Tag Archives: guns

Load HEAT- Gal Gadot

Since Israel is in the news this week, how about one of their nicer exports, the lovely Gal Gadot, soon to be seen portraying Wonder Woman in the Batman vs. Superman film.

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Shotgun with a silencer

In tactical situations, a suppressor is quite handy, if only to make it easier to control a unit. Though they aren’t in widespread use in regular line units, they’re quite common in special operations. They’re also relatively easy to acquire for civilians willing to pay the NFA tax on them.

We usually think of suppressors screwed onto the end of an assassin’s pistol, or on a sniper rifle. Well, here we see one on a shotgun, of all things.

It looks a little unwieldy, but not too bad.

This isn’t the first attempt at reducing the signature of a shotgun. During the Vietnam war, combat shotguns were popular with the Navy SEALs for their excellent close quarters capability. But they were also quite noisy, something that clashed sharply with the SEALs desire for stealth when at all possible. So the SEALs asked if anyone could address that problem. And rather than attempting to change the shotgun, AAI Corporation adapted a technology of theirs to invent the silent shotgun shell.

http://photos.imageevent.com/ricklarson/ammunitionphotos/websize/silent%201.jpg

The shell was a closed cylinder with the tip folded in (think of an inflated balloon, and pushing in with a finger to form a cup). The burning of the powder would cause the cup to expand, forcing the shot down the barrel. But because the cylinder was closed, no gases from the firing would leave the shell. No muzzle blast equals very little noise.

Only a relative handful were made, and few if any were ever used in combat. They had only fair ballistic performance, and a failure of the shell could cause a serious jam for the weapon. Additionally, high costs led to the program being dropped. Still, it was an innovative approach to solving a problem.

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Load HEAT- Ali Landry

As I sat here Sunday night munching on Doritos trying to choose this week’s entry, it struck me, the D0ritos girl- Ali Landry!

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Load HEAT- Ellie Goulding

Popular British pop star Ellie Goulding has a style all her own. First, she just looks British. That and the not quite demure/not quite trashy outfits work for her. She’s released a slew of songs, but only Lights has caught my fancy.

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Harmonizing

When’s the last time you saw an actual P-51D firing actual .50cal machine guns? Well, here’s your chance. Parrothead Jeff sent this along.

 

You’ll notice not a lot of rounds were actually hitting the target. The best aerial marksmen in the world won’t do well if the guns aren’t “harmonized.” You’d expect the guns in the wing of a fighter to point straight ahead. But in fact, you want them to point inward ever so slightly. Ideally, the stream of fire from all six guns would converge at a point 250 to 300 yards ahead of the fighter. That was typically considered the maximum range a pilot could effectively shoot in aerial combat in World War II. And of course, the idea was to have the greatest possible weight of fire hitting the enemy at once.

The mounts in the wing of fighters allowed both for the guns to be securely and firmly mounted, while also allowing the direction of the gun to be dialed in. The process was straightforward, if rather time consuming. The plane would be placed on the range with the tail elevated as shown, at the distance desired, let’s say 250 yards from the target. Then one by one, each gun would be fired for a very short burst, with the armorers noting the point of impact, then adjusting the guns until they were on target, center mass. After all six guns were adjusted, a final burst would confirm the guns were harmonized.

Each plane had small differences in tolerances, so each plane had to be individually adjusted. However, once the actual adjustments were known (say, for instance, gun #1 needs 4 clicks up and 7 right to be on target) each time the guns were removed for cleaning and reinstalled, the same clicks could be applied. An occasional confirmation firing would suffice to ensure the guns were still harmonized.

Note also that while the Browning .50cal is externally quite similar to the gun used by ground forces, it’s been designed to have a significantly higher rate of fire, about 750rpm, versus 500-550 for the ground version.

Even today, the guns of fighters have to be fired on an actual range to ensure they’re pointed where the pilot thinks they are.

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Load HEAT- Rachel Nichols

I have no idea who she is. One of the co-bloggers recommended her to me a couple months ago.

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Load HEAT- Eva Mendes

How have I not featured Eva Mendes before?

Update: Uh… the perils of blogging on a Sunday night and rushing to pic a subject. Turns out, I did feature Eva before. Oh well. It’s not a mistake, it’s an homage!

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Colt is taking over the world.

Visit virtually any gun blog, and one of the most contentious issues is the 5.56mm Colt M4 carbine. Thousands of people will argue against it and push for the adoption of another weapon, and often another caliber.

Oddly, however, surveys of active soldiers are almost universally supportive of the M4. Of course, most soldiers, even Infantrymen, have little experience with military small arms outside of their own issue weapons. Still, the level of satisfaction suggests that while the M4 may not be perfect, it isn’t so egregiously flawed as to require immediate replacement.

And another little secret is that while other nations developed their own 5.56mm weapons about the time the US lead NATO to shift from 7.62mm to 5.56mm as the standard rifle round, many have quietly adopted the M16/M4 platform, at least for certain applications.

Israel equipped its soldiers with the indigenous Galil rifle, but has since seen most of its troops shifted to the M4.

In the mid-1990s, Canada, then equipped with a variant of the FN FAL rifle in 7.62mm, worked with Colt and the US Marine Corps to develop their own version of our 5.56mm M16A2. Introduced into service as the C7 rifle, it and the carbine C8 series (very similar to our own M4) have been the standard service rifle of the Canadians, and have been adopted by several other NATO members, such as Norway, Denmark, and even Iceland.

When the US lead the shift to 5.56mm, Britain developed their own rifle, the fairly exotic looking SA80.

It has not been particularly successful competing in the small arms export market. 

Britain steadfastly claims the SA80 (L85A1 in UK service) is superior to the M16/M4 family.

But the truth is, special operations forces of Great Britain don’t like it, and never have. And they’ve been buying C8 carbines from Canada.

One of the great strengths of the Colt rifle is that it can be customized in an almost unlimited number of ways.

Our friends across the pond at Think Defence have two posts on the Colt in British service (where it’s known as the L119A1).

A Mid Life Colt Canada C8 Upgrade

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The upgraded, customized version will be known as the L119A2.

L119A2 – Colt Canada C8 Upgrade

L119A2 C8 SFW 640x304 L119A2   Colt Canada C8 Upgrade

I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Great Britain quietly, slowly makes the Colt the de facto standard weapon over the next few years.

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Load HEAT- India de Beaufort

As so often happens, I’m dipping back into the well of One Tree Hill for this week’s Hottie, British actress India de Beaufort.

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Load HEAT- Allison Scagliotti

Any Warehouse 13 fans out there?  You might recognize this week’s Hottie as Claudia Donovan.

Of course, I first noticed her on an episode of One Tree Hill.

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Load HEAT- Michelle Monaghan

You probably know her from True Detective (no spoilers- I haven’t seen it yet). I actually mostly remember her from Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

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Load HEAT- Jill Hennessy

I loved her on Law and Order, and I loved her on Crossing Jordan. I just plain love Jill Hennessy.

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The Naval Gun Factory

Today, when the Navy wishes to buy a gun or other weapon for the fleet, it goes shopping among various defense contractors, either buying what is already offered, or starting a competition to chose from among several proposed weapons.

In the old day, when the Navy wanted a new gun, they designed it, and built it. Only if the numbers needed were too great did they call upon industry to produce the weapons. And even then, the Navy would provide the tooling, pattern and jigs for industry to build what the Navy developed.

This clip has some nice shots of the old 3”/50 gun being fired, but also has some fascinating bits on pouring and machining complex metal shapes in an era before computer controlled milling was even an idea.

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Load HEAT- Karina Lombard

You may remember Karina from Legends of the Fall, or The “L” Word. Either way, once you’ve seen her, she’s unforgettable.

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Load HEAT- Jenny Agutter

Helen Mirren gets a ton of credit for aging gracefully, but she’s far from the only British actress to pull off that trick. This week we have Jenny Agutter, whom you may have recently seen in The Avengers and Captain America-The Winter Soldier. I remember seeing her on MI-5 (also known as Spooks). But what I’ll always really remember her from is Logan’s Run.

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Load HEAT- Idina Menzel

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Load HEAT- Daniela Alonso

You may know this week’s hottie from NBC’s Revolution, but I remember her from her brief stint on One Tree Hill.

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Load HEAT- Grace Potter

Long legs and rock and roll. What’s not to like about Grace Potter and the Nocturnals?

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Load HEAT- Janina Gavankar

With strings of recurring roles on shows like Arrow, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, The League and a gazillion other shows, sultry looking Janina Gavankar isn’t a household name, but she’s got an unforgettable look.

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Load HEAT- Kate Mara

Maybe not as well known as her sister Rooney Mara, Kate Mara is, I think, the prettier of the two. She’s also the great granddaughter of the founders of the New York Giants, and the Pittsburg Steelers.

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You may know her from House of Cards or from 24. I know her as the girl that had a threesome with Sophia Bush and some dude, on Nip/Tuck (NSFW).

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Load HEAT- Lisa Faulkner

Lisa Faulkner is relatively unknown here in the US, though some of you may know the 41 year old blonde beauty from Canada’s Murdoch Mysteries.

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Personally, I’ll always remember her from her very brief role on the Brit series Spooks, better known here as MI-5.

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Load HEAT- Natalie Dormer

I first noticed Natalie in Captain America. Most of you probably recognize her from The Tudors or Game of Thrones. And now, here.

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Load HEAT-Genesis Rodriguez

So, a friend mentioned that they were watching the movie Man on a Ledge again. I expressed disdain for the idea of even considering watching that. My friend responded with a pic of this week’s hottie, Genesis Rodriguez.

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As an aside, for the ladies, Genesis is the daughter of hugely popular Latin singer Jose Luis “El Puma” Rodriguez.

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Load HEAT- Jordana Brewster

Roamy suggested this week’s hottie, Jordana Brewster. Born in Panama, with English, Scottish, and Brazilian heritage, raised in England, Brazil, and New York, a Yalie, and of course, most famous for playing Mia Torretto in the Fast and the Furious movies, she’s also an accomplished swimsuit model, just like her mom!

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Load HEAT- Lili Taylor

So, we’ve posted a lot of beautiful women. Today we’re gonna post an ugly one. Lili Taylor has made a career as a supporting actress, often playing the plain, or ugly girl to offset the hottie. But she’s only “Hollywood Ugly.” In fact, I think she’s a good looking woman. How many actresses normally have to be made down?

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