It Used to be Like That

Aircraft of the Imperial Airways refueling at Semakh, October, 1931.


SEMI-Auto, not an “assault weapon”



Biden’s Brain Trust

Let them eat Soylent Green!


Know Your Risk


Greatest Generation

USS Enterprise (CV-6) crash landing of F6F-3, Number 30 of Fighting Squadron Two (VF-2), into the carrier’s port side 20mm gun gallery, 10 November 1943.

Hellcat – F6F

Lieutenant Walter L. Chewning, Jr., USNR, the Catapult Officer, is climbing up the plane’s side to assist the pilot from the burning aircraft. The pilot, Ensign Byron M. Johnson, escaped without significant injury. Enterprise was then en route to support the Gilberts Operation. Note the plane’s ruptured belly fuel tank.




Impractical, but Fun


Stock and Gussied up

There are a lot of haters out there when it comes to the AK-47. I am not a hater, and I’m not necessary a lover, either. They are just another tool, to be used in a way where they are effective.



  1. Hmmm. I think I need an AK to go with the SKS, and they’re not even that pricey. Nice modern hunting rifle pic, btw.

    • For what they are, used in the way they were designed to be used, the AK-47 is an exceptional rifle. It has flaws, some of which were addressed with the Galil and the Valmet 62. The Valmet will cost more as will the Galil and you get what you pay for. The AK-47 is less expensive. There are now the American made AK-47’s ( and I can’t speak to the relative quality because I’ve never shot one.

      • Rifle Dynamics in Nevada was supposed to make some good AKs, according to an FFL friend of mine. And they have build classes. Not sure of the quality since Jim Fuller sold the company, however.

        • I’m not familiar with that company, but anyone interested should do their research. You can make an AK-47 better, or buy a Valmet, etc.

          • I always wanted a Galil. They’re good looking guns. I just haven’t had one wander across my path at the right price, yet.

  2. Ah, the Gilberts campaign. We didn’t know what we were doing. Lessons learned made the Marshalls campaign almost a cakewalk in comparison.

    Unfortunately, lessons learned in the Gilberts and improved on in the Marshalls, specifically with close in naval gunnery support (literally, get in as close as possible with the big guns) were not followed in Normandy or in Southern France. The supporting battleships and armored cruisers should have been as close as they could be without grounding, not miles out behind all the transport ships.

    That mare’s leg lever gun? Cute. Nice leather. Only really shoots well on tv. Now a full-sized lever gun? Kinda hard to go wrong with it.

    AK? They work. Though I’ve heard good things (except for the magazines) about the M1 Carbine. Wonder why nobody has ever made a pmag or a modified single/doublestack mag for the carbine. Combine that with a Blackhawk or a good Automag in the same caliber, and they are a nice horse/truck gun combo. Now combine it with a Jacketed soft point or an FTX cartridge…

    • The M-1 Carbine (I own at least one) should never have been issued for combat, in my opinion. Yes, you could do things to them to improve them, but you’re stuck with that watered down cartridge that is somewhere between a rifle and a pistol (which is what USGOV was going for).

      As to Amphibious operations, there were a LOT of lessons learned and we are still learning them and trying to figure out what’s best with the new USMC doctrine. By Iwo Jima, we should have been able to do what we did without taking HORRIBLE casualties, but we won and by that time in the war, that’s all they were going for.

      The Amphibious invasions of France were each quite different, but at Normandy, the big problem was the Air Corp’s failure to put precision bombing where it needed to go. As you point out, the naval guns should have direct-fired and let the landing craft just filter through them, but it was a lesson learned at great cost. There were very few men who survived the first wave at Normandy and the ensuing month or two of combat. More survived at Utah and the British/Canadian/French beaches but it was still a very rough go. Today, our approach is different, but haven’t had a contested amphibious operation since Inchon.

    • I like carbines- bolt action, leverguns and semiautos. Their limitations are offset by portability and lighter weight compared to main battle rifles.
      The M1 carbine was was not meant to replace Garands or BARs.* It was designed to surpass the effective range of sidearms and was successful in this role.** The cartridge is essentially a rimless .30 cal .357 Magnum. Attempts to convert them to other cartridges were not particularly successful. (This largely due to incompatibility of rimmed revolver cartridges with the magazines.) Modern expanding and monolithic bullets should be a significant improvement over military ball ammo.
      The Mini 30 handles like an M1 Carbine and is chambered in 7.62 X 39, an excellent carbine cartridge*** shared by the Simonov and the Kalashnikov.


  3. Those Handley-Page liners were terrible aircraft, but there is an almost infinite romance to air travel in that era.


    • Yes indeed, a very useful chart. Whatever you do, don’t go to church and sing, but attending a riot and looting businesses is “safe” – particularly when the police are sent home.

  4. Lots to digest there, LL!

    The Arizona picture is striking. There’s parts of Utah I’ve driven though going between SoCal and Colorado that are similar, but they’re on interstates, and you don’t get as close to the land on an interstate vs a two-lane blacktop. The first time I saw it was driving out to SoCal in 1982 when I moved, and it was awe-inspiring.

    Never fired or held an AK, but I’ve heard them chattering away at the rifle range.

  5. I have covered both bases. AK and AR.
    I somewhat believe the AK is superior in stopping power and reliability, statistically.
    Interesting how the optics mount on that AK.
    I thought the stamped metal cover was too loose to support the optics, thus the side mounted rail support I bought.

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