Thursday, January 2, 2020

Heh, That's Cute...


Field strip: To disassemble a weapon for cleaning, repair, or inspection.

Saw that meme above on koobecaF the other day, thought it was cute. I mean yes, in my 24 years in the Air Force I fired the M-16 a grand total of four times. Wasn't my job to hump a ruck and a rifle out in the bush.

I responded, in the spirit of inter-service rivalry, with this -


The picture above shows the disassembled (field stripped if you will) components of a B83 thermonuclear bomb. What I have also heard these beasts called is "canned sunshine." When one goes off, it's like we just gained another sun. A little something the Air Force is responsible for maintaining.

I would've quibbled with the Navy being able to field strip the rifle as shown, I guess the fellow who came up with this meme doesn't care for the Air Force and just tossed the Navy in to fill out the picture. As with most memes, it's kinda cute, it's kinda funny, but in reality it's absolute nonsense.

Everybody in uniform has a job to do, some people carry rifles, some people supply the bullets and beans for the folks carrying the rifles. Some people provide air support. Which most of us who blog here did for a living.

Try working on one of these -

What I did for eight years in the Air Force.
The AN/APQ-109A Weapon Control System
Try field stripping that Bubba, bit more complicated that your bang stick.

Both though, are absolutely necessary.




96 comments:

  1. Some Navy types did field strip small arms for a living, and we had a different version of the B83 that went in a backpack. You want to set the timer of nuclear demolitions and then E&E before it detonates. However, they can be detonated remotely and there was a nasty rumor that went around to the effect that they'd light it off while you were at the objective rather than have it compromised as you (fled) departed the AO.

    But it's a happy new year because I don't have to concern myself with field stripping other than my own personal gear.

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    1. A few Air Force types (pararescue, security) spend a lot of time handling rifles and the like. Most of the Air Force, no doubt like most of the Navy, spend little time with small arms. Heck, most of the Army doesn't either from my recollection, only the combat arms. As for the Marines, there is truth to the old saw "every Marine is a rifleman first."

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    2. I was USAF Law Enforcement and we fired and stripped weapons all the time. Good comeback on the Canned Sunshine. USAF is still the only service that can kill you anywhere in the world within 24 hours.

      Bank.

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    3. My dad referred to canned sunshine as 'God's Lightbulb.' Since he practiced to carry one, I guess he could call it anything he wanted to. (F-84G was designed to bomb-toss a small nuke.)

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    4. Not a mission I'd volunteer for. Your Dad must have clanked when he walked.

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    5. "kill you anywhere in the world in 24 hours" The Trident sub guys are saying "Hold my beer."

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    6. Of course they are. As are the AF folks in the missile fields in the Dakotas and elsewhere.

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  2. Awesome post! I get a real laugh out of the inter-service rivalries and forward as many as I can. Hubby is a retired 461 so this one is spot-on. It’s the Sir Force version of “hold my beer”

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    1. They are fun. Yes, a 461 would get a big kick out of this one!

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  3. Inter-department rivalries happen too. I worked with a deck ape that told stories about having to bribe other departments to get timely work done on this or that. He called it Comm-shaw if I remember correctly. The entire ship ran like that. Sounded like a mafia movie to me.

    I love the looks of that bird. Even on the ground she looks good.

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    1. It's actually spelled "cumshaw" and is derived from the Chinese 感谢, ganxiè, or "grateful thanks." (That's the Mandarin version apparently the Amoy version, "kam siā," would be more familiar to a sailor, British or American. It refers, in English, to a tip or gratuity, and by extension, a bribe. Pretty much a quid pro quo system.

      A buddy of mine, who I served with on Okinawa, says that the F-4 always looked liked a flying rat to him (there is a certain resemblance...). But I've always liked the predatory look of the Phantom.

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    2. I was taught by a BM1 in 1962 on board USS TACONIC (AGC-17) that the term was "Cumshaw" and originated in the Pacific between WW I and II. it was a pidgin corruption of "Come Ashore?" and was the call of the bumboat operators. It morphed into meaning the goods that were traded for a ride to the beach when indigenous boatmen were allowed to come alongside and carry enlisted personnel ashore, the ship's boats being reserved for Chiefs and Officers. In the early 60's it was the practice for ships entering the Navy Yards to purchase extra coffee and distribute it to the various divisions to barter with yard workers for extras that were not on the official work schedule. One long weekend a pair of enterprising seamen (senior E-3's) managed to sandblast the entire starboard side of the hull for a large tin of coffee (maybe 25 lbs. I don't remember the exact weight but coffee, flour, sugar, etc. came in square 5 gallon cans). The main heartache was who was responsible for cleaning the floor of the drydock. Ancient Gunner's Mate

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    3. I like your story better. Any money on who one of those enterprising seamen was?

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    4. I was on liberty (96 hours) commencing after Personnel Inspection @ 1000 Friday until 0700 Tuesday.

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    5. That's your story and you're sticking to it...

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  4. Hey, Sarge - 'field strip' doesn't mean 'detail disassembly'. I think your B83 pic shows a bit more than field stripping! Just me being pedantic, sorry!

    The other such meme I like is the one showing the sleeping conditions of the various services - Marines in the mud, Army in similar but slightly upgraded 'accommodations, racks aboard ship for the sailors, and a wild hotel room party scene for the Air Force. Close to the truth, eh? :-)

    Hope all are enjoying the start of the New Roaring 20's!

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    1. I knew that, just making a point for my Marine friends. 😁

      As to the various accommodations, pretty close to the truth!

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    2. I believe with respect to accommodations the phrase "There's no need to practice bleeding" is appropriate. And not all "Hiltons" are as accommodating.

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    3. I like the difference between the Army and Marines. Army - Here's something new, let's break it and leave it. Marines - Hey, it still kinda works, must be new!

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    4. Pretty succinct explanation that.

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  5. Nice sunshine day that picture. Bit different in a Korean winter?

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  6. Out of 21 years in the Air Force I spent 13 of them with Joint services. Imagine being the only AF guy in a shop that had a Gunny as supervisor. I spent 4 years being re-trained by Gunny. After Joint Service I went Combat Comm where things were much easier. I shot expert every time I went to the range except for the time we had to use rubber bullets. You could see them go downrange and they had a curve to them.

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    1. Hahaha! Great story Tsquared.

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    2. My dad's staff at Kwajalein during his liaison officer tour there (island = army base, of course) was an ex-Marine who had been a DI during his Marine career, and then transferred to the AF for reasons unknown.

      Needless to say, dad had the cleanest office in the whole building.

      And the scariest babysitter ever. The (staff/tech/master?) sergeant filled a door, one massive slab of muscle (who could apparently type 70+ words per minute also.)

      We weren't scared of him... We were terrified. Something like "I have permission to beat you if you act up while your parent's are away. I will stop beating you when I feel like it." That weekend I think we spent sitting on our hands...

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  7. When I walked onto my first can in '73 the armory still had Garands and BARs and Tommy guns. We got updated later that year to the M-14 and kept the .45s.
    The total of all my Navy shooting for my eight years of active duty, and seventeen years of active reserves time is probably less than 150 rounds.
    I didn't learn the innards of the modern service rifle until I went through the INS firearms instructor academy.

    There is much truth to the saying, "The Navy's answer to violence has always been the same. Send Marines."

    I didn't find an acronym about Very Large Flashbulbs on the OAP. (Official Acronym Page)
    And I can neither confirm, nor deny, that the magazines guarded by Forrestal's MARDET were filled with Very Large Flashbulbs.
    I can neither confirm, not deny, that the six ASCROCs removed from the USS Hawkins (DD-873) when we flunked the Annual Nuclear Weapons Test were "special" but I have an opinion.

    I will officially confirm that having back to back head colds, (maybe that should be head-to-head?) isn't the best way to spend the holidays.

    Happy New Year to all.





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    1. Ouch! Get well soon John!

      I do need to add Very Large Flashbulbs to the Acronym Page!

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    2. Everytime I was assigned to a squadron with THAT responsibility, they were referred to as "Rescheduled Sunrise".

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    3. Which does fit. And it's "special."

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    4. I just noticed that I spelled ASROC as ASCROC and that would stand for, Anti Submarine Crocodile.
      My wife is asking why I'm giggling, and I'm trying to describe the mental image of a crocodile flying out of a large ship mounted box launcher.


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    5. What the Navy lacks is ASCROCs, especially in the Gator Navy. 😉

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    6. Maybe ASCROCs are what get slow ground pounders in de bayou. They sneak up and bite the slow green thing in the rear.

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    7. Another use! We must have this weapon system! 🤣

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    8. It'll be 10 years TD&E. Cost 15 billion over it's lifetime. We'll need an additional 1500 JAGs to deal with PETA. Another 1500 to handle the environmental impact. The Army will need only 500M for Ordnance Storage, the Navy will need 10 Billion for the same. The Marines will need one more Gunny per operational location, while the Air Force will need to cancel the F-22 to pay for their version to be carried in the B-52. Which will need another 10B to modify to fly until the year 2150.

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    9. Sounds just like the way the Five Sided Puzzle Palace would handle things.

      Sigh...

      It's why we can't have nice (inexpensive) things.

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    10. It's 3:33 p.m. in Nebraska and I just splattered my screen over ASCROC. I needed that! And that's a classic of a reply Juvat, but don't forget the light at the end of the tunnel -- you'd have an ASCROC! You simply can't put a $ cost on that!

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    11. No, PA, you know better. With the light at the end of the tunnel, meaning coming on line, if the ASCROC works, it'll be cancelled as obsolete (Obsolete being the Greek word for "Not being built in MY district) and replaced by something more fiscally sound. Fiscally sound being the Greek phrase for "Being built in My District and by Contractors who hired my son for $50K/month to consult on something he knows absolutely nothing about."

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    12. Wow, you have "been there, done that" haven't you juvat?

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    13. I'll bet you burned the t-shirt when you retired.

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    14. Or... Some procurement officer and sergeant looks sideways while the breaker boys go to the local 'procurement' area and accidentally find an ASCROC or two floating around all lonely like and suddenly wow there's an ASCROC or two floating in a makeshift ASCROC retention, training and storage location that looks surprisingly like a tanker truck tank cut in two but can't be because that tank was written off as damaged/destroyed 6 months ago and the makeshift ASCROC functions 10 times as good for almost zero cost vs the official government procurement ASROC...

      The book "The Raid," about the Son-Tay prison assualt in Vietnam, has a whole section of off-the-books procurement issues. Then again, so does one of Tom Clancy's 'Jack Ryan' books, "The Sum of all Fears" has a passage where he says Bradley gunners use self-bought Craftsman wrenches on the Bradley's 25mm chain gun. So off-the-books procurement is strong.

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    15. Sometimes off-the-books is all you can get. Good troops always find a way to get the job done.

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  8. "Wasn't my job to hump a ruck and a rifle out in the bush."

    Indeed. My first thought at the mental image of the Air Force engaging bad guys with M-16's is "What the firetruck did you do with all those planes and bombs we gave you?".

    Some serve at the tip of the spear. A snappy hand salute to them. Those of us in maintenance are the one's who stay up nights making sure the spear tip is sharp, shiny, and well oiled.

    I recall some TV documentary or other wherein a former 8th Air Force P-51 pilot recalls returning from a mission one day in the spring. Chatting with his ground crew, he casually mentioned that there wasn't much snow left on the ground across the channel. The following morning he came out to fly his next mission. He noticed that the ground crews hands were all red and cracked. He choked up as he recalled realizing that they had stayed up all night using rags soaked in av gas to strip the white camouflage off his plane.

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    1. It's a team, each member has a role, some are more dangerous than others, all are important.

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    2. I'm not sure I'd go with "All". Remember I also served in the Pentagon. Some of those jobs were important, the rest were self-important. There is a difference.

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    3. (Don McCollor)...I believe in Martin Caidin's book "Flying Forts", shortly after the war was over,the 8th AF loaded their ground crews into B17s for an air tour of Germany at 500 feet to show them what their efforts had helped accomplish...He also noted that six day before the war ended, there were no more targets for the 8th AF...Germany was no longer an industrial nation...

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    4. I believe it, Germany was in ruins.

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  9. I seem to remember some meme some where that showed all the services dress uniform, and the Marine basically asking why the waiters (especially after the 2008 uniform change in the AF) haven't brought him his drink.

    Or maybe Marine - uniform designed to attract the ladies.
    Everyone else - uniform designed to bring the drinks to the Marine.

    Eh, it was funny a while ago.

    And, seriously, any member of the armed service should have basic firearm skills and be required to continue to show proficiency. Unless they're a conciencious objector working in med field or something. Sure, the Navy cook may not ever be needed to man a gun, but when he/she does, he/she needs to know the basics. Same with the clerks and pen pushers. And anyone who's a Penta-whore should be required, like Nat Guard troops, to pull 2 weeks a year in the dirt or away from the Pentagon doing something cleanly dirty.

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    1. Well back in the day most Americans could figure out how a weapon worked. Least ways the group I hung out with could. I guess nowadays those skills need to be taught.

      I learned shooting pretty young.

      Concur though on everybody having basic firearms skills. Though I've seen some scary stuff when trying to teach office pukes how to shoot!

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    2. On board some ships Navy cooks and Steward's Mates manned M-2 50 cal. Browning mounts, depending on the type ship. Ancient GM

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  10. If you don't know how to strip and clean your piece, you should never be permitted to unlimber it. (USAF)

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  11. We still had some “grease guns” in the early sixties, with, what in those days, were ginormous clips, along with the Garands and M-1 carbines.
    We had a Chief (E7) Electricians Mate who was a scratch golfer and also had numerous trophies from service wide pistol matches.
    The only occasion where I got to snap in was at Boot Camp.
    That Garland was not the friendliest of weapons.
    When I made E-4 and had to stand Quarterdeck watch with a sidearm, the Weapons Officer decided I should be “qualified.”
    So during an underway period, they tied a powder canister to a line, flung it over the fantail. Allowing it to bounce in the wake, and had me and about a dozen others shoot the 1911.
    The trick wasn’t to hit the target, but to empty the clip without dropping the weapon.
    He then showed everyone up by sinking the canister.

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    1. Always rather enjoyed Garlands myself.
      Really like my M-1, too.

      Sorry. I have zero self restraint when a softball comes over the plate.

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    2. Some of us comment from an iPad. Spell checking on that is officially "Not your friend".

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    3. Skip - When in Germany as part of NATO I had to qualify with both the German rifle and pistol every year. The Garand will eat your thumb, as I recall, if you don't reload it right.

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    4. "Et tu RHT447?".

      Yeah---sorta.

      I am right handed. My right thumb (so far) remains unscathed, even though I have fired several hundred rounds (mostly handloads) through my M1's.

      Along about 1980, I got a commercial barreled receiver from Springfield Armory. At some point I decided to (mumble, mumble don't remember). I was sitting at my desk with various M1 parts laid out on the desk. I had the rifle out of the stock and the top half laying across my lap, action locked open (see this coming?). Yeah, I reached across my desk with my right hand and felt the top half start to slip off my lap. I grabbed it by reflex with my left hand. Chambered my left thumb like a champ. Side of my thumb turned about the same color as the words I used. Took the right side of my thumb nail about three weeks to grow back.

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    5. RHT447 - I serve one up about once a game.
      Juvat - iPhone, but, yeah... automistake.
      Sarge - we were warned about the thumb. Some still didn't learn.

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  12. I don't know about the rest of the AF, but I had to qualify with a .38 every 6 months. And it was the one we carried on our Seat Harness, (the F-4 and F-15 Chute was built into the seat), so it was a snub nose. I asked our survival instructor at Fairchild if I was supposed to be able to defend myself with it. He replied "Naw, it's just there to make the bad guys a LITTLE slower in their pursuit of you." Perfect!

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    1. It's also nice to have a pistol on you. Beats throwing rocks.

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    2. I carried a 357 Combat Masterpiece, 100 rounds 357, three speed loaders. I brought my own weapon because we had discussed what they were going to issue (38 snub nose). Everything was so disorganized then. I left my issued weapon under my mattress the whole time we were there. The was no accountability for the guns. The guys in the shop where took care of our harnesses, etc. knew about it and we spoke of it often. I had it duct taped into a holster, while duct taping that to the harness, just above those inflatable under arm things we flew with.
      Please be polite and don't ask why. I was 26.

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    3. I shall respect your younger self and ask no questions...

      That being said, when going into Indian country, you want to have something which at least improves your morale. Even if it is no match for ten guys with AK-47s. Then again, they're scared too, maybe a few .357 rounds tossed their way might make them a little less enthusiastic. Anything to improve the odds in one's favor I always say.

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  13. I was always under the impression that the F-4D mounted the AN/AWG-10 HBMS (Hershey Bar Melting System). Learn something new (to me) every day.

    In my misspent naval youth I was such a bad chancre mechanic that I ended up firing tens of thousands of rounds through reefles, peestols, and bachineamaguns. Also had the opportunity to eyeball B-61's and B-83's, as well as be scared to death by rampaging MARDET Marines during their delightful Special Weapons protection excursions. Since we never went toe-to-toe nukular with the Rooskies, I can honestly say I've seen much more destruction flowing from pens than from weps. So the meme is funny as hell, up to the point some remington raider ruins your life with a typo, intentional or otherwise.

    Great post!

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    1. Hahaha!

      Well, the mighty Phantom has one of those missile control do-hickeys as well (the HBMS) in addition to the lead computing optical gunsight (which I just spent 15 minutes trying to find or remember the official nomenclature for... AN/APG-something-something, I think).

      I've heard tales of MARDET Marines going full insane in their zeal to protect the "special" weapons. Especially if they can rough up the odd unsuspecting sailor as a corollary duty.

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    2. OAF and PA. On Forrestal, '73-'76, if the 1MC blared, "Operation Red Diamond! Forward (or After) SASS!" You flattened yourself against the sides of the passageway and did it right quick. The jarheads would leave you alone if you did your job, and that job was to get the hell out of the way, if you didn't get out of the way, you were run over.
      If your mental image is that of a bunch of armed and green clad hornets boiling out of their nest, that would be about right. Oh yeah, fully clothed, half dressed, or naked and soapy from the showers, they all had rifles and were running fast.

      Sarge. Gator Navy, very good one. :)

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  14. I would guess the guys in USAF security... responsible for guarding the "canned sunshine" before it is attached to a plane, and after it's been removed if it wasn't dropped, had a few rifles that would need to be field stripped.

    And didn't the AF just select a new survival rifle for all the pilots in their bailout kits? Or was that a different branch?

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    1. 2018 - USAF selects the GAU-5A AW (Aircrew Self Defense Weapon), basically a trumped up M4 carbine, in a takedown configuration, because the Air Force finally figured out it needed a longer ranged, more powerful gun than the AR-7 of Vietnam era. Take down, semi-auto or 3-round burst, fires standard 5.56mm rounds, uses all available M-16/M-4 accessories.

      But the AF is only buying about 2,200 rifles.

      So the M-16/M-4 legacy lives on.

      https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/06/30/air-force-crews-get-new-rifle-defense-case-crash-ejection.html

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    2. Zendo - Oh yes they had a rifle and knew how to use it.

      Yup, the USAF will be equipping the pilots with a new survival rifle. Lord knows where they'll put the damned thing in the cockpit.

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    3. Beans - The new rifle is just for aircrew, that's why the buy is so small. As to the AR-7, see juvat's comment somewhere in here on the snub nose .38 he carried. Remember, they're aircrew, not infantry. Again, where will they put the damned thing. Probably only a single magazine as well. Good for morale though.

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    4. I’ m “sure” they adequately tested that, and discovered that breaking it up into 95 pieces was optimum. Takes 1.5 hours to assemble, but hey the folks in the Pentagon get to sleep well at night. The only place it would be safe to load is on the back, replacing the let down cable. That device gets you down from an 100’ tree. Let’s see get down from a tree before the bad guys get to you, or engage them while stuck suspended in your chute. Hmmmm?

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    5. (Don McCollor)...despite the "AR", the AR-7 was never intended for self defense. There are a lot of other "non hostile" hostile places for aircrew to float down into ("hence survival rifle"). It is a beautifully compact, light little 22LR that breaks down and fits into the stock (which is supposed to float). Much better than a 38 for shooting rabbits and (sitting) ducks...

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    6. Good point, survival is the goal, return to friendly lines to fly and fight again, not engage in ground combat.

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    7. (Don McCollor)..or just come out of the Alaskan arctic alive...

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    8. Yeah, in that case Mother Nature is the enemy. And she has no mercy.

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    9. Juvat, doesn't seem like the need an hour and a half in this video....

      https://youtu.be/GH5bCXRaLYU

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    10. I could use one of those. Very nice, very compact.

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    11. (Don McCollor)...Henry now makes them...black and ugly with a too thick cumbersome stock (remember the storage) but something you could throw under the seat of pickup for a couple years and expect to fire. Love it - sweet gun that does just what it was designed to do...BTW, with 22, a 22LR and a flashlight at night has been a nemesis to deer (and game wardens) for a century. And finally and remarkably, n native woman took down a world trophy grizzly bear with a 22 short with a 22 single shot rifle (Bear's choice, as it reared high over her -shot placement is everything)...used the rest of her ammo to "make sure"...

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  15. That's what I did in the Marine Corps. RADAR and missiles on F-4 J/S. It was AWG-10A, but it had to be a similar job.

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    1. From the pics I've seen the AWG-10A was similar to the AN/APQ-120 mounted on the F-4E, solid state components as I recall. The AN/APQ-109A was on the F-4D, similar to the AN/APQ-100 (I think) mounted on the F-4C. I worked both of those. Lots of vacuum tubes! Though the Target Intercept Computer (TIC) was solid state.

      Very similar jobs we had!

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    2. The J/S models were very similar to the E. No gun, but smokeless engines, other than that the Avionics and flight controls were very similar. Had some “entertaining” engagements with them in Cope Thunder. Not always victorious, but always educational.

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    3. So you have flown against Navy pilots, most interesting.

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  16. Ya know, the Navy doesn't know anything about field stripping that weapon. Ok, maybe the EOD guys and SEALS. Maybe a Master at Arms (think Navy MPs) and a few Gunners Mates, but that's about it. Now tearing down a jet or a gas turbine down to parade reset- now we're talking.

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    1. Yup, we all have our skills, some more than others. (With exceptions made for the shoe clerks which juvat has mentioned many a time. Their skill set seems to consist of making life miserable for the rest of the military.)

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  17. The lightbulb shaped device is the emitter, and the dipoles are for IFF, or perhaps something that is none of my business?

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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