Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Guns I wish I had - Part 6 - De Lisle Carbine .45ACP

An example of British ingenuity, the De Lisle Carbine, was made out of many already available parts. Designed by William De Lisle, it was a bolt action, .45 caliber carbine, with a suppressor. The basic stock, bolt, receiver, and trigger group is of the Lee-Enfield Mark III* type, although many of the parts were fairly heavily modified. The magazine (and the .45 ACP ammunition) were in common with the 1911 pistol. The sights on the production version from Sterling were from the Lanchester submachine gun. The barrel was modified from a Thompson sub machine gun. The 8.27 inch barrel was ported to allow the muzzle gases to escape slowly into the suppressor tube. The .45 ACP cartridge is easy to silence as it is fairly slow moving at around 750-850 feet per second, well below the speed of sound. The suppressor started at the back of the barrel and completely enclosed it, which gave it a very large internal volume.

Only one prototype of the folding stock paratrooper version was made, seen here with an extended 11 round magazine

The De Lisle was only manufactured in very small numbers and only really issued to Commandos and raiding parties. No more than 129 were ever made of the production version. It is reputed to be one of the quietest weapons ever made, and certainly one of the most effectively silenced weapons of its era.

Why do I want a De Lisle carbine? Well for one, they have an amazing historical value as one of the rarest weapons of WWII. It is also one of the first weapons designed for special operations. Also, it is a .45, and that is always nice. And who really doesn't want a silenced firearm? Well, maybe some people, but they probably aren't reading this.

This is a modern version from Valkyrie Arms

Some Information on Afghanistan

I don't talk too much about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on this blog because frankly, there are a whole lot of people who are a great deal more qualified to discuss it. But I found these two graphics the other day and I thought that they were very interesting. The first is simply a topographical map of Afghanistan. Notice how much of the country is at 5,000-8,000 feet or higher. There are all sorts of issues that come into play when doing anything at such altitude, much less fighting a war. One consequence of the high altitude is that smaller helicopters have much more difficulty operating, especially if they are heavily loaded. Also, soldiers, who very often are carrying 60 or more pounds of gear, have no way to adjust to high altitudes other than spending time training at altitude. There are relatively few large bases in the US for this type of training, and virtually none east of the Mississippi.

This graphic is meant to show the relationship between the security risk in the various Afghan provinces and the amount of opium poppy grown there. As you can see, the greatest risk and the greatest area of opium production center on Helmand province, which is were a great deal of fighting has been. I believe that the recent offensive in and around Marjah is the red area just above Nimroz. There are also plans for 3,000 Marines to be based somewhere in the area of Nimroz by the end of the summer.

I will leave the rest of the thinking on this to people more qualified than I, but I think it is important for everyone to understand the challenges that we face as a Nation and as partners with Afghanistan's government and the rest of the Coalition.

Gun Ownership

This pretty much sums up this entire blog.

Weird Guns- Wasp Knife

I first heard about the Wasp knife few months back from our fear mongering friends
in the British media. They seem to feel this will be a major problem in the streets of England soon. Since carrying a little pocketknife like the one I have with me every day is a social sin more serious than attempting to buy nuclear material in the United States, they get pretty upset about anything that might upset the Orwellian state they seem to love so much. This is the country that is attempting to force people to buy a $150 kitchen knife with no point, because, you know, if you had no pointy kitchen knives, no one would ever get hurt.


The Wasp knife is a personal defense knife for divers. The idea is that you would stab a shark with it and then inject a large volume of CO2 gas pressurized to 800 psi into the shark, presumably blowing it up or something. They state that it will cause the fish or whatever to rise to the surface before blood begins to leak out of the animal. I really wonder if the wasp knife's inventor has ever attempted to use this. Due to the restriction of a wet suit and the water, making a real stabbing motion is not easy and anything you need to defend yourself against underwater is a lot faster and meaner than you are. Being that they are more than $400 a piece, I am pretty sure you could get a more effective weapon for that price. Like a 12 gauge bangstick for example. At least that gives you a little distance from your attacker. I'm pretty sure this is just a gadget for people who wear $15,000 watches and like to pretend to be tough. Their website seems to think otherwise though and makes the case that most of the military need a $400 knife.

Frankly, this seems like a really stupid idea to me. It is worth mentioning that sharks very rarely attack people, and that the chances of using this on a shark that would attack you is vanishingly small. Most shark species want nothing to do with a person and the ones that do can pretty much tear a chunk out of you before you know what is happening. Sharks have not survived for 300 million years to be killed by a neoprene covered monkey with a knife full of cold air. And if the inventors of this little toy would like to prove me wrong, they can jump in the ocean and kill a Great White with it to show me how wrong I am. The guy who invented the modern bullet proof vest shot himself in the chest like 1000 times. Consider the gauntlet thrown.

Even more Museum of Aviation

My favorite plane of WWII, the P-51 Mustang. Note that LTC W.E. Hopkins was an ace with five Nazi kills over Europe

The F-15 Eagle. The best fighter plane to ever fly. Don't think so? Its 104 to 0 kill ratio, the highest ever, says you are wrong.

Banner of the American Volunteer Group, the famous Flying Tigers of Burma. Guys who wanted to fly in combat so bad that they decided not to wait for the USA to declare war. They just went anyway.

Cessna A-37B Dragonfly. This was a light attack aircraft used for close air support and forward air control missions during the Vietnam War.

The nose of Waco C6-4A glider. You could see the controls, and let me tell you, I've owned bicycles that look more complicated and air worthy than this thing. The guys riding in this thing were absolutely crazy.

The HU-16B Albatross, a float plane from the post- WWII period, designed to land in the ocean to rescue downed pilots.

My favorite jet, the A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog"

The GAU-8 Avenger 30mm Gatling gun

Here is the GAU-8 unmounted from the A-10

And here is what it can do, this is the top hatch of a M-113 APC. It is more than an inch thick of armored steel. The holes in it were smooth as glass. Scary.

The C-47 Skytrain "Gooney Bird", the transport workhorse of WWII.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Military Technology: Chili Grenade

Here is a new one. A scientist named R.B. Srivastava developed a new less lethal grenade for the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization. It gets its power from the amazingly hot bhut jolokia chili pepper. This pepper, grown in the northern Indian state of Assam, is like the vegetable world's little chemical weapon. To give you an idea of its power, we can use the Scoville scale, usually used to judge the heat of hot sauces and the like. An average jalapeno pepper measures about 10,000 Scoville units. Previously, the scale topped out at 577,000 with the Mexican red savina pepper. The bhut jolokia pepper is rated at 1,001,304 Scoville units. That makes me want to throw up.

The red death of the vegetable world

The seeds are ground into a fine pepper and would be dispersed over an area about 5 meters square. Mr. Srivastava states:

"The chili grenade is a non-toxic weapon and when used would force a terrorist to come out of his hideout. "The effect is so pungent that it would literally choke them."

Personally, I hope this does not make it to our shores so that the police could use it on college students who are acting stupid. Because, in my mind, this thing certainly constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. They are also thinking of using the bhut jolokia for some other uses like a personal defense spray for women. I've always thought that they should make a spray based on wasabi. But it is my idea, and if you make one, I will sue the shit out of you.

"The chili paste could also act as a major repellent against wild elephants."

OK, folks. That makes it official. Anything that hurts an elephant, you want no part of.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Red Army

Ha ha
Don't be upset though, Russians/Soviets, you get an A for effort.

More Museum of Aviation

To start off, a F4 Phantom. Note that this one has a M61 Vulcan 20mm gun pod mounted under the right wing, as the F4 was the first US fighter to be manufactured without an on board gun.

Here we have one of the weirdest looking planes ever, the F-104 Starfighter. It certainly must have the smallest wings. They are extremely thin and unlike most fighters of its day, not in the swept or delta shape, but rather, a trapezoid. The F-104 was used in Vietnam as a air superiority fighter, but apparently was not very successful or well liked by its pilots.

Here we have a C-130 Hercules, which is pretty much the most useful transport aircraft ever designed. More than 2,262 have been produced and they are in the service of at least 40 or 50 nations. They first flew in 1954 and will likely be a major component of military airlift for at least another 25 or 30 years, perhaps many more. The C-130 is a very rugged aircraft and can land on very short and poorly maintained airstrips if there is a need. There are even versions with skis that they use to fly to scientific bases in Antarctica. It fulfills all sorts of roles, from general cargo airlift to paratrooper transport to electronic warfare (EC-130H Compass Call), to aerial refueling, to transporting light armor like the Marine Corps' LAV III and the Army's Stryker. Crazy folks in the Air Force even fly the C-130 into hurricanes to gather atmospheric data. If you are sitting there thinking he left out the AC-130 Gunship, scroll down.

This is an older version of the gunship, an AC-130A. The Gatling guns, both 7.62mm and 20mm, were removed, likely to be transferred to another aircraft, but the Bofors 40mm guns were still mounted.

This is the big one folks. The B-52 Stratofortress. Oddly enough, it did not seem as big as I had imagined it. But it is still seriously big.

And to end, another F4, this one has two Red Stars for two MiG kills over Vietnam.

Guns of the Cartels

As the Drug War in Mexico has intensified, there have been many "experts" who blame the violence on the availability of firearms in the United States. While it is certain that the violent drug cartels are smuggling guns south of the border, I for one, do not believe that legitimate gun dealers in the United States are the primary source of guns for the cartels.
To back up this claim, I would like to show you a great many of the weapons seized from the Narcotrafficos in the last few months and years. You will see that they come from all over the world. My personal belief is that the incredibly corrupt Mexican Law Enforcement and Army are the main sources of their weaponry. While semi-automatic rifles and pistols are available in the US, grenades, rockets and machine guns certainly are not. Another thing worth mentioning is that organizations that smuggle hundreds of tons of cocaine a year can smuggle guns just as easily.

Swastika-marked Walther P38s. Not from America.

I always pick up a couple of grenades, an anti-tank rocket or two and a silenced submachine gun at Wal-Mart.
Don't you?
I'm don't know where these grenades were manufactured but I am almost certain they are not an American design.

This gold plated 1911A1 is chambered in .38 Super, a very unpopular cartridge in the US, but popular in Latin America, where many countries have laws against owning a weapon chambered in a "military" cartridge.
(Usually the 9mm NATO or .45 ACP)

Gold plated, short barreled AK? Available at every gun store in Texas.

.38 Special, 1911, and a sawed off shotgun. Didn't save its owner however.

This guy didn't make it either
The weapon is a Beretta 92FS, manufactured in several places around the world.

German MG42 with anti aircraft sights.

Another 1911A1 in .38 Super. The Jesus grips are a nice touch, but I bet they would hurt when you shoot it.

AKs and FN PS90s. The FNs are likely from the US though. They are well liked by the Narcos for their ability to pierce soft body armor. They are known as "Matapolicias" (Cop Killers)
Also there is a 40mm grenade launcher and several grenades. Not the type of thing you can legally buy anywhere.

Commando 10" M16 with a drum magazine

.50 caliber rifle mounted in the back of an SUV

More M4s, including a 7.5" barreled version

So there you go. Like I said before, there is no doubt that there are many firearms being used by the cartels that came from the US, but blaming the gun laws of the United States for the actions of bloodthirsty people with no morals and a vast, global criminal empire is, in my opinion, asinine.

Aircraft Nose Art

I really love the aircraft nose art of WWII. I think its great because it showed the individuality of the men that flew and maintained these machines, even during a time of anxiety and death. Also, the cool ones were mostly naked women. That's nice too. Anyway, I am guessing that some of you like the Americana/pinup art as much as I do, so I will show you some of my favorites.

B-29 Superfortress

B-17G Flying Fortress



B-26C Invader

While it is not "Nose Art", this is just too cool. And I don't even like Budweiser.

And to close, the famous "Memphis Belle" the first B-17 to complete 25 missions over Fortress Europe