Sep 222017
 

Kalashnikov statue changed because of German weapon

Woopsie. A statue commemorating Mikhail Kalashnikov, designer of the AK-47, was unveiled in Moscow this week. Looks like a good statue.  At the base of the stature there’s a sculpted “exploded view” diagram of the AK-47. Well… of the German StG 44, in fact, not the AK-47. They look similar to be sure, but they are not the same. And once that mistake was discovered, they delicately chopped the diagram off with an angle grinder. The link above shows the before and after photos.

This sort of screwup is not as uncommon as you might hope. Sometime circa 1994 I attended the unveiling of a veterans memorial on (or near, I forget exactly) Rock Island Arsenal. It consisted of polished black marble slabs, one for each war on up to the Persian Gulf War. Each slab had “art” laser or chemically etched into the surface; pictures rather than actual sculpture. I had a difficult time not making a scene when I realized that the Persian Gulf War slab showed what was *supposed* to be an AH-64 Apache, but was actually an Agusta A129 Mangusta, an Italian attack helicopter that the US military most assuredly did *not* use in Iraq.

This is also not an AK-47. Or is it? Hmmm…

 

So where are the statues of Eugene Stoner, Edward Teller and John Moses Browning? I suggest for every statue of Jefferson Davis or Robert E. Lee taken down, they be replaced with prominent American weapons designers.

 Posted by at 11:44 pm
Sep 212017
 

You really want to impress the guys? Mount a 105 mm Howitzer in the back of your truck. Giggity!

This Humvee-Mounted Howitzer Is Here To “Shoot and Scoot”

It uses a special recoil dampening system that works well enough to allow the cannon to be mounted in the bed of a Ford F-250 pickup truck (seems to work about like the Howitzer proposed for helicopter use in the early 70’s).

The idea is to create a system mobile enough to fire off a few shots and then pack up and leave before counter-battery fire comes raining down. Seems to me, though, to really make the system work well it needs to have an autoloader with a magazine of four or more rounds and, preferably, the ability to fire either on the move, or within a few seconds of stopping, and then to get back moving again within a second or two.

Hold muh beer. BLAMMO!

 

 Posted by at 3:48 pm
Sep 042017
 

Neutronium is a common substance in science fiction. It is a real substance of incredible density, so a lot of authors have decided that it would make a neato structural element. The problem: it would explode.

Neutronium is, as the name suggests, a substance made out of pure neutrons. It exists in neutron stars… but really nowhere else. It *can’t* really exist anywhere else. Neutrons exists in close proximity in the nuclei of atoms, but there they are held in place with the strong nuclear force; eliminate the protons, and the neutrons will go flying apart. In neutron stars, the neutrons are held together solely by gravity. If you were to somehow teleport a chunk of neutronium off a neutron star, it would promptly explode.

Here’s an old video from Thunderf00t explaining another problem with neutronium: outside of the gravitational field of neutron stars and the strong force of nuclei, neutrons decay with a half life of about 10 minutes. And the results of that are pretty energetic.

So if you want to use neutronium in your sci-fi story, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.

 Posted by at 2:35 am
Sep 012017
 

A Rossi 12-guage pistol with special loads: a single shot of pain directly to your wrist.

But then, a six inch barrel seems a bit much for some applications. How about a shotgun with barrels shorter than the actual shotgun shells?

One could argue that this is a little silly.

 Posted by at 7:07 pm
Aug 292017
 

America tests ‘the most dangerous nuclear bomb ever produced’: F-15 drops $1trillion super-nuke that has an adjustable yield and is more accurate than ever

The B61-12 is called “dangerous” because it’s yield is *ridiculously* low, variable between 300 *tons* and fifty kilotons. How it’s a “super nuke” I can’t say.

Entertainingly, in an effort to define this bomb as “dangerous,” the author of the piece refers to both International ANSWER (a communist front group) and Russia Today (Putins mouthpiece in the west). these organizatiosn don;t want the US to have this or any other new nukes. Which means it’s probably a good idea to keep developing, testing and fielding new nukes.

 Posted by at 9:06 pm
Aug 152017
 

Here’s an ok video about the Davy Crockett nuclear weapon. This was a dinky device… a recoilless-rifle launched projectile with a simple mechanical timer and a yield of around 25 tons (not kilotons… tons). It was really only meant for one thing… tormenting the hordes of Soviet infantry and armor that was expected to come pouring into West Germany Any Day Now.

I’ve been wanting to make a 1:1 scale replica of the M388 projectile for years, but I’ve never found the time.

Aww. Ain’t that adorable?

Also:

 Posted by at 5:01 pm
Aug 142017
 

The GBU-43A/B “Massive Ordnance Air Blast (aka Mother Of All Bombs)” is dropped from a C-130. It sits on an aluminum cradle and rolls out the back of the plane, pulled out by a parachute. The question is: how does that chute work? If you watch the video below, you can see the parachute pack “drop” from the upper part of the doorway. This looks like either the pack was attached to the ceiling of the cargo bay (or the inner portion of the aft door that hinges upwards) and simply dropped, or perhaps it’s hurled out  by a catapult of some type. Does anyone know? I’ve looked but so far I’ve failed to find any photos, diagrams or videos depicting the setup prior to deployment.

 

 Posted by at 10:35 am