News from the Front
OK, not really from the front (at least not yet), but news from SPC HL, aka my wife, at Camp Roberts. Their first day there was spent doing familiarization training with machineguns-M249, M240B, and the M2. She liked the .50 cal the best. Just my luck.
I told her not to volunteer to be the gunner in the ring mount, because they're the ones that get it when the bad guys put IEDs under the overpasses.
The good thing is, as a SPC, she'll probably be the lowest rank on her team (CA operates in 4 person teams, and is mostly E-6s and E-7s) she'll probably be the driver.
Didn't get to talk very long, because she had to go to PT. PT after dinner is evil. Not sure why they don't do it in the morning.
Ma Deuce's Diary-23 April 2005
K Company fights off insurgents at Abu Ghraib
It was 7 p.m. and the Camden, N.Y., native was in his barracks room, located inside the Abu Ghraib prison getting a haircut when the attack began.
Lance Cpl. Chuck W. Mikitin, an infantryman with K Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, put his training into action. Donning his gear, Mikitin and the rest of 1st squad made their way to their assembly position as rehearsed in previous Quick Reaction Force drills; however, this was not a drill.
Ma Deuce's Diary-22 April 2005
Marine at ease
Greg Hixson glad to be with family after Iraq tour
He recalls one incident while driving down the road at 3 a.m. New Year's Day. An Iraqi vehicle suddenly stopped on the road.
"We knew something was up because they had to be inside by 11," Greg said.
But curfew didn't keep the occupants from shooting at Greg's vehicle. The Marines shot back, and the truck turned off its headlights and sped away.
He became accustomed to the sound of explosions far away and even close by.
"(I was) nervous and scared and excited at the same time. An adrenaline rush," he said. "You never know what's going to happen."
More Reason to Pass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Bill
Via Countertop, we find this post from Eugene Volokh concerning D.C. Code sec. 7-2551.01, which reads:
Any manufacturer, importer, or dealer of an assault weapon or machine gun shall be held strictly liable in tort, without regard to fault or proof of defect, for all direct and consequential damages that arise from bodily injury or death if the bodily injury or death proximately results from the discharge of the assault weapon or machine gun in the District of Columbia.
Volokh also notes that the city can also sue manufacturers and dealers based on such crimes, for reimbursement for various health care costs that it has had to pay, under a separate law.
As far as I know, there are know legal sellers of firearms in D.C.. So what this law means is that, as Volokh notes, that D.C. and its residents can sue out of state gun makers and gun dealers, even if the manufacture and sale of the gun(s) in question was legal at the time and place of manufacture and sale.
This follows a similar city statute proposed by New York city mayor Bloomberg.
Actually, following up of another bit of Volokh's commentary, maybe what we really need is a Protection of Lawful Commerce Act, which would protect the makers and sellers of legal products from being sued for misuse/illegal use of their products, provided that the product was made and sold legally.
My hatred of lawyers is in conflict with my libertarianism. My head hurts.
I Like this Guy Already...
even if he did used to be a Marine. "Gunny Therapy." We like it, we love it, the world needs more of it.
There is where any dreams I have of being an ideal physician hit the wall. There are some patients which need what I call "Gunny therapy." Gunny therapy is where you start smacking someone and yelling at them until they STFU and start making some sense. Most people who have ever appeared on Jerry Springer need a good dose of Gunny therapy. When some "out of control teen" comes marching out on stage dressed like a Harry Hines Hooker, flicking people off, and calling her mom a bitch, she needs Gunny therapy. She needs someone to come along, smack her briskly about the ears, and berate her for her poor behavior until she finally figures out that the beatings will continue until morale improves.
This child doesn't need to talk about his feelings. He doesn't need peer counseling. He doesn't need "A
self affirmating environment producing synergistic moods conducive to realizing his full personhood." He needs someone to stand tall and give him a good, swift kick in the ass.
Found via FoxNews.com
Fun With Headlines
Senate nixes Navy plan to mothball Kennedy
I guess the Senator from Mass. is big enough to be a ship, but why bother mothballing him? I thought he was already pickled.
The End Is Coming...
Well, not really the end. But this blog will, around mid-summer, go into hibernation, for all intents and purposes. On July 20th, I will be leaving Ft Jackson, en route to Fort Lewis, Washington. Once I get my household re-established there, I'll be heading off to the Yakima Training Center on August 26(ish), and I'll be pretty much stuck out there, most likely without much in the way of internet access, until just before Christmas.
I'm not even planning on getting cable tv or internet service hooked up until December when I get home. Don't see any reason to pay for something I won't be using.
Needless to say, blogging will be extremely light during that time.
RobArm XCR vs Krebs KTR-03S
Which expensive Evil Black Rifle to buy? Once upon a time, the answer to that question was easy to answer, at least for me. I have no desire to own a souped-up, $1,000 AR style rifle, even if such a rifle would be great for shooting in 3-gun (something I don't do at the moment, but would really love to get into.) No, my choice for a four-figure EBR was the lovely Krebs Custom KTR-03S. But recently, thank's to a post by Chris of The Anarchangel, I've started thinking about the Robinson Armament XCR. Now, purchasing either will require me to save my pennies for a good while, and I know the XCR, and possibly the KTR-03S require spending time on a waiting list just to get one. So I decided to sit down and do the best, pull-it-out-of-my-rear, purely paper comparison that I could.
Keep in mind that this is not in any way scientific. It's based purely on what I've been able to glean from magazine articles and the internet. If any of the information in here is wrong, somebody out there please let me know.
Now, for the comparing:
Krebs: Base cost: $1,000, up to $1,150 with a VLTOR stock. Personally, if I was going to get a collapsible, I'd ask Krebs to put a MagPul M93A2 on it. Figure total cost $1,250-1,300.
XCR: Base cost: $1,250. However, this doesn't include iron sights of any sort. Those start at around $170, plus I'd get the optional ambi selector lever for an extra $25. Figure total of $1,450-1,500.
Krebs: 7.62x39mm, available for $80-110 for 1,000 rounds of FMJ. You can use your Ferrari rifle for plinking.
XCR: .223, $110-120 for 500 rounds of FMJ (I prefer Georgia Arms 62 gr loads). However, if I were to use the rifle for 3-gun, I'd definitely start handloading.
Robarm also states on theire website that coversion kits for 6.8mm SPC and .308 will be available, but those rounds are even more expensive without handloading. However, I queried them about 7.62x39, and they stated that they are working on it and will also have coversions for that round. Hot damn!
Advantage: Based on what's currently available, I'll give the advantage here, in bost cost and availability, to Krebs.
Not a huge difference here in either cost or availability for either one (assuming .223 for the XCR). I have 12 AR-style .223 mags on hand versus only 8 AK mags.
Advantage: XCR, but only slightly
This bit is going to get complicated and a bit messy, because it has multiple components.
Selector The KTR features a Galil-style thumb switch, great for right-handers, along with a traditional AK-style selector. The XCR features an M-16 style right-thumb selector, with the option ($25) of a matching one for lefties. Advantage: XCR
Magazine Change The KTR uses the standard AK-style mag release and rock-in magazines. This is a less user-friendly than the XCR's M-16 style mag release and straight-in,/drop-free system. Advantange: XCR
Grips The KTR comes with a standard AK-style pistol grip, which can be easily upgraded with a TAPCO SAW style grip for $20. The XCR features a standard M-16 style pistol grip. Advantage (based on standard equipment): XCR
Charging HandleDefinitely a mixed bag here. The KTR has the standard AK charging handle, which is built in to the bolt carrier. Simple, strong, and, IMO, much eaiser to use if you have to pull it or push it forward while you're firing the weapon in either the prone or kneeling positions. Not as good, however, for charging the weapon while standing/moving, or changing magazines. The XCR features a FAL-style non-reciprocating charging handle on the left side of the rifle. Easier to use when moving or changing mags. Call this one a draw.
Overall Advantage XCR
I guess I could also, to steal a term from sports draft scouts, maybe call this 'upside.' Or maybe expandability I think it's obvious that the XCR is going to be a big winner here. The KTR is pretty much the ultimate expression of the half-century old Kalasnikov design. But when you have the rifle in a given caliber, that's all you've got. If you want a different caliber, you need a whole new rifle. The XCR, being originally designed to a SOCOM design requirement to easily change calibers and roles, you can easily get a different caliber, barrel length, and/or barrel weight/thickness. Yes a caliber conversion kit costs about $300, plus the cost of additional magazines, but that's a heck of a lot better than $1,000+ for whole new rifle.
Honestly, I don't know if this is really a good thing or a bad thing. On the plus side, all gun guys (and gals) love showing off their hardware. And with either of these, everyone else on the range is going to want to take a closer look at it. You'll probably draw a bit more curiousity with the XCR, especially if you've got a conversion kit and can switch calibers right there on the range. But garnering attention can also be bad: there are times when all you want to do is shoot, not answer questions about your rifle. I'd just call this a draw.
Final Tally Let's see, the KTR wins on cost and ammo, the XCR wins on Ergonomics and Flexibility. So, it seems like we've got a tie. Hooray for the forces of indecision. As for me, I think the XCR is now at the top of my list in the "Expensive Dream Gun" category.
Open Letter from Ronnie Barrett, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc.
Dear Fellow Citizens
In the never-ending battle to destroy our constitution, more "big lie"
propaganda is being dumped on our elected officials. The rhetoric
given forth by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) so easily deceived the
legislators of California, resulting in the banning of fifty caliber rifles
because they are powerful and their bullets punch holes when they
strike. Even single shot .50 cal rifles were banned. It's hard to believe
we live in such a dark time that someone has actually banned a single
shot rifle. But as you will see, this is the cleverest of all gun bans,
and the end goal is civilian disarmament, the confiscation of your
tools of liberty, your rifles.
What lies before us is the continuation of the misinformation campaign,
trying to coax yet another state to infringe upon the U.S. Constitution
as California did. The anti-freedom/anti-gun movement has discovered
how transparent they appear when they propose sweeping gun bans and now
are successful by biting off a little at a time. Ever so small, many
politicians are trading off your rights without you recognizing their
First we had the "Saturday Night Special" which was all affordable
handguns, then "sniper rifles" which were any scoped deer rifles. Those
were obvious, too big a scam to go unnoticed, but with the creation and
demonization of the term "assault weapon," the Clinton's Crime bill
produced a wasted 10-year setback on your freedoms and safe gun design.
Now comes another scam. This time they are shocked to discover that
rifles are "accurate and powerful."
This is the same bull the officials in the 1950's fell for when they
banned the self-unfolding knife. First the knife was demonized by giving
it an evil name, "switchblade," then we (the trusting public) were told
that the problem of gang violence was solved with its banning. How
ridiculous. It's surprising they didn't ban the leather jacket. In
reality, gang violence was and is a serious social problem, but it was not
related to manually unfolding verses self-unfolding knives. The elected
officials voting to ban an object like a knife proved themselves
unwilling or uncaring to understand the problem, and thus, incapable of any
The handful of people that make up the VPC are solely responsible for
the big lie on .50's, claiming fantastic destruction capabilities. They
manipulate fear by claiming terrorists will use these rifles on targets
of our infrastructure. "They will shut down our airports in flames"
they claim. VPC's Tom Diaz refers to them as "super guns" lying to his
dupable group of politicians, concealing the facts that there are many
rifle cartridges that are comparable in performance (those will be added
to the list in phase two). He is boldly telling these officials (and
all who will listen) that the risk of terrorist attacks on these targets
will be solved with the banning of powerful rifles, in this case, the
.50 caliber rifle. In reality, terrorism is complex and will be
defeated with improved intelligence. In this instance, the officials voting
to ban an inanimate object like a rifle prove themselves to be ignorant
of the problem of terrorism and are wasting time and resources.
You must understand the brilliance of this dangerous back door
deception. Your politicians are being told that the fifty is a highly
destructive cartridge that can destroy airplanes, fuel transport trucks and
depot storages of fuel. They show videos like the one on 60 Minutes
showing a 1/2 inch plate of steel being pierced by a .50 cal round while
stopping a .308 caliber. This is all to confuse the people, those with
little exposure to firearms; their impression concludes that the .50
punches holes in sensitive targets where other rifles cannot. Had they
shot actual aluminum that is used on airplane construction, or aluminum or
steel used in actual transport or tank construction, both the .50 and
the .308 will pierce along with most all centerfire cartridges. But
this, they must keep secret.
First, with the confusion of massive, (although incorrect) technical
data and the hammering of urgency, the VPC demands a ban or strict
regulations on rifles that chamber a cartridge that has the ability to
penetrate targets. Sound ridiculous? It is.
VPC's Tom Diaz appears often on TV with maps of Washington, DC,
irresponsibly instructing where to position one's self to illegally fire on
vulnerable important targets of our government, promising these specific
targets will be safe when .50's are banned. He pressures politicians
to act quickly on this URGENT legislation needed to make these terrorist
targets safe, hoping they will act before the VPC lies are discovered.
Now slow down. A ban on a rifle because the cartridge it shoots
penetrates targets? By the legislation naming and defining the targets that
are damageable by rifle fire, and in this case, .50 cal. rifle fire,
they create a new class of rifles. This new class is not defined by such
foolishness as detachable magazines, flash hiders, or pistol grips.
Instead, the test is; does it fire a bullet that punches a hole, and can
the hole result in damage to specified and named targets? If so, the
law-abiding citizen shouldn't be allowed to have this, so they must ban
this class of rifle before they can be misused. This is the very thing
California has just passed!
"Now, we are only talking about those powerful .50 cals, right? It's
such a small class, no one will mind or even notice." That's what the
VPC's lies have lead you to believe. No, remember they are banning
rifles because specific targets named in our infrastructure are susceptible
to damage. Now tell me, what centerfire rifle cartridge won't punch
holes in those targets? What centerfire rifle cartridge is not powerful?
Not many or not any? So, in order to comply with the spirit and intent
of the law, the Attorney General or State Secretary must add those
cartridges to the banned list. The big lie is exposed. They aren't just
talking about .50's. They're after your hunting rifles, centerfire
target rifles-just about any rifle you own.
Unlike California, we cannot allow any of our local, state, or federal
officials to be deceived with any of this "big lie" gun control
propaganda. The U.S. has every gun law that could possibly be needed.
Virtually every real world scenario of firearm abuse is already covered in
some law that is currently on the books.
Many of you have inquired as to the outcome of the letter I wrote to
Police Chief Bratten of the LAPD. Unfortunately, the chief's position
did not change. He continued to use his officers in the same deceptive
practices formerly utilized with the city council. These few officers
testifying in Sacramento ultimately contributed to the unconstitutional
AB50 law being passed. It saddened me to have to tell members of the
LAPD SWAT team that they would have to send someone for their rifle,
because I refused to assist anyone or any organization that is in
violation of the United States Constitution. In turn, the department arranged
to pick up their un-serviced rifle.
Barrett cannot legally sell any of its products to lawbreakers.
Therefore, since California's passing of AB50, the state is not in compliance
with the US Constitution's 2nd and 14th Amendments, and we will not
sell nor service any of our products to any government agency of the State
I appreciate all the phone calls and e-mails from LAPD officers and
civilians during that time, encouraging and supporting our actions. We
shall see if other firearms companies will follow this path. I know many
are corporately owned and feel like they are unable to risk the life of
their company for the liberties of our nation, but if we lose our
Republic, our freedom, what good is any of it? I am in the proud and
fortunate position that many of our forefathers were in when they risked all
for our liberties.
"Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would
they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at
the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not
what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me
death!" -Patrick Henry
This "ban large bore" insanity failed in Washington years ago, but that
didn't discourage the VPC. Now it's resurfacing in city council
meetings, in individual states, and it's being reintroduced in Washington.
NRA-ILA Executive Director, Chris Cox, once told me "These
(anti-freedom, anti-gun) guys never go away, and they never quit."
I've received thousands of e-mails and letters from you offering
encouragement and support. Our Republic, our liberty, needs and demands your
support. You must take action to guard your rights. First, find your
State Senator and State Representative. Tell them not to fall for this
scam. This lie depends on the elected official being naive about
firearms and their capabilities. Stand ready to carry this same message to
your U.S. Senator and Representatives. Know all of your elected
officials' positions on gun issues. DO NOT ELECT ANY ANTI-GUN PERSON TO ANY
Position yourself with me in the battles that we must fight. You need
to join the NRA, the Fifty Caliber Shooters' Association, and the NSSF
in order to stay informed. These people have been with me in the
trenches, fighting for every inch of the liberty you enjoy.
Today we draw a line; there will be no more nibbling at our freedom.
Today you stand idle no longer. Today you do something to save our
Owner and CEO
Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc.
I Will Now Resume Non-Wife Related Blogging
Which is probably a good thing for my overall mental health. So, without further ado...
Meanwhile, back at the Washington gubernatorial election...
From Say Uncle's favorite newspaper:
GOP analysis gives Rossi 100-vote win
But Democrats say state law doesn't allow counting like that
Without ballots cast by felons, dead voters and non-citizens, Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire would have lost the 2004 election to Republican Dino Rossi by about 100 votes, according to a statistical report cited by the GOP in its legal challenge to Gregoire's victory.
But it's uncertain if the courts will buy the statistical arguments, which are a key to the GOP effort to overturn Gregoire's 129-vote win. Democrats say state law doesn't allow such arguments.
So, basically, the state GOP did some statistical analysis, based on county and precinct data, on all of the illegally cast and improperly counted votes. Based on that, they say Rossi should have won by roughly 100 votes. The state Dems are saying you can't do that, and you have to somehow prove how each of those invalid ballots were marked to be able to declare the election result invalid. Since the whole purpose of the secret ballot is that nobody know how any one invidivual voted, this is clearly impossible.
I'm not a judge, and my recollection of the statute may be hazy, but here's my opinion: There were, according to the article, 1,030 illegally cast votes in the state. There were also somewhere between 317 and 660 provisional ballots that were counted without being verified. Either one of those numbers is larger than the margin of victory in the election, and therefore make it impossible to know for sure who won the election. And neither of those numbers include the 94 uncounted absentee ballots that were recently discovered in King County. These numbers would be the same no matter who had been declared the winner. 317 > 126. 1,030 > 126. Thus, the election results should be declared invalid.
Oh, and this time, the state should not accept any results from any county unless all their numbers add up and all their paperwork is straight. And if they can't get it done by the deadline, that's just too bad.
Note: thanks to Barb for catching my lousy editing.
Due to a nasty confluence of birthdays and a special-day-that-is-not-a-holiday (aka Mother's Day), I just about cleaned out the greeting card aisle at the PX today. Between my wife's birthday, my mother's birthday, and Mother's Day, I ended up buying a total of 7 cards. The breakdown:
2 for the wife's b-day-one from me, one from Jr.
2 for the wife for Mother's Day-one from me, one from Jr.*
2 for my mom for Mother's Day-one from me, one from Jr.
1 for my mom for her birthday, from my whole family.
Of course, both my wife and my mother insist that they don't need cards. We all know what that means.
Of course, I can't send any of the cards to my wife until she can give me a mailing address for where she is.
*Jr leaves on Sunday for California, where he will be staying with my parents until I get to Fort Lewis in August.
Sandbox Kit for the Wife
I'm currently looking around, researching some of the extra kit-above and beyond what Uncle Sam provides-that SPC HL might find useful over in the Sandbox. So far, I've already bought her a couple of one-hand tourniquets to go with her Combat Lifesaver (CLS) bag. (I got two on the theory that if she has to use one, she's unlikely to get it back.) Also planning on getting her a better bag for her CLS gear, and maybe some Quick-Clot and some extra trauma bandages to go inside.
One item I'll definitely be buying if her unit doesn't issue it-and from what I hear, they probably won't) is an Aimpoint Comp M2 (aka the M68 CCO) and the attendant hardware to bolt one to an M16A2 rifle.
Also looking at some good weapon cleaning gear. Can't decide between Otis or Kleenbore. Also haven't been able to find a good answer on dry lube vs CLP.
Oh, and a set of ESS goggles, if they're not issued. Don't want anything to hrut those pretty eyes.
One thing I might need some help with at some point in the future. Given the nature of her job-Civil Affairs, hearts and minds and reconstruction-I figure a supply of good American cigarettes might help her make friends and influence people among the locals. I'm in South Carolina now, where taxes on smokes are 2nd lowest in the nation. But in August I'll be moving back to Washington, where they're something like 5th highest. I may try to enlist someone out there in a low tax state to help me out with that.
I'm not blegging (at least not yet) and I'm hoping that I won't have to. But I'll gladly listen to any suggestions on what types/brands of kit are useful and where to get them for a good price.
Stay safe, babe. I love you.
MEMORANDUM FOR: SUPREME COMMANDER, HEAVEN AND EARTH (GOD)
FROM: COMMANDER, C Co., 1st Bn, 61st Infantry
SUBJECT: Detached Temporary Duty Request
1. Request temporary duty detachment for the guardian angel normally assigned to CPT [Heartless Libertarian] to guard his wife, SPC [Heartless Libertarian].
2. SPC HL has been ordered to active duty for service in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.
3. Temporary duty would be from 18 APR 05 until such time as SPC HL returns home and is demobilized.
4. Angel assigned to CPT HL has done an excellent job for 30 years of both keeping CPT HL from serious harm and out of trouble. Angel assigned to SPC HL has in the past shown some deficiencies in these areas. This headquarters feels that conditions in Iraq will likely be beyond the abilities of SPC HL's normally assigned angel.
5. CPT HL understands that he will be without guardian angel coverage for this period of time. Risk assessment has been completed and risk level judged to be acceptable.
6. POC is the undersigned.
Ma Deuce's Diary-17 April 2005
LP sgt. conveys concern for Ake
At two different times Carter helped escort civilian contractors through the Iraqi countryside. There’s a Humvee in front and in back of the vehicle carrying civilian workers, Carter said. Each Humvee is armed with a .50-caliber machine gun. Soldiers in the Humvees make sure they can see in all directions as they escort civilian contractors to and from their work site, Carter said.
WW II bomber flies into Napa
Bill Norton of American Canyon was awestruck as he gazed at "Sentimental Journey," a World War II B-17 bomber that flew into Napa Valley Airport at midday Thursday. "It makes all those old movies I've seen come true," said the former Marine, who rode his motorcycle to the airport to get a glimpse of the bomber.