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A Victory! All About Guns The Green Machine This great Nation & Its People

38 years ago we conquered The Island of Grenada – Which helped in The Final Defeat of the Soviet Union as 6 years later the Berlin Wall fell

I snagged this off American Rifleman.

The invasion of Grenada had just begun, and the U.S. assault troops were in trouble. American transport aircraft dropped a company of U.S. 75th Rangers onto the runway at Port Salines Airport, and the American troops were quickly engaged by 23 mm anti-aircraft guns. With the men scattered along the length of the runway and struggling to shed their parachutes, two Soviet-made BTR-60 armored personnel carriers appeared at the end of the runway and began to close on the Americans. The BTRs’ heavy machine guns began to chatter, and soon, 14.5 mm rounds were splattering off the tarmac among the American troops.

Urgent Fury was a multi-national operation. Men of the Eastern Caribbean Defense Force help secure the island. The soldier in the foreground carries the FN FAL rifle (7.62 NATO) while the man to left holds a Sterling submachine gun (9 mm).

Urgent Fury was a multi-national operation. Men of the Eastern Caribbean Defense Force help secure the island. The soldier in the foreground carries the FN FAL rifle (7.62 NATO) while the man to left holds a Sterling submachine gun (9 mm).
A particularly large amount of communist small arms were found on Grenada. The crate is filled with M44 carbines (7.62x54 mm R). The rifle in the middle is the relatively rare Czech vz.52/57 rifle (7.62x39 mm). On the left is the ubiquitous AK-47.

A particularly large amount of communist small arms were found on Grenada. The crate is filled with M44 carbines (7.62×54 mm R). The rifle in the middle is the relatively rare Czech vz.52/57 rifle (7.62×39 mm). On the left is the ubiquitous AK-47.
The vz.52/57 was a surprise find for U.S. troops on Grenada. These rifles had been phased out of Czech service in 1957, and many found their way to Cuba, who then passed them on to nations like Angola and Grenada. The vz.52/57 has an integral blade bayonet in a recess cut into the right side of the stock.

The vz.52/57 was a surprise find for U.S. troops on Grenada. These rifles had been phased out of Czech service in 1957, and many found their way to Cuba, who then passed them on to nations like Angola and Grenada. The vz.52/57 has an integral blade bayonet in a recess cut into the right side of the stock.

Maj. David T. Rivard noted the difficult initial moments of the Grenada operation in his report “An Analysis of Operation Urgent Fury” to the Air Command and Staff College:

“The anti-aircraft guns had been positioned on hills near the airport and could not depress their guns low enough to effectively fire on the C-130s. As the 700 Rangers drifted toward the airstrip in their chutes, the Cubans met them with AK-47 fire. Armored personnel carriers appeared within 400 yds. of the landing zone and started to engage the Rangers. The troops took cover, and the AC-130 gunship overhead provided effective covering fire. The enemy forces had been waiting for the attack.”

Czech Samopal Sa 25 (vz. 48b) submachine guns (9 mm) captured in Grenada. The wooden-stocked Sa 23 is seen at the right.

Czech Samopal Sa 25 (vz. 48b) submachine guns (9 mm) captured in Grenada. The wooden-stocked Sa 23 is seen at the right.
An UZI captured among the communist AK-47s.

An UZI captured among the communist AK-47s.
Soviet-made PKM (7.62x54 mm R) general-purpose machine guns captured on Grenada.  These gas-operated MGs fire from an open bolt with a cyclic rate of 650 rounds-per-minute.

Soviet-made PKM (7.62×54 mm R) general-purpose machine guns captured on Grenada. These gas-operated MGs fire from an open bolt with a cyclic rate of 650 rounds-per-minute.

As the BTR-60s quickly closed the range, it appeared that the Rangers’ drop zone would be overrun.  When the vehicles reached the mid-point of the runway, both BTRs were suddenly struck with hollow-charge antitank rounds. The fast-acting Rangers had set up 90 mm recoilless rifles and immediately scored hits. This was just in time, as the sky above was filled with the descending parachutes of the next wave of Rangers. The second group of Rangers quickly assaulted the 23 mm AA guns positions atop a nearby hill.  Within 10 minutes, the AA guns were silent, too.

At War in America’s Backyard

The invasion of Grenada began on the morning of Oct. 25, 1983.  Operation “Urgent Fury” quickly became fast and furious, as America’s Rapid Deployment Force, including elements of the 82nd Airborne Division, Marine Corps, U.S. Army Delta Force, and Navy SEALs, moved to secure the island from Grenadian and Cuban communist forces.

A PKM machine gun posed alongside a broad range of long arms captured on Grenada, including an SMLE Mk III, a Martini-Henry rifle, a commercial shotgun and a Czech vz. 52/57.

A PKM machine gun posed alongside a broad range of long arms captured on Grenada, including an SMLE Mk III, a Martini-Henry rifle, a commercial shotgun and a Czech vz. 52/57.
Many more eastern-bloc small arms were captured on Grenada than there were men to use them—leading U.S. intel experts to believe that the Cubans and Soviets were planning a strong push to extend their influence into Latin America.

Many more eastern-bloc small arms were captured on Grenada than there were men to use them—leading U.S. intel experts to believe that the Cubans and Soviets were planning a strong push to extend their influence into Latin America.
A PKM machine gun captured, along with a M1 carbine.

A PKM machine gun captured, along with a M1 carbine.

President Reagan directed U.S. forces to Grenada specifically to guarantee the safety of 600 American medical students on the island. The action in Grenada came just two days after the deadly terrorist attack on the USMC barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, where a suicide truck bomb killed 220 U.S. Marines. The Cold War turned hot in the sunny Caribbean, only 1,500 miles southwest of Miami, Fla.

Communist Defenses

Communist forces on Grenada were well-equipped with anti-aircraft guns, particularly the Czech-made M53 quadruple 12.7 mm gun. These guns were particularly dangerous to the helicopters that supported the landing force. While Operation Urgent Fury may not rival the Marine landings of previous wars, there was no shortage of leatherneck heroism on Grenada.  The USMC profile “U.S. Marines in Grenada 1983” describes the dangers presented by enemy AA on the island and traditional Marine courage in response:

“Marine Capt. Jeb F. Seagle dragged Captain Timothy D. Howard away from their burning AH-1 Cobra, shot down by Grenadian 12.7 mm antiaircraft fire near Fort Frederick. Capt. Seagle was killed while looking for help for Howard, who had been severely wounded. Howard was ultimately rescued by a CH-46, piloted by Maj. DeMars and 1st Lt. Lawrence M. King, Jr.

A U.S. Ranger poses with a haul of AK-47s and a Czech vz. 52/57 light machine gun (7.62x39 mm).  The vz. 52/57 used either metallic link belts or 25-round box magazines interchangeably.  Its cyclic rate was 1,100 rounds-per-minute.

A U.S. Ranger poses with a haul of AK-47s and a Czech vz. 52/57 light machine gun (7.62×39 mm). The vz. 52/57 used either metallic link belts or 25-round box magazines interchangeably. Its cyclic rate was 1,100 rounds-per-minute.
A haul of carbines: M44 types, vz 52/57, and the U.S. M1 carbine.

A haul of carbines: M44 types, vz 52/57, and the U.S. M1 carbine.
A mixed crate of vz. 52/57 rifles and M44 carbines.

A mixed crate of vz. 52/57 rifles and M44 carbines.

While another Marine Cobra attacked the antiaircraft site with 20 mm cannon and rockets, Maj. DeMars landed his CH-46 in the field near Howard. The landing chopper attracted small-arms fire to the field. A few rounds hit the CH-46, slightly damaging the stabilizing equipment. The squadron maintenance chief, Gunnery Sgt. Kelly M. Neidigh (a Vietnam veteran) riding along as a gunner, quickly disconnected himself from his intercom equipment and jumped from the aircraft.

Armed with an M-16 rifle, he sprinted the 40-yd. distance to Capt. Howard. Ignoring the fire directed at him, Neidigh half-dragged, half-carried Howard back to the aircraft and hoisted him on board with the aid of the crew chief. Cpl. Simon D. Gore, Jr. Still under fire, DeMars continued to wait in hopes of finding Capt. Seagle, not knowing that hostile fire had already killed him.

A soldier of the Eastern Caribbean Defense Force poses with a captured RPG-2 rocket launcher and a Bren L4 light machine gun (7.62 NATO).

A soldier of the Eastern Caribbean Defense Force poses with a captured RPG-2 rocket launcher and a Bren L4 light machine gun (7.62 NATO).
Bren L4 light machine guns captured on Grenada.

Bren L4 light machine guns captured on Grenada.
Cold War trophies: U.S. Rangers enjoy their haul of AK-47 assault rifles. Note the Czech vz. 52/57 LMG to the far right.

Cold War trophies: U.S. Rangers enjoy their haul of AK-47 assault rifles. Note the Czech vz. 52/57 LMG to the far right.

Finally, with no sign of the second Cobra pilot, and with Howard’s condition rapidly worsening, DeMars decided to take off. The second Marine Cobra was hit by AA fire and crashed into the harbor with the loss of the pilot and copilot. The CH-46 flew Captain Howard to the USS Guam, where he received medical treatment that saved his life but could not save his right forearm.”

An Island Base for Communist Expansion

The island of Grenada was filled with arms caches, with the communists storing far more firearms than there were Cubans or Grenadians available to use them.  The Marine history of Urgent Fury describes the efforts made to secure the stockpiles:

“Local citizens immediately began to point out members of the militia and the People’s Revolutionary Army to the Marines, leading them to houses and other sites of concealed arms caches. Grenadians even loaned their vehicles to the Marines for use in gathering the considerable quantities of arms and ammunition that were being uncovered. Patrols, accompanied by local guides, moved into the countryside to search out caches; Marines established roadblocks to stop and identify members of the Grenadian army and militia who were trying to escape detection by changing into civilian clothing.”

Multiple styles of AK-47 rifles captured on Grenada. An extra barrel for a Czech vz. 52/57 LMG is seen on top of the pile.

Multiple styles of AK-47 rifles captured on Grenada. An extra barrel for a Czech vz. 52/57 LMG is seen on top of the pile.
AA defense: several examples of the Czech-made M53 (12.7 mm) AA gun were captured on Grenada. This gun was used in the defense of Point Salines airport.

AA defense: several examples of the Czech-made M53 (12.7 mm) AA gun were captured on Grenada. This gun was used in the defense of Point Salines airport.
Liberated: American students at St. Georges University on Grenada pose with a trooper of the 82nd Airborne Division. He carries an M16A1 rifle equipped with an M7 bayonet.

Liberated: American students at St. Georges University on Grenada pose with a trooper of the 82nd Airborne Division. He carries an M16A1 rifle equipped with an M7 bayonet.

Later, as the Marines took the Grenadian fort at St. Georges:

“Large quantities of weapons, including light machine guns, AK-47 assault rifles, heavy machine guns and great stacks of ammunition were left behind in Fort Frederick. Nearby, Marines discovered a truck with three new 82 mm mortars and two trucks heavily loaded with anti-aircraft ammunition. In underground tunnels below the fort, which had housed a headquarters of some type, Dobson’s men found quantities of significant documents, including an arms agreement recently signed by Nicaragua, Cuba, Grenada and the Soviet Union.”

Covering the evacuation of American students, a US soldier cradles a M60 general-purpose machine gun.

Covering the evacuation of American students, a US soldier cradles a M60 general-purpose machine gun.
The barefoot grenadier: an M16/M203-armed soldier enjoys the weather on Grenada.

The barefoot grenadier: an M16/M203-armed soldier enjoys the weather on Grenada.
A Marine radio operator on Grenada armed with a M16A1.

A Marine radio operator on Grenada armed with a M16A1.

Clearly, communist forces in the Caribbean were preparing to expand their influence out from Grenada, turn the 135 square-mile island nation into a fortress or both. The “Island of Spice” was filled up with a lot more than nutmeg. Major Rivard’s report details the firearms discovered by U.S. forces:

“There were about 10,000 rifles, including assault rifles, sniper rifles and carbines; more than 4,500 machine guns, 294 portable rocket launchers with 16,000 rockets. In addition to this, there were 60 anti-aircraft guns of various sizes including almost 600,000 rounds of ammunition and 30 57 mm ZIS-2 anti-tank guns with about 10,000 rounds of ammunition. Finally, 60 armored personnel carriers, 30 76 mm ZIS-2 field guns and 20,000 uniforms were also found. Large amounts of this equipment were captured still in shipping crates stored in warehouses.”

Classic Small Arms of the Cold War

The fighting on Grenada was a microcosm of the Cold War and a technological snapshot of a conventional engagement between western and communist forces. Most of the small arms used during Urgent Fury are well-known players, the U.S. M16A2 and the M60 machine gun versus the Soviet AK-47 and PKM GPMG. The island’s location gave some of the Grenadian small arms a certain uniqueness.

Every Marine a rifleman: a USMC M16A1 in action on Grenada.

Every Marine a rifleman: a USMC M16A1 in action on Grenada.
A ride home: a trooper of the 82nd Airborne behind the wheel of an M151 1/4-ton utility vehicle (the “Mutt”), featuring an M60 on the pedestal mount.

A ride home: a trooper of the 82nd Airborne behind the wheel of an M151 1/4-ton utility vehicle (the “Mutt”), featuring an M60 on the pedestal mount.
The paratroopers come a-knocking. Men of the 82nd Airborne clear houses on their sweep through Grenada. Both carry M16A1 rifles and M72 LAW (66 mm) anti-tank weapons.

The paratroopers come a-knocking. Men of the 82nd Airborne clear houses on their sweep through Grenada. Both carry M16A1 rifles and M72 LAW (66 mm) anti-tank weapons.

M1 carbines were a part of the mix. Soviet M44 bolt-action carbines were also there. So were a few British Bren guns chambered in 7.62×51 mm NATO. The Cubans sent a few older Czech-made firearms to Grenada, including the vz. 52/57 semi-automatic rifle and the rare vz. 52/57 light machine gun (both in 7.62x39mm).

Kind of a Big Deal

I have a couple of friends who were part of Operation Urgent Fury, and for years, they have described the invasion to me as “not a big deal.” For years, I have let them get away with under-selling it. Looking back and realizing the large (and growing) firearms stockpile on Grenada at that time, the operation was rather important. America simply could not let more communist dominoes fall in the Caribbean or in South America. Urgent Fury helped keep the Cold War from reaching a boiling point while also keeping communism contained. Just six years later, the Berlin Wall would come down, and the Soviet Union fell with it. Of the opposing players, only Cuba remains today.

Evacuees board a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter mounting a stripped-down M60D machine gun, featuring spade grips and a canvas bag to catch ejected spent casings.

Evacuees board a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter mounting a stripped-down M60D machine gun, featuring spade grips and a canvas bag to catch ejected spent casings.
M151 “Mutt” sporting a pair of M60 machine guns, as well as a wire-cutting bar attached to the front grill.

M151 “Mutt” sporting a pair of M60 machine guns, as well as a wire-cutting bar attached to the front grill.
Officers and men of the 82nd Airborne test out a captured PKM machine gun (with a 100-round ammunition belt container).

Officers and men of the 82nd Airborne test out a captured PKM machine gun (with a 100-round ammunition belt container).

Ultimately, 19 American troops were killed in Operation Urgent Fury, and nearly 120 were wounded. Communist forces lost 45 dead and nearly 350 wounded.  This was the price to halt Soviet and Cuban communist expansion in the Caribbean. The American students on the island were returned safely to the U.S. Democracy was restored in Grenada, a free nation where they now call Oct. 25 “Thanksgiving Day”.

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A Victory! All About Guns Allies Art Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom Good News for a change!

Wherein a sweptback bolt becomes an insomniac’s grand pursuit. [by Rusty Ward]

JUDGING BY THE NUMBER OF COMMERCIALS promoting sleep aids (my favorite features a piano-size moth guiding a perfectly coiffed woman to an immaculately turned-out bed), insomnia is a thing to be fought. I can’t understand why, because history is awash with famous insomniacs who benefitted from their sleeplessness. At the head of this list stands Marcel Proust, whose insomnia enabled him to enshrine such childhood trivialities as a goodnight kiss from his mother and a bit of petite madeleine dipped in tea in a literary masterpiece spanning thousands of pages.

Remembrance of Things Past, or as currently translated, In Search of Lost Time, is not for the faint-hearted. I began reading it as a young man and greedily sucked in the first 500 pages, began to lose traction in the next 500, and spun out completely in the second 1,000. I still return to it occasionally, knowing in the same way that I know I’ll never see all of the Rocky Mountains that I’ll never finish Proust’s 1.3-million-word masterpiece. What I gained in my time with Proust was a conviction that my own nocturnal adventures were gifts that revived past pleasures and sometimes illuminated future ones. Case in point: Lying awake one night in softly filtered moonlight beneath the ceiling fan’s gentle whir, I glanced at the bedside clock to see how much of the night remained to be enjoyed. Glowing numerals said 2:43, and off I went.

ONCE UPON A TIME, in the closing years of the 1960s, the decade one writer defined as when our country suffered a nervous breakdown, there was a kid undistracted by flower children, assassinations, moon walks, and unpopular wars. That kid, obsessed by forest and field, lake and stream, couldn’t concentrate on anything else for longer than two seconds. Today he’d be labeled ADD and introduced to the local pharmacist. But luckily he had a sympathetic father and an indulgent mother who allowed him to self-medicate with heavy doses of open air and wild places. While his peers were obsessing on cars, rock-and-roll, and girls, our protagonist, indifferent to the first two and unready for the last, extended his obsession for woods and fields to include rifles—a tough act in the Deep South, which in those days was a shotguns-only world. There was no Internet, no TV hunting channels, no virtual anything to feed his rifle obsession, so the kid absorbed hunting magazines like a sponge, coming to know the writers better than the adults in his own neighborhood. Firearms catalogs littered his room, and he rushed through homework to pore over ballistics tables and study the comparative anatomy of the Model 70 vis-à-vis the Model 700.

The years passed, and one autumn day in the early 1970s the kid wedged himself into the fork of a solitary oak in a South Alabama bean field. The Ruger Model 77 on his shoulder was only a couple of years out of the womb, but like most kids, he wanted to try new things. Winchester and Remington had been around almost since the days of stone axes, and founders Oliver and Eliphalet looked like Dickens characters. Bill Ruger, on the other hand, was dapper and hip and no older than the kid’s parents, and he built things like inexpensive .22 autoloading pistols (one of which the kid had already worn free of bluing), cowboy-style revolvers long after Colt had dumped the design, and an unlikely single-shot rifle, all of which the shooting public took to like free ice cream.

Later, Ruger would be written up in Forbes, design his own car and yacht, acquire a world-class art collection, and be compared to John Browning as a firearms designing genius. Before those things, though, Ruger announced his Model 77 bolt-action rifle about the time the kid’s obsession was peaking. For the kid, it was the right thing at the right time. His gun writer gurus called it an instant classic, though the kid struggled to see the similarity between the Model 77 and the ancient civilizations his teachers used the same word to describe. Beyond its innovative design features and uncluttered lines, reviewers were amazed that Ruger offered the 77 only in what the ad-men called “short stroke” calibers—language that would have killed it instantly in the sexually obsessed decades that followed.

The kid liked everything about the new rifle, from its clean lines down to its flattened, oddly angled bolt handle, and he meant to have one. That you couldn’t get it in the all-American .30/06 or O’Connor’s pet .270 merely added a dash of spice to its appeal. The .243 Winchester was the wunderkind cartridge of the day, claimed by some writers to drop deer like Thor’s hammer, inexplicably quicker than more powerful rounds and without their backlash. The concept being hammered out in the kid’s mind was that a Ruger 77 in .243 topped with one of the new generation of variable scopes (it would be a Weaver V7 from the old El Paso firm) was about as cutting edge as you could get. And the kid made it happen.

AS DARKNESS SETTLED OVER THE BEAN FIELD, a buck stepped out of the shadows. The kid gulped, steadied the crosshairs, and got a shot off before the shakes could introduce him to the darker side of gravitational acceleration. The buck dropped without a quiver, just as advertised. The kid never forgot the way he felt when his dad’s ridiculously finned ’59 Chevy hove into view, and he knew his dad could see him standing over his buck in the headlights.

Other deer fell to his magic .243 before the kid had a run of bad luck; accepting poor judgment and bad shooting as the real culprits lay miles of maturity into his future. In the meantime, companies were turning out new wonder cartridges, and the kid was relieved to read that his failures may have been equipment related. He dropped the .243 as quickly as it had downed that first bean-field deer, and a new obsession took flight.

If there was an “it” cartridge in the early 1980s, it was the .280 Remington. Introduced in throttled-back form to accommodate its namesake company’s semiautos and pumps, then jacked up to .270 speeds and renamed 7mm Express in an effort to bolster lagging sales, then back to the .280 when consumers found the dual names confusing, it seemed a cartridge in search of an identity. But the rifle cognoscenti took to it like ants after honey, and the articles poured forth like free wine. Mystical ballistic qualities were once again hinted at, and our kid, still clay to the printed word and hungry for the cutting edge, jumped in with both feet. He still liked 77s and scoured the land until he found one in .280.

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A Victory!

Score one for the USMC!

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A Victory! Allies Anti Civil Rights ideas & "Friends"

The View Doesn’t Appreciate a Right The NRA (Ahh See the tears, see the tears! Grumpy)

The View Doesn’t Appreciate a Right

 

Women, and especially black women, are increasingly buying firearms for self-defense. This reality did not sit well with the hosts of a somehow still-running daytime talk show.

Readers are likely aware of, if not familiar with “The View.” Sherri Shepherd is an actress and former co-host of “The View” who recently returned for a guest spot. Self-professed “big gun control person” Joy Behar set up a segment on the rise in gun ownership among black women, queuing up Shepherd to reveal that she is among the large number of black female new gun owners.

Shepherd shared with the audience that she, like millions of other Americans, recently became a first-time gun buyer. Shepherd said:

“During the quarantine, I felt really helpless, Joy, and we’re talking about depression, I felt [my son] Jeffrey would look at me like he was so scared. I get these little alerts in my neighborhood app about there’s going to be a march through the neighborhood and I started feeling like, ‘how am I supposed to protect my son if something happens?’”

Shepherd took steps to lawfully acquire, be trained, and familiarize herself with her firearm. She practices regularly. She did – and presumably does – everything as prescribed.

That wasn’t enough for former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin.

Hostin admitted that she knew many black women who had acquired firearms recently but quickly pivoted to the supposed inherent risks of firearm ownership. She claimed having a firearm in the home increases the risk of homicide and suicide but offered no references. The research that supports such claims is based on a flawed methodology to support a predetermined outcome. We’ve covered some examples here and here.

Hostin claimed she knows “the statistics” and referenced going to crime scenes as a federal prosecutor. Vaguely referencing advocacy masked as research does not afford anyone special insight into firearm ownership, nor does witnessing the aftermath of criminal actions.

After all, we know with certainty that criminals do not lawfully acquire the firearms they use in crimes. Hostin was a former federal prosecutor who won an award for prosecution of child sexual predators and child sex abuse. Her experience at crime scenes is very unlikely to be relevant to the lawful gun ownership exemplified by Sherri Shepherd – or a hundred million other law-abiding American gun owners.

Hostin concluded her soap box sermon with “”I still believe that in this country our readiness to sort of allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at will has led to violence and hatred becoming a really popular pastime.”

A former federal prosecutor should really know the difference between criminal and lawful actions. A former federal prosecutor should also know that federal law requires retailers to conduct a background check before all firearms purchases, and that the background check requirement as well as the prohibiting factors were codified in the 1968 Gun Control Act.

But that’s the game, right? Try to drum up some in-group credibility by claiming you or your friends own guns, and then blur the lines between lawful gun ownership and criminal behavior. Just like the drivel presented as “statistics,” this is a worn-out trope.

Shepherd tried to explain to her fellow panelists on “The View” and the audience that she found arming herself to be empowering. It seems that all Shepherd wants is a chance to keep her son and herself safe. “If something happens, I can protect my child.”

That’s what the 2nd Amendment provides: a chance.

Sherri Shepherd is just one of hundreds of thousands of black women who became first-time gun owners. The year 2020 may be over, but interest in firearms has not passed. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that 3.2 million people purchased a firearm for the first time in the first half of 2021. More than 90% of licensed firearms retailers reported an increase in black female customers in this time frame – along with sizeable increases in every other demographic group.

That’s in addition to the estimated 8.4 million new gun owners that joined our community last year. Approximately 11.6 million new gun owners in 18 months.

That’s a lot of people who, just like Sherri Shepherd, just want a chance to protect their loved ones.

There is nothing irresponsible or unlawful about that.

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A Victory!

31 years ago, The Cold War ended. Let us give Thanks that it never really went Hot! Grumpy

Fall of the Berlin Wall - Wikipedia

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A Victory! All About Guns

And I think its about time that the US Gunmakers face some REAL Competition!

Why U.S. Gunmakers Could Soon Face New Competition

Samuel Colt’s venerable company is getting a new lease on life under European ownership.

Key Points

  • Firearms demand is coming down from record levels but still experiencing significant growth.
  • Czech gunmaker CZG’s acquisition of Colt gives it a major foothold in the U.S. firearms industry.
  • CZG’s ownership of Colt and production of firearms at Colt factories will allow it to compete for U.S. military contracts under the Buy American Act.
Major names in the U.S. firearms industry, including Smith & Wesson Brands (NASDAQ:SWBI) and Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE:RGR) could soon have significant new competition. Czech gun manufacturer Česká zbrojovka Group (OTC:CZGZ.F)or CZG, is gearing up for a strong push into the U.S. after acquiring Colt.

CZG is now much better positioned to compete for law enforcement and military firearms contracts in the U.S., along with expanded civilian firearm sales. Aiming to double its revenue to $1 billion or more, it looks like competition will be ramping up for this industry.

A gun store employee reaches into a glass display case full of firearms.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

The current firearms market

Firearms purchases seem to be slowing after 2020’s frenzy with sales growth for Smith & Wesson dipping to low double-digits in the fiscal 2022 first quarter after several periods of triple-digit growth. Earlier this month, firearms companies saw their stock prices rise after the Biden administration’s pick for ATF chief, David Chipman, failed to secure the support needed to cement his nomination. However, those small gains weren’t nearly enough to offset the steady decline shares have seen since June as investors respond to the news of an industry slowdown.

But sales are still growing despite the slowdown. Ammunition manufacturer Ammo reported solid second-quarter results in late August too. Both firearm and ammunition prices remain somewhat elevated due to continued strong demand intersecting with supply bottlenecks, though the price inflation has eased since 2020 and even early 2021.

CZG and Colt

While it has sold Czech-made firearms in the U.S. for years, including hunting rifles, semi-automatic pistols, and sporting rifles such as its civilian semi-auto version of the CZ Bren 2, CZG bought out Colt’s Manufacturing Company in early 2021. Colt, founded in the mid-19th century by the famous Samuel Colt, has had a long, checkered history, including many changes of ownership and multiple bankruptcies. It does, however, make several iconic firearms and has supplied the U.S. Army with multiple generations of the M-16 select-fire rifle platform, including the current M4 carbine. CZG launched its IPO last October, using the proceeds to buy out Colt in a deal that totaled $220 million in cash, plus approximately one million shares of CZG stock.

In an interview with firearms website TFB (TheFirearmsBlog), CZG’s president Lubomír Kovařík noted how the Colt acquisition provides a major expansion to the Czech company’s factory capacity. “CZG will gain an additional production capacity and expand its customer network in North America and other countries,” he said. He also pointed out how “[t]hrough Colt, CZG will become a supplier to Mil/LE customers and armed forces in the United States, including [the] U.S. Army.” He views the companies as synergistic with Colt having superior manufacturing and supply chain assets, while CZG brings top-notch research and development to the combined business.

Under U.S. law, only companies manufacturing guns in the U.S. can compete for American military contracts. Owning Colt will allow CZG to enter its firearms in the U.S. military procurement competitions. Colt lost a major contract with the American military in 2015, but half of its 2020 revenue still came from military and law enforcement sales, according to Reuters.

Czech analysts at Fio Banka predict CZG’s police and military sales in the U.S. will jump from 10% of U.S. sales to 50% thanks to the possibility of Colt contracts with the U.S. Army and other branches of the armed forces. CZG says the combined annual revenue of CZG and Colt total about $570 million, but it aims to expand this figure to more than $1 billion by 2025.

And the company is generating strong growth. Fiscal 2021 first-quarter revenue jumped 64% year over year, while EBITDA increased 117%. Net profits for the quarter beat analysts’ predictions by about 12% as well. To top it all off, CZG pays an annual dividend yielding about 1.6%, while its payout ratio sits at a very manageable 26%.

CZG’s plans to reach more than $1 billion in sales in just four years will still be a challenge for the company. Czech analyst Pavel Ryska from J&T Banka told Reuters he believes the target could be achieved if “the U.S. civilian demand remains robust and keeps rising, and second, CZG adds further production capacity either through its own [capital expenditures] or through additional acquisitions that are well executed.”

What this all means for American gumakers’ stocks

Neither Smith & Wesson nor Ruger have large-scale contracts with the U.S. Army or any other service branch. CZG’s takeover of Colt’s military supply role won’t affect either company’s business in this regard. Increased manufacturing capacity, however, plus the easier potential introduction of new CZG firearms made in the U.S. could win it additional law enforcement and civilian sales.

While CZG’s growth projections are dramatic, police and civilian sales are unlikely to significantly move the needle in opposition to Smith & Wesson or Ruger’s success, either. CZG is already competing with the two companies in these markets, meaning its effect on the competitive landscape is already priced in. Even with Colt’s catalog added to its own, nothing in CZG’s lineup is likely to revolutionize its civilian or police sales position.

Thus, the impact of CZG’s expansion on American firearms companies should be minimal. However, for those investing in the firearms sector of consumer durables stocks, CZG itself might be worth watching as a bullish choice if it ever applies for and attains listing on the NYSE or Nasdaq.

 

 

 

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Categories
A Victory! This great Nation & Its People

USS Indiana (BB-58) arrives in San Francisco, 29 Sept 1945. Taken from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Categories
A Victory! Cops

Just another reson I am so glad that I NEVER became a Cop!

Categories
A Victory! Hard Nosed Folks Both Good & Bad I am so grateful!! Manly Stuff One Hell of a Good Fight Our Great Kids Stand & Deliver This great Nation & Its People

Makes one proud to be an American!

Todd Beamer – A true American hero if ever there was one.

 

This is the word-for-word transcript of Todd’s phone call reporting the hijacking of Flight 93.

Todd: Hello… Operator…listen to me…I can’t speak very loud. – This is an emergency. I’m a passenger on a United flight to San Francisco..  We have a situation here….Our plane has been hijacked…..can you understand me?

Lisa: (exhaling a deep breath to herself) I understand… Can the hijackers see you talking on the phone?

Todd: No

Lisa: Can you tell me how many hijackers are on the plane?

Todd: There are three that we know of.

Lisa: Can you see any weapons? What kind of weapons do they have?

Todd: Yes…. they don’t have guns….they have knives – they took over the plane with knives.

Lisa: Do you mean…like steak knives?

Todd: No, these are razor knives…like box cutters.

Lisa: Can you tell what country these people are from?

Todd: No…..I don’t know. They sound like they’re from the mid-east.

Lisa: Have they said what they want?

Todd: Someone announced from the cockpit that there was a bomb on board.  He said he was the captain and to stay in our seats and stay quiet.

He said that they were meeting these men’s demands and returning to the airport… It was very broken English, and… I’m telling you…it sounded fake!

Lisa: Ok sir, please give me your name.

Todd: My name is Todd Beamer.

Lisa: Ok Todd….my name is Lisa…Do you know your flight number? If you can’t remember, it’s on your ticket.

Todd: It’s United Flight 93.

Lisa: Now Todd, can you try to tell me exactly what happened?

Todd: Two of the hijackers were sitting in first class near the cockpit.  A third one was sitting near the back of the coach section. The two up. front got into the cockpit somehow; there was shouting. The third hijacker said he had a bomb. It looks like a bomb. He’s got it tied to his waist with a red belt of some kind.

Lisa: So is the door to the cockpit open?

Todd: No, the hijackers shut it behind them.

Lisa: Has anyone been injured?

Todd: Yes, ..they…they killed one passenger sitting in first class. There’s been lots of shouting. We don’t know if the pilots are dead or alive. A flight attendant told me that the pilot and copilot had been forced from the cockpit and may have been wounded.

Lisa: Where is the 3rd hijacker now Todd?

Todd: He’s near the back of the plane. They forced most of the passengers into first class. There are fourteen of us here in the back. Five are flight attendants. He hasn’t noticed that I slipped into this pantry to get the phone. The guy with the bomb ordered us to sit on the floor in the rear of the plane……….oh Jesus.. Help!

Lisa: Todd….are you ok? Tell me what’s happening!

Todd: Hello…..We’re going down….I think we’re going to crash……Wait – wait a minute. No, we’re leveling off….we’re ok. I think we may be turning around…..That’s it – we changed directions.  Do you hear me….we’re flying east again.

Lisa: Ok Todd…. What’s going on with the other passengers?

Todd: Everyone is… really scared. A few passengers with cell phones have made calls to relatives. A guy, Jeremy, was talking to his wife just before the hijacking started. She told him that hijackers had crashed two planes into the World Trade Center……Lisa is that true??

Lisa: Todd…..I have to tell you the truth…..it’s very bad.  The World Trade Center is gone. Both of the towers have been destroyed.

Todd: Oh God —help us!

Lisa: A third plane was taken over by terrorists. It crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC. Our country is under attack….and I’m afraid that your plane may be part of their plan.

Todd: Oh dear God. Dear God…….Lisa, will you do something for me?

Lisa: I’ll try….if I can….Yes.

Todd: I want you to call my wife and my kids for me and tell them what’s happened. Promise me you’ll call..

Lisa: I promise – I’ll call.

Todd: Our home number is 201 353-***3…….You have the same name as my wife…Lisa….We’ve been married for 10 years. She’s pregnant with our 3rd child. Tell her that I love her…….(choking up)..I’ll always love her..(clearing throat) We have two boys.. David, he’s 3 and Andrew, he’s 1…..Tell them……(choking) tell them that their daddy loves them and that he is so proud of them. (clearing throat again) Our baby is due January 12th…..I saw an ultra sound…..it was great….we still don’t know if it’s a girl or a boy………Lisa?

Lisa: (barely able to speak) I’ll tell them, I promise Todd.

Todd: I’m going back to the group—if I can get back I will…

Lisa: Todd, leave this line open…are you still there?……

Lisa: (dials the phone..) Hello, FBI, my name is Lisa Jefferson, I’m a telephone supervisor for GTE. I need to report a terrorist hijacking of a United Airlines Flight 93….Yes I’ll hold.

Goodwin: Hello, this is Agent Goodwin.. I understand you have a hijacking situation?

Lisa: Yes sir, I’ve been talking with a passenger, a Todd Beamer, on Flight 93 who managed to get to an air phone unnoticed.

Goodwin: Where did this flight originate, and what was its destination?

Lisa: The flight left Newark New Jersey at 8 A.M. departing for San Francisco. The hijackers took over the plane shortly after takeoff, and several minutes later the plane changed course – it is now flying east.

Goodwin: Ms. Jefferson…I need to talk to someone aboard that plane. Can you get me thru to the planes phone?

Lisa: I still have that line open sir, I can patch you through on a conference call…hold a mo…..

Todd: Hello Lisa, Lisa are you there?

Lisa: Yes, I’m here. Todd, I made a call to the FBI, Agent Goodwin is on the line and will be talking to you as well.

Todd: The others all know that this isn’t your normal hijacking. Jeremy called his wife again on his cell phone. She told him more about the World Trade Center and all.

Goodwin: Hello Todd. This is Agent Goodwin with the FBI. We have been monitoring your flight. Your plane is on a course for Washington, DC. These terrorists sent two planes into the World Trade Center and one plane into the Pentagon. Our best guess is that they plan to fly your plane into either the White House or the United States Capital Building.

Todd: I understand…hold on……I’ll…….I’ll be back..

Lisa: Mr. Goodwin, how much time do they have before they get to Washington?

Goodwin: Not long ma’am. They changed course over Cleveland; they’re approaching Pittsburgh now. Washington may be twenty minutes away.

Todd: (breathing a little heavier) The plane seems to be changing directions just a little. It’s getting pretty rough up here. The plane is flying real erratic….We’re not going to make it out of here. Listen to me….I want you to hear this….I have talked with the others….we have decided we would not be pawns in these hijackers suicidal plot.

Lisa: Todd, what are you going to do?

Todd: We’ve hatched a plan. Four of us are going to rush the hijacker with the bomb. After we take him out, we’ll break into the cockpit. A stewardess is getting some boiling water to throw on the hijackers at the controls. We’ll get them….and we’ll take them out. Lisa, …..will you do one last thing for me?

Lisa: Yes…What is it?

Todd: Would you pray with me?

They pray: Our father which art in Heaven

Hallowed be thy name,

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive our trespassers,

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory

Forever…..Amen

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…

He makes me to lie down in green pastures

He leads me beside the still waters

He restores my soul

He leads me in paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

I will fear no evil, for thou art with me…..

Todd: (softer) God help me…Jesus help me….(clears throat and louder)

Are you guys ready?……..

Let’s Roll.

Categories
A Victory! Anti Civil Rights ideas & "Friends"

Pro-Gun Student Gets $35K Settlement from School that Infringed on Her 1A Rights by MAX SLOWIK

An Illinois school settled with a former student who wanted to protest in favor of supporting gun rights. (Photo: HCHS)

A former Illinois high school student recently settled a lawsuit against her high school over allegations that the school violated her constitutional right to participate in a counter-protest to her classmates in 2018. Recent reports say that the school agreed to pay her $35,000 as part of a settlement.

Madison Oster, then 16, and her father Jeremy Oster filed the suit in July of 2018 alleging that the Hononegah Community High School violated her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to demonstrate against an anti-gun protest in March of 2018.

At the time, students were encouraged to protest gun violence and agitate for tougher gun laws following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida on high school grounds. However, Oster along with other pro-gun students wanted to counter-protest and promote the Second Amendment.

The group of students carried pro-gun, pro-life, and pro-law enforcement signs, but were directed to stand on the sidewalk away from the main protest on the high school football field. The lawsuit alleged that the pro-gun group was subjected to verbal abuse from other students and unfair treatment by the school staff.

When Oster asked Executive Associate Principal Chad Dougherty why the group would not be allowed to counter-protest with the other students he said he was afraid that the pro-gun students would “disturb the peace” and “start a fight,” alleged the lawsuit.

“One student yelled at Madison to kill herself. Another student took pictures of Madison’s group, one of which reportedly became an online meme and method of ridicule among the other HCHS students,” stated the lawsuit. “Finally and ironically, before allowing them to return to class, Dougherty warned the small pro-gun-rights group not to bully the students with different views.”

While the pro-gun counter-protesters were eventually allowed back onto the field the staff still separated them from the other protesters. When they asked Principal Eric Flohr why they weren’t allowed to join the others, he allegedly told them “You are the only ones who feel that way,” before walking off.

“It is unconscionable for school officials to allow this sort of thing, much less enable it,” said the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb, who contributed to the lawsuit. “Students with different viewpoints retain their free speech rights. When school officials allow those students to be harassed and bullied, something must be done.”

“First Amendment rights are just as important as Second Amendment rights,” he said, “especially when being used to protect those Second Amendment rights.”

With the lawsuit settled, the Oster’s allegations against the high school along with Superintendent Michael Dugan, Principal Dougherty and retired Principal Eric Flohr have been dismissed.

“Ms. Oster is very glad the matter was resolved,” said the Oster’s attorney David Sigale. “I am very proud that Ms. Oster fought for freedom of speech in this case, and now, as a member of the U.S. military, is helping to protect everyone’s freedoms.”