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)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Home...a poem by my friend Robert

Roberts is a friend I have never met in person.  We met on FaceBook while both discussing some veteran related issues on common page we belonged to at the time.  Since then we have communicated at various times through FaceBook and other mediums.  Unlike me, Erik did not have a leisure tour overseas...matter of fact he had a couple of rough ones as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne.   While I can post about my experiences trudging through a Groundhog day like existence pleasing one officer after another while complaining about the lack of service at the Starbucks, Erik could post about friends no longer here and day and weeks spent in the company of death.  To say the least, the war left an impression on him.  I think its safe to say that the war ripped him in two.  Like many he struggles with the person he is now compared to the person he was during the war and constantly tries to reconcile the two. Recently he has started to get some help to calm his demons.  I believe this is part of that process...

Home....by Erik Robert A.

The poppy fields are long behind me, yet i walk them every night,
when i lay my head upon the pillow, i'm right back in the fight.
the war is done, my bags are packed, and i am back at home,
but when i close my eyes at night, it's afghanistan i roam.
the killing's done, my weapon's cleaned, my gear is put away,
now i patrol the halls of academia, each and every day.
but it really doesn't matter, however far I roam,
for when i close my eyes at night, Afghanistan's my home.

Become whole again soon my friend. 

The internet is back up at FOB Living Room....

They just needed to add a few more wires...

Blogging to resume as normal!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The matrix won...

Internet is down at home...cable modem broke...Inshit, er...Insight won't be out until Monday. Limited blogging until then. Sorry.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

SCOTUS Strikes Down the "Stolen Valor Act"....

...Green light ahead for posers everywhere....

In a ruling overshadowed by the upholding of Obamacare on the same day (don't get me started) the justices overturned the 2005 law signed by President George W. Bush in a 6-3 decision, sighting constitutional concerns that the first amendment  "protects the speech we detest as well as the speech we embrace," .  Well, how about them apples?  The justices did apparently express their disdain and contempt for those that would attempt to obtain recognition for unearned medals or claims of military service citing that those persons were "worthy of outrage and ridicule".  

How about pain and suffering? 

There was this guy once named Rodgers...he had a few solders he liked to call "Rangers" and they has a few rules, one among them being...

4. Tell the truth about what you see and do. There is an army depending on you for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but never lie to another Ranger or to an officer.

Well, notice this that this rule only applies to Rangers being able to lie all they please when telling other folks, all other beware!  There are those web sites and individuals that are watching for fakers to pop their heads into the limelight...and when they do the public ridicule and scorn will be more that you shall be able to bear!

Generally, an actual veteran will be able to pick out a faker in uniform fairly easily..

  • Looking and acting like an asshat
  • Wearing a uniform improperly
  • Extensive amount of ribbons not normal for rank or age
  • Age/rank not consistent with normal advancement
  • mismatching of skill badges
  • wearing insignia no longer authorized or conflicting
  • wearing insignia or badges from the wrong branch of service
  • uniform not fitting correctly
If these guys would actually be a little more "toned down" and not claim to be every single special op type ever mentioned in the movies they probably would just blend into the scenery for the most part, a lot of guys and gals have served.

Actually, busting one of these guys out is pretty much just like this....

Honestly, I think the super high speed guys still in service could give a rats ass less, they got bigger objectives to take on at the moment.  Other guys that have the time really do hate these military wannabees  (or make that neverwillbees in most cases).  I really would hate to see any of them come to some serious harm due to their follies (some definitely have mental issues to begin with), but a little ass kicking to a few to "enlighten" them might not be a bad idea from time to time to keep the rest in line.   Still, violence is not what I am all about (all the time) and I was happy that (until now) there was some legal recourse for the most extreme of the kind or the ones that drew substantial financial benefit from their lies. 

But now, at least thanks in part to the SCOTUS, ass wipes like these following lovelies can now prance around dressed like special warfare socket wrench specialists and black op high wire performers all they want....enjoy 15 minutes of fame jerk offs....

(note: to the best of my knowledge, these are all confirmed posers)

 Should I call you "General Soul Patch?"

They teach you a lot in Special Forces....like how to wear your ribbons correctly...

This guy showed up to Ft. Benning like this.....with desert boots on.....bad day for him  Looks like he went to the PX and just bought one of everything....

a SEAL and EOD badge, eh?  

An officer and a Seal...all at age 17....

well, the name badge is on the right side...if you're dressing yourself in front of a mirror...

This guy looks like he couldn't climb a triple ladder, let alone earn the right to wear one

so the ladies don't feel left out...this is a confirmed poser...story says she wore different rank on her PC and blouse and claimed to be yet another...

I think Don Shipley over on his YouTube page ate this guy for lunch...literally

As for me, I was in Echo Force (we were one level above Delta Force).  I would tell you what I did but then I would have to kill you and everyone you ever knew...and don't ask me about my secret squirrel badge either...its classified.

Actually, the following fits me better....and that's me in the pic to boot (rockin' that 3rd Personnel Command "combat" patch!)...shamelessly stolen from The Duffle Blog (and I expect you to follow that hyperlink!!)

Stolen Valor Claim After Man Poses As Elite Administrative Soldier

Richfield, OH – On a normal Friday night at the Clearview Bar & Grill, U.S. Army Reservist SPC Wendell Dukes had ordered his usual Rolling Rock and was minding his business.  He had recently returned from deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, where the harsh environment had denied him everything, from Wi-Fi to good cell reception to even a decent printer.  What it never denied him however, was a sense of pride.  Dukes and his fellow administrative specialists (MOS 42L) had worked hard and earned the respect of their peers and, according to the 19 year-old soldier, “Nothing moves without orders and orders don’t move without us!  You have registered mail?  Good luck getting it there without our signature!”
So you can imagine Dukes’ dismay when a man he had never seen before — walked into the bar — and claimed to be a member of his elite unit.
“He was wearing this—well for lack of a better term, it was a costume-and said he was just back from downrange. He wore some strange medals I hadn’t seen before — crooked — and I noted right away that not only were his ACUs freshly pressed, but the dead give away was the complete lack of a carpal tunnel brace on the forearm and no paper cuts on the fingers.  It was amateur night.”
Dukes takes a swig of his Rolling Rock.  His eyes now take on a far off look.
“I earned my cuts, damnit!  It was then and there I knew my fellow 42Ls and I were being robbed. ”
Dukes didn’t get mad however.  He decided to get even and lured the man, Mr. Ben Faquir, into a story of his many exploits — a popular method poser hunters often use to call out phony veterans.
“It was all downhill from there,” Dukes said.  “He starts off ‘So, there I was…in the shit…the coffee was gone.  We were out of doughnuts.’  Anyone who’s been downrange knows full well Green Bean is almost always open and we’re hip deep in pogey bait, so there’s no excuse.  I called Stolen Valor after that.”
After Dukes’ tip, the FBI decided to investigate. In what was a open and shut case, Mr. Faquir was tried and sentenced to a $10,000 fine and one year’s probation. He could not be reached for comment at the time of this article.
Although this story had a happy ending, it’s still not enough for Wendell Dukes.  He encourages all 42Ls not to allow their profession to be sullied by posers.
“It’s like they think they know what’s it’s like, behind the wire, when the chow hall’s out of ice cream and server lag keeps you from playing World of Warcraft.  You shouldn’t let anyone think they know what that’s like.  Not unless you’ve been there.”

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summertime in Kuwait and the livin' is easy...

AKA...war is hell, thankfully I was at Camp Arifjan.

Looks fun...right?

Well, the Summer has recently kicked off for 2012 and right on its heels is the heat.  Its supposed to get up to around 100 degrees (Fahrenheit, relax my metric system readers...global warming is just a passing fad) here in Central Ohio.  With temperatures like that I can't help but think back 5 years ago to life at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.  You want to talk about heat?  Try multiple days above 120 for the high on weeks on end.  Add a few here in there upwards of 130 degrees and its like sticking you head into an oven and setting a hair dryer on high in your face.
yeah...that's hot

Now, don't feel too bad for those soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines and other DOD personnel stationed there.  Camp Arifjan is about as luxurious place you can find in the region as far as amenities on an actual operational military post.  No, Arifjan does not get rocketed or mortared ever...but still the missions that they do there directly contribute to many different operations in CENTCOM's AO.

Anyway, in addition to a movie theater, multiple shopping areas including a modern PX building (small but still better than a trailer or tent), multiple fitness centers, outdoor stages hosting live bands, full food courts to include a donut shop, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins Ice Cream and several fast food trailers, a library, DVDs you can check out and a lot of other stuff (matter of fact other than being away from my family I am trying to think what I really had to bitch about while I was there now....oh, yeah...leadership) one thing that Arifjan did indeed have was a POOL.

Want to see pics, don't you?   Here you go....not my pics, one found online and the others I found on a server share at Arifjan itself.
The "Beach" is open...

"Lord of the Nipple Rings"...I swear the military is not the same as it was in '87

Again this Jersey Shore wannabe shows off his non-authorized jewelry....is that Snookie?

All of these ladies are "10's" by deployment standard....no offense ladies...they got medals for something I guess...

hmmmm?  guy must of been a plumber with the Seabees.....notice the ass crack showing

Looking cool for the hook ups.....like that ever happened....

So war is hell indeed...except in Arifjan...maybe its as hot as hell there...but we didn't have it too bad....not bad by far!!

Update:  Thought about it this morning and want to say that I am not thumbing my nose at the real warriors that were living on the edge of danger in Iraq and Afghanistan while I was over there...just pointing out the duality of the conflict in a (somewhat) humorous way.   Even at Arifjan the tendrils of war did reach down and take a few soldiers (actually one soldier and one airman) from the post while I was there due to accidents and enemy action while conduction LOGPAC along MSR Tampa all the way to Baghdad.  But again, all in all, Arifjan was a pretty decent place and I was lucky to be there.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Heavy Metal Monday - The Humble E-Tool

Ah, the E-Tool....Entrenching tool if you must be formal...the shovel if you want to talk so the average person can relate.  Both a tool and sometimes a weapon, the humble E-tool has served the fighting man on all sides since....well, just about forever.  Ever since the first caveman realized that getting in a hole was a good way of not being hit by a rock thrown by the other Captain Cavemans in the area Man has dug to create fortifications and obstacles on the battlefield.   The Roman Army...who really knew a thing or two and more about engineering on the battlefield...required each legionnaire to carry a shovel or mattock along with two stakes while on the march to make a nightly fortified ditch from which to camp behind.

These aren't real Roman soldiers, camera weren't invented to around 1100 AD I think...
Throughout the annals of warfare there have always been special troops dedicated to the science of combat engineering.  These troops on today's battlefield have a bevy of vehicles and technologies to draw upon to build and defeat obstacles as well as the modern threat of IEDs used by our enemies....and then they also have shovels.  More importantly, the E-Tool puts a little engineering ability into the hands of soldiers all across the battlefield to provide their own defensive positions...or maybe even just to answer the call of nature.

Shovels and E-Tools are not necessarily the same thing.  Shovels are usually full sized...well, shovels.  E-Tools on the other hand are usually those portable spades that are designed to be carried by soldiers along with their other gear.   The simplest are just smaller headed shovels with short handles.  From there you have the variety that have straight handles with heads that fold down and/or lock in multiple positions.  After that category you have the E-Tools I am most familiar with and have used myself, the aluminum tri-fold unit that the US Army has used for the last 30 some years.   Glock, of all companies, makes a more modern version of the collapsible E-Tool replacing steel and aluminum with polymer plastic for a more lightweight tool...that is so Glock.

Again, there are 2 main uses for the E-tool, as a tool for digging or a weapon for fighting.  For its use as a tool, well its pretty simple...thrust blade into earth, shovel dirt away from hole...repeat.  In any war that has involved heavy use of infantry forces, solders are well versed in this simple task.  I have talked to men from Vietnam that would be required to dig a hole every night to sleep and fight in, and then fill it in each morning and start again the following afternoon.  Due to the current tactics used in the war on terror, most soldiers are removed from this task for the most part, although its use is not totally uncommon...just ask those paratroopers that used shovels to dig and fill sandbags to build OP Restrepo in the movie of the same name.

notice this solder ditches the e-tool for a full sized shovel, not a big upgrade but any is better than none when you have a hole to dig two M-16's long, by two helmets wide by armpit deep...no shit, that was the standard I was taught....thats about 6.5'x2'x5'..or about 65 cubic feel of dirt...
 As for its use as a weapon, a wide blade on the end of a stick is a very viable option.  Its use was probably more prevalent in wars where the primary firearm was a single shot, muzzle loaded weapon and/or a low capacity repeating rifle.  Of course there are exceptions to everything.  WWI saw the use of many crude and violent weapons in the trenches of the Western front.  Even in more modern warfare more than one poor soul has ended up with the blade of a E-tool in their neck.

Actual instruction pic from US Army combatives manual, circa 1990's
 Its use as an "official" weapon is not just a secondary thought thought.  The US Army has included it in its combatives training manuals for some years now and the Russian Spetnaz (Special Forces) has famously touted their fighting ability with their shovel for years.  Cold Steel has been making a copy of one now for years...then again they also make copies of African walking sticks too....

Spetsnaz shovel....in Soviet Russia shovel digs you!  Actually, it only works if you have a blue and white stripped t-shirt on...
 Now, for a musical selection to go along with it...."Dig" by the metal band Mudvayne...of course!  If you are unfamiliar with Mudvayne, this is somewhat typical of their work but their lead singer has a much wider vocal range than this screaming aural assault and they do some complex arrangements in their songs.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Another 870 finds its way to the gun vault...

Some deals I just can't pass up...

A few days ago I posted on my Facebook page for the blog (you do use FaceBook, right?) that Vance's in Columbus had gotten the contract to replace and update all of the 1,400+ shotguns in use by the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP).  They now have the 1,400 Remington 870 police units that they received in turn in for sale for $299 a piece.  They are the 870 Police model with +3 mag tube extensions, low profile rifle sight and a side saddle shell carrier (6 round).  They are parkerized with some normal wear from the ones I looked at.  Like most police trade ins they will be worn more on the finish than in the actions or the barrels. All in all a pretty good deal.  They are not advertised...yet, I am sure as soon as they make a sales flyer people will be flocking in to get them.  Don't worry though, they have so many that this is how they are storing them on the floor...
Cart o' shotguns..

I couldn't resist and had to get one tonight.  My current 870 is currently in the hands of Matt at Coleburn Armory in Washington state getting some Cerakote applied, so now I have another "back up" gun to use.

I have not had a chance to get to take it down but it seems to be in very good shape and cycles well using my 12 gauge snap caps.  The finish is pretty darn good and the plastic furniture does not show that much wear and tear.  Speaking of the plastic furniture...just so you can remember where it came from, each gun has a OSHP emblem on the bottom of the grip.

As I said above all of them come with +3 magazine tube extensions and a 6 round shell carrier on the side of the receiver.  These items will cost you around $100 in the retail market and add to the value of the gun.

The shotguns also come with simple ramp style low profile sights for slug use.  I will have to check these out to see how well they work with some foster slugs this weekend.

Overall I was pretty happy to pick up a "Police" model for that price equipped as it is.  But then I had to ask, what was the difference between the police and the other models in the 870 lineup?  A quick check on Google brought up a thread on the Glock Talk forum with this piece of info from Remington...
Remington 870 Police vs. Express models

I read farther down the thread and found another opinion from J.D. McGuire who owns AI&P Tactical, a company that seems to specialize in custom Remington 870 builds.   His opinion is that there is not so much as mechanical differences in the different weapons but more marketing differences.  I do not think that he indicates that the police model is not a better overall build than the express or other models, just that the qualitative increases in material in the police model over the express does not equivocate to the extra money to buy one.  His thoughts on the subject are as follows...

There is only one 870 and they only differ by finish and furniture. Every time this topic comes up somone down loads this marketing mess from Remington. No 870 is built with the ISS safety any longer. Every 870 that comes with an tube extension has the same mag tube mounted in the receiver as the P but it is a matte finish not parkerized like the P. The only difference in your 870 Express HD and the P is the finish, furniture and about $30 in small parts. In fact, go to the 870 retail parts list on www.remington.com and you could build an 870P 4+1 with a synthetic stock for $46 less then you could build an Express 4+1 with the same stock Not that anyone would as they would cost to much). How, to start the 18.5" Parkerized police barrel with bead sight sells for $96 and the 18.5" matter finish Express barrel with bead sight cost $131. The bolts are identical but the Express has the $5 MIM extractor and the P has the $13 solid steel extractor yet both cost the exact same, $93.10. How the heck does that comput. The polymer trigger plate assembly for the Express is $80 and the metal P assembly is $86.90, why, because there are two different springs in the P. I have the polymer in all my 870. It is more durable, stays cleaner inside and if I ding or scratch it I don't have to worry about refinishing it like the metal ones that are painted. I know some other parts buy will keep that to my self. When you buy a new P you are getting a fantasic weapon but you are paying for a word engraved on the reciever and about $30 in parts. Think your P receiver is different? It is not. It is the same receiver as on the Express and Wingmaster. Go to the parts list and you will see the Police receiver cost $239.05, the Express receiver cost $239.05 and the Wingmaster receiver cost $239.05...why do those receivers all cost the same. Because they are the exact same receivers. If you own any 870 then your weapon is as good as the next guys no matter what is engraved on the receiver.
So basically, all 870's are the same minus finish and some internal parts.  Some stuff to think about there...

Still for the condition and amenities that I found on the 870 I took home, I consider the price to be fairly good for this type of firearm considering that a base police model new seems to be going for $600+ in the stores.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Its lunch time..

What're you havin'?

"wimpy" 5.56mm ballistics...

Found this tonight.  To everyone that says the 5.56 is a "wimpy" round but go on for hours about their .45 ACP's... please show me a test where a .45 makes a permanent cavity like that.

Remember, a handgun is always a secondary weapon to a rifle...for good reason...

Check out tntoutdoors9's other great vids too!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

David Hemler - USAF Deserter - Douchebag of the Momement

Take a look at this douche...

His name is David Hemler and 28 years ago he was a US Air Force electronic warfare team member in Ausburg, Germany....until he ran away.  This ass munch went AWOL and hitch hiked to Sweden...now 28 years later married with children and working for the Swedish government he "boldly" steps forward to reveal himself thinking he is safe from prosecution.  He even taunts on camera that he believes he will not be extradited to the States to stand courts martial.  Even if he does he expects to get some leniency I guess...
“I can’t go to military prison in Germany a long time and just leave my wife and parents and job and my friends,” he said. “My dream scenario is that the responsible authorities would realize that I have been already punished quite severely for my actions. I have been living 28 years in lies.
Boo-the-friggin'-Hoo.  Cry me a farking river, coward.  You messed up...you tried to get out on a CO status apparently and it didn't work.  If you had just stuck it out you could of been totally out a quarter century ago and been able to do whatever you wanted.  No, instead you ran to Sweden and now feel sorry?  Don't expect much sympathy from your former countrymen who have been fighting a war for a decade.  As for your family...I believe Sweden is a good 'ol fashioned socialist country...I am sure there are plenty of handouts for them to live off of.

Although not a member nation of NATO, Sweden's military does often work along side of NATO forces when it comes to joint objectives.  I am thinking that they knowingly have a AWOL member of one of the biggest members of NATO on their payroll as an employee might offer some encouragement to give him up.

And God save us if our government does go soft on him and set a precedence of allowing our military to just walk off the job if they don't agree on who in in the CinC chair at the time....

Nokia going bankrupt...IED's to be detonated with strings now..

Just a small joke...IED's are no laughing matter for our troops.

The Nokia company, once a world leader in cell phone sales, is reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy...or so say a myriad of financial sources on the web..

Nokia never really got a good share of the market here in the states, but their simple and durable lines of "candy bar" style cell phones are popular the world over.  Matter of fact, I even had one that I bought off of my predecessor when she left Camp AJ and I passed it on to my successor as well.   It was ideal for a "throw away" phone for deployment and the SIM card was easily replaceable and the phone carrier would accept most phone cards available.  The simple blue/black LCD screen was fine for a simple phone and it held up well to daily pocket carry and use in and out of uniform at Camp Arifjan.  It lacks most of the features found in modern smart phones but that was not what it was designed for.  Its main purpose was as a phone and in that regard it performs outstandingly.  Its not without some other features though.  It was my daily alarm clock as well as kept some reminders for me...and also woke me to unpleasant news that required my attention in the Casualty Ops shop on more than one occasion.
Classic Nokia 3310 similar to my
phone at Camp Arifjan
They were once known infamously as the phone of choice for insurgent bomb makers that would use them to remote detonate IED's in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are probably still in wide use, but I have been "out of the game" so long its hard to remain up on these things.  There is a famous picture of one of them taken from an IED that is a reminder that the bad guys are always watching and waiting..

From the Academy Awards winning movie The Hurt Locker (which mentioning to an EOD tech when referencing the war will usually result in you being punched in the balls) there is also this scene which should remind all civilians if you see a soldier in a big, bulky suit coming your way to get off of the damn cell phone!!

Oh, and BTW not everyone's opinion of the fate of Nokia is so glum...some analysts see a possible silver lining.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

A kinder, gentler Army...I guess...

Yesterday, against normal surfing SOP, I clicked on one of the sidebar adds on Facebook for some military themed t-shirts on a site called The Leaning Rest..before I go one, they got some funny stuff to buy on that site, not getting any compensation for saying that..just take a look...Posted this on FaceBook yesterday from their designs..

That's some funny stuff there.  I was informed by somebody I knew in High School who is now a Lieutenant Colonel at Fort Bragg that the new "correct" term for Psyops (Psychological Operations) was MISO..Military Intelligence to Support Operations.  Apparently the term "Psyops" had too much of a negative or offensive connotation to it.   WTF, excuse me and holy shit on a silver platter?!?!  What the hell is happening to my Army?  Ignore the fact that we have been at war in once place or another pretty much constantly since 2001 and that we are killing hundreds if not thousands of terrorists and other associated baddies around the world every year...we are worried about a PR problem by a term that's been around for years sounding too "offensive"?

I checked facts on line and found this page that basically confirms the good LTC's statement.....crap!

And lets just think about that new name "MISO" for a second....first, it conjures up this image in my head...

Yep, you got that right...and secondly around lunch time the image gravitates to the following...not that I would most likely ever turn down lunch at a sushi joint mind you....

Now, my somewhat aging, been retired 4.5 years military mind has got to wonder, where will they stop? I mean the Army has a long and glorious history of warfare associated with various terms for its combat units.  When will the misguided PR machine of the Pentagon get around to re-naming those?  Just so they can spend their time more productively on the current conflicts at hand let me throw a few ideas out to the folks with the marketing degrees making these decisions....

So basically we have...

Psyops = Military Intelligence Supporting Operations (MISO)

lets add the following changes....

Military Intelligence = Nerds
Electronic Warfare = Geek Squad 
Infantry = Enemy Combatant Liasons
Armor = Mobile Conflict Resolution Teams
Cavalry = Motorized Equestrian Personnel
Artillery = Projectile Dispersion Teams
Engineers = Terrain Management Specialists
Army Aviation = Fly guys/gals
Airborne = The Flying Circus (Parachutes panels to be multicolored)
Rangers = Conflict Affirmation Managers
Special Forces = Special Needs and Personnel Administration
Military Police = No Fun Folks
Chemical = Military Pharmaceutical Forces
Combat Medics = Boo-Boo doctors
Administration = Pogues-R-Us

Just a thougth....

Today's Army  (Authors Concept)...but hey they do have real rifles...

A readers question...LCP, LC9 or LCR?

This past weekend I got an email from Steve from Missouri concerning which of my Ruger carry pistols - the LCp, LC9 or LCR - I would recommend.  Steve is new to shooting and has a SR9 but wants something a bit smaller for carry.

His email:


I really enjoy reading your blog.  I typically look at it every few days.  I am very new to guns & gun ownership.  I moved my family away from Chicago and we now live in Southwest Missouri.  I have made friends with lots of troopers, policeman and men that have served our country.  I do not want my son to be as ignorant as I have been growing up.  I recently purchased my first gun and bought a Ruger SR9 (as well as became an NRA member).  For someone new to guns I really like some of the features on the SR9 and I like having 17 rounds.  However, this gun is a little too big for me to carry (just recently got my CCW) and have been looking at some smaller guns.  I live just a few towns away from the Crossbreed Holster so I might look at a mini tuck holster if I get a LCP or LR9.  I was at a gun shop a little while ago and the store owner, who is a friend of mine, told me that he carries the LCR and really likes it.  Somehow I missed your blog about the LCR until just a few minutes ago.  I appreciate the information.  Since you have all 3 of the guns that I have been looking at which one do you prefer to carry on a daily basis?

I am headed out now to shoot my SR9 with my son and a trooper friend.  I still need lots more experience & time with guns but you sure have helped me out lots.  I really do appreciate it.


My response:


Thanks for the kind words.  The blog is kind of like a free form of therapy for me and I am glad a few folks out there enjoy it as well.

As far as the choice among the 3 for carry between the LC* models...tough choice.  The LCP is a winner hands down on pure concealability, but the extra punch the 9mm or the .38+ provides is appealing as well.  The LC9 offers the most "firepower" and is thin and light enough to carry very easily.  The LCR is a classic snubby with modern materials and technology...the original "point and click" interface so to speak...practically unfailing in use..... Tough choice....right now I am carrying the LCR more or less just because its the newest gun in the rotation.  The LC9 is a close second.  The LCP is getting more use these days as the weather is hot and a pair of shorts and tshirts is all I am wearing when not at work.  Again, tough choice between the 3. 

Being I am not one of these "one gun for all conditions" type of guys I would say buy the LCP now and then decide on the other one later.  I am sure Missouri is hot in the Summer and you would use it more now.  Good .380 ammo is readily available these days (I am carrying Hornady Critical Defense) so do not feel "under gunned" in the summer...a shirt or light jacket is not going to offer much resistance to a bonded HP round in .380.

Keep in mind there are those that are not Ruger favoring individuals like me...something about the company and its products just grew on me the past few years.  Some people hate the history of the company (Bill Ruger infamously helped push the 10 round mag ban in 94) and some hate that its copied some of its designs from Kel-Tec.  I don't care, the only regret I have about owning any is I jumped out to buy the LC9 when it came out and ended up buying it for retail, or a bit above, they can be had now for around $350.    Any of the 3 I think you are getting a quality pistol at a good price thats made here in the USA...a good deal all the way around.

Also, the SR9 comes in a compact model as well, possibly check that out.

Glad to hear from you, feel free to check in to say hello anytime here or on the blog,

So, can anyone else maybe add a few words of wisdom on the subject?

Friday, June 15, 2012

My daughter's (almost) first rifle...

  I had the day off yesterday (Wednesday, the day after my birthday) and since she is out of school I was thinking of taking "M", my daughter, to the range with me.  I told her and Household-6 about my plan without any major objections other than the obligatory "be safe".  My girl is a fairly solid little 9 year old and is pretty strong for a young girl her age.  I was pretty sure that my 10/22 was crying out her name but after having her shoulder it  (cleared and with a chamber flag no less for you safety nazis) I discovered that the length of pull (LOP) on the stock was a few inches too long that made her hold it awkwardly and she could not employ her upper body strength effectively to support the fore end.   Kind of like this girl who EDNDO posted..

"PEW! PEW! PEW!"  

I am glad the young girl was excited to shoot, but this is just too big of a gun for a little girl like that.  The awkward stance, barrel bouncing and lack of trigger control just makes me cringe a bit.  I am glad her dad, like me, is trying to get her involved in the sport, but the do make some firearms aimed at the beginner kid..

So, after thinking it over I decided to get my daughter her first rifle.  A Crickett .22.  These rifles are sold at Wallyworld for about $100 and are not exactly "heirloom" guns.   The basic rifle is a short, .22 single shot bolt action rifle...normally available in the store in black or...as most girls would have it....pink.  The rifle has no manual safety but does require the weapon be cocked before shooting and does come with a key safety built in.  The one I handled with my daughter seemed well enough built, maybe a bit rough in the action, but this was not going to be a tactical shooter but something for her to get some initial trigger time on.   The rear sight is a bent piece of metal with a simple hole for a peep sight drilled into it attached to the receiver with a simple front blade sight.  Overall, worth what they were asking for it.

Here's a pretty decent vid of another young girl shooting this pink rifle....pretty good showing!  Notice how the rifle fits the young shooter better than the young girl in the first video above.

Of course for the same money I could of gotten her a Mosin-Nagant 91/30 and 100 rounds of 7.62x54r..but the thought of spending the afternoon in the hospital while her shoulder was put back into the socket just didn't seem like a good idea...

Anyway, went to purchase it from Wallyworld and found out that they have a terminal that you use to fill out an automated 4473 form!  Pretty cool!  After I was done my daughter and I stood there waiting for the clerk to come back and my daughter found some matching pink ear protection to go with the rifle...all was looking good.  Unfortunately, when the clerk return both he and I discovered that my drivers license had expired the day before on my birthday....DOH!!

Automated BATF Form 4473 terminal...nice.  You can see the pink Crickett in the case.

Bottom line, I had to go get a new license and by the time we got done doing that and running some other errands we did not have time to go to the range.  So the rifle still sits at Wallyworld waiting for our return.  Soon however, I hope to have pictures of my own little Annie Oakley putting her Daddy to shame at the range!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy 237th Birthday to the US Army!


Flag Day memory

Here's a pic from the early 90's of myself and the (then) Mayor of Napoleon, Ohio, Bob Heft.

Bob Heft (left) and me, circa 1991.  Yes, I rocked the BGC look before hipsters embraced it...

Like many other public officials, Mayor Heft took advantage of public affair programs designed to show government officials that their local national guard troops were indeed worth their confidence (in service and in appropriations) by providing visits to "the field" at Annual Training (AT) periods.  This picture was taken on one such even at Camp Grayling, Michigan when I was assigned to Co B 1-148th Infantry (Mech) which was at the time located in Napoleon.

Bob's claim to fame (other than being mayor of Napoleon where almost every can of Campbell's soup you've ever eaten was made) was that he is given primary credit for designing the 50 star flag which was adopted by presidential proclamation in 1959.  He designed it as part of a project for school in Lancaster, Ohio in 1958.  He originally got a B- on it, but I believe he got it changed to an A+ when it was adopted.  Yeah, adding a couple more stars to the field of 48 was not a major engineering feet...but glad some kid from Ohio did it instead of some unknown bureaucratic in D.C.

President Ike took a look at Bob's design and said "cool"...or that's
how I think it went down.
I didn't meet Bob more than a handful of times while I was the full time administrative NCO for Company B up in Napoleon (about 30 miles Southwest of Toledo).  The times I did meet him he did come across as a slightly larger-than-life character.  He certainly did not shy away from his accomplishment and indeed relished it and the limited fame it provided him as well as opportunities to do public speaking.  Even his business cards as mayor said "designer of the 50 star flag" or something to that affect if I remember right.

Bob was not a single trick pony though, in addition to being Mayor of Napoleon and a public speaker, Bob also taught at both the high school and college level for many years.

Bob passed away in 2009 due to complications from diabetes and heart disease.  He still has patents on flags with 51 through 60 stars, so maybe if Peurto Rico ever decides to finally get on board with the program and become a state...or maybe Canada perhaps Bob will still be remembered years from now as the designer for the 51 or even 52 star flag.

Now for some related hardware info...

As for that vehicle, thats a M901 Improved Tow Vehicle (ITV).  It provides infantry units with a potent anti-tank capability without having to inflate their heads and give them funny cowboy hats and call themselves cavalry.  TOW itself is an acronym for Tube Lauched, Optically Guided, Wire command data link.  Basically, the missile is fired from a tube by a small charge after which the main engine kicks in, the gunner guides the missile by tracking the target using an advanced optical sight and transmits flight corrections to the missile via a thin wire that trails out behind the missile while it heads downrange.   The TOW has been in used since the Vietnam War and has undergone various upgrades.  Despite the fact that its an older weapons system its still in wide use and can be carried (ugh) or mounted on various platforms to include helicoptoer, armored vehicles (like the M901 or the M2 Bradley) or light wheeled vehicles. Last time I was "in the know" we were using the TOW II missile which has a few different variations, one that is designed to defeat frontal and side armor and may or may not have a tandem warhead to defeat reactive armor; or its available with a tandem "top down" warhead designed to fire downward as the weapon passes over its target and strike the normally thinner top armor of a tank.

My main exposure to the system was in the National Guard as we had 11 Hotels (11H series personnel, aka "anti-armor infantryman") assigned to our units TO&E.  The M901 was eventual successor to the HMMWV vehicles they were originally one.  The M901 is a variant of the M113 APC and being such is a design older than myself.  Our crews constantly fought with the vehicles that we were given to work properly and hydraulic and other issues were common.  Still, in its intended role and under the right circumstances a 50 year old vehicle design with a 40 year old missile design is not to be laughed at....