Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Greatest Weapons of Fiction: M41A Pulse Rifle

I have gotten a little bored with the small arms and big guns of real life and thought I'd spend a little time with some awesome weapons that do not really exist. I'm going to limit it to weapons that seem to be technically possible though, so I don't have to write about magic or the gods. If there are any fictional weapons you would like to hear and see more of, leave them in the comments section and I will get cracking on it. Anyways...

The first up is the M41-A Pulse Rifle from the movie Aliens. Described as a fully automatic weapon (remember to fire in short, controlled bursts) that fires a 10mm caseless, exploding tip round. Well, that about drives the nail into the coffin of the 5.56 NATO for me. It featured a 100 round magazine, although it was only loaded to 95 to prevent jams. Just like Dark Helmet said in Spaceballs: " Fuck! Even in the future nothing works!" And I haven't even gotten to the 25mm pump action grenade launcher under slung from the barrel. I'm actually salivating as I write this. Of course, it is near dinner time. A weapon like this could be very useful for a close quarter combat. Although I suppose it didn't save the Colonial Marines. But hey, they were fighting Aliens. North Koreans don't have concentrated acid for blood. (We think). Caseless rounds are lighter and enable a soldier to carry more of them. 10mm would likely have good terminal ballistics, even without an explosive tip. The weapon itself is short and compact with a collapsible stock, again making it very suitable for CQB.

The props used in the movie were constructed by Stan Winston, mostly from Thompson submachine guns, Remington 870s for the grenade launcher and Franchi SPAS 12 parts, apparently with some motorcycle parts thrown in to help it look cool and futuristic. One interesting thing is that I was able to find more info and pictures on this fictional gun than many of the real guns I've featured here. Go figure.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nuclear Weapons

I came across these pictures of nuclear weapons and their delivery methods. I thought they were very interesting, so I decided to share them with you. Everything shown here is American-made.

B-29 Superfortress

B-36 Peacemaker

B-46 Stratojet

B-52 Stratofortress

B-1B Lancer

B-2 Spirit "Stealth Bomber"

Interior views of Atlas ICBM silos

Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Conning tower of an Ohio-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine

"Little Boy"- The Hiroshima Bomb - 13-18 kiloton yield

"Fat Man" Nagasaki Bomb - 22 kiloton yield

Mk 6 Fission Bomb - variable yield 8, 26, 80, 154, or 160 kilotons

"Physics Packages" of implosion-type Fission Bombs

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Earthquake machine -Deep Injection Well- Rocky Mountain Arsenal

OK, Check this out, So yesterday I heard from our kind and wise socialist uncle, the leader of the Bolivaran Revolution, Hugo Chavez himself, that the Haiti earthquake was caused by an "earthquake Machine" owned by the evil yankee imperialists. So, naturally, I'm looking around on the Internet, trying to find plans for an earthquake machine so I can build one and devastate third world countries all by myself, you know, for fun. But all I find is info on the first "earthquake machine" the military made way back in the 60's. And, like champagne, it was an accident the first time.

So the short version is that the Army used what is called a Deep well injection to get rid of liquid waste. The idea is that you dig a REALLY deep hole, and then another one at the bottom of the first. And then just pour whatever you want down it. It will just end up in China anyway, right? Right?

So here is the info straight from their website.

Deep well injection for liquid waste has been safely used for many years at sites throughout the United States without documented damage to human health or the environment. After an extensive study of deep injection wells across the country by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it was concluded that this procedure is effective and protective of the environment.

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal deep injection well was constructed in 1961, and was drilled to a depth of 12,045 feet. The well was cased and sealed to a depth of 11,975 feet, with the remaining 70 feet left as an open hole for the injection of Basin F liquids. For testing purposes, the well was injected with approximately 568,000 gallons of city water prior to injecting any waste. However, when the Basin F liquids were actually introduced, the process required more time than anticipated to complete because of the impermeability of the rock. The end result was approximately 165 million gallons of Basin F liquid waste being injected into the well during the period from 1962 through 1966.

The waste fluid chemistry is not known precisely. However, the Army estimates that the waste was a more dilute version of the Basin F liquid which is now being incinerated. Current Basin F liquid consists of very salty water that includes some metals, chlorides, wastewater and toxic organics. From 1962 -- 1963, the fluids were pumped from Basin F into the well. From 1964 -- 1966, waste was removed from an isolated section of Basin F and was combined with waste from a pre-treatment plant, located near Basin F, and then pumped into the well. The waste from the pre-treatment plant was generally a solution containing 13,000 parts per million sodium chloride (salt), with a pH ranging from 3.5 to 11.5. The organic content of the solution was high but is largely unknown.

The injected fluids had very little potential for reaching the surface or useable groundwater supply since the injection point had 11,900 feet of rock above it and was sealed at the opening. The Army discontinued use of the well in Feb. 1966 because of the possibility that the fluid injection was triggering earthquakes in the area. (emphasis mine) The well remained unused for nearly 20 years.

In 1985 the Army permanently sealed the disposal well in stages. First, the well casing was tested to evaluate its integrity. Any detected voids behind the casing were cemented to prevent possible contamination of other formations. Next, the injection zone at the bottom 70 feet of the well was closed by plugging with cement. Additional cement barriers were placed inside the casing across zones that could access water-bearing formations (aquifers). The final step was adding Bentonite, a heavy clay mud that later solidified, to close the rest of the hole up to the ground surface.

So there you go, just dig a hole 12,000 feet deep and pour 156 million gallons of unknown composition, horrible, toxic waste down it and Presto! earthquakes. You heard it here first.

In case you are reading this after having sustained a head injury and have not realized it, a great deal of this is quite sarcastic. Chavez did say the US caused the earthquake, though. And we did pour all that horrible liquid waste into a big hole.

Tesla's Earthquake Machine

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weird guns- Palm Pistol

This is the the Palm Pistol, from Constitution Arms in New Jersey, an interesting take on a very concealable, last ditch weapon. It is a single shot, breech-loading pistol.It is chambered in the popular and soft-shooting .38 Special cartridge which is widely available and cheap. (well, used to be) Other than its extremely unconventional layout, the main design difference between the Palm Pistol and just about every other gun is that you fire the weapon with your thumb rather than your index finger. The idea is that doing so will reduce muzzle drift, which is one of the main causes of missed shots. Also the lack of a recoiling slide and due to its extremely low bore axis, most of the recoil will be directed straight back along the line of the firer's arm, which may make it easy and comfortable to shoot.

There was some notice of it in the mainstream media (where I saw it) because the inventor claimed that this weapon would be much more suitable for people with physical disabilities and as such, should be paid for by disability and insurance. Needless to say, I don't think any
companies will be buying pistols for seniors and the disabled. The pistol will be marketed with an eye towards people with dexterity limitations or other difficulties that prevent them from operating a traditional pistol effectively. Some of the literature about the weapon also hints at its use as a backup gun and as a covert weapon, but for now I have some doubts.
If it were me, I would add a little muzzle brake/flash hider to decrease the possibility of shooting my own fingers off, or even just burning them on a hot barrel. I suppose it isn't really meant to be shot that much though.

Of course, this is not the first time a pistol shaped like this has been manufactured.

Le Protector, a .32 caliber center fire pistol made in Paris, 1882.

One Hell of a Knife: The Kukri

It has been all about guns here on Homemade Defense lately, so I figured that I would spend some time and love on those wonderful edged weapons and tools we use everyday, the knife. I love knives and probably own more than a dozen, not including kitchen knives and swords. One of my favorites is the kukri. The kukri is the traditional knife of Nepal and is a symbol of the famous British Empire and Commonwealth troops, the Gurkhas.

Kukris can come in a few slightly different shapes, and many modern takes on the blade have been made in the last few years. There is evidence that kukri-like knives have been in use for more than 2500 years The Ancient Greeks had a similar knife called the Kopi that is the probable source of the kukri. The kukri really began to get famous after the Nepal War in 1814 and 1815. The British Empire formed the British Gurkha Army and British soldiers discovered that one light and strong tool could be a great tool for almost every camp and wilderness duty, in addition to being a fearsome weapon. The strength of the kukri comes from its oddly leaf shaped blade. Since it curves forward, the leading part of the blade actually hits the target earlier than the hand would. This allows you to continue swinging as the blade makes its impact, greatly increasing the power of the slash. The giant milkweeds and other wild brushy growth in my backyard certainly proved no match for it. It can be even used to split small logs. In addition to the chopping and slashing blade, you can use the first third of the blade, the section near the grip, as a very good stand-in for other utility knife-type work like stripping bark and so forth. Combined with a sharp point for pokey-type uses, the kukri makes a pretty good all in one survival tool, equal in many ways to a combination of a utility knife, a machete, Bowie knife, and maybe a hatchet or tomohawk.

Many kukris have been made by traditional smiths from truck springs, which gives them amazing strength and resiliency. They are usually carried in a leather case, mostly having walnut wooden grip and frequently coming with two small knives, kukris are one of the most most liked and respected knives of the world. Even today, it is still used by Nepalese, Australian, British, and US troops, as well as civilians across the world.

A traditional Kukri with its small knives

My kukri is like the one above, a Cold Steel Kukri, the knife is great although I got the blade so sharp that it tore the sheath up pretty bad. A little duct tape and camo tape and it is better than before. These kukris are pretty cheap, I think I paid about $18.00 for mine. Very tough and easy to get a good edge on that first third of the blade.

Or you could get one of these, very nice custom knifesmith types, but I'll bet they are a great deal more expensive and past the about $25.00 cutoff I have for knives.

Look how the kukri dwarfs these other knives, including a good sized AK bayonet.

Visual Information on Ammuntion and Bullets

When I first became seriously interested in firearms, back when the Internet was not quite as big and neato as it is now, I sometimes had a hard time finding information of the type that I needed. And let's face it, there are an awful lot of idiots on the Internet that will free of charge, tell you all sorts of things that are not true. So here are some visual aides I have collected along the way to help me learn more about firearms.

5.56 NATO rounds

NATO ammunition

Bullet profiles

Also check out these diagrams of a semi auto pistol and revolver.

Update- Hidden and Disguised Guns

I found a few more pictures of hidden and disguised firearms in my files, figured better late than never.

The PP90 folding submachine gun

Another view of the Goblin folding submachine gun

Neato spy case with a revolver hidden in the handle

Maglight with single shot .410 bore shotgun

Beretta Jetfire .22 hidden in a Walkman

Space Gateway or Russian Missile Launch Failure?

These photos were taken in Tromso, Norway on December 9, 2009 at 8:45AM local time. The strange, swirling, and spiraling light was visible for about 12 minutes. There was some speculation as to the origin of these strange lights, my favorites being, that it was a black hole,or a gateway to another galaxy/dimension. Sadly, it emerged a few days later (after the customary denials of course) was that the lights were the result of a failed missile launch. This was a Russian Bulava missile, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, launched from a Ballistic Missile submarine submerged in the White Sea. This was the 12th test launch of the Bulava and the seventh time the firing has ended in failure, according to Interfax news agency.