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It’s… sorta like a gun. Apparently some supertankers off the east coast of Africa are using Britney Spears to deter potential hijackers. The music is directed at them through LRAD speakers so the pirates receive the maximum effect without disturbing the crew. Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said, “Pirates will go to any lengths to avoid or try to overcome the music.” He added, “I’d imagine using Justin Bieber would be against the Geneva Convention.” Roger that. [h/t Steve S.]

Sharing your love of guns with newbies can be a lot of fun, but please remember to keep an eye on them. A Colombian woman visiting family in northeast Missouri died Sunday morning when she accidentally shot herself in the head. The 25-year-old was at a gun range shooting a .500 Smith & Wesson, and the recoil caused her to lose control of the weapon. It spun around in her hand and in the process a second shot was fired, striking and killing her. The article doesn’t say if she was alone at the range, but my money’s on “No,” and someone failed to properly supervise her. [h/t CH]

An east San Antonio gun range is showing once again that education can be the cure for anti-gun behavior borne of ignorance. The Nardis Gun Club, facing local opposition to a zoning change to allow the manufacture of ammunition to be sold on site has offered tours of their facility to anyone who had concerns about the zoning change, with the result that “We are not aware of any of those that have taken the tours that have expressed any further opposition to the project. In fact, a representative from the Eastern Triangle group, which had initially led opposition to the application, actually spoke for approval of the permit at the Zoning Hearing and has since affirmed that support.” Engage and educate, and maybe change some minds.

An article was brought to our attention with the headline Obama Administration: We Still Might Prosecute George Zimmerman, and while the headline and article strongly imply that it’s only a matter of time before charges are brought, that’s not what I’m hearing. If you click the link above and watch Holder’s remarks starting at 0:41, you’ll hear this: (emphasis is mine)

With the case of George Zimmerman and what happens there, I think in substantial part was resolved in the case that was tried. We tried to construct the case in such a way that we’ll be able to share as much information — not just make an announcement — but to share as much information as we can with regard to that determination.

I’ve thought all along that they were slow-rolling this to let the noise die down before they dropped it and that sure sounds to me like they’re gearing up to say “We’re not going to charge him, and here’s why,” laying it out, in detail, to prevent a possible huge outcry. What say you? Agree? Disagree? Tired of talking about it? (Yes, me too.)

Joerg Sprave builds a massive rotary slingshot. Five shots, 30″ bolts, ~6 minutes to load, ~2 seconds to unload. Slow-mo is pretty cool. Not Richard Ryan cool, but still good.


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    • I’m a fan of Joerg’s brand of madness. I’m planning on using my own experience to put together a railgun or two, as time and money coincide providentially. There’s some machine work I might need to outsource, but I’m a connection away from that connection as far as I can tell. So, if you maybe know other people who would throw money at similar pursuits, I might be able to find an outlet for them…

  1. I feel sorry for the many people in the .500 accident. The woman and her family, sad. Also for the poor guy at the range that had to clean up the mess. Zimmerman who? The case is over, lets not dwell. As always Joerg is the man.

    • That’s a real sad situation right there. This is a reminder to all of us big bore handgun shooters – having a newbie shoot a hand cannon isn’t fun for anyone unless they are really ready for it.

      • Absolutely.

        If they are new to it, the first shot will be just as exciting with a .22.

        Move on from there, of course, but never give someone something they can’t handle. Especially small statured folk who could be seriously injured by the recoil of a large caliber weapon. Fer fuck’s sake.

      • When I teach new shooters on anything bigger than a 22, I only load one round in the mag for their first time. I do it as a rule. Every time

        • Might I suggest doing so with the 22 also?

          I’ve been muzzle swept by brand new shooters who get excited that their first shot was on target. It feels marginally better knowing there isn’t a round in the chamber….marginally.

  2. I too am sorry about the family at the range. Yes, supervision would help, not letting a newbie shoot a .500 Smith & Wesson would too. Or, maybe loading just one round? I do not understand why people get the jollies watching unprepared newbies shoot really big boom sticks. This was preventable in so many ways.

    • I agree, just look at all the stupid videos on YouTube with people hitting themselves in the head with desert eagles, or getting knocked on their butt by a 10 gauge shotgun.

      • Buddy of mine almost hit himself in the head with my G-29 with the cheap loads. He assured me he was more than experienced with .44 magnum, but I made the mistake of not asking, “out of what?” After a day of 9mm +P out of a Sig 229, I guess he wasn’t expecting a difference?

        My Mk. II is my newbie gun, until I get a tame revolver. .22, heel mag release, obvious manual safety. Plus, the bolt/striker assembly is incredibly robust for dry fire, which I’ve always seen as important for first timers. Granted, I don’t meet a lot of new people, and it’s almost never that I run into one who’s never shot anything before, but if/when I do, that’s what I bring to the range. Or secluded spot in the woods with a good backdrop. The latter is more easily found around here.

        I’ll confess, I like my 28″ Savage single barrel 12 gauge as an intro to long guns bigger than a .22. It has no butt pad and no forgiveness. That’s not to say I would just hand it to someone with no firearms experience along with a box full of magnum loads; standard birdshot is fine. I just think it represents an experience one is likely to have if they haven’t prepared themselves. Plus, it’s two very deliberate actions to actually fire a shot, and there’s no risk of a second accidental discharge.

        • +1 for the twelve gauge.

          That was my first experience with firearms. A case of target loads thru a light single shot in one night (and not being able to lift your arm for a week) is a lesson that can’t be expressed in words.

    • That’s why I only give my 460 XVR to a person after a lecture about proper grip and stance. Then they only get to shoot one shot at a time.

      • One round at a time for newbies, especially on big bore handguns. But even on .22s, because of the “turn around in excitement” syndrome.

        • Or, stand next to them and be ready to grab their shooting arm/wrist instead of trying to get their first shot on a cell phone video. I have grabbed a few wrists in my time to point the gun down range. I find if I show someone via dry fire first and explain that after the shot to keep pointing down range, I rarely if ever have any problems with people turning around on me.

    • “I do not understand why people get the jollies watching unprepared newbies shoot really big boom sticks.”

      On a guess, you’re not an a$$h*le.

    • Agreed. Having newbie’s fire a hand cannon for personal entertainment is irresponsible on all levels. Many years ago, someone thought it funny to have my wife fire a 44 mag the first time she fired a firearm. For many years after that, she was deathly afraid of guns. I convinced her to go to the range a few years ago, and started her out on my 10/22. She is a natural. She now has her CWP, and I himk she may be ready to compete. Her nickname at the range is “Annie Oakley. Teach them right, and you have a terrific range buddy: otherwise, you get someone who will be a gun control advocate.

  3. The Russians have announced they are developing an active protection system based on Mr.Trololo.

    It confuses laser guidance and every living thing on the battlefield.

  4. LRADs are spiffy. I wouldn’t mind seeing a man-portable version. Preferably one that could shake apart cars or bad guys, but that’s likely several years and miles of red tape away from reality.

  5. Brittany Spears at any volume is enough to get me to clear the area, though perhaps not if I have a dedicated reason to be there.

    Newbs shooting .500 mags is pure ignorance, there are many hand/wrist/head injuries that can result, not to mention it’s not a good early shooting experience. At that point I draw the line on this story. To have the big gun turn so far in your hand as to point it at your head would require you to pull through the double action with your thumbs to shoot yourself. Such is utter nonsense unless it was intentional and I await more information before determining that it was either a suicide or a murder, because an accident it was not.

    • I saw a newb shooting a model 19 .357 mag during the Dirty Harry craze. He wanted to be like a holly wood cop and rapid fired from a butt in the palm of his hand hold. 1st shot actually hit the target. 2nd shot went over the top. By the 3rd shot he had the front sight in his forehead. All sorts of fail and a painful lesson. He just kept squeezing the trigger.

      The fact that he had a 4 inch barrel probably kept him from having the muzzle lined up with the bridge of his nose.

      I’ve seen people injure them selves in various ways with firearms. Newbs seem to have a tendency to panic and just keep squeezing the bang switch. Actually saw a guy break a tooth with a 12 ga once. My uncle broke his nose with a 12 ga.

  6. Joerg needs to get into voice acting. He’s got the perfect voice and accent to do a counterpart to Gru in the Despicable Me franchise.

    • Giving a novice an M2 is like a teenage boy realising they have a penis and what they can do with it. It’ll be too damn dangerous.

  7. Zimmerman will be prosecuted, just to drum up and excite the voter base before the mid-term elections. Nothing is below this administration.

  8. First off, she shouldn’t have been been learning to shoot on a .500. Second off, wtaf is with all these people fumbling the gun do to recoil. Seriously, after shooting one my reaction was, “what recoil?”. I’m a small dude, like the size of your average not fat middleschooler small.

  9. I have a simple method I use any time someone’s never fired a particular gun before. This is what I do myself when checking out a new (to me) model of firearm, or am introducing someone who has never shot before to the fun.

    Load only one round. Then if – for whatever reason – the gun is mishandled, dropped, pointed in the wrong direction after that first shot is fired, there cannot be a second shot until the situation is back under control.

    Simple, easy, and believe it or not, explaining it like this usually gives the newbie more confidence too. (Gee, my buddy was worried about the recoil from this massive Ruger Mark III causing me grief, but no big deal. I must be a natural at this!)

    • That is also what I have done with an automatic. Several rounds fired one at a time until they know what the recoil is like and then shoot 2 for a few times. I never give newbe a full magazine just a maximun of five rounds once they are comfortable. If someone has never shot before I also tell them to grip it really tight the first time and then relax their grip to something more comfortable once they get a sense of the recoil. You can start them with virtually any standard caliber if you employ the one at a time method.

  10. Blasting Brittany is only a temporary solution. Theses are pirates, after all. What happens to next ship and crew that goes by?
    Again, solution: 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikons on all merchant ships. if you want to kinder and gentler; Ma Deuce!

  11. Using pop music to confuse and distress a threat from a vastly different culture? Someone’s been watching Robotech (or SDF Macross at least).

  12. I’d like to have an LRAD to blast Redneck Mother at the next thug that pulls up beside me at the gas pump playing gangsta rap so loud the bolts are backing themselves out of the hoopty car frame!

  13. Thanks, Matt, for introducing us to the lighter side of self-defense. I can use a laugh now and then as a break from fighting against all the threats to our RKBA.


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