What is a sniper rifle?

In the west, a “sniper rifle” is generally a precision rifle either selected for exception accuracy from service rifles, or specifically built to be used by a sniper. There is no requirement that a sniper rifle have any specific action or design, and so they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, calibers, and intended uses. Despite this, an accurized AR-15 in 300 AAC has just as much legitimacy to the title of “sniper rifle” as a Barrett 50 cal or Remington M24. One nation even issued suppressed Ruger 10/22s for close in sniper missions. In the East…a sniper rifle generally looked like a “stretched out AK” or standard issue rifle with a scope slapped on, although purpose built military sniper rifles have shifted out of that mold.

So if a “sniper rifle” can run the entire range of rifles, from close range rimfire to ultra long range custom wildcats…is there a legally useful definition? No, nor is there even a good porn definition (aka “I’ll know it when I see it”). For example, the Steyr SSG 69, a dedicated “sniper rifle” looks and functions so similar to a Ruger American Predator that it is hard to tell them apart at a quick glance from a distance, and you certainly couldn’t tell them apart by group size or performance on coyotes.

Possibly a better question is “what ISN’T a sniper rifle?” and we can start to define that other rifles are built to purposes. A hunting rifle is a built and marketed for the taking of game (big, small, dangerous, etc). A competition rifle (Fullbore, Palma, smallbore, biathlon, silhouette, etc) is built for a given sport, generally putting holes in paper targets or knocking over steel targets. These rifles are built around the set of compromises for the activities of hunting or competing, and this parallels what we think of “sniper rifles” as being built (or modified) for competition grade accuracy in a hunting grade rugged system.

This is the same problem that Democrats had in the early 1990s when designing the “Assault Weapons Ban” which eventually decided on a basked of “naughty features” to define an “assault rifle” as opposed to any other rifle. Simply removing enough naughty features to comply with the law allowed domestic production of AR-15s and AR-10s to continue, to the dismay of Democrats who called compliance with the law a “loophole.” Of course any legal activity that they intended to make illegal that stayed legal with minimal compliance is always going to be a “loophole.”

I bring this up because there is not one thing, or basket of things, that when all added together equal a “sniper rifle” versus a hunting rifle or competition rifle. And this brings us to the bigger point, any legal restriction on “sniper rifles” would inherently be a ban on “hunting rifles” and “competition rifles” due to the fact that “hunting, sniping, and competing” are verbs, while “rifles” are nouns. What you do with a rifle determines whether it is a “sniper/hunting/competition” rifle or not. The cowboy action crowd has turned old school lever action rifles into competition rifles, even though they look like hunting rifles…. Anyone who claims they can write a law so precisely that it manages to make “sniper rifles” illegal but not “hunting rifles” or “competition rifles” illegal is either stupid or lying.

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Tasting Notes: Evan Williams 100 Proof, Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon

In the realm of budget bourbon whiskeys the Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond shows up on more than a few lists. I found one in stock, and thought it would be fun to try. The particular history of “Bottled-In-Bond” goes back a long time, and honestly there’s no reason to keep up the tradition today other than it IS a tradition tied up in the whole saga of American Bourbon Whiskey.

That being said, on the the tasting.

Testing drink #1, On the rocks, whiskey still clear.

Front end: Oak, lots of woody notes like walking through my grandfather’s cabinet shop and tasting the air.

Bite: Strong bite, definitely feel it on the sides and tip of my tongue. There’s some “spice” there but not really a cinnamon, more like a mild chili.

Backside: caramel, maybe a hint of apricot and black licorice/anise. Still a lot of oak, if you like dry red wines with a lot of oak character this bourbon has a lot of that character.

Lingering taste: Reminds me of a freshly mowed lawn, not bad, but very herbal.

Testing drink #2, same drink but most of the ice melted. This waters down the whiskey a bit and wakes up some more of the flavor notes. The whiskey went from clear amber to cloudy quite quickly.

Front end: Wow, super sweet now. The oak tannin tastes calmed down and there is a bright “honey” note.

Bite: much calmer. Still some spice but it isn’t harsh.

Backside: The herbal notes are hitting harder, still getting a “fresh cut hay” taste.

Testing drink #3, same as drink 2 but with an added splash of amaretto (aka a “Godfather”) to see how it mixes.

Front end: Very sweet, the amaretto adds a lot of that, and the bourbon notes come through, still a strong oak note.

Bite: minimal, still feel a little heat on the sides of my tongue

Backside: the nutty notes from the amaretto and the fresh cut hay notes from the bourbon are playing well together.

Thoughts: This is a young, strong Kentucky bourbon. This isn’t what I’d reach for as a nightcap on its own, but it’s got a lot of character for holding up well in mixed drinks. At 100 proof it brings a lot more heat and bite than the 80 proof whiskey’s in the same price range, and 100 proof mixes well. I didn’t expect much for a bottle that cost me less than fifteen dollars, however it isn’t bad. It isn’t a whiskey that I would use to introduce a neophyte to the world of whiskey. But for what it is, it is a great “second bottle” option for your liquor cabinet. If you want a bourbon whiskey to drink neat or on the rocks and that’s it I’d pass on this one in favor of one of the more well rounded 80 proof offerings in the same price category. If you want to drop of a shot of whiskey into your beer to make a “boilermaker” then this would be a good choice for that.

Verdict. If you want a mixer or ingredient bourbon, this packs a lot of flavor that stands up to being watered down or mixed with weaker spirits. If your wife makes bourbon ball cookies for Christmas, this is a great option for baking. and I’ll definitely use this in my grilling marinades. If you only have room for one bottle of bourbon in your liquor cabinet, this isn’t one I’d recommend, but if you want to have one “good drinking bourbon” and one “good mixing bourbon” this makes a great second bottle.

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Woke Social Justice is Weird.

Social Justice and “wokeness” are weird. As a data driven individual I can show you very good data that outlines how groups differ by ancestral origin and sex chromosomes. As someone nominally trained in the sciences I can even explain some from an evolutionary perspective. What I cannot do is apply both “wokeness” and “social justice” to anything close to a solution to the problems that “woke people” see.

For example, the US Women’s Soccer Team doesn’t make as much money as the US Men’s Soccer team….this is a problem for the woke crowd.

But lets break it down further: Megan Rapinoe doesn’t make the same amount of money as a women soccer player (or footballer for the rest of the world), but since gender is a social construct there’s nothing stopping her from identifying as a man and trying out for the men’s team….

I mean, if someone containing XY chromosomes can identify as a female, and join the female team or compete in the female sports, there’s nothing stopping an XX chromosome person from identifying as male and competing in the male sports. And seriously, the transitioned male to female athletes are crushing it.

This is the logical end of all social justice, where integrated sports have both male and female genders, but really only XY chromosome athletes. Of course the answer is that a male transitioning to female is “giving up privilege” but somehow a female transitioning to male doesn’t automatically pick up privilege, because reasons or something. Elliot Page, formerly Ellen Page, is a highly talented actor and producer, but life didn’t immediately get easier being “Elliot” rather than “Ellen.”

Moving on to racial injustice….

Ta-Nehisi Coates, ever the darling of the woke black left, has even defended the “race is a social construct” dogma of the woke social justice movement. When you break that down logically, Mr. Coates is only black because he agrees with others that he’s black. Since gender is a social construct, I agree to see Mr. Coates as whatever he wants to be. https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/what-we-mean-when-we-say-race-is-a-social-construct/275872/

Except Rachel Dozel was rejected from “blackness” by the black community because it was inconvenient to acknowledge the advantages given to “black academics” was a viable motivator for Ms. Dozel to crinkle hair and darken her skin. Of course the cries of “cultural appropriation” make sense, as identifying as African American is something “just not done” in polite social circles..

Now, you cannot be “woke” without acknowledging all of the “inequalities of outcomes” between groups. This means that you have to reinforce the “social constructs” of race and gender to measure these groups, rather than work to create a raceless, genderless social construct. The problem with a “raceless, genderless social construct” would be that no one would have the data to demonstrate differences between groups. So the “woke” crowd has no actual interest in creating a “racelss, genderless social construct” because that would allow a world where potential injustice could go unnoticed, even though it’s the only world where true equality and equity could be realized.

In short, social justice and “wokeness” are bullshit. I’ve become convinced that the only purpose of social justice and “wokeness” is to make white people wrong no matter what they do.

Lately the indigenous peoples movement to claim all the land in North America has been gaining more traction with the woke crowd. However you don’t see actual leftist leaders turning over their homes and property to Native Tribes. Official documents tell people to use the word “colonizer” in order to make the white people uncomfortable. And you know what? I’m actually uncomfortable being called a colonizer, since you are using the English language you should be calling me a “conqueror” instead. After all, lets get really specific, and since we all carry the sins of our ancestors, being a conqueror is something I should embrace. Too bad that English common law legal system we happen to use frowns upon raping and pillaging.

But then again, even leftists are against using the rules of logic, as “those are the master’s tools” and it is rightfully acknowledged that social justice will require tools other than logic, hard work, and a free market to succeed in their goals: https://www.activistgraduateschool.org/on-the-masters-tools

But this is ok, Robin Diangelo fully abandoned the first tenet of rigorous thought in her seminal work “White Fragility” by stating her position as fact and using any evidence or protest against her stance as proof for it, just like any good conspiracy theory.

In the end, you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into. And this is why we cannot have a conversation about wokeness or social justice. Because to the left, if I don’t buy into their whole dogma and accept them as correct, it’s not a conversation, it’s “denial” or “white fragility” or “defensiveness.”

How rich our society must be to support the large number of fools who make this their life’s work.

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Exterior Ballistics versus Terminal Ballistics

Or alternately titled: “Why the 308 Winchester will continue to be a market success despite relatively lackluster exterior ballistics” There are three areas of ballistic studies, internal (what the bullet does from cartridge to muzzle), exterior (what the bullet dose from muzzle to impact), and terminal (what the bullet does after impact before losing all energy and momentum).

The 30-30 Winchester is over a century old at this point and is still going strong. This is unlikely to change in the near to far future simply because the many benefits of a low recoiling, handy rifle that shoots a 150 or 170 grain flat nose hunting bullet that takes deer reliably is also not going to change any time soon. A Winchester 150gr bullet at 2400 fps from the muzzle has a +/- five inch point blank zero out to 224 yards under standard atmospheric conditions at sea level.

The 308 Winchester on the other hand, can kick plenty hard in a lightweight hunting rifle, and offers only a small range advantage over the 30-30 Winchester in terms of maximum point blank range, launching a 150gr Winchester Silvertip bullet at 2,700 fps gives the same +/- 5 inch point blank zero range only out to 285 yards. Unless you hunt a lot between 225 and 300 yards for deer, you gain very little in terms of exterior ballistics going from the mild 30-30 to the more powerful 308.

Now….enter the 6.5 Creedmoor. Launching a Winchester 140gr Super-X Power Point at 2,700 fps, it has a max point blank range (+/- 5 inches) of 272 yards. What? Not even as good as the 308 Win pushing the 150gr silvertip? How can this be?

The answer is simple, long skinny competition bullets do really well at getting a high ballistic coefficient in 6.5mm, but hunting bullets are generally going to be designed to optimize terminal ballistics rather than exterior ballistics. To open up reliably and expand deeply, a lot of hunting bullets will have a fatter nose than competition bullets. Some premium bullet companies have been working hard to get the exterior ballistics advantages of competition bullets built into their hunting line, but it’s unlikely you’ll find Berger ammunition loaded at a gas station on your way to deer camp (although given the 2020-2021 ammunition shortage, finding ANY ammunition is unlikely).

So this is one reason why the 308 Win is still relevant. Having a larger bullet body helps quite a bit in the optimization between exterior ballistics and terminal ballistics.

Truth in lending, I own 308 Wins and 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 Swedes. I am a fan of all three. However the 6.5 Creedmoor doesn’t really hold an advantage over the 308 Winchester until ranges well beyond several football fields come into play, and only if you have an appropriate bullet to take advantage of the high BCs possible AND provide the terminal effect you want on game. The 6.5 CM was designed first as a competitive cartridge, and it absolutely excels in that role. But if you are hunting at 200 yards and under for deer, it’s no better than a 30-30 from a terminal ballistics perspective.

Now, this is not to say that the 6.5 CM is a bad choice. Far from it, the 6.5 CM is a ballistic twin to the stately 6.5 Swede, and that elder statesman of the 6.5 bore has proven itself time and time again in the hunting fields across the planet. It largely built that reputation on the back of the 160 grain round nosed hunting bullet, which is still an excellent choice for deep penetration combined with good expansion necessary for excellent terminal performance. Thankfully the 140gr class of “cup and core” soft nose spitzer style bullets is every bit as good on deer size game at normal hunting ranges.

I’m reminded of a time when Roy Weatherby made cartridges so fast that the industry had to start making tougher bullets to realize the full potential of the “velocity craze.” Now the bullet makers are trying to marry the best of exterior ballistic shapes with the best of terminal performance, but that’s difficult to do when you are trying to have consistent performance across a very broad range of impact velocities/energies.

To sum up, the first rule of lethality is that all bullets are lethal. The speed of lethality depends most on placement, second on penetration, and last on permanent tissue disruption. Whether your hunting rifle is a 30-30 or 6.5 CM, it’s up to you to do your part.

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Experiences with the T-11 parachute

I first exited a military aircraft in 1998, and this last weekend exited my first C-130 in a new decade…And today I consoled a British General who is dealing with a hip contusion problem from being slammed into the drop zone due to winds picking up and bad terrain to jump on. Ironically, when I first jumped Holland Drop Zone at Fort Bragg I bruised my hip as well, and felt it for the next eight months. This of course got me thinking about how we got to where we are, dropping old fools out of perfectly good aircraft.

The T-10 parachute is a classic “snow cone” design that was based on the older parachutes used in World War Two. So from 1952 to 2009 that’s a pretty good run. The T-11 replaced the T-10 series parachutes for regular Army Airborne operations. Adopting anything new in the Army is going to have teething pains, and the T-11 seemed to have its fair share. Currently a modification work order (MWO) to improve the safety of the corner vents to avoid a “corner vent inversion” which recently killed a Marine attending basic Airborne school at Fort Benning (at least that is what I heard was the proximate cause).

However, the T-11 is statistically safer than the T-10D based on data collected over a 3.5 year period where the two systems were used concurrently. When you compare the most mature parachute in the T-10 line with the initial generation of the T-11 line, you get a pretty good look at improving on the old baseline before you ever submit a modification work order for the newer system.

Report from 3.5 years of observation: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269186127_Injury_Incidence_with_T-10_and_T-11_Parachutes_in_Military_Airborne_Operations

What is interesting to me is the data (page number 1164-5 of the .pdf above) for rotary wing jumps shows a massively safer set of outcomes than C-130 or C-17. This makes intuitive sense in that you have a lot fewer jumpers on a CH-47 or UH-60, and therefore fewer people around you in the bird and in the air. It’s a very different experience doing a daytime Hollywood jump from a 47 versus a combat equipment, mass tactical exit from a C-17 dropping troops as fast as they can from each door. But, in the “train as you fight” mentality of the US Army, these high risk mass tactical jumps from cargo aircraft are preferred as they are the only platforms that can deliver enough paratroopers to make the 82d a viable expeditionary force.

There is always the problem of spacing, you run out of drop zone pretty quick if everyone in the stack takes their time to avoid the parachute pack tray of the jumper in front of them. The second is that after the third jumper or so, any stagger you had on the left and right door is out the window and you see simultaneous exits where both jumpers get caught in the aircraft drag and end up really close to each other or entangled.

What is surprising is that the injury rate for 0 to 1 knots of wind is higher than 2 to 4 knots, and 5 to 7 knots is the safest wind speed. This is counter intuitive until you realize that if you can really see your direction of drift, you won’t pick the wrong direction for your parachute landing fall (PLF). With no wind, it’s easy to screw up the PLF. With 2 to 4 knots, parachute oscillation may be a factor, but with 5 knots, the final slip against the wind still has you in a definite PLF direction.

Tailgate exits were the safest, although the table doesn’t break down by tailgate between CH-47 and C-130. The C-17 isn’t a safe platform for a tailgate jumps, so door exits only from that platform. I think that having better control over the flow of jumpers off the tailgate makes intuitive sense as to why they would be safer overall than alternating side doors.

In the end, as a paratrooper you can only do the actions you control. Proper static line control, proper spacing from the jumper ahead of you, proper points of performance in the air and on landing. There are no guarantees that even if you do everything right you’ll walk away, but that’s just life. There are no guarantees, and the sky is a fickly mistress. Sometimes you float down like dandelion fluff, other times a gust of wind slams you into the Holland DZ so hard you lose the Citizen Promaster watch as it was ripped right off your wrist….

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Pressure does not equal Oppression

Recently the irony of two former British royalty talking to multi-millionaire Oprah things like “systemic oppression” has been rightly mocked by many others. But in the sense that there seems to be confusion between “social pressure” and actual “oppression” I think it is time we talk about it. And by talk I mean type these words into my blog…

“Social Pressure” is the expectations of your situation in life. One Nigerian American listed the acceptable occupations for a Nigerian American in this order, “Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer, Failure.” That is a great example of “social pressure to perform to a certain level” and there are social consequences that come from failing to meet the expectations that others have for you.

There are of course negative social pressures. If you grew up as the only gay person in a small town with more churches than taverns, you could experience a much easier lifestyle by pretending to conform and stay in the closet. There is nothing illegal about being gay, but people will treat you differently if you come out of the closet in that situation. This is “social pressure to conform” and being a non-conformist will quickly take you out of the mainstream of any community.

According to Merriam-Webster oppression is “unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power.” The key here is “unjust or cruel” combined with “authority/power.” If the person at the DMV messes up your paperwork because they don’t like that you are (insert some characteristic here) that is clearly an unjust use of power. If that same person doesn’t sit next to you at the church potluck because they just don’t like you, that’s not oppression.

So we shouldn’t confuse “social pressure to perform or conform” as “oppression.” Everyone experiences social pressure, and either accept it as normal or reject it and suffer the consequences. But that is not the same as oppression, which doesn’t give you the option to comply or not, it is an exercise of power that doesn’t reflect your choices or actions at all.

And that is why three incredibly wealthy individuals sitting in a place of privilege sound incredibly tone deaf when talking about “oppression.” I am absolutely certain that Megan and Harry both felt incredible amounts of social pressure to conform and perform. I am also absolutely certain that it was not oppression in any meaningful sense.

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Simple network attached storage to replace the now mostly useless USB 3.0 port on your router

Now that Windows 10 won’t reliably connect via a Server Message Block generation 1 connection to a drive on your network, a lot of home WiFi routers are essentially useless as cheap network storage solutions. Companies like Linksys are aware of the issue, and have been for years, but have no real impetus to support older products with anything beyond security updates until they are totally end of life abandoned. After all, why fix an old product when they are in the business of selling you a new product?

So what to do? Since other than not being SMB2 or SMB3 compatible, my Linksys 6900 router is perfectly adequate for providing my children highly filtered internet access for online schooling, adding a Network Attached Storage (NAS) server seemed like the thing to do.

To build a basic NAS I picked up a Rock64 single board computer off of amazon and loaded the Open Media Vault software and used it to share a USB 3.0 external 3 terabyte drive as the storage solution (the same Seagate external hard drive that had been plugged into the router). The Rock64 is about the absolute cheapest single board computer that comes with a USB 3.0 port for high speed sharing and a dedicated gigabit ethernet port. The Raspberry Pi 4 1gb model is only slightly more expensive, but as long as your single board computer has a USB 3.0 port you’ll get max speed over your network. If you don’t care about max transfer rates, then some of the older USB 2.0 only boards will do you just fine.

What I learned? If you set up storage access by credentials (username/password) and then you need some sort of PKI token to access something else (an external service like your work email for example), then that breaks the trust relationship because windows seems to have a difficult time presenting two different credentials to two different services even if one is on an external network and one is internal. That’s not a dig on OMV, just a pain of dealing with Windows.

So workarounds, you can use the share drive as “open” to anyone on your network, relying on the WiFi network logon to be the security for access. Or you can set up OMV to share via the Network File Share (NFS) protocol, which requires you to go into your windows boxes and tweak services to get access to storage shared via Unix protocols, but is likely the more stable solution rather than SMB/CIFS.

Also, if you already have files on the external drive, you won’t have immediate access to them via the network. I used OMV to create the share folder, then shut down the Rock64, plugged the external drive into my laptop and used Windows to drag and drop all the folders I actually wanted shared into the OMV share folder. Plug the drive back into the Rock64, turn it on, and all my files were available on the network easy peezy.

Truth in lending, I use another Rock64 as a PiHole (with a lot of additional lists for adult content) to make the internet safer for my kids. I learned that without a stick on passive heatsink the ARM processor sat around 47 degrees Celcius which is in the “red zone” for the Linux distro (it still worked, but displayed the temp as a warning). A simple stick on passive heatsink dropped the working temperature down to the low 40s, which is well inside the green zone for a passively cooled CPU. So I used the same stick on heatsink for this OMV NAS build, and have no issues with CPU temperature.

Here are three single board computers that all run Armbian, have a USB 3.0 port, and therefore can load up Open Media Vault to full network speed (if the storage plugged into the USB 3 port is an SSD, if it’s a spinning rust drive then you could probably get away with a USB 2 port and have no problems):

Rock64 SBC’s I purchased off of Amazon (may not be in stock at any given time):

Raspberry Pi 4 1gb

Libre “Renegade” 1gb

Instructions on how to install OMV on top of Armbian (not desktop version) and run it headless:

If you don’t buy a kit, you’ll need a power supply, probably a case, and likely you’ll want some cheap heat sinks as well, but it makes for a fun project. Also, if you have an old desktop computer laying about you can easily turn that into a cheap NAS solution by loading up OMV for the x86-64 processor, which is a handy thing to do if you have more than one drive you want to put on the network. Or maybe you want to dedicate a drive per person on your network, no clue what you want to do but whether it is a single board computer sharing one drive with no parity, or an old tower using the RAID feature for data protection, I think OMV is a pretty nifty solution for home use.

If all you are doing is spinning rust hard drives via USB, then you could get by with a USB 2 only board like a Pi 3 or Le Potato just fine. You’ll still get local network transfers faster than streaming off of Netflix or Hulu once the drive is spun up, but I think that eventually SSD costs are going to get so cheap that 2 terabyte SATA SSDs are going to make a dandy silent NAS solution for the home or small office.

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Surplus smokeless powders

The great ammunition and reloading component shortage of 2020/2021 continues. As such we are seeing people reach deep into their stockpiles and pull out ammo and components from years past to keep their shooting habit alive.

Ironically one thing I’ve done, that I never thought I would do, is to pull the bullets from loaded ammo to re-purpose the IMR4064 powder inside. A buddy of mine loves his 6.5 Creedmoor, but finding ammo can be 4 dollars a cartridge. I was sitting on a bag of 100 Starline brand brass, and I managed a decent purchase of PPU bullets, so I loaded him up all 100. Southern deer aren’t bullet proof and I’m quite confident in a starting load to put venison on the table.

The weirdest load I’ve done is for a 25-06. I’ve always felt that the 25-06 was a bit of a weird choice for most hunters, but I do know many hunters who love their 25-06s. But…given the ammo shortage I think I ended up with the absolute weirdest looking hunting load I’ve ever assembled.

The bullet, a round nosed soft point flat base Hornady interlock, weighing in at 117 grains. The primer, some (no longer imported) Tula large rifle magnum. The case, Hornady 25-06, and the powder, surplus WC872. This is a super slow powder meant for 30mm cannon ammunition. Since ball powders generally don’t do great with compression, the final load came out to around 60 grains, and the final velocity around 2,650 fps (give or take). But that short, stubby bullet in that big long case just looks “wrong.” But it replicates the 117gr ballistics that a full power 257 Roberts would give, so for hunting it is fine, even if it looks like a series of mistakes (or more accurately a series of putting together all that we could to keep him in the field this fall).

While I’ve still got the better part of an 8lb keg of WC872, the 1k in 156gr bullets for my 6.5 Swede should eat through that in just a few vintage sniper matches. This was the original purpose for me in buying such a large quantity of such a niche powder (and selling off the rest of it to get it essentially for just a little additional effort).

What is crazy, is that the vendor where I bought that powder from years ago, is now experiencing “unprecedented demand” and my current order is now backlogged up to three months. Not because he doesn’t have the product, just because he’s largely a one man show and is working through everyone else’s orders as well.

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Black History Month

I believe that Black History is American History. But I also believe that success comes from a culture of accountability to yourself and your family, not a culture of victimhood. In that, I’ve selected some inspirational individuals who have publicly taken one of the bravest things an individual can possibly do, which is to not toe the leftist party line.

Black history didn’t start in 1619, and it didn’t end with the Civil Rights movement. And I am thankful that more Black Americans are finding their voice independent of the left, as freedom of thought and freedom of speech are absolutely required for all of us as citizens in this experiment with democracy.

Thomas Sowell, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5daNMXer2UQ

Candace Owens, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7ewJtUOVjA

Walter E. Williams, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Umng2V1jTTs

Kathy Barnette, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XAH1bZZ6s4

Colion Noir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3akMakBe72M

Antonia Okafor, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17JMEPQjlnk

Coleman Hughes, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBWJC7LWq7I

Denzel Washington, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0dCvQdt5XI

Kamaru Usman, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKxndp2Nexo

David Webb, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oi0jN-y6vfY

Larry Elder, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqJnzBHURvs

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Baen’s Bar, and the guy I’d never heard of until he published his opinion on the matter

John Sanford is as white as they come, cis-hetronormative and struggling desperately to appeal to the woke left to hide his internalized white supremacy.

Pretty catchy first sentence, if I do say so myself. Of course it all may, or may not be true. But since I will face literally zero consequences for writing that sentence I figured it was as good a sentence as any to illustrate exactly how much John Sanford’s opinion that “Baen Books Forum Being Used to Advocate for Political Violence” is largely free of consequences for him.

So, in order to avoid being deplatformed, Toni Weisskopf suspended the bar. This is, of course one of the desired outcomes of John Sanford and the “Science Fiction Writers Association” as Baen has refused to bow to the leftist ideological struggle sessions required by “woke culture.” The real goal, was deplatforming Baen entirely, as the hit piece published by Sanford was immediately used as “evidence” in requests to the internet service providers that host Baen to cut ties with the organization.

But deplatforming works. Milo Yiannopoulos was the “canary in the coal mine” test case, and it worked. And because it continues to work deplatforming will continue to be used by those who would rather silence anyone with a differing opinion.

Of course if you immediately reach for forcibly silencing your political opponents, you are the asshole. And so that is what John Sanford is, a writer so successful that his immediate life goal is to attract a grand total of 500 Patreon supporters, because evidently he can’t actually make a living as a writer by writing fiction and gossip.

Now, in John’s defense Baen’s Bar is home to people like Tom Kratman and John Ringo. You know, paratroopers who ran out of fucks to give many, many jumps ago. And as individuals with zero fucks left to give, they have no problem talking about violence, and if you read any of their fiction you’ll see that they include quite a bit of it. Of course this leaves a lot of words that a spineless milktoast like Sanford to take out of context of the conversation and claim, “see! inciting violence!”

When conservatives, even way out their conservatives, commit acts of violence they are generally effective. For example Kyle Rittenhouse did nothing but retreat nearly six football fields and protect himself from the three individuals bent on attacking him with lethal force. He could have shot into the mob, but he didn’t. Of course Tim McVeigh did the whole white nationalist terrorist act with indiscriminate results. And that is what people like Sanford fear, another effective attack by someone competent to follow through, however his fears are no reason to limit the free speech of others.

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