Saturday, October 25, 2014

Homemade Body Armor?

Truthfully, I'd be a more than a little hesitant to trust my life to something like this, but I think the idea is fascinating. I'm sharing this here for informational purposes only.

Do not try this at home.

To see the inventor test this homemade armor plate, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Barber Asked My Opinion

Whoa! My barber, whom I consider THE firearms guru. sent out an email to me and his circle of "gun people" asking our opinion on the FBI's proposed move from .40 cal to 9mm handguns.

Now, it's no secret that I'm a big fan of larger calibers, the .45 ACP in particular. However, I'm also an advocate of utilizing the handgun with which you can put the most shots on target. A .380 that puts all its rounds in the kill zone will serve you better than a .454 Casull that won't let you hit the broad side of a 40' storage container.

Anyway, my barber referenced an article on the LoadOut Room site by Mark Miller. The following quote from the article distills the FBI's rationale into a few salient points:

· Handgun stopping power is simply a myth

· The single most important factor in effectively wounding a human target is to have penetration to a scientifically valid depth (FBI uses 12” – 18”)

· LEOs miss between 70 – 80 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident

· Contemporary projectiles (since 2007) have dramatically increased the terminal effectiveness of many premium line law enforcement projectiles (emphasis on the 9mm Luger offerings)

· 9mm Luger now offers select projectiles which are, under identical testing conditions, I outperforming most of the premium line .40 S&W and .45 Auto projectiles tested by the FBI

· 9mm Luger offers higher magazine capacities, less recoil, lower cost (both in ammunition and wear on the weapons) and higher functional reliability rates (in FBI weapons)

· The majority of FBI shooters are both FASTER in shot strings fired and more ACCURATE with shooting a 9mm Luger vs shooting a .40 S&W (similar sized weapons)

· There is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto

· Given contemporary bullet construction, LEO’s can field (with proper bullet selection) 9mm Lugers with all of the terminal performance potential of any other law enforcement pistol caliber with none of the disadvantages present with the “larger” calibers.

Notice the crucial point here. In an armed confrontation, the bureau has statistically established that law enforcement officers miss from 70 to 80 percent of their shots. This statistic has remained consistent over the years.

In 2007 I posted an article that cites an FBI five-year study which reports that while 70% of offenders in a shootout put at least some shots on target, only 40% of LEOs could hit their adversaries. Should we blame the caliber of  their weapons or their training?

I would consider myself remiss if I did not point out that the FBI switched from the 10mm to the .40S&W in 1997 for precisely the same reasons that they say they will now switch to the 9mm. Their agents did better at the range with the lighter load of the .40 cal. (see here)

Evidently, the bureau sees the poor performance of LEOs in actual gunfights on too much bang or too big gun. Hence the search for a magic bullet.

To be continued.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On Love and the Use of Force

While I don't condone everything that Francis Schaeffer stood for, I want to share the following quote about how love sometimes requires the use of force:

“I would say that from my study of the Scripture, not to do what can be done for those in the power of those who automatically and logically oppress is nothing less than a lack of Christian love. This is why I am not a pacifist. I am not a pacifist, because pacifism in this poor world in which we live, this lost world, means that we desert the people who need our greatest help. As an illustration: I am walking down the street. I see a great big burly man beating a little tiny tot to death – beating this little girl, beating her, beating her. I come up and I plead with him to stop. If he won’t stop, what does love mean? Love means that I stop him in any way I can including, quite frankly, hitting him, and to me this is necessary Christian love in a fallen world. What about the little girl? If I desert the little girl to the bully, I have deserted the true meaning of Christian love, and responsibility to my neighbor. …As far as I’m concerned, this is the necessary outworking of Christian love. The world is an abnormal world, because of the Fall it is not the way God meant it to be. There are many things in this world which grieve us, and yet we must face them.” – Francis Schaeffer

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

One Christian Martialist Uses LARP

Live Action Role Play (LARP) can provide an avenue of training for those whose economic state prohibits paid lessons in combatives. One long-time follower of WARSKYL wrote to tell me a little bit about how he approaches his foray into the world of medieval LARP.

As you read, see if you can identify training value he receives from his participation. My own observations will follow his comments.

I have a few light bruises from my medieval LARP group.  In the end, I don't mind at all (they are foam weapons anyway, so it takes a very strong swing to actually cause pain).  I have gone to practice with a strong headache now as well.  What's the point in only fighting when you are at your best?  What orc will not strike you when you are at your weakest?  

You can see here that I'm applying this in a martialist mindset.  I had no idea people actually got together to fight with safe swords, flails, spears, and shields.  You can fight, and no one gets hurt, and you all go home friends.  It is a wondrous thing to me.  I know it's far from say, judo, or something actually modern, but I'm intent on sucking every bit of value out of it I can.  The fitness is a major plus, and  also the fact that it is entirely free.  The most I will need to spend is when I need to get my own weapons and such and they are quite inexpensive ($20-$30 for a sword, for example).  This is a far cry from the expensive martial arts classes I used to take, and nobody minds if I knock them to the ground this time.  It is FULL contact!

It is wonderful a cardio workout . . . on the plus side I am not nearly so bad off as I had assumed).

A benefit I've learned was to not necessarily look at my opponents.  I've thought of this before, but as I'd never had the chance to try it out, I'd forgotten about it.  My mind dusted it off as I had the two against me at once.  I kept on swinging my head left and right to check each one of them (as two were united against me).  I disliked this rapid movement, and I was suspicious of it also making me appear to be frantic (I can see the merit of using that deceptively, but at least for now I'd prefer to appear intimidating).  So, my brain dusted off the idea and shoved it into my cognitive mind and I looked in between them, not directly at them.  I instantly could see both of them with my peripheral vision without any issue.

Other practices can be a bit of a chaotic battle.  One such practice recently ended in me losing most fights, and I got killed from the back many times.  This will be a good training program to watch all directions.  I know it's impossible to be perfect, and even the greatest warrior will always die, but it's still a good idea to try your best in training.  The most I got were three kills before my own death (I attacked some brand new members--weak points!).

Okay, it's not WWII combatives or Krav Maga, but I see some real training benefits here:
  1. The opportunity to switch on the full aggression mode without actually killing or maiming anyone allows him to practice initiating and controlling the adrenaline dump in a socially acceptable manner.
  2. The fitness training comes as an important side benefits of this activity -- not just cardio, but also muscle endurance.
  3. Dealing with multiple attackers does not usually come up in most martial training at the beginning. In LARP, he has had to deal with the problems of multiple attackers in terms of tactics as well as his fighting skills. Switching to peripheral vision gave him the advantage that peripheral vision perceives movement much more readily than focused vision. To fully benefit here, he must continue to develop control over his adrenaline dump (see #1 above) to avoid tunnel vision.
  4. He is getting at least a small glimpse of the chaotic nature of violence. No one is able to choreograph a violent confrontation. Learning to act decisively, efficiently and effectively in a chaotic environment will help him -- even in a small way -- to prepare for the real thing.
Those are few observations off the top of my head. I invite you to add your own observations in the "Comments" section below. I really want to hear about how you might use LARP to augment your training, if you had the opportunity.

P.S. I wrote about the European Martial Arts of America in a previous post. To read it, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Meditation on I Peter 1:13

Wherefore, girde up the loynes of your minde: bee sober, and trust perfectly on that grace that is brought unto you, in the revelation of Iesus Christ, (1Peter 1:13, Geneva Bible)

This passage should speak directly to you as a Christian sheepdog. I cannot improve on Albert Barnes's succinct and pointed comment comment on this passage:

 The meaning here is, that they were to have their minds in constant preparation to discharge the duties, or to endure the trials of life - like those who were prepared for labor, for a race, or for a conflict.

Oh, and if you have too difficult a time reading the quote from the Geneva Bible, perhaps that's a sign that you need to girde up the loynes of your minde.

By the way, here's a good, illustrated explanation of what it means to gird up your loins. It comes from an article over at The Art of Manliness.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Potential Epidemics and the Sheepdog

Sheepdogs protect sheep. You want to protect the judicially innocent in general and those you care about in particular. For this you have prepared yourself in terms of your physical skills (combatives, emergency medicine, etc.) and your gear.

At this point in time, the orcs that threaten you and your loved ones do not all walk on two legs. Some of them look like this:

I want to protect my family from the Ebola virus as much as you do yours. I have been praying to that end. In addition to trusting the providence of God, I have a couple of principles in mind. that I want to pass on to you:
  1. Officialdom and the media will lie to you. Their #1 priority is to prevent panic, no matter how dangerous the situation becomes. Powerbrokers lust for control, and a panicky populace threatens that control.
  2. Before society in general panics, you need to take steps in terms of "controlled panic". Map out your priorities and work toward them systematically.
  3. In order to plan effectively, you need reliable information. 
In the interest providing you with info, I recommend two articles. The first deals with the CDC's inconsistencies and unanswered questions.

One of the most informative (and longest) articles that I have read about the Ebola phenomenon draws not only from a variety of news sources, but also from an off-the-record bioweapons expert and geneticist. Good, rational assessment and conclusions.

I may publish more on preps that I'm undertaking, in the days ahead.