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December 24, 2003

While we all head home...

Remember that:

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us." George Orwell

Stryker Brigade Soldiers form a perimeter during a patrol in Samarra, Iraq. The Soldiers are assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division’s Company B, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment (Stryker Brigade Combat Team). The unit was the first of its type to see combat, repelling a complex ambush in Samarra and defeating the enemy attackers. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Clinton Tarzia.

December 22, 2003

This just in...

BBC says Saddam "Not a Dictator".


Stalin was elected, too. So was Hitler. Many third world tyrants are 'elected'. Those bozos all know that the 'form' of democracy is important to be 'legitimate'. They are completely uninterested in the substance.

Puh-leeeze. No, I don't want to hear about GWB from people unhappy with the results of 2000. You guys will have a real (vice bogus) chance to undo that in 2004.

Refresh me - who ran against Saddam? Or thugs like Mugabe? Or Bashar Assad, for that matter?

Speaking of Mugabe...

BBC Link is to LesJone's blog. Mugabe link is to Boots and Sabers.

I'll take one of these.

In a rare nod to modern stuff, I'll take one of these things, recently unveiled at the AUSA conference.

Thanks to Mike L. for the heads-up!

UPDATE: Comes now George to wee-wee in my Wheaties (I yanked his comment up here):

I'm not so sure on this one. They got the bullet mass up, but have let the muzzle velocity drop to 2600 or so. I'd think a very slightly lighter bullet at 2800 would be more ideal, but it's certainly a tradeoff.

We're essentially going back to the 7mm Mauser on this one.

There are also the 6mm PPC and 6.5mm PPC AR-15s available, but PPC cartridges aren't the most feedable rounds in the world, with their sharp shoulders.

We certainly may have to up gun, especially with the possibility of facing an opponent that wears body armor. Unfortunately, all the choice are bound by our current powder, so maybe we need a new propellant that can maintain a more even pressure curve down the barrel, while fitting in the same case capacity.

I've thought of experimenting with a plastic chip/nitrous oxide hybrid, which is now used in rocketry, which gives a higher top exhaust velocity for a given propellant weight and chamber pressure. In efficiency it's between a solid propellant and a liquid propellant.

It's still not the ideal solution, though. Just something that would be easy to play with at home.

Any of you SmartGuys™ got an opinion on the subject?

by John on Dec 22, 2003 | General Commentary | Gun Rights | Rifles
» murdoc online links with: 6.8 mm M16

December 21, 2003

Ta-daaaa! PIAT P0rn!

Okay, ladies and gents, the wait is over. PIAT P0rn is here! Here you see Pete PIAT next to Carl the Gustav. (Yeah, I'm lazy, still haven't lugged Carl back to his shelf). While it was kinda covered in the comments to the original tease post below, we'll get into the down and dirty of Pete today.

I was going to direct you to a site that details a battle during WWII where a PIAT gunner won the Victoria Cross. But proud Canadian Dr. Funk beat me to the punch. To save you having to drop down, I'll just stick it right in here. Hat tip to Dr. Funk saving me any further work on that aspect (and a salute to PIAT Gunner Smith, I might add!)

Okay, so what did you do with a PIAT? You shot these. You shot them direct fire mode at point targets, like tanks, pillboxes, machine guns, etc. Or you shot them indirect fire at area targets out to 370 meters. A good gunner could hit point targets out that far as well, but the geometry of sighting could get a little complex - especially if you were trying to keep your head from getting shot off!

In Brit parlance, this is a bomb. It's a shaped-charge warhead, capable of defeating most WWII tank armor, if not the frontal armor of the last generation german tanks, certainly the top and flank and rear armor.

What were the challenges here? Well, number one, shaped charges do NOT like to be spun, it disperses the plasma jet that does the actual damage. So that ruled out a gun. Plus, this weapon was intended for leg (actual walking, non-motorized) infantry and airborne forces initially. So they tried to keep it a little bit on the light side. (It's still a monster to hump). So, how to make a recoiless gun without it being a gun - and yet able to absorb the recoil of a 3 pound projectile being sent with enough ooomph to travel 370 meters?

You make it a spigot mortar. With a whopping huge spring to absorb the recoil. And you stick what amounts to a .303 blank in the tail of the bomb, making the tail, in effect, the barrel.

With the rod retracted, you set the bomb in the flanges on either side of the hole. The base of the bomb is flared to fit these flanges and hold tight. The flanges served to hold it in place and align the tail for the rod. Holding in place was important when you were above your target, such as during the city fighting for Arnhem Bridge during Operation Market-Garden.

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