July 31, 2006

Glossary : New York Reload

New York Re - load :

A New York Reload is the tactical decision to draw a second gun instead of reloading the first. It is most popular in guns which require a lot of time and space to reload in the field. It originated in response to New York cops who would often carry a "Back Up Gun" and use it in a gunfight, as they were required to use revolvers at the time and seldom could afford to sit back and fuddle with a speedloader (and were known to treat their guns so badly that a malfuction was far from rare).

A technique similar to the New York Reload can be employed with derringers (essentially any small guns without a repeating function, usually cheap and powerful for the size, but with limited ammunition and very time-consuming to reload) and similar guns. However, as derringers are most often marketed to women or those who would otherwise hold concealment as the highest priority, carrying or needing multiple was seldom an advertised value. Add in the relatively rareness of derringers in a post-KelTec pocket pistol world, and you would see the relevance of such techniques significantly reduced. In fact, the creation and popularity of semiautomatics have made the concept nearly archaic.

It does, however, retain some utility to practice these days. Guns fail. While a critical failure with a semiautomatic or revolver is extremely rare, a squib round or a spring going pop can be problematic to say the least. This grows worse as you remember both Murphy's Law, and as you remember that most defensive gun use situations are high stress. A good many people still fire one-handed when the fit hits the shan. Or you'll have your dominant hand pinned or at a bad angle. A stovepiped cartridge case doesn't seem bad on the range, but when your blood is full of adrenaline, it's not so simple.

Carrying a backup gun and practicing a New York Reload is, to most people, being paranoid. The chances of being assaulted during your entire lifespan is far from certain in the first place, and the chances of a gun failure at that time are even less likely. Others find it better to have and not need, than need and not have, and a one in a million chance still sucks if you're the one.

And it's a fun way to put some more lead balls downrange at hundreds of feet per second. So, it's not like you lose out much.

July 30, 2006

Blades : Where?

Once you've decided to buy a knife, where can you buy one?

There's always Wally-World or a local Scout outfitter, but don't expect much. Small selection, and while you might save a few bucks on a good SpyderCo, a lot of the other knives are just useless. Worst of all, it's nearly impossible to get a good feel or look at a knife, and as a result, you can end up with something that should be good, but is ruined by an obvious flaw like poor heat treatment or bad lock design.
Do not trust advice from workers at such places. For every one WalMart employee that knows how to test a linerlock, there are five dozen that can't tell a folder from a sheath knife.

A better choice would be a place devoted to hunting goods, or even a gun store. Often they will have some selection of knives, the clerks will be much more willing to let you handle the blades if you show basic competance, and will have worthwhile advice if you are unsure. of yourself. Sadly, most dedicated "knife shops" just sell cheap imports, but some serious ones do exist. I personally stick with gun shops instead, although all knife shops can do a quick resharpening cheap and easy.

Custom knives are another option. They're often more expensive, whether you make your own or buy from professionals. The first option just replaces money with time. But the results can be damned impressive. Either way, you'll be set for life in blades if you look hard enough.

Finally, there are shows. Both gun and knife shows tend to include a good display of folders, straight knives, and more unusual types. Blade sellers in either arena tend to know their stuff, and you get a selection varying from the cheapest blades possible to those perfectly balanced and built to last an eternity. On the downside, some vendors are less than honest about their wares, and shows tend to require an entrance fee - as a result, it's not usually worthwhile to just browse or buy one or two beat knives.

Glossary : Beat Knife

Beat Knife :
A cheap blade, usually factory-stamped but sometimes made by home smiths. Beat Knives are ideally less than twenty dollars.

Beat knives are intended for carry and use in situations where an expensive or higher quality knife would not be valid. A sintered titanium blade with tungsten carbide coating and excellent heat treating is an incredible blade, but I wouldn't want to take it White Water rafting, for example. Even if the incredibly hard and brittle material doesn't shattered or get lost, I'd still have a lot of extra wear and water on a very valuable blade.

Beat knives fill the space of where a blade needs to be both constant and expendable. Ideally, they should be made of resilent material - plastic and steel rather than bone and aluminum oxide. They should be, of course, cheap, but reliability is a concern. Beat knives are often the tools you fall back on in emergencies, you don't want them to be dull or rusted at that point.

I personally use 1095 high carbon steel with a nylon wrap around the tang for a 'glove compartment' beat knife. It rusts too fast for normal carry, but for something that will only meet water from a coffee spill or very bad rain storm, the hardness and edge retention, in combination with the fairly cheap material, make this an excellent choice. For normal carry, 440 grades work well (preferably 440c, but typically the differences aren't significant enough on a beat knife), as does AUS-10, all of which are good metals with significant rust resistance.

The majority of beat knives are folding knives, simply because the majority of cheap knives for sale are. The ease of carry is another good aspect. Make sure to get a blade with a decent lock.

A bladesman should always have one or two beat knives on him or herself.

July 29, 2006

Postal in Seattle

A self-proclaimed "Muslim American" is alleged to have forced his way into a Jewish Federation center today, killing one and injuring at least five others. Interestingly, all of the victims appear to be women. Bias? Fear of fighting back? Percieved "sins"? Simple opportunity?

Those who are religious or otherwise willing are asked to pray for survival of the wounded victims. Those who are vindictive may no doubt find ways to donate for the legal fund to prosecute the alleged gunman.

Claims will no doubt arise to show how this is somehow proof of the evils of anti-Muslim/Islamic policies in other countries or our own. Some posts will no doubt connect this to the current Israel-Islam war, or perhaps the war in Iraq.

Those who do so seem to have a very bad grasp of recent events.

I'm interested in seeing one of these strange and foolish individuals attempt such a thing in Texas or another freedom-loving state, instead of a gun-fearing wussy city. I have a feeling we will not need to donate to legal funds after that one.

July 28, 2006

Glossary : Fearing Wussy

Fear - ing Wuss - y :
An individual who actively fears items, not individuals.
abreviated : FW
conjugates : Gun Fearing Wussy (GFW), Knife Fearing Wussy (KFW).

The most common types are the Gun-Fearing Wussy and Knife-Fearing Wussy. These individuals will actively recoil and even avoid these tools, even in the hands of other lawful citizens (they may be content with such weapons in the hands of 'police' or 'security guards'). I won't go into the psychological reasons : at best, they are offensive, at worst, only proof that I am not a shrink.

This name does not include individuals who simply do not use or do not want firearms or blades. There must be active, and instinctive, fear of other people with tools.

True fearing wussies are not worth confronting on the subject of anything they consider weapons. Their dislike is so instinctual that they will no accept statistics, facts, nor can they be converted from the side of darkness. In fact, attempting to convert a fearful wussy can result in problems.

Just like any other severe phobia, unless you're qualified to treat the individual, do not confront them on it.

Blades : Social and Legal Issues

Picking a good knife without experience can be hard to do for your first time. Part of the difficulty is picking a knife that fits you legally and socially. Nobody wants to get fined for carrying a weapon, and most people don't want people everyone staring at a Crocodile Dundy prop.

The easiest, most common, and least 'offensive' knives are the typical penknife, can be bought for under ten bucks, and can pop on the end of a keychain. But it's rare to find one of good metal, they never carry an edge for long, and are pretty much useless for cutting more than tape. Get stuck in a car with a jammed seatbelt and you won't be able to open the thing, nevermind cut the damned canvas.

If you want something more, new users should start with a folder knife. They're much easier to carry, generally cheaper and easier to obtain than fixed knives, and usually more legal. Downside is they take a bit more knowledge to pick a good one, but we can handle that here.

Don't pick up a Boy Scout knife, or other Swiss Army knife. You don't need tweezers for a basic beat knife, and I have no idea why Boy Scout paraphernalia has a nail file in it since BSA v. Dale. Those that aren't horribly priced are made of poor grade steel and a shifty heat treatment, and as a result don't take or hold an edge.

For both reasons of legality and social view, you do not want or need a bowie knife. Most male pants pockets, and every purse I've seen, can hold a folding knife between four or five inches. That length also gives you good leverage and a full grip on the scales (handle area), without being so long as to be cumbersome. That said, some areas do not allow the carrying of knives of that length. Examples include the United Kingdom and Massachusetts -- laws change too much to trust a blog, and state and city laws would go on too long for me to list, so please do your own research first.

Some people favor pure unserrated blades. They're easier to maintain and use, and mistakes give cleaner cuts. Since most knives aren't designed to survive being used as saws - doing so can cause a brittle knife to shatter - they keep new users from doing anything too dangerous. They're also considered much less 'evil', and as a result get fewer stares. But serrated blades last much longer between sharpenings, and are much more valuable for cutting meat or similar things. I'm personally a fan of the combined blade, which has a unserrated front half for slicing, which becomes serrated closer to the scales (read : handle) for harder work.

Don't get a knife with a 'gut hook', an elongated - 'C' shaped hook, usually found at the tip. If you need one, you know it, if you don't know what they are for, you don't need one and will likely cut yourself on it, and it looks remarkably scary.

Black plastic is apparently a no-no. Red plastic gives off a Boy Scout look, which I doubt is what you want to provide these days, but it at least seems less harmful to the fearful wussies in the world. Some plastic and fabric combintations have a very nice and worked pattern that makes a blade seem more official Army-esque, which stops people from asking questions, but may surprise them. Wood with metal trim is considered more elegant, and even a fairly long blade simple blade with a maple handle tends to be much more acceptable than a black plastic sheath knife of doom.

The biggest trick to keeping a good knife on you without attracting stares is to not attract attention. Knives are tools, not toys - if they are needed, they should be out and doing their job, then back in concealment. Keep them concealed. Don't play with it. Don't use it when you don't need it, don't show it off, and follow the rules unless you're in a situation where you must choose between being tried by twelve or carried by six.

Don't be rude, or suspicious. People treat you as they're treated by you. Remember, police and people won't hunt down a good man with a bad knife, nowhere near what they'll do to a bad man with a good one.

July 27, 2006

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Lebanese doctors have claimed Israel deployed Weapons of Mass Destruction : Phosphorus

Excluding the obvious responses : that phosphorus and its resulting smoke are less lethal than fuel oil fumes, and that it doesn't cause a skeleton to shrink in size, there's one thing I like about this sort of mess.

The same people that insist 1.77 tons of enriched uranium and 500 shells of chemical and biological weapons weren't WMDs, now insist that phosphorus is a WMD.


July 26, 2006


The single most useful tool in a survival situation is a good knife. While a gun will protect you from predators and ensure meat, but it can not skin an animal, nor can not make an economical shelter. A box of matches will do very little without cut, dry kindling.

A decent knife and some careful leverage can turn scrap cloth and dirt into a shelter. It can . A knife, a stick, and shoelaces will light a fire in even nasty weather. A knife can get you out of a jammed car seatbelt, or just be damned handy if you need to get a bag of food open, or break down a few dozen boxes, or snap open a stuck cabinet.

But despite this, few people carry or even own a hefty blade. Part of this is social stigma, part is the legalities, and a final part is the fairly steep learning curve a knife requires.

I can't help much with the lawyer part of that. I've never been a lawyer, and blade laws change too often and are reinterpretated even more commonly.

I can tell you what you need to start in the world of blades, and how to deal with the social aspects.

July 25, 2006

Welcome to Citizen's Arrest

Cit - i - zen's Ar - rest :
The right of a citizen to restrain an individual seen committing a felony.

Welcome, and I'll be your host here at Citizen's Arrest.

Citizen's Arrest is here to give examples of good and evil, right and wrong, truth and lies, in a society that increasingly confuses them.

Expect to see links to seldom-known laws, oft-ignored judicial rulings, and a few complaints about what out legal structure should be. Expect guns, knives, and sticks, as well as theory and practice on their uses in normal and abnormal situations.

Call me Gattsuru. I have : earned a CCNA, taught high school physics and social sciences, and worked too many different minor jobs to count. I have been sliced, stabbed, clubbed, shot (once), and electrocuted (once notably).

I am a soulless, evil, animal, usually found somewhere between a conservative and a small - l libertarian. While I am not religious, I do maintain knowledge of religions, and have a strict code of morality.

I am a crazed nutcase, but then again, why else would anyone go into politics or technology?