Choice of the Special Forces?

It seems like every gun-related product is “the preferred choice of US Special Forces” or “used by US Special Forces”, but never have any citations for those claims. Many of the claims seem to be mutually exclusive (e.g. Company A advertises that their product is preferred by SF, while Company B makes the same claim about their product).
I wonder where one could actually find quantitative data listing precisely what products are indeed used by Special Forces and, out of those used by SF, which are preferred.

On Religion

As many readers may know, I’m not religious. Of course, as one who values liberty, I have no issues with other people being religious and expressing their beliefs.
That said, I have to wonder why companies do stuff like this. Sure, it’s subtle and not many people would notice it, but what’s the point? Does it bring anyone to the faith (( A question I want to ask to the guy who stands around on the street corner with a “Jesus Is Lord” sign — are his daily sign-holding efforts paying off? Has his work changed the mind of anyone? ))? If not, why bother?
Similarly, I don’t really get why companies like Interstate Batteries (( “Mission: To glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries…” )) and Hogdon Powder (( “Our mission is to provide quality propellants, other products, and services to sportsmen, governing units, and other businesses in a manner which enhances the quality of life for our stockholders, employees, customers, associates, and suppliers. In doing so, we will deal with integrity and honesty, reflecting that people are more important than dollars and that our purpose is to bring credit to our Lord Jesus Christ.” )) bother to bring up the owner’s respective deity on their company literature. They’re selling batteries and gunpowder, not religion-related items, so it just seems out of place. Same thing with In-N-Out Burger’s subtle bible citations on cups and burger wrappers, and Alaska Airline’s bible verse sheet with food.
Surely such large and diverse companies employ and sell products/services to non-Christians. Why risk offending employees and customers and, in the case of Trijicon, causing media commotion? Is putting those markings or making those statements worth the potential trouble?
I, for one, don’t see what real benefits such actions might have. Then again, I don’t associate my religious beliefs (or, more precisely, the lack thereof) deeply with my personal identity, and have no desire to discuss such my lack of religious beliefs in day-to-day discussion (I only bring it up here so one can further understand my viewpoint).? I certainly wouldn’t go about inscribing quotations about my non-religious stance (if I can be said to have such a stance; I don’t consider a lack of a specific belief to be a “stance”) on products that I sell to the public.
At the risk of sparking a religious flamewar, I’m curious to hear possible explanations as to why people do such things. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around it. As religion-related topics seem to be a surefire way to summon the Drama Llama in other internet forums, I’d like to preemptively remind people to keep things civil. No doubt such an admonition is unnecessary.

Campus Self-Defense Club

The University of Arizona’s daily newspaper, The Daily Wildcat, printed an article today regarding a new self-defense club available on campus, primarily for women.
They discuss how this club teaches situational awareness, which I support wholeheartedly, and self-defense “techniques”, which I support somewhat less so. I note a distinct lack of firearms training, possibly due to the fact that it’s against state law and university policy to for CCW holders to possess firearms on campus.
If self-defense gets to the hand-to-hand stage, things have gone Very, Very Wrong. Better to avoid it where possible (hence situational awareness) or, if unavoidable, deal with it decisively.
A 110lb female college student, even with some self-defense training, is likely to be at a considerable physical disadvantage compared to a 180lb male attacker (a majority of attackers are male). A firearm — and the training and will to use it if needed — corrects for that disparity.
But no, they instead put up more “blue light phones” around campus and hand out free cans of pepper spray to female students (with no training on the proper use of it), as well as teaching self-defense “techniques” that are unlikely to work when confronted with a real attacker.
While I’m hardly an expert when it comes to self-defense firearm use, I’d be happy to take any UA student, male or female, at my expense, to the range to learn the basics of shooting. From there, I’ll happily point people toward instructors and programs that teach armed self-defense far better than I could.

New Shooter Report – New Zealand Edition

After much delay, I finally present the New Shooter Report – New Zealand Edition. My apologies for the significant delay and lack of pictures. We were mostly focused on shooting, and I’ve been focused on graduate school applications since then.
Introduction
My friend Ashley grew up in Texas, went to school for a few years in Arizona, and now lives in New Zealand. For some reason, she never once handled a firearm during her upbringing. While living in New Zealand, she met Amanda, a native New Zealander. Amanda had shot firearms before, but it’d been some time since she had.
Ashley was traveling to the US to visit friends and family, and had invited Amanda — who had never been to the US — along.
While visiting friends in Tucson, Ashley proposed the idea of going to the range, Amanda agreed, and a small group of people also decided to come along.
So, over Veteran’s Day, we went to the Tucson Rifle club.
Pictures

Ashley shooting the suppressed 10/22

Ian K, Amanda, and myself inspect a target

My suppressor on my friend's Ruger-clone .22, with my 22/45

Teresa shooting the 22/45 while Louis watches

Louis shooting the suppressed Ruger-clone

Chris shooting the suppressed Ruger-clone

Ian K and Chris

Ian L watches people shoot

Conclusion
Nothing like a fun day at the range with old friends, new friends, and new shooters. Everyone had a great time, and much ammo was turned into smiles.

Why I Love .22s

For a total cost of $87.00 ((including $1.72 for Midway’s NRA Round-Up contribution and $14.81 for shipping)), I purchased 1,500 rounds of CCI Blazer .22LR ammo. Here they are:

This purchase is due to Carl’s contribution to the New Shooter Ammo Fund, and has been marked and set aside for that specific purpose.
The same amount of .223 ammo ((Prvi Partizan M193)) would cost a bit more than seven times as much, and would be considerably bulkier and heavier. Although prices have risen, .22 is still cheap, small, compact, and lightweight.
It’s also a heck of a lot of fun.

On Restraint

From the Missoulian:

A Kalispell man chased down the thief who stole his pickup truck and held him for police despite being stabbed twice in the arm. And he kept his cowboy hat on the whole time, said Kalispell Police Detective Kevin McCarvel.
[…]
“The suspect confronts him and brandishes the knife and … threatens to stab him and proceeds to do so,” despite the fact that the truck owner had a gun, McCarvel said.
[…]
The truck owner was asked what kept him from shooting the thief and he replied, “‘Well, he wasn’t stabbing me for real,'” McCarvel said.

Impressive.

Quote of the Day

I mean, basically if you’re ever to a point in the world where you’re in a shootout with the gubmint, your life is essentially trashed beyond repair… the only way you’re likely to end up in that position is if you give them all of your other rights… It’s like you’re ignoring your first line of defense and zealously protecting your last… in spite of the fact that if it ever comes down to that last line, your life is worthless anyway.”

— technicolor-misfit, on Fark

First Rule of Piracy

I actually have no idea if there are rules of piracy, but the first one should be “Don’t attack US-flagged ships.”
The second one should be “Don’t attack the same US-flagged ship that similar pirates did a few months ago, which resulted in said pirates getting their asses handed to them by US Navy SEALs.”
The third one should be “Don’t attack French-flagged ships.” The French don’t mess around with this kind of stuff.
At the risk of pissing off the AP, I’m going to quote some bits of the article:

Somali pirates attacked the Maersk Alabama on Wednesday for the second time in seven months and were thwarted by private guards on board the U.S.-flagged ship who fired off guns and a high-decibel noise device.
[…]
An on-board security team repelled the attack by using evasive maneuvers, small-arms fire and a Long Range Acoustic Device, which can beam earsplitting alarm tones, the fleet said.

By Jove! Using firearms to defend oneself against armed attackers actually works!
Indeed, I’d go so far as to suggest that having an armed crew/team on a ship is more effective at self-defense than being personally armed in public (i.e. CCW), because one has less “noise” to deal with (there’s a lot of people walking around in cities who aren’t criminals, there’s not many small boats with armed Somalis cruising around major shipping lanes that aren’t up to no good), there’s advanced notice (you can spot the boats from a good distance away), you can design the ship to make it difficult to board (particularly if it’s an enormous cargo vessel), and once the balloon goes up you have at least several minutes to prepare (as opposed to a few seconds in a personal self-defense scenario).

Vice Adm. Bill Gortney of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said the Maersk Alabama had followed the maritime industry’s “best practices” in having a security team on board.
“This is a great example of how merchant mariners can take proactive action to prevent being attacked and why we recommend that ships follow industry best practices if they’re in high-risk areas,” Gortney said in a statement.

Good.

However, Roger Middleton, a piracy expert at the London-based think tank Chatham House, said the international maritime community was still “solidly against” armed guards aboard vessels at sea, but that American ships have taken a different line than the rest of the international community.
Shipping companies are still pretty much overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of armed guards,” Middleton said. “Lots of private security companies employee people who don’t have maritime experience. Also, there’s the idea that it’s the responsibility of states and navies to provide security. I would think it’s a step backward if we start privatizing security of the shipping trade.”

It doesn’t surprise me that this gentleman is in London and feels this way.
I fail to see how it’d be anything but positive to have private security (be it an armed crew, or an armed security detail) on commercial shipping vessels. Even if there are navy vessels in the general area, they’re often a fair distance away and aren’t all that fast. Even aircraft cannot arrive instantly, and are likely to arrive after the incident is concluded, for better or for worse. The only two parties who are assured of being at the scene of the attempted hijacking are the pirates and the intended victim. The pirates are already armed. Why shouldn’t the would-be victims be permitted to have effective means of self-defense?
Mr. Middleton’s mindset makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Somali pirates understand one thing and only one thing, and that’s force,” said Capt. Joseph Murphy, who teaches maritime security at the school. “They analyze risk very carefully, and when the risk is too high they are going to step back. They are not going to jeopardize themselves.”

I’m not sure about how much risk analysis the Somali pirates do, but I’ll leave that in Capt. Murphy’s hands as it’s clearly a subject he knows more about than I do. Nevertheless, I agree wholeheartedly with the first sentence.

The wife of the Maersk Alabama’s captain, Paul Rochford, told WBZ-AM radio in Boston that she was “really happy” there were weapons on board for this attack.
“It probably surprised the pirates. They were probably shocked,” Kimberly Rochford. “I’m really happy at least it didn’t turn out like the last time.”
A self-proclaimed pirate told The Associated Press from the Somali pirate town of Haradhere that colleagues out at sea had called around 9 a.m. ? 2 1/2 hours after the attack.
“They told us that they got in trouble with an American ship, then we lost them. We have been trying to locate them since,” said a self-described pirate who gave his name as Abdi Nor.

Awesome.

Underscoring the danger, a self-proclaimed pirate said Wednesday that the captain of a ship hijacked Monday had died of wounds suffered during the ship’s hijacking. The pirate, Sa’id, who gave only one name for fear of reprisals, said the captain died Tuesday night from internal bleeding.
The EU Naval Force has said the Virgin Islands-owned chemical tanker the Theresa was taken Monday with 28 North Korean crew.

I bet that ship followed Mr. Middleton’s advice and didn’t have any weapons on board, nor anyone trained in using them. Result: the ship was hijacked, the captain killed, and the ship and crew are likely to be held for ransom.
When will people learn that you cannot stop criminals from committing crimes by keeping the intended victims disarmed and helpless?

Observation

Mobil 1 10W-30 motor oil seems to work quite well as a gun oil, as well as being rather inexpensive. After a few hundred rounds through my DPMS M4gery, I had zero lubrication-related failures ((I had one due to a magazine failure. Be sure to test your gear!)) and there’s still some visible oil left on moving parts. Even the parts without visible oil are slippery and oily to the touch.
Considering the small amount of oil used in normal gun maintenance, I’m not sure that using motor oil would be a considerable cost savings compared to more expensive, gun-specific oils like CLP, Militec, etc. That said, it does seem to work well enough. It doesn’t seem to have the same cleaning properties as gun-cleaning solvents and oils like Hoppes #9, CLP, and so on, but it seems to make a great lubricant. Certainly good enough for emergency use, though reading various forums online seem to indicate that there’s lots of people who use it as their main gun oil.