Nighthawk Custom’s stuff really does make you want to cry

Berryville, Arkansas-based Nighthawk Custom has a very impressive 1911 Commander-sized handgun in 9mm or .45ACP they hope will appeal to female gun enthusiasts. The niche specialty gun maker’s Lady Hawk 2.0 builds on their legacy design and pairs a Rose Gold TICN finish on the surface controls and barrel with custom obsidian, abalone and zinc grips, topped with lots of high-speed tweaks and Heine night sights.

Still, you almost hate to shoot it.

 

Warshot! 27 years ago today

As seen through the submarine’s periscope, a BGM-109 Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) targeted on an Iraqi position leaves the water after being fired from a vertical launch tube aboard the Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) during Operation Desert Storm, January 19,1991. She was the first U.S. submarine to launch wartime Tomahawk Cruise missiles as part of the First Gulf War.

(OPA-NARA II-8/8/2015).

Pittsburgh, whose motto is Heart of Steel, was commissioned on 23 November 1985, and let her TLAMs fly into Iraq once again in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Groton-based sub, still very much in active service at age 32, recently passed her 1000th dive milestone.

Sig wants you to carry 365 with their micro compact new 9mm

So SIG has a 3.1-inch barreled striker-fired 9mm with night sights right out of the box that weighs 17-ounces but brings a 10+1 capacity to the table, the P365.

For reference, the single-stack 6+1 Glock 43 is slightly heavier is an inch or so longer– and doesn’t have night sights. Interesting.

Good family genes

Here we see one María del Carmen Mondragón Valseca, best known by her stage name of Nahui Olin.

Born in 1893 in Mexico City to an important family (more on that later) she was forced from the country in 1913 after the 10 Tragic Days of the Mexican Revolution and later grew into an artist’s model– known for her wide green eyes– before evolving into a painter and poet in the same vein as Frida Kahlo and others.

She died in 1978, aged 84.

The important family? Her father was Manuel Mondragón, general of the Mexican Army in charge of field artillery development and later Secretario de Guerra y Marina. He was also a noted weapons designer, perfecting a 75mm howitzer (the Saint-Chamond-Mondragón– which the Israelis still used in their 1948 war). His biggest claim to enduring fame, however, is in the rifles he designed to include an 1894 straight-pull developed in conjunction with SIG and his infamous M1908 self-loader, the first of its type in production.

Wrapped up in the drama of the Mexican Revolution, where he came up short, the good general died in San Sebastián, Spain in exile at age 63. But his rifles live on, just as much an art form as his daughter’s work, though beauty is, of course, in the eyes of the beholder.

Welcome home, WisKy

John L. Hemmer | The Virginian Pilot Caption information courtesy of The Sargeant Memorial Collection

John L. Hemmer | The Virginian-Pilot Caption information courtesy of The Sargeant Memorial Collection

71 years ago today–January 18, 1947– A photograph of the return of the Iowa-class battleship USS Wisconsin (BB-64) to the Norfolk Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. The battleship had been on a 12-day cruise in the Caribbean with 565 Naval Reservists. Wisconsin was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Pennsylvania and launched on December 7, 1943– the above being her original bow. She would only later be referred to as WisKy, after she picked up the bow of her uncompleted sister ship, USS Kentucky, following a collision with the destroyer Ellison in 1956.

Caveat emptor by all means

Back in 1982, New Orleans area collector Robert Melancon got a tip from a fellow enthusiast that an esteemed local antique shop had a beautiful and historic firearm up for grabs. The early 19th Century Kentucky long rifle, engraved with information about the former owner, became his after trading the shop $18,000 worth of other antique guns and Melancon and his wife Linda spent decades on the trail of discovering the rifle’s backstory.

Then, last November, the FBI came calling and raided the couple’s home, recovering the gun for the rightful owner and returning it in a very public ceremony last week. It turns out that the gun, the only one in existence with a provenance that ties it to the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, was stolen and from an area museum, maybe as far back as the 1960s, and is worth upwards today of $650,000.

The rub? The museum that it was donated to in 1884 by the original owner’s grandson only found that it was missing and where it was from a historical article on the piece and Melancon, who has been extremely open about the piece for decades.

He is reportedly “heartbroken,” but glad to see it go back to the museum.

Attack of the clones…

So a baker’s dozen of these cute little fellas attacked Russian bases in Syria lately

Carrying these:

Modded mortar bombs?

Via Russian Ministry of Defense:

Security system of the Russian Khmeimim air base and Russian Naval CSS point in the city of Tartus successfully warded off a terrorist attack with massive application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) through the night of 5th – 6th January, 2018.

As evening fell, the Russia air defence forces detected 13 unidentified small-size air targets at a significant distance approaching the Russian military bases.

Ten assault drones were approaching the Khmeimim air base, and another three – the CSS point in Tartus.

Six small-size air targets were intercepted and taken under control by the Russian EW units. Three of them were landed on the controlled area outside the base, and another three UAVs exploded as they touched the ground.

Seven UAVs were eliminated by the Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile complexes operated by the Russian air defence units on 24-hours alert.

The Russian bases did not suffer any casualties or damages.

The take away: swarm drone attacks are 100% going to be a staple of the modern battlefield. Also, the Russians have drone scramblers, likely much like the Battelle V1 and V2 DroneDefenders the U.S has been using for years.

As for where the drones came from? Russian state media, of course, says the U.S. funded the op and coordinated it. The Pentagon scoffed at the allegation, and the more likely explanation is that its just low-tech asymmetric warfare in 2018. Ready player one…

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