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June 15, 2008

Old guns, new guns. A little gunner zen.

First up, something new... just because I like the pic.

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U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Kathryne B. Schilling coaches a woman as she prepares to shoot a pistol during her training to become a Sister of Ferris, June 4, 2008, Ferris, Iraq. The Sisters of Ferris will inspect women for weapons, suicide vests, large amounts of cash and contraband at entry control points. Schilling is assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cindy G. Alejandrez

Next, something old. John S. an enabler who feeds my habit gun dealer sent me a link to some fascinating pictures taken at Fort Brown, Texas, during the Punitive Expedition/WWI era.

Long time readers of this space will know that the Donovan family isn't very adventurous. I'm a third generation Gunner. Over those three generations, Donovan Redlegs have served, or been involved in the development of, an amazing transformation of the art. My grandfather was there as we were first mastering the art of indirect fire, doing all the basic math as needed for trajectory calculation, etc, where you might spend a day or more doing all the needed math to mass the fires of massed guns on multiple targets. My father bridged the era from the ultimate refinement of manual data computation through to the birth of artillery digital computers. And I span from the end of manual data through the era of the guns as roving independents, capable of massing fires on multiple targets without being massed themselves, and done on the fly.

My grandfather served on guns like these 4.7 inch guns at Fort Brown, Brownsville Texas, in 1916. Where the object of artillery was to get as many guns shooting simultaneously at a target as you could.

4.7 gun being fired in training at Fort Brown, Texas, in 1916.  Photo courtesy the Robert Runyon Photograph Collection, image #486, courtesy of The Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

A slightly larger version can be had by clicking here. Or get the full size version here.

The Robert Runyon Photograph Collection, image #486, courtesy of The Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

My Dad, served guns like this M109 howitzer - brand new when he was commanding a battalion of them in Germany in 1969 (this particular gun is Israeli)... Still trying to mass as many guns as you could, while building them to keep up with the tanks and mechanized infantry, and able to survive on a very lethal battlefield. This is the era I started in.

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HIMARS

Heck, we've put the firepower of a battalion of cannon on the back of a single truck.

NLOS-C at the Capitol Mall, trying to sell itself.

Now, at the twilight of my time doing things militant, I've been involved in the development of the tactics and doctrine for guns like the NLOS-C, in an era where we're reducing the number of guns, making them capable of being virtual snipers (even the rockets are point weapons now - and shooting artillery at "point targets" was a way to get your knuckles wrapped when I was a Lieutenant), and the guns rove around independently, and are capable of massing fires on their own - in that they can shoot multiple rounds in succession, all timed to arrive at the same time on the target - and be moving before those rounds hit. That's some serious change in less than 100 years, and the lives of three soldiers.

The NLOS-C is *still* a spugly gun.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 15, 2008 | TrackBack (0)

February 19, 2008

Seen at the SHOT Show this year...

What all the cool Bubba's will be taking to the field to bag their deer this year.

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 19, 2008

February 10, 2008

Rednecks of Argghhh! - and a vote bleg.

This post has been pulled from the archives... not just because it's Sunday and I'm lazy (well, I got other stuff to do) but because Yu-ain Gonnano pricked me a bit (whether that was his intent or not). Oddly enough - this post first ran on Feb 12, 2006, almost exactly two years ago.

Yu-ain said:

Oh, and by the way. I just hafta share (this is a gun-ish blog of sorts):

The LG and I just completed the Safety Course needed to obtain our state's Handgun Carry Permit.

And while I've only been to the pistol range twice before, I've got to say my groups looked pretty dang good. From all the targets I could see, only one person shot better than me.

But what really made me proud was the LG, who had never shot a gun before came in 3rd. If it hadn't been for two fliers she would have beaten me.

The instructor looked at her, then at me and asked me if I played poker. I told him I played a little. He looked straight at me and said "Don't Cheat".

Heh!

Heh, indeed. SWWBO and I can shoot, too. See below.

********************************************************************

As SWWBO noted in her post yesterday, it was a very Red State day at Argghhh! Buying large animal supplies, taking care of the horses, late breakfast at Waffle House, 400 rounds downrange in the afternoon. And of course it was a Castle Argghhh! Range Day, with two WWII vets providing the fun.

SWWBO is getting more famous among gun bloggers (hey, she's getting *linked* and I'm not!) than Castle Argghhh! Why is that? She's getting dangerous with a pistol. And by dangerous, I mean to the intended target, not random locations generally downrange, either. Just take a look here.

Don't mess with SWWBO!

That's three magazines, 45 rounds. No misses. Not bad for her first day shooting a semi-auto. And this isn't her only target, she put over 150 rounds downrange yesterday.

It was a typical day for a beginner - first round was a 10x. After that, we had the usual issues with grip, anticipating recoil, closing the eyes, etc. Rather than get all anal about technique, etc - I just let her blaze away downrange, keeping the occasional eye on things when they got bad (grip problems, especially) but mostly just let her get comfortable with the whole concept of shooting a pistol. We can drag out the Right and Left handed Castle Shooter Analysis Targets on a later trip, and start working on the pathologies. For all that - I must note - every round she sent downrange - hit her target. No misses, which I think says a lot about the pistol *and* the shooter. She tried both the Castle Nazi-marked Radom VIS-35 pistol and the Inglis Hi-Power. Although the VIS-35 probably fit her hand better, she likes the Inglis better - as that target above shows.

We went shooting at Total Range, L.L.C, in St Joseph, Missouri - a place we were introduced to courtesy of KCSteve who invited me to a Christmas party held there by members of MissouriCarry.com. At $20 per person per year, we bought memberships. Very nice place. We don't recommend it to you, however. Then you'd go buy memberships and start taking up range space and we might have to wait to get a shooting stall. Nothing to see here, move along.

The Armorer was pleased with his performance yesterday. I only put one magazine through the Inglis, at 5 yards, with this result. Mostly making sure the Inglis was in good shape, so that problems in shooting would be SWWBO-related, not weapon-related. Easier to fix when you can isolate the variables, eh? Our Product of Canada was in fine shape, only suffering from his user's problems, not those of his maker or bad storage.

Armorer's target, Inglis Hi-Power, 5 yards, PMC 9mm fodder

I then shifted over to the Nazi-marked Polish Radom VIS-35 pistol. Also a 9mm like the Inglis. Three magazines (24 rounds) through that, again at 5 yards.

Armorer's target, Polish VIS-35 pistol, PMC 9mm fodder, 5 yards

This is the first time I've shot the VIS-35. I'll spare you the target by target details, but after I was comfortable with it, I sent the carrier downrange to 20 yards. [I'll note at this point while I did cherry-pick the targets to post here, they were *all* like this] The head shots in the following picture are at 20 yards.

Armorer's target, head shots at 20 yards, body shots at 10.  Polish VIS-35 pistol shooting PMC 9mm

Not being happy with the leftward drift (combination of my glasses and how the downrange and uprange light interacted with target and sights), I pulled the target in to 10 yards and put a box of 50 through the Vis. You can see that in the pic above - or better yet - in this pic.

Armorer's target, Radom VIS-35 pistol, 10 yards, 50 rounds PMC 9mm

The Armorer *really* likes the VIS-35. A lot. That's 50 rounds in that target - no flyers, no misses. I really really really like that pistol. I need to find some more magazines.

Note to goblins - just remember - if you *do* get past me, SWWBO's right behind me, turning your liver into pate'. You should take the offer of "Turn around and leave" when it's offered. It will only be offered once.

All in all, a good Red State kind of day.

Which is why we think you should vote for us in the Best Master Gunnies competition! Early and often! <===Click that link! Once a day, every day! From home *and* work! At Internet Cafes! We think The BMG Trophy would look good on an Arsenal Bookshelf... but the only way *that's* gonna happen is if I steal it - unless you guys get really busy and start doing what Bill's been doing- borrowing other people's computers... of course, that would be wrong.

BTW - the bleg didn't work. I wasn't even *close*. 8^ )

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 10, 2008
She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: I love Saturdays like this

January 16, 2008

Speaking of toy pistols...

Which we did, tongue-in-cheek, in yesterday's H&I Fires... snarking my sister a bit about her attempts to keep "gunplay" out of the play-habits of her children. However, depending on where you live, and/or the relative wisdom and intellect of your child... you *should* keep toy guns away from them. As in these toys in Iraq.

Which Pistol is the Real Deal? Photo by Spc. Adam Sanders, January 11, 2008  Staff Sgt. Terry Dahl holds a real 9 mm pistol in his right hand and a toy 9 mm pistol in his left at an Iraqi police station in Seddah, to demonstrate how similar the fake and real weapons look. Coalition forces are asking shop owners to stop selling the toys to children so they are not mistaken for insurgents. Staff Sgt. Dahl is with the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion.[The official caption is incorrect - the toy pistol is in the *soldier's* right hand, the real pistol in his left - but to us, the viewer, the toy is on the left, and real pistol on the right. -the Armorer]

Which Pistol is the Real Deal? Photo by Spc. Adam Sanders, January 11, 2008

Staff Sgt. Terry Dahl holds a real 9 mm pistol in his right hand and a toy 9 mm pistol in his left at an Iraqi police station in Seddah, to demonstrate how similar the fake and real weapons look. Coalition forces are asking shop owners to stop selling the toys to children so they are not mistaken for insurgents. Staff Sgt. Dahl is with the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion. .[Update: As reader BCross points out - the caption is incorrect - the toy pistol is in the *soldier's* right hand, the real pistol in his left - but to us, the viewer, the toy is on the left, and real pistol on the right. -the Armorer

A little closer look:

Comparison of toy Glock and a real Glock - US troops are asking shopkeepers in Iraq to not sell the realistic looking toy pistols to children.  And for good reason, in the current environment in Iraq.

Now, you could put markings on them, like the blaze orange markings required for realistic toys/replicas/air soft guns that are sold in the US.

Or, better, yet, provide the insurgents with these rifles and pistols that look like this, to better identify them...

Hello Kitty Pistol

After all, we *might* get 'em to do it - the current crowd running around as insurgents have, in the past, had some silly-looking iron themselves...

One of Saddam's personal weapons.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 16, 2008

December 21, 2007

Unscientific Firearms Testing.

When your internet access is slow, television blows, and what the heck, you own a farm with a pond, gotta get water for the horses, own a few guns, and have some time on your hands... what's an Armorer to do?

Well, go shoot, of course. But for a noble purpose! To break up the ice on the pond so the horses can get to it to drink...

At the same time, I can show off the Castle's newest acquistion... SWWBO's Christmas present. That's right, guys, I got my wife a rifle for Christmas and it was *appreciated!* I bask in the green glow of your envy. KCSteve and Heartless Lib excluded, since they found similar women. Heh. Ya shoulda seen the reaction at the office when I told my compatriots of my gift-giving acumen. The opinion was universal that I was making a HUGE MISTAKE. Hah.

So, meet SWWBO's new bangstick. She's been wanting a "black rifle" for a long time. She likes the SKS (especially the Albanian) but she was hoping for something with a little less kick, but still serviceable as a varmint gun - the coyotes around here have been sniffing around the chicken/guinea coop, and the cats like to sneak out now and again, and SWWBO wants to be able to deal with predators should the need arise.

Her new farming implement is a [ Armorer's note - the designation having caused some questions, this section has been added to] Bushmaster XM15-E2S, according to the receiver. Cabelas, where I bought it, called it an M15S. As a reader noted, Bushmaster doesn't market any such beast - but they do have the O.R.C.©, or Optics Ready Carbine, which is what this rifle probably is.], essentially an M4-clone with a Picatinny rail sporting a TruGlo aimpoint-style sight. With the intechangeability of uppers and lowers in the M16 universe... who knows? I'm not so interested that I'm going to ak Bushmaster if they're using XM15 lowers with their O.R.C.© uppers.] Just in case she feels the need to get up close and personal, this is a post-ban rifle with a bayonet lug, though getting a bayonet isn't really in the plan. A laser, perhaps, but I don't see SWWBO suddenly feeling the need to use cold steel nor go commit drive-by bayonetings...

So, here's SWWBO's new farm implement:

SWWBO's Bushmaster M15S

If you'd like to see it a little closer... click here.

Okay, on to unscientific experimentation. Which rifle/caliber choice works best for breaking up the ice - at least this particular form of ice, being a couple of inches thick, but not really rock hard. Now, if you recall last week I mentioned that I had already done a little ice-breaking, using my 1916 dated Mosin-Nagant M91 and my SVT-40 carbine (which might be an actual carbine, or might be one of the fakes that came out of Finland, the provenance is murky on the issue). One of the reasons I decided to try it at all is that with the ice storm, walking down the rocky hill to the edge of the pond was treacherous. With the rifle I could stand on top of the hill, on level ground by the gate, and break up the ice without risking my ample behind and limbs clambering down the hill carrying an axe or pick.

Here's a look at the Castle IceBreakers.

The fodder being used was Sellier and Bellot 7.62x54R 180 grain ball. The 5.56mm for the Bushmaster was Black Hills Ammunition 55 grain ball. I'll have to try softpoints next.

This is the target area.

One a whim, I shot 10 rounds from the SVT, and 20 from the Bushmaster (hey, I *said* unscientific).

The is the result - 7.62 on the left, 5.56 on the right. In overall terms, the 7.62 dd a better job... but both would have been sufficient for the purpose - especially as the horses enlarge the holes themselves. If you're curious about the partial melt on the pond - it's spring fed, and the way the spring empties into the pond causes a current against the bank on this side of the pond.

So, there ya go, a quick and dirty examination of what tools to use for ice-breaking out at Castle Argghhh! If this was MIssouri, and the Castle Vickers or Maxims were functional... much less the Carl Gustaf or M18 recoiless rifles...

To close this out - below the fold in the flash traffic/extended entry I've posted a picture of a Sarah BradySchumerRodhamStein nightmare...

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Dec 21, 2007

April 28, 2007

Saturday Gun Pr0n.

This is kewl.

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This one is kewler.

Update: Dave (check the comments) found the website where this picture came from. The Sports Shooting site for the German firm Dornier.

The pictures, as received by me, had their markings removed, and came with false attribution. I've fixed that by adding the data back in, and linking to the site (which, as Dave notes, has more kewl stuff on it). I'm cool with fair use, but I don't like people sending me things that have been sterilized - the sender of these was victimized, too. Regardless, what was up yesterday, wasn't fair use, and the Armorer regrets the abuse. Always feel free, if we post something here you know belongs to someone else and we don't atttibute it properly, to let me know, in the comments or in email.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Apr 28, 2007

March 14, 2007

I need a gun pic.

A little Zen to soothe the Armorer's soul.

The Castle Soumi

I think the Castle Armory's Suomi will do nicely.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 14, 2007

March 6, 2007

A little olio for the day...

The Alamo circa 1914.

The final assault came before daybreak on the morning of March 6, 1836, as columns of Mexican soldiers emerged from the predawn darkness and headed for the Alamo's walls. Cannon and small arms fire from inside the Alamo beat back several attacks. Regrouping, the Mexicans scaled the walls and rushed into the compound. Once inside, they turned a captured cannon on the Long Barrack and church, blasting open the barricaded doors. The desperate struggle continued until the defenders were overwhelmed. By sunrise, the battle had ended and Santa Anna entered the Alamo compound to survey the scene of his victory.

While the facts surrounding the siege of the Alamo continue to be debated, there is no doubt about what the battle has come to symbolize. People worldwide continue to remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against overwhelming odds — a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. For this reason the Alamo remains hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty.

Visit the Alamo here.

On this day in 1831, Edgar Allen Poe was expelled from West Point.

Poe didn't want to stay at West Point being a poorly paid Army officer. No one could simply drop out of West Point. Poe knew that the only way to get out of West Point was to be expelled. He disobeyed orders, stopped studying. Once he obeyed orders too literally. He saw a bulletin that said that only one kind of belt should be worn. He wore the belt only, no other clothing. He was expelled from West Point in March 1831. He went to Baltimore, Maryland, and not much is known about what happened in this time

Moving on to Afghanistan - even given the parlous state of her forces under the Blair government (a condition effected by other Brit regimes as well, but Mr. Blair sits in the catbird seat at the moment) the Brits are still there and still slugging it out. These pics are from recent operations in Afstan.

I put the best on display - indirect fire is so much more mentally engaging than simply shooting at things you can see (and can see you...)

But this pic and this pic and this pic show Private Atkins and his tools to good effect as well.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 06, 2007

October 8, 2006

Gunblogger Rendezvous

Good times! I'll have more during the week - but let's cut to the chase.

The shooting.

First off - SWWBO shoots her first 5.56mm carbine - Say Uncle's rifle.

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While I don't have a pic of her target - her group at 25 yards would fit inside an Eisenhower silver dollar.

The Armorer got to shoot many rifles yesterday. Smallest Minority's M1 Garand (a 1943 Springfield, Danish return), with which the Armorer was able to keep his groups within the black at 25 meters firing rapid fire, and was pinging a spinning target at 425 yards (iron sights). Okay, that was after two clips to get the feel. Hey, 49 year old eyes, iron sights, at that range - I'm happy.

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This is the Armorer blazing away with Rivrdog's 1945 dated Soviet M44 carbine - shooting battle sights, bayonet extended, supported.

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This is the Armorer's 100 meter target - 11 rounds, fired in two minutes, open sights, supported - all in the black. The Armorer thinks that's credible shooting for a blind fat guy shooting an $84 rifle with old milsurp ammo. Why 11? That's what I had left, natch.

Speaking of cheap milsurp ammo... there are some risks. Even with what otherwise looks like clean ammo. Lookit the case rupture on this copper-washed steelcase combloc fodder.

More later and during the week. Breakfast, and later, the airport, calls.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Oct 08, 2006

May 12, 2006

In the midst of too much to do...

...while suffering the dammed curse 'o the Sassenach, I find this gem in my email box.

A terrible death in the family

Dateline 1979, Germany. A Troop, 3/7 Cavalry is on maneuvers at the military training site at Hohenfels... a handsome and studly young tank commander removes the shoulder holster containing his Army .45 and hangs it from the turret roof near the loader's station. It'll be safe there whilst negotiating the cross-country target acquisition course!

Now imagine if you will, gentle reader, the pendulum effect of a heavy pistol suspended by a leather strap from the turret of a 52 ton M60A1 tank- when in the course of the aforementioned exercise the tank is traversing rough terrain and our hero is desperately manipulating the commander's override turret control to engage close range targets... all in a days work for the Cav! But somewhere along the line physics and gravity overcome the precarious hold of the leather holster strap on it's mounting and the pistol falls!... and becomes intimately engaged with the gear mechanism which rotates the turret... the 16 ton turret... which requires a powerful motor to drive said gear... which consumes and ejects a .45 pistol with all the disdain of yer cousin Bubba spitting a sunflower seed.

Sheesh... this cost me $54, the Gummint cost for the WWII Remington Rand-made .45. A chunk of money for me at the time; I was an E-5 and making 450 monthly- and then the bastids wouldn't let me keep it! I wanted it for a conversation piece, ya know- like, "Hey looky what some dumbshirt did to this here gun thingy!!!" but the bean-counting sumbirtches insisted it was still US Property even after they stripped the dinero from my miserable stipend.

The M16 I crushed two months later cost me $174 and they wouldn't let me keep that, either. Bastids.

Heh. Just in case you're interested in what they retail for now... admittedly in somewhat better condition.

You may amuse yourselves determining *who* might have provided this tale of woe...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on May 12, 2006

February 10, 2006

Armorer@Home

No, not really home yet, I'm getting ready to pack and head out the door for this morning's confabulating, but I couldn't let this calumny go undefended!

This *is* the Home of the Armorer. This *is* Castle Argghhh! And this, ladies and gents (and undecideds) is the Smorgasbord of Argghhh! What's not to like about this decorating schema? (Plus, it's another reason to Vote For Us!)

SWWBO has her own version of the what this is, a sofa-table-thingy or some such term of art. And she's kinda whining about the use I put it to prolly less than 24 hours after I schlepped it into the house.

But hey, she wanted to go shooting, and I was just laying out her options for what we had ammo on-hand for that she might find interesting.

I repeat - that stuff is there for *her* benefit. That fact that we were going shooting last weekend and the pistols are still there on the table is *not* relevant. Sheesh. The kitties like to play with 'em, too, y'know.

Oh - and KCSteve - The Interior Guard *is* present - there are two of them On Duty (or snuggling) just above the Polish VIS pistol. (To understand that, you'll have to visit SWWBO's place and read the comments.) So it's not like these things are just laying around unattended or something.

And for those of you muttering to yourselves, "He *is* going to id those things, right?" Here ya go.

Left to right: The Armorer's nickel-plated Remington-Rand vet-bringback M1911A1 (I could afford this one - collectors don't like plated guns, but hey - it has *history* which fits 'round here) - Polish TT-33, Austrian Steyr M1911, Polish Radom Vis, and, snuggled in it's holster-stock, an Inglis Chinese Contract Browning Hi-Power.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 10, 2006

January 23, 2006

Time for a gun post...

...and not just because we've been nominated at Countertop Chronicles for "Best Gun Pron" in the Gunnies, either!

A topic covered in the gunblogs, I know by Murdoc and others, as well as me... Metalstorm gets closer to entering service. This is an ugly little spud.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Next month a new high-explosive munition will be fired in Singapore and then tested again by the U.S. Army, heralding what may be a sea change in weaponry: a gun that can fire 240,000 rounds per minute.

That's compared to 60 rounds per minute in a standard military machine gun.

Metal Storm Inc., a munitions company headquartered in Virginia but with its roots in Australia, has been developing a gun that can shoot at blistering speeds, albeit in short bursts as each barrel is reloaded.

Company website with video click here.

Speaking of Murdoc, I'll let him have at this story.

Speaking of machine guns... take a look at the durability (not to mention reliability) of the latest rendition of that venerable old pig, the M60. Do me a favor - right click and save as - don't stream it. Right-click and save-as here.

I'll close this post with a picture of a new Castle Armory acquisition - a M1886 German Shrapnel round - that has a very interesting (to the Armorer) time fuze. Subject of a future post.

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 23, 2006

December 10, 2005

Gun Pr0n!

Heh. Kinda. It's gonna make some readers react like it was pr0n, anyway...

Click here.

Yep. *Ours*

I haven't done anything for you airplane fellas lately.

How about this?

Something for the sailors... here.

The Coasties... That's the Storis commissioned 1942 and still serving. Talk about "the forgotten service"...


CUTTER STORIS (FOR RELEASE) KODIAK, Alaska (Sept. 26, 2005)--The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Storis will celebrate their ship's 63 years of service on Sept. 30. The Storis was built by the Toledo Shipbuilding Company, Toledo, Ohio and commissioned in 1942. The Storis saw action in World War II in the North Atlantic while assigned to prevent the establishment of Nazi weather stations in Greenland. In 1948, the Storis changed homeport to Juneau where it supplied medical treatment to native villages and surveyed uncharted watersin the Arctic. The Storis and two other cutters, now decommissioned, completed a historic transit of the Northwest Passage and circumnavigation of the North American continent in July of 1957. Soon after, the Storis was transferred to its present homeport here. The Storis continues to patrol the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea proudly bearing its gold "38" hull numbers, which is a distinction given only to the oldest cutter in the fleet. Official Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Christopher D. McLaughlin

and, of course, Marines.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Dec 10, 2005

September 9, 2005

Since Boquisucio needs help..

...with his Rangefinder ID, here is the Castle's Barr and Stroud Rangefinder that is part of our Vickers kit. Also in the pic are a Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle and a PIAT. The Gustav and PIAT are for use against people who drive tanks or hide in bunkers. People like that, well, they suck. Of course, the sorry jerks who gave the PIAT to the Brit soldier in WWII suck too. But that's a different story.

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Next up is a sample of the Castle Argghhh! LRS, Looter Repellent System. Rabbit ears (German made, ex-Argentine) for target acquisition, sniper loop w/rifle for retail responses, Max the Maxim should a more robust response be needed.

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The minefield sign doesn't hurt, either.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Sep 09, 2005

August 30, 2005

The way to the Armorer's Good Graces...

...is via firepower.

Something SWWBO knows well, having bought me this for Christmas before we got married, and *this* after, and not being annoyed by this or this or this.

Now comes AFSis, fresh from New York. (Happy Anniversary, kiddo!)

And she sends this, a 24 pounder in Castle Clinton... who could ask for more?

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Heh. Mebbe cannon with a Cute Chick? Like this?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Aug 30, 2005

August 3, 2005

Paper targets fear them...

...and I have no doubt live ones would, too.

Castle Adjutant Barb and the Snarkatron Bad Cat Robot, Denizennes both, did a little shooting yesterday.

BCR has her target posted.

We are, *ahem* waiting on the Adjutant's target pics...

BCR needs to pull back the trigger finger a bit, and not pull so hard - an easy touch will do, and drag that center of mass right where it oughta be.

Not that where it *is* isn't going to be hard on a live target.

Lest anyone snark, the Armorer has posted his sadly deteriorating skillz before, too.

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Here are some more Armorer targets.

Update: Okay, so Barb did post one some time in the past... Last night! Last Night! Last Night! The Peasants with Pitchforks are roaring!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Aug 03, 2005
Don Surber links with: Git Er Done, East Virginia

July 20, 2005

Morning Glamour Shots...

Lessee, what's up this morning?

Denizen AFSis had a tough Monday. Go say nice things.

Poor John Roberts. As Confederate Yankee points out - it didn't take the Kossacks long... Right Thoughts caught it too, and linked directly. I prefer to *not* have my IP address showing up in Kos' server logs...

Anybody know what movie this gun was made for?

SWWBO (waxing eloquent here about schools) would go for this room! We can't afford it, but she'd go for it! H/t Larry K!

Jeff over at Alphecca has his Weekly Check on the Bias (regarding guns in the news, etc) up.

Xrlq offers this analysis of what Judge Roberts *might* mean to the Supreme Court. For us 2nd Amendment types, looks like we'll need to get at least one more Justice besides Roberts.

Michelle Malkin offers more.

Matty at Blackfive has been having some fun. Stuff like this is one reason I'm just as glad I'm not as big as Matt. The tediousness of dealing with wilful ignorance is just numbing.

Dean Esmay takes on Hugo Chavez... Always a romp when Dean gets rolling!

In closing... wouldn't this look *wonderful* on the Castle Coffee Table?

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(and I didn't mean the Grant there. It would take *many* Grants to put that hunka-hunka-burning brass on the Castle Coffee Table!)


Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jul 20, 2005

June 27, 2005

It's that time again...

This is my basement:

After having *no* Instalanches ever, and now having had 3, there are probably some new readers... It's time to drag this thing back up into the light for all you not-long-time readers. This is just a periodic post for relative newbies to the site who don't realize the real reason I set this thing up was to share my gun and militaria collection -The Arsenal of Argghhh! - with the world. I decided to move out from primary deviancy (where you hide what you are) and move past secondary (where everybody knows what you are) to tertiary - where you embrace what you are - and point out you don't know what the guy next door has in his basement... but that doesn't mean he's a nut. I did that after a friend asked me to be the guest speaker on the subject of gun collecting at my Rotary Club (which has a fair number of liberals in it) and the response was not hostile, though some were taken aback - but mostly, "Wow - that's kinda kewl, and you aren't some troll hunkered down in your basement with racks of AR15s and cases of ammo waiting for the Apocalypse..." Mind you, if you have a rack of AR15 and cases of ammo, that's fine with me, as long as you aren't (hopefully) delusional on top of that... if you are, get out more, eh? I *do* have cases of ammo, but they aren't stored with the weapons... But be damned if I'm going to spend the money on new-manufactured when there's all the nice surplus fodder out there! But that experience, along with being poked by Beth and Jonah to blog, is what got the Castle established, back on Blogspot, almost two years and 610,679 uniques ago.

As the blog has morphed over time, now and again I've gotten a little too wrapped up in the politics and the war - and, well, yes, work, too - and I've strayed a bit from my roots. A lot, really. Well, that and the great parties the Denizens throw in the comment sections now and again... It makes it fun when sometimes it's real work to maintain. SWWBO and I fought off 2,780 spams today, for example... but 0 got through and had to be slain inside the Keep. The Defenses have improved - if they are sometimes frustrating when the laser turrets fire on that comment you are trying to post.

I don't believe that I make the mistake that many celebrities make - that my opinions on things political somehow matter more than others. Not really. This is more the equivalent of standing on a soapbox at "Speakers Corner". And you have to come find me - I'm not infesting broadcast media. You *ask* my server for these packets.

Anyway - for you guys who are here because you heard that John of Argghhh! actually sometimes talked about guns and militaria - here's the navigation map to The Story So Far. They link to the appropriate archives by topic. I'm (still)working a new post on the evolution of the Vickers Machine gun - but these things take time! In fact, here's proof - I have the collecting jones so bad that I actually tracked down this - an actual Australian Army inventory sheet - so that I could fill this (procured buck-nekkid empty three years ago) so that it looks like this.

pltbox_web.jpg

Hi-res click here.

Anyway - here's some linkages to the discussions - where it says "The Arsenal" is a link to the photo-archive. (always available on the sidebar) - the rest are links to the blog archives.

Rifles
Pistols
Sub-machine Guns
Machine Guns
Gun P0rn: A Naughty Expose' of the fiddly-bits.a>
Artillery
Grenades
Helmets
Ammunition
General Militaria
Guns by Nation

And, of course, there is always the direct link to the Imperial Arsenal itself!


Visitors should also note the following caveats:

Periodic Goblin Warning (SM)

As a service to Goblins who are considering Seizing The Arsenal (this excludes LE types: y'all come with a warrant, knock [no no-knocks, please, the front door is expensive], take what the warrant specifies and we'll talk about it in court - just please take care of 'em, you know, periodic cleaning, oiling, etc. They're used to being spoiled like that) here is a periodic warning on Why Trying To Steal My Collection Isn't A Good Idea.

Note to thieves trying to figure out where I live: Once you do that, you've got to get past the living interior and exterior guard, the security system (hint, cutting the phone and cable WON'T help), and finally, if I'm home - me. WonderWife (TM) v3.x is also right handy with the Winchester M97 trench gun. I like that one because it's handy, will blow you into large chunks, but not pass through the walls of the house to annoy my neighbors. Hardwood floors, so clean-up is easy. I'm a reasonable fellow, if you surrender meekly or run away, that will be fine. Not interested in killing or maiming anyone unless you are dumb enough to attack me or my family. The furry members count as family, BTW. Do that, then I will clean the gene pool. Plus guys, impressive as it looks, it's not as valuable as you might think - and it would be very hard to move, since you would be flooding the market. Not to mention the fact that every dealer within a (classified) radius would have a list of serial numbers and descriptions within 24 hours (ain't the internet great?). Oh, yeah - did I mention that robbing licensees is a federal offense? The feds don't go overboard after little stuff, but whacking this collection would likely garner their interest - so choose your accomodations! Plus 'bangers won't like these - the ones that look like they can shoot a lot - can't, and many of them won't work properly if you hold them sideways like they do in the movies.

So, go find an easier target, eh? No - better yet - get a real job that has better fringes.


Periodic Disclaimer for anti-gunners and law enforcement surfers (I don't mind you LE types) Heck, I don't mind the anti-gun types until they start trying to send LE types to take 'em away... here we go with the Periodic Disclaimer (TM):

Everything you ever see in photos here that I own is fully legal to own, federal, state, and local - WHERE I LIVE! Your mileage may vary, such as living in the Borg Collectives of California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, etc. Though ya might be surprised to find out what's legal where you live. I am a licensed collector (which isn't a license to collect, just to receive via the mails), and that only applies to curio and relic firearms. Fortunately, that's about all I want to own. On these pages I will from time to time share my toys, much like Kim du Toit does.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 27, 2005

June 7, 2005

A good idea, combined with Gun Pr0n!

Over at Barking Moonbat Early Warning System the Skipper posts his idea on what to do about Darfur, while simultaneously helping in Iraq. We concur.

But what really caught our eye was the photograph of Darfurian Women and the Weapons They Like.

Go visit, and take a look. It's a collectors dream! I'm not posting the pic - play nice and go visit the skip - then come back and see if your list agrees with mine.

Lessee - in order front to rear..

German STG44
German/Italian Beretta MP38A SMG
Egyptian Hakim
Italian M91 Carcano Carbine
Two CZ52 Rifles (bayonets extended) Could be 52/57s...
Mauser
M14/M1A (Most likely a 14)
M49/56

I think I got 'em all...

I wouldn't want to be the G4 Ammo guy for this horde, however!


Hat tip to the Heartless Libertarian!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 07, 2005

March 5, 2005

Since I'm busy with computer issues today...

I'll leave you with this video. Watch closely. The Armorer thinks there is a problem with this particular approach, that is visible in the video. Lemme know what you think I'm talking about - or just your comments altogether!

Castle Denizens - this weapon will be available to play with at the party tonight.

Click here to view the video. If you are coming in dial-up, you probably want to right click and save as.

Hat tip to SangerM for the video!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 05, 2005

March 2, 2005

Getting back to my roots.

In light of comments in the post below, it is obviously time to drag this thing back up into the light for all you not-long-time readers. This is just a periodic post for relative newbies to the site who don't realize the real reason I set this thing up was to share my collection with the world - and point out you don't know what the guy next door has in his basement... but that doesn't mean he's a nut. As the blog has morphed over time, now and again I've gotten a little too wrapped up in the politics and the war - and, well, yes, work, too - and I've strayed a bit from my roots. Well that and the great parties the Denizens throw in the comment sections now and again... Please don't stop, Denizens! It makes it fun when sometimes it's real work to maintain (fought off 1,780 spams today, for example... but 132 got through and had to be slain inside the Keep!).

With great hubris I too have made the mistake that many celebrities make - that my opinions on things political somehow matter more than others. Well, not really. This is more the equivalent of standing on a soapbox at "Speakers Corner".

Anyway - for you guys who are here because you heard that John of Argghhh! actually sometimes talked about guns and militaria - here's the navigation map to The Story So Far. They link to the appropriate archives by topic. I'm working a new post on the evolution of the Vickers Machine gun - but these things take time! In fact, here's proof - I have the collecting jones so bad that I actually tracked down this - an actual Australian Army inventory sheet - so that I could fill this (procured buck-nekkid empty three years ago) so that it looked like this.

pltbox_web.jpg

Hi-res click here.

Anyway - here's some linkages to the discussions - where it says "The Arsenal" is a link to the photo-archive. (always available on the sidebar)

Rifles
Pistols
Sub-machine Guns
Machine Guns
Gun P0rn: A Naughty Expose' of the fiddly-bits.a>
Artillery
Grenades
Helmets
Ammunition
General Militaria
Guns by Nation

And, of course, there is always the direct link to the Imperial Arsenal itself!


Visitors should also note the following caveats:

Periodic Goblin Warning (SM)

As a service to Goblins who are considering Seizing The Arsenal (this excludes LE types: y'all come with a warrant, knock [no no-knocks, please, the front door is expensive], take what the warrant specifies and we'll talk about it in court - just please take care of 'em, you know, periodic cleaning, oiling, etc. They're used to being spoiled like that) here is a periodic warning on Why Trying To Steal My Collection Isn't A Good Idea.

Note to thieves trying to figure out where I live: Once you do that, you've got to get past the living interior and exterior guard, the security system (hint, cutting the phone and cable WON'T help), and finally, if I'm home - me. WonderWife (TM) v3.x is also right handy with the Winchester M97 trench gun. I like that one because it's handy, will blow you into large chunks, but not pass through the walls of the house to annoy my neighbors. Hardwood floors, so clean-up is easy. I'm a reasonable fellow, if you surrender meekly or run away, that will be fine. Not interested in killing or maiming anyone unless you are dumb enough to attack me or my family. The furry members count as family, BTW. Do that, then I will clean the gene pool. Plus guys, impressive as it looks, it's not as valuable as you might think - and it would be very hard to move, since you would be flooding the market. Not to mention the fact that every dealer within a (classified) radius would have a list of serial numbers and descriptions within 24 hours (ain't the internet great?). Oh, yeah - did I mention that robbing licensees is a federal offense? The feds don't go overboard after little stuff, but whacking this collection would likely garner their interest - so choose your accomodations! Plus 'bangers won't like these - the ones that look like they can shoot a lot - can't, and many of them won't work properly if you hold them sideways like they do in the movies.

So, go find an easier target, eh? No - better yet - get a real job that has better fringes.


Periodic Disclaimer for anti-gunners and law enforcement surfers (I don't mind you LE types) Heck, I don't mind the anti-gun types until they start trying to send LE types to take 'em away... here we go with the Periodic Disclaimer (TM):

Everything you ever see in photos here that I own is fully legal to own, federal, state, and local - WHERE I LIVE! Your mileage may vary, such as living in the Borg Collectives of California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, etc. Though ya might be surprised to find out what's legal where you live. I am a licensed collector (which isn't a license to collect, just to receive via the mails), and that only applies to curio and relic firearms. Fortunately, that's about all I want to own. On these pages I will from time to time share my toys, much like Kim du Toit does.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Mar 02, 2005

February 25, 2005

The Answer

All righty then... yesterday I brought out the Arsenal's Chinese Type 51 copy of the Soviet Tokarev pistol. He was damaged during his career on active service, though not as badly as his previous owner who was deadlined and dropped from the reporting system.

And the answer? How many dings?

And the Lord of the Keep spake, saying, 'First shalt thou peer closely, seeking the places where metal is not, yet whereat it should be. Then shalt thou count those places where metal, due to energetic energy transfer, hath been made thinner, yet denser, than previous. Seek thou also the place where plastic no longer is where it once was. Truly, there shall also be a lessening of metal, and a increase in density there. When thou has done this aright - Then, shalt thou count to four. No more. No less. Four shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be four. Five shalt thou not count, nor either count thou three, excepting that thou then proceed to four. Six is right out. Once the number four, being the fourth number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Cap of Celebration towards yonder scruple, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.' So ends this reading from the Book of the Castle, Chapter Miniatus Armas.

Indeed. Four is the answer. Except when it is five. As it is. But not for this, as the 5th point of damage is on the side that is terra incognito - the Far Side of the Pistol, (a new album coming soon from Pink Floyd). The hit on the backstrap hit a pin which transferred the energy over to the other side, damaging that grip as well. Per the comments from some of you yesterday, you may recognize this staining pattern, as well. There's more than that, but it proved challenging to photograph with the time I have this morning.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 25, 2005

February 24, 2005

Okay - we did it with Bill, now let's do it with me.

Get yer mind out of the gutter.

This is the Arsenal's Chinese Type 51 Pistol, a copy of the Soviet TT33. Like "Hubert," Twitchy Bill's Trusty Steed, this pistol and its previous owner had a tough day at the office.

Unlike Twitchy and Hubert, the pistol's then-owner did not survive the encounter. Evidence of the encounter is visible on the pistol. How many hits do you see?

Click here for hi-res.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 24, 2005

February 23, 2005

OKay, let's answer that teaser...

The consensus (with some not-so-gentle shoving by the Armorer) was moving towards a Vickers firing lock. Some people picked up on the hint that when the Armorer does this sort of thing he's using pictures which are up in the Arsenal photo album... and paid attention to what folder was what.

Of course, in preparation for this, there was also some Maxim stuff in that folder...

Here is a Vickers lock and a Maxim lock side by side - and just as importantly - they are oriented as if they were in their respective receivers.

They are in the 'locked' position - ready to fire.

Some of you twigged fairly early to a Maxim-style lock (on the right in this photo, a Russian/Finn M1910). All Maxims, all calibers, use a lock that is virtually identical. There may be slight dimensioning differences based on calibers and materials, but they all follow this pattern.

The Vickers is a Maxim-derived gun - and the difference is in the lock. The Vickers shoots more quickly, and is smaller and lighter than equivalent-caliber water-cooled Maxims. And the secret to that is in the lock. Vickers took Maxim's design and left the extractor as it was (that's the part to the right side of the locks which strip, feed, and eject the rounds) and flipped the lock upside down. This made the 'break' of the knuckle in recoil all take place within the vertical space occupied by the lock - instead of breaking below the lock, like the Maxim does. Got that?

1. Strip.

2. Feed.

3. Eject.

This action is why you cock a Maxim-style gun twice... once to strip from the belt, second time to feed the stripped round to the breech, while stripping the next round.

A safety note. In the pics above, you see what looks like a cut-out in the extractor. That's actually a modification done to make the lock safe to handle. This was a training lock used by the Finns. These weapons are VERY DANGEROUS - aside from the Usual Caveats for firearms - WHEN HANDLING THE LOCK. Why? Because the lock contains the firing pin, firing pin spring, sear, and hammer - though you wouldn't recognize the hammer as such. Technically, it's termed a *tumbler*. Point being - if you have a round in the extractor, in front of the firing pin, and you trip the sear (not hard to do) you have an unsupported round that is going to explode. Wear your goggles and Interceptor if you are planning on running with these scissors.

In this picture, you can see how a Maxim operates - loading, firing, ejecting. In most machineguns - the action is straight line - reciprocating back and forth, with the bolt twisting to lock in the breech. On Maxim's guns - the lock stays in the vertical plane, but the actual 'locking' of the weapon occurs when the arm returns to horizontal. Then, upon firing, the barrel gets an initial rearward impulse that moves the recoil plates back along the sides of the locking arm, camming it to break, at which point the lock continues rearward against the action of the fusee spring, which sends the lock forward again to start the process all over again. Complicated. Expensive - but damned reliable, which is why the Maxim still serves in China, and the Vickers served in Brit usage until 1968 or so. But all that, with pictures... is the subject of a later eye-glazing post.

Let's take a look at the locks overlaid on a full-scale poster of the Soviet Maxim. If you click the link, you'll see the Maxim lock overlaid on the poster. Take a look at how the receiver extends down below the water jacket surrounding the barrel (the right side of the picture).

Now take a look at a Vickers. Although this picture doesn't show it that well (hey, excuse to take more!) the receiver on the Vickers is not much deeper than the water jacket - and the reason for that is the weapon ejects the spent brass through a hole right under the water jacket. A tremendous savings in strategic materials, weight, production time, and an increase in firing rate. What more could you ask? The Maxim is much deeper, hence heavier and more clumsy to lug around. I wish I had an MG08/15 to show the attempt to deal with that.

That then - is the genius of the Vickers modification to Maxim's design. Flipping the lock. Just look at the space it saves.

The drawings in this post are from Dolf Goldsmith's book, The Devil's Paintbrush - though the actual drawings are Ministry of Defense drawings from the MoD Pattern Room. Anyone who is *serious* about their machineguns parts with the lucre for those two books - which aren't cheap.

Vickers - The Grand Old Lady of No Man's Land.

Maxim - The Devil's Paintbrush.

Available from the publisher, and elsewhere, I'm sure.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 23, 2005

February 21, 2005

Teaser

Here's a teaser for an upcoming series of posts I'm working on. Another multi-day fest of Gun Pr0n!

Anybody besides JMH and Neffi (c'mon guys, it's not like it's a challenge for you - this would be like having a pro player on a high school team) want to hazard a guess as to what this is? For? Etc? You two can respond email so you can still count your coup points...

I'll give you something I usually leave out - scale. This is a little larger than life size.

Update: Here's a really obtuse hint. Just cuz' SWWBO's gone and I'm feeling mean.

Otay. Here's another hint.

Yet another hint...

Final (I think) Update:

Okay - we're getting close now. CRFan - I'm jealous you've got an MG08/15!

Final hints - look at the pic, look at the pics below - and tell me which one you think is which - and why... because there is a key difference, and it is the key difference between any weapon with Maxim in it's name and a Vickers (vice a Maxim-Vickers... which, has Maxim in it's name, but sometimes you guys don't keep tips like that in mind). I dunno about you guys - this really wasn't intended as a "What is it?" post like I've done in the past - but this one has been fun for me.

Pic 1.

Pic 2.

Pic 3.

Pic 4.

Okay - one of 'em is a red herring for Phil! Wanna take a guess at what that is, Phil? It's not the obvious one...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 21, 2005

February 18, 2005

Just sayin'

This is your collection. (The Arsenal at Castle Argghhh!)

This is your collection on a budget. (The basement at Outpost Neffi)

This is your collection on steroids. (Springfield Arsenal)

Click on the first and third pictures to take virtual tours of the Arsenal at Castle Argghhh! and the Springfield Armory museum.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 18, 2005

February 16, 2005

Baby Pictures!

I had an email exchange with Neffi yesterday, inspired by the Mulligan Day post.

Just co-inky-dink, I guess, but today I received in the mail a pair of checkered walnut grips for the Sig (replacing the too-slick plastic originals). So MD is off to a good start... better get some pork chops on the way home!

He then sent me a picture of his new baby. Which gave me an idea. Baby Pictures! Mebbe a monthly thing, where you guys send me pictures of your babies and we here at the Castle post 'em? Along with any good stories if you have 'em. If you have ugly babies, they can be anonymous - ugly in the sense that you don't want your friends and neighbors to know you have, well, y'know, guns. Of course, people like that likely don't visit here much. We can also elide s/n's from the picture for those of you who have concerns about that. And perhaps Neffi will provide pics of his MP40 other than that teaser he sent a while ago...

Anyway - to initiate the process - here's a picture of Neffi's baby, a SIG P232.

A slightly higher-res picture is available here.

Given the Armorer's tastes, this is about the only way newer civilian weapons are going to find their way onto these pages...! So - let's see if there's any interest... and remember, you don't *have* to have a digital camera - Wal Mart and other places will take your film and give you digital photos back.

For a review of the SIG by shooters, see Les Jones' post on the pistol.

Update: While my intent was to do a large post, once a month or so, the Airborne Combat Engineers jumps on the bandwagon early - but he makes a good point - if you blog, post it yourself and send me the link if you'd like.

Really like the Carnival of the Recipes... in this case, the Carnival of the Toys. Not that it's *ever* going to be as big as SWWBO's COTR!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 16, 2005
Airborne Combat Engineer links with: Cute little baby handgun
Airborne Combat Engineer links with: ACE's "baby"

February 7, 2005

Dreams...

The Castle does not yet have the resources, in both time and funding, for a display of this sophistication.

WWI German equipment at the National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning, Georgia.

But it *is* nice to know that Great Minds think along similar lines.

The "Germanic Wall" in the Arsenal at Castle Argghhh!, which includes Austrian and Swiss long iron. (Like I said, space is at a premium, so disregard the Brit sniper rifle and the Bren gun on the AA tripod...)

Hi-res version is here.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Feb 07, 2005

January 13, 2005

Gratuitous Gun Pic

One of these would look good on the battlements of the Castle. Mebbe two.

A CIWS - not the Royal Navy sailor servicing it! Something for you sailors, today.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jan 13, 2005

January 3, 2005

New Equipment updates.

I recently got sent an update brief on some of the new, or newly modified gear, being fielded or scheduled for fielding. I'll be posting it in chunks over the next couple of days.

First installment includes updates on the XM107, the Semi-Auto Sniper Weapon System (SA-SWS), updates to the M249, Mk46 and Mk 48 machine guns, Shotguns, grenades, non-lethals, and the TOW Bunker Buster.

Download file

by John on Jan 03, 2005

November 29, 2004

A little more Fallujah news.

Know someone who fought at Fallujah? Know someone who didn't, but is in awe of the fight and fighters? Know someone who likes to collect comparatively rare t-shirts?

Look no farther! The wife of a deploying National Guardsman has designed a shirt to fit your needs!

LollaFallujah 2004

Her eBay store can be accessed here.

Hat tip to Myron for the pointer!

Regular visitors to the Castle know about the Arsenal. And the fact that the Armorer generally eschews new firearms for those that have a firmly established history.

The Armorer is pleased to see that US troops serving in Fallujah share his tastes, and are making use of an oldy-but-goodie, the PPSh 41, the Russian 'burp gun.' Although, given the source of most Iraqi weapons, this one is probably actually chinese, the Type 50.

Hat tip to Chris C. for the pics.

Next, Strategy Page has two interesting bits on Fallujah:

1. Some analysis of how we went about it. Fallujah, the Plan Survived Contact with the Enemy.

and,

2. Jim Dunnigan's thoughts on how Iraq may represent a tipping point in how Muslims are forced to view the world.

Update: Doug MacGregor continues his habit of not making friends. In the last link, he continues to show that truth-telling to power never is a very popular job that gets you promoted - just like John Boyd found out. Interesting views expressed herein - and I'm not in a position to strongly agree or disagree, but I find the viewpoint, well, interesting, and I freely admit I'm always having to fight with myself to keep an open mind and *not* get locked into a "Waterloo Mentality."

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Nov 29, 2004

August 28, 2004

The answer to the question...

If you need to refresh yourself on the question... go here.

Many good guesses, not just in the comments, but in email, from people who were afraid they might get ridiculed for being wrong... (this is *not* that kind of site - unless you get stupid and snarky first!). Lots of people (22 in all) played this time, and much good logic and knowledge was on display.

Pretty much everybody fell victim to what Douglas Adams spoke of in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: '.....where due to a tragic miscalculation of scale, the entire battlefleet was swallowed by a small dog.'

1. We had people guess this.

2. And one like this.

3. And this.

4. Mebbe one of these.

5. Possibly one of those.

6. Someone even suggested these.

7. Surprising me (as this would have been my guess a few months ago), no one guessed this.

The answer is in the Flash Traffic.


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows �

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Aug 28, 2004

August 26, 2004

XM8 Rifle

Neil over at Digitus Finger & Co, pointed me to this article about the new Army rifle currently under development.

I thought I had already covered the topic - but it turns out that got lost in the shuffle. I did post a pic of the rifle I got via Murdoc Online.

But I hadn't yet posted this briefing. So, here it is. Click the pic to get to the whole thing.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Aug 26, 2004
The Kommentariat links with: Must stop drooling!

August 22, 2004

Today is Maintenance Day at Castle Argghhh!

So, aside from mowing the grass, the Armorer will be engaged in activities like this.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Aug 22, 2004
Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend links with: Spring Cleaning

August 16, 2004

Someday, after I win the lottery...

The Arsenal hopes to be able to display the collection like this, or something similar.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Aug 16, 2004

July 26, 2004

Convention-Free Zone

Since others, who know a heckuva lot more than I do, are going to cover the convention ad-naseum, this will be a mostly convention-free zone this week. I might mention it if something really extraordinary catches my eye - but go elsewhere, like Blackfive, Smash, The Commissar, Dean Esmay, the Queen of All Evil, or Michele for that stuff and come here to clear your head.

SWWBO and I will be going to Las Vegas tomorrow (N.B. Goblins - #1 Son with Shotgun still patrols premises, plus the other elements of a well-rounded defense). I'm sure we'll find something to blog about (heck, we're bringing two wireless laptops with us) and if I can't find anything, I'll do what I'm doing now - re-runs! Which, based on some comments to previous posts, ain't a bad idea. Some of you newer guys apparently don't examine the sidebars, and never visited the Arsenal - even though you were interested in guns!

So, if nothing else, I'll do posts like this, that link to the Archives! Click the pic to view Machine Guns...

Visitors should also note the following caveats:

Periodic Goblin Warning (SM)

As a service to Goblins who are considering Seizing The Arsenal (this excludes LE types: y'all come with a warrant, knock [no no-knocks, please, the front door is expensive], take what the warrant specifies and we'll talk about it in court - just please take care of 'em, you know, periodic cleaning, oiling, etc. They're used to being spoiled like that) here is a periodic warning on Why Trying To Steal My Collection Isn't A Good Idea.

Note to thieves trying to figure out where I live: Once you do that, you've got to get past the living interior and exterior guard, the security system (hint, cutting the phone and cable WON'T help), and finally, if I'm home - me. WonderWife (TM) v3.x is also right handy with the Winchester M97 trench gun. I like that one because it's handy, will blow you into large chunks, but not pass through the walls of the house to annoy my neighbors. Hardwood floors, so clean-up is easy. I'm a reasonable fellow, if you surrender meekly or run away, that will be fine. Not interested in killing or maiming anyone unless you are dumb enough to attack me or my family. The furry members count, BTW. Do that, then I will clean the gene pool. Plus guys, impressive as it looks, it's not as valuable as you might think - and it would be very hard to move, since you would be flooding the market. Not to mention the fact that every dealer within a (classified) radius would have a list of serial numbers and descriptions within 24 hours (ain't the internet great?). Oh, yeah - did I mention that robbing licensees is a federal offense? The feds don't go overboard after little stuff, but whacking this collection would likely garner their interest - so choose your accomodations! Plus 'bangers won't like these - the ones that look like they can shoot a lot - can't, and many of them won't work properly if you hold them sideways like they do in the movies.

So, go find an easier target, eh? No - better yet - get a real job that has better fringes.


Periodic Disclaimer for anti-gunners and law enforcement surfers (I don't mind you LE types)
Heck, I don't mind the anti-gun types until they start trying to send LE types to take 'em away... here we go with the Periodic Disclaimer (TM):

Everything you ever see in photos here that I own is fully legal to own, federal, state, and local - WHERE I LIVE! Your mileage may vary, such as living in the Borg Collectives of California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, etc. Though ya might be surprised to find out what's legal where you live. I am a licensed collector (which isn't a license to collect, just to receive directly via the mails - I still have to do the dealer-style record-keeping), and that only applies to curio and relic firearms. Fortunately, that's about all I want to own. On these pages I will from time to time share my toys, much like Kim du Toit does.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jul 26, 2004

June 6, 2004

Navigating the Collection

Having all my gun pics in one category is killing my picture-hosting bandwidth, and must suck for you guys with slow machines/dial-up access. So, I'm experimenting with a new format. You guys have to navigate a few more pages, but they'll load faster and you can find what you are looking for faster, too. I also have converted most of the displayed photos to links, which dramatically decreases bandwidth usage, with the trade-off that you have to click some more. I think that's a fair trade for both of us - you still get the pics, and I don't have to keep buying bandwidth!

Rifles
Pistols
Sub-machine Guns
Machine Guns
Gun P0rn: A Naughty Expose' of the fiddly-bits.
Artillery
Grenades
Helmets
Ammunition
General Militaria
Guns by Nation

And, of course, there is always the direct link to the Imperial Arsenal itself!


Visitors should also note the following caveats:

Periodic Goblin Warning (SM)

As a service to Goblins who are considering Seizing The Arsenal (this excludes LE types: y'all come with a warrant, knock [no no-knocks, please, the front door is expensive], take what the warrant specifies and we'll talk about it in court - just please take care of 'em, you know, periodic cleaning, oiling, etc. They're used to being spoiled like that) here is a periodic warning on Why Trying To Steal My Collection Isn't A Good Idea.

Note to thieves trying to figure out where I live: Once you do that, you've got to get past the living interior and exterior guard, the security system (hint, cutting the phone and cable WON'T help), and finally, if I'm home - me. WonderWife (TM) v3.x is also right handy with the Winchester M97 trench gun. I like that one because it's handy, will blow you into large chunks, but not pass through the walls of the house to annoy my neighbors. Hardwood floors, so clean-up is easy. I'm a reasonable fellow, if you surrender meekly or run away, that will be fine. Not interested in killing or maiming anyone unless you are dumb enough to attack me or my family. The furry members count, BTW. Do that, then I will clean the gene pool. Plus guys, impressive as it looks, it's not as valuable as you might think - and it would be very hard to move, since you would be flooding the market. Not to mention the fact that every dealer within a (classified) radius would have a list of serial numbers and descriptions within 24 hours (ain't the internet great?). Oh, yeah - did I mention that robbing licensees is a federal offense? The feds don't go overboard after little stuff, but whacking this collection would likely garner their interest - so choose your accomodations! Plus 'bangers won't like these - the ones that look like they can shoot a lot - can't, and many of them won't work properly if you hold them sideways like they do in the movies.

So, go find an easier target, eh? No - better yet - get a real job that has better fringes.


Periodic Disclaimer for anti-gunners and law enforcement surfers (I don't mind you LE types)
Heck, I don't mind the anti-gun types until they start trying to send LE types to take 'em away... here we go with the Periodic Disclaimer (TM):

Everything you ever see in photos here that I own is fully legal to own, federal, state, and local - WHERE I LIVE! Your mileage may vary, such as living in the Borg Collectives of California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, etc. Though ya might be surprised to find out what's legal where you live. I am a licensed collector (which isn't a license to collect, just to receive via the mails), and that only applies to curio and relic firearms. Fortunately, that's about all I want to own. On these pages I will from time to time share my toys, much like Kim du Toit does.

by John on Jun 06, 2004
Electric Venom links with: Great Green Gobs o' bloGGy Goodness
triticale - the wheat / rye guy links with: Overt Act Toward Buying A Gun Day
The Gantry Launchpad links with: Warriors and Soldiers

June 3, 2004

Gratuitous Gun Pics

INFANTRY: Long Range Sniping and Thin Air

June 3, 2004: When the .50 caliber (12.7mm) sniper rifle was introduced in the 1980s, it was expected that records for the longest range sniper shot would regularly be broken. That finally happened, in Afghanistan on March 2-1, 2002. A team of Canadian snipers (Master Corporal Graham Ragsdale, Master Corporal Arron Perry and Corporal Dennis Eason of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry), using the .50 caliber MacMillan Tac-50 sniper rifle, got at least one kill at 2,400 meters. There were several others at ranges nearly as long.

The previous record had been 2,250 meters, set by U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock in Duc Pho, South Vietnam in 1967. The Hathcock shot was also made with a .50 caliber weapon, but this was not the modern .50 caliber sniper rifle, but a standard M-1 .50 caliber machine-gun with a scope on it. The previous records, many with poor documentation, with 7.62mm caliber sniper rifles, rarely exceeded a thousand meters. Technically, the 12.7mm sniper rifle is only accurate enough for consistent hits at up to about 1,800 meters.


Carlos Hathcock

The Canadians, and all modern snipers, use custom built rifles and ammo for their work. Hathcock had another disadvantage, he was firing in hot and humid Vietnam, while the Canadians were firing in the thin (at 11,000 feet) and cold air of Afghanistan. The hot, humid lowland air provides more resistance, and distortion, for a bullet. With that in mind, Hathcock always insisted that the shot was as much luck as skill. The Canadian shots were all skill, as they killed nearly two dozen Taliban and al Qaeda fighters at ranges of around 2,000 meters.

Before the specially made .50 caliber sniper rifles came along, the standard sniper rifle was 7.62mm (.30 caliber), with a standard effective range of 800 meters (although shots out to 1,000 meters were not unknown). The .50 caliber sniper rifle doubled those ranges, and then some. U.S. troops in Iraq are using .50 caliber sniper rifles, but are not getting as much opportunity to make really long distance shots because most of the operations are in flat areas.

I can't resist a little fun here... the PPCLI are also known as Princess Patti's Completely Lost Infantry...

This is probably a good point to bring up this little tidbit, too:

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper wants to give Canada's armed forces a $1.2-billion per year and bring troop levels up to 80,000.

Harper's defence package would see the number of troops skyrocket from the current 52,400. The Conservative plan also gives Parliament the right to authorize the deployment of troops to combat and peacekeeping zones, a decision cabinet members currently make.

While the state of Canada's military has yet to emerge as a major election issue, funding shortfalls and the aging equipment used by troops have been the focus of much debate in recent years.

Last week, Harper said the Liberals have put the lives of Canadian troops at risk by not funding the armed forces at levels that can afford appropriate equipment. In particular, the Iltis jeeps used in Afghanistan have been blamed for not protecting Canadians from mine accidents.

"We don't want to go over the top and start pointing the fingers at particular individuals and saying they are guilty for deaths, but hopefully as political figures we'll take our responsibilities towards citizens, towards our troops seriously," Harper said.

Just as we're having trouble with troop fatigue meeting our current commitments, so too have the Canadians. Not that this will provide immediate relief - the time between authorizing an increase, and accessing, training, and integrating those troops is about two years, especially if you are standing up units, not just filling out existing units.

Of course, as the thoughtful contributor of this little tid-bit pointed out:

Sweat it! We're going to be #15 no longer; #14 here we come!

Hat tip: Strategy Page, and JMH!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! �

by John on Jun 03, 2004
Les Jones Blog links with: Thursday Gun Links #20
Les Jones Blog links with: Thursday Gun Links #20