Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category

Time flies.

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Damn. It has been a year since that asshole tried to shoot up the police department and got center-punched for his trouble? Where does the time go?

One year later article from the Statesman, which has some details I either didn’t know or forgot.

Johnson turned protective. Still holding on tightly to the horses’ reins with his left hand, he pressed his chest against one of the garage’s concrete pillars and drew his weapon, the Police Department’s standard-issue Smith & Wesson M&P 40.

The bizarre nature of the incident and his incredible gunshot come up nearly every day. According to a ballistics investigation, the .40-caliber bullet fired from Johnson’s gun traveled 314 feet in less than a second. The bullet nicked the driver’s door frame of McQuilliams’ vehicle and continued tumbling sideways 5 more feet before it hit McQuilliams.

Yes. That was a 100 yard, one-handed shot with an M&P .40.

That was the only shot police fired that night.

It was also the decisive one.

I can’t find it online, and my memory is a little sketchy, but I’m reminded of an “Ayoob Files” from some years ago. Briefly: bad guy armed with a rifle is holding off cops (and kills one dead). Cops are only armed with handguns, and try to take the guy out, but he has them pinned down 80 to 100 yards away. My recollection of Ayoob’s account is that at least one of the responding officers tried making shots at that range with his duty gun; when the bad guy was finally taken down (as I recall, by someone who arrived on scene with a shotgun and hit him with a rifled slug), they found a fairly tight group of bullet holes…just above where the bad guy’s head would have been.

One of Ayoob’s points, which I thought was well taken was: maybe every once in a while you should try taking long range shots with your duty weapon, just so you have some idea of what it can do and where you might need to hold. Then again…

Johnson, 40, loves his unit and his job, a perfect fit for someone who had grown up riding horses on a ranch and practiced shooting with a .22-caliber rifle from his back porch.

…if you grew up shooting off the back porch, maybe you don’t need that advice.

(Also, Massad Ayoob, if you happen to be reading this: this incident, and Sgt. Johnson in particular, might make for a good “Ayoob Files” installment. Just saying.)

Random notes: November 1, 2015.

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

In case anyone was wondering, the hand surgery went about as well as I expected: in that, I lived through it and didn’t die on the table from a bad reaction to the anesthesia or something else. My left hand is still wrapped tightly, but I’m approaching maybe 1 1/3 hand functionality. At this point, I’m off painkillers and it really doesn’t bother me: the itching is more disturbing than anything else.


I’d managed to avoid breaking any bones or surgery requiring more than a local anesthetic for over 50 years. So much for that record.

I think what bothers me the most was the loss of continuity of consciousness, if that makes any sense. What I mean: one moment, they’re telling me that they’re going to put a sedative in my IV line. Next thing I know, they’re telling me the surgery is over and I’m okay. It just feels…weird, for reasons I can’t articulate. It’s not like going to sleep: it feels more like a gap during which I stopped processing memories. I need to think through this some more.


I haven’t seen this covered elsewhere yet, and I’d really like to see coverage in someplace I trust more than the WP, but: the FBI is switching back to the 9mm, and away from the .40.

The new 9mm round — known to gun aficionados as the 147 grain Speer Gold Dot G2 — is significantly more effective than what FBI agents carried into the field in 1986. According to Cook, the bullet has been rigorously tested and has received high marks in the FBI’s most important category for bullet selection: penetration.

This also means new pistols for the FBI, and that’s going to be a windfall for somebody. It also won’t shock me to see the current administration attempting to use the procurement process to advance their political goals…

“We are on a completely different program,” one senior HRT operator said, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the team’s arsenal.


Quotes of the day.

Friday, October 9th, 2015

There’s not a theme here or anything, just two quotes that tickled me.

Number One:

Number Two:

I deem it important to direct your attention to Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendments of the United States — “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This you should comply with immediately. Every union should have a rifle club. I strongly advise you to provide every member with the latest improved rifle, which can be obtained from the factory at a nominal price. I entreat you to take action on this important question, so that in two years we can hear the inspiring music of the martial tread of 25,000 armed men in the ranks of labor.

Ed Boyce, president of the Western Federation of Miners, addressing the 1897 WFM convention.

TMQ Watch: October 6, 2015.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Yes, we know, we’re late again. We have a worse excuse this time: we put off TMQ Watch so we could go to the Alamo Drafthouse and watch “Sicario”.

It has actually been a big movie week for us: in addition to “Sicario”, we watched “Black Mass” with Lawrence on Saturday. We may have some more thoughts on both later on. (And “The Martian” is on our list. We don’t expect that to vanish from theaters any time soon. Yes, this is relevant to TMQ; see below.)

After the jump, this week’s TMQ


Blog shoot October 10th.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

I’ve been negligent in announcing this; partly because I figure everyone who reads this blog reads Battleswarm, and partly because it looked like there may be some complications.

Now it looks like the complications have worked themselves out, so: this a general reminder that Lawrence and I are planning a blog shoot at Eagle Peak at 5 PM on Saturday, October 10th. This will be followed by dinner at the Oasis at 7 PM.
More details over at Lawrence’s blog. Contact me here if you have questions.

TMQ Watch: September 22, 2015.

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

TMQ Watch? On Tuesday? Yes, we know it is a bit of a shock, but that is our plan and we intend to stick to it.

TMQ Watch will probably go up late in the afternoon, though: we like to run out to DFG Noodles on our lunch hour. And while the noodles are excellent, and the girls are cute (our two big reasons for going) it does cut into our lunchtime blogging.

But enough administration. After the jump, this week’s edited TMQ…


Obit watch and more random notes: September 18, 2015.

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Milo Hamilton, sports broadcaster.

Hamilton called Major League Baseball games on radio and television from the 1950s into the current decade, working for the St. Louis Browns (1953), St. Louis Cardinals (1954), Chicago Cubs (1956-57, 1980-84), Chicago White Sox (1962-65), Atlanta Braves (1966-75), Pittsburgh Pirates (1976-79) and the Astros, joining the team in 1985 and serving as its primary on-air voice from 1987 through 2012.


Warren “Remo Williams” Murphy. I’ve never read any of the Remo Williams books myself, mostly because I don’t know where to begin with the series. I am told by trustworthy individuals that they are fun…

New indoor range coming to South Austin. Well. Well well well. Well. I am looking forward to trying this out.

Obit watch: September 17, 2015.

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

I didn’t know Frank James personally, though I wish I had. I did tell him on his blog that I wanted to meet him if he ever made it to Texas: he wrote Project 64: The MP5 Submachine Gun Story, a book I like a whole lot.

That wasn’t the only thing he wrote. He was a prolific gun writer and blogger. And everything I’ve read about him says he was a really good guy.

Tam has a nice tribute up that you should go read.

DEFCON 23 notes: August 10, 2015.

Monday, August 10th, 2015

More when I have it; possibly tonight or tomorrow.

DEFCON 23 notes: August 7, 2015.

Friday, August 7th, 2015

I kind of skipped over yesterday, because Thursday is traditionally slow. And it is a little early for stuff to be up today, plus many of the good presentations are scheduled for tomorrow.

But! BlackHat 2015! Not everything from BlackHat gets duplicated at DEFCON, and vice versa, but there’s always some overlap. Some things that are already up:

There are a couple of other overlaps I’ve found (specifically the Josh Drake presentation on Stagefright and the Valasek/Miller car exploit) but those don’t have any slides or other material attached yet.

More links and stuff as and when I find it and am able to post.

Edited to add: Just noticed this on the DEFCON 23 site. Download the conference CD optical disc here. Woo hoo woo hoo hoo. (The .rar file is 419 MB. Good thing I work for a networking company.)

DEFCON 23: -2 day notes

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

DEFCON 23 starts Thursday. Black Hat USA 2015 starts tomorrow.

Once again, it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it out to Vegas. Once again, I’m going to try to cover things from 1,500 miles away. It isn’t completely clear to me that anyone other than me is getting any benefit from this, but I’ve been doing this for long enough that I have a hard time stopping now.

Here’s the schedule. There are several presentations that are already getting media attention:

So what would I go see if I was there? What sounds interesting to me?


Random notes: July 16, 2015.

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

The Birdman of Altiplano.

“There is already a significant problem every single weekend with widespread, out-of-control peeing,” Mr. Johnson, who represents much of Manhattan’s West Side, said.

(I love the “Citations for public urination” graphic that goes along with this article.)

I’m a little surprised this one hasn’t made FARK yet: local police find an unresponsive man in a car. He had bite marks on his wrist, and there was a non-venomous snake (and other animals) in the car. Man dies.

And it seems like his venomous cobra snake may be on the loose. (Hattip: Lawrence.)

(Huh. I didn’t realize that Frederick Forsyth won an Edgar for “There Are No Snakes in Ireland”. That’s not a bad story, but I like “The Emperor” from the same collection a little better.)

Edited to add:

Austin Animal Services is not actively searching for a missing monocle cobra that may have killed an 18-year-old Temple man on Tuesday.

You know what this means, folks. If Animal Services isn’t actively searching for it, it’s up to the rest of us to be on the lookout. Get that Taurus Judge out of the gun safe and load it up with snake shot! Fun for the whole family! At least, until someone gets bitten…

The monocled cobra causes the highest fatality due to snake venom poisoning in Thailand. Envenomation usually presents predominantly with extensive local necrosis and systemic manifestations to a lesser degree. Drowsiness, neurological and neuromuscular symptoms will usually manifest earliest; hypotension, flushing of the face, warm skin, and pain around bite site typically manifest within one to four hours following the bite; paralysis, ventilatory failure or death could ensue rapidly, possibly as early as 60 minutes in very severe cases of envenomation. However, the presence of fang marks does not always imply that envenomation actually occurred.

Edited to add 2:

Oh, thank God. They’re going to start an organized search. I was afraid they’d be engaging in a disorganized search.

(Hattp: the Austin Cobra Twitter. Hattip on the Austin Cobra Twitter to the great and good Joe D. in the comments.)