Friday, December 25, 2009

Who Was That Masked Man?

Well maybe he was not wearing a mask but for all I can glean from the news reports he may as well have been wearing a mask. I am referring to the young man whom a passenger of Northwest Flight 253 was speaking about in the following quote in White House: Failed Airline Bombing Was Attempted Act of Terrorism at FoxNews.

"Jafri said he was seated three rows behind the passenger and said he saw a glow, and noticed a smoke smell. Then, he said, "a young man behind me jumped on him.""

That man appears to be a hero. From all that has been reported so far he is the first to have taken action when suspected terrorist Abdul Mudallah allegedly attempted to set of a bomb or incendiary device aboard the flight as it was about to land in Detroit. My guess is that others on the aircraft joined the young hero in his successful attempt to stop Mudallah from causing a major catastrophe; there were a reported 278 passengers on that plane. It has been reported that Mudalla claimed to have been associated with Al Qaeda and at least one report I read said he claimed he was acting under orders from Al Qaeda, see the article:
Al-Qaida link in failed plane attack.

Is this the wake up call we need or was this guy just a psycho. Even if he is a real terrorist, and if he was actually acting under orders of Al Qaeda, I doubt that the American people will fully realize the import of this event, that being: They still hate us and are trying to destroy us one bit at a time. The they are radical Islamists, and they are getting help from those in Islam, and those in Washington (as in DC) who remain silent while it happens. Of course there will be an outcry if these stories and allegations are verified and security at the airports will increase. You can bet though more such attacks or at least attempts will continue. Maybe not on a plane, maybe next time in a crowded railway station, or in a crowded restaurant, or in a school during classes, wherever it is you can bet there will be lots of people around. The terrorists love effect and they love to better the odds of them winning. The more people injured or killed, by a single suicide bomber, the greater the effect and the more the odds get moved toward being in their favor.

Be careful. Stay on the lookout for anything suspicious. Report suspicious activity to the police. Stay safe, but if necessary, do what the young man on the plane did and be prepared to risk it all to save some lives, one of which may be your own. Don't have the attitude that you cannot make a difference. I don't know if the lady who was reported, in the article
Explosive device set off aboard airliner as saying the following had a defeatist attitude or if maybe she did something to help, but if you think like this before getting involved chances are you have already lost much of the fight: "It was terrifying, I think we all thought we weren't going to land, we weren't going to make it." No, not everyone thought they would not make it; some people had the foresight to realize they could make a difference and had the courage to do something about it and prevent a tragedy from unfolding. My hat goes off to that masked young man and the others who assisted him in subduing the suspect and putting out the flames. I am sure he was probably scared, the others who assisted him likewise. The thing is though they decided to do something instead of just give into the fear that they were going to die. They may have been scared, so scared they took action, but action is exactly that which was necessary and was certainly better than be scared into giving up.

All the best,
Glenn B
MERRY CHRISTMAS

Ballseye's Gun Shots 45 - Remington 870 Revisted - The New and The Old

Ah, the Remington 870 pump action shot gun. I have owned one for about 23 to 25 years or so now and whenever I take it in hand it brings back memories. memories of my first big buck (heck my only big buck), and of hunting rabbits and squirrels, and of teaching my son how to shoot a real man's gun (yes ladies, i said a real man's gun - get over it), and of countless hours of tactical training and practice with it but mostly it brings back memories of sore shoulder over and over again! Despite the kick, despite the aches and the bruises, I keep on shooting it because I know that the Remington 870 is about the best all around shotgun I have ever owned.

Besides owning one, I have also been issued one at work for many years now. In fact, I have been issued three of them at work if I have the count correct. The first was an old fashioned Remington 870 with wood stock and fore grip. Then a few to several years ago now, when that first one I had been issued was retired for a newer model of 870, I was issued one with black synthetic stocks. Not all that long ago, I was issued another with black synthetic stocks because the issue on in the middle was having problems. Yes, even a gun I love can have its share of problems, but to tell the truth that was the first 870 that I fired that ever had any recurring issues. It would not feed properly no matter how hard you operated the pump. It would feed but with difficulty that could sometimes require two to three pump actions on the part of your pumping arm. That would not be good so to the armory it went for repair. They sent me a new one.

I have got to say there are some things about these newer models that I like over the older ones we had. They come with a ghost ring sight on the receiver. Heck, the rear sight being on the receiver, instead of on the barrel is a plus as I see it. My old issued gun, and the one I own, also an old timer, have the rear sight on the rear end of the barrel. The new ones also have a much broader front post sight. The Ghost Ring system makes for rapid target acquisition in daylight. The sights also have a glow in the dark dot on the front post, and the rear sight has two such dots for a three point night sighting system.

One thing I do not like on the new ones is that there is no tension cap to retain the magazine spring once you take the cap off of the end of the magazine tube. In other words, the spring can and will fly out of the tube if you are not careful. Of course the retention cap was not a sure thing, they could come loose but rarely did. The big pain here is that when you reassemble to gun, getting and keeping the spring inside the mag tube is difficult, to say the least, until you have the end cap on. You cannot add a retention cap because the magazine is now shaped slightly differently.

Just about everything else, of practical matter, on them is the same. So, I like em both, but sure do miss the magazine spring retention cap. I just shot about 2 weeks ago for qualifications. I usually do very well with the shotgun, getting a fist to hand sized group at 25 yards when shooting rapidly from an unsupported standing position. This time though I was surprised to see that my group was opened up to about 10 to 12 inches, maybe even a bit more. I had pretty much shot a circular pattern around the target center. I figured it was due to my shoulders and neck aching a lot. Tonight I found out differently. Tonight I was getting the shotgun ready for my upcoming work trip to Phoenix. As I picked it up I noticed the rear sight looked to be sitting far back on the receiver at a weird angle. I picked up the gun and the rear sight swiveled around loosely. It had looked funny because it was turned around backwards when I saw it. It was about as loose as it could be without falling off. When I picked up the shotgun again to examine it closer, without even touching the sight, the sight fell off. I got it back in place after some several tries, but I will have to have an armorer at work give it the once over and nod of approval before I carry it in the field.

I obviously had not noticed this before but you can bet that is why I had such a lousy group when I qualified recently. I will take it on the trip and have an armorer check it out. I imagine it is okay now, but I don't want to bet my life on it not being an armorer. I will say this, that never happened with the older models I was issued nor with the one I own. Oh well, lucky for me it happened at the range and I found it at home - instead of when needing it when my life depended on it. Still though, I do not like problems like that at all; it does not give me much confidence in the gun. I can only hope the screw was simply not tightened properly at the factory and now that it is tight this will not recur.

The one in the picture is the latest one I was issued at work.

All the best,
Glenn B