Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

American Stasi

 I have Blogged Many times before about the Stasi and my experiences in East Germany while I was attached FSBerlin  while stationed in West Germany.   I do know that 1 out of 7 "Oasties" were informers on the others during the time of Honnecker.  Some were willing to sell out their fellow countryman for extra privileges and rations but most were coerced into it by the STASI because they were picked up in prior scoops and were forced to "narc" on others to stay out of prison and the STASI were better at running a police state than the KGB. Something to say about the teutonic efficiency.    I had read something and it had really bummed me out, Apparently NYC had set up "Virus Checkpoints" where you couldn't travel out of the city.  Where you can't travel unless you have papers and I was thinking.."This is America! When did we have to have papers to travel and permission from our "Betters" to travel.  I was seriously bummed out, what has happened to the American character, it seemed that we have surrendered our own sovereignty  to the "Ruling Class".


 I clipped this from the "American Thinker"


History. It's a curious thing. We learn from it, or at least we should, and we try to use it as a guide for the present and the future. Of course, we all interpret it a bit differently.

At the close of World War II in 1945, the nation of Germany was partitioned into two distinct nations. The Bundesrepublik Deutschland in the west, or West Germany, and the misleadingly named German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) in the east, or East Germany. Further, the then-former capital of Germany, Berlin, was divided into 4 sectors, with the British, French and American sectors becoming West Berlin and the Soviet sector becoming East Berlin. Democracy and republics in the western parts of both versus the eastern European version of communism in the eastern parts.

The East German law enforcement apparatus was monstrous, cruel, brutal and pervasive. Although there were local law enforcement organizations, the primary responsibility for maintaining law and order throughout East Germany belonged to the Ministry for State Security, or the Stasi as it was called. It must be made crystal clear here that the Stasi and the governments of East Germany and East Berlin were decidedly not Nazis.

A brief description of the Stasi from Wikipedia:


"The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS) or State Security Service (Staatssicherheitsdienst, SSD), commonly known as the Stasi, was the official state security service of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). One of the Stasi's main tasks was spying on the population, primarily through a vast network of citizens turned informants, and fighting any opposition by overt and covert measures, including hidden psychological destruction of dissidents (Zersetzung, literally meaning "decomposition"). It arrested 250,000 people as political prisoners during its existence."

 

Emblem of the Stasi


Let’s focus for a second on that "vast network of citizens turned informants." First, those people could hardly be accurately described as citizens, as they were more like subjects, vassals, serfs and comrades in the communist system set up under the supervision of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The Stasi had a reputation as seemingly having been everywhere and knowing virtually everything. Nonetheless, there were nowhere near enough actual members of the Stasi itself to have been that effective in controlling the population. Rather, as the paragraph above makes clear, the Stasi used the people of East Germany against themselves to help them keep dissension suppressed, political opposition crushed and, most dreadfully, the population intimidated. In other words, the Stasi didn't need to be everywhere all the time because it had effectively made the people of East Germany their own enemies! Fear was the most useful and effective tool that the Stasi employed.

Any transgression of behavior would be reported to the Stasi and the alleged transgressor(s) would be confronted, most likely arrested, possibly beaten or tortured and even imprisoned. And as we all know, anyone attempting to leave the Utopian society of East Germany or East Berlin for the west were most likely stopped violently or killed outright.

Anyway, try to imagine living in a society like that where everything you said or did was subject to oversight not only by the repressive government but also by your neighbors, your coworkers, passers-by in the street, or even your family. Such a society is completely alien to our American way of life. Or at least it used to be.

In the wake of the pandemic currently wreaking havoc on our society and cultural norms, we have our federal government scrambling for the right response and the various states and territories doing the same. Right now, here in the United States of America in the year 2020, we have governors and other elected officials (I will never refer to them as leaders!) encouraging and even urging the citizenry to spy on itself and report to the state those who transgress the various orders, mandates, edicts and requirements handed down by them. To call the police if there are too many people in the same place at the same time, in the eyes of the person making the dreaded call. To be, in effect, tattletales and snitches for "the state."

Folks, whatever the rationale behind those orders may be and whatever reasoning you or they might employ to justify them, actions like that by our political office holders smacks of state overbearing. Of repression. Of intimidation and fear. Of tyranny. I chose that word deliberately, and I did not do so lightl

The resemblance to the tactics used by the Stasi, however cleverly camouflaged here and couched in whatever innocent sounding terms they like to use, justified by whatever seemingly compassionate motivations those officials tout, is inherently and incredibly dangerous. Far more dangerous than any germ, virus or microbe.

This American urges you to do what you think and believe is right for yourself, your family and loved ones. Be responsible and be careful. But mind your own business. Leave other people to do what they do, whether or not you think it is in their best interests - or yours. Don't become part of the state, no matter how righteously indignant you become. I will never report anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any reason, for what I perceive to be a violation of an executive order. Our law enforcement professional friends and neighbors already have enough to do without such nuisances and annoyances taking up even more of their time and our resources.

Have a wonderful day, America. God Bless you all.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Monday Music "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins

 

I am continuing my string of "bugaloo" songs.  This discussion was started in the "Monster Hunter Nation, Hunters Unite", back in November of 2019? it is a Facebook group with enthusiast of the ILOH "International Lord of Hate" A.K.A Larry Correia.  We were talking about what song would we use if we looked out of our window or glanced at our security camera and saw this.....



One of the alphabet bois lining up to take down your house...What would be your "Valhalla" song and you would set it up to play as you load up magazines set up the Tannerite Rover and prepare yourself.

 I figured it would scar the alphabet boys if they come busting in and hearing a song about people standing for their beliefs and willing to fight for them no matter the cost, Good Music  unlike that crap they listen to now.  What can I say, My humor is warped....just a bit. Next week will be "American Storm" by Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band ,  Now that should really cause some psych evals., hehehe, some poor ATF guy trying to explain the attraction to his mother because he is imaging himself as "Maverick and he wants to put the move on Kelly McGillis ...But hey it is ATF...and they ain't right

This song screams "80's"  and it was sung by the soundtrack king for the 80's "Kenny Loggins" who did other soundtracks during this decade. decade, Loggins recorded so many successful songs for film soundtracks that he was referred to as, "King of the Movie Soundtrack". It began with "I'm Alright" from Caddyshack. Hits followed with "Footloose" and "I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man)" from Footloose; "Meet Me Halfway" from Over the Top; and "Danger Zone" and "Playing With the Boys" from Top Gun. Loggins also performed "Nobody's Fool" from the film Caddyshack II. He also performed as a member of USA for Africa on the famine-relief fundraising single "We Are the World", which led to an appearance performing "Footloose" at the Philadelphia leg of the July 13, 1985 Live Aid famine relief dual-venue charity concert and global television broadcast.  The U.S. Navy got a lot of free publicity on this movie, I heard of recruiters hanging around theaters and picking up prospects after they walked out from seeing this movie.  The U.S. Army tried with the Apache Helicopter and Nicolas Cage with mixed results and I think the Air Force tried with "Red Flag" or something like that.  The U.S. Marines had HeartBreak Ridge and it did well and gave the Corp a good publicity involving the mission to Grenada.




 This scene with the "AK-47 as the preferred weapon of our adversary and it makes a distinctive sound when fired at you." is a classic especially with us military guys.

    Now back to "Top Gun", "Danger Zone" is a song, with music composed by Giorgio Moroder and lyrics written by Tom Whitlock, which American singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins recorded and released in 1986. The song appeared on the soundtrack to the 1986 American motion picture Top Gun.


The band Toto were originally intended to perform the track but legal conflicts between the producers of Top Gun and the band's lawyers prevented this.
Bryan Adams was approached to allow his song "Only the Strong Survive" on the soundtrack and perform "Danger Zone". But Adams refused any involvement, feeling that the film glorified war and he did not want any of his work linked to it.
REO Speedwagon were also approached to perform "Danger Zone", but the group declined due to not being allowed to contribute any of their own compositions to the soundtrack.
Eventually, the film producers agreed that "Danger Zone" would be recorded and performed by Kenny Loggins.




Dann Hufflead vocalist and guitarist from '80s hard rock group Giant, performed guitar on the selection. The bass line is a classic 1980s sound comprised in the main of a plucked bass sound from the ubiquitous Yamaha DX7 synthesizer, with the drums being provided by the LinnDrum (a drum machine designed by Roger Linn) which also appears on hundreds of other 1980s pop hits. A tenor saxophone joins in near the end of the song.



MUSIC VIDEO

A MUSIC VIDEO WAS RELEASED IN MAY OF 1986 TO PROMOTE THE SINGLE. THE VIDEO WAS DIRECTED BY TONY SCOTT AND FEATURED FOOTAGE OF LOGGINS SINGING, AS WELL AS CLIPS FROM THE FILM TOP GUN, WHICH SCOTT ALSO DIRECTED.


Sunday, November 29, 2020

6 tactical Lever actions available for 2020 and why you should consider them.

 This post is about Lever guns and also why you should consider buying one....if you can find one right now.  I have a Henry lever Action and my adventures when I bought it.  You can read about it.  It too was "lost" in a kayak accident......tragic  let me tell you...tragic...The reasons to buy a lever action besides the "old school cool factor" is that they work well, the technology is proven, you have pistol and rifle commonality of caliber, that was my reasoning and it is less likely to scare the "mundanes" and "Fudds" and non gun people who don't know how lethal a good lever action can be and how many deers have been brought home by a 30-30 lever action.   I want to buy another lever action either in .357 and Henry makes one that will shoot 5.56X45, the same ammo that the AR platform uses.  Here are the details, it shoot several popular calibers in a box magazine.

It is amazing to think that the lever-action rifle continues to thrive, largely unchanged, in the firearm world more than 160 years after it first emerged. Of course, there were early variations of the concept in the form of Colt’s Ring Lever rifles and the Volition Repeater, but the gun that most point to as the first true-lever action rifle as we know it is Benjamin Tyler Henry’s Model 1860 repeating rifle.

Throughout the years, there have been advancements and improvements, and famous designs such as the Winchester Model 1873 and Model 1894 and Savage Model 99 have emerged as popular options that still see use today. However, the market certainly has changed in some respects, and today’s manufacturers have adjusted to accommodate consumer wants and needs.

In the modern firearm market, “tactical” is the name of the game, and we certainly see a proliferation of blacked-out guns covered with rails and sporting optics, suppressors and other modern accessories. There are a number of modern lever-action rifles on the market for the discerning shooter, and here are the ones you can buy today:

Bishop Firearms 1895 GBL lever-action rifle with wood stock and Picatinny rail resting in sunny field on pile of stones


Bishop Firearms 1895 GBL

At first glance, the Bishop Firearms 1895 GBL doesn’t appear “tactical.” Of course, I’m defining “tactical” here as something that’s all-black, outfitted with polymer furniture and sprouting Picatinny rails off every surface, which doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. In this instance, it’s not the look that makes this gun “tactical.” It’s the chambering.

That’s because Bishop Firearms managed to do the impossible. The company managed to figure out how to chamber a Marlin 1895 GBL in 458 SOCOM, which, I’d say, qualifies as a “tactical” caliber. Why? Well, the company offers all kinds of legitimate reasons, such as for hunting where an AR isn’t allowed or having a slim, trim field gun for hog hunting. Personally, I just think it’s badass, and that’s reason enough in America.

Citadel LEVTAC-92 lever-action rifle on white background.


Citadel LEVTAC-92

Now we’ve moved onto another Marlin offshoot, though this model from Citadel Firearms takes inspiration from the pistol-caliber Model 1892 instead of the big-bore 1895 chambered in 45-70 Gov’t. Citadel announced this model for its 2020 catalog, and the gun will be offered in .357 Mag., .44 Mag. and .454 Casull.

The gun features an 18” barrel, a polymer buttstock with a traditional profile, a large-loop lever and a skeletonized fore-end loaded with M-LOK attachment points. It’s pretty close to a true tactical lever gun, but for me, without a threaded muzzle and an extended Picatinny rail running across the top, it’s not quite there. It’s still pretty cool, though.

Right-side view on white background of Henry Model X Series lever-action rifle.


Henry Model X Series

Henry has quite an expansive lineup of lever-action guns, but with the exception of some all-weather models, most of the rifles and shotguns in the company’s lineup are pretty traditional, featuring blued steel, wood furniture and steel or brass receivers. The Model X Series released in 2020 changed the game.

The company went all-in on the tactical lever-action concept this year, releasing not one but three blacked-out, tactical lever guns in one fell swoop. There’s the Big Boy X Model, chambered in .357 Mag. or .44 Mag., and .45 Colt and two Lever Action X Models chambered in either .45-70 Gov’t or .410-Bore. All of the guns include polymer furniture, an enlarged loop, threaded muzzle and a section of Picatinny rail on the fore-end for accessories.

Right side view of Marlin Firearms Dark Series lever-action rifle shown with woven-paracord sling.


Marlin Dark Series

Marlin caused a sensation when it expanded its Model 336 and Model 1895 rifle lineups with new Dark Series options that edged the company’s traditional lever-action lineup into the tactical realm. Models are available in .30-30 Win. or .45-70 Gov’t, and they feature an all-black finish. If you'd like something different, Marlin's Custom Shop offers a range of different accessories and Cerakote finish.

Other features include an extended XS Sights Picatinny optics rail, a 5/8”-24 TPI threaded muzzle, enlarged lever loop and a braided paracord sling. However, the furniture isn’t exactly weatherproof since Marlin elected to go with black-painted wood instead of polymer for the stock and fore-end. There are few options for attaching accessories, though that can be rectified through the addition of a Midwest Industries M-LOK handguard available for the rifles.

Right-side view on white background of black-colored Mossberg 464 SPX tactical lever-action rifle.


Mossberg 464 SPX

Mossberg was one of the first companies to offer a tactical-style, lever-action rifle with the introduction of its Model 464 SPX back in 2012. Chambered in .30-30 Win., This lever gun is unique, in that it’s the only one of the bunch to offer an AR-style adjustable stock, which is attached to the receiver with a rather disjointed-looking assembly. However, the nice part about this is that it’s compatible with any AR-style stock on the market.

Other features found in the 464 SPX include all-polymer furniture, a fiber-optic front sight and Picatinny accessory rails at three points along the fore-end. The gun even features a threaded muzzle, which is topped with an AR-style birdcage flash suppressor.  I saw this one at academy and I actually like it, the sights were clear and easy to use for iron sights.

Right-side view on white background of Rossi USA Triple Black lever-action rifle with paracord wrap on lever and Picatinny rail on barrel.


Rossi USA Triple Black

One of the most affordable options on this list comes from Rossi, which offers an R92 Series model called its "Triple Black" that's loaded with lots of tactical features. First, the gun is blacked-out with a Cerakote finish and features a paracord-wrapped, large-loop lever. The gun is also outfitted with a short 16.5" barrel that makes it light, handy and nimble, all necessary qualities for a tactical lever gun.

The sight arrangement on the Rossi R92 is also solid, featuring a forward-mounted Picatinny rail that's perfect for mounting a long-eye-relief optic. There's a blade front sight and a peephole rear sight that's attached to the forward-mounted rail.

Right-side view on white background of Taylor's 1892 Alaskan Takedown lever-action rifle.


Taylor’s 1892 Alaskan Takedown

Though Chiappa makes this and other takedown lever-action models, this Model 1892 lever-action rifle is an exclusive option available only through Taylor’s & Co. out of Virginia. What separates this model from similar options available straight from Chiappa are several elements, including the all-black finish and the shortened barrel measuring just 16” long.

Consumers will also find a forward-mounted rail designed for use with a scout scope, and the rail features a rear peep sight that pairs with the fiber-optic front sight. Possibly the coolest feature of this Model 1892, though, is its takedown feature, which separates the gun into two halves just forward of the receiver. Since the iron sights and any mounted optic are attached to the forward half of the gun, this platform will maintain zero when reassembled.

You might think that the perfect lever gun doesn’t really exist on this list. Personally, I’d love to see a gun that blends many of the features found on these six models. To me, the ideal tactical lever gun would have the matte finish of the Marlin Dark Series with the M-LOK handguard of the Citadel LEVTAC-92, a polymer stock and the forward-mounted optics and takedown capability of the Taylor’s 1892 Alaskan. What does your perfect lever gun look like?

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Top 10 Infantry Rifles of all time

 I ran across this from American Rifleman and decided to post this, especially since I own several examples of the rifles listed below well until my tragic canoe and kayak accidents *Sniff, Sniff*.  


 Because soldiers in general and infantrymen in particular operate as part of a combined-arms army, where armor, artillery and aircraft contribute so much to the outcome of a battle, it would be hyperbole to say that a rifle won a war or changed the outcome of a battle. And while effective small arms of all types are essential, their effect on the battlefield is hard to quantify. They are, nonetheless, essential to victory primarily because combat is, above all, a test of wills, and ineffective small arms spread defeatism like rats spread the plague.

How can you close with the enemy if you are afraid your rifle will not work at the critical moment? Better to just stay in your hole. Why shoot at the attacking enemy when you know you can’t hit anything with your rifle? Better to just run away. Soldiers that are confident in the performance of their rifles are more energetic on the attack and more resilient in defense.

Given that, the effectiveness of infantry rifles is a slippery question and rating one against the other is certainly a subjective one. Our choices are based on a number of factors; innovation, effectiveness, service life, impact on history and small-arms development. These are the choices of our editors, no doubt you have your own, perhaps better choices. We don’t expect it to be definitive and hope only to spark debate and interest among our readers.

Omissions from the list will no doubt provoke the most questions, so I will try to explain the absence of some of your, and our, favorites. Some innovative wonder guns like the Stoner 63 and the FG42 were dropped because of their limited service history.

One of our personal favorites, the M14, was dropped because we decided that when two comparable contemporary guns were on the list, like the M14 and the FN FAL, the tie had to go to the gun with the greater historical impact and longer service life, rather than the gun we liked best. Even if, when all is said and done, some of us would rather go into harm’s way with the M14.

The M1 carbine and the Brown Bess were dropped from consideration because they were not rifles. The M1 carbine is more of a personal defense weapon or sidearm and not a proper rifle. If you don’t like that answer, take it up with Gen. James Gavin. The Brown Bess was an even tougher call. It is historically significant—a tool of empire and an infantry shoulder arm of transformation as well. Armies dropped swords, pikes and other pole arms as primary weapons only after development of the flintlock. But we were hemmed in by our own criteria. It is not a rifle, but rather a smoothbore musket.

Among the top 10 infantry rifles, the top five choices were clear: The only debate was about the order in which they were placed. Votes for the bottom five were all over the place, and I fear that they reflect our prejudices more than anything else.

Had we opened up the list to other shoulder-fired small arms, the voting might have become even more chaotic. How do you compare a BAR to an MP40 or a trench shotgun? As far as I am concerned, when that debate starts, it’s time to put cotton in your ears and go to bed.


No. 10: The Henry Rifle

The lever-action Henry rifle, by all measures, was a commercial failure. During its seven-year production run only 14,000 were made, and the U.S. Government purchased only 1,700 Henrys during the Civil War. This is hardly a ringing endorsement when tens of thousands of other rifles saw far greater service in the hands of the infantry. Yet it is on this list and for good reason.

This 9-pound repeating rifle changed history in many ways during its short but storied lifespan. It was the invention of Benjamin Tyler Henry and patented in October 1860 and was the first “successful” breechloading, repeating rifle that fired a self-contained metallic cartridge. Most importantly—and a reason it is on this list—is that it is considered the first Winchester and it is responsible for all those that followed bearing that venerable name to this very day.

This 16-round “horizontal shot tower” was also known as the rifle “you can load on Sunday and shoot all week.” It introduced the self-contained metallic .44 rimfire cartridge to the world and provided the owner of the New Haven Repeating Arms Company, Oliver Winchester, with a basis to build his manufacturing empire.

Of all the guns in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., (more than 7,000) only one has had the honor of receiving a solid gold National Treasure medal from the NRA’s Gun Collectors Committee, and that is Henry Repeating rifle serial number 6, a presentation piece to President Abraham Lincoln.

Of the rifles examined here, each possesses numerous qualities that earned it a spot on this list. It is not enough for a rifle to have graceful lines and a positive locking lug system, each of these rifles was not only found to be superior at the time it was made, but also served to inspire innovation and further development in the field of technology.


No. 9: Dreyse Model 1841 “Needle Gun”

Invented by Johann Nikolaus Von Dreyse in an era when many nations still relied on muzzleloading smoothbores, the “needle rifle” made several technological leaps at once when it was adopted by Prussia as the Zundnadel Infantrie Gewehr Modell 1841.

It was the first widely adopted rifled, breechloading, military turn-bolt long arm chambered for a self-contained cartridge. The bullet, with its priming compound and blackpowder charge behind it, was encased in a paper cylinder called a Treibspeigel. The rifle fired a .608-inch bullet, and the Treibspeigel measured .638 inches and acted as a paper patch over the .535-inch conical bullet.

When the trigger was pulled, the firing “needle”—a long thin pin or striker—pieced the back of the paper and drove through the powder charge to set off the priming compound. Before the bolt could be opened, its thumb piece had to be moved rearward. The bolt was then rotated up and drawn to the rear, the cartridge inserted and the bolt closed. The needle still needed to be manually cocked by pressing the thumb piece forward before the rifle could fire. Like all early breechloaders, there were issues with gas leakage.

The Dreyse gave the Prussians a decided technological and tactical superiority during the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864 and the Seven Weeks War against Austria, and it played a crucial battlefield role in German unification. The Dreyse—although by then inferior to the French Chassepot Modele 1866—was used during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871.


No. 8: FN FAL

The Belgian battle rifle designed by Fabrique Nationale’s Dieudonne Saive and Ernst Vervier, the Fusil Automatique Leger (Light Automatic Rifle), came to dominate the non-communist world in the opening decades of the Cold War. It employed 20- or 30-round detachable box magazines and was initially designed around the .280 cartridge adopted by the British for the bullpup EM-2 rifle.

With NATO’s adoption of the American-designed T65 cartridge, it was then redesigned for the then-brand new 7.62 NATO cartridge. The FAL had excellent ergonomics for a full-size “battle rifle” and a rear-locking tilting bolt and carrier system. The gas-operated FAL employed a robust piston, had an adjustable gas regulator and was capable of selective fire.

Adopted by 66 counties ranging from Abu Dhabi to Venezuela and produced by Fabrique Nationale in Belgium and under license in seven other countries, the FAL came to be called the “free world’s right arm.”

Firearm historian, author and publisher R. Blake Stevens, said it was “The right gun at the right time, and it had to work well. And it did.” More so than other rifles on this list, the FN FAL was a creature of its time. “It was a good gun to start with and available to ministries of defense when they needed a new rifle,” said Stevens, “so it built up a head of steam.”

More than 1.5 million FN FAL rifles, carbines and light machine guns were produced between 1953 and 1980 in both “metric” and “inch” patterns. Thankfully, it never served in a world war but acquitted itself well on both sides in the Falklands and in innumerable smaller conflicts.


No. 7: StG44

MP43, MP44 and StG44 were different names for what was essentially the same rifle, albeit with minor changes. The gun’s numerous names were the result of the German army’s need to keep the guns a secret from Hitler who was opposed it development.

While the StG44 had less range and power than the more powerful infantry rifles of the day, exposure to masses of Soviet troops armed with PPsh 41 submachine guns forced German commanders to reconsider the adequacy of the standard Kar 98k rifle and begin development of a fully automatic service carbine.




Pre-war studies had shown that most combat engagements occurred at less than 300 meters with the majority within 200 meters, but most of the full-power rifle cartridges were developed prior to the Great War when military theorists expected masses of infantrymen to engage each other in long-range volley fire.

Consequently these rounds had more power than most soldiers could use and far more recoil than necessary. German military researchers proposed the adoption of an intermediate cartridge that would provide the controllable firepower of a submachine gun at close quarters with the accuracy and power of a Karabiner 98k bolt-action rifle at intermediate ranges.

In 1943, 10,000 of the selective-fire rifles chambered for the new 7.92 mm Kurtz round were quickly shipped to the Eastern Front, where their tactical potential was immediately evident. More than once that winter, German troops fought their way out of encirclement with the aid of the new rifle.

The guns were surprisingly accurate, even on full-automatic. The StG44 was made for rapid production, and 500,000 were made in the last year of the war. It was the first arm of its class, and the concept had a major impact on modern infantry small arms development.


No. 6: Lee-Enfield

Based on a bolt and magazine system designed by American inventor James Paris Lee, the Lee-Enfield family of rifles began in 1888 with the .303 “Magazine Lee-Metford Rifle Mk I.” Seven year later, sharper five-groove Enfield rifling was substituted for Metford rifling, thus the “Lee-Enfield.”

In 1903, a 25.2-inch barreled “Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield” was adopted for both cavalry and infantry. In its variations or marks, the Mk III and Mk III* being the most common, and total SMLE (renamed the No. 1 rifle in 1926) production is estimated at more than 5 million rifles.

The Lee-Enfield has dual-opposed locking lugs toward the rear center of the bolt body and a separate, detachable bolt head. The action cocks on closing, has a short length of bolt travel and a 60-degree bolt throw.

It is one of the smoothest bolt-action rifles ever made, and proved utterly reliable in even the most horrible combat conditions. Fed by five-round stripper clips, the SMLE had a detachable, double-column, 10-round-capacity box magazine. During World War I, highly trained British riflemen fired their Lee-Enfields so rapidly the Germans believed they were facing machine guns.

A new rifle with manufacturing improvements and an aperture rear sight was developed in 1931 but not adopted as the “Rifle No. 4, Mk I” until 1939. Changes were made to the receiver, bolt, stock, sights, barrel, nose cap and bayonet.

The No. 4s were produced in Great Britain, the United State, Canada and India. In sum, more than 4 million No. 4s were made. Lee-Enfields in 7.62x51 mm served well into the 1980s, and more than 9 million guns were produced in total.


No. 5: British Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle-Musket

The Pattern of 1853 rifle-musket stands clearly above all others during its period of use. During its heyday, 1854-1865, it was considered by most of the Western world to be the superior rifle of its day. It was .577-cal. firing a 530-grain bullet and weighed just slightly under 9 pounds. As a rifle-musket, it combined the speed of loading of a smoothbore musket with the accuracy of a rifle.

In British hands it saw its greatest use during the Crimean War (1854-1856), but it is better known to Americans as the “Confederate Springfield.” More than 300,000 were imported by the Confederate States of America during Civil War (1861-1865), and an additional 400,000 were imported by the Union during the same period.

It became a favorite of both sides. Its rugged reliability and accuracy helped it account for more than its share of the 650,000 casualties suffered during the war. It was the last and best of the percussion muzzleloaders to become a standard service arm for a major military force. The era of the breechloading, self-contained cartridge dawned and rendered it obsolete some scant 11 years after its adoption.

Many might argue that the Springfield Model of 1855 or 1861 was as good—if not better than the Pattern 1853, But the Enfield makes this list because it introduced the American Method of Manufacturing to Europe.

During the Crimean War, the Robbins & Lawrence Company of Windsor, Vt., accepted a contract to supply Pattern 1853 rifles to the British. The machinery produced the Pattern 1853 with completely identical parts. When it arrived in the England in 1856, Enfield Lock became the first factory in Europe to produce anything on the interchangeable parts method of manufacturing, fueling the industrial revolution. —Philip Schreier


No. 4: U.S. M16

The M16 was the product of an effort to bring features and capabilities of the infantry rifle in line with the realities of modern combat. Chambered in 5.56 NATO, the M16 is a small-caliber, select-fire rifle fed from a detachable box magazine.

Its rotating bolt and cylindrical bolt carrier were derived from the M1941 Johnson rifle, while its system of gas operation was inspired by the Swedish M42 Ljungmann rifle. The M16’s aluminum receiver, composite plastic stock and handguards, and direct impingement gas system made the gun very light.—just 6.5 pounds.

In 1964, the U.S. Army adopted the M16 for overseas service. Shortly afterward, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps fielded large numbers of XM16E1 rifles in Vietnam. Standardized as the M16A1 in 1967, it remained the primary infantry rifle of the U.S. military until the early 1980s, when it was gradually withdrawn in favor of the M16A2.

By the middle of the 1970s, other NATO armies were also looking at 5.56 mm service rifles and light machine guns. Starting in 1977, NATO conducted a number of performance tests on a variety of small-caliber projectiles and cartridges.

In 1982, the U.S. Marine Corps adopted the heavier 62-grain NATO along with the longer-range M16A2 rifle. The M16 is ubiquitous, it is the most commonly manufactured 5.56 NATO rifle in the world.


No. 3: Mauser 98

Germany’s Paul Mauser struggled for years to develop a bolt-action repeater, working his way through several earlier variants, and was even rejected by the German Rifle Testing Commission.

Mauser didn’t miss a beat, and he continued to make improvements on his Model 1871. He secured several patents in 1889 that were incorporated into a Belgian military rifle. It was his first successful smokeless-powder gun and his first with dual, horizontally opposed front locking lugs.

In the half-dozen years that followed, Mauser improved the 1889 with his famous non-rotating claw extractor, a staggered-column magazine, a three-position safety and a bolt sleeve gas flange. The German army adopted his design with all the above improvements on April 5, 1898.

The Model 98 has proven to be so sound in design that nearly every major military or sporting bolt-action since that time has been largely an improved version of it. Even the U.S. Springfield Armory, when tasked with developing our country’s own combat bolt-action, the Model of 1903, chose to improve the Mauser 98.

The Model 98’s gas handling in the event of a ruptured case head or pierced primer, it simplicity of design, its comparatively massive and nearly jam-proof, non-rotating claw extractor, its rather inelegant yet simple and effective safety, and its absolute soldier-proof qualities all combine to make it the best firearm of its type.

And the Model 98 was made with only the best technology of the day. Its receiver was milled from a single drop forging as was its bolt/handle. Many military Mausers and virtually all of the sporters were impeccably finished. Only when the exigencies of wartime demanded did Model 98s begin to leave the Mauserwerks and other German factories in a roughly finished condition.

All of the Model 98’s inherent strengths combined to see it through stellar service in two world wars and later make it the prime candidate for several generations of home gunsmiths and custom gunmakers. Even today, many experts claim there is no better bolt-action rifle than a true Mauser 98.


No. 2: The AK-47

Both rudimentary and revolutionary, Mikhail Kalashnikov’s AK-47 is one of the most enduring and ever-present firearm designs today, roughly six decades from its introduction in the late 1940s.

Kalashnikov, having already tinkered with firearm design, took his experience from World War II and developed what would become the most prolific military firearm design in the world, with estimated world-wide production numbers hovering in the 80- to 100-million mark.

It was developed for the 7.62x39 mm, a .30-cal. intermediate cartridge that combined the power of a conventional rifle cartridge with the rate of fire and controllability of a submachine gun.

The gas-operated, detachable box magazine-fed AK-47 is simple, straightforward and basic—almost to the point of fault from a Western mindset. The AK is extremely easy to learn to operate as well as exceedingly reliable under adverse conditions.

This simplicity also extends to its design and manufacture, with the first version and subsequent AKM variants featuring a lightweight, stamped steel receiver that made the rifle both cheaper and easier to manufacture—no doubt contributing to the rifle’s nearly inexhaustible availability in the world today.


No. 1: The M1 Garand

Designed by Canadian-born John C. Garand, an employee of the U.S. Armory at Springfield, Mass., the M1 Garand is a gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle fed from an eight-round en-bloc clip. At the time of its adoption in 1936, the M1 was truly the most advanced weapon system ever fielded.

It was the first successful design capable of firing a full-power rifle cartridge via semi-automatic operation. As such, it can be argued that the M1 represented the first time America sent its boys to war with the best infantry rifle in the world, as the United States was the only nation to fully arm its troops with a self-loading design. Simply stated, the M1 was without equal on the battlefields of World War II.

By the time Germany and Japan had surrendered in 1945, more than 4 million M1 rifles had been produced by Springfield Armory and the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., and with good reason, for the M1 represented a quantum leap forward in engineering from the venerable old ’03 Springfield.

The semi-automatic design reduced the effects of felt recoil on the shooter, making it possible to train soldiers in less time than ever before. The sights were the best ever put on an American rifle up to that time. The rifle could be disassembled for cleaning and maintenance easily while in the field, a huge advantage over the Springfield.

But most importantly, the M1 had a much higher rate of fire, delivering 50 to 60 shots per minute by the average rifleman, which amounted to three times as much firepower than was possible with the Springfield. While our enemies fielded bolt-action rifles, the M1’s increased firepower simply enabled American soldiers to bring more to the fight.

By the end of the M1’s service life, another 2 million rifles would be produced, a testament to Garand’s genius in creating a rifle that lent itself to a complex, time-consuming manufacturing process. In that regard, the M1 is a shining example of America’s war effort, representing the very best of American manufacturing at its height.

Forged in blood, coveted by friend and foe alike, the M1 won its admiration on many fronts. No less than Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, “The Garand rifle … is one of the greatest contributions to our Armed Forces,” while Gen. George S. Patton boldly declared, “In my opinion, the M1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.”

To an entire generation of fighting men, John Garand is a hero. Garand, the man who shaped wood and forged steel into their sword; and they, the courageous souls who charged into enemy fire from Normandy to Iwo Jima—their lives in his hands.

It’s John Browning who is most often recognized, deservedly so, as the greatest firearm designer of all time. But in this case, it was John Garand who caught lightning in a bottle and harnessed into an earthbound version of the hammer of Thor, the M1. And it was this, the greatest infantry rifle of all time, that helped change the course of human history.

Friday, November 27, 2020

How They Hate Us

I clipped this from American Greatness.  I had already commented that the people touting that we stay home are people that can stay home because they have safe .gov jobs and they can "work" from home and they suffer no ramifications from locking down the economy, they of course will still have a job, whereas us people in "flyover country" will be screwed because our employers are private companies that rely on products or services to stay in business and make payroll.  The sanctimonious of these "Covidkarens" is cloying and most of the people that fit the categories are public school teachers or other government drones because their jobs are guaranteed and they like to lord it over us because it is for our "safety" and the "Safety of others".  That is the excuse that they use to increase the restrictions on our freedoms on a disease that has a 99% survival rate and this was used to cripple the national economy and ultimately steal the election from President Trump with "mail in Ballots" and other variables.  This isn't about the disease, this is about control.




In 1971, before he made it big with “Star Wars,” a young George Lucas made a sci-fi film about a young man living in a dystopian future, “THX 1138. That was the protagonist’s name. He was a cog in the machine. He had no apparent individual humanity, no real name, and the same clothes and appearance as everyone else.

Life for THX 1138 was grim, but bearable. He lived in a pod, was cajoled into dangerous work through constant propaganda, and relaxed at night through the combination of state-mandated drug cocktails and pornography. Sound familiar?

Failing to take the prescribed drugs, he gets out of line and soon finds himself in the grips of the regime’s corrective apparatus. In one particularly chilling scene, two technicians are adjusting the electronic mind control devices that keep the protagonist under control, but in the process subject him to agonizing tortures. 

Amplifying the horror is the technicians’ tone. They interface with the main character only through a silent computer screen, adjusting dials that produce appalling pain, and they speak in the same manner one would use in changing a set of spark plugs or tackling some other mundane problem. 

The horror comes from their indifference.

Two Nations, Growing Apart

Today, the Right’s passion causes some confusion from the Left’s managerial class, as well as other figures in the “establishment.” The Right says the Left hates them, and the managerial Left and its moderate fellow travelers are perplexed.

They say, we don’t hate you, we only want what’s best for you. Are things so bad for you? And who are things really bad for? Racist trailer-trash in flyover country? Who cares about them

The basic message is that they’re motivated by altruistic concern for the greater part of the community, especially those historically victimized by racism and other prejudice. Their noble motives are augmented by technocratic credentials and expertise. The only real victims of their system are bad people who deserve their lot. 

For the rest of us, including those not quite on board, we’re treated with the same charity one reserves for a toddler who won’t eat his vegetables. Your desires and wants aren’t compelling concerns, even though our regime is supposed to be based on the “consent of the governed.” They’re obstacles to be overcome. In the elite’s self-conception, they’re altruists and capable experts fighting against obscurantism, evangelizing the rest of us with “evidence-based” solutions. 

Thus, the conflation of disagreement with ignorance, the mania for censoring alternative views, and the talk of “unity” and “decorum.” Going along with the program is the fastest way to achieve the establishment’s promises of peace, harmony, and efficiency. 

The government looks very different to those living and working outside of it. Those inside are often completely shielded from the consequences of their rules. They do not have to worry about layoffs, pay cuts, the cost of insurance, and other burdens on Americans who work in the embattled private sector. They think of government as the land of their friendly, well-paid, and mostly unstressed neighbors. What’s not to like?

But the rest of us, particularly in the middle rungs of society, get little in return. When the federal government shuts down, we wouldn’t know unless we read it in the papers. And we interface with it chiefly by paying taxes and dodging meddlesome inspectors and other forms of harassment.

Hateful Indifference

There is a type of hate, perhaps more accurately called contempt, that manifests as extreme indifference. The individual “human engineering” of THX 1138 is rivaled by the “social engineering” that runs roughshod over the expressed desires of those of us who haven’t asked for these radical and intrusive changes.

The examples are legion and go back many decades. One is the “bombing” of safe suburbs with some undesirable new institution, like a housing project or refugee resettlement facility. Of course, these won’t go up in Chevy Chase, Maryland or in the Hamptons; that would be silly . . . to say nothing of expensive. But they have to go somewhere, and what better place than some middle American backwater, like Minneapolis or Boise. If this means the schools become dangerous, property values go down, or your children aren’t safe on the streets, that’s just the price of progress. You’ll have to manage. 

Obamacare had this feature, as well. It essentially was a Rube Goldberg contraption that ended up being a cross-subsidy for poor democratic constituencies from the pockets of the struggling middle classes. At the same time, the government workers’ and unions’ “Cadillac” insurance plans were left mostly untouched

Gun control also has this feature. It is fundamentally a war against self-defense and self-sufficiency. It deprives ordinary people of the means of self-protection, but the government has no corresponding duty of protection. If things happen—like riots—that’s just life. The cruelty of this policy—pushed often by those with private security and gated communities—is only made worse through hostile plans to “defund the police.” 

But nothing has illustrated the divide with greater clarity than the coronavirus hysteria. We now know that lockdowns did not work and were incredibly destructive to the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans. And yet they’re being pushed again, this time on a national level. 

It’s not GS-12s, congressmen, and public school teachers who had layoffs and pay-cuts from these “shutdowns.” They had, at worst, the modest burdens of working from home. They still got paid. They still maintained their identities and their titles.

It is the struggling waitresses and hairdressers and hotel desk clerks who have suffered. It’s the small business owners whose restaurants, stores, and gyms have gone belly-up. While the insiders piled up cash and whined about us all being in this together, the rest of us got $1,200—if we even got that. 

Fertile Soil for Revolt

One of the most striking aspects of late Soviet times was that the common people were not chiefly complaining about abstract freedom or a desire for more democracy. They complained about the obvious privileges of the party elite, the special stores and nicer apartments and the corruption with which they enhanced their lot, while that same elite preached the brotherhood of man. The common people also were repeatedly insulted by big and obvious lies, such as the scale of the war in Afghanistan or the Chernobyl disaster. 

Much of the populist energy in our own country has the same feel. While the Bernie Sanders wing blames big business, the Trump wing is hostile to elites in both business and government—particularly now, when it seems an election may have been stolen. But the impulse comes from the same place: a sense that we’re not all in this together, that we don’t have the same struggles, that we don’t have a voice or a means of changing anything within the system, that the policies that benefit those in power come at the expense of the rest of us, and that the people in charge fundamentally do not care about us. 

The center-Left managerial elite don’t imagine themselves to be the party of hate. They believe themselves to be the party of progress, human rights, equality, and science. Even “love.” But their frequently expressed indifference to the fate of their fellow citizens echoes the hate-as-indifference so chillingly portrayed in science fiction dystopia. 

In the movie at least, humanity triumphs.