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Some 1972 vintage crossdraw action

I have often talked about the use of cross draw holsters (see here and here) and they had a special place in 20th-century law enforcement use, especially when it came to female officers.

Female officers for generations were instructed to carry in this method as it assisted in retention while it forces the butt of the gun into the body and it was incorrectly thought the female body shape (hips) worked against drawing from the strong side.

March is Women’s History Month, and in honor of that, here is a 1972 image via the Miami-Dade Police Department Archives of deputies Pam Stevens, Lucette Fortier, and Madeline Pearson–  the first women promoted to the rank of Sergeant at the Dade County Sheriffs Department.

Kalashnikov CEO wants a 20-ton ‘reconnaissance-strike robot’

Kalashnikov’s BAS-01G Soratnik unmanned vehicle can carry a machine gun and quartet of antitank missiles, but the company’s CEO wants to supersize it. (Photo: Kalashnikov Concern)

Kalashnikov Concern CEO Alexei Krivoruchko told Russian media that the company is developing a pretty big unmanned combat vehicle.

In an interview with state-run media outlet Tass, Krivoruchko hyped the partially-state run factories progress on advanced weapons including the new RPK-16 light machine gun before moving on to the mechanical elephant in the room– unmanned ground combat vehicles. The CEO advised a new 20-ton platform (described as a “робота” — robot) is under development which, when compared to what Kalash already markets, is huge.

The company showed off their current 7-ton BAS-01G Soratnik (Comrade-in-arms) unmanned vehicle in 2016, then last December made it do tricks for the Russian Ministry of Defence while armed with four anti-tank rockets and a machine gun. Alternatively, it can be modified to carry up to a 30mm gun or eight Kornet-EM laser-guided anti-tank missiles. Soratnik can be positioned as a bastion and act autonomously for 10 days as such in a standby mode, waiting to engage a threat.

I covered it over at and am honored that Popular Mechanics picked it up as well.

Lawrence Livermore just cleared a whole lot of boom

On Tuesday, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory released 63 rare, restored, and declassified nuclear test films, saved from decomposing on fragile nitrate film. They include Operations Teapot, Dominick, Nutmeg, Hardtack, Plumbob, and others. They are short but powerful.

“For the past five years, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and a crack team of film experts, archivists and software developers have been on a mission to hunt down, scan, reanalyze and declassify these decomposing films. The goals are to preserve the films’ content before it’s lost forever, and provide better data to the post-testing-era scientists who use computer codes to help certify that the aging U.S. nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective.”

NY police force picking up some neat pistol caliber carbines

I’ve always been a fan of pistol caliber carbines going back to my experiences as a kid with the Marlin .45ACP Camp Carbine and have counted a Colt 9mm SMG, Ruger PC9, KelTec Sub2000, and Beretta CX4 among my firearms collection off and on.

The combination of decent accuracy out to 100 yards in a cartridge that didn’t have the same concerns as a full or intermediate sized rifle round has always appealed to me– especially when, like in the case of the Marlin, Ruger or Kel-Tec, you could use common handgun mags.

Well, Buffalo PD is looking to pick up 115 Just Right Carbines for their force and I spoke to the company about the pending purchase last week.

I got to visit with JRC at SHOT Show, NASGW and others, and have checked out their neat pistol caliber ARs (that take S&W M&P and Glock mags) often.

“While AR’s certainly serve a purpose in a tactical setting, the pistol caliber Just Right Carbine provides plenty of knock down power, longer range, and accuracy [over a pistol], while limiting unintended results in populated areas,” said Debi DeBanto, the marketing chief for LDB Supply, Just Right Carbines’ master distributor. “In addition, by utilizing the rounds and magazines they already carry for their handguns, the JRC prevents officers from having to differentiate in a fast-moving situation.”

More in my column at

HITRON hits 500

When the U.S. Coast Guard stood up the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) in late 1998 as an experiment in Airborne Use of Force (AUF), they did so with a handful of volunteers out of Cecil Field and a few leased MD900 and MD902 Enforcer helicopters (dubbed MH-90s) with stock M16A2s and a mounted M240G.

Isn’t it cute

The proof of concept, shooting to warn, then disable go-fasts, led to the squadron going live with eight leased Augusta A109E Power helicopters, type classified as MH-68A Stingrays/Makos and the M16 was swapped out for the more effective bolt-action Robar RC-50 .50-caliber rifle and later the Barrett M107A1 semi-auto with a EBR’d M14 as back up.

Airwolf! Official caption: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Oct. 24 2001)– The HITRON, the Coast Guard’s latest drug enforcement weapon, is out on patrol aiding in port security over St. John’s river. The Coast Guard recently unveiled its new MH-68 Mako helicopter which is specifically designed to encounter the “go-fast” drug smuggling boat. USCG photo by PA3 Dana Warr

By 2008, they had switched to the new and improved version of the SA.365, classed as the MH-65C Dolphin and haven’t looked back. HITRON is the single CG source of forward-deployed armed aircrews and helicopters. Some figures estimate that this one unit has accounted for more than 10 percent of all drugs seized coming into the US since their introduction.

Last week they stopped their 500th drug interdiction when a deployed crew stopped a drug-laden go-fast vessel at 1:30 a.m. in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2017.

From the CG’s presser:

This is a historic benchmark for the Coast Guard as HITRON has successfully interdicted 500 vessels transporting approximately 422,000 kilograms of cocaine and 27,000 kg of marijuana with a wholesale value of more than $16.7 billion.

“This achievement is a direct reflection of the training, perseverance, and teamwork from our aircrews, support personnel and other deployed forces and partner agencies that support this dynamic mission and work together to achieve remarkable results in a joint effort countering illegal drug smuggling,” said Capt. Kevin P. Gavin, commanding officer of HITRON.

The aircrew of the Florida-based Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron stand for a photo after the 500th recorded drug bust in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo. Note the M107A1 with mounted AN/PEQ-15 aiming laser in the foreground, the M110 7.62x51mm sniper rifle with can in the background, and the fact that the crew names and weapons’ serials have been blurred for OPSEC/PERSEC.

A 7-page history of the unit from 1998-2004 via the USCG Historian’s Office is here.

2-for-1 swap on cutters this month

The Coast Guard held a joint decommissioning ceremony Wednesday for the North Carolina-based “Graveyard Enforcers,” a pair of 110-foot Island-class patrol boats USCGC Cushing (WPB-1321) and USCGC Nantucket (WPB-1316) in Atlantic Beach, NC.

The ceremony honored 30 years of the cutters’ service to the Coast Guard. The 110s were originally designed to last 15-20 years, so they both served well beyond their intended service life.

From CG:

The Cushing was the 21st 110-foot Island Class cutter built by Bollinger shipyard in Lockport, Louisiana, and commissioned on Dec. 1, 1988. Cushing’s first homeport was Mobile, Alabama, followed by San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cushing moved permanently to Atlantic Beach in 2015. Cushing was built primarily as a platform for law enforcement, but conducted missions including maritime homeland security, migrant interdiction, fisheries enforcement and search and rescue.

The Nantucket was the 16th 110-foot Island Class cutter built by Bollinger shipyard in Lockport, Louisiana and commissioned in 1987. Nantucket’s first homeport was Miami, followed by Key West, Florida, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and St. Petersburg, Florida. Nantucket was moved permanently to Atlantic Beach in 2014. Nantucket was built primarily as a platform for law enforcement, but conducted missions including maritime homeland security, migrant interdiction, fisheries enforcement and search and rescue.

“Today is a great day because we’re celebrating not only Cushing and Nantucket but the crews who maintained them throughout the years,” said Lt. Mario Gil, commanding officer of the Cushing.

The cutters will transit to the Coast Guard Yard where they will undergo a final decommissioning process. From there they may be considered for various options such as being placed for sale on GSA Auctions or foreign transfer. This has been an ongoing process with this class that has seen two of the former WPBs put into service with the Sea Shepherd (Whale Wars) group while others have gone to Georgia and Costa Rica.

The same week, Fifth Coast Guard District (Mid-Atlantic) welcomed the 158-foot Sentinel (Webber)-class Fast Response Cutter USCGC Lawrence Lawson (WPC-1120) to the area, set for her official commissioning ceremony in Cape May, N.J., next week.

Looking for a deal on a Tommy gun?

That stock comes off, you know?

Plymouth Borough, outside of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, isn’t big, but they have had a vintage and transferrable Tommy gun in their city’s arsenal since Prohibition that they want to get rid of if the price is right.

Furthermore, it’s not your average burp gun– it’s a Navy overstamp 1921 Colt-made Thompson.

Often thought of by militaria collectors as the holy grail of U.S. sub guns, the overstamp came about when Auto Ordnance moved to offload their stock of Colt-made M1921 Thompsons and, modifying them slightly by reducing their cyclic rate of fire from 800 rounds per minute to a more pedestrian 600, over-stamped the “1” in 1921 with an “8.”

The Title II/Class 3 weapon is listed on Gunbroker, with a current price of $28,000 and two days to go before the bidding ends.

In recent years several agencies have liquidated their stocks of aging Tommy guns including St.Louis PD who put a cool $1 million worth of the .45 ACP SMGs up for sale in 2014 and another North Carolina department who moved to swap a pair of Thompsons for 88 newer semi-auto Bushmasters.

In 2015, the town of Kinston, North Carolina, who had picked up an overstamp to ward off possible tobacco payroll robbers in 1935, sold their gun for $36,750, which is about average for the model.

Western Rifle Shooters Association

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