Small Arms Firing School 2010

Also known as SAFS.  Held every August at Camp Perry, OH.
Sponsored by the Civilian Marksmanship Program, the CMP. CMP SAFS link
(pic gallery and video below)

The Chairman, my main character in the Distance In Time series, earned his Distinguished Rifleman badge (at the age of 19). I added that based on my own experience in the competition, which began with a local NRA Highpower match quickly followed by SAFS.
The Chairman being a DR also factors in later on in the series ūüėÄ

The CMP Highpower rifle program is where you gather the points to earn the Distinguished Rifleman badge. CMP DR Badge LINK

SAFS is a school where a non-DR can gather 4 of the necessary 30 points to earn Distinguished Rifleman.  You just have to place in the top 10%.

I’ll make that even clearer, it is 10%, not a certain score. ¬†The top non-DR sets the score, from there it’s all those within 10%. ¬†So if the top guy scores 300/400 then the remaining shooters only¬†need to shoot 270 or better. If the top guy shoots 399/400 the cutoff rises accordingly.

It is here that I earned my first 4 points toward Distinguished Rifleman.

The CMP National Matches and Excellence-In-Competition matches are similar, just that they’re 500 points.¬†¬†Again, it’s the top shooters¬†that earn the DR points, not a certain score¬†level. ¬†This way you’re always competing against the group, ¬†not the scoreboard. There are various requirements that help offset any funny business, such as a minimum number of shooters necessary in order to award points.

It is probably the best thought out scoring system I’ve come across for any form of competition.

In addition a spec rifle is used; Garand, M14 or M16 as outlined in the RULEBOOK.
The M16 format, at least as of 2014, is:
6.2.3 U.S. Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16
The rifle must be an M16A2 or M16A4 rifle issued by the U.S. Armed Forces or a commercial rifle of the same type and caliber. M16 rifles must be chambered for the 5.56 mm cartridge.

It is with this setup in mind that I decided that I wouldn’t simply be a collector of certain firearms but a competitor and I went with a Rock River Arms National Match AR15-A2 rifle:
Barrel: Wilson air gauged stainless steel, 20in, Wylde chamber (.223/5.56), 1/8 twist rate, A2 flash hider, A2 integral front post sight/gas block
Handguard: RRA free float handguard
Trigger: RRA NM 2-stage trigger. Failed in 900 rounds. Now using a Geissele SSA trigger
Front Post: 0.072
Rear sight: NM 1/4×1/4, .030 hooded aperture in fixed upper handle receiver.
Standard A2 pistol grip and A2 buttstock

Another benefit of SAFS is that they provide the rifle, ammo and magazines and you are required to use their rifle and ammo (you could use your own mags though). Everything else: spotting scope, stand, mat, logbook, sling, etc you had to supply yourself.

Not having to bring rifle and ammo actually greatly simplified my flight from Miami, FL to Camp Perry lol.

Here is a Flickr Photo Gallery (click on the photo), and below that, a short video I put together.

 

 

Civil Forfeiture as a plot device?

Sure, why not. About two months ago I discovered my ‘device’, the device that will create that One Defining Moment, aka ‘the Climax’, where everything changes for my main characters.

I’m using a legal fiction, Civil Forfeiture, as the device. I won’t get into too much detail, to avoid giving away how it works into the story, but this topic is perfect. Stunningly perfect.

I even have some personal experience with it. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier.

Now at first my Climax was simply the Chairman and Michelle selling their first starship to the government but then instead leaving the Solar System with it and having their grown kids finish off Starship #2 to sell to the gov.

Boring right? I knew that too, and wrote it out anyway. Again it was just something to start with, to get the imagination warmed up.

I have a 40 minute commute (one way), mostly highway, and I often drive in silence, just brainstorming.

Most times I’ll be running a single chapter through my head.

When I do turn on the radio I end up playing a song that might fit the tone of the chapter. This helps me to flesh out the details even further.

I was reminded of a time, in my current job, where I was called down to our marina to meet with two US Marshals. They were there to seize the yacht of one of our clients and they called just to give our company a heads up that they were removing the yacht to … wherever. (I forget)

That was an ‘in rem’ forfeiture. That means they take your stuff because your stuff is guilty, nothing at all to do with you.
How can stuff be guilty? That’s part of what makes this particular plot device so good.

In speaking with our client’s attorney it turned out that the case went poorly … for the plaintiff.

Perfect experience to build on.

I feel like I’m back in college in studying this Civil Forfeiture topic. There is so much meat available from so many different sources. It’s all really juicy stuff too.

So juicy that I am effectively re-writing the book to incorporate the process properly. FISA court, NSA, a couple of LE alphabet agencies will be involved. It’s the perfect device for my space travel story set in the near future (and then far future), just the thing I’ve been searching for.

Let’s just say that when the story is finally released you’ll wonder “How can that be real?”.

It is. It will be the only non-fiction device in my science fiction thriller lol.

_

The Blue Vase University

Ah, the Blue Vase University.

Are you a graduate?

What does it mean to graduate from the University?

It is a real thing, though not a real place. It is tangible and brings peace. And just to be clear it is not related to some insurance thing.

Then what is it?

To tell you would be to rob you, to deny you the …….. well, let’s just say that the graduate of the Blue Vase University fully understands why someone would be circumspect to explain, much less to explain it in full detail.

“So, if I’m not a graduate how do I get to be one?”

If some of you readers know the answer, don’t go posting it in the comments ūüėČ

For those who are still asking the question just look in the mirror and tell yourself ‘It Shall Be Done.’

The Humadrone

So what is a humadrone?

Our Chairman brings the concept to life. With Michelle’s programming providing the impetus the humadrone serves the Chairman and Michelle and also anticipates their needs.

Everything from doing the laundry to providing Base Security, the basic drone has a humanoid appearance. This helps it interact with the human world around it. Like negotiating stairs or flipping a light switch. Such seemingly simple and straightforward maneuvers for people.

They all share the same internals; nuclear battery, rad hard circuitry, titanium alloy skeletal systems, electric musculature, full spectrum vision, full spectrum audio, speech center and more.

The EVA humadrone is designed with armoring to protect against micrometeoroid strikes. Such orbital debris travels at double digit Mach numbers and the armor is set up accordingly.

The Base Security humadrone adds multiple layers of the same armor plating. Mobility suffers, but only slightly. They are still far more maneuverable than any human could hope to be.

These humadrones carry 12gauge magazine fed semiautomatic shotguns. Using ammunition designed in-house the Base Security drones can defend against land and air attacks from a variety of aggressors.

The Chairman does not sell or share the design with anyone. Strictly company assets.

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