Ambivalent Skeptic

April 12, 2011

50 years of human space flight

Filed under: History — Clint1911 @ 11:32 pm

On this day 50 years ago the fight human, officially, travel in space.

March 29, 2011

M1911 History, on this day 29 March 1911

Filed under: 1911,History — Clint1911 @ 9:43 am

On 29 March 1911, the Secretary of War approved the Colt Caliber .45 Automatic Pistol. It would become the longest serving handgun in US military history. And one of the most enduring handguns in US history.

The gun, designated M1911 and now often called just “1911” in civilian hands, was adopted after 12 years of the military considering the use of an “automatic” handgun and the inventor, John Moses Browning, had worked on this project for 16 years as he had designs, and maybe prototypes, back in 1895!

In 1911, the right combination of design, capability, and reliability was proven in a 6000 round endurance test.


Amazingly, the prototype still survives. (The photo is from M1911 forum.)
Photo from M1911 forum

Some more history:

And Chris Byrne has a good post (with a nice photo):

March 20, 2011

M1911 History, on this day 20 March 1911

Filed under: 1911,History — Clint1911 @ 10:33 pm

On 20th March 1911 the report on the Army Pistol Test was submitted.

The report read, in part:

“…Of the two pistols, the Board is of the opinion that the Colt’s is superior, because it is more reliable, the more enduring, the more easily disassembled, when there are broken parts to be replaced, and the more accurate…”

“…The Board therefore recommends that the Colt Caliber .45 Automatic Pistol of the design submitted to the Board for test be adopted for use by foot and mounted troop in the Military service in consequence of its marked superiority to the present service revolvers, and to any other known pistol, of its extreme reliability and endurance and of its fulfillment of all essential requirements…”

They Commanding Officer of Springfield Armory (then a federal asset) would concur on 23 March 1911. the chief of Ordinance and the General staff followed.

The next major date in M1911 history with be 29th March 1911, when the Secretary of War approves.

March 15, 2011

M1911 History, on this day 15 March 1911

Filed under: 1911,History — Clint1911 @ 11:01 pm

On this day in 1911 history…

As per the orders of 03 March, on the 15th of March 1911 the Colt and Savage companies sent people to test their products before the Army. This was the trial to determine what the next generation of Military sidearm would be.

Colt had 6 examples of the 1911 pistol completed. A sample (of at least two guns) was present and was shown and the features, and improvements over previous models, explained.

The examination began with disassembling of the guns, both field and detail, followed by velocity, accuracy, and rapid fire tests. The Colt was found superior to the Savage in handling. However, the 45 caliber “Rimless Smokeless” ammo, standardized for both guns was faster in the Savage entry. The speed was 849 fps vs the 828fps for the Colt.

The most famous part of this trial is the endurance test. 6000 rounds though each gun. 100 fired followed by a five minute break to cool down. After each 1000 shots the pistols where lubed and checked.

Results: The Colt had zero malfunctions and no defective parts. The Savage had 39 malf’s total and several broken parts.

Afterward, tests were run with cartridges with thin primers, as well as over and under-loaded rounds.

The Colt frame had four small cracks at trial’s end. One at the front edge of the rails, one above the rear slide lock hole, and two in the grip.

The report was stated on March 20th 1911 selecting the Colt /Browning design.

And that is another post.

March 3, 2011

M1911 History, on this day 03 March 1911

Filed under: 1911,History — Clint1911 @ 11:05 am

The Ordnance Department, having received prototypes from both Savage and Colt, issued that the trials for the firearms would be 15 March 1911. This would be the trial that lead to the adoption of the Colt-built John Moses Browning designed pistol by the US Military service.

I had more to write but my notes are currently unavailable. Check back later.

February 6, 2011

Ronald Reagan and Absolute Power

Filed under: History,Philosophy — Clint1911 @ 6:00 pm

Ronald Reagan was born 100 years ago today.

Now here is something I’ve often wondered about; you know the saying “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I don’t think it is true, and I’ll use Reagan as an example. Oh, he was far from prefect as a man and a president but that don’t matter. No one is perfect. But was he corrupted?

First the origin of the saying:

“I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did not wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”

John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
Letter to Mandell Creighton (April [3? or 5?], 1887) — some normally reliable sources indicate April 3, and others indicate April 5.

Now look at Reagan and look at the 2-4 Presidents before and after him.

Does “absolute power corrupt absolutely”? I do not think so. I see men who all held the same office, the same power and some were more competent than others; some were more corrupt.

The corrupt men were corrupt BEFORE they took office.

Frank Herbet, Sci Fi author, once wrote in his novel Chapterhouse: Dune:

Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect all who seek it.


All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.

I ask you: who among office became more corrupt after gaining power?

I think Herbert got it right.

January 5, 2011

Future outline

Filed under: 1911,History — Clint1911 @ 11:01 am

Fellow Ohio blogger Breda and blogger-I’ve-met NJT have mentioned their interest in acquiring new guns. I’ve also been thinking about writing a post as a buyer’s guide for people who want a 1911 but don’t want to spend a whole lot of money. A way of buying an entry level gun you can fit to yourself before (or instead of) buying a fancy feature-laden 1911. NJT posted he wanted a Commander (4.25” barrel) model. That ups the price floor despite, or because of, the smaller size, but the trade off is a much easier to carry platform.

The more I think about though, those post will have wait. Before I’m comfortable discussing the guns, it would help to cover the history of modern metallic cartridges. History fascinates me not only with its myriad lessons and volumes of knowledge but with how one can link so many items from the past to the present together. Basically you can trace the history of revolver cartridges from the 44 Henry all the way to the S&W mega mags and semi-auto rounds delineate from John Moses Browning’s 38 auto to the 10mm.

These will lead up to the Obligatory 1911 History post (wish me luck) and then ideas about buying your first 1911. By breaking them up I can forgo tangent background info and readers can choose their own level of involvement.

November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday USMC

Filed under: History — Clint1911 @ 8:53 am

The United States Marine Corps is 235 years old today.

To my Brothers and Sisters, past, present and future, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Semper Fi, and Good night, Chesty Puller, wherever you are!



Now a quick story to let you know what kind of Marine was Lt General Puller.

When he saw a flamethrower for the first time, Chesty asked:

“Where do you put the bayonet?”

October 27, 2010

Theodore Roosevelt: October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919

Filed under: History — Clint1911 @ 8:47 am

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919), “Man in the Arena” Speech given April 23, 1910

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