Friday, March 17, 2006

Russian Practical Shooting: T64 & BMP40

Russian Spetsnaz.Russian martial arts. Spetsnaz - Russian System Training. Systema. /Army training

So, you like to shoot "Major Power", eh?

Here's a place where you can learn to shoot the main gun of a Russian Tank, and also the cannon on a BMP40 (vaguely similar to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle).

The Ukraine!

Price is a low low $999.99 - each - for groups of five or more. If you form your own group, everybody gets a 10% discount.

Apparently, this doesn't include travel to The Ukraine, but you get some GREAT gifts!

After the training you will have Russian special force uniform, certificates, photos and a special tank driver's helmet as a present.

Their service also includes:
  • Preparation of target objects and field
  • leasing of stands
  • leasing of weapon emplace
  • leasing of training field for the whole delegation
  • Lunch .Including Russin [sic] caviar, Russian vodka etc.
  • Transfer to/from the military base
  • Instructors and interpreters services

  • They'll take PayPal (with prior arrangement) and the course is scheduled ... whenever you can get there, apparently.

    Wire Paladin, San Francisco.

    No, I'm kidding about that. here's the real contact information:
    Tel: +38-067-2574311
    Tel: +38-050-3315028
    Tel: +38-044-5361237
    Tel/Fax: +38-044-536125

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot:

    They also let you shoot a magazine each from a handful of handguns, plus a couple of magazines (or several rounds) from some 'long guns', to include the AK-74, the RPK-74, the classic PKM, and ten rounds each from an SKS and an SVD (Dragunov sniper rifle.)

    Looking for something more ... 'middle of the road-ish'?

    Launch a couple of RPG-7 rounds down-range after lunch.
    It helps to settle the caviar.

    Wednesday, March 15, 2006

    Only Victims: 3 Dead in Restaurant Shooting - Police: 3 dead in restaurant shooting

    Geek News, March 15, 2006:
    Two murdered, two wounded in maniac-shooting at Pismo Beach Denny's restaurant. Murderer then takes his own life.

    I've been to Denny's restaurants before, and I never saw the "Free Fire Zone" sign.

    What is it that causes people to go crazy in Fast-Food joints? Is it the food?

    This isn't the first time that restaurant patrons have experienced random violence by an armed, unknown assailant. Here's a small sample of prominent examples:


    In 1991, George Hennard drove his truck through the plate-glass windows of Luby's Restaurant in Houstan, Texas, and shot two dozen people before he killed himself. Wikipedia has a good summary of the incident, including the following:
    Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp's parents were among the 24 killed by Hennard in the attack. Hupp possessed a gun but left it in her car in compliance with laws against carrying a concealed weapon; she felt that, had her gun been on her person, she could have prevented the tragedy or limited the casualties. Hupp has since crusaded successfully for a concealed carry law and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996.
    There's also a link to a 2001 Houston Chronicle article which provides some historical background and details I couldn't find anywhere else.

    I also found a WorldNet Daily commentary by Tanya K. Metaska, dated June 1, 2000, which features this incident from the point-of-view of an "armed female".


    A man went crazy in an Amarillo, Texas Denny's in January, 2003, and shot four police officers down (there to break up a fight!) before finally being killed by one of the wounded officers. The incident is also blogged here ... although the blogger apparently thinks the incident happened in San Antonio.


    Armed Females of America presents a summary of fast-food shooting, including Denny's in Houston (2004) and San Diego (2003) ... as well as several Pizza Huts and the odd Tacueria. No authoratative newslinks (MSM) are provided, so I'll have to offer this as "anecdotal evidence" only.


    These incidents include common factors:
    • They all occurred in or near a 'fast food' restaurant, although I may be libelling the quality of food at Luby's -- I don't know, it's not a nationwide chain and I've never eaten there. (That Luby's has since been closed due to 'competition'.)
    • They all involved seemingly motiveless murders, usually with multiple victims.
    • "Assault Weapons" were not typically involved.
    • At most of the restaurants, the victims were not able to protect themselves against random attack. The situation where four armed policemen were attacked and shot with pistols taken from the policemen is atypical; however, note that the rampage might have continued to include civilian victims, except that one of the wounded policemen ... the youngest, least experienced officer still in his 'probationary period' ... managed to shoot and kill his assailant despite having been wounded several times. One wonders if the officers could have been protected from their grevious wounds if an armed civilian had been present and had acted in their defense.
    Whether or not the attackers had legal access to the firearms used is not the issue. Criminals will always find weapons. The point of contention is whether or not the VICTIMS should have been legally armed and able to prevent the carnage. Personally, I'm inclined to agree with Suzanna Gratia Hupp: if not for the endemic anti-gun hysteria in this country (and other countries), law-abiding citizens would be able to arm themselves in self-defense in any public venue.

    And they should.


    This has been a quick survey of restaurant-related random murders in America. In truth, we would be able to make the same points in many other venues; including churches, schools and night-clubs. The places where people gather are focus points for random violence. The Conventional Wisdom is that these are places where firearms SHOULD be prohibited, either because the potential for maniacal attacks is increased (eg: nightclubs) or violence is unlikely to occur because 'everyone is un-armed' -- schools and churches are peaceful places, where peaceful people gather.

    The true fact is that these are the very places which attract deranged murders, if only because they are confident that they will find no defenders.

    Only victims.

    Incidently, while researching this post I found an interesting article in the Lawrence, Kansas Journal-World (February 9, 2006) which discussed a proposed Concealed Carry law for Kansas in the light of a recent local shooting. The article itself is worth the read, but the real meat is to be found in the 113 comments submitted by readers. It's a fascinating summary of the entire concealed carry argument ... both sides ... with as much ignorance and bias to be found in any discussion of the subject. The participants obviously have passionate opinions, and express them with various degrees of authority and credibility.

    UPDATE: March 17, 2006

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - A gunman opened fire early Friday at a Denny's restaurant, killing one man and seriously wounding another, police said. It was the third fatal shooting at the restaurant chain in Southern California this week.

    The 2:45 a.m. shooting happened after a fight between two large groups inside the restaurant, said Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim Police Department.

    One victim re-entered the restaurant after being shot and died inside, Martinez said. The other victim was taken to a hospital and was expected to survive.

    The gunman was being sought by authorities. The shooting did not appear to be gang-related, Martinez said.

    The shooting was the third in a Southern California Denny's in three days. In Pismo Beach on Wednesday, a transient with two guns walked into the restaurant at lunchtime, fatally shot two men and wounded a married couple before committing suicide.

    And in Ontario, a 37-year-old man was fatally shot in a Denny's parking lot Thursday after a fight. The gunman was still being sought.

    I know this seems like I'm picking on Denny's Restaurants, but I'm not. I like the restaurant, and I often dine there when I'm travelling because I know I can count on the consistent quality of the food and service, and the cleanliness of the facility. It's not their fault that so many incidents occur at their ubiquitous franchises. The fact is, with 1,600+ restaurants in the chain, located all across the country (since 1953), they cover too much of the market not to be a prominent feature on America's streets.

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Running Gun IPSC - Pics and Movies

    Running Gun IPSC - Pics and Movies

    You may have noticed, if you're a regular reader, that I spend a lot of time shooting IPSC matches, photographing them, making videos of IPSC matches and posting them on the internet.

    Most of the videos I film never make it to the internet. That which does, is most often made available through Jerry the Geek's Video Shooting Gallery. I have what I consider a good album of IPSC type competition footage.

    Tonight I was reviewing my blog statistics, mostly looking at what people were searching for when they hit on my blog. I found a page where someone was looking for IPSC Videos, and found another site that looked promising.

    I wasn't even on the first page. But number one on the first page was

    (UPDATE: March 31, 2006)
    (This website is UP again! Click on the banner to access it.)

    As near as I can tell, this is a gun club in Ontario, California. I don't know who runs it, and I hope someone can give me some background on the club and the man.

    All I can say is, this defines IPSC video. Great hoser-cam photography (I see the fine hand of Nolan Smythe in this), incredible editing, multi-cam technology, world-class shooters and in-your-face 3-gun match stages combine to make this a product far beyond anything I'm able to produce.

    If you have a high-speed internet connection, or a lot of time to spare, click on the club logo above and take a look at the "Pics and Movies" segment which prominently features a
    " ... 5 minute video (which was) was put together by Mike Pellisier, Ron Filho, and Jojo Vidanes. Starring are Mike P., Ron F., Jojo V., Mike Voigt (El Prez), Ralph Arredondo, and Debbie Keehart-Ross. It was filmed at the Raahauge range during one of our weekly IPSC matches."
    I watched this 'main' segment, and was entranced. This is the best live-action IPSC-type video photography I've ever seen.

    If you go to the website and scroll down a bit, you'll see individual stages professionally filmed with some (lame!) narration. If you're not weeping because there aren't enough videos to keep you glued to your seat for more than a half-hour, you have no heart.

    Of course, they don't have it mixed with appropriate music, which is the only criticism I can offer.

    Click on the link, sit down, shut up, hold on.

    And if you really need music, play THIS while you're watching the videos.


    There are some other worthwhile things to see on this search-page.

    Team Darkside's videos are shot from too far away, and you can't really see what's happening. Besides, there is no sound.

    However, I do recommend you go to the "The High Road" forum's video segment. Among the videos featured there you can find Travis Tomasie's "Perfect Reload" video.

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    IPSC Safety

    At a recent club match in the Columbia Cascade Section of USPSA, the Match Director made a special announcement about an incident which occurred during the match.

    After a competitor had completed a stage, and the targets had all been pasted or reset, the Range Officer started the next competitor only to discover (after the competitor actually started shooting at targets) that 'someone' was still working on the stage and was, in fact, downrange of the competitor.

    As soon as the presence of a downrange person was detected, of course, the competitor was stopped and the person downrange returned to a safe area. Nobody was injured, and since the competitor was only likely to engage targets which were obviously backed by a berm, the situation never presented a great danger of the downrange person being harmed.

    Still, when so many of the 'fail-safe' measures which are an integral part of IPSC safety rules have been faulted, the question remains as to what can be done to make this a safer shooting sport.

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usThe central issue seems to be that Vision Barriers, used to force a competitor to follow a pre-planned mode of target engagement, constitute an intrinsic flaw in the attempt to make IPSC as safe as it can possibly be.

    The same opaque barriers which add an aura of mystery to a competitor's engagement of multiple target arrays make it difficult for the Range Officer to easily scan the shooting bay to determine that all personnel have returned to a safe area before the next competitor begins to engage the targets.

    The responsibility of ensuring a safe shooting event is primarily on the Range Officer. This person, assumed to have been trained by the National Range Officer Institution in the safe operation of an IPSC match, is responsible for every thing that happens on a single stage during an IPSC match: Scoring, time-keeping, a fair accounting of each competitor's performance -- these are all important functions of the Range Officer.

    But most important is the primary responsibility of the Range Officer: Safety.

    In this endeavor, the Range Officer is supported by many people. The score-keeper not only faithfully records the time and score for each competitor's performance, but also keeps track of incidental events during the competitor's stage performance: foot-faults and adherence to the published stage procedures are just two of the score-keeper's duties.

    The score-keeper also is responsible for helping the Range Officer to determine that all IPSC targets have been completely pasted, all steel and moving targets have been properly reset, and that the range is clear of all personnel, including especially target tapers and people who are picking up used brass.

    The individual squad members have their own responsibilities. They must help the Range Officer and the Score-keeper in the effort to ensure the safe operation of the range, and they are also responsible for being aware of the safe location of every person on the stage.

    Often, it's difficult for the Range Officer and the Score-keeper to keep track of all of the squad members and spectators -- who may not be an official member of the squad, but who may be helping with the target-resetting and brassing duties.

    When a new shooter comes to the line, the Range Office may or may not declare "The Range Is HOT!" in an effort to announce that all persons must return up-range of the starting position, if they are not already there. Usually, the Range Officer has already (with the assistance of the Score-Keeper) made the determination that all personnel have retired from downrange. Anyone who is downrange at this time is responsible for immediately notifying the Range Officer that the range is NOT clear.

    After this point, the Range Officer directs the next competitor, in a loud "Command Voice":

    "Load and Make Ready!"

    A certain time passes while the competitor loads his pistol and in all respects makes ready to engage targets on the stage, then assumes the starting position according to the published stage procedures. This may take from five or ten seconds to over a minute, depending upon the circumstances.

    Then the Range Officer asks the Competitor: "Are Your Ready?"

    Lacking any negative response from the Competitor, the Range Officer announces:
    "Stand By", indicating that the time will start within the next three to five seconds.

    Finally, the Range officer presses the time-start button on the timer, which causes the timer to to make an audible sound signaling the Competitor to begin engaging targets.

    Usually, this is a drawn-out process with many loud audible clues that the next competitor is being prepared to engage targets. It should, under almost all circumstances, provide plenty of opportunities for everyone on the stage to be aware that a new shooter is on the line and being readied to engage targets. Anyone downrange should have been able to hear the commands, and appreciate that his person is in a position where he should not be.

    This SHOULD be adequate preventative measures. I myself have, while acting as a Range Officer, failed to note that a person was downrange (bent over, picking up brass) in a cul-de-sac formed by two solid vision barriers, when I gave the command "Load And Make Ready". Fortunately, other members of the squad were more situationally aware than I. The immediately shouted "Stop! There is someone downrange!" or words to that effect, and I stopped the competitor from drawing his pistol before we could ask the brasser to please clear the range.

    Free Image Hosting at Because the existing procedures are demonstrably a point of failure of existing safety rules, the Columbia Cascade Section is taking measures to remove what we sincerely hope is the last source of failure of safety precautions: the member clubs are beginning to replace solid vision barriers with perforated barriers,Free Image Hosting at which look like the familiar 'orange snow-fence' (be they orange or black) and which provide better down-range visual access.

    This won't happen immediately, of course, but at least one club has already scheduled a "work-credit" night (when the club members who participate are rewarded by a decrease in their annual dues, proportional to the time spent in the effort) to replace all solid vision barriers with perforated material.

    I have been competing in IPSC matches for over 20 years, and this is the first time I have ever heard of a person being 'caught down-range' when the timer goes off. I've probably participated in over 800 matches (40 matches a year for 20 years) involving at least three hours per match ... say, 1,600 hours in competition. This is the first time I've ever heard of this kind of complete break-down in range safety procedures, especially because it requires that EVERY PERSON PRESENT failing to observe the basic safety procedures.

    Once in 20 years is 100% too often. It won't happen again.

    I applaud the Columbia Cascade Section Coordinator, Mike McCarter, in his bold decision to invest time, money and personnel to make IPSC as practiced in the United States Practical shooters Association an even safer shooting sport. I encourage every club in the country ... indeed, as IPSC is an international sport, every club in the world ... to follow his lead.

    Mr. McCarter informs us that he will soon submit an article to the Front Sight Magazine (the official publication of USPSA) describing the efforts that the Columbia Cascade Section is making to promote the sport and to make it safer. I understand that this change in policy will be prominently featured.