on your shoulders as a parent.   In the Huey household the golden rule is that if a firearm is not on me or in my direct line of sight to supervise that it is locked up or disabled by way of a cable or other such locking device.  And woe to me if Household-6 would ever catch me breaking this prime directive.
Just so my walk follows my talk...to the right you will notice a new logo that will connect you to Project Childsafe, a project run by the National Shooting Sports Foundation that provides education and safety kits for firearm owners to help prevent tragedies like this from happening. Yes, their locks have come under fire for being easy to defeat according to some...but if you have kids that are old enough and sophisticated enough to be using bump keys and the like you need to invest in a safe and put it behind a locked door as well as having a sit down with them to discuss firearm safety.   But in the case above, I doubt a 3 year old would of been able to defeat any of the cable locks I have at home to operate the weapon that killed him.

Yes, making a firearm hard to access also means that it is hard to get to in an emergency when it might be needed for use in defense, I understand that position.   But it seems like far to many kids (at least here in the Buckeye State) fall victim to "accidental" shootings that could have been prevented with just a bit of common sense being applied. 
Sorry to go on what would almost seem an anti-gun rant, but unfortunately, common sense is not necessarily a common virtue. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A bit of range time

Holy cow...an actual post with guns in it!!  Yeah, I know.  Anyway, got to shoot on Saturday with Kevin at his boss's ranch outside of Cbus this past weekend (Thanks Darin!) and got to put some rounds downrange in some acquisitions I have not yet fired.  A few Ruskie handguns and a couple of rifles got to stretch their legs that day.  There wasn't any plan for structured "training" or anything, just putting some rounds downrange with a good friend and enjoying the weather.  Actually the weather was hot and muggy which kind of curtailed our shooting.  Our targets were situated against a woodpile and down a trail into a deep woods against a rise in the terrain..both were chocked full of mosquitoes and humidity.  It was so warm some remaining cosmoline or grease in my Springfield liquefied in the warmth and sun and leaked out of the rifle onto the stock.

Anyway, had a good time, a few notes below...

Nagant 1985 revolver

It lives up to its rep of having an atrocious trigger pull, I will give it that!  But as you can see by the following video that even a blind squirrel can get a nut with it sometimes...first shot, bullseye...all luck...and yes, I call it by an incorrect name "Mosin-Nagant" instead of just plain "Nagant"...

As you can see from the results of the first cylinder (7 shot) that it is capable of "combat accuracy".  I will have a more extensive review of this and the Tokarev soon.

Romanian Tokarev TTC.

Well, this gun does not disappoint.  It feels like a JMB designed gun and shoots like a JMB designed gun, just like the Soviet armorer that ripped the design off intended.  All the hype about penetration is warranted.  Here is a pic of the entry and exit holes in a nice 6" thick tree limb...

A 9mm (115gr FMJ fired from my LC9) just managed to dent it a bit...

Best part about shooting this is despite the velocity that it generates, there is not a lot of recoil with this pistol and it also seemed to be more than accurate for the task it was designed for.

Enfield No. 4 Mk I.

I "came into" a mess of surplus ammo for this British brute last week and Kev and I got a few shots downrange with it.  I think the ammo was suspect because there was a definite delay between when I could hear the pin hit the primer and the round going bang, with one dud primer that went off when shot a second time.  I think the ammo looks like it was from the 40's.  Going to buy some new commercial stuff and see how it works in it.  Other than that it seemed to work fine.
Kev says "Tally Ho!"

Universal M-1 Carbine.

Got a few more rounds downrange with it.  Sure it may not be an actual GI model, but it still shoots just a nice as I hoped it would.  I would say I got a pretty good bargain with it.  Got a short vid of Kev pulling the trigger on it before our target curled up after being hit.

Springfield 1903A1.

Found out my Springfield '03 is called an "A1" style simply because it has a "slant" or "C" stock with a pistol grip shape instead of a straight stock, but still has the original sights on it.  The warm weather made the rifle "bleed" grease or oil of some type and I had to wipe it down repeatedly (make mental note...always pack a bag of rags for the range).  Despite this little setback it shot fine.  I swear its got a custom trigger or something on it, it releases so light and crisp compared to other similar rifles I have shot.  I did get a few more of my Greek .30-06 rounds down range with it.  Later at the next Posse shoot I am going to go for accuracy and grouping when I have a proper range to work with, ditto with the other weapons as well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Poll results...keeping my old plate...

Thanks to everyone that helped choose my new veterans license plate from the good 'ol state of Ohio...looks like I'll be keeping my existing plate...not much of a contest!

Just FYI, I ordered the new tags for my old plates weeks ago when I saw this was going to be a runaway.

The winner


Haven't posted any firearm/2A/.mil related content on here in a bit...sorry...just busy

Back at it soon...hang in there folks....

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sad news in the extended blog family

RIP Mike Scoggin 1965 - 2012
Mike and Heather

I have jokingly called the local Columbus band AthenA (fronted by my friend Heather) as the "offical" band of the blog.  I have posted about them a couple times, used their music in a video or two and went to a show last summer at a local bar.  It's been posted that the lead guitarist, Mike Scoggin, passed away unexpectedly.  I only met and spoke to Mike that one time but he had read and liked this blog the same way I have heard and liked his music.  My heart and prayers goes out to his family and friends.

I'm a Joker...I'm a smoker...I'm a midnight Tokarever....

My new best buddy, the UPS guy, dropped off another box last night.  In it was a 1953 Romanian TTC Tokarev pistol, hand selected by Southern Ohio Guns in Lebanon, Ohio for me.  Man, I am really liking this C&R license stuff!!
Sorry for laying it on a dirty rag, but I was cleaning it up at the time of the pic.
I should point out unlike a lot of other old surplus guns I have worked on,
this pistol did not have an over abundant of cosmoline on it.
The Tokarev pistol was adopted by the Russians in 1930 to replace the 1895 model Nagant revolver, one of which I received last week.  It was produced in mass quantities by the Ruskies and their communist allies for many years, eventually being surpassed as the standard Soviet side arm by the Makarov pistol.  The Tokarev fires an unusual cartridge, the 7.62x25, which was derived from the 7.63x25 mauser round used in the C96 "broomhandle" pistol, which was itself used extensively in the Russian revolution.  Its a necked down round that reminds one of the current .357 Sig round in appearance. This round fires a 85gr bullet at over 1,400/fps, creating enough power to penetrate many types of barriers to include some body armor.  This follows function as you can imagine fighting in a Russian winter where your adversary may be wearing many layers of thick wool clothing to have to shoot through.

I received a 1953 produced Romanian Tokarev, 2 mags, a worn holster, laynard and cleaning rod, not too shabby for a couple of Franklins.  Ammo comes later this week, hopefully I will have a full report including range time in the next few weeks.  One thing I can say about it already is that due to it being basically a stolen JMB design from his 1903 hammerless pistol, you can really feel the quality of this pistol in your hand.  Its solid and the fit is pretty darn good, not bad for an old commie piece!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cruffling....when it rains...

OK, maybe not pours....but damn, just got the Nagant pistol and this little beauty appeared on the radar....

A Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I, got it for - what I consider - a very good price considering the condition of the piece.  This was the standard British infantry rifle of WW2.  The Lee (named after the designer) patterned rifle was the mainstay of the British army for more than half of the 20th century.  "Enfield" comes from one of the large armories that produced the rifle and is usually attached to the model regardless of its place of origin.  I actually believe this particular rifle was build right here in the states by Savage arms from what limited research I have been able to accomplish.  These rifles are often referred to as SMLE ("smellies"), which is actually the name of the No. 1 Mk III patterned Lee rifle, but in casual conversation this can be overlooked as both rifles are still basically the same weapon with some differing features utilizing the same basic action.

Anyway, another post to come on it but for now here are a couple of vids to watch...

Lee-Enfield vs. the Garand...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Dyen Pobedy to me!

UPS guy dropped a box off tonight.  Guess what was in it?  Give you a clue, its old, Russian and fires a round I bet most of you have never seen up close....and I told you I was getting it a couple of weeks or so ago...

Give up?

A Model 1895 Nagant Revolver!  Here it is as taken out of the packaging still slimmed up with enough cosmoline to grease a railroad engine.

The cosmoline of the czars!!

More pics and some info after I get it cleaned up.  Even after a couple of hours with rags, brushes and solvent the grease is still oozing from hidden crevices and the like.  I will need to take it down more than just removing the cylinder I think....again, more to come.

So what is this Dyen Pobedy thing?  I had no idea of the significance of this Russian pistol being delivered today until a friend from WTA and FaceBook pointed it out.  Dyen Pobedy is a song written in 1975 to help mark the May 9th Victory Day celebrations held in Russia to commemorate the anniversary of the defeat of Germany and the end of WW2 for the Ruskies.  The war actually ended on May 8th in Germany, but due to the time difference it had already passed midnight in Moscow so they celebrate the 9th.  I guess the day is kind of like our Veterans Day as that was originally "Armistice Day" to mark the end of WWI.  Anyway, the song is a patriotic throwback to the music Russians would of sung during the war and is now an annual part of many Victory Day celebrations.

So, due in no part to my ignorance of the event, I actually ended up celebrating Dyen Pobedy rather appropriately!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The CZ 27....Nazi cop Gun

Tom's CZ-27 as given to me for review.

I had a chance to examine a pistol belonging to my old friend Tom, a CZ 27 .32 ACP.  Being a newly "annointed Cruffler" I was pretty excited to get the chance to examine this C&R goldmine. It was given to him many years ago by another friend of ours (who was much older than us and whom I can only assume has passed on due to his ill health last time I saw him 20 years ago....RIP Smage) and I don't think Tom has fired it in years.  He has been asking me the past year about recommendations for a weapon for home defense so I decided to take a look at what he already has in the house and see if it would be a candidate for the roll already.

The CZ 27 was produced in Czechoslovakia in 1927 as an improvement on the CZ 24 and CZ 22 model pistols, of which the basic design was based on a license CZ (Ceska Zbrojovka) had for the Mauser model 1914 pistol.  After the German occupation in 1938 it was produced en masse for German Army and police forces.  Its production continued into the early 1950's for export to various nations with a total of about 650,000 guns produced, most while under Nazi rule.  The model Tom presented me with is a German Occupation model that should of had a phosphate/parkerized finish per the serial number.  Unfortunately a previous owner has painted the exterior of the gun with some type of spray on finish.   This does detract from the collectors value (as well as making it harder to make out the German proof marks (Waffen Amps) but does not detract from this pistol being a functioning weapon.  The slide has an easily identifiable "fnh" marking on the slide (denoting it was produced at the Bohmische Waffenfabrik armory in Prague) and a few small German Wehrmacht Eagles on various parts (denoting armament inspectors proofing and acceptance) again attesting to its validity as a German manufactured model.  Although apparently most manufacturing records were destroyed either during or shortly after the war, based on various sources and threads I have researched I would probably be safe in saying this particular pistol was probably made between 1944 - 45, with 1945 being where I would put my money at.

The pistol itself is an all metal frame and slide design with a phosphate/parkerized finish and plastic grips.  It's a tad over 6" in length and a tad under 5" in height.  It weighs in empty at 24 ounces, but in the hand it does not seem that big or heavy at all.  Its also fairly thin and would be quite comfortable for an IWB holster wear.  It is a straight blow back design, as are many of the designs of this period using the .32 ACP (aka 7.65 mm Browning) cartridge.  It utilizes a single action trigger and also has a unique two piece safety that only blocks the travel of the trigger and does NOT provide any type of drop safety or other firing pin block. This was of little concern back then when pistols of this type were carried with an empty chamber in a flap holster anyway.  It also utilizes a magazine safety (also only a trigger block).  It has a heel mounted magazine release which is fairly common on European guns.  As Americans we often worry about being able to quickly drop and reload magazines, viewing the magazine as a expendable piece of equipment in the "heat of battle".  The European view is more of that where the magazine is a part of the "weapons system" that consists of the pistol, magazines and holster or other carrying device.  As such, the heel mounted release forces the user to retain the magazine with the weapon. As the majority of pistols were issued to police and military officers where they would not be the primary weapons system, this is an realistic expectation to place on the shooter.  The magazine holds 8 rounds in a single column configuration.  Due to the lack of a firing pin block or other drop style safety, I would not recommend carrying this weapon with 8+1 capacity with a round in the chamber. Speaking of the magazine, the pistol was presented to me with a single magazine and holster.  I believe these would of been issued with 2 magazines, one for carry in the weapon and one for the magazine slot on the holster, a common characteristic of holsters of the period.  The holster seems to be of good leather and condition, although showing wear at certain expected points.

No its not a CZ-27, its the P-32, but it
shows how 7 rounds of .32 ACP can
fit in the palm of you hand at under 10
ounces...that is definitely carry capable!
The pistol shoots the JMB designed .32 ACP.  While considered under powered by many that live on the strip of land between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans between Canada and Mexico, the .32 has been around since the early 1900's and is in use around the globe.  Indeed in Europe the .32 is seen as quite adequate for self defense and police work.  Here in the US the .32 almost has a "cult following" as a mousegun round and the popular P-32 from Kel-Tec is a prime example of how it is still being used today.  Its small size and low recoil allow it to be incorporated into the design of many smaller firearms.  It is, however, far from a round for "mice" only!

From what I have been reading and seeing online, it appears most .32 round in around the 60 grain range will penetrate between 6" -12", which is below the FBI 12" minimum penetration threshold used in most testing when fired into ballistic gel.  The depth generally relates to the use of either FMJ or HP type ammo in the weapon.  I would think at the energy levels that this round seems to hover at, that bullet design to maximize energy transfer would not be as big and issue as trying to gain that few extra inches of penetration to reach vital organs, as all energy will indeed most likely remain in the target as over penetration and exit is not a concern. However, that's just my opinion, and I do carry HP rounds in my .380, which many consider itself to be under powered for personal protection. According so some date I have read, the .32 (60-63%) and the .380 (67-70%) have about the same effectiveness in actual use as far as 1 stop shots go...both the numbers reported in that source seemed a bit high to me, but then again maybe after being hit once with one or the other the offender didn't want to have that happen a second time! Here is a short video of a 60gr. Speer Gold Dot JHP .32 ACP round into gel just for kick and giggles and to show you that the .32 ACP is not to be considered an obsolete or weak round.  It is, after all, better than carrying nothing.  I used these same rounds on the range to verify the pistol would feed HP rounds and to check for accuracy.

Everyone claiming a .32 is a weak round, please step in front of the muzzle and hold all comments until after testing is complete. Thank You.

As I have pointed out before in my article on Stopping Power, this round is capable of any of the 4 types of means of stopping attacker, with psychological probably being the most effective here. I mean, nobody wants to get shot to begin with.

Its going to take more than a
few patches and runs with a
brass brush to get all of that
out..other than the carbon, the bore is in good shape!
As given to me, the pistol was in a bit of despair.  It had not been cleaned in a few presidencies and had a good amount of rust on some of the internals due to humidity and what have you.  Phosphate or parkerized finishes are very good for both wear reduction and scratch resistance on metal, but do squat to prevent rust unless given a protective coating of oil.  After some tender loving care with M-Pro7, some carburetor cleaner, brushes and 000 fine steel wool I was able to get most of the surface bearing parts clean enough to lubricate with Slipstream.   I also had to do a job on the magazine as the inside was heavily built up with crud and the follower and spring felt gritty as I worked them at first. I did not strip the pistol down farther than field stripping and then removing the firing pin (easy to figure out, remove the slide from the frame, push in on the rear of the firing pin, slide the retaining plate off the slide and the firing pin and spring drop free) as I did not feel comfortable not knowing the full design of the pistol.  There are a few resources to learn about disassembly of the pistol online but for just field stripping and cleaning use the video by Sootch00 on YouTube (at the end of this post) as a guide.  General field stripping is a bit tricky compared to more modern designs, but nothing to be afraid of.

A mix of hardened carbon, grime, lint,
rust and crud are soon to be a memory
on this pistol
So, after getting it cleaned up and lovingly lubed by the slickest stuff on Earth, the only thing left to do was to shoot it.  After taking it apart, cleaning and examining it I was not concerned with firing this 60+ year old piece of history.  Tom had given me a full box of Winchester 60gr. LRN (lead round nose) rounds he had for it from when it was given to him.  I grabbed a box of (Standard FMJ) and (HP) rounds to do some testing.  I didn't shoot all of them in order to give some to Tom for use as rounds for home protection as a way of saying thanks for letting me do the review.

OK, a disclaimer. I screwed up.  Tom had given me a box of lead rounds that supposedly went with the pistol. The box said .32.....S&W!  The .32 S&W is a different rimmed round than the .32 ACP designed for revolvers.  I totally did not pay attention to detail here!  But suprisingly the weapon still fired, but did not feed reliably with these, which isn't a big surprise I guess after all.  It seemed to go all the way into battery even with the rimmed case.  I got lucky though, you should never use ammo other than what was designed for your weapon...learn from my mistake!!
See the difference on the boxes? I didn't!
Again the .32 ACP is not a mosterous round, but still, for its intended purpose of up close defensive work it is a valid caliber for use. Here you can see the .32 ACP compared to other common rounds: (left to right) .22LR 40gr HP, .32 S&W LRN 85gr (oops), .32 ACP TMJ 71gr, .380 Hornady Critical Defense 90gr, 9mm 115gr FMJ, .40 S&W 155gr JHP, .45 ACP 200gr JHP
3 yard group with the 60gr Speer GD JHP rounds, other
than the flyer, this seemed to be a good round for the gun.
Overall, the pistol shot well with the right ammo.  I did not shot a lot of rounds but just a few to gain a sense of the accuracy of this pistol.  I shot mostly at 3 and 5 yards since this is where (statistically) most shootings take place.  I ran the target out to 25 yards once for a few rounds and got about the level of accuracy out of the pistol and myself that I expected.  I probably would be making torso hits at that range but forget about me in the Olympics with this gun (heck, with any gun with my skill level!) The 71gr TMJ (Truncated Metal Jacket) Winchesters shot fine, as most Winchester TMJ or FMJ rounds tend to do. With the .32 perhaps using a non-HP round in the winter may be prudent where expansion is not as much an issue as penetrating heavy jackets and such may be.  Where the gun really shined was with the 60gr Speer GD JHP rounds, the pistol really liked putting those where I wanted them to go and are a definite must have for the gun.  I just wish they were cheaper than $25/20 rounds so I could have put a few more down range and still had some to give to Tom.

3 and 5 round groups using Speer Gold Dot HP, again
not bad accuracy from these considering the small sights
Speaking of accuracy, the pistols sights will probably challenge some shooters.  Consisting of a small blade front sight and "v" notch rear, they do not scream "long range engagement".  Then again, given the nature of the projectile this is probably realistic enough for most people.  As you can see from the target the larger .32 S&W 85gr rounds did not fair as well as the ACP rounds. The reason you see only 3 rounds in the lower target where the .32 S&W rounds are is after 3 rounds in that string of 5 I realized my mistake!
5 and 25 yard groupings with both good and "oopsie" ammo...gotta pay attention folks!

As far as recoil goes...what recoil?  This pistol shot very softly due to a combination of both the round and all metal construction.  Most users will be comfortable shooting this.

I did have some feeding issues with the Winchester ammo (and definitely with the .32 S&W stuff!).  Out of about 40 rounds fired between the Winchester and Speer ammo I had a couple of FTF issues.  The bullets nosed up before they got to the chamber and the slide closed on them.  Upon a closer exam of the magazine it appears the one feed lip is a bit worn and out of shape, which may be allowing rounds to loosen and turn up before they should.  I normally fire a weapon on the range in 5 round strings (most 9mm and other centerfire bulk ammo package their rounds 5 to a row, seems like a good number to shoot a string with to me) but on one of these malf's I definitely remember loading the mag all the way full.  The extra spring pressure on the rounds combined with the bad lip may of caused the issue.  I have found a few places on the net that seem to sell replacement magazines for this pistol, but few seem to have any in stock...a semi-obscure pistol that hasn't been made in 60 years, go figure.
bad feed lips probably contributed greatly to the feeding issues

Typical mis-feed...nosed up round probably coming
off of the feed lips at a bad angle
Overall I think if my friend could get this gun to the range and shoot it for a while and get a feeling for it and how it feeds to verify it will function when needed, I think it would work for him as a home defensive pistol.  I would practice loading the mag and racking the slide to get used to bringing it into action, and then only load the magazine with 5 or 6 rounds of the HP ammo (to try and avoid the nose up feeding issue).  Again, only practice will allow him to determine if this is a weapon he would trust his life and that of his family on.

Even if he does get another weapon for that home defense role this is still a nice, if slightly diminished, historical piece that still has some sentimental value for both him and I.

And so you have it, a Czeck pistol made by the Germans and issued mainly to officers and the Police, like I called it,  a Nazi cop gun...just add doughnut.  Boston Cream for me....

Oh, and here is the video ol' Sootch00 did on it...it has a good video tutorial on disassembly in it...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Der Feuhrer....Der Tooter....

Listening to the radio the other day and there was a story about a couple of medical reports that are up for auction that detail the medical profile of Adolph Hitler.  Among the findings was that Hitler was a cocaine addict, a strict vegetarian that had a serious flatulence (that's farting) and received injections of young bull semen to boost his sexual veracity.  Yuck to all of that in spades. The US Government commissioned the report after WWII by interrogating his various physicians and accessing what medical documents that survived the war on the German leader.  I believe it was done to provide some type of profiling (much like a forensic psychologist might do today) to try and identify any future wackos on the international stage.  Either way its funny as all get out to think every time he goose stepped he probably sounded like he was squishing wet bags of dog shite on every leg lift.

Always a dick, Hitler was well known for cutting the cheese
and then waving it in the general direction of his staff
(as shown in this speech from 1938) while shouting
"smells good, ya?!?", to which his minions could only try
and hold their breaths until it passed....

Ironic that the man that envisioned himself as been seen in history as the creator of a "thousand year reich" will now most likely be seen as one of these two South Park characters...

oh wait...he already is a character on that show!!

A little excitement....

Had a bit of excitement here in Cbus today.... a suspicious bag or package was discovered outside of the building I work in that caused a partial evacuation while the boys from the bomb squad and their canine comrades went to work for a couple of hours.  Turned out all they did was detonate some poor homeless guys bag of clothes it appears. Anyway, when I heard about it my co-worker and I were going down to the dock area of the building to receive some printers that were being delivered when we heard the news.  The security guy said that they were only evacuating the lower portion of the building and we should go back up if we wanted.  What?

OK, honestly we went back up briefly to grab our keys and such and to let other people know what was going on (wrong in so many ways, I know), but the first thing that came to mind when he told us that was Rick Rescorla, or more precisely what I thought was that on 9/11when the first plane hit and the folks in the other tower were told to stand fast, Rick Rescorla said "screw that" and got his people out.  And I got "my people" out!

Now of course nothing came of the incident but just because it was a false alarm this time doesn't mean next time the game won't be on then either.   In a way it was good to see how this went down so I know what to expect if this happens again.  I am not going to give away anything I saw that I thought was bad that could be improved of just in case the wrong people may look at this blog, but needless to say there is room for improvement.   I can tell you this though, mostly what I saw was complacency.  A bunch of people that have had no first had experience with this type of event just milling around sight seeing.  Bunched up, easy targets for a secondary device.  That's always a favorite tactic of bombers...plant a small diversionary device to explode and cause some havoc that brings both gawkers and first responders together and then detonate a second primary blast when they are all huddled around their first event.  I am not telling you something here our enemy already doesn't know.  I consider us fortunate that our homeland has not had to put of with this type of activity that this behavior is an issue.  But with many silver linings, there is a black cloud hovering nearby.

And as I type this tonight I see another underwear bombing has been foiled by the CIA.  Stay vigilant folks, just because I am paranoid doesn't mean they aren't still out to get us.

Note ** Hey sorry, just noticed this didn't auto publish at 7:30am today...I had it set for PM by accident, oops!

Friday, May 4, 2012

More nostalgic bits...

Nostalgic...for me.  Following up on yesterdays post about serving in Kuwait, found a bag of these the other day in the basement while looking for something...AAFES Pogs...

"Alf's back....in POG form!"...Millhouse, The Simpsons

The pog was a craze started back in the 90's with these cardboard disks kids collected to presumably play some type of game where they attempted to gain pogs from other players.  Like most fads it came and went quickly but the use of them by the Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) continues to this day (to the best of my knowledge, if they have discontinued this practice please let me know in the comments) for the use in on base commerce.  When you would go to the PX and buy something with cash any change due you would be returned with one of these cardboard pogs.  They have the denomination the pog represents on one side and a picture on the other.  The idea was that the transportation of heavy bags of coins overseas would outweigh the actual cost of the coins themselves, so these were put in play to give troops something to use in lieu of coins in theater.  Once out of theater any remaining pogs could be used stateside or converted to cash at AAFES.  I, like some other folks, just threw them in a box when I got back to my hootch for the most part and brought them home as a souvenir.

Eagle Cash card

They tried to get rid of all cash transactions by also using an Eagle Cash card overseas, which is basically a pre-paid debit card that you tie into your bank account that is accepted by AAFES and other vendors on base.  You transfer funds to the card from your account on a terminal, and then use the card like you would a debit card in place of cash otherwise. If you lose it overseas you don't need to worry about someone on the other side of the globe from your (normal) home having your credit card number.   We were cautioned never to put large amounts of cash on it, just what we would need for a few days at a time.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dios MiO!

Once in a while I find myself amazed about how much a small thing may mean to someone else or in need.  Just something small and relatively insignificant can be something big when you may need it.  Just think how useful a paperclip can be when its needed (for things other than holding paper) and how ubiquitous it is otherwise.

Back in Kuwait it was drilled into our heads to drink water constantly.  Whether we worked outside or in an office (like yours truly), water was to be consumed as much as possible to avoid any type of dehydration in the arid heat which routinely went upwards of 120+ degrees!  An ample supply was provided in the form of bottles available from coolers at most every inside location on post as well as pallets that were placed so you could take as much as you wanted back to your hootch for later. Gatoraid and other sports drinks were also available, but with the added calories of drinking them, most of us "Pogue" types were better off leaving that stuff to the "athletes" in the field.

Drinking water stops "the dehydrations"...

I generally drank between 3 and 3 liters of water a day outside of what I would normally consume in liquids at meals.  I got to tell you though, drinking that much water is not easy. Thankfully the mess halls always had a ready supply of those little single use packets of Crystal Light on hand for you to grab and go to put in the water.

The Zone II dining facility at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait in full lunch hour swing...

These little packets were pretty handy and were easy to carry in a pocket.  You could literally grab about as many as you wanted at any mess hall over there out of boxes and boxes of them on a table at the rear of the facility as you walked out.  They really were great to have to make plain water more palatable, especially if it became lukewarm or hot if out in the sun. Unfortunately the packets were only made of plastic and could tear, come apart and make an occasional mess if left in pocket and came open during laundry.  They were, however, a better solution to help service members to drink water then forcing hydration alone.

Good stuff

A while ago my wife started buying these little drink mixes called MiO, which is a liquid that you squirt into water to flavor it.  Its aimed at the water bottle buying crowd and I absolutely love the peach tea flavor.  I was thinking about it the other day and remembered that the peach tea crystal light packets were my favorite flavor over in Kuwait as well.  I thought "wow, this would have been great to have over there!".  Number one, there are many servings in one container of the liquid - only a few small squeeze is needed for a bottle of water.  Secondly, it comes in a fairly rigid container that would stand up to the rigors of being in a pocket or bag "in the field" so to speak.  All in all a pretty good upgrade from the Crystal light packets.

Better stuff

So, say next time you are putting together a "care package" for some troop overseas, consider sending a few packages of this stuff on over in lieu of a handful of hard candies that will not get eaten or a box of soap that will just end up contaminating the flavor of the candy anyway.  I am sure the troops will like it.

And no, I do not work for the company that makes MiO or anything like that..and actually now that I make a quick check on it...both are made by Kraft Foods, just in case you were interested.

Minimum Wage Historian on Russian Snipers...

One of the regulars over at WTA, Zack Hill (brother of Mad Ogre Hill) has a couple of neat blogs he does, one of which is called Minimum Wage Historian.  He's got an article up today about Russian Snipers in WWII and it has a couple of passages on the Mosin-Nagant rifle.  Being I love my Mosin I had to pass this little literary gem onto you all.

For a little more info on the Mosin-Nagant rifles, check out this long lost post I did on them here..

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cruffler at last!

I finally got my 03 FFL for Curio and Relics on Monday! (Word to the wise, if you don't get your within a couple of months call them!) Today the first batch of envelopes went out to J&G, Aim and a few others.  After a couple of weeks I am going to "test fire" the license, how?  With one of these...a Nagant 1895 revolver..

Yeah sure its ugly, has a horrible trigger pull, under powered, of relative little value as a collectible piece, but its a start.  And besides, it compliments my Mosin-Nagant M44 carbine as well as the other M-N I plan on getting (another 91/30).  Hopefully after these there will be a Tokarev, SMLE and maybe another SKS down the road for me!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bin Laden been dead...for a year...why all the fuss?

Well, one year ago those Navy guys who balance red balls on their noses went into our "allies" back yard and took out our #1 target in the war on terrorism..Osama Bin Laden.  One year later, his death is still in the news and many questions remain unanswered...such as, to what degree may have Pakistan known about his whereabouts....how did Bin Laden manage to evade detection for so long...Are Steven Tyler and J Lo really good successors to Simon and Paula on American Idol....oh yeah...and to what degree does the President deserve credit for the operation..

OK, going to give credit where credit is due...the kill did happen on President Obama's watch.  He did give the go ahead, that much is most certainly true.  He gave the go ahead knowing we were actually crossing our forces into a sovereign nation's land, a nation we were supposedly allied with in the war, without their consent...a country that was a nuclear power in the region battling their own internal fight against extremists.  And he said "go".  Can't take that away from him.  But to what degree that answer was actually formulated on his own accord I got to take into question.

A photo op?...for political use later?...nah..what would make you think that...

I believe I stated it before, but as soon as Osama Bin Laden took responsibility for the attacks he was a goner. Sorry man...take out 3,000 (mostly American) lives, take down a couple really big buildings in Manhattan...put a big freakin' hole in the side of the Pentagon...yeah, you're getting killed.  No doubt about it...either be being ventilated by some 5.56/.308/9mm/.45 rounds as was the case here...or being put down in an execution chamber..either way don't worry about retirement plans.  Personally, I was satisfied with the notion that he may have been a pile of decomposing goo buried under tons of rubble in a cave somewhere in Tora Bora after taking a hit by a JDAM...but knowing he is dead and being feasted on by the creatures of the deep sea is awfully comforting too.

The question I have is this...if the call had been made and and the mission had failed...would the same people  taking credit now also man up to the responsibility of it?

Now a year later with life in America back to the same 15 second sound byte mentality that we are used to...and the American public is now forced to deal with the facts in this matter again for political gain.

President Obama is being criticized by some for trying to exploit the death of Bin Laden under his presidency as his success in the War on Terror that he vowed to end when he came into the White House 3.5 years ago.  Yes we are out of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan is on a timetable to end...gains have been made, but its not the "bring them home" message he ran on last election for sure.  As he is opt to do, he has fired back on probably opponent Mit Romney by stating the following about a past statement Romney made about finding Bin Laden:

"I assume that people meant what they said when they said it," ~ In reference to a 2007 comment made by Romney touting it was not worth "moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." 

I hope the President enjoys the irony of saying that....and remember a lot has been said in the last 4 years by himself that can be brought up as well...

"The president says Mitt Romney should stand by comments he made in '07 about bin Laden. Wonder if he'll stand by his own own comments concerning raising the debt ceiling?" ~ Joel Riley, Radio Show Host, 610 WTVN AM, Columbus, Ohio
On the other side of the isle Mit Romney shot back the following in response...

"Even Jimmy Carter would of given that order."  In reference to former President Jimmy Carter who is commonly seen as not having had a strong position on defense after the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

I hope Mit can understand the irony of those words too...Carter did give the order...the mission to try and attempt to rescue the American Hostages held in Iranian captivity that ended in disaster.  President Carter did man up to his post and take responsibility for the failure, which helped lead to his ouster in favor of President Reagan in 1980...and a really shitty economy didn't help either.  But in the end Carter stood up for the decision and let the blame rest on him..as he should have.. I respect that.

President Truman made the phrase "The Buck Stops Here!" part of his presidency.  Every President should live up to this credo, because that's what the American people expect...and deserve...from our leadership.

Either way you look at it Bin Laden is DEAD!  And not because some bureaucrat in Washington took credit for it, but because the men and women of this nations armed forces, intelligence community and our allies all worked in unison to track him down and kill him...end of story.  I doubt any one person can find pics of themselves pouring over stacks of intel documents, spending countless hours intercepting and translating communications transmissions, detail examining areal and satellite photos, spending months and years in the field cultivating humint assets and harvesting data and finally show pics of them hopping into a classified helicopter and repelling in the compound before being able to show a final pic of them standing over Bin Laden's body.  

So in this election year I hope each and every voter, both Red and Blue and any other color under the rainbow, take the time to try and see through the election rhetoric and keep our politicians accountable for what they promise to do and what they have done before.  Its up to each and every one of use to check the facts and make sure that the buck surely does stop where it is supposed to.

I'm Huey, and I endorse this message.