Friday, July 15, 2011


Cassie writes:

you should write about the KSG shotgun from Kel-Tec && let me know if youre excited about it.

I hadn't heard of it, so I had to do some research. So far, this is my favorite part:

Actually, my favorite part is the dual magazine, with a little switch that determines which magazine you feed from. My first thought was, "Why the hell would you want that?" But seconds later, I remembered something that everyone who has ever thought about shotguns has wished for: A way to choose between slugs and shot.

We've all worried about that at least once, haven't we? Imagine, on your right, you have a gang of hooligans who intend to rape you. But on your left, you have one thick-skulled brute holding your girlfriend hostage. You need buckshot for the guys on the right. You could try pumping slugs into them, but there's no way you could kill them all before they reach you. You need a slug for the guy on the left. Buckshot would take out your girlfriend too. Earlier in the day, when you're loading your shotgun, you had no way of knowing which of these situations you'd encounter. Clearly, this selectable magazine is an idea whose time has come.

The obvious shortcoming is that you're only able to select which kind of round to load, not which kind to fire. In the heat of the moment, when the hooligans and brute are alternately advancing on you in a threatening manner, and you're pointing your shotgun back and forth to keep them in check, you'd have to chamber a new round each time you aim at a different enemy. While this would justify that annoying movie cliché where cycling a round is used as a threat, instead of simply a means of cycling a round, it would be a huge waste of ammo. An even more perfect shotgun might have some sort of selectable chambers instead. Such a thing would also help in the event of a jam. But if we follow this logic to its conclusion, we'd just end up welding two shotguns together. I'm not sure that's a bad idea, come to think of it.

Anyway, the KSG. Another thing I like is the bullpup design. I've always liked this design because I'm always looking for ways to save space. And I like things exploding as close to my face as possible. In modern warfare, a gun that's easy to swing around in tight quarters while retaining its accuracy would be a real winner.

One thing I don't like is the pump action. Apparently shotguns almost always have a pump action. Since semi-auto bolts cycle rounds using the energy of the round going off, it's hard to engineer a bolt that feeds reliably off of many different types of rounds. Since shotguns, more than other guns, use a wide variety of ammo types, this is a particular problem for them. Whatever. I see that as an engineering problem waiting to be solved, because I'm not an engineer and I can say whatever I want.

Generally, I agree with the internet. This gun is an interesting idea and I can't wait to see how reliable it is in real life.

I have to note that I let this question from Cassie slip by for like three weeks before I answered it. And this was after I solicited questions and implicitly blamed all of our problems on the lack of questions. So your possible suspicions were right. I'm the asshole here. But I promise your questions will be answered, even if it takes a while.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

vacation pictures 2: the vacationing

I just got back from my two weeks a year. I thought everyone knew about the "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" that reservists do, but apparently not. Everyone was surprised when I left for two weeks. I learned a lot in that short span of time. I got my 7 Ton licence, combat lifesaver licence, green belt in MCMAP, finished some online classes I need for promotion, and discovered the true meaning of honor and courage and stuff.

Anyway, here's the pictures from my vacation:

I couldn't get any pictures of us doing the MCMAP because it was too intense, but here's the mat we didn't do it on.

I took this picture because I knew you wouldn't believe me about how intense it was.

This was the vein sticking portion of the combat lifesaver class. Everybody sticks a vein, and everybody gets stuck, because that's how it works.

We noticed the dummy wasn't wearing his uniform properly, so we had to correct him.

Some humvee drivers in training. This was a "before" picture.

I took this picture because this guy's not posing for the camera. He was taking online tests without even looking at the screen, and passing them, because he's a ninja.

We had the privilege of viewing a promotion. As we were forming up for it, I saw this on the drill deck. I don't know what it means, but it looks kinda shady.

Me. I know that's what most of you were waiting for. I look bored, but the people who were there know what was really going on.

I didn't take this picture, so I couldn't tell you what's going on here.

Martin and I noticed a bug not wearing its uniform properly, so we had to correct it.

And then this happened.

So that was our Annual Training. My unit's a little readier, America's a little safer, and 18 more Marines now know I'm not circumcised.