Monthly Archives: July 2015

Friday Tour d’Horizon 2015 Week 31

As long-time readers know, Tour d’Horizon is French for Clearing the Tabs. KWe’ll cover the usual subjects: Guns, Usage and Employment, Cops ‘n’ Crims, Unconventional (and current) Warfare, and Lord Love a Duck!


We really wanted to write more about these gun stories. So many guns, so few fingers….

A New Press Release Aggregator:

We prefer link aggregators like The Gun Feed to press release aggregators like Ammoland, but the new, just launched this month, is a good press release aggregator.

Colt Complications

Remember the Colt bankruptcy? It’s bogged down in acrimony between the bondholders and the hedge-fund owner-managers, who are trying to hang on to the company despite having managed it into the ground.

In this Hartford Courant article — which quotes from Bloomberg’s Paul Barrett without naming him, something we hope we haven’t done in our coverage of this mess — we get the latest news: the UAW (which is not just the union representing Colt workers, but also a minority owner) has asked the State of Connecticut to bail out the company. Problem is, Connecticut has done that three or four times before — and lost their money every time.

Sheriff Jim Wilson likes Custom Guns

Here’s the key reason why, in his own words:

A truly custom handgun—any handgun, not just the 1911—is built from only the best parts and those parts are hand-fitted. Quality parts and hand fitting costs money. What you get for your money is an accurate, reliable pistol that will last virtually forever

In our view, factory guns are pretty good, better than most shooters can maximize (we too), but customization can make the gun fit you better — physically, psychologically and operationally. For instance, we like tritium sights in a pistol, Vickers extended releases in Glocks, etc. But we kind of like the 1911 the way it was first issued to the horse cavalry.

Too Pretty for Words

We really want to do a story on Austrian gunsmith Peter Hofer’s incredible sporting guns, but, well, just go there and look at the pictures. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it: base prices begin around $115k, and record price recently is $2.2 million. 

A Couple of Ultralights

Oleg Volk is always interesting, but he’s been on fire lately. Here he’s promoting MAG Tactical’s ultralight (4.5 lb. with a micro optic) AIR15. Gun manufacturer link here. If that’s not light enough for you, how about a kid-friendly 3-pound Volquartsen custom 10-22 clone with Blackhawk! Axiom stock and carbon fiber barrel?

Naturally, since it’s Oleg, expect perfectly-composed photography and eye-pleasing models (including a reappearance of Maria Butina, whose appearance some of you hard-asses were critical of in the Russian reform story) handling firearms safely.

How Long Does a Service Rifle Last?

We all know the answer: pretty much indefinitely, with care (we shoot lots of century-old guns here).  But Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons explains why they last so long, even if neglected, in a short White Paper for ARES (.pdf).

No, TrackingPoint Rifles Haven’t Been Hacked

Despite what you may read on the net. If someone turns the Wi-Fi on and leaves it wide open, then people can get in and might be able to compromise the system (internally, it’s a Linux box), and then he might be able to screw with the system. He can’t load or fire the rifle, though.

CandRsenal Gunsight Views

We think we’ve mentioned these before — CandRsenal is a great site — but this story at warhistoryonline led us to their gunsight views of historic firearms. Very cool stuff.


There’ll Always be an England

Just when we start thinking there are people in England who know something about guns, there’s a post like this with the misleading title, Brit GUN NUT builds WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of scrap metal!

Actually, a guy found a neglected but bog-standard Lee-Enfield action and had a gunsmith assemble a barrel to it, and then added the furniture and some other parts. Being Britain, they got the barrel mounting of a firearm that was the British service rifle for much of the 20th Century wrong.

Usage and Employment

Firearms as Fashion

Susannah Breslin at Forbes (wasn’t she their reformed-hooker-in-residence) visits a high-end “Guntry Club” and has a look at Gun Culture 2.0. (From her photos, it’s a cool range. We’d consider it if our FL <i>pied-a-terre</i> wasShe also has a story of an experience with Gun culture 1.0 that ought to make your skin crawl. Dudes, a lady that walks into your store is a customer. But what are we saying? Scads of gun shops treat their male customers crappy too, just not by creepily hitting on them.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

Did You Hear The One About the ATF SES….

No, not the dude that had a glory hole in his New Orleans hotel room. (What, ATF hired Ivancev…?) Seriously, this is a new guy, Scott Sweetow, and he got frogmarched out of HQ last month for involvement in a “data breach,” further unspecified. No matter what he did, nothing’s going to happen to him: it’s ATF.

About the Cleveland Cop charged with murder

We haven’t had time to look at the tape, or read any of the documents, so we’ll reserve judgment. We generally take a dim view of cops shooting at cars, even though 99.9999% of them get away with it.

How Not To Complain about your Neighbor’s Drone

That would be, blow it to Kingdom Come. The drone critic was arrested. Suboptimal decision making.

Nonetheless, flying your drone over your neighbors may be legal, but not everything that’s legal is smart. 

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields.

Movie this Winter: 13 Hours

There’s a movie coming out called 13 Hours that’s about the heroism and sacrifice of a small personnel security detail of 6 men in Benghazi, Libya the night jihadis attacked two United States facilities in the seaport city, one diplomatic and one of an intelligence nature. The short clip we’ve seen (there should be a trailer online now, too) suggests a rocking action film.

Unfortunately, the movie is made by the hack Michael Bay. (“Hack?” Have you seen his Pearl Harbor? Hack). We fear wholesale departures from the survivors’ book the movie’s supposed to be based upon, and either silence or reversal of the political aspects of the film.

Russian Spooks Killed the Guy Russian Spooks Killed

Alexander Litvinenko, dying in hospital. They could do nothing for the victim of ionizing radiation from a "dirty" assassination weapon.

Alexander Litvinenko, dying in hospital. They could do nothing for the victim of ionizing radiation from a “dirty” assassination weapon.

Unless you were under a rock, you know that Russian FSB agents murdered dissident Alexander Litvinenko in London, using an assassination weapon that fired a lethal dose of Polonium-190. Litvinenko suffered in hospital, but there was nothing they could do but provide palliative care.

The Russian agents have now been publicly named. The two nuclear button men were Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, who have been decorated for their role in the murder by Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

The Treaty Making Trouble

It’s not just the State Department trying to stealth-repeal the 1st Amendment with ITAR regulation, cyberdefense has been compromised by an international treaty called the Wassenaar Agreement.

Funny how these treaties always mean unilateral disarmament to those who take them seriouly, and absolute bugger-all to those who do not.

Sudden Jihad Syndrome Isn’t a Novelty

Turns out it’s not such a new thing, but an old one. How old? Well, here’s an incident with a couple of Pathans in Australia — 100 years ago. The Australians didn’t take it lying down, unless by “lying down” you mean “firing from the prone position.”


Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to. (nothing tonight, sorry).

Time to Stop Making fun of the SEALs’ “Warrior Princess”

 Our position on the current “transgendered” publicity campaign hasn’t changed: if you decide you’re Jesus, they put you in the room with Neoprene wallpaper, but if you decide you’re Janet,  they try to alter the world to comport to your delusion. Both of these reactions can’t be right, and it’s our opinion that this is just a phase the press and Hollywood are going through on the way to where they really want to be — call it the “full-NAMBLA.”

So we’ve been a bit dismissive and sarcastic towards the retired SEAL who’s going around selling himself (we hope, not literally, but there’s some weird stuff on as a “Warrior Princess.”

Well, we apologize abjectly to all our frogman brethren for ragging on their Warrior Princess, because we now have an outed 18 series Rent Boy. We do always say, “It takes all kinds to make a world” — but who knew it was happening in our own Regiment, and even, in two of the three Groups we served in?

A former Green Beret led a secret life as a gay prostitute named “Swedish Steele’’ who married his wife just to get a green card, his jilted ex says in new court papers. Roe Garrido, 48, of Manhattan was sued by her Army ex earlier this year for allegedly stalking him.

Now, she’s swinging back, claiming in court papers that her former husband, Iraq War vet Jacob Ivancev, told her he worked construction — when he was really peddling his body on the Web site and working at city strip clubs such as Splash and Gaiety.

We saw what they did there — “swinging” back. Nyuk nyuk nyuck.

“I was stringing her along lying to her, and I never loved her,” Ivancev, a native of Sweden, even admitted in an e-mail, according to the documents. “The truth is I was married to somebody just for the green card.”

This is pretty common, and, it’s one more facet of immigration law that the immigration cops are under pressure not to enforce or investigate. We live in interesting times. No too long ago, an admission like that might have gotten a guy bounced from the USA. (Our personal opinion is that, whether his initial green card was fraudulent or not, and no matter where he chooses to, uh, dance, the guy’s served at least one combat tour for the USA, so he’s earned his green card now).

Garrido’s $7 million suit against Ivancev comes seven months after her former husband accused her of being a violent stalker in his own $4 million lawsuit.

The couple met in 1999 at Yorkville’s Pumping Iron Gym and got married in 2003. They divorced in 2011.

In case you’re wondering why chicks like to have gay friends, here’s one reason: the gay friend can drop a dime on their husbands if hubby’s living a double life:

A mutual friend told Garrido about her husband’s bad-boy behavior before the pair split, her suit says.

The pal told The Post that while Ivancev was a hunk who shook his booty in construction boots at the strip clubs and had “the largest endowment I have ever seen,’’ he also “had no rhythm and was technically a terrible dancer.”

via Former Green Beret hid secret past as gay prostitute: ex | New York Post.

Now, of course, this is where the Equality police will tell us, Ivancev’s marital troubles and dancing difficulties aside — he and his ex both sound like a couple of drama queens to us — he’s living proof that gay guys make great soldiers.

Except that the former team sergeant who flagged me to this article and remembers Ivancev well doesn’t remember a gay guy or a great soldier. Ivancev’s personal life didn’t interfere with his soldiering, but his personal character did. He left active duty’s 10th Special Forces Group under a reputational cloud, having been bounced off of multiple ODAs for multiple reasons. Indeed, at one time they were considering revoking his SF qualification and Tab (a very, very serious and once-rare thing, although more widely used in recent years, especially for CM/FM law violations). His company sergeant major, who had run out of ODAs that would take Ivancev, did stick up for him enough that he was able to ETS (End Term of Service, i.e. leave with an honorable discharge when your time is up) with Tab intact.

That’s when he came to the Guard SF. Another company sergeant major picked Ivancev up off the waiver wire, even after hearing his old senior NCOs drop a dime on him. (More like a whole change drawer). He was bounced off his first ODA there, too, although the deck was probably stacked against him because the team sergeant did what team sergeants do when an unknown quantity New Guy shows up: shake the trees and see what his reputation is. So from the first day in the Guard, Ivancev started with a bad reputation.

“Was it because he was gay?”

“Nobody knew he was gay, that wasn’t his problem. He was incompetent. That was his problem.” The team sergeant was able to get rid of him after he demonstrated that incompetence — even the hard-headed sergeant major accepted it.

Here’s a thought for you: most SF teams are a little shorthanded most of the time. There’s often room for one or two more guys. And here’s a guy that at least four teams who tried him decided they would rather run shorthanded than take along.


Update 16 Oct 15

Jacob Ivancev has commented elsewhere (comments on posts here close after a month) to defend his record, and deny every charge that his ex has laid against him, as well as the criticism a former team sergeant passed on to us. You can read Ivancev’s response to this post at this link. We welcome the opportunity to put his statement on the record, and it’s certainly plausible that his ex-wife made false accusations against him. That’s only happened to, well, everybody, it seems. If time permits we’ll probably seek out both Ivancev and the former team sergeant to reevaluate the whole thing. It is certainly possible that we have a false impression of the guy, from a news story and a couple of phone calls.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Thrill Rides

Sabrina Gordon during Navy serviceThe point of thrill rides is to scare riders half to death. But this one in California (where lots of guns already are outlawed) went the whole way. The victim was a 31-year-old married woman and former Navy signals intelligence veteran.

Sabrina Gordon, 31, fell from the top of the Free Drop attraction at the San Bernardino County Fair on Thursday, appearing to hesitate before taking the deadly plunge, witnesses and police said.

The Hesperia woman dropped about 28 feet, hitting the concrete ground instead of the cushion that is part of the Victorville fair’s cordless and harness-free bungee jump-like attraction, according to local reports.

“I’ve never felt heartache like this before,” Gordon’s father Lyle Bell told the Daily News. “She was afraid of heights. I have no clue why she went on that thing.”

via Navy veteran dies after plunging from Calif. free-fall ride – NY Daily News.

Heights can’t kill you. Even falls can’t kill you. But that sudden stop at the end…. Ave atque vale, Sabrina Gordon.

Veterans Affairs Doc: “Gun owner? Kill yourself!”

VA-veterans-affairsA gun-owner-hating doctor at the Philadelphia (where else?) Veterans Affairs Medical Center made his personal gun-control point a little bluntly. When he saw someone had posted the old comment on Facebook, “I am all for gun control. If there is a gun in the room, I want to be in control of it.” Dr Greg Gorton’s snappy comeback?

“Off yourself, please.”

The bloodthirsty quack in question is a VA psychiatrist who says he’s “worked 30 years to treat psychiatric patients. I teach about suicide prevention…” and once he was called on it, said he regretted his comment, deleted it from social media, and wished he could take it back.

You don’t need to be a psychiatrist to recognize the very human behavior on display here: I’m sorry… sorry I got caught. 

Of those 30 years, 11 have been at the embattled Philadelphia facility, which is so rotten with neglect and corruption that several senior managers could face “discipline,” which apparently stops short of firing or denying automatic “performance” bonuses, for systematically cheating veterans out of the benefits claims.

We can’t imagine needing or wanting a pshrink, but can you imagine plunking down on a couch before this insecure little bundle of anger, for a guided tour of the iniquities of your childhood? Intercourse that. The VA’s axon mechanics are not getting anywhere near our brain housing group.

They now say that Gorton’s “status is under review,” which we translate as, “We’re waiting for all this to blow over, because a VA job is a precious entitlement, while actual veterans are a pestiferous inconvenience for the workers who are our real clients here.”

What’s the over-under on Gorton seeing exactly zero consequences? We’d put our money on 100%.

And, what’s the probability that Gorton is a vet himself? We’d put our money on 100% less than that.

It has been a casual observation of ours over the years that many if not most people who study psychology, psychiatry or psychoanalysis tend to be high-IQ basket cases seeking the skills to attempt self-diagnosis and -treatment.

Going to a psychiatrist probably won’t do anybody any good. Going to a VA psychiatrist is some kind of self-malpractice.

If You Had Only One 5.56mm Carbine?

We have an entire safe full of 5.56mm ARs (well, there’s also an old AR-10 in there) along with the safe of other stuff. But for a lot of people one AR is a major investment, and any more than that take food off the table or otherwise crimp the family budget more than practicable. If you could only have one service rifle, what would it be?

This Larue PredatOBR is a fine gun, but its features (like a quick-change barrel) and price (over $2k before optics) mean it's not Everyman's one and only AR.

This Larue PredatAR is a fine firearm, but its features and price (over $2k before optics) mean it’s not Everyman’s one and only AR. Unless Everyman is well heeled.

Depends, of course, on what you want it for. Hunting has a variety of needs, depending on where you are and what your quarry is; and those needs are different than target shooting or self-defense. Even all target shooting is not the same: competing in 3-gun is different from competing in service or high-power rifle bullseye events. And all of these are different from just having an AR for fun, which in turn is different from home defense.

If you don’t know what you want an AR for, you might be in the same position as someone who wants an AR for multiple purposes. You’re looking for one all-around AR. And yes, trust us on this: you really want an AR, not an AK or G3 clone or Valmet or AUG or Tavor. You want simplicity, reliability, and commonality with the greatest quantity of parts, accessories, information, and ammunition: you want a 5.56mm AR.

For the average Joe’s Everyman’s Carbine, we’d recommend the following:

  1. a good name-brand gun, with
  2. a telescoping stock (it doesn’t matter which one, these are readily customized for short money when you want or need a change);
  3. a 16″ chrome-lined barrel — if you just want one gun, you don’t need a stamp, and chrome-lined has advantages in durability and heat management;
  4. a good single-point optic, not Chinese junk;
  5. a practical sling;
  6. at least six spare magazines, ruthlessly destroyed and replaced when they begin to malfunction; and
  7. nothing too exotic.

By Point 7 we mean don’t need bizarre alloys, trick billet construction, ambidextrous controls (unless you’re left-handed, but try a righty AR first and see if you can run it OK), quick-change barrels, and locavore organic anti-walk pins (if the receiver is drilled and reamed right and the springs are in the right places, pins don’t walk. Ever). That stuff is all marketing. It’s supposed to make you want to spend more money.

Want to spend more money, anyway?

Spend it wisely. Buy ammo and get training. That gives you two things that can never be confiscated, experience and knowledge.

As we were thinking about this a friend flagged us to a Kyle Defoor Instagram posting on a very similar subject — the simple carbine Kyle has been using lately.

Defoor BCM Carbine

Apart from being an SBR, it’s similar to our 7 points above. It’s a minimalist, lightweight approach. Here’s how Kyle describes it:

I was asked a few months ago if I could have only one carbine what would it be/what is a good all around carbine for most people? This would be my answer to both with the only caveat being barrel length as I know some don’t want to deal with ATF stuff. It doesn’t get any lighter, more reliable, or smaller than this keeping the ability to engage realistic targets (IPSC B/C) out to 200. I now have about 5k through the barrel so I’m confident it recommending it now. All other parts are proven, affordable, and easy to attain;

BCM 11.5″ ELW w/KMR rail [ELW = “enhanced light weight”; KMR=”keymod rail” — BCM likes three-letter acronyms –Ed.]
BCM buttstock (defoor version- not rubber) w/rigger band
Aimpoint Micro T w/Bobro Q/D mount
Kyle Lamb sling mounted mid and castlenut w/ Q/Ds
Streamlight TLR-1HL custom mounted at 1 o’clock
Bobro Lowrider sights.

Many people spend more that that and wind up with less gun for their money. Note that the Quick Detachable mounts Kyle recommends only make sense if you’re going to be removing and reinstalling the sight, maybe to go with a scope sight for longer range or a NV sight for the time your area of operations faces away from the sun. But most of your one-gun practical shooter guys are, for the same reasons they have one gun, one-optic guys, too. So, what advantage does QD buy you?

With the sling, you need to ask how you are going to use the sling. Part of being a Real MP5 Guy back in the day was learning what seemed to be 113 different ways to use the H&K sling. But most guys, even when they learned the whole Teutonic sling drill, would find one or two ways they’d use the sling. You might use it as a tactical sling, a shooter’s stability aid, or a handy way to give you two hands to work on something with without using your gun, but you probably won’t use it as all three.

The light is optional, depending on the probable use of your gun. Home defense? Get the light, because crimes take place on criminals’ schedules, and by and large they’re up and active when the honest folks are asleep. But if you’re going to lock it in the safe and take it out a couple times a year for a trip to the range, a light is just a container for dead batteries.

If money is really tight, you can build your gun or buy it a piece at a time. But it’s usually cheaper to buy one that already has most of the features you will want. These are not extensively customized guns of the sort that require just the right customer; if saving money is important to you, you can probably find some used guns in the classifieds of your favorite forums, or on gunbroker, that will meet your needs.

Rummy on Pollard

Recently, we expressed our dismay that the Administration has offered the release of traitor and spy Jonathan Pollard as a consolation prize to the Israelis, for getting Tel Aviv nuked at some future date, which is the intended outcome of his Iran deal. (Intended, at least, by the Iranians, who are not being subtle or dissembling about their intentions, at least, by Iranian standards of dissembling, which are at variance with those of the civilized world).

Now, the President does not read (although rather a lot of his underlings come here, some to support us, some looking to undermine us). And he probably doesn’t much care what former Secretaries of Defense say, but the last President who was looking to spring the egotistical turncoat got this letter:

pollard letter

Even Nixon’s relatively ineffectual SecDef, Mel Laird (never to be forgotten in SF circles over the initial Green Weenie for the Son Tay Raid participants) signed the thing.

In the early days of the Bush Administration, Israel lobbyists tested the waters again, producing another letter, this one from Rummy alone:

pollard letter2

We were reminded of the letters by the brusque, abrasive — and brilliant — former SecDef Don Rumsfeld himself, who tweeted:

Releasing Pollard was a bad idea in 1998 & 2001. It is not a better idea today.

Warming to the idea, and perhaps missing the Snowflakes he used to distribute to his stressed minions at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld tweeted again:

Releasing spy Jonathan Pollard doesn’t make the any less of a disaster for Israel & the free world.

And again:

WRT release of notorious spy, Jonathan Pollard, remember: if u want more of something, reward it & if u want less of something, penalize it.

That is a sentiment that anyone who has ever been in the beaten zone of Rumsfeld has heard a few (dozen) times. (We have a friend who was at the Pentagon and loathed Rummy as a person even as he mostly agrees with him on policy).

And again:

Spying ought not to be rewarded.

You know, Washington never had anyone bugging him for the release of #MajJohnAndre
As Rummy might put it, If you penalize something (like, say, letting spies live) you get less of it (as Americans grow weary of those with divided or foreign loyalties pleading for spies, and take more resolute action against future spies); if you reward something (say, arguendo, hanging them, removing them as a symbol for the disloyal) you get more of it.
And the incentives work another way, also. It’s indisputable that if you make the penalty for espionage a short walk off a long platform, attenuated only by a noose affixed to a solid object overhead, or the opportunity to personally close a high-voltage circuit, you get less spying from that individual and from any other rational actors who are paying attention.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Hot Coals

carbon_monoxide2_0Even the most innocent of things can punch your ticket, as this Canadian country singer and his Australian girlfriend could tell you, if only they could tell you.

On Sunday, June 7, Derek [Kehler] and Helena [Curic] were camping in Sydney’s Blue Mountains. Being wintertime in Australia, a cooking pot of hot coals kept by the bonfire was brought inside their makeshift cabin to stay warm. That night, they died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Helena was 31. Derek was 32.

via The End: Remembering Derek Ryan Kehler, 1982-2015.

This happened in Australia, where guns — interesting guns, anyway, like semi-auto rifles — are already outlawed. The promised eternal life for Australians (or anybody else) has yet to appear in the wake of gun control, and suggests as a matter of metaphysics that you may wish to place your faith in one of the world’s more traditionally established religions instead.

Carbon monoxide is interesting stuff. It is one of the most common combustion products and is created by anything that burns. The things that make an oxygen (O2) molecule look attractive to a red corpuscle make a CO molecule even more attractive, and the carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen in one’s bloodstream rapidly. Then, when the corpuscle arrives at a capillary where cells are desperate for oxygen, it has none to give them, just this cuckoo’s egg of a molecule that the cells can’t take and use. The oxygen atoms in CO might as well be in another galaxy for all the good they do the human organism. Absent oxygen, the cells die. One cell at a time, the organism cascades into death — very rapidly. It’s supposed to be a quiet and peaceful way to go, but no one has yet come back to tell us for sure, and so you probably don’t want to roll those particular dice.

It’s summertime up here in the Northern Hemisphere, and we’ve also had carbon monoxide camper deaths in New England and in Colorado this month as people made some bad decisions about how best to get warm after previous bad decisions about how to equip themselves (actually, in the Maine accident, some subgenius put a generator indoors to run a refrigerator. They died, but they had cold beer for the recovery team). Since education has segued into indoctrination in the Western world, we have an amazing number of people who can list all the luminaries of the history of this or that minority group, or who know some other of our equivalents of the Marxist-Leninist doctrine claptrap Soviet schoolboys used to suffer through. But these keenly aware social justicians, as we’ve seen, don’t understand that a two thousand pound wild animal is not a big shaggy dog. And they don’t know how temperatures drop at night in the mountains. They often, then, thin their blood with alcohol, and, shivering in their tents, with a number of complaining kids, they make some unwise choices.

No one, in their formal or informal education, has ever told them that Death attends bad choices. A summer working on a ranch, or a tuna longliner, in a machine shop, or even on an airport ramp around the spinning propellers would teach that, but most people raise their kids to be (in Apple’s 1980s gag-me phrase) “knowledge workers in a post-industrial economy” — soft, delicate flowers, liable to be shredded by the first gust of real-world wind.

The human organism is a weak and fragile one, prone to various malfunctions and easily disrupted by mischief from without.

And in the end, the scythe harvests us all.

Domestic Jihad’s Tennessee History

The incredible exploding deal.

What do most of the world’s terrorists have in common? The FBI confesses complete and utter puzzlement.

Writer James Kitfield has a remarkable article in Politico (not least, remarkable because an unsparing look at jihad seldom appears in such a reflexively partisan and multiculturist outlet) that ties the most recent Sudden Jihad Syndrome shooting to a much earlier one (2009), and casts superficial blame on Tennessee, an easy layup for Politico’s Beltway, Acela Corridor, and wannabe audience. He also makes the unsupported allegation that the 2009 incident was the first, which would be news to Nidal Hasan on death row

But it also looks into how an ordinary American kid was cut out of his family and radicalized, turned against his own people and acculturated to the most extreme and febrile strain of the death cult of Mohammed.

It notes something that the US media, which always prefers the pre-Islamic names for American jihadi converts/reverts1, seems loath to recognize: Carlos Bledsoe really did become Abdulhakim Mujahid Mohammed. Mohammed was the guy who shot up a recruiting office before, on 1 Jun 2009, killing one and maiming one soldier (Privates William Long and Quinton Ezeagwula respectively).

The Partisan Political Police formerly known as FBI remained utterly flummoxed by Mohammed’s motivation (as they are by the latest case of Sudden Jihad Syndrome, Abdulazeez’s — “maybe it was a domestic?”), and political appointees in the Pentagon displayed their contempt for Long and Ezeagwula by denying the victims recognition that they suffered their mortal and serious wounds in a terrorist attack, and spitefully withholding the Purple Heart medal from Ezagwula and from Long’s next of kin until Congress forced their unwilling hands.

Yet long before the five U.S. service members were murdered this past week in Chattanooga, before the Boston Marathon bombers, the Fort Hood shooting or the rise of the Islamic State, it was another troubled teenager from [Tennessee] who embarked on a journey of jihad and ended in the first deadly terrorist attack on U.S. soil after 9/11.

The road to jihad began here, where Highway 40 bisects the state Abraham Lincoln once called the “keystone of the southern arch”….

Somehow, in ways that a heartbroken Melvin Bledsoe even now doesn’t fully comprehend, his beloved son Carlos was transformed into a murderous jihadist, a hate-filled man who called himself Abulhakim Mujahid Mohammed.

Carlos, to a certain extent, was patient zero in the phenomenon of homegrown, lone-wolf terrorism, a scourge that struck the nation once again this past week, when another young man went on a shooting spree at a recruiting station in Tennessee. The parallels between the life stories of that alleged shooter, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, and Carlos Bledsoe’s are chilling and, perhaps, instructive.

via Tennessee Is the Capital of American Jihad – James Kitfield – POLITICO Magazine.

The whole thing is long, and quite good, so good it’s a puzzlement why Politico ever published it. (Maybe the editor just skimmed it, and saw Kitfield’s dishonest description of Mohammed’s SKS as an “assault rifle,” and tagged him as a political fellow-traveler?). So do Read The Whole Thing™.

And take care to keep your distance from, and your eyes and your gun muzzle on, American practitioners of the terror cult of Salafi/Wahhabi Mohammedanism.


  1. The term “revert” is often used by extremist converts, and may be a flag for extremism of the Sunni variety (Salafi/Wahhabi/Deobandi — the distinctions matter not, they’re all hostile to civilization, militant and violent). It is based on the theological conceit that all men are born moslems, but some are misguided into other faiths until they “revert” to extremist, murderous Mohammedanism.

ATF Shadow-Bans 40mm Practice Ammunition

Well, that’s going to make conducting our planned M203 class hard impossible. The ATF, pushing the limits of what can be done with a stroke of the pen, is declaring previously approved illumination and training-practice rounds (the orange chalk marking rounds) to be “explosives”. They’re following this up with trips out to individuals to confiscate the ammunition for their approved, stamped Destructive Device 40mm launchers, unless the owner happens to have an explosives license and an ATF-approved bunker.

M992 IR round

Ammunition they have confirmed they are confiscating is M992 infrared illumination and the M781 training practice round (seen below on the range, as featured in a story last year).

m203 Firing

The practice round has a plastic shell and contains a day-glow orange (and naturally degradable, environmentally friendly, even) chalk filling. It’s supposed to be a ballistic match for the HEDP round.

Here are some comments from an Arfcom thread on the subject. The original post:

Apparently the 40mm M992 IR flares are considered to be a explosive round. This is news to me. They got my name from the dealer I purchased them from, apparently they didn’t know either. Any one have any info on this. I’ve been googling it for a couple of hours now and can’t find anything.

He left his card on my front door. He said he was going to bring a copy of the explosives tech branch ruling.

The follow-up after the ATF visit, emphasis ours:

Ok so a update. The agent that showed up was an actual bomb tech. I surrendered the rounds under protest per the advice of a attorney. The bomb tech was a really cool guy. He agreed that it was pretty stupid and he hated to do it but he was being forced to help out with the case. He did also tell me that they had sent him out to take 40mm chalk rounds under the same case. I walked out to the truck with him and watched him place the rounds in the explosive magazine in his truck. When I told him I was surrendering the rounds under protest he looked at me and said “good I hope you can fight it and get them back because this whole situation is stupid.” I’m not sure if I will go to court over it or not. I’m not out enough money for it to be a big deal but it’s an issue that has me concerned. I know there are not enough people out there with registered DD M203’s for this case to ever become a big deal but it is really shitty that as far as I can tell all 40mm rounds are considered to be Low Explosives and can not be owned unless you have a explosive licence.

Note that the “explosives tech branch ruling” has not been furnished, although this letter is circulating. It was addressed to the original Arfcom poster’s dealer, the one that had sold him the rounds.

40mm M992 Confiscation Letter.pdf

And, a comment in the same Arfcom thread by a different user:

I just contacted my Senator and OMB concerning this. My Senator is very concerned and OMB’s response was interesting in that they say ATF is citing one section of law while ignoring others that define what makes a DD. OMB believes that ATF may be outside of the law on this and will be contacting my Senator tomorrow. After a nice discussion with an investigator there, it appears ATF is fudging the language of the applied section of code to make a determination to allow them to confiscate. The investigator with OMB believes that this may warrant action against FTB in BATFE. We shall see what happens if anything. But there is absolutely no doubt that BATFE is deliberately incorrectly interpreting the section of code and is pursuing illegal action.

Meanwhile, another user’s comments show that ATF’s capricious volte face on this ammo is having the desired chilling effect:

This is some terrible news. I just got my 40mm LMT launcher approved last month and have been looking forward to getting chalk rounds and illumination. I guess I will have to wait and see what happens next. Total bummer.

Our friends inside ATF say that the initiative was conceived and planned in the Chief Counsel’s Office. That way, managers have explained to the rank and file, they won’t have to answer questions to the public, press or Congress “because everything is under lawyer-client privilege.” They seemed to split on whether Acting Director Thomas Brandon initiated this policy or merely signed off on it. “It wasn’t his idea,” one told us flatly. “He’s not that bright. It came from the lawyers, or from DOJ through the lawyers.”

The Chief Counsel’s Office is in an unusual position in the ATF org chart, coequal on the chart (but more powerful in practice) than the Chief of Staff, and superior to the Deputy Director/Chief Operating Officer.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: N6CC

What’s that? It sounds like a ham callsign? And we think that’s what stands for, although the site breaks it out as Navy 6 Combat Coms. But what we were flagged to was the site author, Tim Sammons’s, stories of his service in the Navy on a forgotten class of small combatants, the Trumpy class PTF patrol boats. The boats were American-made licensed copies of the Norwegian Nasty class boats that were used by the maritime operations wing of SOG in the Vietnam War. Tim has great stories of the Trumpys he knew, PTF-17, -18, and -19, boats that resembled in style, construction and size the classic Elco PT boats of World War II.


The names? The source of Nasty is not clear; during their brief service in the US Navy they were known only by numbers. Trumpy is easier to figure out; the American boats were built to the Norwegian plan by now-defunct yacht builders John Trumpy & Sons.


They were powered by the bizarre and tremendous Napier Deltic diesels, strange engines with three crankshafts arranged triangularly, with cylinders in between, and two pistons in each cylinder — one coming in from each end, until they’d compressed the charge enough to fire. The Deltics were turbosupercharged, put out a staggering 3100 horsepower each (the boats had two) and could drive the wooden Trumpys to 45 knots, sea state permitting.


They were also armed with a small arsenal of 40mm, 20mm, .50 caliber guns and an 81mm mortar. Tim has a page specifically on armament — you guys might like that.

In Tim’s day, he patrolled the Great Lakes, but he has some interesting information about the Trumpys’ predecessors, the Nastys, in Vietnam, and the Trumpys’ ill-fated successors, the Osprey class (whose aluminum hulls were found to be too fragile for the mission).

If you want more info on the boats’ wartime adventures, see and where there are a lot of firsthand stories of these fast little combatants.

It isn’t just boats. Naturally, there’s a lot of cool commo gear on his website, including a clever hack that uses a VFO to stand in for a crystal in an AN/GRC-109 radio. (If you don’t know what that is, just crank this generator while Tim and I tune the antenna….). The hack will work with the OSS/Agency clandestine RS-1, too, which is a very close sibling of the 109.

Other cool stuff on Tim’s website include camouflaged or covert antennas and many other communications rigs, and annotated photos of the communications gear from the commo wing of the museum that the Democratic Republic of Vietnam made of the Presidential Palace of once-free Vietnam. Poor Thieu’s, or maybe by then it was Big Minh’s, situation map still is stuck to a wall in there.




At Cu Chi, he laid out $17 to fire 10 rounds out of an AK. The NVA fought capitalism before succumbing to it.


There’s also an interesting exploration of the wreck site of a rare B-17C (no B-17 that old survives intact).