May 19th, 2013
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Wesson Goes to Church:
When does life begin for a gun? Is it first casting, first barrel boring, first test fire? Is it before the gun is formed when the metal is mined, or the carbon fiber manufactured?
A thoroughly mischievous little piece.
[Via The Browser]
August 24th, 2012
West Midlands police have had a few problems with a system designed to pinpoint firearms as they're being used:
Police have admitted that gunfire sensors put up in parts of Birmingham have not been as accurate as hoped.
The Shotspotter Gunshot Location System was introduced where there was a high number of firearm incidents in 2010.
Police said of the 1,618 alerts from the system since November, only two were confirmed gunfire incidents. It also missed four confirmed shootings.
At the time they were put up, West Midlands Police said the devices had about an 85% accuracy rate and could detect a gunshot within 25m (82ft).
The best part is why the system performed so poorly:
Ch Supt Burgess said the system learnt to detect the sound of gunfire after installation.
Part of the reason Shotspotter had "struggled to work", unlike in the US, was due to the small number of gunshots being fired, he added.
So, not all bad news then.
[Via The Yorkshire Ranter]
February 10th, 2012
My favourite part of Mark W. Shead's post on how an apparent flaw in the design of an air pistol illustrated why designers need domain knowledge is that it prompted an informative, detailed, respectful exchange of views in the comments between Shead and a reader with experience in the business of shooting air pistols at competition level. I love this sort of detailed dissection of the whys and wherefores of design work.
It turns out that in some contexts it makes perfect sense to site an air pressure gauge on an air pistol in such a way that it all but demands that the user stare straight down the barrel of the (loaded?) air pistol. Who knew?
[Via Electrolite (Sidelights)]
July 31st, 2011
Holy Smoke provides an … innovative … means of remembering your loved ones:
The process of having cremated ash placed in live ammunition begins when you contact us. You tell us what type of hunting or shooting that the decedent practiced and we can help you decide what will best suit your needs. […]
Once the caliber, gauge and other ammunition parameters have been selected, we will ask you (by way of your funeral service provider) to send approximately one pound of the decedents ash to us. Upon receiving the ashes our professional and reverent staff will place a measured portion of ash into each shotshell or cartridge.
Example: 1 Pound of ash is enough to produce 250 shotshells (one case).
I can't say it'd be for me or mine, but then I can't think of a single reason why those for whom hunting and shooting was a way of life shouldn't have the option of being remembered in the same vein.