September 11th, 2011


The Volokh Conspiracy Cyberwar: Iran Counterattacks?

The Volokh Conspiracy Cyberwar: Iran Counterattacks?

Iran is to cyberwar what 1930s Spain was to airwar – contested ground where everyone tries out new technology and tactics. After being on the receiving end of Stuxnet, which sabotaged the Natanz enrichment plant and showed that cyberweapons could replace cruise missiles, it looks as though the Iran...

Posted by Michael Zeleny on 11 Sep 2011, 20:05

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no second place winner

The meeting was billed as “A Salute to Bill Jordan and the United States of America—A Bicentennial Spectacular Celebrating Over 200 Years of Lawfully Armed Citizenry Helping to Preserve Freedom.” Bill Jordan was being saluted because he is a recently retired top field representative of the National Rifle Association, a Marine veteran of the Second World War and Korea, a veteran of thirty years’ service with the United States Border Patrol in Texas, a holder of the trophy for Outstanding American Handgunner, a developer of Smith & Wesson’s Model 19 Combat Magnum revolver and the owner of Serial No. 1, the designer of the quick-draw Jordan holster and Jordan grip now used by many police officers, and author of the widely read book on handgun shooting titled “No Second Place Winner.” Mr. Jordan is also something of a trick shot, and this was to be his last public demonstration of his hip-shooting and quick-draw techniques.

Bill Jordan shooting his S&W M19
    In the lobby of the theatre, before the show, we saw some eight hundred Federation members; a display of nine target rifles; flags saying “Don’t Tread on Me;” a display of historic arms contributed by the New York State Police, including an original 1886 Winchester .36-30 repeating rifle, two .38 pistols, a service Colt .45, and a Thompson submachine gun, all guarded by two smooth-faced, blue-eyed state policemen in gray uniforms; four shiny-helmeted members of the New York National Guard, three with M-16 rifles, arriving in an armored jeep pulling a howitzer; five men dressed as British Army regulars of the eighteenth century, with .757-calibre antique Brown Bess muskets; and one man dressed as a Colonial soldier, who would have looked plausible in his tricorne hat and assorted animal furs if he had not also been wearing lavender-tinted aviator glasses. When Mr. Jordan arrived, the people in the lobby parted before him. He was wearing blue pants and a blue shirt-jacket with white stitching. He was tall and slope-shouldered, and his face looked like a less exaggerated version of Buddy Ebsen’s. He moved slowly, and he smiled and blinked a lot, and he shied away when one of the public-relations men leaned up to kiss him on the cheek. 
    Inside the theatre, we sat behind a man wearing a red blazer and an ankle holster. William G. Kalaidjian, a New York City police chaplain, opened the meeting with a prayer. Then a color guard brought Bill Jordan to the stage, and everybody recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Then Jerry Preiser, a clothing manufacturer and president of the Federation, gave a one-hundred-dollar Courageous Citizen Award to a camera-store owner who last February shot and killed an armed robber in his store. People applauded and cheered loudly, and the camera-store owner smiled and waved back as he accepted the check. Then Dr. Richard Drooz, a Manhattan psychiatrist, who is vice-president of the Federation, made a speech introducing Bill Jordan, which ended, “He has an articulate and beautiful way of relating to people. He has a beautiful sense of humor. And tonight he brings together under one roof the best of the military, the best of law enforcement, the best of humanity.”

FBI’s Jelly Bryce and
Bill Jordan of the Border Patrol
“Gunman’s Crouch” and “Standing Tall”
    Bill Jordan used paraffin bullets for his demonstration. He has a very fast draw, and he shot a number of balloons from the hands of his old Marine buddy Ray Heatherton, TV’s Merry Mailman. Firing from the hip, he hit a white Life Saver and then an aspirin on a table ten feet away. He told the audience one of his favorite sayings from the Border Patrol: “Speed is fine, but accuracy is final.” Then he made a speech about ways in which the National Rifle Association could increase its membership. He encouraged people to tell their hunting companions to join, and he said that he thought Citizens Band radio might also be effective in enlisting new members. 
    After Representative Mario Biaggi made a speech, the meeting broke up. As we were leaving, we heard a Federation member say to the man who had been sitting in front of us, “Hey, there, Paul. Don’t go running off with my handcuffs. Or my bullets.” They both laughed.
The New Yorker, Volume 52, 19 April 1976

fill your hand!

Symmetrical wraparound Nill grips on the recently produced Korth revolvers are ambidextrous and nicely hand-filling. I am getting the last two made by Nill for post-1986 Korth revolvers, and have their likes installed on my five favorite Manurhin MR73 revolvers. Original Korth stocks have an open backstrap and a shallow thumb rest just big enough to block a speedloader. They offer a nice rolling fit for the right hand; not so good for the left. Korth revolvers have two kinds of gripframes: the square butt frame on the Sport and Match revolvers, and the rounded butt gripframe on the Combat models. Since every revolver is benchmade individually, factory stocks are hand-fitted to each gun, and cannot be expected to interchange between them, much like the original Magna stocks on S&W Registered Magnums.

The Manurhin MR73 has a uniformly dimensioned, compact grip frame in a true round butt configuration. There are two kinds of factory stocks for the MR73. Most of the early revolvers regardless of the model, and most of the Police and Defense models regardless of vintage, are fitted with abbreviated walnut stocks that follow the contours of the grip frame, except for filling the gap behind the trigger guard in the manner of the pre-WWII S&W grip adapter. They are very comfortable to hold, but require a very firm grip for controlling the roll under recoil, and provide little feedback for a consistent handhold. The factory walnut, symmetrical finger grip Sport stocks fitted to later production Sport and Gendarmerie models wrap around the front strap and extend past the butt in a squared configuration, exposing the typically grooved backstrap. They are more hand-filling and offer better indexing, albeit not to the degree afforded by Nill grips. Full wraparound Trausch rubber grips, which can be had with or without a shelf at the bottom, offer all advantages and drawbacks of their kind.

No revolver designed and manufactured in the U.S. after 1911, was intended or suited for combat, as that destination was interpreted by the makers of Webleys and Nagants. Owing to America’s late entry into WWI, none of them were widely and successfully used in trench warfare, in the manner of the LP08 Artillery Luger. Like the S&W M19, its delicate precursor, the MR73 was designed and built for fighting by the constabulary personnel, not for combat by the military. Its typical application took place on the day after Christmas of 1994, when Captain Thierry P. of GIGN entered the hijacked Air France Flight 8969 plane, grounded at the Marseille airport. He served as the point shooter, armed with a 5¼" .357 Magnum Manurhin MR73 and backed by his partner Eric carrying a 9mm HK05 submachine gun. Thierry killed two Islamist terrorists and wounded a third with his revolver, before taking seven bullets from an AK47 fired by the fourth hijacker. In spite of then absorbing a full complement of grenade shrapnel in his lower body, Thierry P. survived the assault, as also did 171 hostages. Not so the four terrorists, who had been planning to deploy the plane as an incendiary missile against the Eiffel Tower. Thierry could have armed himself with any firearm. He chose an MR73. His fellow GIGN intervention troopers still choose to carry their vintage Manurhin MR73 revolvers alongside a modern automatic pistol such as a Glock G17 or G19, or a SIG P228 or P2022. Such anecdotes add up to all the data at my disposal, attesting to the relevant user preferences. N.B.: The plural of “anecdote” is “data”.