Posts Tagged ‘Biographies’

Chris Kyle American Sniper

The Loss of an American Hero – Chris Kyle

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Navy SEALs have fought and died on many battlefields across the globe. I have known a number of SEALs, worked with many, called some shipmate and even earned the recognition of being considered a friend by others.

The 101st during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan.

A Rendezvous with Destiny: The 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagles

The Army’s 101st Airborne Division is the first unit to fire shots in battle, the first to land onto enemy-occupied soil, and has been a part of some of our wars’ bloodiest and longest fights.

As the only Air Assault Division in the world, the 101st Airborne Division, a unit of the Army, pride themselves as a unit often requested at the front lines. The unit can mobilize thousands of soldiers quickly and are trusted to reach the front.

Chris Kyle in Falluja

CTD Book Report: American Sniper by Chris Kyle

The war-hero biography does not lend itself well to truth telling. The easy path is to give the public what they want. If they will pay to see you in a certain way, why not go along with it? You can write the standard tell-all book about your all-American upbringing, your rigorous training, and your triumphs on the battlefield. You will stand tall as a patriotic, upstanding role model for your children and your children’s children.

The Making of a Gun Designer: Charles St.George

Charles St. George at the range

Charles St. George at the range.

Bushmaster M17 bullpup

Bushmaster M17 bullpup

On the way to SHOT Show last year, I met Charles St.George. I didn’t know who he was, but somehow the Bushmaster M17 came up in conversation and turned out that he was the original designer. It was therefore no surprise that the rifle he displayed at the 2011 show looked like a very brawny M17. The Leader 50, while internally quite different from the M17 used the same basic extruded receiver design as the .223 bullpup. But the internals of the upcoming 50BMG rifle were based on a design of which I had not heard before, the Leader T2.

Charles St.George was born on Malta but moved to England with his parents at a young age. As a child, he had a Colt Peacemaker replica which even came with full-size dummy cases loaded with caps. The gun itself was precision die cast from zinc and Charles played with it until the toy literally fell apart. When his father’s regiment, the First Cheshire, got posted to Libya, Charles tried to replicate the zinc toy in steel. After a month of work with a hacksaw and a file, he had something only slightly resembling the intended form. “The experiment helped build arm muscles, at least!” he joked.

Upon returning to England, he decided to build a .303 semi auto rifle. Scotland Yard sent an Inspector from the Hampshire Constabulary to interview me at home before granting permission. Perhaps having a military father helped. The ammunition had to be kept at the Bisley Rifle Range and used cartridges logged in a register. The rifle he built used a simple tilting lock that locked the breech bolt into the receiver tube. A friend helped machine some of the parts, the rest were fashioned by hand. At the range it would not fire. In retrospect, Charles says that was lucky, for the rifle would have blown up. He knew nothing about metals, heat treatment or the designing of real guns.

As an adult, Charles immigrated to Australia started to tinker again. He built .223 semi auto rifle prototypes until he had a beautiful select-fire weapon with an aluminum receiver somewhat like the AR15 and a non reciprocating charging handle like the L1A1. Long stroke gas system used a piston pinned to a tube which housed the return spring and held to the bolt carrier by a wedge held in place by the cam track in the receiver, a triangular breech bolt and wooden handguards. The design eventually entered production around 1978 as the Leader T2. In use, this gun has particularly mild recoil, especially when compared to an AR15. Forgotten Weapons shows the T2 disassembly process on video.  They also feature photos of a pre-production sample with a wood stock made before the Zytel furniture was ready.

T2 has very mild recoil

T2 has very mild recoil.

Left-hand charging handle does not reciprocate on firing.

Left-hand charging handle does not reciprocate on firing

The Leader T2 production went smoothly because the gun was designed from the start to be extremely efficient. The receiver was based on a 16 gauge steel square tube. Dupont provided the expertise for the Zytel parts, which had not previously been used on an assault rifle. The triangular bolt design (subsequently used on the Serbu rifle, the R4 and Barrett 82A1/M107) simplified the barrel extension and the bolt broaching process. The barrel blanks from Parker Hale were rifled with a simple button rifling machine also designed by Charles. It rifled a barrel blank in about 20 seconds. While T2 resembles an AR180 superficially, it is even simpler inside. All major parts can be removed for cleaning in seconds and stay captive to simplify the take-down. It used common STANAG (M16) magazines.

T2 was shown to represenatives of Italy, Portugal and Oman. About 2000 were eventually exported to the US and a few to Africa. By the time the 1989 and 1994 bans in the US caused the cessation of the production of the T2, Charles St.George had already moved on. His next rifle is familiar to Americans as the Bushmaster M17. We will talk about that design next week.

It’s Zombie Apocalypse Week at Cheaper Than Dirt!

It’s time to start eradicating zombies at Cheaper Than Dirt! We’ve been strategizing for weeks. We must end the apocalypse now! Won’t you join us?

Thomas “Dirty” Poole

Thomas Dirty Poole

Thomas "Dirty" Poole

Role: Engineer

When it comes to zombie survival, this primarily involves breaking obstacles so the team can keep moving and then setting up new obstacles to slow down the horde. This usually puts me pretty close to the zombies. When the opportunity presents itself, I try to get a smile out of the team with an explosion or two. I’m a survivor because I just don’t want to end up like one of them.

Weapons of Choice: shotgun—Mossberg 590A1 with bayonet; pistol—Glock 19; machete and tactical tomahawk

Shoots: Right-handed

Personality Type: I’m an explorer and a risk-taker. I also tend to “treasure hunt” a bit more than most others. I just don’t want to miss any really good supplies that could help keep us alive!

Best Zombie Kill: While covering a narrow doorway, I simply bayoneted the first zombie in the chest and held him at arms length. I did it because I was waiting for another few to stack up behind him in the doorway. I then fired a 1oz slug and dropped four at once. Rinse. Repeat. Ammo conservation is important with a shotgun!

 

Dr. Narcissa Ravenblack

Dr. Narcissa Ravenblack

Dr. Narcissa Ravenblack

Role: Scientist

I am an Epidemiologist who worked with a highly classified group of scientists developing a biological weapon, a project called Ninth Gamma. I secretly concocted an antivirus and have been taking it the entire time, which is how I was unaffected by the catastrophic event at the lab that released the toxins in the weapon.

All my notes, research, and vials of antivirus serum are secretly buried in cache storage behind the lab. I have failed to tell my current team of survivors that I have what I believe to be a vaccine to the virus. I am waiting for the right time to reveal my secret, so I can be hailed as the one doctor who saved mankind.

Personality Type: Megalomaniac, slowly descending into complete madness

First Zombie Encounter: When the lab exploded and released the virus. My entire team was infected.

Shoots: Right-handed

Favorite Zombie Kill: When I had to relieve the head of funding for Project Ninth Gamma of his condition with a jagged edge of a broken Petri dish.

Specialty: Excellent at fixing the team’s physical and psychological wounds

 

Earl “The Duke” Jenkins

Earl "The Duke" Jenkins

Earl "The Duke" Jenkins

Role: Photographer and novelist, documenting the Zombie Apocalypse for future generations, with plans to make millions off of the book and movie rights afterwards.

Weapon of Choice: Glock 19 with green laser and 33-round mags

Shoots: Left-handed

Photographs: Right-handed

Modus Operandi: Tends to hold camera in one hand, Glock in the other, and photographs zombies until the last possible moment before popping them in their gory heads.

Secret Shame: Once artfully photographed the grisly death of a politician rather than try to save him.

Thing he Misses Most about the Old World: Playing “Left 4 Dead” online with friends… all of whom later became zombies.

Zombie Kill of the Week: Zombie got too close during a photo shoot. Duke stunned the zombie with his camera flash, then impaled him with a Ka-Bar knife he has strapped to a leg of his camera tripod. Then took a picture of the dead zombie with the camera (and zombie) still attached to the tripod.

Favorite Conspiracy Theory: Lady Gaga was the first zombie, years ago. Many suspected even then, but nobody knows for sure.

 

The MeatGrinder

The Meat Grinder

The MeatGrinder

Role: Deployed in Afghanistan conducting anti-zombie operations to include vehicle interdiction, helicopter assault force, and foot patrols in hopes of finding the cause of the world’s outbreak. Responsible for 20-man reconnaissance/ surveillance team.

We currently have teams deployed in the Horn of Africa, Europe and South East Asia conducting similar missions in hopes of gaining intelligence in counter-zombie asymmetrical warfare.

Highly motivated to find the root of the outbreak which will in turn lead to a possible cure. It is also fun to waste zombies.

First Zombie Encounter: 14 July 2011 (female, approx. 23 to 30 years old, unable to determine due to decomposition, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan)

Too Close for Comfort, Those taken by the Zombie Apocalypse: Too many to list, I stopped counting after the first 100 team mates.

Weapon of Choice: FNH SCAR 17 (.308) with EGLM 40mm grenade launcher attached. Leupold 1.1-8X scope.

Shoots: Lefty

Little Known Factoid: Never bitten by Zombie

Closest Call with a Zombie: Vehicle convoy was ambushed IVO Asadabad Afghanistan. Lost everybody in my vehicle but was extracted via SPIES system from HH60 Blackhawk. During extraction operations, male zombie became entangled in SPIES rigging approx. three feet from me. I was saved by the door gunner who opened fire on zombie with Dillon precision Mini Gun.

 

 

David “Rampage” McCormick

David Rampage McCormick

David Rampage McCormick

Role: Former U.S. Air Force security forces who’s entire unit was wiped out by the zombie plague. Heavy weapons and entry team expert. Surviving to kill the maximum amount of zombie trash.

Weapon of Choice: M60/M4 or wooden bat with nails hammered in the fat end

First Zombie Kill: Hit him with the kitchen television

Shoots: Right-handed

First Zombie Encounter: Encountering my zombie neighbor in my kitchen

Personality: Team oriented soldier

Blood Type: O neg

 

Sharp-eye “SURVIVOR” Sophie

Sharp-eye SURVIVOR Sophie

Sharp-eye SURVIVOR Sophie

Role: Sharp Shooter

SURVIVOR is my middle name…I was stranded on some left coast island and managed to outwit and outlast the Zombies.

Weapons of Choice: Match set 1873 Bird’s Head SA Colt .45 (gotta have one for each hand); SA Model 92 .45 rifle; Browning 1885 .4570 High-wall

Shoots: Right-handed

Best Kill: Head shot at 800 yards, but can take ’em down at a mite over 1200 yards

Motto: Kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out

 

 

 

Specter

"Spec"

Specter

Personality Type: Rogue, loner

Shoots Pistol and Long Gun: Left-handed

Weapons Carried for Recon and Supply gathering: M24 – Rifle (carried in drag bag not on all occasions); M4 – Rifle; M9 – Pistol; Ka-Bar  Knife

Mounted and  Stationary: M60 – Machine Gun (one at each safehouse); M24 – Primary weapon

Closest Call with a Zombie: While taking a high position and providing high level cover for my old team the door leading into one of the safe houses was not securely locked down. By the time I heard them they were about five feet from me and closing in. I reached for my handgun but there was at least 25 to 35 on the roof top. Having my quick escape route I latched into my rappelling rope and bailed down the side of the building into my secondary safe area. This area is a fully enclosed location where the only way in is through the window. I stood at the window watching zombie after zombie attempt to fly.

 

Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry

Tackleberry

Tac

Role: Assault

When it comes to zombie hunting/survival, this primarily involves going out and away from our group in order to survey the area. I’m a survivor in order to provide for my family, as well as help anyone else who is still among the living.

Weapons of Choice: primary rifle — customized AR-15 SBR with 10.5” barrel in 5.56x45mm NATO; secondary rifle — customized LaRue Tactical OBR in 7.62x51mm NATO; pistol — Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm with Apex Tactical DCAEK; whatever else I can or have to use.

Shoots: Right-handed

First Zombie Encounter: While engaging in a little target practice one day, there was a flock of zombies that started coming out from behind the target berm. At first, I didn’t believe what I was seeing, but once I saw them take out the guy who was coming back from setting up targets, it became pretty clear what was happening. Luckily, I had just finished getting set up at the 1,000 yard bench with my secondary rifle (LaRue OBR), and was able to pick off each one of them with single head-shots. No misses!

Personality: Will kill as many as is necessary, or desired, until there is no longer a threat to my family and/or myself (all-around “gunny”).

Best Kill: One Monday morning, I woke up and looked out of the windows in the back of the house. I saw my neighbor aimlessly wandering around his backyard, looking rather pale. Upon further inspection, it was obvious that he was a zombie. Since he had previously let his dogs bark almost constantly for approximately two years, I retrieved my AR and shot him…with very little hesitation.

Browning 75th Anniversary Hi Power with brown grip and gold cartridges on a rust colored background

John Moses Browning and His Creations

John Browning was the most prolific firearms designer in the United States and perhaps the world. He lived in a time when the firearm was coming into the modern age, and his impact on the principles of firearm design helped to shape the growth of the modern firearm industry. In fact many people feel that Browning WAS the basis for the modern age of firearms! Some of his designs would be used for 100 years and many are still in use today.