Feb 202018

The Daily Caller points out something obvious:

According To The FBI, Knives Kill Far More People Than Rifles In America – It’s Not Even Close

As could be expected, after the Parkland school shooting the Civilian Enfeeblement Movement has been freshly reinvigorated. Kids are being used to emotionally agitate for the latest round of gun control, showing once again why we don’t allow children to vote. Conveniently left out of the anti-firearm debate that’s been stoked by the left and their allies, the school-shooting psychos, is this little detail:

According to the FBI, 1,604 people were killed by “knives and cutting instruments” and 374 were killed by “rifles” in 2016.

The psycho-political theater here is obvious, and comes in two parts:

  1. Not everyone has a semi-automatic rifle but nearly everyone has a knife, even if it’s only a steak knife. Those behind the Civilian Enfeeblement Movement would thus have a much harder time banning knives than rifles so they start with the easier one, even though if their true purpose was to get rid of dangerous weapons For The Children they’d go after knives first.
  2. Knives kill one at a time, generally. But dozens killed in one go makes for a bigger, splashier headline, just as one hundred people killed in one hundred separate car crashes is less newsworthy than one hundred people killed in one plane crash.

So rather than go after the more dangerous weapons, the Civilian Enfeeblers go after the “scarier” ones. And of course, they ignore the elephant in the room… the giant, stanky, psychotic and enraged elephant: deinstitutionalization. Starting in the 1950’s and accelerating due to JFK’s influence (apparently due to guilt over his sister being lobotomized because his father was a horrible monster who bred a whole dynasty of horrible monsters), the loony bins of the United States were emptied out. A lot of this was due to the rise of drugs that did fantastic things for people with Entertaining Brains, and while that’s good when everything works right and the drugs are taken appropriately, drugs aren’t always taken appropriately. And by getting rid of the nuthouses, society has made it difficult to lock up the truly wacko except in prisons. And that requires that the crazy actually break things and hurt people before they are locked away, and by locking them into prisons they not only receive minimal proper mental health treatment, they are locked into a criminality training ground.

The Parkland shooter was apparently seen as a clear and present danger by a *lot* of people. In earlier decades he would have been institutionalized in some way; and locked in an insane asylum he would not have had access to firearms. A modern nut house would of course be a far better one than one in the 1950’s, with better practices and pharmaceuticals. He might have been “fixed” so that he could be returned to society as useful and minimally dangerous citizen, but since it is now seen as “wrong” to lock up people who manifestly nuts, he will spend the rest of his life at taxpayer expense in the prison system. A lot of kids died for that, and the rest of us may well lose some of our rights. One might wonder if that is at least part of the reason why there’s not so much interest in re-institutionalization… keep a sufficient number of dangerous whackjobs roaming at will in society and you keep people afraid and willing to surrender their rights to a more over-reaching government.

There is a rational solution: end the ridiculous War On Some Drugs and use the money wasted on that to build modern psychiatric institutions… and lock up people who are clearly nuts.

Note: I fully expect that some people might read this and be more incensed by my use of terms like “loony bins” than the fact that hundreds of thousands of clearly dangerous mentally unstable people are left to roam at will. This is indeed one of the great problems in modern society: the prioritization of politically correct speech and making sure the easily offended aren’t offended over actually fixing the damn problems.

 Posted by at 4:12 pm
Feb 052018

Pretty sure I’ve posted these, or something like these, before. But in light of the Boring Company’s “flamethrower,” here’s a flamethrower that anyone can actually buy, and that will project *real* fire a good long ways. The “Dragons Breath” shotgun rounds, which fire pellets of burning zirconium or magnesium, are not particularly wise for home defense.

And then this so very, very 80s:


 Posted by at 3:18 am
Feb 022018

The torch that the Boring Company is selling is cool and all, but it’s not a flamethrower by any real definition of the word. A flamethrower doesn’t just project flame a few feet, but a *stream* of some flammable liquid a considerable distance.

THIS is a flamethrower. It also seems to be being used in a rather unwise manner, but hey, looks like they’re having fun and all, and “because it’s fun” is reason enough for anyone to do anything, long as you don’t damage other people or their stuff.

Hot chicks, fully automatic weapons and destructive devices.  Bite me, joyless gun-grabbing safety fascists and hoplophobic pearl-clutching SJWs.


 Posted by at 8:21 pm
Feb 012018

Speculation that the Chinese have built themselves a railgun and mounted it on a ship.

This Is Our Best View Yet Of China’s Ship-Mounted Railgun Prototype

Is This Chinese Navy Ship Equipped With An Experimental Electromagnetic Railgun?


Whether it’s a railgun or not, whether it works or not, I hope that it spurs the DoD to get back on the job and fully funding the development of railguns of our own.

 Posted by at 1:51 pm
Jan 302018


Elon Musk sells $3.5m worth of flamethrowers in a day

Within hours, customers had placed orders for 7,000 flamethrowers, which at $500 each works out at $3.5m. The company had 20,000 in stock.


Now, please note: the link above goes to The Guardian. That rag is not only left-wing, it’s *European* left-wing. So I was pleasantly surprised at the fairly neutral reporting in the article. And then wholly unsurprised at the comments section, a pack of baying pearl-clutchers who think that the Precautionary Principle is the best way to not only live their own lives, but everyone else should as well. Such as:

  • What a totally sick and degenerate society.
  • I wonder how long it will be before a seven year old accidentally kills his baby sister with one of these? Insane.
  • What do you expect from the USA! This is the country we prefer to do business with after brexit. What fools we British have become.
  • I wonder how long before they throw Americans in the clanger and lose the keys
  • … it’s fruitcake land, you can buy machine guns and nukes over the counter without any background checks, how would a little flame thrower change the country that loves no regulations long as you can make a fast buck. Maybe he should start selling arsenic for Monday morning pep Pills

This level of commentary should come as no surprise, given that the Guardian previously published THIS steaming pile of backwards-thinking cowardice.

 Posted by at 2:56 am
Jan 292018

The Boring Company Flamethrower


Guaranteed to liven up any party!
World’s safest flamethrower!

-Fire extinguisher sold separately (for exorbitant amounts of money)
-Taxes and shipping will be added at checkout
-Additional customs fees may apply for international orders because of laws
-International customers can receive a full refund if not happy with said fees
-Before shipping, aspiring flamethrower aficionados will be sent a terms and conditions rhyme for review and acceptance
-Starts shipping in spring
-May not be used on Boring Company decorative lacquered hay bales or Boring Company dockside munitions warehouses

OK, yeah:

  1. It’s a gag
  2. It’s not actually a flame thrower, any more than the leaf burning torch in my garage is a flame thrower.

But still… it’s awesome to see a company have a damn sense of humor.

 Posted by at 12:45 am
Jan 192018

An edited version of a perfectly cromulent video that YouTube mysteriously yanked a little while back. Download and save for your records. Sadly I deleted the original version that I’d downloaded, stupidly assuming that it would stay up forever…

The shotgun has some issues, as seen in the testing video. But they are issues that seem quite resolvable with some slight reworking. It’s a snazzy design and certainly seems quite practical. It’d be nice to see two things done with this:

1: A regular, well-respected firearms company licenses the design, turning it into an affordable, practical shotgun available to the masses. Finished, polished, proper materials treating, it need not cost more than a couple hundred bucks.

2: The design for the home-built version is perfected, then released in both diagrammatic and CNC forms, ready for the home machinist to produce.


 Posted by at 7:05 pm
Jan 172018

The Soviet Tsar Bomb, dropped in 1961 and with a yield of around 50 megatons (backed down from the design yield of 100 megatons) is acknowledged as the biggest bomb ever tested. But is it the most powerful bomb ever designed, or ever built? I’ve discovered some snippets of evidence that the US *may* have designed, and even built, an even bigger bomb.

Several frustratingly unenlightening reports give bits and pieces of information on a bomb code-named “Flashback.” This device was apparently air-dropped near Johnston Atoll. “Flashback” was designed by Sandia Labs and flown from Kirtland Air Force Base to Oahu, Hawaii and then to Johnston Atoll. There are some Terrible Quality Photos:

The Flashback bomb was so big that it could not quite fit within the confines of the B-52 bomb bay, and required the removal of the bomb bay doors.

Of course, this could have been purely an aerodynamic shape. Or perhaps it was a large conventional bomb, a giant “Daisy Cutter.” Or perhaps it wasn’t an actual bomb as such, but just some sort of science experiment to be dropped from an aircraft. Lots of possibilities. But those possibilities drop away with some of the hints that are provided, such as:


This came from an electromagnetic radiation effects report, describing – seemingly – the effect of radio emissions from the B-52 upon the electronics of the Flashback bomb. Since the bomb projected well below the belly, it was subject not only to very cold temperatures but also to intense radio transmissions from the antennae below the B-52 fuselage, so it makes sense they’d test for that. You don’t want the B-52’s communications to cause the bombs fuzing to go screwy. In this particular test, the parachute was not packed within the tail of the Flashback; instead test instruments were fitted there. More tellingly, “All HE (high explosive) and nuclear components were deleted.” Emphasis mine. Additionally, “A simulator was used to replace the warhead.”

You don’t have a warhead in a science package. You don’t have nuclear components in a conventional bomb. and if this was simply an aerodynamic and mass simulator of a proposed bomb… you wouldn’t remove the nuclear materials, because you wouldn’t have installed them in the first place. You don’t fill a mockup full of jet fuel, after all.

Such details as the weight of the unit and the yield of the device are seemingly not given. But they can be guessed at. A report on testing of the tailfin has this:

I’m not quite sure how that load of 36,000 pounds would relate to any actual forces applied to an actual bomb, but it *may* indicate the weight.

Other reports list the sizes and weights of items to be shipped to Oahu (and then to Johnston Atoll) for the test. Some of them are intriguing… what is “EMPTV?” TV certainly means “test vehicle.” But does “EMP” mean Electromagnetic Pulse? If so, does that mean another bomb-like unit, or just a science package, meant to be *hit* with an EMP to see how it reacts? Or is it a specific EMP generator, to be dropped out of an aircraft? Whatever it is, it weighed 14,500 pounds and was around 221 inches long and perhaps 59 or so inches in diameter, and was quite classified (SRD = Secret Restricted Data… “Data concerning the design, manufacture, or utilization of atomic weapons; production of special nuclear material; or use of special nuclear material in the production of energy“).

And there’s 38,000 pounds of “test equipment,” which could be anything:

There was also this:

Here, the “BTV” is the “Big Test Vehicle,” 25,000 pounds, 309 inches long by up to 76 inches in diameter, also classified SRD. Big as this is, though, it’s possibly not the device hanging below the B-52’s belly; the BTV is referenced several times in a way that seems to make it distinct from the Flashback Test Vehicle. But perhaps they are the same thing.

The Flashback Test Vehicle, fortunately, was shown in a fair diagram of a wind tunnel model. Full scale, it was 297 inches long (not counting parachute pack or what appear to be antennae) and was ~96 inches in diameter. This makes it bigger, and presumably heavier, than the BTV. So 36,000 pounds is not unreasonable.

Other ill-described tests show the Flashback as a much smaller unit than the bomb. This, *perhaps,* is merely the “physics package” of the device. This test, illustrated with one of histories worst-quality photos, was carried out in a very cold high altitude chamber, and shows two more mysteries: the “Companion Test Vehicles,” or CTVs, which are unexplained. Speculating wildly, they might have been designed to have the same ballistic properties as the Flashback, so if you drop them from the B-52 along with the Flashback, they’ll fall along with it, following the same trajectory and staying reasonably close. Perhaps thy had cameras. perhaps they had sensors. Perhaps they had transmitters. Who knows.

And there was also the “UTV.” No further data.

Perhaps the Flashback, BTV, EMPTV and UTV were all different sizes of new gigantic bombs…?

Code names generally have no relationship to the subject, but are chosen essentially at random. One would never know that “Copper Canyon” was a program to develop a scramjet SSTO. Similarly, “Operation Paddlewheel” tells nothing. But perhaps, just barely, “Flashback” might have some meaning. Comparing the Flashback to the Tsar Bomb, it it remarkable how similar they are in terms of both size and shape. One might be forgiven for wondering if Flashback was the end result of someone trying to design a Really Big Bomb based on nothing more than a verbal description of the Tsar Bomb, given, perhaps, by a spy or defector. So *perhaps* this project was a “flash back” to the earlier Soviet design. If so, what was the purpose? Was it to give the United States the same insanely pointless capability? Or was it just to find out what the capabilities and limitations the Soviets had gifted or saddled themselves with?

Using the wind tunnel model diagram, I’ve reconstructed the Flashback to scale with the Tsar Bomb:

As can be seen, the Flashback had much the same configuration, but was substantially “fatter.” Impossible to say if that was because the US designers needed the extra diameter to get the same yield (theoretically 100 megatons), or if Sandia Labs went head and designed themselves an even bigger bang. What use is a 200 megaton bomb? Not much. But then, neither is a 100 megaton bomb, especially one so big that the carrier aircraft essentially has to *lumber* to the target all the while carrying the worlds largest bullseye.

As always, if anyone has any further info, I’d love to see it.

PS: I’ve taken the Flashback model and have turned it into 2D CAD diagrams, including scale comparison with the Tsar and showing it stuffed into the B-52’s belly. This diagram will be one of this months rewards for Patrons of the APR Patreon. A simplified version will be included at the $5 level; the full diagram will be in the $8 level rewards package. So if you’d like access… sign up for the APR Patreon.


It’s good to get a fresh perspective. Sadly, the perspective emailed to me was that the Flashback sure looked like a missile nosecone. So I pulled up the Flashback diagram I made from the wind tunnel model diagrams and put the RV from the Titan II ICBM on top of it. It’s not an exact match, but it’s distressingly close. If it wasn’t for the noticeably larger radius of the Flashbacks nose, I’d say it was spot-on… the outer diameter and angle are incredibly close matches.

So…what would be the point of that? Some sort of science experiment, clearly, rather than a weapons test. But what point would there be in dropping a Titan RV from a B-52? Why dangle it from a chute? Why add the heavy tail & fin assembly?

If it turns out that this was an experiment with the Titan RV, that would be less interesting than the revelation that the US developed a 50 to 100 megaton nuke. But it’s still interesting. Just not *as* interesting.

 Posted by at 8:33 pm