All About Guns Allies Soldiering War Well I thought it was neat!

Montgomery Scott Goes to War: LT Jimmy Doohan on D-Day by WILL DABBS

Thanks to the vagaries of fate James Doohan was born at just the right time to help save the world.

James Montgomery Doohan was born on March 3, 1920, in Vancouver, British Columbia. His father was a veterinarian, pharmacist, and dentist who developed an early form of high-octane gasoline. Starting in 1946 Doohan took on roles as a voice actor for radio, developing a reputation for his broad range of accents and dialects. Over the next decade, he performed in more than 4,000 radio programs.

Like all actors of his generation Jimmy Doohan served his time in westerns.
A young Bill Shatner got his start at roughly the same time as Doohan in a very similar role.

In the mid-1950s, James Doohan played forest ranger Timber Tom in the Canadian version of Howdy Doody. Oddly, at the same time, William Shatner was playing Ranger Bill in the American version of the show. Both men later appeared together on the Canadian TV series Space Command.

Doohan’s iconic depiction of Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott on the starship Enterprise defined his career.

Over the years Doohan played a wide range of roles on screens both large and small. However, the one part for which he is best remembered is that of Montgomery Scott, the chief engineer on Star Trek‘s starship Enterprise. Though he was neither Scottish nor an engineer, James Doohan’s depiction of the longsuffering Starfleet officer created a cinematic icon.

James Doohan crafted the role of Montgomery Scott himself.

While auditioning for the part before Gene Roddenberry, the creator and producer of Star Trek, Doohan suggested that all the best engineers were Scottish. He personally chose the first name of Montgomery to honor his grandfather. The resulting beloved character became a fixture across three years’ worth of live-action television, an animated series, and seven major films.

Jimmy Doohan enjoyed an exceptional acting range.

Doohan’s vocal range was indeed remarkable. He voiced a variety of entities on the TV series to include Sargon in “Return of Tomorrow,” the M-5 in “The Ultimate Computer,” the Mission Control Voice in “Assignment: Earth,” and the Oracle in “For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky.” He voiced a total of fifty different characters during the animated series to include as many as seven in a single episode. He also contributed heavily to the development of both the Vulcan and Klingon languages for the films.

Note Doohan’s right hand in this shot as Scotty struggles to manage an armload of tribbles. He is clearly missing his middle finger.

The Trekkie truly committed to his craft might appreciate, however, that throughout the run of both the TV shows and movies, Doohan takes care with how he positions his hands. However, in “The Trouble with Tribbles” we do get a quick glance. James Doohan was missing his right middle finger. The tale of how he lost that digit is indeed fascinating.

A Young Man Goes to War

Here we see young Corporal James Doohan soon after his entrance into the Canadian Army.

Doohan’s father was an alcoholic who made life miserable for Jimmy and his three older siblings. At age nineteen, Doohan enlisted in the Royal Canadian Artillery and was assigned to the 14th (Midland) Field Battery of the 2d Canadian Infantry Division. He was later commissioned a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the 14th Field Artillery Regiment of the 3d Canadian Infantry Division. In 1940 he was deployed to England. By 1944 he was ready to go to war.

LT Doohan was a hero among a generation of heroes.

LT Doohan landed on Juno Beach on June 6, 1944, alongside 14,000 other Canadian troops. Juno was one of five invasion beaches designated as part of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy. Opposing the invading Canadians were two battalions of the German 716th Infantry Division with elements of the 21st Panzer in reserve near Caen. The initial landing was a fairly bitter thing. One in every eighteen Canadian assault troops became casualties that first day.

LT James Doohan spent but a single day in ground combat, but it was a most remarkable 24 hours.

LT Doohan led his men across the beach strewn with antitank mines and personally killed a pair of German snipers. Doohan was ultimately in combat less than 24 hours. At around 2300 that first evening the young Canadian officer was making his way between a pair of Allied positions when an inexperienced Bren gunner fired at the noise. Doohan caught a total of six not-so-friendly .303 rounds.

Live Long and Prosper

Doohan took four rounds to his left knee and leg and one to the chest. The sixth round blew off the middle finger on his right hand. The chest wound would have undoubtedly been fatal had it not struck a glancing blow that deflected off of a cigarette case Doohan kept in his left breast pocket. The case had been a gift from his brother. Doohan joked later in life that he was one of the few people for whom smoking had actually saved his life.

The Guns

The SMLE was the fastest bolt-action Infantry rifle of WW1.

LT James Doohan’s No 4 Lee-Enfield rifle was an evolutionary development of the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE) with which Commonwealth forces fought the First World War. These Tommies called their SMLE rifles “Smellies.” The SMLE was itself a development of the previous Lee-Metford.

The No 4 Lee-Enfield was the definitive WW2 variant.

The No 4 Lee-Enfield was cheaper and faster to produce than the WW1-era weapon. Fed from either a detachable ten-round box magazine or top-fed stripper clips, the No 4 also cocked on closing and had an abbreviated 60-degree bolt throw. These attributes made the Lee-Enfield arguably the fastest bolt-action military rifle ever produced. In 1914 a British musketry instructor named SGT Snoxall put 38 rounds inside a 12-inch target at 300 yards in 60 seconds, a record that purportedly stands even today.

Th Bren gun armed Commonwealth forces in all theaters where they served.

The Bren gun was a license-produced development of the Czech ZGB-33 light machinegun. The name “Bren” is a portmanteau combining Brno, the Czech city where the gun was first designed, and Enfield, the location of the British Royal Small Arms Factory. The ZGB-33 was itself developed from the previous Zb vz.26 designed by Czech designer Vaclev Holek.

The 100-round drum magazine on the Bren was both heavy and cumbersome.

Originally adopted in 1935, the Bren fired the rimmed .303 British cartridge and weighed about 23 pounds. The gun’s sedate 500 rpm rate of fire, its superb reliability, and its quick-change barrel made it an efficient and effective support weapon. The Bren fed from the top via a sharply curved 30-round box or a 100-round pan magazine. However, the latter was a bit ungainly in action. All members of the rifle squad would typically pack spare magazines for the Bren.

The Bren actually remained in production well into the Information Age.

In the 1950’s the British re-barrelled the Bren gun to fire the NATO-standard 7.62x51mm round and designated it the L4A4 LMG. This variant served through the war in the Falklands. Final production of the Bren by the Indian Ordnance Factories continued until 2012.

The Bren was the tactical center of gravity for Commonwealth Infantry formations.

Though expensive and fairly heavy, the Bren has been described as the best light machinegun of its era. Filling roughly the same tactical space as did the American BAR, the Bren benefitted from its quick-change barrel and increased magazine capacity. The L4A4 version used a magazine that was interchangeable with those of the L1A1 SLR rifles employed by British forces at the time.

The Rest of the Story

Despite serving in the Canadian Army rather than the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) LT Doohan was selected for pilot training as an artillery spotter.

LT Doohan obviously recovered from the wounds he incurred on D-Day. Afterward, he was selected for pilot training and graduated from Air Observation Course 40 alongside eleven other Canadian artillery officers. Doohan trained to fly the Taylorcraft Auster Mark V observation aircraft. He was assigned to the 666 Air Observation Post Squadron RCAF at Andover, England, in support of the 1st Army Group Royal Canadian Artillery.

CPT Doohan was a maniac at the controls of a flying machine.

Captain Doohan soon developed a reputation for his daring at the controls of his nimble little spotter plane. Once in the late spring of 1945 while flying a Mark IV Auster on the Salisbury Plain north of Andover he came across a series of telegraph poles. Doohan then slalomed his little plane back and forth around the poles, in his words later, “to prove it could be done.” He was strongly reprimanded for this stunt. He left the Canadian Army shortly after the end of the war.

Star Trek developed such a rabid following that all the major characters found themselves hopelessly type-cast.

Many of the Star Trek cast, particularly Leonard Nimoy, resented being type-cast in those roles. James Doohan did also strive for a time to shake off the inevitable baggage that came with playing such a popular character. However, he eventually came to embrace his Scotty persona and was a popular fixture at conventions for decades. Most of his film and TV roles after Star Trek included some reference or parody to his most famous part.

Galaxy Quest is a legitimately hilarious homage to the cultural phenomenon that is Star Trek.

William Shatner who played Captain Kirk was notoriously difficult. The strained relationship between Shatner and the rest of the cast is beautifully parodied in the simply spectacular spoof Galaxy Quest. If you have any interest in classic science fiction at all and haven’t yet seen Quest then stop what you’re doing immediately and go watch it. You’ll thank me later.

Doohan and Shatner’s relationship was abrasive to say the least.

Doohan once said of Shatner, “I like Captain Kirk, but I sure don’t like Bill.” Of the original cast, Doohan was the only one who refused to be interviewed for Shatner’s Star Trek: Memories books about the show and subsequent films. I’m not too proud to admit to having read and enjoyed both tomes. By their final convention appearance together in 2004 Doohan and Shatner seemed to have mended their relationship.

James Doohan married his third and final wife Wende when he was 54 and she was 18. They remained married for 31 years until his death. His seventh child Sarah, shown here with her famous dad, was born when he was 80.

Jimmy Doohan was married three times and had seven children. Like most Hollywood personalities, his personal life was tumultuous. However, it was of his contributions in the Real World that Doohan was most proud. Doohan once corresponded with a young fan who was contemplating suicide. After subsequently meeting at a Star Trek convention Doohan’s encouragement and support not only got the young woman through her emotional slump but inspired her to complete engineering school. At James Doohan’s final stage appearance before his death in 2005 at age 85 Astronaut Neil Armstrong told him, “From one old engineer to another, thanks, mate.”

Though never trained as an engineer James Doohan and the Star Trek character he created inspired a generation of aviators, technicians, mechanics, and scientists.

About the author: Will Dabbs A native of the Mississippi Delta, Will is a mechanical engineer who flew UH1H, OH58A/C, CH47D, and AH1S aircraft as an Army Aviator. He has parachuted out of perfectly good airplanes at 3 o’clock in the morning and summited Mount McKinley, Alaska, six times…always at the controls of an Army helicopter, which is the only way sensible folk climb mountains. Major Dabbs eventually resigned his commission in favor of medical school where he delivered 60 babies and occasionally wrung human blood out of his socks. Will works in his own urgent care clinic, shares a business build-ing precision rifles and sound suppressors, and has written for the gun press since 1989. He is married to his high school sweetheart, has three awesome adult children, and teaches Sunday School. Turn-ons include vintage German machineguns, flying his sexy-cool RV6A airplane, Count Chocula cereal, and the movie “Aliens.”

The Green Machine Well I thought it was neat!

The 6 Types Of Lieutenants That You Just Can’t Avoid In The Military BY CARL FORSLING 

Lieutenants never get much respect. What do you expect, though? You send a 22-year-old new college grad to officer candidates…

Lieutenants never get much respect. What do you expect, though? You send a 22-year-old new college grad to officer candidates school for a few weeks and expect him to be in charge of a platoon of grizzled combat veterans… What could possibly go wrong? It’s the brain-damaged leading the blind. Every rank has some major archetypes, and lieutenants are no different. Here are six types you’re probably already familiar with.

1. Lt. Clueless

Quote: “If that’s not how we’re supposed to use a compass, then why did they teach it at The Basic School?”

The conventional view is that ALL lieutenants are clueless, but that can’t really be the case, or else the service would be even more screwed than it already is. All LTs take a while to get up to speed, but Lt. Clueless seems to be coming more undone every day, not less.

He’s smart enough to graduate college in basket weaving, phys ed, criminal justice, or some similar bullshit degree, but not smart enough to keep track of his own rifle. The upside of that is that stealing his firing pin will be easier.

Everyone under Clueless is counting the hours until the company commander finally figures out that one of his platoon commanders spends his free time chewing crayons. They just hope it comes before deployment, when some of them might have to patrol with him.

2. Lt. Tacticool

Quote: “I got this kickass rig online at Brigade Quartermaster. Yeah, it’s Kydex.”

One of the best things about the military is that it lets you play with cool toys. Don’t tell Lt. Tacticool that the the gear he’s issued is really all he needs, because that’s not the point. The point is to be just a little better equipped than anyone else. He spends his entire paycheck shopping online for the same gear used by Delta Force. Lt. Tacticool works in admin or in logistics or as a pilot. That doesn’t stop him from needing dumbass items like a drop holster that can’t be worn on a walk longer than 100 meters but looks absolutely badass.

If the gun doesn’t work, though, he’s got three concealed punch knives as backup. Don’t worry. He’ll make up for all the extra weight with $200 custom gel boot inserts.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t Tacticools in the infantry, but the laughter of their fellow lieutenants usually shames them into relative normalcy before too many enlisted grunts join in on the ribbing. These LTs live in closeted gear-queerness, wasting their paychecks in more subtle ways, like snatching up $1,000 GPS altimeter watches.

3. Lt. Beast

Quote: “I can’t believe they pay me to do this shit! HELLS YEAH!”

The Beast, on the other hand, does reside disproportionately in the combat arms. It’s just as well, because if he was in logistics, all his troops would be hiding under their desks by the end of the day. Everyone else groans when a unit hump is announced. The Beast adds extra weight to his pack. He says “If it ain’t rainin’, we ain’t trainin’!” unironically.

The Beast honestly can’t figure why others don’t enjoy it when things suck. He thinks “embrace the suck” is a religion, not a sarcastic comment. He’s into Crossfit, because of course he is. He’s also signed up for Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and some obscure event involving dragging one’s testicles through broken glass for 26.2 miles in the Sierra Nevadas.

The Beast is absolutely the perfect individual to have around in the middle of a close-quarters battle. Unfortunately, he’s also the last individual you want anywhere that isn’t in the middle of an active firefight.

4. Lt. Nerd

Quote: “My paper on military organization based on fractal principles is getting published in Joint Forces Quarterly next month!”

Lt. Nerd is, on paper, the perfect military officer. He went to a good school and was near the top of his class in all of his training. He’s read the Professional Military Education reading list through colonel. He’s working on his master’s degree. He’s even starting a new podcast next week, called Tactics Talk, so he can share his hard-earned wisdom with upwards of half a dozen people.

He is doing great, at least in his own mind. Unfortunately, the military is basically high school. The jocks run the school. Even though he has bars on his collar, the nerd gets no respect.

5. Lt. Mustang

Quote: “Gunny, really? What. The. Fuck.”

The prior-enlisted officer or “mustang” is definitely a little different than the typical lieutenant, not least because he’s nearly a decade years older than most of his peers. He has a few more tattoos than them, too.

Knowing the ropes is his superpower. PT, usually not so much. He’s gained a few pounds and and lost a few steps compared to his new young friends in the officer corps.

Most of the enlisted think it’s great that their lieutenant was once one of them. The platoon sergeant isn’t necessarily so thrilled. He’s pleased to get a lieutenant that he doesn’t need to hide sharp objects from. On the other hand, he can’t get rid of his lieutenant for a whole day by asking him to pick up a box of grid squares.

6. Lt. Niedermeyer

Quote: “Is THAT a wrinkle…ON YOUR UNIFORM!”

Military life naturally attracts those with attention to detail and a desire for order. Unfortunately, there can always be too much of a good thing.

You can generally find Lt. Niedermeyer in the parking lot, trolling for salutes — or, rather, for those missing salutes — so he can joyfully berate them. Of course, a true Niedermeyer counsels like a drill instructor — loudly, yet sans profanity, because profanity would be contrary to regulations. Doggone it, devildog!

The good thing about Niedermeyer is that he always follows the rules. The bad thing about Niedermeyer is that he always follows the rules. The worst thing is that if you want to know who your commanding general will be in 20 years or so, look no further, because Niedermeyer is going places.

All About Guns Well I thought it was neat!

Just another example of why I think that I was born about 80 years too late

All About Guns Well I thought it was neat!

1890 Wax Bullet Duelling Pistols

Our Great Kids Well I thought it was neat!


Well I thought it was neat!


All About Guns Well I thought it was neat!

“Quickly reload and kill the horse” – the “Smith and Wesson” revolver in the army of the Russian Empire

"Quickly reload and kill the horse" - the "Smith and Wesson" revolver in the army of the Russian Empire
A still from the 1938 comedy “The Bear” with the participation of wonderful actors Mikhail Zharov, Olga Androvskaya and two revolvers “Smith and Wesson”!
“My father drank like a barrel,
And he died from wine.
I am the only daughter left
And I am called “Mamzel Na-na”.

(A song from the Soviet film “Bear” (1938) directed by Isidor Annensky based on the play of the same name by A.P. Chekhov)

Weapon and firms. And it so happened that after the Crimean War, the Russian imperial army, or rather not the army itself, but the ranks who commanded it, finally realized that the need to arm with modern weapons is not a whim, but a severe necessity. Well, there is not enough for our entire army made on the model of the Kolt revolvers, of which only 400 were made in our country in 1855. True, the initiative was taken by the gendarmes, armed with a Lefosche revolver in 1860, and all the same sailors who requested Galan’s revolvers for themselves in 1869 … But the army still did not have a revolver. But time and money prevail over everything. And now (albeit a little delayed) and the army finally received a weapon of the first class for that time – a cartridge revolver of the firm “Smith and Wesson” caliber .44 under the so-called “Russian cartridge”.

Revolver “Smith and Wesson” model 1870. Photo from the site of the firm “Smith & Wesson”

There was already an article here on VO, where it was told about the role that a certain Grand Duke and two of our colonels who were well versed in weapons played in the fact that this particular revolver came into service – we will not repeat ourselves. It is important to emphasize that one of the most important requirements that the army presented to the new weapon was its lethality! The revolver was supposed to kill the horse at a distance of 50 steps and thus incapacitate the rider! The firing speed of their revolver was also important, because they were supposed to arm the cavalry first of all, and there speed is of particular importance.

Revolver “Smith and Wesson” No. 3 Russian (“S&W Russian”)

The revolver was tested and here are the results it showed:

when shooting at boards (pine) with a thickness of 25 mm at a distance of 25 steps with a distance of one inch, 3,65 boards were pierced, that is, three through and through, and in the fourth the bullet got stuck;

at a distance of 50 paces, the bullet pierced 2,75 boards;

but for 100 steps only one, however, and this seemed quite enough!

Accuracy was also considered satisfactory:

At a distance of 15 paces, the radius of the best half of the bullets was 8,9 cm;

25 steps – 12,6 cm;

and 50 steps – 21 cm.

Well, his rate of fire was such that from a soldier’s model (that is, without self-cocking), the shooter could release all six charges in just ten seconds (!), And then, reloading the revolver, 24 shots in two minutes.

Lemonade Joe is a wonderful 1964 parody of Western Westerns, filmed in Czechoslovakia. By the way, Joe is holding a Smith and Wesson revolver of the “Russian model”

The adopted model of 1869 in Russia received the official name “4,2-line revolver of the Smith-Wesson system” and had the following main features: a 4,2 line caliber (10,67 mm), a six-round drum, an eight-inch barrel (203 mm) and a cartridge with a Berdan primer for center ignition. A very important quality of the revolver was its quick reloading.

The revolver was designed in such a way that it “broke” in half, and at the same time all spent cartridges were simultaneously (and automatically) removed from the drum. True, the revolver originally had a trigger mechanism of only single action, but this was again the requirement of our military. After all, a loaded revolver weighed about 1,5 kg, which, in their opinion, made self-cocking firing from it inaccurate.

The first model that came to Russia was designated by the index I. And in total, the Smith & Wesson company supplied us with more than 250 thousand of their revolvers. And for a long time (because of this) it was a little-known enterprise in the United States itself, since she worked tirelessly on the Russian order.

The hero of our film, although they are not comparable in content, is certainly “more epic”!

In total, the Russian imperial army used three models of revolvers, respectively, 1871, 1872 and 1880. release, which primarily differed from one another in barrel length: 203 mm, 178 mm (seven inches), 165 mm (six and a half inches) and a number of small parts.

By the way, the model III of 1880, although it had the shortest barrel in comparison with all the others, nevertheless had quite sufficient destructive power: its bullet at a distance of 20 m pierced four inch pine boards.

The external difference (and the most noticeable one that distinguished the “Russian model” from all the others) was a protrusion on the body behind the trigger, which prevented the handle from “sliding” when firing into the palm, and a “spur” on the trigger guard (which increased the convenience of using the revolver when shooting from a horse ), introduced (as they say!) with the filing of the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich, who was hunting buffalo with a Smith and Wesson revolver!

Smith and Wesson No. 3, Turkish Model, c. 1879 to 1880. Weight 1230 g, barrel length 159 mm (6,25 inches), overall length 304 mm (11,96 inches). Royal Arsenal, Copenhagen

And this is how they look in the box!

In addition, for the officers in the mid-1880s in the United States ordered a small batch of self-cocking “Smith and Wesson” No. 3 model 1880, which had a double action trigger. He received the name “Smith-Wesson revolver, officer’s standard, triple action.” Why “triple action”? Yes, because the trigger on it could also be put in the “third position” – that is, on the safety platoon. Therefore, these revolvers had a developed trigger, which made it possible to create strong pressure on it with a finger, and the bracket around it was large.

The cartridge had a brass sleeve, which contained a charge of black powder in 1/3 of the spool (1 spool – 4,265 grams), and a bullet that had a length of 1,5 calibers and a weight of 3,5 spool. The bullet was provided with three annular grooves stuffed with “cannon fat”, which made it possible to lubricate the barrel and protect it from the harmful effects of powder gases. Well, his bullet speed was quite decent – about 210 m / s.

By the way, it soon became clear that the destructive power of the revolver bullet is even higher than the bullets of the Berdan rifle, which had the same caliber, precisely because of its lower initial velocity! That is, the Russian imperial army received at its disposal extremely powerful and modern weapons at that time. And yet she was unhappy with him.

“Smith and Wesson” No. 3, model 1880, gift copy. Made in Germany by order of the Russian government at Ludwig von Loewe & Co, between 1880 and 1885. Technique: engraving, gilding, niello, ivory carving. Overall length: 30,7 cm; barrel length: 16,7 cm; caliber: 10,7 mm. State Hermitage, St. Petersburg

I am dissatisfied, however, not at all with its ballistic characteristics and convenient reloading (although there were also complaints about it). No, the revolver was disliked for being too heavy.

It soon became clear that soldiers and officers did not have to use it in battle so often. But carrying one and a half kilograms of iron on your side is inconvenient. The belt with the holster slid to one side, and for some reason they did not think of two shoulder belts that appeared in the Russian army in the XNUMXth century.

The cord (so as not to lose the revolver!), Fixed to its handle, was inconvenient, since it looped around the neck and created a direct threat of suffocation of the shooter. So many scolded “Smith and Wesson”, but there were those who praised him.

For example, in No. 32 of the magazine “Russian invalid” for 1892, it was written:

“And so the system of carrying a revolver in a holster on a waist belt should have been kept unchanged, the revolving cord should be abolished; the Smith and Wesson revolvers should be left as before, because, in addition to excellent fighting qualities, in fact, as a firearm, this revolver in hand-to-hand combat is an equally excellent edged weapon in its massiveness and in the crushing blows it inflicts.

And yes, indeed, this revolver, taken by the barrel, was a real club, although its creators hardly planned it for such use.

Therefore, it so happened that in 1895 “Smith and Wesson” replaced the Nagant revolver, which was much lighter and smaller in size, although it was reloaded in the most primitive way, through the “Abadi door” that closed the drum chambers by turning sideways , and on the right side, by analogy with Colt’s revolvers in the early 1870s, which made him completely uncomfortable for the same cavalry.

Revolver carbine, 1871 with a long barrel and wooden stock (Hatington Museum of Art, West Virginia)

The Small Russian Model Smith-Wesson was also produced – as a civilian weapon of caliber 38 (9,7 mm), with a short barrel and even without a trigger bow.

In addition to the USA and the Tula Arms Plant, these revolvers chambered for the “Russian cartridge” .44 were also produced by some European firms. For example, a self-cocking lightweight sample with a short barrel was made in Belgium. And among the officers of the Russian army, it was very popular precisely because of its reduced weight.

In general, the Smith and Wesson revolvers served a long service in Russia. When they were taken out of service by the army, they were handed over to the Russian police. During the First World War, the “Smith-Wessons” remaining in the army warehouses were given to the militia, rear and auxiliary services of the army, and some part were converted into rocket launchers. Until 1917, foresters and road rangers served with them, since they were not given guns, so that there would be no temptation to engage in poaching.

In 1879 Russia transferred 2000 revolvers of the 1874 model and 100 cartridges to the Bulgarian army. In November 000, on the eve of the war with Serbia, it was armed with 1885 revolvers, and before its entry into the First World War – 1612. Then one thousand revolvers mod. In 1112, Japan purchased from the USA and used them during the Russo-Japanese War. And then on the basis of this revolver in the Land of the Rising Sun they created their own model – the Hino revolver.

An advertisement for a Smith & Wesson “triple action” hammerless revolver, 1887. Photo from the Smith & Wesson website

They sold Smith-Wessons to Turkey, Mexico and even Australia, as well as to China. However, in no other country in the world have they been found in such numbers as here, in Russia!

Still from The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James. Everyone has a Smith & Wesson in their hands!

By the way, despite its rarity in the USA, “S&W Russian” and similar models were very popular in the Wild West. So, in different years such famous personalities were armed with them – shooters and law enforcement officers like Wyatt Earp, his brother Virgil, Pat Garrett and others, and on the other hand, equally well-known criminals like Billy Kid and John Hardin, Jesse James and Bob Ford. So, it was from this .44 caliber revolver that Ford shot in the back and killed Jesse James …

Well, for our “Bear” everything ended well, just very well!
Vyacheslav Shpakovsky
Soldiering Well I thought it was neat!


The Van de Graaff generator is the most entertaining piece of kit in any high school physics lab.


In general, soldiers aren’t stupid. We weren’t necessarily the smartest kids on the block, but it never was really a lack of intelligence that got us into trouble. It was rather the synergistic combination of some fairly difficult technical tasks combined with a lot of pressure and a healthy sprinkling of testosterone. The pressure was an integral part of the equation. Combat is stressful, so the Big Green Machine did its utmost to prepare us for that.

Uncle Sam had lots of stress enhancement tools. Sleep deprivation was the most common. It didn’t cost anything, and it worked like a champ. A little hunger added flavor. The real engines behind the chaos, however, were the Black Hats, ranger instructors, drill sergeants, and the like. They were harder than woodpecker lips and absolutely merciless. These guys can smell weakness at a slant range of three clicks in hard dark. Tying a knot in a piece of rope while sitting in your living room watching Netflix is painless. That same task dangling from a cliff with these sadists screaming at you is another thing entirely. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s their job to make it so.


The Boeing CH47D Chinook helicopter is a lot of cool things. It is also the
mother of all Van der Graaf generators. Photo by Daniel Klein via Unsplash

The Setting


I was flying in support of Air Assault school. Air Assault teaches operations in and around combat helicopters. Descending out of a hovering helicopter on a rope is a perennial crowd pleaser. Learning how to prep an external sling load is another. There’s a great deal of physical training along with some legendary ruck marches thrown in just to keep things spicy.

If something is too bulky to fit inside the aircraft you just rig it up with some heavy nylon slings and hook it underneath the helicopter. This day, we were a flight of two CH47D Chinooks. The loads were Conexes, those big steel boxes the Army uses to hold just about everything.

The six 30-foot blades on a Chinook helicopter are made from fiberglass. When slaved to 9,000 shaft horsepower worth of Lycoming fortitude they will move a simply breathtaking volume of air. They also collect a fair number of electrons.

The physics lab counterpart is the Van de Graaff generator. American physicist Robert J. Van der Graaff thought this rascal up in 1929. This delightful trinket sports an electrically-driven belt and a big silver Kojak ball up top. Turn it on and the thing builds up a massive static electrical charge. Grab it and your hair will stand straight up. Put one hand on the ball and touch a buddy and that guy will reliably come to Jesus.


Lighting is undeniably pretty, but you really don’t want to get any of that on you.
Photo by Brandon Morgan via Unsplash


A Van de Graaff generator instantly transforms the skinniest Physics nerd into an acne-ridden, lightning bolt-shooting god of thunder. It was the highlight of my high school physics experience. A Chinook helicopter in dry air is the same thing — only way more so.

Uncle Sam knows this, so the first step whenever you are hooking up a sling load is to touch the cargo hook with a grounding pole. As the aircraft in flight isn’t grounded and the tires are rubber this zillion-volt electrical charge is harmless to the flight crew. However, grab that hook without grounding the aircraft and you’re in for the ride of your life.

We had been picking up those big boxes for an hour or more. Our station was shut down for a few minutes while they cycled in another group of trainees, so I pivoted the aircraft to give us a clear view of the other bird, set down, and pulled the engine condition levers back to save gas. That’s when I saw it.

There were two guys standing on top of the big steel box as our sister aircraft maneuvered into position. This was the era before Kevlar so they both wore WW2-vintage steel helmets. I noted to my fellow pilot that neither man had the grounding rod.

It’s not necessarily that these guys were stupid, though that could quite possibly have been the case. They were just stressed and forgot something important. Before I could get on the radio an arc of static electricity several times brighter than the sun leapt from the cargo hook into the nearest man’s head.

This poor slob convulsed and flew backwards like, well, he had been struck by lightning. He dropped off the tall metal box and began flopping about like a beached carp. I could swear his uniform was smoking.

After a few minutes they got him up and walking, albeit at a pronounced list. In classic Army fashion, the instructors put him at the back of the line to try once more. I bet he never forgot that grounding rod again.

The Green Machine Well I thought it was neat!

Kinda reminds me of Reception Station

The before and after when the Army shaved our heads! Grumpy

Some Sick Puppies! Well I thought it was neat!

Connor Betts, Pistol Braces, and the Dayton Shooting by WILL DABBS

The USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio, is Mecca for an airplane nerd.

I used to be an Army pilot, and I maintain a small plane today. In early August of 2019, one of my adult kids and I flew to Dayton, Ohio, to spend the weekend walking around the Air Force museum. Theirs is likely the greatest collection of vintage warplanes in the world. As quality time with the family goes, it was epic.

The Springfield Armory Hellcat is a superb concealed carry pistol. With 13+1 onboard and unflinching reliability, the Hellcat represents the current state of the art.

In the evening we went into Dayton for dinner and a movie. These were the days before Covid, so we could just wander about taking in the sights without worrying about contracting some ghastly disease. Ohio enjoys concealed carry reciprocity with my home state so I packed a nice carry gun, in this case a Springfield Armory Hellcat charged with fourteen SIG SAUER 147-grain V-Crown 9mm hollowpoints. The trip was great, and we made it home without incident.

One Week Later…

Connor Betts, shown here on the left alongside his sister Megan, was a full-bore psychopath.

One week after we had been strolling around the Oregon Historic District in Dayton, Connor Betts was hanging out in a nearby bar with his 22-year-old sister Megan. He had been texting a former girlfriend earlier in the evening and seemed to her to be fairly normal. After a couple of hours in the club, Betts disappeared. He returned in short order wearing body armor and some kind of creepy mask while carrying an AR15 pistol.

Betts is shown here outside the Ned Peppers Bar just before Dayton’s finest shut him down. Even today nobody is really sure what set him off.

For reasons that are not well understood, Betts then opened fire on the revelers in the street outside Ned Peppers Bar. In thirty seconds he fired forty-one rounds. In that half-minute, he killed nine people and injured another seventeen. One of the dead was his sister Megan. One of the severely wounded was his best friend Chace.

 Ned Peppers was the site of a horrible shooting in the summer of 2019. 

At the first sounds of gunfire, the partiers in the streets fled indoors through any handy doorway. People streamed into establishments around the neighborhood trying to avoid Betts and escape his rampage. Betts made a beeline for Ned Peppers, now packed with terrified people.

The cops were unbelievably efficient. Their fast action saved untold lives.

There were several Dayton police officers nearby when Betts opened fire. They responded immediately, running to the sounds of battle. Miraculously, the cops engaged Betts a mere 32 seconds after he fired his first shots. An autopsy determined that Betts had been hit by thirty rounds fired by police. He collapsed at the threshold of Ned Peppers and died at the scene.

The Gun

 Betts’ gun was a fairly typical low-end AR pistol with some inexpensive accessories.

Much hay has been made over the details of Connor Betts’ firearm. A no-frills Anderson Arms AR15 pistol with an 11.5-inch barrel and unremarkable round forearm, the gun featured a flat top upper and a red dot sight. Betts fed his gun via an imported 100-round drum magazine. Betts’ AR also included a Shockwave Pistol Stabilizing Brace (PSB).

Prior to his unprovoked rampage, Connor Betts had seen his share of trouble. However, his behavior had not risen to the point that he could not pass a background check.

Betts had no criminal record and bought the gun legally from a supplier in Texas. The weapon transferred to him via a local FFL. When Betts was gunned down by the Dayton cops he dropped a thirty-round magazine onto the ground.

The Shockwave PSB slides over the buffer tube on an AR-style pistol.

PSB’s are curious things. Initially developed by Alex Boscoe of SB tactical to aid disabled shooters in running heavy handguns one-handed, these accessories have spawned an entirely new genre of firearms. By including a PSB on an otherwise unremarkable AR or AK pistol, these short-barreled weapons become easier to operate despite their stubby barrels. These weapons also transfer like regular handguns rather than heavily regulated short-barreled rifles. PSBs have subsequently been fitted to shotguns and pistol-caliber weapons like the CZ Scorpion EVO and SIG MPX as well. There are estimated to be in excess of four million brace-equipped handguns in circulation in America. At the time of this writing, Connor Betts’ shooting was the only example I could find of a PSB having been used in a crime.

The media fixated on the particulars of Connor Betts’ firearm. It seems to me it might have been better to fixate on Connor Betts.

One subsequent headline screamed, “Dayton Shooter Used Gun That May Have Exploited an ATF Loophole.” The presupposition on the part of the less durable members of society that a guy who would willingly undertake mass murder might somehow inexplicably be motivated to adhere to gun laws seems utterly bewildering to me. However, in the aftermath of the Dayton shooting the loudest voices on the Left were screaming not about the psychopath Connor Betts but rather for enhanced restrictions on firearms. There was relatively little furor over what might have been practically done to stop the deranged shooter himself.

The Shooter

Connor Betts was a fairly troubled young man. 

Connor Betts never was quite right. A bully in high school, Betts was bipolar and carried a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He also admitted to hearing voices, though apparently he had not been formally diagnosed with schizophrenia at the time of his crime.

This is Connor Betts and a former girlfriend. Apparently Betts held a mean grudge.

Betts took rejection poorly. While at Bellbrook High School he kept a list of girls who had spurned him and anyone else he perceived to have slighted him in some way. He told friends he intended to rape the girls and kill the boys on his list as the opportunities arose. He also told fellow students he intended to shoot up his school. Betts was suspended for a year as a result in 2012 and subjected to a police investigation. He worked at a local gas station as well as Chipotle.

 The Antifa supporter Connor Betts was also a Satanist. His life was unfettered chaos.

Betts was an avid supporter of Antifa and regularly retweeted posts espousing extreme left-wing, anti-police views. He was a vocal supporter of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. He was tepid toward Kamala Harris based upon her historical connections to Law Enforcement. On his Twitter bio he described himself as a “Metalhead Anime-fan Leftist.” He wrote, “I’m going to hell and I’m not coming back.” He often used the hashtag #HailSatan.

 Here’s a shot of Connor Betts’ band, the Menstrual Munchies. In our enlightened age apparently a Shockwave pistol brace is a big deal while these guys are not.

Betts was the lead singer in a pornogrind metal band called Menstrual Munchies. His lyrics orbited around violence, gratuitous gore, and necrophilia. His music glorified sexual violence.

Connor Betts looks pretty normal here with his family. He wasn’t. His poor parents lost both their children that night.

A former classmate of Betts had this to say about him, “Connor Betts was a psychopath…I remember when he threatened to shoot up our school and had a hit list of people that he wanted to kill. I’ve worked with him, too, and he scared the employees on a daily basis.

 Betts shared a photo of this receipt with his girlfriend. Apparently he found the final total somehow gratifying.

“Everyone who knew him knew he had issues. I would tell people all the time to just stay away from him because he’s threatened to kill people. When the customers didn’t tip him, he would threaten to go to their house and kill them. I thought he was just all talk but then I would be at work by myself with him and hear him chanting things that sounded like he was worshiping the devil. I would be calling his name for him to stop and he wouldn’t answer.”


Satan worship was apparently a central part of Connor Betts’ worldview. Everyone who knew him well seemed to have seen this coming, yet the problem was his pistol brace.

This devil-worshipping Antifa loser exhibited all the hallmarks of a dysfunctional mass shooter from an early age. He was aggressively investigated by Law Enforcement fully ten years prior to his murder spree. He was being treated for serious mental health issues and was the lead singer in a band that screamed about killing women and then copulating with their corpses. And the primary problem is that he had a pistol brace on his firearm? As a society could we really be that naïve?

The media is awash in cop-bashing narratives. However, when Dayton police risk their lives and stop a mass shooter less than a minute after he begins his rampage that story is not widely disseminated.

Hating the cops is both in vogue and in the news these days. However, Connor Betts’ final moments were captured on surveillance footage from outside the Ned Peppers Bar. The Dayton PD simply could not have been any faster. They were on-site and engaging less than a minute after the first shots were fired. They killed this guy literally seconds before he made it into a bar packed with terrified humanity.

All of us want to stop these senseless mass shootings. However, laws that only impact law-abiding citizens are counterproductive.

When Betts was shot he presumably had 59 rounds left onboard his weapon and carried his next 30-round magazine ready to go. I think this may be the finest example of tactical police work I have ever seen. It is literally impossible to determine how many lives were saved by the bravery and selflessness shown by Dayton’s finest that fateful evening. And yet the Left persists in denigrating police in general while minimizing the importance of the services they provide.

Connor Betts’ life was inexplicably all darkness and hate. The pain that he unleashed on the world would be tough to quantify.

I was walking these same streets with my child a week prior to this event. But for the grace of God, we weren’t there when Connor Betts detonated. There are some 400 million firearms in America. If all guns were outlawed tomorrow under pain of death, psychopaths like Connor Betts would still be armed a century from now.

This cute little guy, shown here along with the sister he would ultimately murder, was a monster in the purest sense.

I don’t carry a gun to prove anything. If I’m doing it properly nobody will ever know. I carry a gun because my family and I share the world with anarchist Satan worshippers who are lead singers for pornogrind bands that celebrate murdering people and then desecrating their corpses. Some people study the Dayton shooting and see a desperate need for more gun control. I narrowly miss experiencing the same thing and give thanks that I live in a place where I don’t have to walk among such predators unarmed. Had I been there that fateful night I likely would have been killed along with the rest of them. However, I would have nonetheless had the means, the skill, and the will to fight back.

Connor Betts was quite vocal about his malevolent worldview online. America doesn’t have a gun problem. America has a people problem.