Sunday, July 27, 2014

Today and Random Thoughts Theiron

I like:
-Waking up fairly early feeling refreshed on the weekend
-Iced coffee
-The Savage Accutrigger
-Shooters. The Rangemaster and a buddy were playing clay pigeons on the berm at 100m with a pair of very nice .22 rifles.  Rangemaster's .22  had a can and a green lens flashlight mounted above the scope. Dude totally killissomething or another at night. As he worked at different types of ammo he asked to look at the box of .22lr I was shooting out of to look at the velocity or something. I said of course he was welcome to take a look. He then asked if he could have a few rounds to see how it shot in his gun.

[The last time I was at this range a 15ish year old teenager (from overhearing a conversation with his mom who dropped him off there) was shooting some sort of a Marlin .22 like the bullets were made of gold. Given availability these days and that he was too young to have likely stocked up in the old days to him those little suckers were very precious. Either they cost a bunch of money or he spent a ton of time and effort looking for them.

It made me sad for the kid. When I was that age .22lr cost nothing. Centerfire ammo cost money so on quarterly family range trips we usually went out with just a box or two of .38 special but there was always a brick of .22 present we could shoot it with reckless abandon till we got bored and wanted to go home. I was not shooting .22 that day so I didn't bring any but really wished I'd had some .22 ammo some with me. I would give him a handful and told him to have some fun. It'd cost me $3-5 in ammo to make that kids day.

Thankfully by a combination of prudence to have a decent stock beforehand and a few finds after firearmagedon I can afford to be a bit charitable. Anyway today I tossed an extra inflation adjusted 300ish round brick into my range bag before going out. Had I seen that kid or a Dad an Son short on ammo I would have given them some ammo.]

I said sure and told him to take a handful, genuinely meaning it. He took 5 rounds.

Later on we got to talking. As we discussed my effort to zero the .308 I confessed forgetting to look up the drop table for my round before going to the range. He came back in a minute with a smart phone and a convenient app to look it up for me. He also gave me some excellent pointers, albeit with occasional tangents and rants, about marksmenship. Anyway he was an interesting fellow. Anybody who comes to the range with a silenced SIG 1911 and a tricked out Savage .22 with a silencer and a light above the scope is worth having a few conversations with.

While that particular shooting situation was frustrating I had a nice talk with a good guy. Suppose there are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

-Jim Rawles's new book Liberators

-The news that DC's exclusively 'only one' carry policy was over struck. Unsure of what it means exactly yet but it seems good for team freedom and could have big implications.
-My gun belt and holster. This setup is working which makes me happy. More on this another day.
-Cold beer after a hot range trip
-That my family is coming home soon
-The part of my garden that is doing well. Should have some peppers and tomatoes around the end of summer.
-That tomorrow I will be near a Whattaburger around lunch time. Going to get the BBQ chicken sandwich. They are so good.
-That Pandora seems to have really figured out my old Country and Southern Rock station.

I dislike:
-Humidity
-That my years of training and shooting based around hitting a man sized target, albeit in different positions,  at various ranges, under various conditions and sometimes stress is not translating particularly well to making nice small groups in a precision sort of way.
-The moment when I realized either A) That an old scope I stored, pretty carefully though it surely got a few bumps, which in no small part made a current project affordable is not taking adjustments and/ or holding a zero or B) In the words of Tam I was 'holding it wrong".

Why I shoot much more accurately with an AR slinging respectable but nothing special   62 grain PMC M855 than a bolt action .308 caliber rifle that is theoretically capable of much more accuracy slinging Remington  Premier Match 168 grain Sierra Match Kings I am not sure. I am well under 2 MOA with the AR at 100 and today was over 3MOA with the bolt gun. Part of it is certainly that I shoot the AR platform a fair bit and am far more comfortable with it. The other part I am not certain about and it is leaving me more than a little frustrated. Really hate leaving the range without all my goals complete and frustrated.

Am going to take it out again in a couple weeks at my next opportunity. Pretty sure today that it was a combination of a long hot day at the range and over thinking the whole thing.

-The part of my garden that is not doing well
-Folding laundry mountain

So that has been my day. Thoughts?

Quote of the Day

"One of the best ways to deal with violence is to stay away from it. If you live in a bad neighborhood, leave."
-Vuurwappenblog

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Gun Confiscation Eekk Add!!

I just cannot see it working. Paul Howe whose combination of intimate understanding of small unit warfare and operational planning plus genuine tier 1 JSOC Jedi status is not parralleled by many says it is impossible.

Personally I think about the places I have lived and the people I have known. Also I think of my famiy.

I think of my great grandfather who said "you need a thousand dollars and a thousand shells (bullets)". In his time a grand was worth 10k in today's dollars. He planned to defend Highway 101 from the Russians with his 30-30, Browning A5 12 Gauge and .22 rifle, plus probably some dynamite he pinched from the quary. 

My Grandfather (RIP) who spent a career teaching children and was a pillar of his community. His home had a rifle (6.5 JAP sportster), a shotgun, a .22 rifle, a beautiful Colt .22 pistol, a .357 mag and a snubby .38. 

I think people simply fail to realize how well armed Americans are and how many of those guns are untraceable without serious 'eye of mordor' effort.

Looking at my local area roughly 3/4 neighbors have duck hunting paraphernalia in their yards. Various lifestyle stickers like the Browning buck are not uncommon. One of my immediate neighbors is all primed to go Gran Torino on somebody. He openly mentioned that "We have a nice neighborhood here. If people want to cause trouble we have lots of old people with plenty of guns and nothing to lose. "

The amount of guns floating around America combined with the fact that most states allow citizens to freely sell their property means a virtually untraceable web of purchases. All the agents in every agency in the US Government could not possibly go to every FFL, copy their records, follow up with every purchase and chase down every gun that was subsequently sold or traded.

The only way gun confiscation would work is a true door to door searching effort. That would mean tossing out 2 amendments in the Bill of Rights.

I simply cannot see it working in all but the most liberal areas like parts of California and New England. I know too many good old boys who would find a nice spot a quarter mile from the police station and lay up with a rifle to have any disillusion about the life expectancy of cops who tried to take peoples guns.

All that being said I fail to see a downside, except the ability to get a specific make/ model/ edition of a gun [Odd you will find a limited edition FDE Sig P226 are nil], of purchasing private party firearms with cash. If you are informed and have cash available you can occasionally get good deals and everything is functionally untraceable. Something to think about.

So in conclusion while I am vigilant about the encroachment of future gun laws an all out confiscation does not worry me much.

Thoughts?
.

Go To The New Place

http://www.totalsurvivalist.com/

In life you have to leave the nest eventually and in honestly the blog has been been the relatively together guy with an OK job who still lives at home for a little too long. So today was move out day.

Please update links on your site(s), favorites preferences, etc all to reflect the new location. The blog will stay up and visible at the current location for a transitional period of maybe a month or so but please go to the new place.

I hope the transition is smooth but minor bumps in the road are almost inevitable. If you have any issues please let me know.

Happy top level URL day!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ammo Delivery Day!!!

Today a couple boxes showed up at my door. The first was 200 rounds of Remington Premier Gold Match 168 Grain plus a bit of overage to zero a scope and the second was a case of 7.62x39 Wolf.

The Wolf was sort of an impulse purchase based on the ban on some Russian AK's. It honestly shorted the prep fund which means some other projects will slide to the right but I'm not sad to have my ammo situation a bit better off. In 2 months things will be moving fine and I'll still have the ammo.

It might seem like I've gone into overdrive on ammo lately. In part I am making up for a tendency to not get something squared away before buying the next cool new gun over the years. Also my biggest take away from Firearamagedon was the need to have some ammo for training, test fires, zeroing new optics, etc that is separate from my operational stash. Obviously this meant buying ammo.

Furthermore I have tentatively penciled in some sort of a gun related hysteria for the general period of the 2016 election cycle. It makes sense to purchase a bit more ammo now then go harder into food or the titan ready water barrel system I really want a bit later.

Remember smart people buy when the prices are low then hold or sell when they go up. Suckers miss the low points and only buy when prices are way up.

Have you been taking advantage of the good prices on weapons, mags and (excluding .22lr) ammo?

My Day In Memes




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

RE: Camping After The Collapse

Max Velocity is off training great Americans to be more capable small unit fighters. In his absence Max did a repost of an entry that I either missed or have forgotten about  Re-Post: ‘Camping’ After the SHTF. I found it an interesting topic and it grabbed my attention. My thoughts in no particular order are:

-SHTF can mean a lot of different things. Maybe the mythical grid down collapse or class/ religious/ racial trouble or some sort of an economic collapse or whatever. The point I am driving at is twofold. First there are many types of SHTF. There are folks today who, part due to life choices and plenty due to luck (to be born smart and healthy or to have issues to land in a good family or not, also just the craps shoot of life) are homeless and living in isolated camp grounds or national forests. S has definitely hit F for them. What I am getting at is that S might hit F for Tom but not for Sam. It could be economic or social or racial or religious. People have hurt each other a whole lot of different ways in history.

Second obviously the circumstances of a particular SHTF scenario will dictate a lot of your tactics. While it is unlikely due to our economical situation, having a bit of savings and some good family relationships to fall back on let us say for whatever reason tomorrow my family was back in the general pacific northwest homeless living out of an RV or a truck and a trailer on national forest land moving a mile every 14 days (or whatever the current requirement is). I would make sure someone was around to look after our belongings but we would not need to worry about noise and light discipline at night, etc. The circumstances would not dictate it.

-As to locations. There is something of a balancing act that needs to be done here. Max hit accurately on the benefits of avoiding places you do not want to be near. On the other side of that coin you must consider places YOU NEED TO BE ABE TO ACCESS. Obviously water and the ability to gro/ harvest food come to mind. In anything but a complete collapse we might also consider the ability to work/ look for work and get supplies from town.

Coming back to the scenario where my family is living out in the woods on forest service land. One of the adults, probably me, is going to either be working or trying their best to work. Given that we are living out in the national forest I'm not making much money (or we wouldn't be there for very long if at all) so transportation costs must be considered. Maybe things are even worse and I am riding a bike or even walking. Obviously if I am walking to a job, or to look for a job, it would be somewhere near people Hoofing it more than a handful of miles to work, probably given our circumstances at a low end very physical job, is not very realistic.

-Security. Max pretty much hit on it.

-Bugging out or otherwise being ready to move. All the way back from the boy scouts I have kept my bag(s) pretty much packed. Obviously the Army greatly enhanced that. The general trend to be generally packed and ready to move quickly is valid.

- Moving. Circumstances vary widely here. In a more tactical scenario (admittedly not the topic of this post) I would not spend more than a day in the same place often and would have to require some serious recovery to to stay somewhere for more than 2 days. On the other hand if we were unable to afford better options or our better options were no longer available due to social/ ethnic/ cultural issues and the place we were at was safe I would not be in a big hurry to move all the time.

-Max hit on many valid points but either I did not read well of I missed a couple things.

-The first is rally points.

 [Rally points work like this..Basically as you go along the leader designates rally points at which your group might gather if something bad happens.  Everything goes to S*&T and the leader yells out the name of a rally point then you all fight through and go there. In the context of a fixed site if we were in an untenable situation the leader would call the name of a rally point and we would gather there.

I suppose it is worth discussing what makes a good rally point. Here you need a geographic or terrain feature that is readily identifiable but not so much that it is too obvious. If something goes to hell at 2am you can't expect folks to run 600 meters at 35 degrees due north. You need a terrain feature that is outside of sight and sound range from the campsite/ patrol base. Example the big ole oak stump on decent terrain in the middle of the woods would be a fine rally point while the same stump in the middle of 5 square miles of open prairie would be a problem.]

As a general rule it is a good idea to have rally points intermittently when on the move. In a conventional sense you want them far enough apart to make it a hassle for the guy spotting for IDF to have a hard day. In an unconventional situation I would at least look to have points outside of machine gun range with a terrain feature in between.

For Patrol Bases and  I suppose a more long term camp sight the general rule is to have 2 rally points at generally opposite cardinal directions. The theory is if you get attacked from one side you run to the other. Of course terrain dictates so maybe it is north and south or east and west, whatever. The man who taught me went ran with Tyson and Budweiser which I suppose dates him. Black and Gold or Red and Blue are fine too.

Thee second big thing I personally feel this article missed is caches. If this was my life situation 50 tp 75 percent of my stuff would be burred over 8000m from my location.

So those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?

Monday, July 21, 2014

RE: Military Vehicles on Roads.

Got a comment to yesterdays post that seemed worth addressing here. My replies are in italics


 Yogi Berra was famous for his highly intellectual quotes, one of which was "You can see a lot just by looking around."I'm all for looking around. Anonymous is right on

How many convoy serials have you bloggers commanded?

I am in Officer in the US Army. Enough to know what I am talking about. 

DOD Regulations require convoy serials to be marked clearly with signs "Convoy ahead" and other safety related equipment to conform to State and Federal Transportation regulations. (not just wide load banners with no escort.)

Every time I have done a convoy we have the stupid Convoy signs.  As to other safety gear we have all sorts of stuff but  I am not sure what you are talking about or how it relates to the conversation we are having.

Military Vehicles in CONUS must have their unit stenciled on the front and rear bumpers for easy ID with convoy serials written in chalk that is why they are referred to as chalks when they are assembled for deployment. Mainly so the MPs can write them a ticket for speeding.

Typically I have seen unit info spray painted with stencils on vehicles but 1) the exact locations vary and 2) While customary I would be interested in seeing the exact, current, regulation that specifically says that is required. 


The video was poor quality but it is clear to this old guardsman that it was not a Guard unit heading for AT or crew eval and qual.

Don't know where you are going here at all. 


It appears to be an RA road trip but it isn't headed for the border with Mexico.

What?Don't know where this is going man.


The key question is are the really knowledgeable people always vigilant?

 This is an interesting point. If you saw a bunch of vehicles loaded up with ammo boxes and live rounds fed into their crew served weapons in blocking positions on dominant terrain at key intersections one could justifiably go to condition red. On the other hand some guys driving by from here to there is almost surely nothing.

I don't have a tinfoil hat but may get one if this S#@* keeps up.

What S*&T? What specifically is the US Military doing that is giving you concern? If you were worried about the general state of our government or some federal law enforcement agency that might be a different discussion. 


I'm curious though as to where they came from and where they went? The truckers would know.
My 8 year old grandson would have asked them where they were headed at the Rest Stop when they had to take a pee and then quizzed them about how their equipment stacks up against Bradleys, BTRs, BMPs and Barretts.

Soldiers, much to their leaders disappointment have almost 0 awareness of operational security. Honestly if you ask and are not a complete dick they will probably tell you exactly where they came from, where they are going and what they are doing. 


Are these strikers part of the Ready Brigades brought back from Iraq and deployed through out the U.S.A.?

I am an Officer on active duty in the US Army and would bet a goodly sum that I currently hold a higher security clearance than you do. I genuinely do not know WTF you are talking about with this. 


Is one of these Brigades assigned to Ft Knox or Blue Grass AD?

I dunno? You talked about Mexico earlier. This is all over the place man. 


Were they on a deployment exercise or just out for a Sunday drive perhaps?

 It is possible the individuals we are talking about were doing a short local test drive but otherwise they were headed somewhere for a purpose. They definitely were not just driving around for the sake of it, especially on a weekend.


Where were they going to play?

 Probably a local place with more ranges to train on.


Garand & Lawson say in their great book "The End of Civility" that "There is no such thing as a false alarm."

I have not read that book though it does seem interesting. They seem like fine people but I am honestly not sure what to make of the quote. Seems to me like false alarms happen all the time.


Its good quick reaction drill practice. Never forget that friends.

Having a plan is always a fine thing.

Note: Sorry if I came across too harshly here. I have my fair share of integrity and have not embellished my bona fides in any way. Given that everything cool these days is SOF I would be a lot better off here in terms of this little business to stretch the truth and infer or imply having qualifications, tabs or experience I do not have. Honestly like many folks I am smart enough at something I understand to talk a little bit more than my actual ability level in a way that only a few folks might catch.

Also I try not to talk about things I am not reasonably well informed on. 

Suppose that while I am not all in your face waving a flag and yelling about my accomplishmments  I do have a healthy dose of pride in what I have done, am doing and likely will do.  As such, especially given my aforementioned honestly at the expense of my own best interest, I probably do not handle folks questioning my background or knowledge of this type stuff very well.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Free Men Can Own Modern Weapons



Guard your rights. Prepare for circumstances where people may try to impinge upon them. Caches are your friend.

Military Vehicles on Roads. A Nonevent with Common Explanations

About every few months somebody in the survivalist (though more lately 'patriot' community) sees a few military vehicles on the road then takes a picture. They talk about how it is a clear sign that the Federal Gubmint is coming to put them in FEMA Death Camps or the UN is invading or at the very least it is a clear breach of Posse Comitatus and or conditioning in preparation for one of the aforementioned operations in the future.

Let's take a deep breath and remove our tin foil hats. Also we might want to remove our body armor and loosen any pistol belts. A drink of water is not a bad idea either.

This is a classic Ocams Razor scenario. There are reasons military vehicles might be moving around on the open roadway that are far more likely than any of the above mentioned scenarios.

The simplest explanation is that a group of service members and or their vehicles need to get from point A to point B. Despite what you heard on midnight SW radio or some forums we do not have magical underground tunnels with roads inside. If we need to get 40 people and their vehicles to a place to train, turn in vehicles for upgrades, maintenance, etc we usually just drive there like anybody else.

At all but the biggest bases we may need to go to other areas for training. Example: while Fort Lewis is a huge base the amount and type of ranges there are limited. If we want to shoot larger weapons or conduct bigger scenarios we have to go to Yakima Training Center in central Washington. Yakima is a huge largely open training area. Think of it like the equivalent of a gravel pit where you can shoot however you want for the Army. In many other areas there are similar needs to go to a different area to train.

Sometimes loading vehicles onto trains and sending the soldiers in buses is an option, other times it does not make sense or the option is entirely unavailable. Maybe there is not a rail line right by where we need to go or the timelines do not work. Maybe due to obscure government budgeting stuff we can buy fuel and spare parts but not pay for buses.

In particular during the summer months reserve and national guard units will conduct their 2 week annual training. These groups are often located in small enclaves all over the place. This is especially true of the guard which might have 1 platoon in a town, a company in the next town, etc. All of these groups will need to gather into larger groups and travel to some sort of base to conduct their normal annual training which is typically split between knocking out various requirements (weapons qual, various mandatory tasks, etc) and some sort of scenario based exercise or war game. These things happen every year. The guard in particular tend to do 1 big scheduled event very year at the Brigade or even state level. If you looked carefully through the local news it would probably not be too hard to learn that the XX Brigade which is the XX State's guard unit is conducting their AT at Fort Whatever from 1-15 August.

These groups stop at various points along their routes for the same boring reasons you stop on a long drive. Mostly soldiers need to pee, get another giant monster and more chew or maybe pick up some snacks.

Look is you see armed soldiers (or marines) setting up check points [not to be confused with directing traffic if a vehicle breaks down, etc] or machine gunning people it is time to worry. Actually at that point it is probably too late but you get the idea. 

The comments section here could be interesting. By all means chime in with your opinion.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Russian Siaga and VEPR AK style Rifles Banned by EO

An executive order was signed banning importation of certain weapons from Kalashnikov Concern including Siaga rifles as well as shotguns and VEPR rifles. All of these are basically AK's. Tam's take on it that she is ambivalent about that stuff but concerned about ammo manufacturers being added to the list is in line with my thinking. Personally I have zero desire to get a Siaga shotgun since A) they rarely function well with a wide variety of ammo and B) Anything a Siaga can do an actual AK pattern rifle can do better.

I doubt this ban will be dropped. Heck NORICO stuff is still banned here for absolutely no good reason. As to whether the companies and or weapons involved can be rebranded and get permission to import is an open ended question. Maybe the Siaga could become the Tiaga or something.

My concern is about ammo. Folks running com bloc rifles that shoot stuff like Wolf/ Silverbear/ Tula in 7.62x39 or 5.45 depend on ammo that comes from Eastern Europe to make those rifles economically viable. Additionally the economic viability of the Mosin Nagant depends on readily available low priced 7.62x54R ammo. It is worth noting that much of this stuff is made in other countries such as the Ukraine, Poland and Romania but it is not unthinkable that, due to overlapping company holdings and or political power the ban list could grow.

Personally I am going to take a look at my own situation. I was fine on AK mags and am now definitely good thanks to the help of a buddy. Way above my 20 (per rifle) happy zone. So that is good. As to ammo, you can always use more. If you rely on an AK pattern rifle for defensive use it would be prudent to look at your ammo situation. Hoss USMC's idea to get about 3 years of normal use purchased NOW is a sound one. For me assessing on the heavy side a case of 7.62x39 Wolf ammo would cover it.

Now I urge you to take a deep breath and not panic buy. There are a lot of maybe's here and most stuff banned has competitors from other countries/ brands that can fill the same role. Think about your needs and come to a reasonable decision. If you can use a case of ammo by all means get one but don't blow your life savings trying to make a mountain with cases of Wolf 7.62x39.


Last minute edit to include:
I dug out my inventory to actually see where things stand. Mags, 200% of my stockage goal of 20 per gun on AK mags. Do want to pick up some of the new AK PMAGs just to try em out. If nothing else they are light and not covered in cosmoline, attributes my eastern European surplus mags do not have.

Begin tangent. Personally when it comes to numbers of mags I like 10 per fighting pistol and 20 per fighting rifle. These nice round numbers roughly align (it would be 9 and 21) with 3 full fighting loads per official US Army whatever. These are the numbers where I am comfortable. For a sporting or otherwise not explicitly tactical weapon I would be comfortable with less, say 5 ish.

Do note this is PER GUN. So if you have 4 Glocks it would be 40 mags, 5 AR's would be 100mags.

Honestly these numbers really are not based on anything concrete. A long time ago I thought about it for awhile and these are what I came up with. I figured a combat load of mags, a full replacement load in case the original ones are lost/ damaged/ worn out and some spares for barter or charity.These numbers are where I am comfortable and reasonable people may differ on that topic.If somebody said they were comfortable with 6 pistol mags and 14 rifle mags I wouldn't argue with them. Then again if someone wanted 20 pistol mags and 50 rifle mags I would not argue with them either.

Wouldn't say I have necessarily changed from my thinking on mag numbers over the years. Would however say that I have been trying to front load magazine purchases for guns I plan to buy down the road. This has been an easy decision since I generally stick to AR, AK, Ruger 10/22 and Glock 9mm platforms.  Also the idea of a few mags set away here or there appeals to me a lot. In any case I seem to be vastly over my numbers on most mags. End tangent.

As to ammo I am right about at my stockage goal of 3,000 rounds (per rifle) but decided to order another case of Wolf 7.62x39 JHP for $230 from Lucky Gunner anyway. I had the cash to do it and now, in line with Hoss's idea, I have some 7.62x39 ammo set aside for training.  Interestingly in the time it took to do this post they sold 4 cases of the stuff in a half hour on Saturday afternoon. Folks might be getting worried.

As to spare parts I have a full set (minus receiver) per rifle. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get a few more of the prone to breaking stuff, extractor, ejector, firing pin, springs, etc. Will add that to the list. 

So that is the news and what I think you may want to do about it. What do you think?




Friday, July 18, 2014

Stormy All Over

The weather here in Central Louisiana has been crazy. This morning it poured down rain, calmed down for a bit but was still a cool mid 70's and dark. This afternoon it dumped down rain again. I suspect we've had a few inches of rain today. When it rains like this everything floods down here. The general lack of meaningful terrain combined with the clay soil makes for water pooling up all over the place in fields, slightly low points in roads and the like.

As to the world it is all pretty much going to hell in a hand basket.

Pretty much the entire Arab world is a mess. Specifically Syria and Iraq have significant issues as of late. I have been meaning to talk about them in detail but that is for another day.

The Israelis invaded Gaza early this morning their time. This most current bout of that old fight seems to have started with 3 Israeli teenagers getting killed which lead to various retaliatory measures which were answered with rocket attacks. That led to the Israeli ground invasion.

Oh yeah and somebody, probably Russia backed paramilitary and or Spetznaz rebels, shot down a commercial airliner over Eastern Ukraine. It was a Malaysian flight (talk about bad luck after the Lost plane crash) that seems to have been predominantly full of Dutch people. For one this goes to show  the chaos of that situation. For two this sort of incident can draw the public eye and lead to other nations getting involved. Reference the Lusitania.

Our friend Harry talks about all this stuff as well as how our economy as well as our Southern Border are entirely screwed

Some days are certainly worse than others but this one does not seem good.

Here at TSLRF we recommend investing in canned food and shotguns. For those who already own a smooth bore or two put your money into shotgun shells.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Review: Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter

Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter is a book I have read twice over the last couple months. There are a series of books traveling between a few folks and I seem to be the end of a lot of it. Will have to pass some stuff on to other folks in the near future but that is another discussion.

The amazon blurb is:
He was one the best Marine snipers in Vietnam. Today, twenty years later, disgruntled hero of an unheroic war, all Bob Lee Swagger wants to be left alone and to leave the killing behind.

But with consummate psychological skill, a shadowy military organization seduces Bob into leaving his beloved Arkansas hills for one last mission for his country, unaware until too late that the game is rigged.

The assassination plot is executed to perfection—until Bob Lee Swagger, alleged lone gunman, comes out of the operation alive, the target of a nationwide manhunt, his only allies a woman he just met and a discredited FBI agent.

Now Bob Lee Swagger is on the run, using his lethal skills once more—but this time to track down the men who set him up and to break a dark conspiracy aimed at the very heart of America.


The book has also been described as 'A thinking mans Rambo'.

 If you haven't picked it up by now this is the book which inspired the 2007 Marky Mark masterpiece Shooter. As such I am not excessively concerned with spoilers.

The Good:
A fast and enjoyable read. The combination of action and military/ military industrial complex/ intelligence type intrigue makes the book a page turner. A lot of the intrigue stuff was lost when the book was turned into a movie.

If you are into folks talking about the technology, skill and theory of ling distance precision shooting you will have a lot to like in this book. Also there was a lot of general gun talk. On the fun side since the book was written in the early 90's it is now dated in a way that is somewhat amusingly antiquated. Cops carrying revolvers, era appropriate scopes and 1911's, sweet leather holsters and even a prominently displayed Mini-14. I found it quite fun in a sort of nostalgic way.

The importance of cold hard cash and caches came up in a meaningful way. Survivalists can get so into ideas about gear, food, etc that they fail to realize it is far more likely a scenario will be greatly improved by a big wad of 20's than fero rods and fishing line. Of course we can all agree guns are pretty useful.

The portrayal of Southern and or shooting culture is pretty accurate. In particular the importance of the concept of honor was accurately portrayed. Of course it is a book so arguably some stuff was amplified a bit but a whole lot more was right than wrong.

The Bad:
Any time you have an action type story line, especially with a strong bad ass type character, the story almost invariably has some times where it gets a bit unrealistic to the point where it fails the common sense test.

While I do enjoy the technical gun stuff  at times it likely detracted from the story. We really didn't need to have discussions about the type of reloading dies Bobby Lee used or the particular gunsmith who might have installed a particular aftermarket barrel on a Remington 700 .308. I found it fun and interesting in a well thought out, albeit period appropriate way but for many folks it was at best neutral and at worst an annoyance.

I sort of think this was the kind of 'shout out's' to the shooting community like how a rap song has to mention 3 dumpy areas and country songs mention a whole bunch of southern and or western states plus rivers and mountain ranges.

[Seriously, I listen to country music and while I enjoy the older stuff it is not on the radio as much as one might like so the newer stuff gets some play. Some of the new stuff is good even though much of it is a bit poppy. However the need to mention so many locations is ridiculous. I have made a game of counting how many specific places songs mention. Maybe market research has said that if an artist mentions a state sales there go up so every song has to mention Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, the Carolina's, Texas, etc. The ones who really think it out can mention every state in the Confederacy, 3 rivers, 2 cities, a swamp and a mountain range. Don't even get me started on that psuedo rap country crap music they play on the radio now.]

The Ugly:
None.

Discussion: This book is a fictional action based story and as such is probably not long on tangible lessons unless you really want to build an early 90's inspired high end precision rifle based on a Remington 700. Still it is a good read and you might well grab some amusing tid bits out of it.

Overall Assessment: You can get a copy of the paperback for well under ten bucks, probably under five at a used book store. It is an enjoyable read and well worth purchasing. I think you will enjoy reading it and pick it up off the shelf to revisit every so often.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Just One of Those Days



Woke up in a bad mood and everything that happened at work was only successful in making it worse. I knew full well that anything people did would push my buttons and am mature enough to consider that but even then cause was definitely given. Nothing that terrible, especially since I am in a job where people literally die even in garrison, but really annoying stuff.

Today I wanted to pick up a box of Remington 168 grain Premium Match and spent my lunch hour driving to a gun store. They wanted almost $40 for a box! Silly when I can get a box of the exact same Remington 168 gr Premium Match for $30 or 200 rounds of the same stuff for $275.I'll probably buy 200 tomorrow but want to sleep on it plus my luck today is shit so I'm sure the order would get all messed up.

Note: One could potentially guess at an acquisition that has been made as well as a concept of use from this discussion. Will not currently confirm or deny anything. At this point I might be trying to figure some things out and am really not sure where it is all going to settle.  In a couple weeks or maybe a couple months we might have a conversation about something but that is a for another day.

Anyway the day started bad and went worse. The golden girls only laid 2 eggs today and somehow I managed to crack them both. Don't especially need the eggs as the produce way more than I individually eat but it was still annoying.

So to get through the rest of the day I am going to have a couple drinks, work on re watching Justified and probably nuking something for a late dinner. After that I will go to bed and hopefully sleep soundly. Maybe tomorrow will suck less. Hope your day was better than mine.








Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cops Fear Extremists

Yahoo article here. The thing is I sort of agree with both parties here, well at least partially.

On one hand those two whackjobs in Vegas who killed some random cops were complete psychos. I mean if a cop threw a stun grenade into their kids crib and the kid was crippled folks might not agree but I would get it. However they just smoked 2 people who were only guilty of splurging on pizza for lunch. Don't know what their deal really was but it was bad stuff. I am not in any way excusing their actions.

On the other hand the simple act of questioning police officers actions, especially when they are abusing their authority harassing lawful citizens or just plain being criminals operating under the cover of a badge is something that is good for our society. It is something that all decent cops, who I do believe are the majority, should accept if not be totally thrilled about. Like they say 'sunlight is the best disinfectant'. Cops, like everyone else, need to be held accountable for their actions to ensure said actions are legally and morally correct.

Personally I do not find the bad cops all that inherently offensive. Bad apples exist in every bunch, it is just the nature of things. Now what I do find quite objectionable is the lengths to which the rest of the cops turn a blind eye, lie, aid and abed,  hide evidence and generally prevent any action from happening against the bad cops. Our law enforcement system has a serious and systemic cultural problem when it comes to accepting abuse of citizens, excessive force and general criminal behavior with the thin blue line. 

The real issue I have here is that the article lumps everyone who questions law enforcement officers in with these total psychos. To simply questions cops, or maybe even record their actions in free open environments or official encounters does not make a person a psycho. Normal people might not like the way (some) law enforcement officers behave these days and taking legal ways to hold them accountable is an entirely reasonable thing to do. 

Thoughts?

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