Monthly Archives: April 2014

End of Month Stats

Somebody wanted these, and we do keep track of ’em, but in the past have only reported them when the month’s end falls close to our usual weekend posts.

Previously, at the end of March, our totals were:

Year to 31 March 2014: 245,087

1 January  2013 to 31 March 2014: 871,954

In Calendar April, 2014, we recorded 71,228 hits, which makes a total of 316,315 year to date, or 943,182 hits since 1 January 2013.

We did not collect any statistics at all during the blog’s first year, from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2013.

If the blog recieves hits at the April rate on average through the year, it will finish the year with 854,736 hits. If it receives hits at the first-third-of-the-year rate (1 January-30 April) it will end the year with 948,945 hits. Our goal is to break a million hits for the year.

Wednesday Weapons Website: Straight Forward in a Crooked World

Screenshot 2014-04-30 18.50.57It was a single essay that got us to label Straight Forward in a Crooked World as our Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week. It was an essay explaining why it’s a moral ever ever too deep into the motivations of criminals. Bottom line, they chose to be criminals:

So the next time you watch the news and see some horrific crime take place don’t think “what kind of parents did they have?”

That’s a key point that is often overlooked. Which is going to send us on a long digression from the website. Right now, the media, liberals, and friends of criminals — but we three-peat ourselves — are weeping bitter tears over the ugly execution of a monster named Clayton Lockett. To pick just one of these media malefactors, Molly Hennessy-Fiske in the LA Puppy Trainer Times found the execution “botched,” “violent,” a “horror.” Most of Hennessy-Fiske’s story hinges on an interview with Lockett supporter and anti-death penalty activist Dean Sanderford. Like Sanderford, Hennessy humanizes Lockett and dehumanizes his victim. She minimizes the crime, writing that “Lockett, 38, was convicted of shooting a 19-year-old woman in 1999 and burying her alive.” Compare her antiseptic description of the crime with what Lockett actually did

Clayton Lockett and two accomplices decided to pull a home invasion robbery…. [Teenager Stephanie] Neiman fought Lockett when he tried to take the keys to her truck.

The men beat her and used duct tape to bind her hands and cover her mouth. Even after being kidnapped and driven to a dusty country road, Neiman didn’t back down when Lockett asked if she planned to contact police.

The men had also beaten and kidnapped Neiman’s friend along with Bobby Bornt, who lived in the residence, and Bornt’s 9-month-old baby.

Lockett later told police “he decided to kill Stephanie because she would not agree to keep quiet,” court records state.

Neiman was forced to watch as Lockett’s accomplice, Shawn Mathis, spent 20 minutes digging a shallow grave in a ditch beside the road. Her friends saw Neiman standing in the ditch and heard a single shot.

Lockett returned to the truck because the gun had jammed. He later said he could hear Neiman pleading, “Oh God, please, please” as he fixed the shotgun.

The men could be heard “laughing about how tough Stephanie was” before Lockett shot Neiman a second time.

“He ordered Mathis to bury her, despite the fact that Mathis informed him Stephanie was still alive.”

Get that? That’s what Lockett, who supporters like Sanderford and Hennessy-Fiske believe had an absolute right to live, did to Stephanie Neiman, 19, who had just graduated from high school two weeks earlier and, to monsters like Lockett, and Sanderford, and Hennessy-Fiske, deserved to die. That’s why Hennessy-Fiske doesn’t want you to know what Lockett did: she’s on his side.

She similarly minimizes the crime of the next monster cued up for execution in Oklahoma, admitting that he raped and killed an infant. But she does not mention that Charles Frederick Warner was tried, and convicted, of raping the child to death, and was sentenced to die by a jury of his peers; and that murder groupies like Sanderford managed to overturn his trial on technicalities, and that, after an intervening mistrial, a second jury found him guilty of kidnapping and raping the child to death, and sentenced him to die a second time; or that he raped the 11-month-old baby girl named Adriana both vaginally and anally; or that he was also found guilty of raping a five-year-old in an unrelated case; or that:

Medical testimony in his second trial, which began June 16, revealed that Adriana was violently shaken and her skull was fractured in two places.

Her jaw and three of her ribs were broken. Her lungs and her spleen were bruised and her liver was lacerated, according to testimony. The baby’s brain was swollen and hemorrhaging was discovered in her eyes and around her brain.

…Warner was with the baby when she was injured. The baby’s mother, Shonda Waller, was at the grocery store…

Adriana Waller weighed 5 pounds. Molly Hennessy-Fiske doesn’t care to let you know that. The pedophile monster Charles…

“Warner never displayed any remorse for his actions and remained indifferent throughout both trials,”

…and she doesn’t want you to know that, either. Her focus is on sympathy for Lockett and Warner.

To hell with that.

(As an aside, consider “Hennessy-Fiske.” Isn’t a hyphenated name pretty much a red flag of Chronic Intergenerational Clue Deficiency Inbreeding Syndrome in anyone who doesn’t, say, command the 17/21 Lancers, have multiple Knights of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in the family tree, or serve as one of Her Majesty’s Ladies-in-Waiting?).

Straight Forward (yes! this is where the digression returns to earth) tells you how to deal with guys like that:

The crime rate didn’t drop because criminals were being found shot dead in the gutter every morning.

Crime rates dropped because the criminal faced a choice. The choice to try and attack someone who may or may not be able to kill them. When your chosen profession is that of the criminal you look for easy prey. The moment a criminal no longer knows who is and is not easy prey they begin to lose the return in their investment….crime as a job. Getting shot is bad for business since there is no worker-comp insurance.

So the next time you watch the news and see some horrific crime take place don’t think “what kind of parents did they have?” .

You choose to wake up everyday and go to work, or better your life.

You choose this.

Crime is a choice made by the criminal. Give them no inherent excuse for their behavior.

Don’t be Dean Sanderford or Molly Hennessy-Fiske, morally no better than Lockett or Warner (indeed, given their wealth and privilege, that they support these monsters suggests they’re morally worse). Don’t weep for the hardships of that downtrodden minority, Felon-Americans. To Hell with them.

After that single essay, we binge-read the whole thing. Don’t expect a daily post there; instead, there’s only a post from time to time, just a couple a month. (Which makes binge-reading the whole thing a rewarding effort to knock off in a single sitting). But those occasional posts tend to be quite high quality posts.

Matthew Allen is the blogger behind Straight Forward, and he’s a professional bodyguard, a rather unusual profession. In fact we don’t know anyone who’s a professional bodyguard, Except for a lot of former SF, Ranger, and Marine recon guys who now do PSD work for Government clients. None of the stuff he says conflicts with their war stories (unlike, say, the 80s books of supposed bodyguard Leroy Thompson). There’s a degree of common sense in his advice.

We recommend this short interview with Allen in St Louis Magazine; he’d be a fun guy to trade war stories, or tips, with.

Finally, a section of his blog is called “Dark Arts for Good Guys.” It’s hands-on practical advice for people who go to bad places, or perhaps, have the bad place come to them. It’s basically psychological preparedness. Good stuff. A little bit of it is about guns, but most of it is about mindset — and mindset is to gun set as ten is to one, as Napoleon would have said if they said “mindset” in the early 19th Century.

Here’s a one line excerpt from one of those, but you really should read them all:

The reality is people are going to die in the chaos from bad men.That is the unfortunate reality of evil. It doesn’t really ever change its mind, only direction. You have to change their direction.

The next few lines of the same post are some home truths about suicide bombers:

Suicide bombers are often portrayed as martyrs for their cause. The bravest of their sect willing to sacrifice their own lives. As a leader you don’t send your best and brightest off in a vest full of C4 and ball bearings. Rather (like any cult) you look for the poor, the weak, the outsiders who have no purpose (canon fodder). Telling them that their families will be better off financially and they’ll be Valhalla for the sacrifice.

Just to be sure after the vest is strapped on its not uncommon for someone to shoot a needle full of heroin into their arm to keep them calm (and a remote detonator handy in case any thoughts of self preservation kick in).

We’ve personally never seen heroin or other injectables used, but our experience with suicide bombers is the Islamic variety, and while they’re all about killing male, female, and child noncombatants, they’d never ever violate Mohammed’s strictures on drug abuse. The remote detonator, though, is SOP among Arab terrorists and their fellow votaries of Southwest Asia.

Perhaps you are beginning to see why we recommend to you Straight Forward in a Crooked World. It is well written, interesting, and our only disagreement with one of Allen’s points has been a de minimis quibble. One cannot live by WeaponsMan alone; go hither and learn, grasshoppers.

A Rangerette Roundup

rangerette-benjaminPut down the ropes, pard. Not that kind of roundup. We’re going to round up a few Rangerette stories about how our military is doing, marching off into the bright sunlit uplands of the Future with the New Soviet Non-Gendered Person in the vanguard of the proletariat.

Or something.

Navy: Chick Stands Watch. Man Dies For It

First, you all did catch the quixotic attack on the US Navy by a guy who was apparently a common-and-garden-variety ex-con with, quite possibly, some mental illness. The Navy’s in the deepest of deep denial, but the reason there’s a good sailor dead, MA2 Mark Mayo, is because the Petty Officer of the Watch on USS Mahan was a slight woman who was overpowered by, and gave up her sidearm to, the intruding ex-convict.

You all know about NCIS? No, not the one on TV with the hot chicks and all, the one in the real world, with a bunch of wannabe detectives in polyester doubleknit pants? That one. It has the responsibility for the investigation. The head of NCIS is not some grizzled old admiral or even a Naval officer, but he’s a gun-control ideologue, Andrew Traver, who was unable to get confirmed to his dream job as head of ATF, even by the Democratic Senate. Traver’s a politician, not an investigator, and the most interesting story that’s going to come out of this is what he buries and how he tries to bury it.

MA2 Mark Mayo 2The first fact they’re burying is the identity and even the sex of the overpowered Petty Officer of the Watch. If you look at news stories, like this one, they focus on the heroism of Mayo, who was forced to such an extreme by the failure of his shipmate. They don’t mention that shipmate’s name, and are careful even not to use a pronoun that might let the news leak that our she-sailors are not all Gorgonic Amazons.

The events occured in this order, according to preliminary reports (usual warnings about preliminary reports apply). These events took place on Monday, 24 March 2014, late at night.

  1. Jeffery Tyrone Savage, who’d done time for, among other things, voluntary manslaughter, had no authorization to be on base, but he had a standard transport worker’s pass, a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, and the gate guards passed him through. (This was not itself sufficient documentation, but the guards accepted it). He was driving a 2002 Freightliner tractor.
  2. He also had no authorization to be on Pier 1 where Mahan was berthed, but his pass and his patter got him through there, too.
  3. The last line of defense for a berthed ship is the ship’s own quarterdeck watch. On Mahan, the watchstanders were armed. Several (two? three?) of the ship’s watch approached Savage, suspicious of his behavior.
  4. Savage attacked and disarmed the Petty Officer of the Watch.
  5. Mayo reportedly dived in front of the PO. Savage fatally wounded Mayo with more than one shot fired from the Petty Officer of the Watch’s issue sidearm.
  6. Another armed Mahan watchstander, firing from aboard the ship, shot and killed Savage.

And… we are not making this up… the Navy called in grief counselors for the crew of USS Mahan. But there’s really only one person on that crew who should need grief counseling. Or, to be more precise, survivor’s-guilt counseling.

Might she have held on to the gun, if she knew the strange intruder was already a multi-time and a multi-time con? She might have tried harder, anyway. And she might still have failed.

A Side Note of Non-Rangerette Fail

Who issued Savage (aptly named guy) his credential? Who else, but the very Fortress of FAIL itself, the Transportation Security Administration. No one good, decent, moral, honest, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed by the TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

Go Army, Beat Navy… at Academy Beancounting

That was then...

That was then…

Once, Army was a football powerhouse. Of course, that was around 1950. Since then, you’d think the annual Little Big Horn that the Army-Navy game has become would inspire a new resolve in the Army that almost beat the North Koreans, that nearly defeated the People’s Republic of Vietnam, and that almost won Afghanistan and Iraq. And that, after all, did eke out wins over Grenada and Panama. You’d think that the new Commandant would be determined his Academy would win… at something. 

And you’d be right. Because LTG Robert Caslen is determined to beat Navy where they’re clobbering Army right now — in beancounting of women and minorities. Right now, the Navy is ahead in the very biggest statistic in Caslen’s crabbed little world — they have 22% female cadets, and West Point has only 16%.

West Point’s new superintendent said the moves — which include more outreach and the cultivation of competitive candidates — will help keep the storied academy ahead of the curve now that the Pentagon is lifting restrictions for women in combat jobs.

This is now.

…and this is now.

Translation: “more outreach” means dropping standards, and “cultivation of competitive candidates” means quotas and incentives. And dropping standards.

“We obviously have to increase the female population for a number of reasons. One is because there are more opportunities in the branches for the females,” Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr. said.

Explain how they help the US beat a Russian or Chinese army in, say Poland or Burma or Taiwan. Explain how they help the US beat Iran, should we have to fight there. Explain why the Russians, Chinese and Iranians will lose because their military academies waste time focusing on excellence instead of “diversity.”

Women have been a presence at the nation’s military academies since 1976. Female cadets here can grow their hair longer than the standard military buzz-cut and can wear stud earrings. But they carry the same heavy packs, march the same miles and graduate with the same second lieutenant bars the men here do.

They’ve let up on the male cadets that much, eh? Maybe Caslen can argue that he might have only 16% women, but he’s way over 22% pussies. Of course, the womyn cadets don’t see it that way:

“I carry the heavy weapons whenever we do field training exercises,” said Cadet Austen Boroff, a woman who refuses to be out-soldiered by her male peers. “I’ll take the machine guns, so I’m taking more weight.”

Austen! Daddy wanted a boy, huh? Reminds us of the character Larry Correia named for an australian submachine gun, but Larry’s character was named after the good one.

[D]irector of admissions Col. Deborah McDonald said there has been an increase in the number of female nominees.

Col McDonald 2

Col. Deborah McDonald, USMA Beancounter-in-Chief Director of Admissions

McDonald is a sometime speaker at “diversity” events. Sisters gotta look out for themselves….

And the academy has begun targeting top-tier female candidates and guiding them through the demanding application process. They already do that for standout scholars, soldiers, athletes and minorities.

OK, so it is a hand-coddling affirmative action program. What did we tell you? Now they will say there are no quotas…

Caslen said there’s no long-term goal yet for a percentage of female cadets. Also, final numbers on the incoming Class of 2018 won’t be known until the new group arrives for cadet basic training July 2.

What did we just tell you? But there really are quotas…

But West Point, as of this week, has admitted 229 female applicants and as many as 36 other females from the academy’s prep school will be considered.

“I have no concerns at all that we won’t actually move right beyond the 20 percent mark,” McDonald said. “It might even be as high as 22 percent.”

So what’s the quota, Deb? Just coincidentally, Navy’s 22 percent?

Any other admissions secret weapons?

West Point women’s lacrosse team is moving up to Division I in 2015, which also is expected to draw more interest from top female athletes who now choose other schools.

Ah yeah. Women’s lacrosse. What will West Point do with its share of the TV sponsorship money? Put on The Vagina Monologues? 

In a 2012-13 affirmative action Supreme Court case, a group of “diversity” (of the bean-counting kind) -desiring generals and admirals submitted a brief for racial discrimination in college admissions.

While the Marines have had a lot of publicity for their publicity-hound female LTs who flunk out of Infantry officer basic school, females in the class that entered West Point last year, and all subsequent classes, will be allowed to go infantry if they choose, and they will still only be held to the lower sex-normed fitness standards.

What’s more likely to succeed, counting beans or promoting merit? Everyone knows the answer to this, which is why the proponents are trying to redefine beancount (“diversity”) as a form of merit, valuable for its own sake.

Exit question: Academy graduates incur a five-year obligation, unless they make a commitment (such as flight school) that extends it. Women can escape the obligation at their option if pregnant, but otherwise must complete it like men, unless injured. The most recent class that has passed their basic obligation date, then, will be the Class of 2008 (2009 is coming up). So the question is: excluding officers who extended their obligation, what percentage of the West Point women of the Class of 2008 are still serving? What percentage of the West Point men?

And How Do Non-Careerist Women Feel About Combat?

Well, nobody asks them, because this is a big project of the lesbo-feminist Official Sisterhood and is underway for the benefit of careerist ticket-punchers, who are attracted to the military for the power and the ability to inflict their passive-aggressive or just plain aggressive personalities on lower ranks who have to sit and take it. (Don’t believe us? Meet Holly Graf. Let us Google that for you. The abominable Graf, by the way, got a break a man wouldn’t get for assault and other crimes: full retirement at O-6).

The vast majority of female soldiers/sailors/airmen/Marines, who do vital jobs every day for reasons susprisingly similar, to you old-timers, to that of their male brothers and cousins who are also in uniform, don’t want any part of it. Consider these lines from a non-military story that interviewed a female Army vet whose boyfriend pressed her to take a gun for defense:

What Jewell was trying to do, she said, was convince her to keep a gun for her own protection. He meant to show her that guns are safe.

Jackson, a U.S. Army veteran, said she’s always felt uncomfortable around firearms.

“I don’t like just the uncertainty of whether or not it’s going to go off,” she said.

That gal is the sort of female trooper who’s not being interviewed. In the service, we saw lots of them (and men who were afraid of firearms, too, although the men tried to mask it). No doubt she served honorably and well, and did something useful while in uniform.

But the sisterhood thinks she needs to shup up, ruck up, and accept the Holly Graf level of leadership that comes from some of our ambitious academy women.

More on Suomi Magazines

Why this post?

Max Popenker kindly corrected our error with respect to the Suomi box magazine. Because the story of Suomi magazines is interesting, we thought we’d expand on it for the assembled multitudes, rather than just type a few corrective words in the original post.

Drum Magazines

In a comprehensive history of magazines on Small Arms of the World (subscription required, and recommended), which unfortunately only takes the drum back to 1917 and not to its origins in the world of mechanical machine guns, Leszek Ehrenfeicht describes the origin of the Suomi drum:

The other variation of the true drum was a design by Oskar Alfred Östmann of the Tikkakoski Oy, manufacturer of the Aimo Johannes Lahti’s Suomi submachine gun. It has a single follower, propelled by a very strong clockwork spring; necessary to overcome the weight and friction of the 70-round content of the drum. It was less complicated than Payne’s drum, but much more susceptible to dirt; increasing the friction and raising the burden on the clockwork spring even further. Despite that, it was the most widely mass-produced submachine gun magazine of the world. What, you never heard of Mr. Östmann and his magazine? What about Comrade Shpagin and his Pepesha drum? Oh, that you know? Well, that’s the same drum. The only difference was that Finns were the first, made it in 9x19mm and paid the inventor royalties, while the Soviets copied it in 7.62x25mm and never paid a dime – but that is another story.

By “the other variation,” Ehrenfeicht means by comparison to Oscar Payne’s L and C magazines for the Thompson SMG. He classifies these as “true drums,” as compared to snail drums (essentially a single-row mag with a coiled end) and further distinguishes them from helical (Calico, Bizon) or pan (Lewis, DP) magazines by the orientation of the cartridges.

The Östmann drum was the second Suomi design, and is the most common. The first one was allowed to open, like the Thompson drum or the Chinese 75-round AK/RPK drum, to allow the cartridges to be loaded, and was more complex and less reliable than Östmann’s.

The first Suomi design was almost certainly the drum magazine shown in Aimo Lahti’s 1932 US patent, US 1,867,513. (A patent we see Max has already found and put on the site’s Suomi page). The patent was also published in multiple European nations including Germany, France, Britain, Belgium and Switzerland under various numbers on behalf of the Suomi’s maker, Tikkakoski. Lahti showed diagrams for both a cylindrical feed and a spiral one in his patent, and his drum requires an internal ratchet and external wrench, or external winding ratchet also shown in the patent (this image is from the French patent, the US patent uses the same drawings separated onto two pages). Note that the Suomi itself is also patented under US 1,895,719A. (The only other US patent Lahti has is for an improved recoil-locked machine gun mechanism that apparently never saw production, unless it was in one of his AA guns: US 1,987,939).

Soumi Patent

The early drum can be seen in some photos of early Suomis. In fact, a great French history of the Suomi has photos of the drum in its rare, cylinder-feed, 40-round variant:

Suomi 40-round drum

(UPDATE: commenters A.A. and Chris Wardell have tracked the images on the French forum to the Finnish site, Moreover, the text below on the M/26 that we translated from French to English seems to us to be lifted from the Jaeger Platoon site as well. We will request the site owner’s permission to use this content, but if he refuses his permission we will remove them, respecting his intellectual property).

This suggests that there never was a multi-follower, Paxton-style drum for the Suomi. (Bleg: does anybody know whence the French-speaker lifted the file? It looks like an original caption has been erased, and we’d like to give credit).

According to Frank Iannimico (same site, same login needed), the Russian PPSh submachine gun had a magazine very slightly different from the earlier, limited-production PPD-40 (the first Russian subgun to have a drum magazine. The even-rarer PPD-34 and -34/38 used curved box mags). The PPD’s original drum mag was a 73-round modification of the Suomi design, with a short “neck,” but by the time it reached production the neck was gone and the mag capacity was the final 71 rounds. The PPD and PPSh mags are identical, apart from the feed lips; one lip of the PPD’s is shorter to accommodate a protruding ejector in the receiver, and so PPD mags can be improvised from PPSh mags.

An experiment we haven’t tried is to use the Suomi drum in a PPSh or vice-versa. As the PPSh drums are a direct copy, and fed 9mm without drama in German and Finnish 9mm conversions, it’s possible, but the magazine catch appears to be in a slightly different position, requiring modification of mags, so that a truly interchangeable magazine would require a different catch.

The true origins of the “Coffin Clip”

As Max noted, the Coffin Clip originated not in Finland, but in Sweden. Ehrenfeicht again:

Another attempt at enlarging the magazine capacity was taken by Carl Schildstroem of Sweden. He designed a double compartment magazine with a single-position feed, giving, in effect, a four-row (twice the staggered row) single-position feed clip for 50 rounds. These were in fact two magazines sharing one set of magazine lips with a Schmeisser’s Cone. This magazine, called the “coffin clip” by the Finnish troops, was introduced for the Suomi SMG. It was too heavy (empty weight about 2 pounds), complicated, and failure-prone to be retained for service for any prolonged length of time. It was dropped soon after the war in favor of the wedge-shaped box. An interesting attempt at reviving the scheme was taken by the Italian company SITES for their M4 Spectre submachine gun. The M4 magazine also has a double compartment feature, but a two-position feed.

On the US Patent (2,217,848) the inventor’s name is spelled Schillstrom. It is heavy, in part because it’s built like a battleship, but our hands-on experience in firing a few hundred rounds and seeing a few thousand fired from coffin clips is that it’s actually reliable. The guns in question were very old and well-worn KP/31s that had been in use as training weapons in the US Army Special Warfare Center and School for over 30 years, and that had had some level of rebuild (as guns were refinished for the school, they got American anticorrosion finishes, in other words, parkerizing, in place of the factory bluing).

Loading the mag to capacity requires a loader or an application of physical strength using something (we used the edge of the loading table, basically a picnic table when we had more guys loading mags than we had loaders) to force the rounds down against the pressure of the followers, but not much more than an ordinary 32-round mag for a Sten or MP40 (each dual column has its own follower and spring in this design).

We did not have much luck running the coffin clips in the Swedish M45 Carl Gustav submachine gun, even though it ran flawlessly with its own 36-round wedge-section magazines. But the coffins worked fine in our sample of Suomis. Of course, our armorers had also had 30 years to fix them or cull them.

“Schmeisser’s Cone” is the term for the shape by which a dual- or multi-column box magazine squeezes the rounds into single-file for a single-position feed, because the first example was designed by Hugo Schmeisser in 1916 for an improved version of the MP. 18. It remained a toolroom experiment until after the war.

Dan Shea (same sub required) had an intermittent problem with a 50-round Suomi mag, in that he had live rounds stuck in a magazine that visually appeared clear. The Schillstrom design has three separate Schmeisser’s Cones, any one of which, or interaction between the two followers which should clear one another, might have caused Dan’s problem. (He suggests storing weapons without magazines in them, which looks less cool but is more safe).

And then there’s this oddball thing:

At first, we didn’t know what to make of it. This purported Suomi M/26 mag is for sale at GunBroker at the moment, at a very high price.

Suomi M26 mag

It is a double-feed magazine (as in the Thompson), but it’s curved like a Chauchat magazine. The claim is that it is:

[A] Finnish Suomi M/26 magazine in 7.65×22 caliber. This item shows some age and pitting but in good usuable condition. It is extremely rare.

We just don’t know enough to opine on the authenticity of this part. By 7.65 x 22, he must mean the round generally known as the 7.65 Parabellum or, in the USA, .30 Luger. The M/26 is an early, all-but-prototype Suomi.

Follow up on the Suomi M/26:

The excellent French page referenced above includes l’histoire of the Suomi, including the following:

Aimo Lathi a retravaillé son M/22…

OK, let’s do it en anglais (our translation, bearing in mind we do not do français for a living):

Aimo Lahti reworked his M.22 incorporating in it many improvements (all patented in Finland) making the submachine gun compatible with mass production.

The “konepistooliosakeyhtiö” was made by Ab Toool Oy in 100 copies, and in August 1924 the ministry of defense was interested in the submachine gun.
In February 1925, 30 examples were studied and tested by the armament commission of the MOD. The arm functioned properly, but the magazines were not interchangeable, and the barrels oxidized very rapidly.
In October 1925, the army requested 25 guns again, and 39 more in March 1936 and afterward decided to launch production of 100 examples. Most of these went to the army (60+) but some went to the Civil Guard and the border guards; conversely, very few of this series were exported (5 to Estonia). This model was called M/26.

Aimo Lahti had succeeded in his gamble: not only did his submachine gun at least as well as the Bergmann, it cost much less (2,200 finnish marks vs. 4,500).

SUOMI M/26 (7,65 Kp/26)

Caliber : 7,65 x 21 Parabellum
Length : 930mm
Barrel : 350mm
Weight : 4,18 Kg
Cyclic rate of fire : 600 cps/min
Feed : detachable box magazine, 36 cartridges
Production : around 100 examples between1925 and 1926 (in addition to test guns)

suomi M-26

The M/26 never really saw combat, as during the Second World War these guns were used by support troops behind the front.

In 1959 the 57 surviving M/26es were sold to Interarmco, something that would seem unlikely today for such a rare weapon.

Pretty neat — learned something we didn’t know previously, and found a page and a site full of new information.

Cops suspended for mishandling confiscated gun parts

What does it take for a cop to get suspended? Well, in the notoriously bad Durham, NC police department (the one which has raised ignoring city crime while hazing Duke students to an art form) it takes salvaging parts from confiscated guns, which courts in the liberal, pointy end of North Carolina once ruled had to be destroyed.

It was widely accepted practice in the past, but it’s now a no-no, so an armorer and six officers including two sergeants, a lieutenant, and a captain, have caught suspensions — without pay.

DURHAM (WTVD) — Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez addressed an internal investigation involving several of his officers, some of them high ranking, Friday morning.

ABC11 first learned about the investigation in February. Both current and former employees connected to the department, but not directly involved in the investigation, alleged several officers had sold seized weapons on a popular firearms website frequented by the law enforcement community.

But Lopez said Friday there is no evidence guns or gun parts were sold. He said the investigation did find that department employees and officers kept some gun parts for use on their department-issued and personal weapons.

Lopez said while such activity had been permitted in the past, it is now in violation of a court order that states seized weapons must be destroyed. Lopez said the officers apparently acted with a genuine belief their actions were appropriate, but they should have known the rules.

“I expect this lapse of judgment to be isolated,” he said.

Lopez said 11 employees were investigated and seven now face disciplinary action ranging from reprimands to suspensions based on their level of involvement and rank:

Capt. Kevin Cates – suspended
Lt. George Zeipekkis – suspended
Sgt. Nicholas Schneider – suspended
Sgt. Joseph Piatt – suspended
Officer Christopher Wiesemann – suspended
Reserve Officer William Evans –  written reprimand/suspension from off-duty work for one month
Robert Rowley, Armorer – suspended

via Durham police officers punished for gun parts use |

According to further reporting at another station, WRAL, the suspensions were for various lengths of time, Cates’s for two duty weeks, 80 hours. (That’ll leave a mark on his bank account). And it turns out that the ABC 11 statement above misstates why the gun parts were not supposed to be taken. It was not because the courts ordered the guns destroyed, but because after that court ruling, a new law in NC overrode that decision, requiring jurisdictions, even liberal and anti-gun ones like Durham’s, to sell serviceable and legal firearms rather than destroy or keep them.

The officers brought back the parts that they had taken during the course of the investigation. Also, Lopez said that his cops thought they were following the law, as they understood it: the suspensions are for being wrong. 

“While the officers had a genuine belief that their actions were appropriate, that belief was mistaken,” he wrote. “I expect better judgment from my officers, especially those in supervisory positions. All involved are otherwise excellent veteran officers and staff with no history of significant disciplinary issues. I expect this lack of judgment to be isolated.”

It seems like a rather stiff punishment for errors that are ultimately no harm, no foul.

But an unhealthy PD rots from the head. A Durham detective named Mark Gottlieb was a key participant in the attempted framing of 6 Duke students for rape, and never was disciplined. He retired with full benefits — reportedly with a tax-free disability retirement — and now owns a lawn care company, which seems a bit physical for a disabled guy.

And there apparently are resentments aplenty inside the department — these guys were caught because a fellow cop ratted them out. Must be a fun place to work!

What’s an “Operator”?

Looks like a veritable phalanx of operators.

Looks like a veritable phalanx of operators. Switchboard type…

Science-Fiction Author Brad Torgersen (who’s also an Army reserve warrant officer) mused on this, way back in the Permian Period (ok, way back in mid-March, but we just read the post).

The root question is: who gets to be an “Operator?”

Explanation: for those who don’t walk in U.S. military circles, the word “Operator” seems to be one of those internal U.S. military phrases that migrated from a very specific sector of the U.S. military, out into the popular American culture via technothriller fiction and video games, then back into the U.S. military as a whole. Its general usage now connotes “pointy end” experience and/or skillsets. Ergo, the “Operator” goes where the shooting happens, to do some shooting himself.

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Only, no, because this is not an MOS nor is it a skill badge. It’s a slang title being adopted (both officially and unofficially) by an increasing number of people who are all too eager (to my eyes) for the credibility they believe this word will lend them — even if they may not precisely be a “pointy end” person by trade.

In other words, “Operator” has become one of those familiar U.S. military butt-sniff words used by people to distinguish “real” military personnel from “POGs” — the latter being the post-9/11 variant of REMF, which was a Vietnam-era acronym for rear-echelon mother fucker; someone decidedly not on the “pointy end” of things. General infantry are using the word “Operator” now. As are F-16 pilots, did you know that? MPs and Combat Engineers? Explosives Ordnance Disposal? Armor too? And so on, and so forth….

We tried to post a comment on his blog, but as our email address was used years ago to set up a long-defunct account, we can’t do it. That’s retarded, but that’s WordPress for you. Or maybe it’s our level of tech savvy.  Anyway, here is the comment we meant to leave on Brad’s blog, edited into a post suitable for this blog.

We can shed some light on the genesis of the term, “operator.” It was an old (as in 1960s old, maybe 1950s old) term of approbation in Special Forces for a guy who was skilled in clandestine warfare. Clandestine means something specific in special operations: it means operations that happen and leave no sign they ever occurred, with the enemy none the wiser. This is characteristic of underground and spy operations, and Special Forces’ involvement in these operations was inspired by OSS and SOE operations in WWII. Preparation for such a behind-the-lines and even stay-behind war was a constant throughout the Cold War.

This is what Detachment A, Berlin Brigade (a real unit that was classified for years) did. So, in this usage of the word, which was very old and restricted to very old colonels and sergeants in our SF spratling days, meant a guy who had tradecraft and not just fieldcraft. Rangers have good fieldcraft (or had then, anyway). SEALs had okay fieldcraft then, and got a lot better at it later. But tradecraft was the milieu of the spooks and of Special Forces. Still is.

When a special-purpose special operations unit was stood up in the late 1970s, with a view to a worldwide counterterrorist mission, it did not have any special badges. But after a candidate passed selection and assessment, he was then brought up to speed in what was called the Operator Training Course. We believe but are not positive that we know who was the vector for the term getting a new lease on life. (It wasn’t the unit commander, we think, but the intelligence officer, originally a warrant officer and later commissioned).

Completing OTC does give a man a small mark on his full-length Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) code. But the word “operator” has fallen into disuse there (and in similar units), so we’re told. The fate of all euphemisms is to be inflated into meaninglessness, and when anybody can print sheets of new “operators” it was inevitable. But officially, around the time we retired these men were still the only Operators in the US Army whose Operator-tude isn’t tied to a specific piece of equipment like a road grader.

The Marine term for a fully-qualified MARSOC Marine is Critical Skills Operator.

We’re not those kinds of O-fficial “Operators”, just a retired 18 Series, although back in the 70s through the oughts we aspired to be the kind of can-pick-a-lock-and-service-a-dead-drop small-o “operators.”

And we find Brad’s diminution of his military significance unnecessary. As the Truths tell us,  “SOF Operations generally require extensive non-SOF support.” So the guys who replaced us appreciate the fact that guys like Torgerson are there. (Maybe not all the young ones, but they’ll learn. We did).

How to Fight a Dog (and win)

choking out a dogWe’ve heard a bit about our criticism of Tarek Hassani, the cowardly cop who, by his own admission, was so pissing-himself terrified of a barking black lab that he had to shoot the dog to get control of himself.

Sure, that’s optimal police work.

The fact is, anybody can fight a dog and win. Dogs mess with humans at thier own peril; even without guns, we are the apex predator on this planet. It’s all a matter of mindset. You don’t need to be Fearless Fosdick, you just need to have a couple of hands, a plan, and more courage than Tarek Hassani, and you can probably substitute more courage than that for one of the hands.

Facts about dogs:

  1. Anybody can fight any dog and win.
  2. Normal dogs do not fight to the death.
  3. Adults killed by a single dog are extremely rare outliers.
  4. The only part of the dog that can hurt you is the teeth.
  5. The dog is extremely vulnerable in the neck area.
  6. If it is a fight to the death, expect to get bitten… don’t let it distract you.

Dogs bark for many reasons, depending in part on how the dog is socialized and trained. A dog that is beaten or abused is more likely to bite. A dog that is confined and afraid — like a dog on a chain in a yard — is quite likely to bite. A bite will hurt, but you will not die from a dog bite.

How a dog fights

Dogs are, genetically, wolves; in a pack they are dangerous but one on one they are much less so. Even alone, they fight like pack animals. They run around and try to distract you and get behind you. A vicious dog, behind you, may go for a hamstring. Dogs make darting, slashing attacks and break contact. Dogs fight dogs naturally, but they do not fight to the death, only for dominance. A human who has been knocked down by a dog or a pack of dogs may trigger predation behavior, but one who remains upright and takes the fight to the dog  will always prevail.

To fight the dog

It helps to have protection on your weak hand forearm; you can then offer that as a target for the dog. Even without protection, offering the weak hand leaves the dog vulnerable to your strong hand. If you get him to snap at that, you have him right where you want him. Get his neck with your strong hand and overturn him.

Your objective is to get him on his back, with you astride him, and both hands on his neck. In this position he cannot bite you and you can choke him out. If you don’t want to kill the dog, you can just choke him. If you do want to kill him, crush his windpipe; end of dog. In fact, in most cases, the dog will give up when overturned by someone who has a grip on his neck.

This is normally how dog-vs-dog fights end; one dog wins, one submits. That doesn’t mean you let the dog up at this point: he may decide he wants an instant rematch, and fighting a dog over and over gets old quickly. Like humans, healthy dogs have a great deal of potential endurance.

There are several other ways to overturn the dog. When grappling, remember that the dog needs three of his four legs to stand upright. Reach under the dog, grab the diagonally opposite leg, and pull towards you. Congratulations: you have just executed a perfect judo or wrestling takedown of the dog.

Dogs are muscular and their spines very flexible; the dog will fight hard, and when he realizes it’s life-or-death game on, he will fight even harder, pulling out all his reserves. But odds are you outweigh him; you have opposable thumbs; you are much more intelligent; you are the apex predator.

You will get clawed. That goes with the territory (and if you take too long in the “dancing phase” before getting on Fido’s neck, you may have some nips to the extremities). The claws can’t seriously hurt you. You have to ignore the clawing while you’re choking the dog out. Once the dog is down, get treatment for the claw scratches, which are prone to infection.


No dogs were harmed in the making of this post. The poodle got an extra treat for posing for the picture.

Aimo Lahti

Aimo Lahti

Aimo Lahti with a Suomi KP/31.

Aimo Lahti was born 118 years ago today in Viiala, Finland. He was the greatest gun designer in Finnish history, which makes him a big frog in a pretty small pond. But he was influential far beyond the borders of his Scandinavian homeland.

As a Finnish biography by Simo Kärävä says:

Asesuunnittelija Aimo Johannes Lahti (28.4.1896 Akaan Viiala – 19.4.1970 Jyväskylä), jonka suunnittelemat aseet tulivat 1930-luvun sotilaille ja suojeluskuntalaisille sekä sotiemme veteraaneille tutuiksi usein toistuneen koura- ja olkatuntuman kautta, on jäänyt ihmeteltävän vähälle huomiolle sotia ja puolustusvoimia käsittelevässä kirjallisuudessa sekä tämän vuoksi myös melko tuntemattomaksi muille suomalaisille, sotilaita ja aseharrastajia lukuun ottamatta.

via Aimo Lahti.

Lahti-designed 20mm AA gun VKT 40.

Lahti-designed 20mm AA gun VKT 40.

Yeah, that. There’s really no run-on sentence like a run-on sentence in Finnish. Anyway, Aimo is little known in the Anglosphere, but his name rings a bell because two of his best-known guns bore his own name: the Lahti M/35 automatic pistol (also adopted in Denmark and in Sweden as the M/40) which combined the natural-pointing grip angle of the Luger with a completely different mechanism, and the Lahti M/39 semiautomatic antitank rifle, advertised for years in the pages of American Rifleman and other 1960s gun magazines. The M/39 was the object of every boy’s envy, later, even if by 1939 it was already marginal medicine on tanks. Lahti would use the same basic mechanism in the beefier VKT 40 anti-aircraft gun, usually seen as a twin mount.

He also co-designed the standard Finnish light machine gun of the Winter and Continuation Wars, the Lahti-Saloranta L/S 26. (It would be replaced by Russian DP LMGs which were captured in vast quantities). He was also responsible for some of the Finnish improvements to the Mosin-Nagant rifle, and for a modified Maxim for aerial and AA use called the VKT. All in all he designed over 50 weapons, counting designs like the M/27 rifle (a modified Mosin).


Lahti’s most influential gun did not bear his name at all. It was the Machine Pistol (“Konepistooli” or KP) 31, the famous “Suomi” (a word which just means “Finland.”) While by 1931 this submachine gun was not entirely revolutionary, we need to bear in mind that the 1931 model was an update of a 1926 model, which in turn was an update of a 1922 run of prototypes. That makes the Suomi, for all intents and purposes, a contemporary of the early Thompson, yielding primacy only to the Thompson and the German MP18.

Like those guns, the Suomi featured sturdy, machined parts and a wooden stock and was very heavy, especially with a loaded drum magazine. The first Suomi drum was unreliable; it was replaced, while a new drum was being designed, by the four-column “casket” mag, that squeezed the four columns down to a single feeding position. The casket mag was a Suomi original that has echoes today in some Russian designs and the Surefire 60- and 100-round magazines.

Suomi 50-round Casket mag. From ARFCOM.

Suomi 50-round Casket mag. From ARFCOM.

The Russian submachine guns of the mid-20th Century all owed a great deal to the Suomi design. The PPSh drum is a rather direct copy of the second, reliable Suomi design and shares its 71-round capacity. The Soviet designers were never slow to adapt a foreign idea that could be turned to Soviet military purposes.

Sweden, which built Suomis under license, used the Suomi mags as the feed system for their indigenous submachine gun, the M45 Carl Gustav (and M45 “Swedish K” mags work in a Suomi). But that’s another post.

After the Continuation War ended in 1944, Finland was occupied by a Soviet-dominated Allied Control Commission (there were a couple of token Brits) and by Finnish communist quislings who had been indoctrinated for years in the USSR and were determined to bring the joys of the Russian Revolution to Finland. However, the Finns had hidden tens of thousands of arms, and the thought of the whole nation rising in guerrilla warfare terrified the Soviets a little and their puppets a lot. The Finnish communists reinvented themselves as a political party, competing at the ballet box, and their secret police withered away when their Soviet puppetmasters withdrew.

The spiteful Soviets, whose troops had been shot full of holes by many Lahti designs, demanded that that the Finn retire from arms design, and he did, living on a pension until 1970. His only child became a Finnish Air Force aviator and perished during the Continuation War.

There is a biography of Lahti, Aimo Lahti: Finnish Weapons Designer by Maire Vaajakallio, but it is, alas, only available in the Finnish language.

So, what happens when we do lock ’em up?

A Maine State Prison inmate (r) tries to argue his way out of a segregation unit with the warden (l). PBS.

A Maine State Prison inmate (r) tries to argue his way out of a segregation unit with the warden (l). PBS.

We’re big advocates of the gunsmithing approach to crime: if you have a loose nut behind the trigger, apply some Loc-tite. In our experience, societies that do this (think Singapore) have a completely different set of crime issues than societies that do not (think Mexico, or Chicago).

And we’re an even bigger fan of whacking those that need whacking. But the death penalty has its problems, as the release of 11 Illinois Death Row inmates who were cleared by DNA evidence a few years ago tells us; the courts have their problems, as reading the blogs of defense attorneys like Ken White or Jeralyn Merritt tells us; and, while we’re having an outbreak of transpartisan honesty around here, prisons have their problems.

Recently PBS aired this horrifying view of the solitary wing of a state prison in Maine. Mostly young, impulsive, amoral and not-too-bright men turn out to be psychologically worsened by isolation.

They call their Frontline segment Solitary Nation and it’s worth a look, although, despite the fact they’re trying to send a message with it, it raises more questions than it can really answer. You can watch the whole segment — 53 minutes and change — at the link.

In a place with reasonable institutions, a lot of these guys would be underground (one of them boasts of murdering two corrections officers since going inside). But Maine’s institutions are in the tight grip of coastal liberals, who think their jails are rehabilitating these guys.

Most of the prisoners you see in this video will be released, and some of them will be released soon. It’s hard to imagine any circumstances in which they fit back into society, unless we give some credit for the same human adaptability that has turned them into savage animals in the state lockup.

The end of solitary and the end of life imprisonment are new goals of the same activists who have essentially eliminated the death penalty in the USA, first in a series of militantly activist court decisions in the 1960s, and subsequently with endless legal red tape.

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws have machetes

bleeding-macheteAh, wastin’ away again in Margaritaville. In the Florida Keys, a bunch of wastrels got into a machete fight, but apparently were too wasted to connect with the machete.

The reason for the upset? The party host ran out of crack at what had been a crack, beer, and valium party. So the irate guests assaulted him. Because, really, is there a greater insult than to be invited to a drug bash with an insufficient supply of the high?

He machete’d-up and assaulted back. All was proceeding as we might have foreseen until some killjoy rang up the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies found a couple who claimed their neighbor, 53-year-old Antonio Motes-Diaz, had been swinging the machete.

As the investigation continued, the couple admitted they had been drinking beer and smoking crack with Motes before the machete incident, authorities said.

Motes claimed the couple became upset when he ran out of crack and said the woman spat on him and the man, identified as 26-year-old Christopher Stevens, had attacked him, authorities said.

via Crack-Smoking Neighbors Fight With Machete After Crack Runs Out: Deputies | NBC 6 South Florida.

The people in prison are, qualitatively, not like the rest of us. Bear that in mind when reading the next story coming up in a few hours, which has to do with what happens when we do lock ’em up.

Motes was arrested for the assault, using a baseball bat and then a machete, but not for drugs (he’s the guy who ran out of the evidence, triggering the drama). Stevens was busted for drugs.

Without Florida, it would be pure hell to be Jerry Springer’s talent booker.