Quotulatiousness

February 7, 2017

QotD: The “Ninjas” and the “Vikings”

Filed under: Humour, Quotations, USA — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 01:00

In the world of modern warriors the you have the “Ninjas” and the “Vikings”.

Ninjas like to have elegant and refined weapons. These are the guys (and gals) that like to shoot tricked and tuned AR-15’s and Glocks. They like manageable recoil from the 5.56 and 9mm cartridges. If a ninja shoots a bolt action rifle, you can bet it’s got a heavy barrel and a buttpad. Ninjas find hours of meticulous cleaning a meditative experience.

On the other hand you have Vikings. Warriors so burly that they choose weapons with little ergonomic flair, instead of adapting the weapon to them they adapt themselves to the weapon. They shoot AK’s and 1911’s. They like weapons that go BANG every time and pack a whallup at both ends. If a Viking shoots a bolt action rifle it’ll be a Mauser or Mosin, a full power battle rifle with a steel buttplate. Vikings don’t obsess about cleaning, they do it and get it done.

Now there are people who have traits of both Ninjas and Vikings. People who have the worst habits of both mistreat AR’s by never cleaning them and shooting crap ammo. People who have the best of both spend hours actually cleaning an AK, taking great care to know their weapons inside and out.

Now there is no point in arguing who is deadlier, Ninjas or Vikings. A warrior is a warrior. Sometimes the Ninja will win, sometimes the Viking will win.

So if deep in your soul there is a warrior with wild hair swinging an effective if crude axe, you are a Viking. If deep in your soul is sneaky little bastard who dresses in “tactical” black, you are a Ninja. If you dress in black, have wild hair, but deep down in your soul is a kid playing XBox, you might be a Mall Ninja.

AM, “The AK/AR difference”, American Mercenary, 2008-07-09.

February 4, 2017

Chris Kluwe apparently believes that when the revolution comes, citizens can simply seize “captured armories or gun shops”

Filed under: Football, Politics, USA — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 10:33

Since leaving the Vikings, former NFL punter Chris Kluwe has apparently developed quite the streak of paranoia about Il Donalduce and is advising fellow progressives to plan for the revolution:

In meltdown mode over the Trump administration, former NFL player Chris Kluwe is conjuring up ways to mount an armed resistance against the government—based on his knowledge of video games.

Known more for his loud opinions than for his athletic prowess, Kluwe is infamous for writing long, profanity-filled rants about gamers and their unwillingness to accept feminism into their hearts.

Since leaving the Minnesota Vikings, where he was a punter, Kluwe has established himself as a writer, penning a science fiction novel and an autobiography. He contributed posts to Deadspin and launched a crowdfund for a card game he designed.

During the election, Kluwe was outspoken in his opposition to Trump, posting innumerable tweets about it. Several of his slams went viral.

[…]

“They do not care about you. They do not care about me. They do not care about anything other than themselves,” he wrote of the government. “History is replete with examples of what happens when people like [Trump] hold the levers of a nation/state/city/village.”

After insisting that a civil war is inevitable, Kluwe offers some survival tips.

He suggests learning how to use a common service firearm, but adds that it won’t bet necessary to own a gun because when the revolution comes, citizens can simply seize “captured armories or gun shops.” Kluwe also offers useless advice on how to survive a combat situation.

On Facebook, John Ringo offers some helpful suggestions:

(Not sure who ‘Coop’ is. Took this from Chuck Bogardus’ page.)

From Coop:
Attention idiots, former linebackers, antifa(g)s, Sarah Silverman, Judd Apatow, and any other completely retarded “revolutionaries”:
1. The military is not on your side
2. You can’t “loot” a gun store or Military/National Guard armory. They’re kind of designed to be hard to loot, especially if you don’t have a couple of guns prior to attempting such.
3. The Trump supporters have most of the guns already. Better guns than the cops.
4. The Libertarian-leaning non-Trump supporters who own the rest of the guns are leaning closer and closer to Trump with every tantrum you throw and media hit job you make.
5. Your mother’s a whore
6. You have no combat experience.
7. The celebrities who are calling to arms these violent, insurgent actions have absolutely no skin in the game. They risk no arrest, they aren’t there being violent with you, they don’t even leave their gated communities, and when they do, they have an armed security detail. But they’re not going to pay your bail when you get arrested. They’re not going to pay your medical bills when someone reacts to you with superior force in self defense. You are their useful idiots.
8. You are either effeminately weak or cripplingly fat. Your enemies are in much better shape than you.

QotD: The US Army’s new pistol

Filed under: Humour, Military, Quotations, USA — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 01:00

It has set off the usual round of pontificating and second-guessing on forums and in blog posts as everybody asserts reasons why their own particular snowflake gun should have been picked. Expect flurries of comments about bore axis and “But plastic!” and grip angle from people who don’t shoot, except for the no doubt thousands of flawless rounds their Taurus or whatever has fired. (I’ll wager the couple of boxes they tell you it’s fired when they’re trying to sell it are a lot closer to the true round count than the thousands they claim when arguing on the internet. Logbook or GTFO, Sparky.)

Yeah, I carry a Glock. I’ve carried an M&P, and I’ll probably switch to a P320 in the next couple years when I get bored of working with Glocks. They’re pretty much interchangeable and, unlike a lot of other pistols I’ve sampled over the years, have all been largely trouble-free.

Personally, I think the MHS contest could have been as satisfactorily resolved by throwing a P320, an M&P, and a Glock 17 into a sack, spinning it around a few times, and reaching in and pulling one out. They all work fine, and if there’s a less crucial weapon in modern warfare than the pistol, it probably attaches to bayonet lugs.

Tamara Keel, “So…”, View from the porch, 2017-01-25.

January 24, 2017

Sharpshooters and Snipers in World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Published on 23 Jan 2017

Snipers in World War I on the Western Front were used for psychological warfare in quieter times and during offensive to destroy key enemy positions like machine gun emplacements. While the French and the German Army started with rules and regulations for these troops, the British Army quickly had to adapt.

September 18, 2016

QotD: Basic rules of firearm safety

Filed under: Quotations — Tags: — Nicholas @ 01:00

1. Treat all guns as though they are loaded.

2. Never point the muzzle at anything you don’t intend to destroy.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you’re prepared to fire.

4. Always confirm your target, as well as what’s in front, behind, and around it.

September 17, 2016

QotD: Historical clangers in The Last Samurai

Filed under: Japan, Media, Quotations — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

… the movie is seriously anti-historical in one respect; we are supposed to believe that traditionalist Samurai would disdain the use of firearms. In fact, traditional samurai loved firearms and found them a natural extension of their traditional role as horse archers. Samurai invented rolling volley fire three decades before Gustavus Adolphus, and improved the musket designs they imported from the Portuguese so effectively that for most of the 1600s they were actually making better guns than European armorers could produce.

But, of course, today’s Hollywood left thinks firearms are intrinsically eeeevil (especially firearms in the hands of anyone other than police and soldiers) so the virtuous rebel samurai had to eschew them. Besides being politically correct, this choice thickened the atmosphere of romantic doom around our heroes.

Another minor clanger in the depiction of samurai fighting: We are given scenes of samurai training to fight empty-hand and unarmored using modern martial-arts moves. In fact, in 1877 it is about a generation too early for this. Unarmed combat did not become a separate discipline with its own forms and schools until the very end of the nineteenth century. And when it did, it was based not on samurai disciplines but on peasant fighting methods from Okinawa and elsewhere that were used against samurai (this is why most exotic martial-arts weapons are actually agricultural tools).

In 1877, most samurai still would have thought unarmed-combat training a distraction from learning how to use the swords, muskets and bows that were their primary weapons systems. Only after the swords they preferred for close combat were finally banned did this attitude really change. But, hey, most moviegoers are unaware of these subtleties, so there had to be some chop-socky in the script to meet their expectations.

One other rewriting of martial history: we see samurai ceremoniously stabbing fallen opponents to death with a two-hand sword-thrust. In fact, this is not how it was done; real samurai delivered the coup de grace by decapitating their opponents, and then taking the head as a trophy.

No joke. Head-taking was such an important practice that there was a special term in Japanese for the art of properly dressing the hair on a severed head so that the little paper tag showing the deceased’s name and rank would be displayed to best advantage.

While the filmmakers were willing to show samurai killing the wounded, in other important respects they softened and Westernized the behavior of these people somewhat. Algren learned, correctly, that ‘samurai’ derives from a verb meaning “to serve”, but we are misled when the rebel leader speaks of “protecting the people”. In fact, noblesse oblige was not part of the Japanese worldview; samurai served not ‘the people’ but a particular daimyo, and the daimyo served the Emperor in theory and nobody but themselves in normal practice.

Eric S. Raymond, “The Last Samurai”, Armed and Dangerous, 2003-12-15.

September 5, 2016

QotD: Critical gun safety tips for when the police arrive at the crime scene

Filed under: Law, Quotations, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

There were other stories, and commercial breaks, and about thirty minutes later came an update to the shot burglar story: The newscaster now said that it was apparent that the police had shot the homewowner and more details would be forthcoming.

I said to Bobbi: “Dude thinks there’s a robber with a gun outside his house, calls the cops, goes outside with a gun his ownself. Then cops show up, the light on the homeowner’s ‘I’m A Good Guy’ IFF beacon is burnt out, the cops yell ‘Drop the gun, Buddy!’, he thinks ‘Surely they don’t mean me!’, turns toward them, and gets hisself popped.”

Looking at the TV station’s freshly-updated webpage, it looks like that’s more or less what happened […]

Lessons:

  1. Once the cops have been called, you don’t need to be running around outside with a gun in your hand. The chances for a blue-on-blue shooting skyrocket in incidences like that. Plainclothes officers get shot all the damn time in similar circumstances. It’s easy to tell who the responding officers are because they show up in a car with blinking lights and they’re all dressed the same. You want to not be on the playing field wearing the other team’s uniform when they show up.
  2. If you are on the playing field when they show up and you hear “Drop the gun!” then you need to drop the gun. Seriously. Like it just turned white-hot. (This is a good reason to carry drop-safe pistols, BTW. I realize that carrying that 1904 Ruritanian army surplus Schnellblitzenselbstlader in 8.3mm semi-rimmed is really cool, but aren’t you going to feel funny getting shot twice when you drop it: Once in the junk by your own gun when it hits the ground ass-end first, and again in the gut by the responding officer because he’s startled by the gunshot?)

Tamara Keel, “Breaking News…”, View From The Porch, 2016-08-23.

September 3, 2016

Advice for people who regularly carry guns

Filed under: Humour, USA — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

Tamara Keel says that if you carry a gun, you should get into the habit of carrying it all the time:

[…] It’s a safety thing, too. If you just put the gun on in the morning and leave it there all day, it eliminates a lot of unnecessary administrative gun-handling, and as anybody who’s ever looked around the walls of the sally ports, locker rooms, and restrooms of the local cop shop can tell you, unnecessary administrative gun handling is when most of the unnecessary loud noises happen.

August 22, 2016

QotD: Terry Pratchett and the hacker mentality

Filed under: Books, Quotations, Technology — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

I learned something this weekend about the high cost of the subtle delusion that creative technical problem-solving is the preserve of a priesthood of experts, using powers and perceptions beyond the ken of ordinary human beings.

Terry Pratchett is the author of the Discworld series of satirical fantasies. He is — and I don’t say this lightly, or without having given the matter thought and study — quite probably the most consistently excellent writer of intelligent humor in the last century in English. One has to go back as far as P.G. Wodehouse or Mark Twain to find an obvious equal in consistent quality, volume, and sly wisdom.

I’ve been a fan of Terry’s since before his first Discworld novel; I’m one of the few people who remembers Strata, his 1981 first experiment with the disc-world concept. The man has been something like a long-term acquaintance of mine for ten years — one of those people you’d like to call a friend, and who you think would like to call you a friend, if the two of you ever arranged enough concentrated hang time to get that close. But we’re both damn busy people, and live five thousand miles apart.

This weekend, Terry and I were both guests of honor at a hybrid SF convention and Linux conference called Penguicon held in Warren, Michigan. We finally got our hang time. Among other things, I taught Terry how to shoot pistols. He loves shooter games, but as a British resident his opportunities to play with real firearms are strictly limited. (I can report that Terry handled my .45 semi with remarkable competence and steadiness for a first-timer. I can also report that this surprised me not at all.)

During Terry’s Guest-of-Honor speech, he revealed his past as (he thought) a failed hacker. It turns out that back in the 1970s Terry used to wire up elaborate computerized gadgets from Timex Sinclair computers. One of his projects used a primitive memory chip that had light-sensitive gates to build a sort of perceptron that could actually see the difference between a circle and a cross. His magnum opus was a weather station that would log readings of temperature and barometric pressure overnight and deliver weather reports through a voice synthesizer.

But the most astonishing part of the speech was the followup in which Terry told us that despite his keen interest and elaborate homebrewing, he didn’t become a programmer or a hardware tech because he thought techies had to know mathematics, which he thought he had no talent for. He then revealed that he thought of his projects as a sort of bad imitation of programming, because his hardware and software designs were total lash-ups and he never really knew what he was doing.

I couldn’t stand it. “And you think it was any different for us?” I called out. The audience laughed and Terry passed off the remark with a quip. But I was just boggled. Because I know that almost all really bright techies start out that way, as compulsive tinkerers who blundered around learning by experience before they acquired systematic knowledge. “Oh ye gods and little fishes”, I thought to myself, “Terry is a hacker!”

Yes, I thought ‘is’ — even if Terry hasn’t actually tinkered any computer software or hardware in a quarter-century. Being a hacker is expressed through skills and projects, but it’s really a kind of attitude or mental stance that, once acquired, is never really lost. It’s a kind of intense, omnivorous playfulness that tends to color everything a person does.

So it burst upon me that Terry Pratchett has the hacker nature. Which, actually, explains something that has mildly puzzled me for years. Terry has a huge following in the hacker community — knowing his books is something close to basic cultural literacy for Internet geeks. One is actually hard-put to think of any other writer for whom this is as true. The question this has always raised for me is: why Terry, rather than some hard-SF writer whose work explicitly celebrates the technologies we play with?

Eric S. Raymond, “The Delusion of Expertise”, Armed and Dangerous, 2003-05-05.

April 4, 2016

Inventions That Changed the World – The Gun

Filed under: History, Military, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

February 8, 2016

Small Arms of WWI Primer 014: Canadian Ross Rifle Mark III

Filed under: Cancon, History, Military, Politics — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 8 Dec 2015

Othais and Mae delve into the story of this WWI classic. Complete with history, function, and live fire demonstration.

C&Rsenal presents its WWI Primer series; covering the firearms of this historic conflict one at a time in honor of the centennial anniversary. Join us every other Tuesday!

Ross Rifle MkIII
Cartridge: .303
Capacity: 5 rnds
Length: 50.6″
weight: 9.9 lbs

This disastrous straight pull rifle remains an infamous part of WWI. It brought down politicians, cost soldiers’ lives, and was generally a complete failure on the battlefield. But was the Ross Rifle really unfixable? Or did the Canadians drop the gun just when they had it finally working?

Additional reading:

The Ross Rifle Story
Roger F. Phillips
http://astore.amazon.com/candrprimer-20

January 14, 2016

Conspicuous consumption, firearms division

Filed under: Technology, USA — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Cabot Guns is planning to forge a matching pair of 1911 pistols from a fragment of a meteorite:

meteroite-gun-header

It may have plummeted to Earth over prehistoric Namibia, but the Gibeon meteorite has had quite a bit of interaction with modern humans. In the years since it was found in 1836, fragments of the giant space rock have been formed into just about everything: from jewelry, to knives, to works of art. Now, a luxury firearms company in Pennsylvania plans to build a mirror-image pair of pistols from a 35-kilogram (77-lb) piece.

Tentatively called the “Big Bang Pistol Set,” the builds will be a first for Cabot Guns, a company that specializes in 1911-style firearms. “We wanted to raise the bar again,” says founder and President Rob Bianchin. “The pistol set will be a modern work of functional art.” Cabot rolled out pistol grips constructed from meteorite several years ago (pictured below), but the new set will be formed completely from the interstellar metal – something that has (according to the team) never been done before.

We estimate that the original, uncut fragment, which Cabot acquired from a private meteorite collector, would fetch around $110,294 at auction. Once completed, the company hopes to get anywhere from $500,000-$1,000,000 for the pair of pistols. “Meteorite is hardly an optimum material for firearms, so numerous technical matters have been overcome to construct the pistols using advanced aerospace techniques to make the pistols fully functional,” explains Bianchin. “The construction of each component has been a science experiment but we are confident they will be fully completed.”

H/T to ESR for the link.

December 30, 2015

German Pistols of World War 1 feat. Othais from C&Rsenal I THE GREAT WAR Special

Filed under: Europe, History, Military, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Published on 28 Dec 2015

In the second part of our German weapons special, Othais introduces us to pistols. Among them are oddities like the Reichsrevolver but also iconic pieces of German engineering like the Luger including the rare Trommelmagazin.

November 4, 2015

The XM-25 “Punisher” isn’t dead yet

Filed under: Military, Technology, USA — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Five years back, there were interesting reports about a prototype weapon that seemed to have an inside edge for getting into the hands of front-line troops in Afghanistan for specific bunker-busting and similar missions. Then it went silent. Recently, Strategy Page says it may be back in the running:

Two years after having its budget sharply cut in 2013 the U.S. Army XM25 grenade launcher is back on track and is now expected to enter service by 2017. It’s been a long road from concept to acceptance and mass production. The army began working on this type of weapon back in the 1990s as the OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) and that mutated into the XM25 (the “X” in XM25 designates a system that is still in development). Since then the similar South Korean K11 and Chinese ZH05 have appeared. The XM25 is the only one of three to have been tested extensively in combat but because of a misfire during a demonstration, budget cuts and some troops finding there were not really that many situations calling for the XM25, the system was thought to be cancelled (development funding was eliminated) in 2013. But the army managed to keep the project on life support. That was mainly because a lot of troops who got to use it in combat liked it a lot and even gave it a nickname; “punisher.”

The initial spectacular success and popularity of the XM25 grenade launchers in Afghanistan led the army to request that the weapon enter regular service as the M25 in 2014. But Congress, looking for ways to reduce military spending in 2013 cut all money for the M25. The army never gave up and managed to scrounge enough cash to build 1,100 of them. Currently the XM25 cost $35,000 each with the 25mm ammo going for $55 per round. Initially SOCOM (Special Operations Command) had some XM25s and some enthusiastic users but in 2013, with few American troops in combat there is not a lot of demand for a weapon like this. The resumption of counter-terrorism efforts in the Middle East and Afghanistan changed that led to more support for reviving the project.

When the first evaluation models of the XM25 arrived in Afghanistan in 2011 the weapon soon became much sought after by infantry troops. There were never more than a few dozen XM25s in Afghanistan and limited supplies of ammunition. Despite that the weapon quickly developed a formidable reputation. The Special Forces had priority on the weapon because it is very useful for special operations missions. The army planned to buy enough so that they could issue one per infantry squad. There are 27 squads in an infantry battalion.

October 19, 2015

Dildos versus guns – Sarah Hoyt on a modern version of magical thinking

Filed under: Politics, Randomness, USA — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

In case the title isn’t clear enough, there’s a protest started recently at the University of Texas in Austin where students upset at a recent court ruling allowing concealed weapons to be carried on campus came up with what they thought was a perfect counterpoint: they’d open carry dildos instead. Sarah Hoyt comments:

… I have no idea what Ms. Jin majored in, but I can sort of follow the tracks of her thought. Logically, carrying sex toys to campus to protest guns makes absolutely NO sense. I could see carrying signs, or … I don’t know, police whistles, if you’re convinced you’re completely safe if you can just call the police. I can even see, in a more sane way, wearing a protective vest and claiming this is better than guns for defense. I mean, at least they are in the same general kind of thing and sort of kind of address the problem in different ways.

BUT no. Because this is not reasoning. This is magical thinking. WORSE. This is magical thinking based on a world that doesn’t exist, a world that was sold to Ms. Jin (literally. College is expensive) by academics so divorced from reality that they can’t find it with two hands, a cane and a seeing eye dog.

In this world, you see, conservatives love guns and hate sex. This is all “explained” with pseudo Freudian patter about how guns are a substitute for the penis. This is total nonsense and old nonsense at that, stuff we LAUGHED at for being pseudo profound way back in the seventies.

But they absolutely believe that we defend the second amendment not because we want to be responsible for our own self-defense, not because we believe power derives from the individual and that therefore an individual must be capable of reining in the government when it gets out of control. No. They think we want guns because that’s the way we express our sexual repression. (Actually now I think about it, my gun obsessed friends are also the most sex-positive, so their idea not only is wrong, it’s bizarrely wrong.)

Since Ms. Jin has never considered that these stories she was sold are in fact stories with no relation to reality, her reasoning went something like “They’re carrying guns and that upsets me. I must carry something that upsets them. Ahah! Dildos.”

In an even mildly sane world, the press would have made her a laughing stock, because that reasoning makes no sense whatsoever.

But the press buys into the same imaginary world in which somehow the belief in guns for defense is a Freudian thing and so the “gun” value can be countered with the “dildo” value.

This is not grown up thinking. It’s magical thinking, in which complex issues get reduced to amulets and symbols, countered by other amulets and symbols.

Again, this is sort of the human default. And believing absurd things about those you believe to be the enemy is also completely normal. The left calls it “othering” and is completely oblivious to the fact that they do it. A lot.

But it’s still human-normal.

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