News and views

Russia rolled out a new tank named the Armata, whose red carpet premier is the Victory Day parade in Moscow. Western leaders decided to snub Russia’s celebration of Victory Day over Russia’s seizure of the Crimea and military adventurism and blackmail. Given Obama’s “Dream Team” of National Security advisors, will America stumble into war with Russia? Meanwhile, back in America, an uproar over Cadets wearing heels at another staged rally. I suppose some would rather have seen them in Michael Kors or Givenchy, but Cadets don’t make that much money. At least the shoes are a bright, offensive shade of Artillery Red! […]

Weapons Wednesday: FPF Training’s New Offerings

Those who have been around this place for a while know my affinity for John R. Murphy and FPF Training. (If not, check the archives.) It’s worth noting that John has recently revamped his offerings and his site, with what appear to be distinct upgrades to both. Two things caught my eye. The first is the “Pistol vs Rifle” class– This four hour seminar deals with the tactical problems faced by an armed citizen confronted with a criminal armed with a rifle. Topics will be: – Ballistic Disadvantage – Movement and Cover – Marksmanship at Distance – AK Pick up […]

(He Said “Balls”)

No, really– Robotic War Balls: A research team from Stamford, Conn. has developed an amphibious drone that they are currently testing with the Marines. The GuardBot is a robot ball that swims over water at about 4 miles per hour and then rolls along the beach, at as much as a 30-degree incline and 20 miles per hour. It uses a nine-axis stabilization, “pendulum motion” propulsion system, which moves the bot forward by shifting the center of gravity back and forth and a variety of steering algorithms.  It took creator Peter Muhlrad some seven years to develop, but now that it’s complete […]

Farnam: “Self-Reliant?”

Since a large swath of the eastern U.S. is getting another round of meteorological boarhoggery, Mr Farnam’s latest quip is particularly timely: “Self-Reliant” or “Cell-Phone-Reliant?” Last November, a NY man froze to death while remaining in his stranded car for twelve hours, patiently waiting for help that never arrived. From his marooned vehicle nearly buried in snow, disabled when struck from the rear by a snowplow, the man repeatedly called 911 and was repeatedly ordered to stay put and repeatedly assured that help was on its way and would be at his location soon. It was all a lie! Help […]

Vespa (Anti-Tank Variant)

I’M NOT KIDDING. In the 1950s France, in the midst of dealing with insurgencies in its colonies in Algeria and Indochina, recognized a military need for easily transportable artillery that could quickly be deployed to the front lines. It happened upon one very novel solution: a militarized Vespa scooter with a built-in armor-piercing gun. The Vespa 150 TAP, built by French Vespa licensee ACMA, was designed expressly to be used with the French airborne special forces, the Troupes Aéro Portées (TAP). Read the whole thing, and be sure to watch the video. I wonder if it’d work on a KLR650??

Snow-Day Saturday: Gear Reviews

We’re getting a good dump of snow here in Mosby’s Confederacy, might be as much as nine inches when it’s all done tonight. I, for one, love it. I’ve been out on the skis once already, straight out from the front door, and will go out again later. In the meantime, here are a couple of pieces of gear that I own and are of interest to the prepper/citizen-soldier. Astro Mini cell phone portable charger: This is a slick little thing that was recommended to me back in the fall (summer?). It has lived up to its billing and more. […]

The Ride to the I, 2014

Thanks to CHC87’s timely reminder I was able to sign up for the 7th Annual “Ride to the I,” VMI’s own little Rolling Thunder. Alumni chapters from across our native state (to whom we are attached and of whose fame we are proud) are organized to gather at various points and then converge on Lexington, where we unite and ride in column of twos through the town and up to the parade deck. My day began early, to make my scheduled rally in Culpeper at 0700. It was maybe 50 degrees when I set out and I felt every one […]

Good Pieces of Kit

Laminated and taken to the field since 1066! This is really fascinating, and you could spend a lot of time– time well spent, I’d say– poring over the lists and the photos. (You’ll have to overlook some problems with the weapons terminology and description, such as calling the 7.62 L1A1 (the FAL) of Falklands War fame a “very light” rifle. But we’re dealing with Limey pinko journalists here, and what do they know about guns??) Still– a pretty nifty look at the Soldier’s Load.

Weapons Wednesday: Shotgun AAR

As promised, a more detailed AAR on the one-day Tom Givens/Rangemaster Shotgun Course– Class size: 10 or 12 Class makeup: Widely varied this time; besides MDL and myself there was one Murphy stalwart I knew from several previous classes (all three of us Marines); two females, one of them 50% of a married couple. One former FBI agent and current Catholic priest (yep!); others were the standard American males who seek out this sort of training; only one could be said to have struggled at first but he came through towards the end of the day. Round count: We burned […]

Scratch AAR from One-Day Shotgun Course

One word: OUT-STAN-DING. My right shoulder and right cheek are all beat to hell, but that’s a small price to pay for some of the best gun training I’ve had in years. Tom Givens, the instructor, provided exactly the right context for how a civilian citizen ought to, and will, fight with this gun. I had to bust some rust (of course) and had two or three hiccups, but the 870 ran just fine. Two big thumbs-up for the shortened butt stock. MDL ran the course like a champ, like he sleeps with his 870. Once again, brother can run […]