Eva may not be an A-list actress, but she’s had a strong career, and she’s been kind enough to be photographed a lot.
Tag Archives: guns
It’s the weekly gun thread over at Ace of Spades, written by our buddy Andy. And the Scary Gun of the Week is an early Assault Rifle, the Springfield M1903A3.
We have a long affinity for, and association with the ‘03A3.
In the fall of 1982, as we began our sophomore year, as a member of the high school NJROTC, we tried out for, and were accepted onto, the Armed Drill Team.
The Armed Drill Team would compete against other JROTC teams in the area in three phases of competition- In Ranks Inspection, Regulation Drill, and Exhibition Drill. Obviously, the “armed” part meant that the members of the team had to be under arms, and for that, the US Navy had provided our unit with a selection of M1903A3 rifles. But for various reasons, the Navy wasn’t keen on giving out actual honest to goodness weapons (mostly a matter of secure storage). So the weapons had their barrels plugged, and their bolt actions welded shut. Further, the wood stocks had been replaced by a plastic stock, which was much more resistant to breaking when we inevitably dropped the piece.
At about 9.5 pounds, the ‘03A3 was a pretty hefty piece, but it was also wonderfully balance, and for drill, just about perfect. It may have been surpassed as a weapon of war, but to this day it is still the preferred piece for ceremonial units such as the Army Drill Team, and for color guards both in and out of the service.
It was also quite capable of inflicting some significant trauma. Esli was there when I lost my two front teeth to one. And Esli and Jay were both present when I had one thunk me right on the crown of my skull and leave me dazed and confused. And goodness knows all the times I picked up minor cuts and bruises from one.
Just about the day after graduation, I memory dumped all the nomenclature and other information about the ‘03 (I had to memorize all the M16A1 stuff in its place!).
But when I found myself in college, and again on an armed drill team, I had to relearn all that stuff. And at the college level, the weapons were not demilitarized, but actual functioning weapons. That meant finding secure storage for them. We ended up storing them at the campus police office.
There are quite a few Springfields in civilian hands, and are popular rifles. Very well made, they have a great reputation for reliability and accuracy. And the .30-06 cartridge rightly holds a place as one of the greatest rounds in history.
On Thursday night [Friday morning] at 12:45am EST. I was in my living room working on my computer when I heard multiple “pops” coming from outside. At that point, I had no idea that I was about to become an eye witness to the biggest news story in the country.
When I looked outside my window, I could clearly see two people (the Tsarnaev brothers) taking cover behind an SUV and engaging in gunfire. After witnessing shots being fired I promptly ran up the stairs to my 3rd floor bedroom to distance myself a little further away from the gunfire. As I ran into my room, overwhelmed by shock, adrenaline, and curiosity, I jumped onto my bed to stay below the windows but also have a clear view at the shooters and photograph the event. As soon as I was laying safely on my bed I started taking pictures with my iPhone 5 and captured the following images that documented the terrifying shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers, which then led to an overnight citywide manhunt.
Lot’s of interesting, informative pictures.
But a friendly note to our non-grunt readership. If you’re in a gunfight and don’t have a gun, get out of the damn way.
I was looking back at Top 40 lists a while back to find some more music for my playlist, and came across one hit wonder Jennifer Paige. Her bluesy 1998 tune Crush was and still is quite pleasant. And who doesn’t like a cute blonde from Marietta, Georgia?
Like a lot of folks who only have one Top 40 song here, she’s had continued success in Europe, and appears to spend most of her time in Germany.
Peabody Award Winner and International Star of Television and Movies, and host of Acting School, Nick Searcy.
Most of the video is just run of the mill artillery stuff, and thus not terribly interesting, but check out the three-shot grenade launcher at 6:10. What the heck is that thing?
First there was JAG (Catherine Bell), then it’s spin-off NCIS (Sasha Alexander, Cote de Pablo and of course, Pauley Perrette), and it’s spin-off NCIS Los Angeles (Daniela Ruah), and tomorrow, there’s a soft launch for a spinoff from that, featuring the Red Team, including this week’s entry, Kim Raver.
Kim has managed to score a gig as a regular cast member or recurring character on an impressive number of series. But she’s no Nick Searcy.
Click each pic to embiggenfy.
A friend of mine mentioned uber-cheesy 80s flick The Wraith the other day, so I watched it, and reveled in just how bad it was. So bad, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I’d forgotten just how cute Sherilyn Fenn was in it.
(Repost from 2009)
We’ve covered helicopters here before, such as the Huey, the Blackhawk, the OH-58 Kiowa and of course, Cobra and Apache gunships. Let’s talk about the big boy on the block. The Chinook. Or as it became known almost instantly in the Army, the Shithook. The CH-47 is the Army’s largest helicopter, used to transport critical logistical items, troops and artillery around the battlefield.
The Chinook has been around for a long time. It’s first flight was in 1961. But the issues surrounding its development deserve a little attention. In the late 1950s, the Army and helicopter designers began to realize that piston engines would never become a very efficient way of powering helicopters. Gas turbines (jet engines that provided power through a driveshaft, rather than thrust) were finally becoming a practical option for military use. With the advent of these new engines, the Army took a long look at what the next generation of helicopters should look like. Just how big should they be? At the same time, the concept of “air assault” or landing troops directly on the battlefied started to form. What was the best way to move troop unit? Should you use a smaller helicopter that could lift a squad? Or would the better bet be to use somewhat larger helicopters that could lift 15-20 men? Smaller helicopters would cost more in the long run, but losing one helicopter in the assault wouldn’t result in as many casualties. The Army first decided to go with the larger helicopter, of about 20 men. The Vertol Company (later bought by Boeing) provided the Model 107. But the debate in the Army over helicopter size raged on. Some thought that the new UH-1B Huey could be scaled up to carry a full squad. That would handle most air assualt requirements, and still have a relatively cheap helicopter. The Model 107 would be larger than was needed. The other half of the problem was moving artillery and supplies. The Model 107 was just a bit too small for that job. The ideal was to move a 105mm howitzer, its crew, and a load of ammunition all in one lift by one helicopter. Boeing went back to the drawing board. The Model 114 was the result, and was soon bought by the Army as the CH-47 Chinook. And it wasn’t very long before the Chinook found itself in Vietnam, as part of the airmobile 1st Cavalry Division. With Hueys to conduct the initial assualt, and Chinooks bringing in the follow-on elements and moving artillery, the Army’s pattern of air assault missions was set so soundly that it is relatively unchanged 40-odd years later.
But don’t feel bad for the Model 107. Even though it wasn’t selected by the Army, its development continued. Largely because the Marines didn’t have a lot of space on the Navy’s helicopter carriers, they were forced to go with a somewhat larger helicopter. And the Model 107 fit the bill perfectly. They bought it as the CH-46 and operate it to this day.
Early Chinooks had engines of about 2,200 horsepower each. This was very quickly upgraded to about 2,600hp each. And improvements didn’t stop there. The rotor blades, rear pylon design, and transmission were all upgraded through the A, B, and C models to improve performance. In the 1980s, the design was again refreshed, with attention focusing again on more horsepower, but also greatly improved avionics and better reliability, resulting in the CH-47D. Many “D” models were conversions from older models, but there were also quite a few new built airframes. These were delivered up until 2002. And right about the time the last “D” model was delivered, the work on the latest model moved into high gear.
The newest model, the CH-47F is really an old model. While there will be some newbuild airframes, most will be remanufactured CH-47Ds. And since most of the “D” models were remanufactured earlier models, there will be some airframes well over 30 years old that will be expected to soldier on for another 20. Because of this, a large part of the program will be rebuilding them to make them easier to maintain, reducing vibration, making sure the components don’t have any fatigue issues, and making any issues easier to detect. Improvements in the avionics will include updating the instruments to the latest common “glass cockpit” standard, as well as building in the cabapility of operating in the Force XXI digital environment, which is the Army’s version of a battlefield internet. Not surprisingly, the Army is going with more powerful engines as well. The latest version of the Chinook engines put out almost 4,900 hp each. The Chinook has gone from a useful load of 7,000 pounds in its early days, to over 21,000 pounds in the “F” modeland the new models are faster. Think about that. How many of us are faster and stronger now that we’re over 40?
By now, you ought to have figured out that the ‘hook is a pretty capable helicopter. Lots of other folks have reached that conclusion as well. Very few other nations have the same air assault capability that we do, but having a few heavy lift helicopters around is handy for them as well. Several other nations, notable Great Britain, the Dutch, and the Japanese have bought various versions of the Chinook. When Great Britain attacked to recapture the Falklands in 1982, they lost several Chinooks aboard the Atlantic Conveyor. Their one remaining Chinook was put to work, doing the job of several helicopters. In one instance, instead of carrying its normal load of 55 troops, the sole Chinook lifted 105 fully loaded troops. There are several tales of Chinooks in the Vietnam war carrying over 100 people (though usually lightly loaded Vietnamese civilians). I’ve been in a Chinook with about 40 other people- I can’t imagine just how crowded it was with over 100.
It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that without the Chinook, the Army in Afghanistan would be crippled. Many of the smaller outposts can only be reached by helicopter. Given the high elevations and hot weather there, Blackhawks, normally very capable birds, struggle to carry a useful load. The Chinook, with its greater power, is able to support these high/hot outposts.
With the new “F’ models just beginning to come into service, we can expect this long serving veteran to serve for as much as 30 more years.
Mind you, we’ve scrimped on discussing the gunship version, or the several special operations versions. But here’s a last look at the bird for you.
I first developed a crush on Christa Miller back when she was on the Drew Carey Show. Cute and funny, what’s not to love?
We’re not quite the Civil War buff that Craig is, but we do find it, and museums about it, interesting. Especially when they have a cute redhead intern to display the artifacts.
The Gettysburg Museum of History is a private museum, which you may have seen featured on American Pickers. If you “like” them on Facebook, you can peruse hundreds of pictures of some really interesting artifacts, both Civil War and from other periods. And most of them feature Vanessa.
This will also serve as a firearms recognition quiz.
Outlaw 13, of Threedonia fame, gave us the heads up on this. The 227th Aviation Regiment will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on the 13th. Now, in an army that’s over 230 years old, that may not seem so old. But aviation units, of course, didn’t get started in earnest until the Vietnam War. But in that war, and subsequent ones, some units, such as the 227th Aviation Regiment, have accumulated histories any unit would be proud of.
Outlaw13, Nick Searcy*, and film maker Kenn Christenson have collaborated to produce this film celebrating half a century of service. Enjoy!
*Yes, that Nick Searcy, my close personal friend, Peabody Award Winner, and International Film and Television Star, and host of Acting School with Nick Searcy.
When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they did so with the memory of the oppression of the British Army fresh in their minds. It may have been the policies of King George III that inflamed their passions, but it was the troops of the Crown that made those policies reality. With the knowledge that a standing army was the primary tool of repression of any government, they took steps to prevent such an occurrence here.
The Constitution names the President the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. But the power to raise armies and maintain navies* is granted to the Congress. Coupled with the power of the purse in the House of Representatives, this was a check on any standing army with visions of control of the people. To further make this point, Congress was constrained in that no appropriations of funds could be for more than two years for any army. From the ratification of the Constitution through the end of World War II, these restrictions helped ensure that our Army was quite small, forming mostly a core of competent professionals around which a citizen army of the militia could be built. And even since the end of World War II, our Army, while quite expensive, is still, as a percentage of the population, quite small.
The 2nd Amendment, of course, was also a check on standing armies that might seek to usurp the liberties of free men. Likewise, the 3rd Amendment served as as further check. The passage of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 was again a check upon the use of the Army as a tool of repression.
But while our forefathers went to great lengths to protect us from the tyranny of a domestic army as a tool of repression, have we allowed our municipal armies to become the de facto standing armies they guarded against?
When the Constitution was ratified, there was simply no such thing as a municipal police force. Law enforcement, a power of the separate states, was the role of the county sheriff (an elected official) and if needed, the local militia. It wasn’t until well into the 1800s that the idea of a city police force was even raised. Not until 1828 would Philadelphia establish our first police department. While police departments for large cities were rapidly established, rural areas still, for another century, depended solely on the sheriff and his deputies. The establishment of a municipal department in virtually every city, town, hamlet and burg is a fairly recent development. And note, every county still has its sheriff’s department. While some counties in some states may restrict the sheriff primarily to running the county jail, most have their own patrol forces.
While there is no obvious constitutional restriction on states, counties and municipalities forming police departments, there sure are a lot of them.
There are as of 2006, 683,396 full time state, city, university and college, metropolitan and non-metropolitan county, and other law enforcement officers in the United States. There are approx. 120,000 full time law enforcement personnel working for the federal government adding up to a total number of 800,000 law enforcement personnel in the U.S.
That’s bigger than the US Army, by a fair amount. And every single policeman is there solely for domestic use. Theoretically, our 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment rights protect us from the depredations of any police force. But anyone who has had even the most cursory interaction with law enforcement will know that the deck is stacked in favor of the power of the state (that is, the police) and not the accused.
It’s not so much that people in power, such as police chiefs, sit around plotting ways to usurp power from the people. Like the road to Hell, the path to tyranny is paved with good intentions. Frustrated by incidents of crime, police departments come up with “common sense” solutions such as this:
“[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck,” [Police Chief Todd] Stovall said. “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID.”
Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.
“We’re going to do it to everybody,” he said. “Criminals don’t like being talked to.”
[Paragold Arkansas Mayor Mike] Gaskill backed Stovall’s proposed actions during Thursday’s town hall.
“They may not be doing anything but walking their dog,” he said. “But they’re going to have to prove it.”
[ ... ]
The bolding is mine.
The citizens of America are a free people. Absent probable cause, no officer of any kind has any right to demand anyone identify themselves, nor justify what it is they are doing. The whole point of America is the ability to go about ones business.
Mayor Gaskill and Chief Stovall may well be frustrated by crime in Paragold, AR. But that doesn’t mean the Constitution suddenly can be waived.
If crime is truly an issue in Paragold, perhaps they should follow in the footsteps of a city with a very low crime rate. Say…. Kennesaw, Georgia.
Update: There appears to be some citizens that aren’t thrilled with the department’s plans. But while I was reading the article, this bit popped out to me:
Stovall explained Dec. 14 that while he had not consulted an attorney regarding the patrols, the department was within its right to implement the controversial stop-and-ID policy based on crime statistics and citizen complaints about rising crime in their neighborhoods.
First, rights aren’t based on statistics nor complaints. Those rights cannot be waived by one group of citizens for any other. They are inalienable. Secondly, the police force HAS NO RIGHTS. It has the authority granted to it by the citizens. That authority is conditional on the continued consent of the citizenry. But again, no group of citizens may grant the authority of any agent of government to usurp the rights of other citizens.
*Naval forces were seen as less likely to be agents of domestic repression, hence the ability to maintain a navy.
After months of high-profile deliberation, a US Navy spokesperson has confirmed that the military organization is prepared to issue a public apology to Lieutenant Junior Grade Jeffrey Hurst for wasting the first two years of his professional life.
“We obviously made a big mistake not recognizing Lieutenant Hurst’s potential sooner,” the spokesperson said in a phone interview. “He deserved much better than the assignment he got, and we all feel just awful.”
24-year-old Hurst, who graduated from Auburn University with a degree in English and commissioned through the school’s Naval ROTC program, made waves last July when he updated his Facebook status to read, “Accelerate your life my ass… this job SUX!” The post was liked by six of Hurst’s friends and received three comments, making it an unmitigated public relations disaster for the Navy.
At the time of the calamitous post, Hurst was serving aboard the frigate USS NICHOLAS as the Electrical Officer, which was reportedly not his first choice duty or even his second. The Navy has since relocated him to a holding facility for dissatisfied service members, where he is waited on hand and foot by government servants and allowed to play video games whenever he wants.
“After two years of injustice, I’m glad the Navy is finally taking me seriously,” said Hurst from a massaging recliner in his 600 sq. ft. living quarters. “The scars will remain, but let my experience be a boon to all other service members who aren’t getting exactly what they want either.”
Designed to operate from austere, short runways ashore, the OV-10 was actually quite capable of operating at sea from carriers, without using traditional catapults or arresting gear. It was never operationally deployed this way, but the testing did take place.
Later, OV-10s would also conduct suitability trials aboard big deck amphibious ships. Again, it was never deployed, but it was an option.