Thursday, March 31, 2005

Flight of Fancy

Squaring up against two prehistoric cave bears in this image by artist Miville-Deschenes, I hope this hero is packing some seriously hot loads! Posted by Hello

Food for Thought

My back has been giving me a lot of problems lately and I'm back to taking Tramadol for the pain- which makes me feel really spacey. Blogging may be light to non-existent for the rest of the day, depending on how out of my face I get, so in the meantime here's something to have a think about-

Finally, the SHTF and you're forced to leave your home to seek refuge elsewhere. The nature of the crisis is a massive economic collapse followed by a total breakdown in law and order. You have a limited carrying capacity and so you're forced to chose what weapons to take with you. The limits are one rifle, one shotgun and one handgun. What do you take?

Choices left in the comments field are greatly appreciated.

Here's one last thing to think about- if the SHTF tomorrow, would you be at all prepared? Do you have a supply of food, water and a good first aid kit? What about your supply of ammo? Got any fuel to spare? Are you in decent enough physical shape to handle the rigours of the emergency?

.45 Colt Sabot.

A great outdoors gun would have to be a revolver-double or single-action, take your pick- chambered in .454 Casull. A Bowen Alpine Redhawk in this calibre is one of my 'dream guns'. The .454 Casull is a great hard-hitting cartridge and a revolver in this calibre can also handle the much respected .45 Long Colt. Those two cartridges could handle an awful lot of situations and take a good variety of game- the .454 Casull has taken game up to and including rhino and elephant.

For the taking of small game however, the .454 and .45 Colt are a bit big and I was thinking that it would make a great deal of sense to have a small calibre saboted round available. Perhaps in .22- with a very light load as obviously the .45 Colt case has plenty of room to push a tiny round like the .22 out at high velocity. This would enable one to take small game and birds that a big .45 bullet couldn't, thus increasing the usefulness of one gun in a survival/outdoor situation.

I did a quick search for just such a thing but I can't find anything around. I can vaguely recall hearing that a flechette round was once issued to the Air Force for their 1911s so that it could be used to take fish and the like. Is there anything like this- flechette or sabot- available today?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hogzilla's Cousin

Seems like the giant grizzly bear pictures and story is doing the rounds on the internet again (much like the Hogzilla story). If you want to know the details go and have a look a Snopes page on the incident. The bear had a 29" skull and weighed in at 1200lbs.

While I was checking out that story I came across this one, which is much more interesting to me- Hogzilla's Florida cousin. This boar, taken with a single shot from .44 magnum, weighed in between 1100 and 1200 lbs and had a tusk over eight inches long. Now that's impressive.

Nazis and Al Qaeda

I don't know whether or not to file this one under mindbogglingly stupid or incredibly dangerous. It seems that the leader of neo-Nazi white supremacist group Aryan Nation is hoping to forge a link with Al Qaeda because, he claims, they share the same enemy- the Jews and the US government.

The leader, a damnable fool by the name of Kries, has this message for Al Qaeda- "The message is, the cells are out here and they are already in place. They might not be cells of Islamic people, but they are here and they are ready to fight."

Unbelievable. Surely at a time when American troops are engaged in combat in an ongoing War On Terrorism this would come under the heading of treason? Conspiracy to commit terrorism? Free speech is one thing, attempting to join with the enemy to commit terrorist acts is another.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Cobb MCR-100

An entrant into the SCAR contest, the Cobb MCR-100 looks to be a very good example of the AR family, the main advantage being that it can be chambered not only in the usual run of calibres-5.56mm, 9mm, .45ACP, 6.5 Grendel and .50 Beowulf- but it can also take 7.62x39mm (an M47?). That's a fairly versatile platform for any shooter.

Bits and pieces

Venezuela is buying 100,000 AKs from Russia.

Gun Zone's Rules of Gunfighting- always worth remembering.

The HK M4 is now apparently known as the HKM416. I missed that one- is this genuine or is has it been applied by fanboys? I can't find any info on HK's own website.

Smallest Minority details a story you couldn't make up. Scary.

The USMC begins final testing of the Osprey. Given the massive cost of this program in lost lives, let's hope something comes of it.

An image here of the Colt entry into the SCAR rifle contest (along with some of the other contenders). First I've seen of it.

Robot Medics

The Pentagon is funding research into a mobile "trauma pod", which could perform surgery on wounded soldiers on the battlefield. The idea is to provide even more frontline care to the injured via telepresence. The trauma pod would be wirelessly connected to a surgeon who would control the pod from the rear. The benefit is more access to first aid for the troops and increased protection for surgeons- losing a pod to enemy fire won't be anywhere near as costly as losing a skilled surgeon.

The most remarkable thing about the story is not that the US Army is considering the use of a "robot medic", it's that they caution that the technology won't be on the battlefield for ten more years. Ten years is a pretty short time for this kind of technology to be deployed in my opinion, especially when one considers that the initial research grant calls for the stitching together of two blood vessels. Telepresence surgery does happen now as the article reports but it needs a team of people to man the machine and the surgeon is not wirelessly connected. More information can be found via the links at DefenseTech (of course).

Once again America proves to be a powerhouse of ideas and innovation.

Energy Calculator

Handgun self-defence rounds are tricky to select, but the same also applies to hunting rounds. There are a wealth of calibres available and a range of bullets. Comparing them is not easy- bullet weight, calibre, velocity and muzzle energy all have an effect on performance- but so too does the bullet design. Expanding hollow points are not always the most effective option and hard cast lead bullets can offer devastating penetration and bone-breaking punch. There have been various attempts at coming up with a reliable way of comparing various rounds and one of the most long-standing is the Taylor Knock Out- bullet weight multiplied by velocity and bore diameter and divides the result by 7000 (no. of grains in 1lb). It's not the most scientific method and the TKO has plenty of critics, but when you're confronted by so many different calibres and cartridges, the TKO can offer a simple way of comparing those options.

If you're not into doing the calculations yourself you can go to and use their Energy Calculator- simply type in the details and it will calculate the TKO, momentum and energy of the load in question.


ACE's post on the poor performance of the Corbon Pow'rball load (originating at Gun Zone) and the Box o' Truth tests has gotten me thinking a lot about the matter. To sum up, after penetrating cloth a .45 ACP Black Talon failed to expand, and the Powerball tends to fragment badly. For users of the .45ACP this is a pretty good round up of ammo available for the venerable 1911 et al. It would be very interesting to see these bullet types tested against one another in real world situations. The moral of the story seems to be that you can't always rely on your hollow point or whatever to do what it's supposed to do. In which case the best bet is to carry the biggest calibre you can to make the biggest hole possible.

At the moment I'd be interested to hear more about the Federal Expanding Full Metal Jacket round, a rival to Federal's own Hydra-Shok, which minimises the risk of the hollow point becoming plugged by material by the addition of a centre post.

It's certainly a confusing market for the gun-owner looking for a reliable self-defence round- and if the claims of bullet/ammunition manufacturers don't pan out then it's even more difficult to make the decision. There's a round up of ammunition performance in a number of calibres at this site and it, like a few others I've had a quick look at, rate the Federal Hydra-Shok as the most effective round to load. Seems like it wouldn't be a bad bet, although bear in mind that the usual advice is to load what your local law enforcement carries. And hope they are properly equipped.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Flight of Fancy

I have no idea where I found this image, had it saved to my PC for a long time. It's Flash Gordon and Dale Arden by an artist called Renaud. If the rest of his work is anything like this I'm sure I'd like it.

Update- Paul Renaud's website is here.

Sunday, March 27, 2005


Gary Reeder has a new custom gun out- the Nighthawk. Based on the Ruger Redhawk, it's a four inch barrelled carry gun- though for concealed carry you'd either need to be a pretty big guy or be wearing bulky clothing. The gun is completely de-horned to prevent snagging and is tuned for accuracy and a smooth double action. With rosewood gunfighter grips this would make a very nice packing gun out in the wilds. Available with a gold bead or ramp sight, it's also a damn fine looking weapon as you can see here and here. Personally I prefer the blued model. That is one exceptional looking weapon.

The Nighthawk is available in 357, 41, 44 or 45. The 357 can be re-chambered for the wildcat 356 GNR (a 41 Magnum case necked down to take a 357 bullet) and the 41 can be adapted for 41 GNR or 410 GNR. A guide to the Reeder wildcats can be found here.

The 410 GNR is basically a 454 necked down to take a 41 calibre bullet at high velocities- a 255 LBT bullet at 1900 fps, which is enough power to take a Cape Buffalo with one shot. Pair that up with the Nighthawk and you have a great compact carry gun with awesome power.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

New Additions

Two new sites to add to my links list- two blogs by the same guy, though he has more than that! First up is Greenie Watch, an excellent site counteracting bad-science Green propaganda. Very useful when it comes to arguing about global warming...sorry...climate change. The second is perhaps of more interest to those who usually visit here- Gun Watch, a pro-gun blog. His PC Watch is also worth checking out but the ridiculousness of political correctness makes for painful, exasperating reading sometimes. A punchbag might be a handy accessory for reading that site.

Gun Watch brought up some interesting information- states that issue concealed carry permits have had their instances of multiple shootings (more than two victims) drop by 60% between 1977 and 1999! He also points out that guns were used defensively more than 2 millions times each year- compared to the 450,000 times that guns were used to commit crimes. Finally, states which have an "A" rating from the Brady Campaign have crimes rates 12.5% higher than shall issue states.

It's a shame the hoplophobes can't see past their irrational fears.

Flight of Fancy

Shanna the She-Devil by Frank Cho. Cho is the creator of the Liberty Meadows comic strip and his website- with an extensive gallery, including a lot of Burroughs images- can be found here.

If you study the image closely, you'll notice that Shanna's carrying a rifle, a Mauser to be exact.

Update: Just in case you want to see more of Shanna but didn't check out Cho's website for the link, the first issue art can be found here.
Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005


I came across this video clip a week or so ago and I was expecting it to be all over the web by now- but it doesn't seem to be doing the rounds as much as I thought. Anyway, it's a short film which was entered into a film-making contest. That's about all I know of its origins. The clip is made up like an ad for humanoid robots serving as police in the third world- it was shot in S. Africa. It's very well done and the robot cops look very cool indeed. Whoever made it should be given a ton of cash to do a feature length version.

Tanker Garand

While I'm most certainly a convert to the appeal of the Tanker Enfield, I'm not so sure about this shorty version of another classic rifle- the Tanker Garand. Also known as the T26, this was originally a military conversion, rather than the idea of a gunsmith as is the case with the Enfield. When it comes to the Enfield Tankers, I'm all for it- but if I was to buy one I'd most certainly go for a 7.62 Russian conversion at the same time. If I wanted a .303, I'd stick with the full length No. 4 rifle. The Tanker Russian seems to be an eminently good idea- a short, handy light-recoiling rifle that's cheap to shoot. What's not to like about that?

The Tanker Garand is another kettle of fish altogether and I just can't seem to get behind the idea. It's not that I'm opposed to destroying a piece of history- you could "Tankerise" a brand new Garand from Springfield- and it's not that I can't see the benefit of a carbine sized Garand, it seems like a grand idea, but I'm just not sold on it- yet. Give me a day or two and I *might* be singing it's praises! For the time being though, I'd much rather have a Springfield SOCOM 16 rather than going to the trouble of getting a Garand modified so drastically. The advantage over the Garand is mainly in the detachable magazine- 20 is better than 8- but I'd be interested in seeing a head to head between the two to see how they shoot.

Jurassic Park Here We Come

Okay, so it might not lead to the creation of a real life Jurassic Park, but this is pretty exciting news anyway- scientists have found soft tissue dating from 70 million years ago preserved in the thigh bone of a T. Rex. What struck me most about this article is that the soft tissue was found by accident when the bone was broken- according to Horner there might be similarly preserved soft tissue in other dinosaur bones already in museums- but they prefer not to break the bones to look. Seems odd that there aren't some non-destructive techniques to check for this sort of thing. Could be that scientists are sitting on a wealth of information about dinosaurs and actual dinosaur DNA but they just haven't taken the time to look for it.

Mmm, maybe that Jurassic Park idea isn't looking so far fetched after all?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Russian Enfield aka Ogre Scout Rifle (again)

Been doing a little poking around various forums and haven't been able to find much more else about the Russian Enfield. Kevin of Smallest Minority made the very valid point in a comment here that he could just handload a light .303- giving manageable recoil like the 7.62 Russian but with a few hundred extra FPS. It's a good point and anyone not wanting to convert a No. 5 Enfield (the Jungle model) to fire commie ammo could do just that- with the ability to shoot the full power stuff if the need arose. Although the full strength ammo in a Jungle or Tanker model isn't going to be that gentle or quiet to shoot. It's certainly something to bear in mind when considering the conversion. Regardless of calibre I'm now very fond of the Tanker Enfield, whether it's a .303 or 7.62 Russian- that's a very handy looking weapon.

Personally, I don't think that there's a major drawback to switching one of these guns over to 7.62 from .303- the Russian round has enough power to take deer-sized game and it's also proven to be pretty effective against man-size targets too, certainly more so than the 5.56mm. Given the amount of ammo available for the calibre, from cheap surplus to designated hunting rounds, I'd say that there isn't a real advantage to keeping the weapon in .303. The 7.62 Russian has a pretty lousy reputation when it comes to accuracy but that seems to be more to do with cheaply made weapons and poor quality surplus ammo- Gun Mart magazine stated that they were getting 2-3" groups at 100 yards with the AIA M10. That's not too shabby. I'd be interested to see what a full sized No. 4 Enfield converted to 7.62mm Russian could do.

Flight of Fancy

It's been one of those days- right from my first sleep deprived moment awake, it's been one of those days. When it gets like that I like to go to my 'special place' to try and relax. For me, it's Edgar Rice Burroughs' realm of Pellucidar, a wonderfully imagined inner world of a hollow Earth. It's a wild, primitive place filled with the creatures of prehistory- giant cave bears, sabertooth tigers, dinosaurs and primitive man all mingle together in the ultimate wilderness. The first Burroughs' sdtory to take place in Pellucidar was At the Earth's Core, which is available to read here.
Today's image is painted by the legendary Jeff Jones, whose fantasy work is simpy startling. He's not so well known as Frank Frazetta but he's every bit his equal. Jones' galleries can be found here. Me, I'm off to lose myself in this painting of Pellucidar. See you later.
Posted by Hello

Spider Tractor

We may not be close to the days of giant mechas like those in Patlabor (or the Starship Troopers novel depending on your point of reference), but this looks like a step in the right direction- Defense Tech reports that a Finnish company is manufacturing a six legged lumber carrying machine. It's been designed to minimise damage to forest soils and is capable of stepping over obstacles. I haven't checked out the videos of the machine walking yet but it's on my to-do list.

All we need to do now is up-armour the beast and add in some chain guns, automatic grenade launchers and perhaps a giant robotic arm.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I'd intended to post on this yesterday after the story showed up on FARK but it totally slipped my mind- but I couldn't let it lie. Seems that the picture which did the rounds on the internet last year of Hogzilla- a Georgia hog rumoured to measure 12 feet in length and weigh 1,000lbs with 9inch tusks- was not a trick of perspective or Photoshop; it's real.

Seems that National Geographic got interested in the story and they did a bit of sleuthing. Hogzilla was a real feral hog, shot and killed by a hunter last year (wonder what he was packing?). The measurements the hunter gave were, however, a little on the generous side. NG put Hogzilla at seven and a half feet long and weighing about 800lbs. According to this Snopes article when a hog is hung it can add up to five feet to the length, perhaps explaining the difference. The 1,000lbs figure was of course an estimate and I don't think anyone could blame these guys for guessing a hog that big to weight that much. NG also tested Hogzilla's DNA and it turns out he had wild boar somewhere in his ancestry. I wonder if there are any more examples of the Hogzilla clan out there?

Bulldog Enfield

I've written a fair bit lately about the 7.62mm Russian version of the Enfield rifle, the Ogre Scout. One of the models that caught my eye is the SIA Tanker model- a very fine looking rifle indeed, and certainly much more shootable than the .303 Jungle Carbine.

Well, I had a look around and came across this example of the Tanker or Bulldog Enfield. It's not a calibre conversion, merely a chopped rifle, but it's a rather nice example of what can be done with the Enfield. An item like this chambered for 7.62mm Russian would be very nice indeed. No doubt more will follow on the topic as I do more Googling.

Students killed for having picnic

One site that I visit every day is Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs- it's pretty much essential reading for me. Today's standout story is the attack on a group of students having a picnic in Basra by a man dressed in the garb of a Muslim cleric leading a group of Sadr's Mehdi Army. At least two were left dead by the attack. The attack was carried out because the Mehdis claimed that they had a duty to prevent the students from "dancing, sexy dress and corruption". They are evil bastards and it's a damn shame that they weren't all killed when they were fighting the American forces- yet more evidence, if we needed it, that appeasement does not work.

I wonder what the Moonbats would have to say about this? How many of them are students who like to hang out with the opposite sex and *gasp* listen to music? The Times adds this detail to the story- when the students at the university tried to organise protest demonstrations (ring any bells, Moonbats?) the Mehdi Army threatened to mortar bomb the campus. Perhaps some of the Moonbats would like to adjust their view of the world and appreciate the fact that they have the freedom to protest without having their universities bombed? Somehow I can't see it happening- I also can't envision any demonstrations being organised to support the Basra students.

LGF makes for pretty scary reading a lot of the time and there are some days when it just seems too depressing- kids are being killed because they wanted to have a f**king picnic? Bookmark it now. Go and read every day.

More Russian Enfields

MadOgre's scout rifle of choice- a bolt action 7.62mm Russian- has apparently been accepted by the Horde, with many- myself included- suggesting the Enfield rifle converted to fire the commie round. My own preference for this type of weapon in the previously posted on AIA M10-A2, an entirely brand new weapon rather than a conversion. Ogre's own suggestion was the Special Interest Arms Enfield K- a conversion of existing Enfields to the shorter 'jungle' configuration. This seems to be a very good choice and SIA offer a number of options including synthetic stocks and match grade barrels.

Of the SIA range the "Tanker" model- so named because of the impression that the cut down weapons were issued to tank crews (they never were)- caught my eye. It's an Enfield converted to 7.62 Russian with a barrel cut to 16" or 18" and with original sights and modified stock. It's a very handy looking item indeed and my interest in the Russian Enfield concept has been piqued even more by this example.

Moonbats a global phenomenon

It seems that the moonbats, those prime examples of cognitive dissonance, just won't go away. Preferring to stick their heads in the sand rather than face the reality of two totalitarian regimes being toppled and millions of people liberated, they continue to protest the war in Iraq- that would be the war which one could say ended some time ago when free elections took place for the first time in a generation. No, the moonbats would prefer to believe that there is such a thing as an "Iraqi resistance"- a terrorist movement made up of fighters from many different countries who have committed atrocity after atrocity against Allied troops, foreign citizens working in Iraq and, let's not forget, the Iraqi people themselves. Somehow the Moonbats would like to believe that these are freedom fighters- since Iraq has already held free elections and elected its own government, I'm not quite clear what freedoms they believe these terrorist thugs are fighting for. True to their nature, they are blithely ignoring current events and continuing to protest Bush's war- the fact that Bush has succeeded in Afghanistan and the "quagmire" of Iraq and has spread the seeds of freedom to the Middle East is, apparently, not taken into consideration.

The latest display of a rather serious case of Moonbattery can found right here in the UK in the "ten good reasons to vote Liberal Democrat". It's a bizarre list- of the problems facing the UK right now opposing Bush and Blair on the war in Iraq would seem to be curiously redundant. Perhaps they are opposed to liberating oppressed peoples and would prefer it if homicidal dictators were still in power?

The rest of the Lib Dems list doesn't make for any better reading. Strangely, while they confront the absolutely essential election issue of student tuition fees, they make no mention of immigration or the War on Terrorism (perhaps their stance on Iraq is their position in the WoT?)

Flight of Fancy

A female Indiana Jones as imagined by Adam Hughes. Many more examples of his superb artwork can be found at the Comic Art Community Adam Hughes Archive.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Interesting Website

Thanks to a link at Kim du Toit's site today, here's an interesting site called Box o' Truth- the page in question involves testing the effects of clothing on bullet expansion. The results are more than a little surprising with the .45 ACP Black Talon performing poorly, amongst others. Makes for a good read, particularly if you carry a concealed weapon. The moral of the tale is that heavy clothing can seriously inhibit hollow points from expanding.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Lever Guns

ACE posts today on the great idea of the new .460 S&W magnum in a lever gun. I've already posted (a few days back) on Wild West Guns' Model 04 in .500 S&W magnum- well, that lever gun is also available in .500 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger and .475 Linebaugh, and .454 Casull. Though it only mentions 500 and 454 on the WWG homepage, this site mentions the other calibre offerings. I'm sure it will not be long before the 04 is also available in .460 S&W magnum. In fact, WWG will probably be one of the first gunmakers to do so.

Other manufacturers seems to be pretty slow to jump on the big bore lever-gun bandwagon. Marlin offer the Model 1895RL in .480 Ruger/.475 Linebaugh, but other than that big-bore lever guns are sparse. Puma have the M92 in .480 Ruger and .454 Casull but that's about it as far as I can tell. It's a pretty odd situation considering the popularity of big-bore handguns- surely the market is calling out for companion lever guns to go with them?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Now that's what I call BIG bore

The muzzle of an A-10 Warthog gatling gun and the 30mm shell it fires.

AIA M10 Enfield

I've really got to get used to the idea that I can post pictures now. Here's today's gun of choice- the Australian M10A1 in 7.62mm Russian. This has an eighteen inch barrel. The A2 variant comes with a sixteen inch barrel.

AIA M10 "Russian" Enfield

I wrote a while back about the Australian International Arms M10-A1 rifle- a 'jungle' Enfield chambered for 7.62 Russian. This compact bolt action will not only fire the commie round, it'll take AK magazines. I thought of it instantly when MadOgre wrote about a scout rifle for the Horde. While the CZ he suggested is a great rifle, I think I'd have to go for the M10- mainly for the standard 10-round magazine capacity and the added bonus of taking 20 and 30-round AK magazines. The only adjustment this weapon would need for the scout rifle role I think, would be to mount the scope forward of the receiver.

The Gun Mart review (UK magazine) of this rifle pointed out that this is not a surplus adaption- it's a brand new gun, with the magazine well designed specifically for the AK magazines, and capable of fast magazine changes. The extractor has also been modified from the original screw type to a plunger type. Accuracy using quality ammo was only 2-3" at 100 yards but recoil was pleasant compared to the .303 Jungle carbine- when the semi-auto rifle ban was put in place in the UK jungle carbines became popular items for practical shooting contests. The reviewer states that the M10 shoots better than other straight pull rifles in the 7.62 Russian calibre.

Bourne Ultimatum

Word is that, not surprisingly, Matt Damon et al have signed for a third Bourne movie, the Bourne Ultimatum. I'm a big fan of the first two movies but I've got to admit that I've never read the books that they are based on- something I'll have to rectify soon. This article makes it clear that while the third film will have the same title as the book, the plot will be different- they're waiting for a script to be written and Damon says that if they can't make it as good as the first two movies, then they won't make it at all. That's an attitude which seems to be sadly lacking in Hollywood these days.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Been busy

Not many posts lately because I've been swamped just writing- I've discovered that my movie title writing exercise is horrendously addictive but rewarding- I've got a ton of new material out of it. The problem now is finding time to write the blasted stories!

Also, I've been been keeping at the Kettlebell (KB) training. As I've said before using the KB is great fun- it's also a lot easier to ad lib workouts- no weights to change, no swapping dumbbells for bars- just one bit of kit. My strength is building and my CV fitness is also much improved- I feel like I've got a lot more energy now than since I was about eighteen. Yeah, they're that good.

I've all but stopped the military press though, as my shoulders are getting strong enough without them. I prefer now to stick to the swing, clean and jerk and the snatch. A few sets of each is more than enough to get the heart thumping and to bring on a good sweat. It also takes very little time. I also stick on a set or two of squats at the end of the workout. I've binned the box squats in favour of a plain ass-to-ground squat with the kettebell held by the horns in front of me- adds a bit of resistance and also helps me to keep my balance. I've discovered that squats aren't really necessary with KB training as the exercises above are great for your legs- my hamstrings have NEVER been this powerful before- but I'm hoping to start doing pistols soon and this seems to be a pretty good way to get my legs prepared. A pistol, BTW, is a one legged squat that goes very deep. Also, the advantage of the KB squat is that you can get down really low- none of this thighs parallel to the ground nonsense (which is necessary with a bar across your shoulders). Again, my thighs are in better shape now than when I was doing leg extensions, legs presses, calf raises,leg curls and deadlifts- my thighs are showing good development all over. It sounds crazy that a fairly light weight like a KB should do all this but it does work.

I've also realised that I would have been a thousand times better prepared for the rigours of Marine training had I been using a KB. If you are in the service or want to join up, or know someone who is planning to, then get a KB. It's a real strength training tool and is much more effective than going to the gym to lift weights. Muscle mass might look good but military service calls for strength- and KBs deliver. The type of fitness they develop is also very suitable for military training- explosive power for all the sprinting and dashing around, endurance, raised energy levels to cope with the rigours of service life, and a strong back and hamstrings for yomping in full kit. All without the extra mass of gym muscle. I'm hooked.

Flight of Fancy

Savage Pellucidar by Frank Frazetta. Just because. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Department of the Bleeding Obvious

Stunning news just in! During the run-up to the US presidential election the press, according to a Columbia University watchdog, was three times more likely to be negative towards President Bush than to Kerry.

What a surprise. But what happened to the all-powerful right-wing media I hear moonbats complaining about all the time? Could it be that the media is actually biased towards the left-wing? I'm shocked.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Wild West Guns

Wild West Guns Model 04 .500 Smith and Wesson Magnum.

500 Smith and Wesson Magnum

The Smith and Wesson .500 Magnum might be the new big guy on the block, but I'm not overly taken by the Model 500 revolvers. The 10 and a half inch barrelled model seems over large for a handgun and the four inch model is more suited to a back-up gun, rather than a hunting handgun. And the eight inch model- well, it just doesn't seem right. When I think of a hunting handgun, a single action Ruger (with maybe a seven inch barrel) comes to mind. Perhaps that's just my Ruger bias showing but I'd always rate a Smith and Wesson second to a Ruger.

That's not to say that I'm not intrigued by the cartridge- I am. And what I'd like to shoot it in is this- the Wild West Guns Model 04. The sixteen inch barrel version is surely packable enough and it would seem preferable to me to hunt with a light and handy carbine than with a massive 10 and a half inch revolver. Maybe that's just me. I'm certainly not opposed to handgun hunting- I'd love to go after some hogs with a revolver- but when it comes to the .500 Magnum, I'd like to be packing the four inch Model 500 on my hip- and the Model 04 in my hands.

A bit of sad news

I just noticed this bit of news when I was on HK's site- they are no longer producing the G3 rifle, the HK33, the HK53 compact carbine or the HK23E and HK13E machine guns.

Of them all the G3 is perhaps the biggest loss. It's pretty telling that their current catalogue of military weapons is almost exclusively 5.56mm- 7.62mm only appears in their sniper rifles, the PSG1 and the MSG90A1, and in the HK21E. Odd considering that US Special Forces have just selected the FN SCAR in 7.62mm and there's widespread dissatisfaction with the 5.56mm . The SAS also uses the G3 family of weapons and at a time when you'd think that Special Forces from various nations would be seeing an increase in deployments, one of the world's biggest military arms manufacturers ceases production on weapons favoured by such units.

New Army Rifle

According to this Army Times article, the competition for a replacement weapon system is now open. No news on others weapons being put forward for the contest but I reckon that Heckler and Koch has the competition all but sown up with the XM8. It'll be interesting to see what else is put up against it.

And the bad news is that the Army is going to (predictably) stick with the 5.56mm round.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

M1A Scout

My choice for a long arm in 1650's America- see Triple Barrelled Rifle post for details- the Springfield M1A Scout Rifle in mossy oak.

Kettlebell routine

Though I'm still very much a beginner when it comes to kettlebell training, I have devised a routine which seems to be working okay. The basic guidebook to KB training is The Russian Kettlebell Challenge- and while it's pretty much essential to learning the techniques involved it's fairly vague when it comes to actually putting the routines together. There is lots of advice on training but if you're anything like me when you start a new training regime you want some sample programs to help break you in.

When I began training I simply went through the entire list of main exercises, doing one or two sets of each. It was hard, but fun, work but as I progressed and my reps went up, it simply became too draining. So I've now come up with a new routine. Here's how it breaks down-

Warm-up with 2 handed swing x 3 sets for 20 reps

1.clean and jerk
3.military press
All the above for 20 reps each hand, x 3 sets

End with box squats for 20 reps x 5 sets

My intention is to carry out this routine as a 'hard training' day and to alternate it with 'easy' days (yeah, right)- on the easy days sets are down and I will swap out the three main exercises with under the leg passes, floor presses and cleans. The aim is to train like so- hard, easy, hard, rest, hard, easy, rest. That gives five days training a week with two days off. My strength and endurance are still not what they should be, but this routine should hopefully rectify that somewhat.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Triple Barrelled Rifle

A while back on Kim du Toit's site he had a game- pick some weapons to carry with you on an imaginary journey crossing America coast to coast around 1650. The rules were one long gun, one handgun and two knives. It's an interesting idea and it gave me more than a little fun thinking about what I'd take with me on such an epic journey.

However, for me the most striking thing about the article was one of the suggestions sent into Kim- "one of those WW2 African survival (Luftwaffe?) drillings (9.3x74mm under two 12 ga. barrels)". I'd never heard of such a thing and every now and then I'll do a spot of Googling for it, but nothing ever seems to come up. If you know more, please put me out of my misery and let me know! Was such a thing ever issued during WW2?

There are modern variants on this theme, and 9.3x74mm seems to be a fairly popular calibre for drillings and even double rifles, particularly among the European manufacturers. One make of these types of weapon stood out when I finally decided to abandon my search for the WW2 variety and that is Heym, creator of excellent bolt action and double rifles in big game calibres.

They make a variety of drillings- twin 12 ga. with single rifle beneath, double rifle with single 12 ga. beneath, and the unusual looking single 12 ga. with single large rifle beneath and small rifle to the side. They also offer the Vierling, the Model 37V four barrel gun. This has double 12 ga. barrels with a small calibre between and below, and a large calibre barrel below that. The large rifle barrel can be had in a number of calibres including 9.3x74mm and the excellent 7x57mm. It weighs in just over 9lbs which is reasonably hefty but it's a gun which offers an amazing amount of versatility. With the small barrel in .22 Hornet, the big rifle in 9.3x74mm and two 12 ga. you have a gun which could handle pretty much any survival situation. Of course, there's an awful lot more ammo to carry when you have a gun in three calibres instead or just one, but the Vierling seems adaptable to just about any place on Earth.

In Kim's scenario this might not be the best choice as there was an 800 round long gun limit (of course with such a gun you would not need to take a side-arm and thus could use the 1,000 round maximum for the various calibres) but the usefulness of such a weapon is very desirable. It's also easy to see why a 12 ga./9.3x74mm would be issued as a survival weapon in Africa- I'm sure the Vierling would fit the bill nicely too.

BTW, for Kim's scenario I originally opted for a Springfield M1A Scout Rifle, a Bowen Classic 'Alpine' Redhawk in .454 Casull (with a mix of this and .45 Colt ammo), a Cold Steel Bushman (as well as being used as a spear, it's a very strong and light knife- you don't even notice you're wearing it when it's strapped on and the blade can very easily be brought up to a razor's edge) and a Cold Steel Rifleman's Hawk.

Terminator not so threatening after all

Sarah Connor is safe- for the time being. Robotics engineers pitted robotic arms equipped with polymer based artificial muscles against a 17 year old girl, who describes herself as a wimp, in an arm wrestling contest. The wimp won against three different robot arms.

The bad news for Sarah Connor, however, is that the originator of the contest didn't believe it would be possible for it to actually take place for decades to come- when he suggested it in 1999! While we still don't have ray guns and flying cars, there are huge advances being made in some fields.

Here comes the future.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Another writing exercise

My last writing tip was to select some old movies for a re-write. Well, I've come up with another- grab a list of movies (go to imdb and do a search for an actor or director) and then try to come up with a plot based on only the movie title. This will only work if you don't have any idea what the film is about, all you have to work with is the title. It's a pretty neat way to get the creative juices flowing and, as well as being a way to while away the time when you can't write, it's also a great way to come up with some new stories.

At the moment I'm working through a list of movies by the likes of Roger Corman and Fred Olen Ray because low-budget trashy sci-fi and horror appeals to me. Movies with titles like "Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys" are also pretty fun to try and plot.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

More remakes on the way

Though there must be literally thousands of eager writers scribbling away all over the world, creating new and original material, Hollywood is apparently unaware of them. Instead they continue to plunder their archives, remaking even more films. On the whole I cannot say that this is entirely a bad thing. I enjoyed the Dawn of the Dead remake, for example. In fact, I like it a lot. However, when I read about some of the things that are being remade my heart sank.

In particular I'm hugely disappointed with the news that the Night Stalker is being re-done. For those of you not familiar with it, the movie and TV show starred the superb Darren McGavin as Kolchak, a reporter who investigated the strange and unusual- vampires and the like. In a way, it was the X-Files of its day and McGavin even guested on that show. To hear of a remake is bad enough (they probably won't use the same stories so why not just create their own reporter investigating the weird?) but it gets much worse- to replace McGavin they've picked....Stuart Townsend. Obviously I am entirely underwhelmed by this news. Townsend will not be able to fill McGavin's shoes.

Next up is one that might- just might, mind you- have a little bit of potential, it's George Romero's The Crazies. This is one of my favourite Romero films and it involves an accidental release of a virus by the military on a small town. The virus turns those infected in to 'crazies' and a few townsfolk try to escape. It's a pretty grim tale, partly due to the low budget and partly due to the cold direction but it's been overshadowed- unfairly in my opinion- by his more famous zombie movies. Perhaps a remake might work, especially since Brad Anderson is directing. I haven't yet seen The Machinist but I do have Session 9 and it's a very neat horror movie. Very well put together, nicely paced and with a great creepy atmosphere.

Finally, one that I just don't understand- Nic Cage in The Wicker Man. This is a movie that has a certain cult status and got a lot of press a short time ago with its release on DVD- but even at that it is definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Not by a long stretch. Basically, it involves a Scottish policeman- a devout Christian- travelling to a remote island to investigate a girl's disappearance. When he gets there he is shocked to discover that the islanders are pagans. I think this was very much one for its time and while I enjoy it, it seems to have become very dated- and with today's sensibilities I'm not sure that a remake will work at all. Add in the news that they are already tampering with the plot (it's going to be a matriarchal society now) and it doesn't look good.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Number Six

Picking five guns was fun, but five just isn't enough so I'm going to add to the list every so often. Here's number six:

A wheel-gun would be a desirable addition to the collection and this was a very tricky one to choose. Do I go for a double or single action? What calibre? Tricky indeed. I eventually narrowed it down to two options- a .357 magnum or a .45 Colt.

The former, in a Ruger GP-100, preferably in low glare stainless with a 4" barrel, would make for another great defence weapon. However, there's just something about the .45 Colt cartridge. Maybe its the fact that while it's an old time cartridge it can still be loaded hot, with Corbon ammo giving similar power to the .44 Magnum in an easier to handle form. However, as the .38 Special might be suitable for most needs, in many cases it would be better to buy a .357 magunm, giving more power if and when needed- and the same applies to .45 Colt. Why simply get a .45 Colt when a .454 Casull will handle the Colt, but also gives one the added ability to take even more powerful ammo? For example, the hot .45 Corbon load can put a 335 grain bullet out at 1050fps. The Corbon .454 Casull can put a 360 grain bullet out at 1500 fps! While it would be tempting to grab one of the new Ruger Alaskans, I'd much rather have a 5-shot Bowen Classic 'Alpine' Redhawk conversion. Now there's a very nice looking gun indeed.

There's also the Wild West Guns option to consider too of course- their Wolverine Super Redhawk with moonclip conversion lets you shoot .454, .45 Colt and even .45ACP (Yay! More ammo compatibility). But I prefer the Redhawk to the Super and the Bowen is just such a fine looking weapon. Add the moonclip option to that and you'd have a very nice set-up- enabling you to do everything from home defence to hunting. It's also a heck of a lot more versatile than a .357/.38 GP-100.

I did briefly consider the new Smith and Wesson 460 XVR in .460 S&W Magnum as this brute will also handle .454 and .45 Colt. The .460 puts a 200 grain bullet out at a whopping 2,330fps! That's a lot of gun and it seems to be a really flat-shooting cartridge but it's beyond pretty much any hunting situation I'd want to be in. The .454 Casull would be more than sufficient. And even though it's not officially on my list, the Bowen .454 would pair up very nicely indeed with the Puma Model 92, a handy little lever action in .454 Casull, which was reviewed by Paco Kelly of Gunblast here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Safety Announcement

I'll keep it short and simple. This is NOT what guns are intended for.

Thank you for listening.

A 17-year-old McCandless girl was accidentally shot by her boyfriend Sunday while the two were engaged in "bedroom activities," police said.

"They were engaged in some bizarre activities in his bedroom," Barrett said. "The gun, we believe, accidentally discharged."

The girl, who, as a juvenile, was not identified by police, was wounded in the groin with a .45-caliber handgun and was taken to an undisclosed hospital.

By the way, ouch. That's got to hurt.