Tuesday 31 May 2016

The NZ GREEN PARTY Magazine:

I had this wee piece printed in Mays issue of TE AWA, the Green Party members magazine:

A Small attempt to put forward our side of the Shooting Story.

Marty K.

Monday 30 May 2016

S & W MP 22 Pistol:

Fellow pistol club member 'Jason' tends to make me envious of his range toys - as he seems to have as much gold as historic namesake "Jason of The Argonauts".

He recently wrote an excellent piece for the club Journal telling about his S&W M22 which makes a great training tool supporting his other M&P handgun(s).

S&W recently added a further colour scheme as below
Flat Dark Earth Finish.

'My Gun Culture' states that this 15% smaller version of the MP 9 and MP40 is American made - but you can clearly see from the top picture that they are made in Germany by Carl Walther.

Another shooting mate likes to remind me that "Walther" is actually pronounced by the Germans as "Valter" - but I actually prefer to pronounce it 'my way'!

Down here in the Southern Ocean 'J' had to pay NZ$1095 for the wee .22" - that sells imported into USA for under $500 - but that's life eh.

Jason writes that he was able to successfully try his threaded MP22 with both a slim two-piece Maniatis silencer and a larger modular DPT silencer.
- There's some great gear available down here if you've got the necessaries eh.

Light weight and ideal for religious followers of The Church of S&W - even though it's really a Walther.

Marty K.

Saturday 28 May 2016

Katie Couric Falsfies Anti-Gun Interview & a Quote from 'The Heart and The Fist:

USA - 'UNDER THE GUN'  (- an anti-gun documentary) - hostess  Katie Couric is said to regret her falsification of the programme..

When Interviewer / host Katie Couric asked members of the Virginia Citizens Defence League the question ' “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?" - instead of showing their ready answers - the program inserted video of them sitting silently for nine seconds - as if at a loss of how to reply.

- In this deceptive and appalling 'journalism'  Couric and her director  “intentionally removed their answers and spliced in nine seconds of some prior video of our members sitting quietly and not responding. - Viewers are left with the misunderstanding that the members had no answer to her question.”
Couric .. We Know All About Anti-Gun Journalists here in NZ.


Eric Greitens writes in his very honest book ' The Heart and The Fist'  that tells of his life as a Rhodes Scholar and Navy SEAL ..

'.. as I left Rwanda I thought of the way that parents love their children. They hug them when they need love, they care for them when they are sick, heal them when they are injured. But parents also protect their children when they are threatened.

Wouldn't it be strange to find parents who would hug their children, would tend their wounds, but wouldn't protect them from getting hurt in the first place?'

Marty K.

Thursday 26 May 2016

The FIRST FOUR SHIPS - Edward Gibbon Wakefield - Crook & Founder:

E G Wakefield (1796- 1862) was a dubious personality who energetically involved himself in gathering political influence in UK to further his personal wealth & power. After he was released from serving three years in Newgate Prison for abducting a 15 year old heiress in 1826 ( to replace his first moneyed wife - who had come with a 'settlement' for 70,000 pounds) - he then tried to overturn his late father-in-laws will and get the rest of their family money - but failed.

Perhaps now feeling a little unloved he changed tack and became involved in various scams - oops schemes to colonize South Australia and later Canada,  before spotting virgin territory in New Zealand that was ripe for exploitation - sorry, I keep doing that - I really mean development.

At a meeting in March 1839, Wakefield was invited to become the director of the New Zealand Company. His philosophy was the same as when he planned his elopements: "Possess yourself of the Soil and you are Secure."

Wakefield was busy for years sending shiploads of settlers to New Zealand including various of his dissipated brothers - among them was Edward Jerningham Wakefield who had ruined his health and finances by his lifestyle in London -  together with other family members - until this regular practice developed into the Canterbury Settlement sponsored by his associates in The Church Of England *** - and the locally renowned 'First Four Ships' . (There were in fact at least ten previous ships sent by Wakefield).
Wakefield 1850-1860 (ish)

Canterbury and New Zealand certainly started early settlement with the cream of British Society.

It wasn't until February 1853 that Edward Gibbon W. himself landed in Canterbury, in this fair land - but he can't have been very impressed with the result of his Canterbury Settlement's wet and boggy efforts in Christchurch - as he departed for Wellington after only one month!
If They Were 'The First Four Ships' - Who Was Greeting Them?

Once up there he conflicted with George Grey over land sales. - Grey wanted to sell land cheaply to encourage settlers - but Wakefield wanted to rip-off  - use the free market to make money from pricing it as high as possible - and as his second cousin Francis Dillon Bell was the Crown Commissioner - he got his way.

- Early New Zealand really was a Wakefield family business.

Edward Gibbon Wakefield continued to be active in New Zealand politics both as an honorable Member of Parliament and in his chosen real estate career - being an early influence in 'corruption-free' New Zealand until his death in Wellington in 1862.

Marty K.

Note ***:  To this day- The Church of England continues as a huge landowner in London and UK in general. - Some 2 Billion Pounds of their 6.7 Billion Pounds of total property assets is land - including an estimated 15% of London's West End.  The C of E also holds extensive properties and land in USA and Australia.

In your actual Bible it says:
Mark 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

- So there you go.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Gun Use Increases by 19% On UK City Streets:

UK newspaper The Guardian is reporting (Wednesday 25 May) that the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is concerned that more guns are being criminally held in Britain.

Police have warned that the supply of guns to criminals in the UK has increased, adding to fears that weapons may be sold on to terrorists wanting to stage a Paris-style attack in Britain. The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, announced a crackdown after the increase in firearms supply was coupled with a spike in shooting incidents in the last three months in London.
Surely This Must Be Incorrect
- Aren't These Firearms BANNED by Law?

The ability of terrorists in Britain to get firearms from criminal networks is not theoretical. Last month, two Isis-inspired jihadists were jailed for planning a terrorist gun attack in London. They got their firearm from a criminal source who had access to up to five guns.

Hogan-Howe said there were more illegal guns on the streets and said the rise in shootings in the last three months was significant: “The fact that we’re seeing it across the country in the big cities probably indicates that we’re talking about more supply.” Nationally, there has been an increase of around 19% in firearms discharges since 2013-14, with London also experiencing roughly that level of increase.
The Met said that weapons had been fired in London 122 times so far this year, with two people killed and 62 injured. In 2015 there were 226 discharges of firearms, with 10 people killed and 93 injured. Around half of suspects and victims in shooting incidents are linked to gangs, with conflicts in the drugs trade a common factor.

Scotland Yard said the new initiative, Operation Viper, will see armed officers accompanying officers on traffic stops as part of a suite of “suppression” measures.

Yup - that's how it works - Ban the Guns - Disarm the people - Then Suppress them.

Marty K.

P.S. - An interesting report that centres around increasing criminal gun use where guns are banned
 - and increasing armed police patrols where the police are famously 'unarmed'. - good to perceive the truth.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Cats & The Great Pig Hunt:

'Bout a week back the Mandeville Tavern's great pig hunt happened with 22 entries.

Prize winners were a 76.2 kilo boar and the heaviest sow at 44.2 kilo.

Well done to all the hard working participants - bet there'll be plenty of pork sausages around  Canterbury for a while eh.

Luckily feral pigs don't carry the cat disease Toxoplasma gondii - a protozoan parasite that can invade the human brain and cause personality changes.

While only 7% of Brits are infected - 67% of Brazilians are found to carry the disease.

Older infected male humans may initially have flu-like symptoms and eye inflammation but these are followed by more serious effects on the personality - such as lower intelligence, slower reactions, aggressive extroverted less conscientious and schizophrenic behaviour - leading eventually to dementia - with suspicious, jealous and dogmatic personality tendencies on the way.
Remember to wash your hands eh.


- On a completely different topic:

Two NZ National Party Members of Parliament Chatting.
- NZ is, like UK - A Constitutional Monarchy (- Rather Than A Democracy).

Marty K.
P.S. According to DermNet NZ  around 20% of NZ people aged 16 - 24 and 34% of folk aged 25 - 44 have had infections of Toxoplasmosis gondii. After an acute infection the parasite remains in the body in an encysted state and can become reactivated if the immune system is impaired.

Monday 23 May 2016

US 'Gun' Sales To Rise Further:

What an amazing political scene over in the US of A. - A few months ago we were trying not to yawn about another presidential campaign - but now?

- Hard to state which is the worse prospect eh .. Trump or Clinton - but what we can guess is that if Hilary C is selected - gun and ammunition sales will rise to even greater levels than they have under Obama - who has been named Americas greatest gun salesman.

"Barack Obama is single handily responsible for the sales of more guns and ammo than any human being in the history of the United States," said Richard Feldman, a former NRA political organizer. "Clinton could do better."

How can the 'ordinary working people' expect to be fairly represented by a multi-millionaire (donkey or elephant) who is sponsored by the big corporates?

I don't know - they call this 'democracy'?

- Watching a British TV quiz (The Chase) the other evening - the studio audience, contestants and presenter were all astonished to learn that the correct answer to the question ..

'What form of government do we have in UK?' - was ..  'a Constitutional Monarchy'

- They were all expecting to hear that they lived in a Democracy.

Cheers, Marty K.

Saturday 21 May 2016

Robotic Glock 9mm:

Your dreams come true? - or is that 'nightmares?

General Robotics (Israel) DOGO .
Just slip in a Glock.

- Looks like it might be able to shoot as well as I can eh.

My mate 'Cutters' has been talking about the future threat from intelligent robots - these wee remote controlled ground vehicles are looking interesting already.

What can I say?.. You might need to keep the doors shut as they may not be able to reach the handle.

Marty K.

Friday 20 May 2016

Army Explosions Register Like Quakes:

Media are reporting that the NZ Defence Forces have been getting rid of some old explosive munitions on the side of Mount Ruapehu. - There have been recent increases in volcanic activity from Ruapehu and locals have been frightened that the shockwaves were resulting from natural activity.

Nice .. $10 Stamp

Taupo volcanologist Brad Scott said the office had received many concerned phone calls from worried locals.
Naa - that's all right - it's only the army..

- Talking about loud noises - I read this wee joke yesterday:

Two old shooting mates meet at the range and the first was boasting that his new hearing aid was wonderful .. 'I've got hearing like an eight year old again.'

- 'Great - what kind is it?'

Looking at his wrist.. 'ten past four.'

Marty K.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Scammell Scarab -3 Wheeled Truck & The Speed of Sound:

I was watching TV of an Indian 3 wheeled 'taxi' (a 'tuktuk'?) and a picture flashed inside my nut of a British Rail Truck from childhood London!

A British Rail  Scammell Scarab
- You'd Have to Wonder at How my Mind Works.

They were fairly widespread in the years following WWII and were valued for their maneuverability when backing trailers - or indeed - aircraft and whatever for the MOD.
Museum RAF Scarab.

My next thought was that there wouldn't be any down here in NZ - but WRONG again - here's a picture of one in Canterbury at a Show:
Made by Scammell Lorries of Watford from 1948 to 1967  - the 'Scarab' was so named because it's bonnet looked something like a Scarab Beetles wing covers.

Using a low mounted 2,090cc side-valve engine or a Perkins diesel, the tractor unit was supposed to be fairly stable.

- What's this got to do with guns etc., well - will delivering BEER in 1947 with big smiles do?

They'd do a top speed of about 40 mph on a good day.

Life must have been good when that war was finished eh - Oh yes, The Speed Of Sound .. If you want a rough approximation you might tattoo the number '1086' on your wrist then double the ambient temperature in centigrade before adding it to 1086.. Thus if it's 20 C on the range that would be 40 plus 1086 equals (roughly)1126 ft. per sec.

- Try 30 C ..  that's 1086+60 = 1146 ft. per sec. for Mach 1

Does that work for you? - Well, who's going to argue anyway eh?

Marty K.

After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?


Sunday 15 May 2016

People & Their Governments:

My reader numbers from capitalist Russia have really sky-rocketed - to far exceed even the US readers.

Welcome aboard ladies & gents.

- Great news as it's good to find that somebody is actually reading my 'gun stuff' dribbles.

- I think that all the aggression, military take-overs, revolutions, border clashes, religious wars and other hateful events that are costing around a million plus lives every peacetime year since the end of WWII - are caused by the corrupt & greedy ambitions of power-seeking psychopaths looking to grab and hide wealth & power for themselves and their gangs of supporters. (See 'The Panama Documents').

I have heard it said that anyone who seeks to be raised into a position of power is the very last person you should support with your vote.. But we do vote - some of us.

Problem is that we live in corrupt times.  Here's a few recent local examples that I can recall:
PGC Building - Christchurch Earthquake.

Our new building industry concrete earthquake steel re-enforcing mesh is found to be understrength and test results are falsified.

Our toughened glass barriers as fitted to high level balconies is sub-standard and poorly installed.

We have a multi million dollar scandal called "Leaky Buildings".

Our Fisheries catch figures are now found to have been under reported for 60 years and are really THREE TIMES higher than published.
Dumped Snapper - Nelson.

Our State Housing has been sold-off for 'redevelopment' and now we have thousands of Auckland families living in garages, under bridges, and in shipping containers.

Low income workers children are being made ill by living in cold damp mouldy rental housing but the Government refuses to bring-in minimum standards.

We were told that privatising our state owned Electricity generation and distribution would result in cheaper power. Now this 'For Profit' essential industry is charging high penalty rates to anyone installing Solar Panels to generate sustainable power.

Our "Clean Green New Zealand" rivers and lakes are so badly polluted as to be unfit for even swimming-in - even less fit for drinking.
Waimakariri River near Christchurch.

Our Naval patrol vessels designed to be used by Customs/ Border Protection and Fisheries Patrol are locked in harbour due to under funding and staffing shortages etc.
'Canterbury' & 'Te Kaha' in Harbour.

We were told that Accident Compensation was badly under funded - that fees were increased to cover the shortfall risk - Now we have ACC investing large sums of cash in outside corporations.
NZ Post SOLD - 45% to ACC & Pension Fund.

The NZ Farming sector has a high accident record - but is classed by ACC as a low risk industry.

- My memory is less sharp than a younger persons - who must surely be able to make their own list of corrupt decisions that affect our lives in 'Non Corrupt New Zealand'.

Marty K.

Friday 13 May 2016

North American Arms .32" NAA Guardian Pistols:

I know, I know - I've gone 'kinky' about 32 calibre guns lately - but there are reasons.

The 'NEW' cartridges such as the 327 Federal Magnum and the 32 NAA have moved this calibre up and out of the wimp class for paper bag punchers and into a truly practical & effective hard hitting group that competes with the older 38 Special +P and the .380"acp.

Neither round has to be used in a compact carry type handgun - as they'll fill a standard sized pistol or revolver very nicely - but they are highly suited for use in compacts because they pack a full-sized punch down range while recoiling less than their bigger 'cuzzies' in .38" and .380".

Try a 60 grain JHP at 1,222 foot per second giving 199 foot pounds of energy.
Consistent Expansion to .55" with Full Weight Retention.

- Said to do that while recoiling 15% less than a 380acp +P

The obvious downside will be having to find and ask for this ammunition where ever you can get decent service - and that is not always easy to find either!

A 'Pocket Full of Power' .. a bit snappy like small dogs - but like a small dog they are affordable to run and they fit in small places eh.

The 327 Federal Magnum makes the same kind of power upgrade for smaller revolvers.
We are a conservative lot - nobody likes change eh - and only time will tell if these excellent .32" calibres get into the 'Top 20' parade or drop down to hang around the back of the class like the 10mm Auto.

- WHY didn't they call that 'The 40 Auto Magnum' ? .. everyone loves a "Magnum" eh  - especially now that the newer 9mm loads are said to be matching performance from the .40"Short&Weak so well that the FBI is considering reverting to the 9x19mm as an issue calibre and gun.

Mind you - nobody seemed to have loved the 9mm Winchester Magnum (aka 9x29mm). It hasn't survived being loaded for the obsolete Wildeye and the Automag III eh.

Marty K.
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?


Wednesday 11 May 2016

Kimber K6s - It's a Snubbie 357 Magnum - Revolver:

I didn't expect to say this - but the latest Kimber really looks good. Usually if I hear that makers name I just shrug and say 'Another 1911 - I wonder if it works"  - But this is something new - a revolver!

It's a .357 Magnum, Stainless Steel, with a two inch barrel - and looking good.

It's looking good to me because there's no way we will be shooting one down here - because of the 2 inch barrel length - but it seems to be tidy looking and 'chunky' enough to be a 'Ruger'. (The Kimber cylinder latch works by pushing-in like a Rugers.)

- Internal hammer so double-action only - but it looks neat from the rear end too. - Thin cylinder walls but..

Of course - it may well have a smooth trigger feel set at around 10 pounds - but use full-bore factory Magnum ammunition and it's going to bark loudly, spit flames from every orifice, and smack you about a bit if you aren't hanging on tight. - Some folk enjoy that eh.

What a Great Photo of The Kimber K6s Flame-Ring
- Photo by Sean Utley, G&A Magazine.

It will be interesting to keep an eye on these to see if the production models retain a good reputation and take-off up the popularity charts.

I see this wee revolver listed in US 'Shooting Times' as MSRP $899 - it ought to be good eh.

Cheers, life is good,

Marty K.
P.S. We've had three wee earthquakes yesterday/today - no damage other than scaredy-cats.

After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?


Monday 9 May 2016

NZ Falling in Least Corrupt Perception Table:

Transparency International Corruption Perception Table has dropped New Zealand down to fourth 'Least Corrupt' position in the latest 2015 Results.

We managed to be No 1 in both 2012 & 2013, but only No 2 in 2014, - but sad to say we are falling backwards down to fourth place - and off the winners podium in 2015.

What we have to keep in mind is that this table is one of  "perception" and as such is based on what people see and are aware of - not necessarily on reality.

Perhaps perceptions are changing?

One example of this perception business that really annoys me is that when-ever we have a criminal firearms event - politicians make noises about 'gun bans' and further restrictions on legal firearms users so that they may be seen (perceived) to be doing something.. whereas - in fact - they are doing nothing to address the real issues of under-funded and under-resourced essential services like police, prisons, mental health facilities, education, and social services.

A really classic example of this recently was when Heather Du Plessis Allan of TV3 repeatedly forged police documents to illegally buy a rifle - and no charges were laid against her - but the rules and documentation for legal firearms users were made more restrictive.
Heather Du Plessis Smiling.

Now we have the 'Panama Documents' publicly releasing information from Mossack Fonseca about tax avoidance by the wealthy and criminal classes (is there a difference?).

"Joe Doe" said he leaked the documents "simply because I understood enough about their contents to realise the scale of the injustices they described".

- It seems that New Zealand is named in 61,000 of these documents - and now the 'whistle-blower' Joe Doe has individually chosen to name our Prime Minister John Key as seeming not to take any action to stop this tax avoidance.
NZ Prime Minster John Key - Smiles all Round.
- Owns Homes in Hawaii, London, Aspen, plus an Auckland Mansion.

P.M. Key who has a Batchelor of Commerce degree and worked as a 'foreign exchange dealer' before entering politics was known by his colleagues as 'The Smiling Assassin'  - for maintaining his cheerfulness while sacking dozens of staff during the 1998 financial downturn.

Key is reported to have chosen to be paid only in stock and options while working at Merrill Lynch in London. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management was acquired in 2009 by Bank of America.

Merrill Lynch were well known for their Global Private Client Services.

The NZ National Business Review (NBR) 'Rich List' has included John Key since 2008 as one of the country's richest individuals or family members with an estimated wealth of  50 Million.

- Something to smile about eh.

Marty K.

Sunday 8 May 2016

Lightweight Small Arms Technology & AAI Corporation:

Funded by the US Joint Service Small Arms Program - the LSAT Program was initiated in 2004 and is dedicated to reducing the weight both of military 'small arms' and of their ammunition.

Early research and tactical concepts strongly indicate that reduced weight (and size) are a first step towards increasing the effectiveness and survivability of combat forces.

AAI - Aircraft Armaments Inc. is based in Hunt Valley, Maryland and specialise in 'Defence Technology' such as unmanned aircraft, training and armaments and have been working with seven other companies since 2004 - using a light machine-gun as a test bed - developing two basic concepts of light weight ammunition - case-less ammunition and polymer cased ammunition.

An AAI 'Shadow-200' UAV in Iraq.

LSAT designers are also looking at "greener" bullets, electronics, round counters, laser guidance for sighting, target acquisition, steering and more lethal calibres.


Now Here's interesting:  I spent more than an hour looking for US ammunition production figures - wanting to know who was shooting what in the land of the free .. NOTHING.-  I found plenty of estimates that around 15 Billion Dollars worth of sales (allsorts) were made to a 100 Million US gun owners annually by 'The Industry' - but no production figures for ammo. ( - now is that only 50 Million or 90 Million Gun Owners - and are there 300 Million guns in USA?)

- One 'estimate' is maybe some 12 Billion rounds are sold per year and that some 70% of US ammo sales is for non-hunting use. - I guess that helps - just a little bit.

Saturday 7th May was opening day of our NZ duck shooting season - where the latest 'high technology' will doubtless revolve around attempts to make steel shot work somewhere near as effective as the old lead shot cartridges - without destroying the shotguns deployed.

Marty K.

Friday 6 May 2016

VELET Exploding Bullets - There's Nothing New:

Explosive Bursting shells were invented for artillery use way back in history in the 14th century - so it was a natural that they would be tried in more compact cannon as soon as technology permitted. Small arms were used with explosive bullets in warfare until The Hague Conference (1929) banned their deployment - but surprisingly The Geneva Convention seems to not have addressed this issue.

Shell Burst - These are Legal To Use ?
- Just about anyone with an average IQ and an interest in hand-loading will know that primers are set-off by a sharp blow - as are the softer copper percussion caps used in black powder shooting

It certainly doesn't take an Einstein or a Marconi to work out that you might drill a hole into the nose of a bullet and insert some powder and a cap or primer. Whether you might then be dumb enough to put them into a gun and fire them is another issue.

(- I once had an interesting conversation with a supermarket check-out operator after I had explained that half of her customers had below average intelligence.. "THAT"S NOT RIGHT!")

Some time in the 1970s an American outfit was commercially selling VELET and an earlier VELEX version of  'fragmenting' bullet in .380 ACP, .38 Special, 357 Magnum, 9mm Para., and .45"ACP.

Of course California immediately banned them and indeed they may have been subject to Federal restrictions.

As I see it .. if there is a target so despicable as to need not only making 'Dead' but that it requires to be 'Double-Dead' - you might consider exploding bullets which would be the opposite of any 'Armour Piercing Rounds' - because they would not penetrate much at all - having exploded on impact.

Imagine red eyed voracious 'Venture-Caps from Outer Space' with orange hair intent on devouring roasted (or broiled?) every 'hard working middle-class mortgage-holder '. - These 'Demtumps' have laser eyes that infect all they see with genital warts.

- Their fangs are venomous, their claws are gangrenous, they have smelly green cheese between their toes - and the skin-flakes shed from under their wigs infect pussycats with Toxoplasmosis (Google it eh).

- Such evil space invaders might be considered as fit for exploding-bullet target practice.

- Somebody at VELET thought so anyway - as they must have spent hours drilling holes in copper jacketed bullets to insert some black powder - later changed to Pyrodox - then capping/priming it all before sealing the nose cavity with a red laquer (nail varnish?). They didn't succeed.

All part of life's rich tapestry eh - or perhaps they were just trying to make a buck at around one dollar for each cartridge - big money back then..
Modern RIP Ammo

Currently there is plenty of choice in expanding or fragmenting bullet technology without falling back on the use of fused explosives - although I have read in overseas publications that the key to effectiveness against red-eyed space-monsters may perhaps lay with bullet placement and decent penetration.

Marty K.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

The Russians Are Coming Part II (- They Came):

On 16 February 1986 - 100 years after the Great New Zealand Russian Scare - 742 people from a Russian ship landed on New Zealand.

The Russian Cruise Ship MS Mikhail Lermontov ripped her steel hull open on rocks near Port Gore in the Marlborough Sounds and sank. - All on board were saved except for one crew member.

The New Zealand pilot Captain Don Jamison was also the Harbourmaster at Picton - where the ship had sailed from, - carrying mostly retired Australian passengers and he steered the ship inshore attempting a short-cut - despite a Russian officer questioning his course.

Thanks to the efforts of local rescue vessels all but one on board were rescued.

Good looking ship eh - 576 foot long - below is what she looks like now on underwater sonar:

The Mikhail Lermontov is now a popular dive spot - but sad to say even more people have now died on her - as four SCUBA divers have since lost their lives while exploring the wreck.

The kiwi pilots decision that caused the wreck is inexplicable.

- There were rumoured to be KGB agents on board watching the crew etc. - so there might be some relic firearms to be found left on board in cabins eh.

In October 2011 the MV Rena also tried to take a short-cut near Tauranga and ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef where she broke in two - spilling lots of oil. She too was in a hurry.
NZ Defence Forces Photo of 'RENA' Aground.

Originally (1990) called  'ZIM America' and registered in Haifa Israel - she later became the 'Andaman Sea' registered in Valletta, Malta - before becoming the 'Rena'  in 2010 registered in Monrovia, Liberia.

Owned by Diana Shipping Company - a subsidiary of  Greek shipping company 'Costamare Inc.' she was chartered to the 'Mediterranean Shipping Company'  - but NZ Authorities managed to trace her back to responsible people and extracted millions of dollars compensation and insurance. By 2014 77% of the on-board cargo containers had been removed - leaving the rest to the fishes (and divers).

Marty K.

Tuesday 3 May 2016

The Russians Are Coming: Disappearing Gun Still Working Near Dunedin:

If you enquire about Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula near the City of Dunedin - you will likely be referred to the Albatross Colony where at the right time of year you may be able to view some oversized seagulls in the far distance.
However - in the same location at the end of the peninsula at Fort Taiaroa we are lucky to have the only remaining working example of a 6 inch Armstrong Disappearing Gun still mounted in its original gun pit where it was installed back in May 1889.

A fearful but gullible New Zealand public were panicked and lead by the nose into a series of  fortifications and heavy gun emplacements to defend 'crown & country' from the RUSSIANS (Oh No) in 1885.

Even way back then - the British and Russian armies were fighting in Afghanistan to see who could tear-off the biggest lump of tribal wealth and gain control of their territory to exploit it.

Auckland newspapers ran completely farcical tales of a Russian cruiser 'The Kaskowiski' landing a raiding party in the city and seizing gold while taking the Mayor hostage. - Todays propaganda tales are generally more elaborate and more carefully constructed.***

In 2013 the beautifully restored six-inch Armstrong Hydro-pneumatic Gun won a rare international award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the United Kingdom.

Fort Taiaroa was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

'The Russian war scares of the 1880s caused the New Zealand Government to erect batteries overlooking the harbours of the four main centres. The strategic position at Taiaroa Head gave excellent control over ships approaching Otago Harbour. Local stone was used by prison labour with outstanding skill to form the underground galleries and storage for the gun emplacement. The six-inch Armstrong hydro-pneumatic disappearing gun is still in sound condition except for incomplete breech mechanism. Fort Taiaroa is an excellent example for a military fortification of a bygone era and in its dramatic siting is most worthy of preservation.'

- I was lucky enough to be part of a guided tour there years ago - and excellent it was to pass through the tunnels and underground chambers and to see the gun being raised and lowered - and visit their military exhibits.

***In 1898 the USS Maine blew-up and sank in Havana Harbour and this was blamed on an attack by the Spanish rulers of Cuba and this led to the Spanish-American War. - It is now understood that the Maine sank as the result of  her magazines being ignited by a firedamp gas explosion in her coal bunkers.
August 2nd and 4th, 1964 - America claimed they had been attacked by North Vietnamese "war ships" in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and commenced air strikes against North Vietnam. It is now accepted that no such attacks occurred.

Disappearing Guns:
Contact Information:
Postal address iconPO Box 492, Dunedin
Telephone number icon64-3-478 0499
Web address iconhttp://www.albatrosses.com

I read that they are still open daily:
Visitor Information:
Physical address iconTaiaroa Head, Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, New Zealand
Hours of operation iconDaily 10am-4pm
Adult $12 Child $6 Family $33

Marty K.

Members of the local Antique Arms Association have also dug-up and recovered this seven inch gun - minus its carriage - and are restoring it.

P.S. If you should see The 'Kaskowiski' around - please give me a shout as my favourite Irish single malt is running low.

Marty K.