More about smatchets

I’ve had a few questions from readers about the World War II “smatchet” combat knife developed by William E. Fairbairn for Allied special forces, after I mentioned it in passing last week.  (You can read more about this remarkable man and his contribution to self-defense here.)  Here’s an authentic smatchet, issued to Corporal R. T. Petteit of the Z Special Unit, which was active in the Pacific theater of war.  It’s now in an Australian museum.  Click the image for a larger view.   (Image credit: Australian Military Knives) The smatchet is a very large, very specialized knife.  Its sole purpose is combat – it’s not easily

Continue reading

Updating the US Army’s shooting training

The US Army’s new publication TC 3-20.40, “Training and Qualification – Individual Weapons”, has been temporarily withdrawn to amend a few politically incorrect entries;  but it nevertheless appears to be a fairly substantial revision to the training standards for modern US soldiers.  Strategy Page has more. What it comes down to is that troops must demonstrate not just shooting accuracy each year, but a larger array of related skills. These include firing night and day as well as while wearing a gas mask. Troops must not only seek to hit the target on the firing range but to do so while moving and changing firing

Continue reading

A new favorite deep concealment pistol – Glock’s 43X

Over the years I’ve tested most of the smaller, more concealable pistols to reach the market, with particular emphasis on ease of handling and concealment by partly disabled shooters.  Almost all of them were comparable in terms of magazine capacity, available calibers and cartridges, accuracy, and so on.  My ultimate criteria was always ergonomics;  how well did the pistol fit the hands, grip and physical capabilities of the shooter?  Since there are so many variations in shooters, I couldn’t say that any one model was better than another across the board.  My personal choice for several years was Springfield’s XDS model, which fit

Continue reading

Follow-up links on self defense in a mass shooting situation

Courtesy of more than one reader, here are some links with additional information to go with the three articles I posted earlier about personal security in an era of mass shootings: Personal safety during a mass shooting Everywhere is a potential danger zone – so prepare accordingly Ammunition selection for small handguns Greg Ellifritz wrote two articles some years ago that directly address some of the same issues.  I recommend both to your attention: “Mouse Gun” Gelatin Testing Results Stop Worrying About Overpenetration! I note that both articles confirm my preference for my standard .38 Special and .380 ACP loads,

Continue reading

Ammunition selection for small handguns

Following my blog post yesterday morning on the selection of concealable firearms, I had a number of comments and e-mails about my ammunition recommendations for .38 Special snubnose revolvers.  I said that I used Buffalo Bore’s full wadcutter load.  I was criticized for this, because it’s not an expanding load (i.e. a hollow point or soft point bullet), and therefore might lead to overpenetration. Folks, there’s a very important point to remember.  Bullet expansion is a function of two things:  bullet velocity and target composition.  The last factor is something we can’t control, except by aim, and even that isn’t guaranteed.  If you shoot someone in the

Continue reading

Everywhere is a potential danger zone – so prepare accordingly

After the recent mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton, one thing should have become clear to every American:  there are no “safe spaces” in which shootings will not occur.  Anywhere can be chosen by some deranged maniac or warped, twisted deviant to express his feelings by shooting a few (or a few dozen) people. That being the case, the question arises of personal preparedness for such events.  I’ve addressed personal safety concerns in a previous blog post.  This morning I’d like to address the need to be armed and ready to defend ourselves and our loved ones.  This article is directed primarily at those readers who

Continue reading

A snappy answer to a stupid question

As usual after any mass shooting tragedy, the anti-gunners have been spouting their propaganda once more, including the tired old canard “Who needs a 100-round magazine?”  It makes for a cute sound bite, but has little or nothing to do with reality – particularly because most shooters can change magazines pretty quickly when necessary (as we’ll see below), rendering the question moot. Congressional representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky had a great answer to that question. Nicely put, sir! I don’t have any very-large-capacity magazines for my rifles, because I’ve found too many cases where they jam or cause problems.  That’s not to say there

Continue reading

“Anxiety simmers as mass shootings loom any time, anywhere”

That’s the headline of an article in the Detroit Free Press. Motorcycles backfired in Times Square last week. It sounded like gunfire, and panic ensued in the heart of New York City. The same night, a sign fell during a concert at a Utah mall. The loud bang when it hit the floor sounded something like a gunshot, and sent people racing into stores to hide. Balloons popped in a dorm in March on the University of Michigan campus. Outside, a vigil was underway for those killed in the massacre at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Dozens of students heard the loud

Continue reading

“Red flag laws” as a tool of oppression

I wrote yesterday about so-called “Red Flag laws”, and how they could be misused by people for various reasons.  I hadn’t expected to be proved right so quickly, but . . . If you go into the comments on any one of these Tweets, you’ll see quite a number of people also stating that if they see anybody with a gun (open or concealed) they will red flag that person. These people don’t want red flag laws to prevent mass shooters.  They just want to abuse them to harass law-abiding gun owners with the weight of the law. Not just does this put people’s

Continue reading

Personal safety during a mass shooting

I’ve seen a lot of comment among more gung-ho denizens of the Internet after the three mass shooting incidents last week.  It can be summed up as “Always carry your gun, and if someone starts shooting, shoot back!” Shooting back is not always a good idea.  It may be one’s only option, if worse comes to worst;  but that still doesn’t necessarily make it a good one. Let’s start by examining a scenario like the Walmart shooting in El Paso.  Around where I live, I can be pretty sure that there will be several persons in our local Walmart branches who have concealed weapons permits, and are

Continue reading