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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in larvatus' LiveJournal:

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    Friday, June 10th, 2011
    9:35 am
    plato and the other companions of sokrates
    All of Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates is now available online.

    Portrait of George Grote by Thomas Stewardson, 1824

    It was necessary to create in the multitude, and through them to force upon the leading ambitious men, that rare and difficult sentiment which we may term a constitutional morality; a paramount reverence for the forms of the constitution, enforcing obedience to the authorities acting under and within those forms, yet combined with the habit of open speech, of action subject only to definite legal control, and unrestrained censure of those very authorities as to all their public acts—combined too with a perfect confidence in the bosom of every citizen, amidst the bitterness of party contest, that the forms of the constitution will be not less sacred in the eyes of his opponents than in his own. This co-existence of freedom and self-imposed restraint—of obedience to authority with unmeasured censure of the persons exercising it—may be found in the aristocracy of England (since about 1688) as well as in the democracy of the American United States: and because we are familiar with it, we are apt to suppose it a natural sentiment; though there seem to be few sentiments more difficult to establish and diffuse among a community, judging by the experience of history. We may see how imperfectly it exists at this day in the Swiss Cantons; and the many violences of the first French revolution illustrate, among various other lessons, the fatal effects arising from its absence, even among a people high in the scale of intelligence. Yet the diffusion of such constitutional morality, not merely among the majority of any community, but throughout the whole, is the indispensable condition of a government at once free and peaceable; since even any powerful and obstinate minority may render the working of free institutions impracticable, without being strong enough to conquer ascendency for themselves. Nothing less than unanimity, or so overwhelming a majority as to be tantamount to unanimity, on the cardinal point of respecting constitutional forms, even by those who do not wholly approve of them, can render the excitement of political passion bloodless, and yet expose all the authorities in the state to the full licence of pacific criticism.
    George Grote, History of Greece, Volume 4, London, 1847
    9:08 am
    miyuki ishibashi

    Ishibashi’s strong resentment toward the establishment stems from her family’s plight at the end of World War II, a war she blames on Japanese militarists.
        As Japan’s defeat became increasingly evident in 1944, Ishibashi’s father was drafted in Korea.
        He died a year later. Ishibashi said her mother “went through hell” in the course of being repatriated to Japan and in raising her then 1-year-old daughter amid the rubble of a defeated nation.
        After graduating from Waseda, Ishibashi spent some 10 years as a singer and actress, traveling to Russia for the first time in 1976. She was captivated by Moscow’s desolate nature, which dovetailed with her childhood hardships.
        Ishibashi began to collect and sing underground Russian songs, which portrayed the true feelings of the people suppressed by the communist regime, and grew increasingly aware of the reality of Soviet life.
    —Yumi Wijers-Hasegawa, “Songs of oppressed now serve to inspire”, The Japan Times, 25 March 2003
    Thursday, June 9th, 2011
    5:32 am
    what is to be done?
    At the end of Patrice Leconte’s sublime film Ridicule, the marquis de Bellegarde, the refined and humane physician played by Jean Rochefort, discovers the villainy that underlies the “bel esprit” committed to the art of brilliant repartee that determines and defines the pecking order at the royal court. Revolution sweeps away the French aristocracy, and Bellegarde finds himself exiled in England, a humble tutor to the overprivileged offspring of his indigenous counterpart. There, while walking along a seaside cliff with his native host, he becomes agitated as a gust of wind carries away his hat. “Mieux vaut perdre son chapeau que sa tête”, phlegmatically points out the Englishman. Whereupon Bellegarde, recalling his long forgotten befuddlement by the notion he is about to invoke, has his epiphany: “Ah… L’humour!”

    Which is to say that it would take another Revolution followed by a therapeutic exile to instill a sense of humor in Russian intelligentsia.

    — Быть невесёлым, это как кому угодно, — сказал Бьюмонт: — но скучать, по моему мнению, неизвинительно, Скука в моде у наших братьев, англичан; но мы, американцы, не знаем ее. Нам некогда скучать: у нас слишком много дела. Я считаю, мне кажется (поправил он свой американизм), что и русский народ должен бы видеть себя в таком положении: по-моему, у него тоже слишком много дела на руках. Но действительно, я вижу в русских совершенно противное: они очень расположены хандрить. Сами англичане далеко не выдерживают сравнения с ними в этом. Английское общество, ославленное на всю Европу, и в том числе на всю Россию, скучнейшим в мире, настолько же разговорчивее, живее, веселее русского, насколько уступает в этом французскому. И ваши путешественники говорят вам о скуке английского общества? Я не понимаю, где ж у этих людей глаза на своё домашнее!
        — И русские правы, что хандрят, — сказала Катерина Васильевна: — какое ж у них дело? им нечего делать; они должны сидеть сложа руки. Укажите мне дело, и я, вероятно, не буду скучать.
    — Николай Гаврилович Чернышевский, «Что делать?»

    “One may be melancholy as he pleases,” said Beaumont; “but to be bored is in my opinion unpardonable. Boredom is a fashion among our brethren, the English, but we Americans know nothing about it. We have no time to be bored; we have too much to do. I think; I mean, it seems to me” (he corrected his Americanism) “that the Russian people ought to see themselves in the same situation: as I see it, they too have too much to do. But, in reality, I see exactly the opposite in the Russians; they are very much disposed to gloom. Even the English cannot equal them in this respect. Englishmen are known all over Europe, including Russia, to be the most boring people in the world, but they are as superior to the Russians in sociability, vivacity, and good cheer, as they are inferior to the French in these respects. And your travelers tell you how boring English society is. I don’t understand what they see when they look at themselves.”
        “And the Russians are right in being gloomy,” said Katerina Vasilyevna; “what chance do they have for activity? They have nothing to do! They have to sit with folded hands. Give me something to do, and in all likelihood I shall not be bored.”
    — Nikolay Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky, What Is to Be Done?
    Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
    7:13 pm
    les revolvers manurhin

    En France c’est peu à peu qu’est acceptée l’idée d’équiper les personnels de la police de revolvers à grande puissance (357 Mag, 9 Para). En effet traditionnellement équipés de P.A. en 7,65 Browning, les policiers ne peuvent prétendre au cours de missions dangereuses, à une totale efficacité et constatent une disproportion dans l’armement au cours d’affrontements dits de « grande criminalité », face à des individus n’hésitant pas à faire usage de « gros calibres ».
        Créé en 1962 le Centre National de Perfectionnement du Tir de la Police Nationale, dirigé par Raymond Sasia, permet d’améliorer la formation technique des fonctionnaires de police actifs. Mais l’outil susceptible de rendre les meilleurs services au tir, au plan de la sécurité, de l’efficacité et de l’économie reste encore à définir. L’expérience de Sasia lui permet d’affirmer que le revolver en 357 Magnum est la meilleure réponse à ces questions. D’ailleurs Raymond Sasia fait mettre au point par Smith et Wesson une version spéciale de modèle 19 : le 19/3 RS ( 3 pouces Raymond Sasia ) conçue spécialement pour les forces de l’ordre.
        Entre temps le Ministère de l’Intérieur, soucieux d’acheter français ( marché prévu : 80 000 revolvers ) recherche dans l’hexagone un fabricant pouvant concevoir et exécuter un revolver. Vaste problème ! Grâce à la législation que chacun connaît il n’y à plus en France un seul fabricant de revolver, civil ou militaire, sportif ou défense. C’est finalement la Manufacture de Machines du Haut-Rhin ( plus connue sous le nom de Manurhin ) dont le département armement fabrique des P.A. sous licence Walther depuis l’après-guerre qui est désignée en 1971.
        Le bureau d’études se montre à la hauteur de la tâche et sort un prototype qui est une synthèse des meilleures caractéristiques des Colt et Smith et Wesson. Rien n’est particulièrement nouveau mais il est difficile d’innover dans le domaine du revolver depuis l’invention du barillet tombant en 1889 par Colt et depuis la mise au point de la 357 Magnum par S et W en 1935. La chaîne de production et d’assemblage qu’installe Manurhin est très efficace et le résultat est une arme très proche de la perfection où se mêlent les techniques modernes ( canon martelé à froid aux rayures d’un fini exceptionnel ) et classiques ( carcasses et pièces de platines travaillées mécaniquement, pas d’utilisation de microfusion, bronzage noir brillant sur des pièces polies et finies manuellement ).
        En bonne société industrielle Manurhin ne se repose pas sur ses lauriers et l’important contrat que constitue la fourniture d’armes de poing aux forces de Police et de Gendarmerie ne l’empêche pas d’aller explorer les besoins spécifiques des tireurs sportifs civils. Peu à peu la firme de Mulhouse crée ainsi toute une famille de revolvers :
        1973 — MR 73 version police ( défense) canon de 2 ½, 3 et 4 pouces, aux calibres 9 Para et 357 Mag.
        1974 — MR 73 versions Match et Sport, à canons de 4, 5 ¼, 6 et 8 pouces, calibre 357 Mag.
        1977 — MR 73 versions GIGN ( Gendarmerie) à canons de 3, 5 ¼, et 8 pouces, calibre 357 Mag.
        1980 — MR 32 Match.
        1981 — MR 38 Spécial Match.
                 — MR Long Range à canon de 9 pouces, calibre 357 Mag.
                 — RMR Spécial Police, calibre 357 Mag.
        1983 — MR Silhouette à canon de 10 ¾ pouces, calibre 357 Mag.
                 — MR Commémoratif, 357 Mag. en acier inoxydable.
        1986 — MR 22 LR Remora 5 ( le petit frère en 5 coups calibre 38 spécial ).
        1987 — Modèle convertible.

    1973 — MR 73
    Des le départ c’est une arme de grand prestige. Si la conception est classique ( avec quelques astuces au niveau de la double action ) l’arme se caractérise par la grande qualité de ses aciers, le canon martelé et l’usinage parfait de chacune des pièces du mécanisme.
        Les seuls problèmes qui se présentent viennent du ministère de l’intérieur et de son souci d’économie qui fait exiger une arme pouvant tirer la 9 Para : il faut donc un barillet avec dans l’étoile de l’extracteur des petits ressorts qui viennent prendre la gorge des douilles ( chacun sait que la 9 Para est une cartouche à gorge et non à bourrelet ).
        Heureusement le dispositif inventé exprès pour cela marche plutôt bien, mais le fonctionnaire de police peut toujours avoir l’appréhension au plus fort d’une action violente, que « ça foire », ce qui ne facilite pas la concentration. La 9 Para prévue pour l’utilisation est ( au début) la cartouche de l’Armée : il est notoire qu’elle est faite pour le P.M. et son utilisation dans une arme de poing ( heureusement solide ) entraîne un tir brutal. L’amorce prévue pour la masse percutante du PM est très dure : il faut une percussion très musclée, que le MR peut heureusement fournir par réglage de sa platine, mais au prix d’um alourdissement catastrophique de la double action ! De plus l’amorcées corrosive et les meilleurs aciers du monde ne peuvent donner que ce qu’ils ont face à la corrosion. Pour le tir de la 9 Para le diamètre intérieur du tube est établi à 0,354 pouce ( pour le tir à balle blindée en 357 c’est OK, mais pour un tir de match à la balle plomb il faut bien vérifier la matrice de récailibrage, sinon précision = zéro ).
        Alors qu’est annoncée l’attribution de l’arme avec son barillet de rechange en 357 Mag, les fonctionnaires de police voient souvent arriver un revolver juste prévu pour la 9 Para ( économie oblige) avec finition parkerisée ( noir mat, toujours l’économie ). Heureusement en 1981 cette malheureuse expérience est enfin arrêtée et on lance le programme qui donne naissance au RMR Spécial Police ( voir plus loin ).
        À côté du modèle Police ( défence ) à canons de 2 ½, 3 et 4 pouces à crosse de bois, type « round butt », à organes de visée fixes, à finition parkérisée pour la clientèle administrative, existe une version semblable mais à finition bronzée noir brillant, pour la clientèle privée ( semble t—il, cette version n’a pas été fournie en 9 Para, rien qu’en 357 Mag ). Dans les deux cas les plaquettes de série sont le modèle dit « standard » : deux blocs de bois réunis par une vis centrale, les plaquettes laissant la carcasse apparente, sauf sous le pontet où elles se rejoignent : ainsi est respectée l’accès aux vis de réglage de la détente et du ressort. Le médaillon doré inséré au bas des plaquettes ( emplacement inhabituel dans l’armurerie de poing ) est visible même sur l’arme au poing ( ce serait l’explication du choix de cet emplacement ).
        Quelques mois plus tard, en 1974, apparaît le modèle Sport à hausse réglable et guidon carré, à canons de 4, 5 ¼, 6 et 8 pouces.
        Toutes ces versions civiles présentent la finition que chacun reconnaît être remarquable chez Manurhin : bronzage profond sur pièces impeccablement polies.
        4 pouces : 357 Magnum. C’est la version la plus équilibrée pour le tir de précision, la défence.
        5 ¼ pouces : Modèle compétition, calibre 38 Spécial. C’est la nouveau réglementation de l’U.I.T qui détermine cette longueur. En fixant le poids maximum à 1,4 kg et la longueur totale à 30 cm l’adaptation d’une crosse orthopédique devient difficile pour le 6 pouces, type le plus fréquent jusqu’alors ( Colt Officer’s Match, S et W K 38 ) alors qu’en 5 ¼ pouces on améliore la préhension sans nuire à la précision. Sur ce modèle qui fonctionne en double action le chien est allégé.
        6 pouces : devient du fait de la nouvelle réglementation l’arme du sportif non matcheur. Ce modèle est prévu d’origine dans les calibres sportifs 38 Spl et 22 LR et les calibres magnum : 357 Mag et 22 Mag. Les versions 22 ajournées ( on ne sait pourquoi ) ressortent bien plus tard sous une forme différente ( voir 22 Match ).
        8 pouces : c’est une « canne à péche », difficilement maniable, mais très précise, surtout utilisable avec lunette. Peut-être envisagée comme arme de chasse ( pour l’exportation aux USA, en Afrique ), c’est dans la version Gendarmerie avec bipied que l’arme s’épanouit.

    Après la création d’un Groupe d’lntervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale ( GIGN ), fer de lance dans la lutte de la Gendarmerie contre le terrorisme et les prises d’otages, est apparu le besoin de remplacer le PA MAC 50 peu adapté à ce genre de mission. Après une série d’essais mettant en présence la fine fleur des revolvers du Monde ( SW, Ruger, Colt et Manurhin ) c’est le MR 73 qui est retenu. De la collaboration étroite entre la Gendarmerie ( Capitaine Prouteau ) et Manurhin est né un modèle spécifique ou s’associent la maniabilité des modèles « défense » et la précision des modèles « sport ».
        Sur la carcasse du MR 73 une hausse micrométrique semblable à celle du modèle sport mais à planchette de visée plus petite assure la précision sans gros risque d’accrochage en sortie rapide de l’étui ; de même le guidon monté sur une longue embase n’est plus taillé en angle droit, comme sur le modèle sport, mais possède des contours abattus, comme sur le modèle défense. Il y à trois longueurs de canon disponibles ; selon le type d’intervention on choisit :
        — une arme à canon de 3 pouces pour le tir rapproché ( poids 890 g ), d’origine à petites plaquettes ( standard ), mais peut bien sûr recevoir d’autres plaquettes plus étoffées ( pour le tir à deux mains).
        — une arme it canon de 5 ¼ pouces pour le tir à moyenne distance ( jusqu’à 60 mètres ), d’origine à grandes plaquettes ( Gendarmerie) portant sur le devant l’empreinte des doigts permettant le tir à deux mains. Ces grandes plaquettes masquent l’accès aux vis de réglage mais sont si efficaces même pour la préhension à une main qu’on les retrouve sur les modèles match 32, 38 à coté des crosses orthopédiques.
        — une arme it canon de 8 pouces en 1981 qui rejoint les deux autres MR Gendarmerie. Avec une lunette ( Bushnell grossissement 1,3 ) lit grandes plaquettes elle autorise un tir à 100 mètres, puis avec lunette à grossissement 2,5 et bipied amovible elle permet le tir à 200 mètres. À ces distances la carabine Ruger Mini 14 en 5,56 dont est aussi doté le GIGN est une alternative non négligeable.
        Le 8 pouces à lunette fait 1,125 Kg sans la lunette, 1,32 avec.
        Apparus à partir de 1977 les MR Gendarmerie reçoivent d’office la modification apportée alors au mécanisme du MR 73 : changement du ressort du linguet. La corde à piano trop fragile ( possibilité de bris à quelques milliers de coups ) fait place à un ressort à lame.

    Après expérimentation en 1979 de l’ultime prototype par l’équipe de France de Tir, l’arme lancée dans le circuit commercial et sportif en 1980 fait tout de suite forte impression par son esthétique et par le titre de Champion de France au pistolet sport 1980 ( se posant ainsi en challenger du PA Walther 32 ).
    Le barillet, court, n’occupe pas toute la carcasse qui est celle du MR 73, ce qui permet de reculer le canon et de tenir les normes de gabarit UIT avec un canon de 6 pouces. Bien sûr chambres et cône de raccordement correspondent à l’utilisation de wadcutters.
        Canon de 6 pouces ( diamètre de récailibrage = 0,313 pour les rechargeurs ) 6 rayures au pas de 450 mm, la hausse est surbaissée et le contrepoids réglable sous le canon. Au début l’arme est livrée munie d’un prolongement métallique rapporte par soudure sur la carcasse, pour améliorer la tenue lors de l’utilisation des plaquettes de crosse sport. La fourniture ultérieure par Manurhin de crosses orthopédiques en bois rend cette corne disgracieuse inutile et elle disparaît sans laisser de regrets aux tireurs.
        À partir de 1974 sept prototypes successifs dus à la collaboration du Commandant Wack ( directeur de l’équipe de France militaire de tir et de la section tir de l’école interarmées des sports ) et des spécialistes de la maison de Mulhouse transforment peu à peu le MR 73 en redoutable arme de matcheurs.

    Après l’introduction du MR 73 dans les services de police, en priorité dans les services spécialises qui avaient tout à fait l’usage d’une arme conçue pour leurs besoins spécifiques, la crise pétrolière internationale et les restrictions budgétaires nationales font revoir au Ministère de l’Intérieur le poste de l’équipement en armes. Le MR 73 est coûteux : sa fabrication est cIassique, sans utilisation de pièces de microfusion. Pour abaisser les coûts Manurhin fait appel à Ruger ( d’ou le nom aux initiales RMR ) qui est, aux USA, le champion de l’arme de qualité dans le créneau des prix corrects ( par opposition à Colt et Smith et Wesson dont les prix sont dans la cIasse au dessus ).
        Schématiquement le Spécial Police ( c’est son nom officiel après adoption par le Ministère de l’Intérieur ) c’est une carcasse et un mécanisme Ruger ( avec pièces obtenues par microfusion ) type Speed Six, avec un canon et un barillet forgés Manurhin. Les pièces arrivées brutes en France sont finies et montées à Mulhouse. Le bronzage noir brillant change agréablement les fonctionnaires de Police du modèle précédent. La couleur blanche du chien et de la détente est peut-être plus moderne que la finition jaune paille du MR 73. Malgré l’air de famille aucune pièce n’est interchangeable avec celles du MR 73.
        Canons de 3 ct 4 pouces, à six rayures au pas de 400 mm. Poids total 875 g ( 3 pouces ), 950 g ( 4 pouces ). À noter qu’il existe une version en 38 spécial pour l’exportation. Après 16.000 pièces fabriquées le modèle est arrrêté : l’augmentation du dollar rend moins séduisant le prix du Ruger et, disent certains, les tolérances Ruger un peu lâches se marient mal avec la rigueur alsacienne. Une solution totalement française : le Spécial Police F1 naît en remplacement ( voir plus loin ).

    1981 — MR 38 MATCH
    C’est le frère du MR 32 sorti deux ans plus tôt et si on excepte son barillet qui occupe toute la carcasse, il lui ressemble beaucoup : même grande poignée à empreintes pour les doigts sur le devant, même hausse micrométrique rallongée à l’extrême arrière du sommet de la carcasse MR 73, même guidon anguleux sur courte embase, même mécanisme en simple action, même possibilité de monter le contrepoids de 100 g sous le canon.
        Manurhin sort cette arme car son revolver MR 32, sans aucunement démériter dans les concours, se diffuse peu, freiné qu’il est par la relative nouveauté qu’est pour beaucoup de tireurs la cartouche.
        La 38 spécial est archi-connue, les rechargeurs archi-équipés, c’est donc commercialement logique de sortir fin 1981 un MR Match dans ce calibre.
        Canon de 5 ¼ pouces, à 5 rayures ( jusque-là tous les MR 73 ont six rayures ) au pas de 476 mm, étudié pour la wadcutter, son calibre ést, à fond de rayures 9,05 mm ( 0.356 pour le récailibrage ).

    Le tir sur silhouettes métalliques vient des USA, à partir de 1980 ; il rencontre en France un succès grandissant et Manurhin saisissant l’opportunité d’élargir sa gamme et de barrer la route aux productions US sort en janvier 1981, sur carcasse MR, une version à canon long.
        Schématiquement c’est la platine à simple action et chien allégé, les organes de visée des versions match, avec un barillet et un canon de 357 Magnum. Le logement de la tige d’extracteur se continue sous le canon jusqu’a la bouche ( sur les prototypes il s’arrête à mi-course ) et équilibre l’arme. Poids total 1300 g, longueur totale 360 mm. Sur ce modèle de 2e génération la partie arrière de la carcasse est lisse ( alors que les MR de 1ère génération ont un arrière strié ).

    1983 — SPÉCIAL POLICE F1
    Le RMR, hybride franco-américain, nécessitant trop de travaux de finition mécanique devenu à son tour trop cher, la société de Mulhouse se tourne vers une solution entièrement française qui ne peut que plaire à l’état français : ATS France Société spécialisée dans la microfusion en tout genre fournit les carcasses brutes, que Manurhin finit et monte. Le bureau d’études en profite pour remanier le mécanisme et c’est une arme profondément remaniée qui sort, même si extérieurement la ressemblance est grande avec le RMR Spécial Police ( interchangeabilité oblige ) : plus de pontet amovible, mais une classique plaque de recouvrement.
        Les longueurs disponibles pour les canons restent 3 et 4 pouces. La version finition bronzée noir se trouve pour la première fois chez Manurhin épaulée par une version inox ( Enfin… ! disent certains, étonnés de voir le revolver inox être l’apanage des productions étrangères ).

    Le 9 pouces avec sa remarquable canonnerie couplée à d’excellents organes de visée excite beaucoup les tireurs sur silhouettes métalliques. La science du rechargement et la robustesse de la carcasse du MR 73 laissent prévoir une cartouche « renforcée et perfectionnée » .
        Pour barrer la route des 44 Magnum américains et pour tirer le maximum de cette 357 optimisée ( la 357 Magnum Mega Match ) le département armement de Manurhin, toujours dynamique, sort le MR 10 ¾.
    Le nom « Silhouette » jusque-là porté par le 9 pouces est attribué au 10 ¾ pouces. Le 9 pouces est rebaptisé « Long range ».
        Canon de 10 ¾ ( 273 mm ) à 5 rayures au pas de 476 mm, poids à vide 1,428 kg, longueur totale 424 mm. Schématiquement c’est le 9 pouces allongé et doté d’une poignée plus grande. Attention la 357 Mega Match peut être tirée sans danger dans tous les MR 73 en 357 Magnum, mais Manurhin propose le chambrage du barillet du Silhouette soit en 357 Magnum, soit en 357 Mega Match ( qui, lui n’accepte pas la 357 Magnum normale ).

    Pour fêter les 10 années de son produit Manurhin sort une arme gravée, avec plaquettes en bois précieux ( bois de violette ), en acier inoxydable, vendue par souscription. Il à été présente à la presse deux prototypes de cette arme : l’un avec organes de visée « défense », l’autre avec organes de visée « gendarmerie » dédicacé à Christian Prouteau ( les 10 ans du MR 73 ont coïncidé avec les 10 ans du GIGN ).
        Mais il y à bien d’autres exécutions spéciales du MR 73 , exécutées discrètement sur demande à l’usine : gravures, incrustations de fils d’or, finition luxe, montage de lunette, coffrets somptueux bien loin de l’ordinaire boite de carton. Ce genre de cadeau fait toujours plaisir aux puissants de ce monde.

    1985 — LE MR 22 MATCH
    Attendu depuis longtemps, le 22 LR, calibre qui figure déjà dans une publicité de 1977, apparaît enfin en public. C’est un revolver dans la plus pure tradition des versions « match ».
        Chien allégé à course courte, simple action, hausse basse sur la main, contrepoids amovible sons le canon, crosse orthopédique conforme aux règlements UIT. Ce revolver offre par barillet interchangeable la possibilité de tirer la 22 LR et la 22 Mag : souhaitons que ce Manurhin aux deux barillets rencontre un sort meilleur que celui de son ancêtre MR 73 avec le couple 9 Para et 357 Mag. Je ne suis pas contre la 22 Mag ( sauf contre son prix… ) mais je vois mal son intérêt dans une arme typiquement destinée au tir à la cible.
        Canon 15,3 mm ( 6 pouces ), à 6 rayures.

    1986 — LE REMORA 5
    C’est dans sa destination et sa présentation le petit frère du Spécial Police F1 à 5 coups en 38 spécial. Cette arme légère ( 560 g pour le 2 pouces ) à canon court ( disponible en 2, 2 ½ et 3 pouces ) est destinée à un port discret, invisible. En acier inox elle ne peut craindre ni la sueur, ni l’absence d’entretien.

    Sur la mécanique éprouvée du MR 73 Manurhin présente un revolver de match à canon et barillet interchangeables : carcasse, poignées, organes de visée restent les mêmes, mais avec des outils simples fournis avec l’arme on peut au choix tirer en 22 LR, en 32, en 38. Sur les premiers modèles vus en exposition la finition extérieure semble en baisse nette par rapport aux armes antérieures, mais l’ajustage mécanique est irréprochable. Si le prix reste abordable on peut prévoir que de nombreux matcheurs seront intéressés par le convertible.

    Au moment ou s’écrit cette revue de la production Manurhin ( printemps 1987) on murmure que la firme de Mulhouse prépare pour l’armée un PA qui remplacerait le MAC 50. Souhaitons à ce PA moderne de bénéficier de l’expérience acquise par le bureau d’études lors de l’élaboration de revolvers répondant à des besoins très divers.
        Après tout, celà à été la démarche de Colt et celà lui à très bien réussi.

    Maître Simili et Denis-Alain Specteur

    Cette étude, fort bien documentée y compris dans sa conclusion, à été menée alors que le Ministère de la Défense poursuivait ses études sur les armes proposées par différentes firmes pour équiper en particulier la Gendarmerie Française, 3 firmes étaient en lice : 2 françaises, 1 italienne.
        — la MAS ( Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Étienne, Manufacture d’État à ne pas confondre avec feu Manufrance ) qui proposait un SIG… suisse,
        — Manurhin qui , proposait un Walther de sa fabrication, mais d’origine… allemande,
        — Beretta, qui proposait son célèbre 92 F dont on connaît le succès historique auprès des armées des USA.
        C’est à dire rien que des armes de conception étrangère, confirmant ainsi la pauvreté et le triste déclin de l’industrie armurière du pistolet en France. Depuis le choix a été fait et la décision prise : la Gendarmerie Française sera dotée du pistolet italien Beretta 92 F, en calibre 9 mm Nato ( = 9 Para ).
        Toutefois les compétiteurs français, écartés du choix, ne le seront pas de la production qui, sous licence Beretta, sera confiée partie à la MAS, partie à Manurhin.
        Espérons que nous retrouverons dans ces armes la qualité et le soin « Manurhin » qui ont fait la renommée méritée du MR 73.
        Heureux gendarmes… quand ils les auront… ces nouveaux pistolets.

    Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
    10:43 pm
    thomas mann: bruder hitler | that man is my brother | брат гитлер
    Bruder Hitler That Man Is My BrotherБрат Гитлер

    Thomas Mann
    1. Januar 1939
    Foto: Carl Mydans
    Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

    Ohne die entsetzlichen Opfer, welche unausgesetzt dem fatalen Seelenleben dieses Menschen fallen, ohne die umfassenden moralischen Verwüstungen, die davon ausgehen, fiele es leichter, zu gestehen, daß man sein Lebensphänomen fesselnd findet. Man kann nicht umhin, das zu tun; niemand ist der Beschäftigung mit seiner trüben Figur überhoben — das liegt in der grob effektvollen und verstärkenden (amplifizierenden) Natur der Politik, des Handwerks also, das er nun einmal gewählt hat, — man weiß, wie sehr nur eben in Ermangelung der Fähigkeit zu irgendeinem anderen. Desto schlimmer für uns, desto beschämender für das hilflose Europa von heute, das er fasziniert, worin er den Mann des Schicksals, den Allbezwinger spielen darf, und dank einer Verkettung phantastisch glücklicher — das heißt unglückseliger — Umstände, da zufällig kein Wasser fließt, das nicht seine Mühlen triebe, von einem Siege über das Nichts, über die vollendete Widerstandslosigkeit zum andern getragen wird. Were it not for the frightful sacrifices which continue to be offered up to the fatal psychology of this man; were it not for the ever-widening circle of desolation which he makes, it would be easier to admit that he presents an arresting phenomenon. Yet, hard as it is, we must admit it; nobody can help being preoccupied by the deplorable spectacle. For he has chosen — in default, as we know, of capacity to wield any other — to use politics as his tool; and politics always magnify and coarsen the effect they produce. So much the worse for us all; so much the worse for Europe today, lying helpless under his spell, where he is vouchsafed the role of the man of destiny and all-conquering hero, and where, thanks to a combination of fantastic chances — or mischances — everything is grist that comes to his mill, and he passes unopposed from one triumph to another. Если бы не ужасающие жертвы, которые непрерывно требует роковая душевная жизнь этого человека, и если бы не огромные моральные опустошения из того проистекающие, было бы легче признать, что феномен этот захватывающе увлекателен. Но ничего не поделаешь, приходится это высказать. Никто не избавлен от необходимости иметь дело с этой мрачной фигурой, ибо такова рассчитанная на грубый эффект, на преувеличение природа политики, того ремесла, которое он себе однажды выбрал, — мы знаем, в сколь большой степени из-за отсутствия способностей к чему-либо другому. Тем хуже для нас, тем постыдней для сегодняшней беспомощной Европы, которую он ослепляет, в которой ему позволено играть роль человека судьбы, покорителя всех и вся, где благодаря сцеплению фантастически счастливых, то есть несчастных, обстоятельств, — ведь все складывается так, что нет воды, которая не лилась бы на его мельницу, — его несет от одной победы, победы над ничем, над полнейшим непротивлением, к другой.
    Read more... )
    Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
    12:20 pm
    My tweets
    2:36 am
    exalter l’individu si rabaissé par la démocrasserie

    Flaubert par Nadar, 1865, Bibliothèque Municipale de Rouen
    Page 191, « Plus tard les peintres feront mieux, mais ils seront moins originaux ! » En êtes-vous sûr ? — « Ils iront plus loin. » Eh bien, alors, qu’importe le reste ! Le principal, il me semble, c’est d’aller loin. Je vous sais gré d’exalter l’individu si rabaissé de nos jours par la démocrasserie. Mais il y a quelque chose au-dessus de lui. C’est l’idée qu’il se fait de l’ensemble des choses et la manière de l’exprimer, laquelle est une Création égale, sinon supérieure, à celle de la nature. Encore une fois (et c’est là mon sujet de dissentiment entre nous) vous ne tenez pas assez compte de l’Art en soi, qui est, cependant.
    Page 191, “Later on painters will do better, but they will be less original!” Are you sure of that? — “They will go further.” Well then, what matters the rest! The key, it seems to me, is to go further. I am grateful to you for exalting the individual so degraded today by democrassery. But there is something above him. That’s the conception that he forms of things in their entirety and the way of expressing it, which is a Creation equal, if not superior, to that of nature. Once again (and here is the crux of disagreement between us) you do not pay enough attention to Art in itself, which exists, nonetheless.
    — Gustave Flaubert, lettre à Hippolyte Taine, 5? November 1866,
    Correspondance, Vol. III, Gallimard, 1991, p. 548
    Saturday, May 21st, 2011
    4:50 pm
    bobos in numberland
    In the course of promoting his pop psychology treatise, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement (Random House, 2011), David Brooks has been disseminating the claim that 94 or 95 percent of professors in America say that they are above average in teaching skills. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.) The browsing functionality of permits all interested parties to find and read the relevant pages 218 and 397 in his book, which credit page 73 of another specimen of the same genre, penned by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman, Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth, The Free Press, 2006. In its turn, endnote 8 on p. 286 in that book credits the statistics of professorial overconfidence to an article by Janet Metcalfe, “Cognitive optimism: self-deception or memory-based processing heuristics?”, published in Personality and Social Psychological Review, 2 (1988), pp. 100-110. The referenced article is available in its entirety from several online sources. (1, 2, 3.) Needless to say, it says nothing that remotely resembles the foregoing claim.

    Update: Tracing the notion of Lake Wobegon, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average” yields a reference to P. Cross, “Not can but will college teachers be improved?”, New Directions for Higher Education, 17, 1977, pp. 1–15, said to describe a study at the three branches of the University of Nebraska, where in responding to questionnaires that asked professors to rate their teaching abilities, 94% of the faculty considered themselves above average in teaching ability and 68% placed their teaching abilities in the top 25%. This likely source of Brooks’ statistic is not nearly as expansive as the countrywide claim that he erroneously credited to Metcalfe. It would be preposterous to claim that a certain percentage of professors in three branches of a single university in Nebraska, a state whose economy depends on delusional overconfidence, can stand proxy for the same proportion of their profession throughout America.
    12:17 pm
    My tweets
    • Sat, 01:38: Катахреза это нечто иное—мёртвая или злоупотреблённая метафора, как правило цельная, как та ножка от стула, что …
    Friday, May 20th, 2011
    12:17 pm
    My tweets
    • Fri, 00:18: This issue happens to be central to my assclowning bag of tricks. Anyone in a public space used to be fair game for …
    • Fri, 01:43: Похоже, что в русском языке давно имеется понятие смешанной метафоры .
    • Fri, 06:57: Your statement of principle is unsupported by current practice. Notwithstanding A.B. 524 , paparazzi are free to take …
    • Fri, 08:35: Basically, even when you are in a public space, you cannot aim a telephoto lens or a parabolic microphone onto a …
    • Fri, 08:51: Private businesses make their own rules, except for scenarios covered in applicable jurisdictions by Pruneyard Shopping …
    Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
    12:35 am
    raising the stakes
    In “Why I’m a Pacifist: The Dangerous Myth of the Good War”, published in Harper’s May 2011 issue, Nicholson Baker argues that Hitler’s Jewish policy was that of a hostage-taker. Baker concludes that the Allies should have heeded the pacifists such as Abraham Kaufman, Dorothy Day, Jessie Wallace Hughan, Rabbi Abraham Cronbach, Vera Brittain, Arthur Ponsonby, Clarence Pickett, Bertha Bracey, Runham Brown, Grace Beaton, and Victor Gollancz, by negotiating peace with Hitler in order to rescue Jews, instead of demanding unconditional surrender of Germany. According to Baker, this insistence inculpates Winston Churchill and FDR in Nazi genocide of the Jews.

    So the Allies should have let The Axis absorb most of Europe in Germany and let Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere pay tribute to Japan, in exchange for Hitler letting the Jews go? I see no clues as to what Nicholson Baker might recognize as bargaining chips for the Allies to control and trade with the Axis. The Untermenschen residing in the occupied territories might want to have their say. Furthermore, the notion of Hitler holding Jews hostage against escalation of a European conflict into a world war is belied by the body count achieved by the Einsatzgruppen prior to America’s declaration of war against Germany. In the event, the lesson Hitler failed to teach to his adversaries, that terrorism on large enough scale can earn immunity from prosecution and be traded for political gains, is recapitulated today in the position taken by that Hamas-Fatah alliance:
    ROBERT SIEGEL: You said recently that by signing this accord with Fatah, Hamas, and I quote you now, “became part of the Palestinian legitimacy,” that the movement gained legitimacy. The Israelis and others, some others, point to the 1988 Hamas charter very often and say that you should renounce that.

    And I looked at the document, and, you know, at one point it claims that the Jews started the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, both World Wars, that they operate in league with the Freemasons and set up the Rotary Clubs and Lions Clubs to do their bidding. Do you think that Western democracies are going to grant legitimacy to people with a document that reads like the paranoid conspiracies of the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party?

    Mr. HAMAD: Look, and first of all, I think people should not judge Hamas according to their charter because many changes happened inside Hamas. But many people in United States and the West or in Israel, they say no, no. Hamas is still as it is before 20 years, no. I think Hamas show a lot of flexibility, and it became more pragmatic, more realistic. Hamas could be a good player in making peace in this region, but please don’t use stick against them and punishment against Hamas.

    SIEGEL: But people who point to the charter say, well, even if Hamas says it has changed and there’s evidence that it has changed, the charter hasn’t changed. These are still the declared principles of your movement, aren’t they?

    Mr. HAMAD: No one talk about removal of Israel. We’re only talking about removal of the occupation, and I think this is according to United Nations resolution, this is legitimate.

    For example, my parents were born in Tel Aviv. We have seven millions Palestinian refugee - as refugees living in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, every - and Europe and Brazil and everywhere. They have no chance to return to their homeland. Is it their destiny to live as refugees forever? And Israel have a right to bring the Jews from South Africa, from the United States, from Russia, from everywhere to live inside the Palestinian territory, in settlements in the West Bank. I think it’s not logic. It’s not fair.

    SIEGEL: Well, Mr. Hamad, thank you very much for...

    Mr. HAMAD: Thank you.

    SIEGEL: …spending time with us.

    That’s Ghazi Hamad, who is deputy foreign minister of Hamas. He spoke to us from Gaza City. And we’ve also requested interviews, I should add, with a leader of Fatah and also with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    This is the endgame. Hamas will renounce its “great hope of bringing to an end the Zionist project in Palestine”, avowed three days ago by Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the its government in Gaza, in exchange for Israel recognizing a Hamas-led Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank with its capital in Jerusalem.

    Hard-liners in Israel and the U.S. will resist this capitulation to two generations of terrorists taking Jews and gentiles hostage, when not blowing them up. But there is a difference between Israel considering a compromise with Hamas and Fatah and the Allies considering a compromise with the Axis. Unlike the Nanking massacre and Babi Yar, Arab terrorism did not proceed under the color of authority endowed with international legitimacy. It must be well understood by both sides in asymmetrical warfare, that terrorist acts lose their advantage of asymmetry upon being perpetrated in the name of a state that itself is liable to be held hostage to a crushing military defeat, the likes of which befell Germany and Japan sixty-six years ago. So let the terrorists raise the stakes by getting their state this time. We’ll always have our recourse to carpet bombing and show trials.
    Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
    11:31 am
    anthropology explains the zhus

    Min Zhu before his fall from grace

    Certain high Azande nobles, are permitted to wed their own daughters, and brother-sister marriages were preferred in the old Hawaiian aristocracy and in the Inca royal family. In none of these instances, however, could the general population contract incestuous unions, for these were a symbol and prerogative of exalted status. Among the Dobuans, intercourse with the mother is not seriously regarded if the father is dead; it is considered a private sin rather than a public offense. The Balinese of Indonesia permit twin brothers and sisters to marry on the ground that they have already been unduly intimate in their mother’s womb. Among the Thonga of Africa an important hunter, preparatory to a great hunt, may have sex relations with his daughter—a heinous act under other circumstances. By their special circumstances or exceptional character these cases serve rather to emphasize than to disprove the universality of intra-family incest taboos.
    George Peter Murdock, Social Structure, Macmillan, 1949, pp. 12-13
    Sunday, May 15th, 2011
    8:22 am
    Friday, May 13th, 2011
    3:56 am
    welcome to my interesting times
    The other day I found myself tasked with explaining to a young Chinese woman the concept of an ancient Chinese curse, such as “May you live in interesting times.” The best I could come up with by way of coining another example, admittedly drawn from my life experience of the past decade, was “May all your dealings be with lawyers.” Recalling the same experience later on suggested an effective way to intensify the malediction: “May all your dealings be with lawyers and surgeons.” Whereupon I drew upon my own store of maledictory Yiddishkeit, aptly summarized in a classic compendium: Read more... ) In all candor, gentiles tend to squander their imprecations. Thus according to world-class maledictorian Reinhold Aman, Anglo-Saxon cultures prefer insults dealing with excrement and body parts, Catholic countries are fond of blasphemy, and cultures of the Middle and Far East are partial to ancestor insults. I would add that, by contrast, we Jews derive the substance of our swearing from a higher authority, as exemplified in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 and Leviticus 26:14-45. Having had our ancestors worked over by the Almighty, my people know how to help our enemies find their proper level. Unlike gentile put-downs, Yiddish curses seek to put an end to their objects, and often succeed at that, in spirit if not in body. We aim not merely to revile or embarrass, but to depress, discourage, and demoralize. Watch this space for my contribution to the genre.
    Thursday, May 12th, 2011
    12:02 pm
    My tweets
    Sunday, May 8th, 2011
    4:52 pm
    enter the void
    Gaspar Noé is the only living film-maker worth watching.

    No, Gaspar Noé is the living film-maker worth only watching.

    (But sometimes worth hearing, too.)

    Le temps détruit tout.
    Saturday, May 7th, 2011
    12:01 pm
    coitusy of the united states
        “A spent lover always says ‘Excuse me’ when practicing the art of coitusy.”
        —Ron Barrett, “Politeness Man”, National Lampoon

    He opened the door, shut it, and leaned back against it, his head raised as if for air. My God, he said, the fucking Queen of England. I mean, I’m—somewhere in the back of his memory, in one of those disorderly trunks of unfiled information, he fished out the law that specified the remaining crimes for which hanging was stipulated and recalled something dating back to the Treason Act in the fourteenth century about “violating” a royal figure. Great God, thought Blackford. What about when you—he could not bring himself even to think of the word under the circumstances—do it with… the goddamn Queen herself!
        He sat down and, briefly, began to laugh.
    OAKES, Blackford. Foundation official. Born, Yellow Springs, Ohio, December 7, 1925. Schools: Scarsdale H.S, Yale (’51). Executed, 1952, for viol. fornication provisions of Treason Act of 1351.
    Read more... )
    Monday, May 2nd, 2011
    5:43 pm
    p210 legend
    The following is a draft version of my review of Sauer’s new P210 Legend pistol. It will be updated in this space with photos and text as my study continues.


    “You William Blake?” yells U.S. Marshal Marvin Throneberry at the rapidly approaching outlaw, while cycling and shouldering his Winchester Model 1873. “Yes, I am. Do you know my poetry?” responds the killer as he raises his 4¾" Colt .45 Single Action Army revolver and shoots Marvin in the heart.

    Guns and poetry. None better illuminated their interplay than Jim Jarmush in his 1995 movie Dead Man. To talk guns is to talk poetry. What follows is a riff on the latest incarnation of my favorite poem.


    The great reward of my study of mechanical design is the “Aha!” moment of recognizing a clever accommodation of constraints on the form and function of its object. I owe many such moments to the inventions of John Moses Browning. The “sliding breechblock or bolt carrier” of his U.S. Patent No. 580926, evolved into the unit construction slide integrated with the breechblock of his U.S. Patent No. 747585, familiar nowadays as the slide of a self-loading pistol, is the very best sort of invention—obvious only when seen in hindsight, and no sooner so seen, than accepted as ineluctable. The Borchardt-Luger toggle action design of Hugo Borchardt’s U.S. Patent No. 571260 embodies another kind of ingenuity. Inspired by Hiram Maxim’s U.S. Patent No. 317162, it operates like a miniature cannon breech, lending immense strength to the self-loading pistol mechanism at the expense of ultimately prohibitive cost and fickleness of precision fitting. In the long run, Browning’s commonsensical approach prevailed. Most self-loading pistols inherited basic features pioneered by his designs, while the Luger ended up a fascinating curiosity.

    29427: Swiss Ordnance Parabellum 29, 7.65 Para, SN 59951,
    National Match model with a 170mm heavy barrel; and
    29428: Swiss Ordnance Parabellum 29, 7.65 Para, SN 65721,
    National Match model with a 200mm pencil barrel,
    see Horst Rutsch, Faustfeuerwaffen der Eidgenossen, pp. 266ff;
    29429: Swiss Ordnance trigger link regulator for Parabellum pistols,
    for adjusting the pressure point by bending an annealed trigger lever;
    29430: front sight pusher for Swiss Parabellum pistols;
    author’s collection.

    I am one of many shooters, for whom the Swiss military SIG P49 autopistol along with its P210 commercial counterpart represent the epitome of Browning’s legacy. Accordingly, I had mixed feelings upon receiving the news of its 2010 revival by J.P. Sauer & Sohn after a five-year production hiatus. On the one hand, as a corporate sibling of Swiss Arms AG, the most recent manufacturer of the P210, under the corporate umbrella of Lüke & Ortmeier Gruppe, Sauer is in all likelihood best positioned to revive its storied brand. On the other hand, Sauer had its own handgun line resuscitated by SIG with their 1975 collaboration in the design and manufacture of the SIG-Sauer P220, the simplified and streamlined sidearm that under the P75 designation replaced the P49 in the Swiss military service. Accordingly, the stage was set for the anxiety of influence memorably diagnosed by Harold Bloom in his 1973 Freudian study of debts that poets owe to their precursors:
    If to imagine is to misinterpret, which makes all poems antithetical to their precursors, then to imagine after a poet is to learn his own metaphors for his acts of reading. Criticism then necessarily becomes antithetical also, a series of swerves after unique acts of creative misunderstanding.
    —Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence: a Theory of Poetry, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 93
    Would this antithesis deform Sauer’s XXIst century descendant of SIG’s 1947 masterwork into a creative misunderstanding or a fallacious misinterpretation of its storied precursor? In my eyes, the P210 Legend has realized both of these extremes of its possibilities. It is the best remaining hope for reviving the Swiss prototype, even as it represents its gross adulteration as a target implement and fatal distortion as a fighting sidearm.

    SIG P210 Legend Brochure
    SIG P210 Legend Specifications

    In the sequel, I summarize my technical impressions from testing two privately purchased and imported P210 pistols from Sauer’s recent reintroduction of that model. I am working on a detailed review and test comparing these pistols to their Swiss-made military and commercial precursors of several vintages and configurations. While I have a favorable overall impression of Sauer’s products, there remain serious issues that I have attempted to discuss with its staff prior to my publication, in the interests of fairness. Regrettably, Sauer’s engineers rebuffed my questions as “very deep detailed and touching present- and future developments”. What follows therefore is an unauthorized review of the P210 Legend.


    The frame (#1 on Sauer’s parts diagram) appears to be machined from billet. Sauer does not disclose its composition and manufacturing technique. Several changes manifested in its design include the elimination of cutouts for the magazine retaining clip at the bottom of the grip frame and the loss of the retaining pin for the slide catch lever spring (#17). In view of these production changes, I am led to wonder why Sauer chose not to add a curve to the front grip strap ahead of the magazine catch button, as is usually done in earlier designs that utilize such retention method, such as the M1911, TT33, GP35, Vis 35, M1935S, etc. While this practice follows the pattern established by the SIG-Sauer P220, the original Swiss P75 version of that pistol utilized a bottom magazine retaining clip similar to that of the P49. It would have made more aesthetic and technical sense to follow examples set by Sauer’s American, Soviet, Belgian, Polish, and French predecessors by accommodating the magazine catch (#4) within a modified frame profile.

    SIG P210 frame cross-section profiles:
    (1) Petter Mod. 1, SN 4, 9mm; (2) Petter Mod. 2, SN 6009; (3) SP47/8 protos, SNs 6031-6060;
    4) SP47/8 production, SN 6383; (5) P210-1; (6) P210-5 prototype;
    (7) heavy frame; (8) CNC machined.
    Current P210 frame profiles

    More generally, the heavy frame configuration adopted for all versions of Sauer’s P210 does not appear to add strength at stress points. The few P210 frame failures mostly seen in Scandinavia concomitant with the use of 9mm Para submachine gun ammunition, appear to take place at or near the barrel bed, as a result of the bottom barrel lugs butting against it at the peak of the recoil cycle. This stress point is unlikely to be reinforced by adding extra steel on the outside. Indeed, a comparison of the original multifaceted heavy frame profile developed by SIG in the early Sixties at the behest of the Swiss National Match pistol shooting team, to the latest streamlined heavy frame profile, originally introduced at the end of SAN’s production run, suggests that the latter functions mainly as a production line expedient meant to eliminate several machining steps. Likewise the new contour of the slide (#37), which dispenses with the tapering of the upper rail ahead of the frame, much like the P210 slide profile had dispensed with the removal of the lower rail in that area on the 1st KTA delivery of P49 pistols. This change makes the pistol ill suited to any kind of holstering, just as the heavy frame compromises its fit in holsters blocked for the standard P210. In fairness, the new slide may be meant as a natural fit to the latest progeniture of Sauer Waffen. The P210 Super Target appears to have been derived from an Ergosign design exercise long touted by Karl Nill. The slide of the P210 Legend mated with the extended frame of the Super Target would enable the frame rails to support the entire length of the slide by extending the dust cover of the frame to the muzzle end of the slide in accordance with Les Baer’s U.S. Patent 6345463. I cannot think of another functional reason for Sauer’s changes in the P210 profile aside from economic expediency.


    The upswept beavertail that extends the top of Sauer’s P210 frame about 10mm over the length of its Swiss predecessor, is milled and channeled to receive and contain the newly undercut tang of the hammer (#22) at the apex of the recoil cycle. Sauer’s design protects the web of the shooting hand while relieving the points of hammer contact with the tang at the peak of the recoil cycle, as seen on the beavertails featured in final SAN production of P210-6S and P210-5LS. It does so at the cumbersome cost of requiring a thumb reach-around for manual hammer cocking, biasing the pistol towards range applications while making it far less suitable for social work. The defensive use of the Sauer P210 would have been much better served by combining the reprofiled hammer with the traditionally shaped short frame tang.

    While Sauer is to be commended for machining out of bar stock many parts that have been previously cast whole (e.g. the later P210 triggers) or in part (e.g. the later P210 slide catch lever), it bears notice that many of them exhibit unsightly tool marks. In fairness, many of their SIG predecessors are marked no less conspicuously. The quench polish quench (QPQ) nitrocarburizing case hardening that Sauer employs on its P210 frames, slides, and magazines, helps to disguise minor imperfections the likes of which stand out in the traditional blued finish applied over the wire brushed and sandblasted surfaces of the SIG P210. According to practices that prevail in the firearms industry, it is no longer necessary to polish steel in order to deliver an attractive surface finish. Modern handguns can be finished with a minimal effort, by spraying, baking, and processing, to be represented in the marketplace as durable, tactical, and hi-tech, and sold as no-maintenance, easy-care, and Hollywood-cool. My readers will have to choose for themselves between vintage virtues and postmodern puffery. There is little doubt that the surface treatment of Sauer pistols is less liable to be blemished by abuse than traditional oxide-based steel finishes. The tradeoff in preserving its present looks is the loss of potential for patination to be prized by future collectors.


    As postulated by design authorities from Michelangelo to Mies van der Rohe, God—or the Devil—is in the details. Turning to the details of Sauer’s P210 redesign, I found it helpfully replacing the originally fitted staked pins with conical concave ends shaped by SIG to require center punches, with standard pins retained by interference in the case with the extractor pin (#40), and a catch spring (#13) in the case of the trigger pivot (#12). In the latter instance, Sauer’s update enables target shooters to change the trigger weight according to the requirements of their discipline by swapping out the trigger bar spring (#11) for one of a different weight. In doing so, extreme care must be exercised both in retaining the trigger pin spring left unsecured within its slot machined in the trigger (#8), and in compressing the trigger bar spring into its place between the trigger and the trigger bar (#9). Notably, the new trigger is nicely milled out of billet in an approximation of the P210-5 and P210-6 trigger profile. This manufacturing technique represents a welcome reversal of replacing milled parts with castings, introduced in the mid-Sixties in military and commercial deliveries of the P49 and the P210.

    Along similar lines, the integral lock housing (#20) follows the pattern of older machined parts fitted to the P49 and forged P210 pistols. Early P49 and P210 lock housings were machined out of steel forgings to contain deep hardened firing system parts made to Swiss military specifications. In an effort to reduce production costs, around the SIG serial number range of P311000 onwards, the milled part was replaced by a hammer action housing cast by Grünig and Elmiger and packed with metal injection molded (MIM) internals. While I cannot confirm that the sear (#26) and the trigger take-up lever (#28) have been upgraded to the likes of “old school” milled and deep hardened parts, Sauer’s improvement of their housing is a step in the right direction, inspiring the hope that the new parts can be used to replace the old, and vice versa.


    An unwelcome counterpart of the “Aha!” moment is the “Ugh” occasion of discovering a hidden flaw that compromises or undermines the use of a mechanical device. Regrettably, my study of the P210 Legend has resulted in several such occasions. Consider the newly redesigned safety lever (#14), which mates with the detents in the safety lever spring (#15). The SIG P210 incorporated its safety detents in the left side of the frame, after the fashion of its predecessors in the Swiss Army service, several variants of the Parabellum pistol. As with the Luger, this practice resulted in an arc inscribed in the surface of the frame by the hardened ball press fitted into the underside of the safety lever thumb pad. The new spring arrangement dispenses with the scratch by relegating the safety detent duty to a detachable and easily replaceable part mounted on the right hand side of the frame under the corresponding grip plate (#33) and retained by a Torx screw (#16), which is secured in the frame by a blue threadlocking compound. It replaces the old style magazine safety and requires plastic grips or wooden stocks to be relieved with a cutout for its mechanism. Sauer has retained the frame window that leaves open the possibility of reinstating the magazine safety by grafting an old style wedge on the tang of the safety lever spring.

    Shooters who object to their guns being held together by chemicals will be disappointed to discover the tendency of the safety lever spring to back out under recoil, once the threadlocking compound’s seal has been broken. This development leaves the safety lever flopping around in the frame, liable to a spontaneous reversal of its setting. The security of Sauer’s P210 is compromised to an even greater measure by the omission of the retaining loop on the slide catch lever spring (#17). This modification results in the angled tang of the slide catch lever spring dislodging during the firing cycle from its locating pocket drilled into the frame, causing the slide catch lever to lose its downward tension and bounce under recoil, potentially locking the slide on its way to chamber the next round. Owing to the omission of the stud that retained the slide catch lever spring in the frame of the SIG P210, there is no simple way to cure this defect in its successor. For the P210 Legend owners, floppy controls are here to stay.


    The lateral magazine catch button (#4) follows the pattern set by the SAN P210-6S and P210-5LS. It is retained by spring-loaded stop pin (#6 and #7) that latches against the edger of the frame cutout, and tensioned by a spring (#5) that bears upon the frame wall. A significant flaw of the SAN design was the built-in interference of the magazine catch with the threaded trigger stop pin (#2). In the Swiss pistols this layout resulted in jamming these parts against each other before the trigger stop pin could be properly set. In my P210-5LS, serial number P330061, backing out the trigger stop pin far enough to ensure a consistent hammer fall past the half cock notch, resulted in preventing the magazine catch from releasing a magazine that had been latched by it. Fortunately, I was able to cure this handicap by swapping in an older lockwork assembly that featured a longer sear tail. Sauer’s P210 copies the SAN design to the point of preserving this flaw. While Sauer’s parts diagram shows the trigger stop with its safety pin (#3), both of the pistols as delivered to me brand new by a German gun dealer omit these parts altogether, in a tacid admission of their conflict with the magazine catch. Thus the Sauer P210 controls trigger overtravel solely by the trigger back curve coming in contact with the frame. This is not an adequate solution for a sport pistol, but it looks like the only arrangement compatible with the existing design of the magazine catch.

    The new drop forged magazine bottom (#60) presents a related difficulty by making it impossible to use the Sauer magazine with the old P49-style bottom magazine catch. By contrast, drop forged magazine floorplates for the P210, Nill’s part number SI91, work equally well with either kind of magazine catch, affording the additional advantage of a shooting rest parallel to the bore axis. Accordingly, Sauer could have shaped its floorplates to accommodate the traditional retention system. For reasons best known to themselves, they haven’t done so.


    The firing system of the Sauer P210 boasts the newly incorporated passive firing pin fall safety assembly (#41 through #45). Its design is similar in conception and execution to the passive safety incorporated in the SIG 44/16 prototype and deleted from its successors. The fall safety device (#45) of the firing pin safety is tensioned by a spring (#42) directed by a guide (#43), to block the specially undercut firing pin (#47) until it has been actuated by the trigger bar (#9). This arrangement yields a crisp two-stage trigger action nominally rated by its maker at a pull weight of 1.5kg ± 0.3kg. In a standard military issue P210, the permissible first stage weight may range between 2.0 and 2.50 kg. Replacing the trigger spring of a SIG P49 with a sport trigger bar spring (Sportsabzugsfeder), the like of which is fitted to the Sauer P210 (#11), would reduce its trigger weight by about 0.5kg. Accordingly, Swiss service competitions allow a minimum trigger weight of 1.5kg. On the Lyman electronic trigger gauge, the trigger of Sauer’s P210, serial number P332136, weighs in at 1.7kg averaged after 10 pulls. Applying the same procedure to a heavy frame SIG P210, serial number P79608, yields a trigger weight of 1.2kg. Sauer’s 30% trigger weight penalty over a comparable SIG appears to be mostly attributable to its incorporation of a firing pin safety, in view of its extra parts impinging upon the trigger bar (#9). Swapping the slides between the Sauer and SIG pistols to measure the trigger pull on the resulting hybrids confirms this surmise. The trigger pull on the Sauer frame fitted with the SIG top end weighs 1.3kg, whereas the trigger pull on the SIG frame fitted with a Sauer top end weighs 1.6kg. Since the weights of springs mounted in parallel are additive, this penalty might be subject to a reduction by decreasing the weight of the trigger bar spring to the point that it achieves the minimally acceptable tensioning of the trigger bar by working in tandem with the fall safety device spring.

    SIG P210-6 SN P79608, heavy frame, micrometer sights, Bern and German proofs,
    with an extra barrel, recoil springs, and spare grooved Swiss Army stocks,
    from the 100 pistol series exemplified in H.P. Doebeli, Die SIG Pistolen, p. 82;
    author’s collection.
    In the October 1973 issue of Guns & Ammo, Jeff Cooper wrote: “Double action in an auto pistol seems to me an ingenious solution to a non-existent problem.” Two years later, the Swiss army replaced its single action SIG P49 with a double action SIG-Sauer P75. It would be unfair to apply Colonel Cooper’s dicta to the firing pin block safety fitted by Sauer to its revived P210 in 2010. On 16 April 2009, longtime SWAT Magazine Contributing Editor Steve Malloy was shot and killed in his home. The postmortem investigation attributed his death to an accidental discharge of the 1903 Colt Pocket Model pistol that Malloy carried in his waistband with a live round in the chamber. Upon falling onto the floor, the pistol discharged, propelling a bullet into its owner’s chest. A passive firing pin block safety activated by pulling the trigger would have prevented the pistol from firing upon being dropped. Furthermore, it would guard against unwanted firing in the event of a mechanical failure in the hammer/sear interface. Lastly, it yields forensic evidence attributing the shot fired to a trigger pull. Yet none of these factors relegate the shooter’s personal responsibility for safe handling of his weapon to its mechanical features. Thus Colonel Cooper cited a security organisation in Australia whose members had been carrying Browning Hi-Powers fully loaded, cocked, and without engaging the safety catch for several years without a single accidental discharge. The gunmaker’s proper job is to provide the shooter with the option of additional mechanical safety margins. The litigious nature of American culture does not deter Colt from omitting the firing pin block from its Series 70 Government Model pistols, while incorporating it into its Series 80 variants. Not does it debar Ruger from relying on a light titanium firing pin and stronger firing pin spring to ensure the drop safety of its SR1911 pistol. Neither should it discourage Sauer from releasing a “P210 Classic” model that duplicates the original contours, features, and finishes of Swiss SIG pistols.


    As suggested in the beginning of this review, Sauer’s P210 “Legend” is a study in contradictions. Its newly encumbered and unbounded trigger action places it at a palpable disadvantage with respect to its Swiss precursors on the firing line. And while its rugged finish and improved safety features might have rendered it more apt for defensive applications, ill-secured and cumbersome controls undermine its ergonomics while fatally compromising its reliability. Even if to imagine is to misinterpret, I cannot imagine the debilitating misprision that caused Sauer’s engineers to degrade the retention of controls in their version of the SIG P210. Nor can I depend on a gun liable to spontaneous slide lockups and reversals of safety settings. I would have liked to receive Sauer’s response to these concerns. As long as they remain unresolved by the gunmaker, I must regretfully give the Legend a failing grade.
    Sunday, May 1st, 2011
    12:02 pm
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    Saturday, April 30th, 2011
    12:02 pm
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