Electric Knives

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Young men want to test their courage, but most good tests of physical courage are also great ways to get killed — or at least injured.

If you modify a dangerous sport to make it safe, it’s no longer a good test of courage.

Some hobbies successfully ride the edge between too-dangerous and not-scary — most forms of grappling are mildly dangerous and, in competition or when you’re new, fairly scary — but other martial arts have lost their edge — literally.

Fighting with foils or rubber knives isn’t scary. Fighting with more substantial weapons can lead to broken bones.

Burton “Lucky Dog” Richards has done his share of fighting with rubber knives and wooden sticks, and here he talks about the benefits of using a Shocknife in training:

The downside is that a Shocknife costs $500.

But you can make your own from a cheap electric fly-swatter:

  1. Make sure any residual charge is bled off by tapping the racket into something metal and grounded, making sure that both mesh sides touch. Remove batteries. Unscrew the housing.
  2. Pry apart the plastic “racket” portion and snip off the leads to the three attached wires, or simply cut them as long as possible. Discard racket.
  3. Since this is supposed to simulate a knife, the leads will need to attach to something of a similar shape. The template should also be non-conductive. I found a piece of wood to be the best option, since it was easy to adjust to the desired shape. Take the overall length of the weapon into mind- how long does the training weapon need to be? With the body at 8 inches, I cut the wood template to a little under 3 inches.
  4. [...]

“Please don’t be stupid with this thing.”

Making Cannons with Lasers

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Alexander Sarnowski designs fully functional mini cannons that are then manufactured with CNC metal machining and laser wood cutting:

For as long as he can remember, Alexander has been building everything from his own morse code machines to home made rocket motors. For his 16th birthday his father bought him a mid-sized lathe, and since then he’s been designing and cranking out parts every chance he gets.

[...]

Alexander knew his way around a lathe, so the barrels wouldn’t be a problem. The wood carriages however, would have been impossible to make by hand at the scale he wanted. That’s where Ponoko came in:

“My roommate had ordered laser cut parts from Ponoko for one of his robotics projects, so I asked him if Ponoko also cut wood. I had plenty of CAD experience, so discovering Ponoko was the last piece to the puzzle.”

Once he learned what was possible with Ponoko, designing the first prototype “only took me a few hours” he says, adding that “the time it took me to bolt it all together was only a few minutes, thanks to how accurately the laser cut parts were.”

Ajax Gun Shield

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Modern body armor that can stop a rifle round is heavy, which raises the question of which body parts should be armored. For now, most soldiers wear a helmet and a vest with a chest plate, because those targets are vital — and because the head is often exposed, and the torso is the easiest place to carry a heavy load.

Another option is to use some kind of gun shield.

Ajax Gun Shield

The Ajax gun shield attaches to now-standard side rails:

The Ajax consists of two spring-loaded frames extending on each side of the weapon, each holding one of the bulletproof side plates available for the U.S. Interceptor protective best. Each side plate weighs 1.6 kg (3.6 pounds) and is able to stop multiple hits by heavy (7.62mm) rifle bullets. When a bullet hits one of the plates the spring system absorbs much of the impact and returns the plate to its normal position that protects the face and shoulders of the user. Thus with Ajax the soldier can be looking for targets with his head and shoulders exposed. Without Ajax and despite the Kevlar helmet (also able to stop 7.62mm bullets) the face and shoulders (protected by some Kevlar, not bullet proof plates) left the soldiers exposed and likely to get hit if the enemy put out a heavy enough barrage of bullets. The face was also exposed to grenade and shell fragments. Ajax eliminates most of that vulnerability. Even most of the hands and arms that are still exposed now have some protection.

Ajax is meant mainly for troops on the defense (like guarding a base) or those on vehicles or boats. Troops manning light machine-guns or sniper rifles are particularly vulnerable because they generate the most effective firepower but can only do that it they show themselves so they can see targets and fire at them. Ajax is not really meant for troops out on foot patrols troops, because these soldiers tend to not carry the side plates. Being more mobile is a lifesaver and the side plates are but one of many items often left behind in order to reduce the load carried by the foot soldier.

An Outstanding Weapon

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

The RPG is a really, really outstanding weapon, Weapons Man says, and it fits in a sweet spot of direct-fire AT and AP support weaponry that’s really missing in the US infantry squad:

Instead, we have more riflemen, and additional-duty weapons like the AT-4. The RPG is cheaper and reusable, and it has a range advantage over most US disposable non-guided weapons. Its effective anti-tank range is about double that of the AT-4, and the disposable AT-4 costs $1,500 a round.

The evolutionary history of the RPG is fascinating. The Soviets began by copying a weapon they’d felt the sharp end of: the German Panzerfaust. There were many versions of this disposable AT weapon available, and by war’s end the Germans were evolving this weapon in the direction of a reusable tube. It was the Panzerfaust that originated the grenade-launch boost and rocket sustainer operating system, and the weapon evolved rapidly under the pressures of mechanized warfare. Early Panzerfäuste had a mere 30 meter range, demanding bravery, or recklessness, from a rifleman under the pressure of hordes of T-34s or Shermans. And the warheads were marginal, at least on the well-protected T-34. By 1945 most of the initial weaknesses had been allayed by the intense development taking place behind the lines, and the industrial and R&D plant fell into Russian hands.

Unlike the USA, where captured German scientists and engineers came to be trusted, with many staying on as employees and seeking American citizenship, the Soviets, who suffered terribly at German hands, never trusted the Germans and held them in rigid captivity. As quickly as possible, they transitioned German projects, including rockets, guided AA missiles, and turbine engines as well as AT weapons, to Soviet design bureaux and shut the Germans out, generally releasing them back in the USSR’s occupied zone of Germany.

The Soviet engineers proved to be quick and imaginative. They continued to improve the Panzerfaust operating system. It is generally believed that a Soviet-produced version of the late-war Panzerfaust 250 was given limited issue as the Ruchnoy Protitankovniy Granatomet or RPG-1. A Soviet-improved version was widely issued as the RPG-2 in the later 1940s, as part of the systematic re-equipment of the Soviet Army that also saw new rifles, machine guns, and soon, tanks in service.

The limits of the RPG-2 led to the larger, heavier, more solid, and tactically longer-ranged and more accurate RPG-7 in 1961, and the versatility of the RPG-7 has kept it on the world’s front lines to this day. While most of the world knows about the remarkable longevity of the Kalashnikov rifle, its AT counterpart is just as ubiquitous, and won’t be going away any time soon. (In fact, a US firm makes a modified version for Foreign Military Sales).

Louis Awerbuck

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Renowned shooting instructor Louis Awerbuck has passed away. Or, rather, he has shot himself, rather than face lingering illness. (At least, that’s what the Internet tells me.) This old interview may shed some light:

Q: You’re involved in teaching skills and a mindset that involve defending life and potentially taking life. Do you think about your mortality more than the average person?

LA: Yes, but I…:

Q. How often do you think about your mortality, the fact that one day you will die?

LA: Almost permanently now. But I don’t care; it doesn’t matter. I don’t have any family, so it’s not a big deal. It’s literally going back to what you were talking about earlier—the Asian way of thinking… the Japanese way of thinking. Everybody holds life so precious; I don’t. I mean, I’d like to live to a hundred and fifty if I were healthy, but [pauses] death and taxes.

Q: So in your understanding, what’s after death?

LA: I don’t know, but I think there’s got to be something. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have a five year-old killed, ridden over by a bus, for no reason. There’s got to be something out there. There’s got to be a reason one person lives to be a drunken murderer for 105 years and a good kid gets run over by a school bus when she’s four years old. There’s got to be something. What it is, I don’t know. I’m not a theologian. I guess it’s just a stepping in-between steps.

LA: Different people are different-

Q: For you?

LA: For me? For preserving my life? Honoring my parents. That’s why I didn’t die fourteen years ago. Not much else. I don’t trust anyone. Can’t trust anyone. So, that’s why I say I really don’t care about my death. I’ve had a hundred years packed into sixty. Why would I? I’ve got nothing to live for. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve got no Achilles heel. I’m not the average person. I’m an exception to the rule. The average person— wife and kids, lineage, wants to see their grandchildren play football or through college or whatever. Fine. I’m the end of the line. I’m the end of the blood line, completely.

Q: Most adults wrestle with some sort of fear or anxiety. It can be their financial well-being, their health, or their personal safety. What do you fear most in life?

LA: Probably physical incapacitation, if I were cognizant of it. Dependency, physical dependency, and being cognizant of it. Having Alzheimer’s and knowing I’ve got Alzheimer’s and not being able to [pauses] end it. That’s it. I don’t fear anything else because … Mr. Roosevelt said, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” I don’t want to be dependent on anybody else. There is nothing else.

Q: Any regrets or things you would have done differently in life?

LA: I would have given my parents more time, of my so-called “valuable” time, when I was younger. That’s all. I was going to say I wouldn’t have put in as much of my side of the pound of flesh as I did, but I probably would have, but that’s it. I owe nobody anything. Nobody owes me anything. I’m happy. You get up with daily fears—“I hope the kids are alright, I hope the wife’s alright, I hope I can pay the bills…” I don’t have those worries. I go broke? I’ll make some more money, somehow, somewhere. No wife, no kids, my dog’s dead, so what am I supposed to be concerned about? No family (none living). No lineage. I mean it sounds pathetic, or pathos-tic, but why would I have worries in life? All of the general person’s worries, normal worries.

He considered himself a realist:

Q: You have the advantage of having lived in South Africa as well as America. What’s right about American culture? What about it concerns you?

LA: What concerns me is America is what South Africa was thirty-five years ago, and people are too blind to see it. What’s right about it? It’s still got a Constitution and a Bill of Rights, if people will abide by it. But … it’s never coming back to what it was. If anyone’s that stupid….The cycle’s over. World powers have cycles, and America’s is over.

Q: So you’re not optimistic about the…

LA: I’m not pessimistic. I’m realistic because I’ve lived through this before. I’ve seen it all before. Without trying to sound supercilious, I’ve seen it all before. It’s just déjà vu, all over again, to quote the lyric. It’s going to go in no other direction. I think people would be shocked to know what is not American, owned in America, and I’m not going to give specifics. But there’s hardly anything “American made” that is American made. They’re trying to do things the right way…. The nice-guys-finish-last syndrome applies. That’s it.

Even six years ago he didn’t see much future:

Q: What does the future hold for Louis Awerbuck and Yavapai Firearms Academy?

LA: The Academy, I don’t know. For me, not much. It’s twilight and the sun’s going down. Am I … despondent? No. I reckon I’ve had a hundred years of good health, but … I’m jaded with mankind. That’s my problem. I’m jaded with mankind. Too many people. Too many years. Too many lies. Too many people with no morals, no ethics. Money, money, money. Me, me, me. Nice guys finish last. I don’t mind finishing last, but I’m tired of running, running the race. There’s no point to it. What is the end of it? What is it all? Nothing that I haven’t seen before.

More knowledge, hopefully. In fact, you can cancel the whole preceding three paragraphs and say, “Hope for more knowledge.” Just learn, learn, learn. It’s the psychology that I’m interested in. But otherwise, nothing.

What do I have left to do that I haven’t done? Nothing. Except maybe golf, but I ain’t going to try to hit a 4-inch golf ball into a 3-inch hole. Snow skiing? And I ain’t jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft, so there’s nothing left to do that I haven’t done that I wanted to do, except learn. That’s it. The show’s over.

Interesting things in the NYPD Annual Firearms Discharge Report

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The Tactical Professor shares some interesting things in the NYPD Annual Firearms Discharge Report, including this anecdote:

On October 24, at 1837 hours, in the 46th Precinct, an off-duty officer was sitting in a parked vehicle with a friend, when he saw two men rob another man at gunpoint on the other side of the street. The officer got out of his car and approached the men. As soon as he identified himself as a police officer, the subject, one of the individuals involved in the robbery, turned and fired one round at the officer, striking him in the chest from about ten feet away. The men then fled on foot, while the officer went back to his vehicle, clutching his chest. The officer’s friend tried to drive away, only to get stuck in traffic behind a white Mustang which was stopped in front of them. The Mustang sped off and crashed up the street. Three individuals, including the subject, fled the Mustang. When the officer saw them, he pursued, still clutching his chest. The officer ordered bystanders to get down for their safety, and while taking cover behind a vehicle, fired eight rounds at the perpetrators, striking the subject once in the head and causing his demise. The other individuals who participated in the robbery were apprehended later. The subject had two prior arrests, for Robbery and Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

The officer did not die from his wound, he notes:

It’s hard to make that kind of stuff up, which is yet another reason I prefer to read the real reports rather than dreaming up my own scenarios.

Armed Dune Buggies

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

In the early 1980s, the U.S. Army created a unique battalion of armed dune buggies made by Chenowth Racing Products:

In October 1981, Maj. Gen. Robert Elton decided to get more Chenowths for the 9th Infantry Division — the [High Technology Light Division] test unit. The ground combat branch leased over 120 of the armed buggies in the end.

The vehicles got weapons and other military equipment once they reached the 9th Infantry Division’s home at Fort Lewis. The Chenowths sported machine guns, grenade launchers and even anti-tank missiles.

Chenowth Fast Attack Vehicle with MG

In 1982, the “Quick Kill Vehicle” got the less aggressive moniker of “Fast Attack Vehicle.” The Army eventually settled on “Light Attack Battalion” for its planned dune buggy contingents.

Chenowth Fast Attack Vehicle with TOW

The Chenowths made good use of their diminutive size during trials. The vehicle’s low profile made it hard to spot and potentially difficult to hit in combat.

Helicopters could also whisk the FAVs around the battlefield in large numbers. The Army’s new Black Hawk helicopter could lift two buggies, while the bigger Chinook could carry a seven at once.

However, the Chenowths were only ever meant to be “surrogates” for a final vehicle design. But the HTLD’s proponents couldn’t sell the concept.

The FAV just looked vulnerable regardless of any potential benefits.

Meanwhile in Asia and Africa, the Toyota Hilux has become the AK-47 of trucks.

One Bullet Can Kill, but Sometimes 20 Don’t

Friday, June 13th, 2014

One bullet can kill, but sometimes 20 don’t:

A man in North Carolina was shot roughly 20 times in 1995 and lived to tell about it. The rapper 50 Cent was shot nine times in 2000 and has since released three albums. And in 2006, Joseph Guzman survived 19 gunshot wounds during the 50-shot fusillade by police detectives that killed Sean Bell.

[...]

The trial of three detectives — Gescard F. Isnora, Michael Oliver and Marc Cooper — involved in the shooting that killed Mr. Bell has shown just how arbitrary the flight of bullets can be.

While Mr. Guzman survived at least 13 shots, Mr. Bell was struck only four times, and two of those shots were fatal. A bullet was found lodged near Mr. Guzman’s left kidney, and he had wounds on the left side of his chest and on his right cheek, among other places, according to testimony at the detectives’ trial on Wednesday from Dr. Albert Cooper, the surgeon at Mary Immaculate Hospital who treated Mr. Guzman on the morning of the shooting.

Matter from Mr. Guzman’s intestines spilled into his abdominal cavity, creating the potential for deadly infection, Dr. Cooper said.

Mr. Guzman survived an onslaught that would kill a person 99 percent of the time, Dr. DiMaio said. Mr. Guzman’s saving grace may have been the Nissan Altima he sat in as the detectives fired, Dr. DiMaio said.

“If they go through metal, the bullets may have so little energy they get into the muscle or fat and then they stop,” he said.

A person’s physical size does not matter much when it comes to the damage a bullet can do, the doctors say.

In 1995, the man in North Carolina, Kenny Vaughan, did not have a car to protect him when he was shot about 20 times in Rougemont.

[...]

The gun used to shoot Mr. Vaughan was a .22-caliber rifle, a firearm that is much less lethal than, say, the 9-millimeter handguns that detectives in the Bell case used, Dr. DiMaio said.

[...]

If a gunshot victim’s heart is still beating upon arrival at a hospital, there is a 95 percent chance of survival, Dr. DiMaio said. (People shot in vital organs usually do not make it that far, he added.)

Shots to roughly 80 percent of targets on the body would not be fatal blows, Dr. Fackler said. Still, he added, it is like roulette.

Muscle and brainwave activity during shooting

Friday, June 6th, 2014

USOC Psychologist Lindsay Thornton measures Teresa Chambers’ muscle and brainwave activity during shooting:

Tank Fist

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

When the bazooka was born, it combined two cutting-edge technologies: the rocket and the shaped-charge warhead.

When the US sent bazookas to its comrades on the eastern front, they fell into German hands.

The Germans quickly developed the Panzerfaust (“tank fist”) and then the Panzerschreck (“tank fright”).

Russland, Luftwaffensoldat mit Panzerabwehrwaffe

The Panzerschreck was a bazooka, scaled up to 88 mm — a successful caliber for the Germans. The earlier Panzerfaust though was something different: a cheap, single-shot, “recoilless rifle” — in the same family as the modern M3 Carl Gustaf, the Goose. So, the Panzerfaust did use a shaped-charge warhead, which could penetrate armor even at low velocity, but it didn’t use a rocket to propel it. In fact, it used 830 grains of black powder.

In movies, the modern RPG is often depicted traveling at low speed, when in real life its gunpowder booster charge launches it out of the barrel at 115 m/s, and then its rocket engine kicks it up to 295 m/s (660 mph). The original Panzerfaust actually did travel at thrown-ball speeds though: 30 m/s (67 mph).

It’s time for a change

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

There was another mass killing this weekend, and it’s time for a change:

I realized that we can’t just keep going on like this. Something has to be done, and we have to be willing to sacrifice some of our Constitutional rights to protect people. It’s time for a change. It’s time to accept responsibility. It’s time to put reasonable limits on the 1st Amendment and restrain the mass media that enables this killers to achieve the fame and notoriety they so desire.

The Founding Fathers couldn’t have possibly imagined a world where 24-hour news networks streamed coverage of these mass killers non-stop; they couldn’t have predicted that talking heads on cable news would repeat the names of vile murderers over and over again. They never would have imagined something like the internet, where future killers could research and see how much glorious, sweet attention previous murderers had gotten.

So America, I say it is time for a change. It’s time to restrict those dangerous freedoms that are placing innocent lives in jeopardy. The first and most important action should be for Congress to limit news coverage of mass killings to no more than 1 per day, per network. You don’t need more media coverage than that, right? After that, a joint effort with google would force anyone who googles mass killers and their names to pass an online background check before they’re allowed to see their search results.

I know it’s a small step, and some people will be inconvenienced. But if it only saves one life, it must be worth it.

A-10 Pilots Coloring Book

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Back during the Cold War, someone put together an A-10 coloring book that taught pilots how to take out Soviet tanks:

A-10 Coloring Book 01

A-10 Coloring Book 02

A-10 Coloring Book 03

A-10 Coloring Book 04

A-10 Coloring Book 05

A-10 Coloring Book 06

A-10 Coloring Book 07

A-10 Coloring Book 08

A-10 Coloring Book 09

A-10 Coloring Book 10

If Moses had been a machine-gunner

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

If Moses had been a machine-gunner, there would have been eight commandments instead of ten:

“Probably the most basic of all and one that we don’t have to spend much time discussing — MUTUAL SUPPORT. We just have to make sure that no gun is sitting out there in isolation. If possible, each gun should be sited where another gun can fire directly at it if it is overrun. This, of course, is seldom possible to achieve with every gun on the position. Some times you may have to fill in with a C2 or a couple of riflemen.”

“The second one is probably the most important — CO-ORDINATION OF FIRE. This starts with the proper preparation of range cards and the registration targets. The range card in a machine gun trench is much more important than the one used by a rifleman. There will be many occasions when the gunner won’t be able to observe the target area, but his fire will be essential. Each gun must have an FPF and four or five targets. As soon as the tripod is well bedded in, the T & E data for each of these targets must be recorded. That way the crew can engage any of their targets whether they can see them or not.”

[...]

“Well, the third one is pretty basic — INTERLOCKING FIRE. This helps with your all round defense plus provides a high concentration of fire into your killing areas. It ties in closely with the next principle — SITED IN PAIRS. There will be times during the battle when you will want almost continuous fire on a target. Our guns are not capable of providing this; therefore, you have to use two guns firing alternate bursts. You must also always keep in mind that mother nature is a bitch and she always sides with the hidden flaw. A separated casing can occur at any time and having a stand-by gun might make the difference between a group of BMPs being destroyed or passing through a killing area unscathed. While we are talking about APCs, it’s a good idea to pair an HMG with a GPMG. A GPMG won’t hurt an APC and it’s a terrible waste to use C44 AP/T ammo against personnel, so neither gun can do the complete job by itself. Ideally, paired guns should be about 25 metres apart and work under one fire controller. Ground and distribution of guns within the company does not always allow this, however. If need be, two guns from different platoons can work together. The co-ordination problem becomes a bit of a monster, though.”

“The next two principles go hand in hand. They are — SITED IN DEFILADE and SITED TO PRODUCE ENFILADE FIRE. Defilade simply means that you have something solid between you and the bulk of the enemy’s direct fire weapons and enfilade means that you hit the enemy from a flank. As glamorous as it might sound, the last thing we want is to have the enemy staring down the muzzles of our machine guns. I can best illustrate this with a diagram.”

[...]

“I mentioned the effectiveness of modern tank gunnery already and the enemy can also bring down a considerable weight of artillery, not to mention his close air support. PROTECTION AND CONCEALMENT is our seventh principle. Our guns must be well dug in, in proper machine gun trenches.”

“Yes,” I interrupted. “I’m familiar with machine gun trenches. Let’s get to the last principle.”

“ECONOMY,” he stated. “The standing joke on my course was that there were originally only seven principles and that economy was added as part of the Government’s latest austerity programme. When you look at it seriously, though, its as important as the other seven. Economy of ammunition is the important thing but we mustn’t disregard wear and tear on the guns. The HMG has a cyclic rate of close to 500 rounds per minute (RPM) and the GPMG can reach over 600. Both guns will fire at this rate of limited periods and can be used that way in an emergency. It doesn’t take long, however, before barrels burn out, oil burns off, metal parts expand and tolerances become just a little bit too tight. Then the gun will let you down, probably when you need it the most. The proper rates of fire for the HMG are 40 RPM normal and 100 RPM rapid. The GPMG is 60 and 90. We found on my advanced course, with the GPMG firing four to six round bursts, that a slow count of five between bursts would give normal rate while a three second pause would give rapid.”

“Ammunition expenditure is probably the biggest thing we will have to watch. I had a look through the carriers last night and we are well bombed up. I would say substantially higher than our official first line. That ammo is not doing us much good back in the zulu harbour, though. Firing rapid rate, an HMG goes through 35 pounds of ammo each minute and a GPMG uses about seven. That could add up to a tremendous resupply problem. One that might be impossible to cope with in the heat of battle. The solution is to dump as much ammo as we dare on the position itself. Then we must exercise extremely tight fire discipline. We can’t afford to have three guns firing at the same target if one will do the job. We shouldn’t waste HMG ammo on soft targets if there is a GPMG in range and available for the task. We have to be particularly stingy with our C44 AP/T.”

The Rise, Fall, & Rebirth of the ‘Emma Gees’

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Back in in 1981, Major K.A. Nette of the Canadian Army wrote about The Rise, Fall, & Rebirth of the ‘Emma Gees’ — machine-gunners — using a Ghost of Combat Yet to Come, a spectral World War I veteran known as the Old One, to explain proper tactics to a modern officer who hasn’t yet faced the “Fantasians” (Soviets):

Suddenly, we were standing in the middle of 1 Platoon’s position, deserted except for the two sentries manning the HMG. The Old One walked over to the edge of the trench and gestured for me to join him. “Don’t worry about them,” he said pointing to the two soldiers. They can neither see nor hear us. Now, tell me exactly why is this gun here?”

[...]

For what seemed an eternity, the old man just stood and looked at me. When he finally spoke, his words cut through me like a knife. “An off the cuff answer like that one might get you through staff college but in a real war it will just get you and your men killed,” he said. “What good is a 180 degree arc to a weapon with only 800 mils on its traversing bar? Why does the gunner have to see for miles when he will only be engaging targets out to about 1000 metres?”

[...]

“What would you do if you were responsible for this gun?” I asked.

“Well,” he began, “the first thing I would do is remind myself of the primary role of the HMG: to destroy enemy APCs. Once I was satisfied that this gun could, in fact, be employed in its primary role, I would then determine a specific target area where enemy APCs were likely to appear. Only then would I look for a place to put the gun. In selecting this site, I would review the six characteristics of machine gun fire and attempt to take maximum advantage of each one. Let’s look at these characteristics in relation to this gun here.”

“First we must consider Range. The HMG is accurate to 1850 metres. It is only effective at this range, however, against soft targets. In computing the maximum distance that this gun can be from it’s target area we must consider Penetration. Your C44 AP/T ammunition can penetrate the front of most Fantasian APCs out to 550 metres. You notice I said most. There is a problem with the front of the BMP but don’t worry about it for the moment. I will explain how to get around it later. They are all vulnerable from the side out to 725 and maybe a good bit beyond depending where you hit. (See Figure 1A.) To get this penetration you need an angle of attack between 30 and 90 degrees. Just hitting an APC once will not necessarily stop it. To assure a kill you will probably have to hit it several times. That is where VOLUME OF FIRE comes in. TRAJECTORY is another important characteristic. This gun’s trajectory is very flat. So flat that on level ground you can get grazing fire out to 1000 metres.”

Noting the puzzled look on my face, he elaborated. “That just means that at no point from the muzzle to the target will the rounds rise higher than the height of a standing man. You will notice that because this gun is sitting on top of a hill it does not take advantage of this characteristic. There must be at least 300 metres between the muzzle and the target area where an APC could drive underneath the cone of fire of fire without being hit. That cone of fire leads us into the next characteristic. When fired in bursts, all machine guns vibrate; therefore, each bullet follows a slightly different path. These different trajectories lead to different points of impact on the ground in the target area. We call the pattern these rounds make on the ground the BEATEN ZONE. The size and shape of this beaten zone varies with the gun, mount and range. The HMG is famous for it’s long, narrow zone. To take full advantage of it, you have to first anticipate the formation that the enemy will adopt in the target area then site the gun
so the beaten zone will catch as many of them as possible.”

Our Heroes are Back

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Our Heroes are Back!, the Dutch announce, as all the major pieces return to the Rijksmuseum after a decade of renovations:

(Hat tip to Weapons Man.)