Friday, September 14, 2007


« German President Angela Merkel (Getty Images)

Germany on the Rise, Merkel on the Wane

Seventeen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany is the leading power in Europe. Is its current government strong enough to hold that position? By Ron Fraser

Football fever focused global attention on Germany during the first half of last year as the nation hosted the soccer World Cup tournament. This year it was the double whammy of Germany’s dual presidencies of the European Union and the G-8 (group of eight major world economies) that have placed that nation in the world spotlight. These three events have combined to strengthen a renewed national self-confidence in Germany.

Commenting on Germany’s hosting of the 2006 World Cup, the German team coach Jürgen Klinsmann declared in a television interview, “This World Cup was a huge success for the team and for all of Germany. We showed the world another face of Germany” (Spiegel, July 5, 2006). Endorsing Klinsmann’s comment, the German tabloid Bild stated, “[T]he party must go on! We have to keep up the sense of renewal, the self-confidence, the good mood for our everyday lives. This was just the momentum we so urgently need to face the tough tasks ahead.”

Well, it seems the party did go on. Renewed confidence in business investment has powered the German economy forward this year, substantially reducing unemployment, producing a rise in consumer spending and, despite the comparative strength of the euro, leading to a surge in sales of German products overseas.

Strutting the World Stage

From January to June, Germany strutted the world stage with its presidencies of the EU and the G-8. Despite achieving results far short of Chancellor Merkel’s declared expectations, the EU’s 50th anniversary celebrations in March, followed by the G-8 and EU summits in June, did give Germany widespread international media publicity.

In the foreign-policy arena, through some deft maneuvering by Chancellor Angela Merkel—including cuddling up to the United States and standing up to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin—Germany’s star rose to heights unprecedented since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

But there is an element currently on the rise in European politics that has historically proven dangerous for Europe and the rest of the world. Europe is once again swinging right politically. As Stratfor recently observed, “The right has yet to grasp power in Europe, but it will not be long before the conservatives consolidate their hold on the Continent” (June 8).

The danger that looms as a specter from Europe’s war-torn past is that, as Stratfor continued, “A right-leaning Europe could be united under one leader, particularly since the states are brought closer together by common problems such as immigration and economic reform. But it remains to be seen which state will emerge to lead, and in what direction” (emphasis mine throughout).

The most obvious contender is Germany.

Regarding this possibility, Stratfor wrote, “[A] recent economic renaissance has given the country the opportunity to forge a consensus in Europe and to further its own agenda. For the first time in decades, Germany is a full and powerful member of the European community. More important, for the first time in centuries, there is no established political regime in Europe to counter German ambitions” (ibid.).

Germany Speaks—Europe Reacts

Stratfor has a longer memory than most of our foreign-policy merchants. Note this crucial observation of a unique fact of European history: “For now, [Germany and the U.S.] are more or less on the same page …. But do not confuse the temporary alignment of interests with a permanent state of affairs. Sure, the United States currently sees Russia as a rival and Germany as an ally. Yet this situation is an aberration in both U.S. and European affairs. All of European history is a tale of Germany either expanding or being contained” (ibid.).

The big difference this time, in its third attempt within a century to achieve pan-European dominance, is that Germany has used economics, international trade and finance as the main weapons of choice, rather than force of arms. Recent examples of this are two political/economic initiatives enacted over past months and a third currently being discussed—all German ideas—that should further bind Europe together, economically and financially, under Berlin’s aegis.

The first was a move by Merkel (showing more political courage than the previous chancellor, Schröder, who failed on this point) to initiate a long-overdue restructuring of Germany’s corporate tax base. The law, which significantly cut corporate taxes, passed on March 14. Stratfor called it “the latest in a string of planned and coincidental developments [most predating Merkel’s chancellorship] laying a lasting foundation for Germany’s geopolitical renaissance” (March 15).

The second initiative builds on the effect of the German-instigated European means of exchange, the euro, which continues to gain strength in international trade. Further consolidating the German idea of centralized financial control, Berlin has engineered the introduction of an EU-wide unified payments system, the Single Euro Payments Area (sepa). Beginning in January of next year, all electronic payments throughout the EU and the European Free Trade Association will be considered domestic, saving the European economy an estimated 2 to 3 percent of its gross domestic product. “In terms of its dimension and significance, this revolution in European payments is comparable only to the introduction of the euro,” said Hans-Joachim Massenberg, deputy ceo of the Association of German Banks.

Germany’s centralizing economic and financial agenda, through forced implementation of the single European currency, the euro, combined now with sepa, is speeding the death of the long-cherished individual national sovereignty of EU member nations.

But the third initiative may be the most significant, particularly because of the manner in which it entered political discussion.

The European Commission announced in July that it intends to take a hard look at threats from external sources—notably Russia and China—moving to buy up slices of European businesses. Stratfor commented, “A public musing last week by German Chancellor Angela Merkel was what prompted the Commission decision” (July 20).

What was particularly startling about this was, as Stratfor observed, “the fact that the Commission so quickly took up Merkel’s idea. Merkel’s term as EU president expired June 30, yet here we are three weeks later and her off-the-cuff comments are still setting the agenda …. Fifty years later, Germany has found its voice—and possesses the gravitas to set policy without even making a request. That has got to make a few stiff European upper lips unconsciously quiver” (ibid.).

Note that Stratfor speaks of Germany finding its voice. It’s not so much that Chancellor Merkel made these remarks that triggered the European Commission’s response. In fact, the signs are that Angela Merkel’s leadership of her coalition government may soon be under threat. But it was the fact that Germany spoke that moved the Commission to respond!

Merkel on the Wane

The chancellorship of Angela Merkel has reached its peak. Riding the wave of popularity courtesy of a sequence of foreign-policy opportunities that fell to her advantage, the German chancellor is currently one of the most popular leaders on the world scene.

Her presiding over the EU and G-8 presidencies thrust her into the limelight during the first half of the year. But since mid-year, Merkel has returned to a more mundane agenda—that of keeping her coalition partners under control and her nation’s population content.

Merkel set herself what many thought was an unachievable agenda for her EU presidency. It largely proved to be the case, with her almost sole success being in the area of energy policy, and the prospect of such an agreement was already a given. The energy-strapped EU is between a rock and a hard place, trying to balance its dependence on Russia’s energy sources on one hand against finding reliable sources of supply from the volatile Middle East and unreliable Africa on the other. So reaching general agreement to do something about seeking alternative sources of energy was an easy romp for Merkel.

In terms of economic and social policy, Merkel was blessed with a resurgent German economy during her term as EU president, reducing discontent in both capital and labor. This permitted the chancellor the luxury of seeing much of the rest of the EU seemingly benefit from her government’s economic and social policies.

When it came to obtaining a common agreement and seeking the signatures of the 27-nation EU membership on a declaration of its key values, Merkel was in for a real struggle. The wheels really started to fall off as the 50-year anniversary of the European Union drew near and no such agreement was in sight. All Merkel could achieve was a bland document, the Berlin Declaration, crafted behind closed doors by the chancellor, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and EU Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering, with these three as sole signatories. Hardly a satisfactory result!

Merkel’s next grand opportunity to demonstrate her foreign-policy panache came just over two months later, with Germany’s hosting of the annual G-8 summit. Dovetailing her G-8 presidency with the European Union presidency gave the German leader the opportunity to influence a number of major challenges under consideration by those eight countries which together combine 65 percent of the total world economy. The U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia met under Merkel’s leadership in the German coastal resort of Heiligendamm in early June. Also present were representatives of the European Commission and five African nations.

This was the type of forum at which Chancellor Merkel’s foreign-policy skills were supposed to shine. However, the results of the conference, though hailed as a success by Merkel, failed to impress many observers. A Swiss daily reported, “Angela Merkel wanted to fight poverty, give globalization a human face and stem climate change. She succeeded in none of these” (Basler Zeitung, June 8).

In late June came the European Union summit that would bring to a conclusion Germany’s six-month presidency. This presented a final opportunity for Chancellor Merkel to produce a success that would place the stamp of approval on her period in the presidential office.

Even before they arrived in Brussels, the contentious leaders of this unwieldy EU monolith were sounding warning bells about the disputes that would pepper this summit. The summit turned out to be a predictable debacle in many respects, especially with Poland reminding Germany that its Nazi past had reduced its population by a third, so a population-based voting system under the reform treaty would most certainly unfairly favor Germany!

Frau Merkel is now back in her own national domain. And, given the fact that she topped the crest of her wave of popularity mid-year, she has now but one way to go. “‘Merkel is at the peak of her power but it can’t get any better for her,’ said Gerd Langguth, a political scientist at Bonn University and author of a biography of Merkel. ‘Germans are happy with her foreign policy but less than enthused about her performance at home, and that could be a real problem.’ With memories of her government’s unpopular health-care reform still alive in the minds of many Germans, polls show half the population disapproves of Merkel’s domestic performance—a weakness the struggling [Social Democrats] will try to exploit” (Reuters, June 25).

Coalition governments in Germany historically do not last very long. If Merkel’s coalition lasts the remaining two years of its tenure, given the rumbles that already are coming from within its ranks, it will be a wonder to behold. History simply argues against it.

Waiting in the Wings

In the event of the Merkel coalition collapsing, there is a highly successful, politically polished, conservative Catholic premier from Bavaria whom it appears will have time on his hands following his retirement at the end of September: one Edmund Stoiber.

Earlier this year in Berlin, I interviewed one of the six Bundestag vice presidents, Gerda Hasselfeldt, a member of Stoiber’s Christian Social Union (csu). I asked her about the future of a retired Stoiber. “A return to the present functions or related functions is hard for me to visualize,” she responded. “On the other hand, I also cannot imagine that he will occupy himself only with his hobby, namely soccer. … What is he really going to do afterward?”

“Perhaps a European Union post?” I offered. Frau Hasselfeldt responded, “I don’t exclude that there are also interesting positions in the national or international arena to which he may bring his rich experience and also his ready vitality.”

Hasselfeldt’s musings are interesting in light of a report from the Eurasia Daily Monitor, which, commenting on Stoiber’s July visit to Russia’s President Putin, observed, “Apparently, Stoiber seeks to ascend to international status as a mediator of sorts, following his scheduled retirement in September 2007 after 14 years in office” (July 9).

Of special interest in regard to Stoiber mulling his future was his outspoken statements made in Moscow concerning German foreign policy. These statements publicly placed him at odds with Merkel on the issue of America’s desire to place an anti-missile defense structure in Poland and the Czech Republic. In a sign of possible things to come, the Bavarian premier declared, “The position of Germany, of its government, in any case my [Bavarian] government’s and my party’s position, is entirely clear: We are in favor of the [Russian] solution.” However, as the Monitor pointed out, “Stoiber is not known to have been authorized by the German government or by the csu to speak on their behalf, and the Bavarian government is not authorized to conduct foreign policy” (ibid.).

Obviously Stoiber was not fazed by such details.

His outspokenness in Moscow certainly does not indicate that retirement is on the mind of the “pit bull” of German politics! Stoiber would have loved to have had the foreign affairs post in Merkel’s coalition government, but all that was on offer from the chancellor was the sticky economics portfolio. Stoiber declined, and his domestic political star has been sinking ever since. Yet perhaps he has his eye on a higher office: the job of leading the entire European Union!

“Putin coyly remarked that his secret services could not figure out why Stoiber was retiring. However, it is common knowledge that the Bavarian leader is losing his rivalry with Merkel within the main governing party and is sometimes playing spoiler against her. Apparently, Putin hopes to play on such rivalries, both within the cdu/csu and between the latter and its junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats, where Schröder-era holdovers retain a strong influence on foreign policy” (ibid.).

It just so happens that the EU reform treaty that has emerged for debate from the German presidency of the EU has created two new positions, each of which may be of interest to Stoiber: an EU foreign minister, and a permanent EU president. Should Stoiber be offered the foreign minister post, it could provide an ideal platform for him to place some runs on the board to then tout for the top job of EU president at a later date. Then again, perhaps this highly successful Bavarian politician, cast in the mold of his mentor, Franz Josef Strauss, intends to take nothing less than the top job.

Will Chancellor Merkel’s lasting legacy be the creation of the very office that will empower the prophesied leader of a globally dominant European power? The indications are that we may not have to wait long to find out!

In the meantime, Germany’s foreign-policy initiatives are clearer as each month goes by, especially with the government signaling that it will strengthen Germany’s role in the Middle East peace process, recent moves to intervene in the dispute between Russia and the West over Kosovo, and intentions to increase German involvement in Africa. Then there’s the increasing deployment of German military forces in both combat and support roles on foreign soil. Germany’s fighting forces, contained within Germany’s borders up to the time of the Balkan wars, are now deployed in numerous theaters throughout Europe, Eurasia, the Mediterranean and Africa, not to mention their training bases in Canada and the U.S. The German High Command—which was once supposedly banished by post-World War ii leaders, never to rise again—has been reactivated. Voices within the German government are now calling for the nation to drastically increase the size of its military as a major contributor to a European armed force.

All of this newfound power behind Germany’s increasingly strident political voice reminds us of an observation made by Stratfor earlier this year, at the mid-point of Germany’s presidency of the EU. Commenting on the achievements of Germany’s reconstruction since unification in 1991, Stratfor’s European analyst declared, “Taken together, these structural changes are creating a new Germany that is geographically and economically united, and politically confident—something that Europe has not seen in decades. That just leaves Germany without one other thing it has not seen in decades: a robust military” (March 15).

Given the bloody history of past German “robust military” forces, much more than just stiff upper lips may quiver at the prospect of a revival of such an institution!



Have you ever dreamed of being able to harness the cutting and piercing power of a sword and distill it down into a folder small enough to fit into your pocket? That’s the essence of our new pocket sword, the Talwar™. Like Saladin’s legendary sword, it will cut, slash, and pierce with astonishing effectiveness. Notice the blade, it’s hollow ground from VG-1 San Mai III®, honed to razor sharpness and wickedly curved to facilitate the deadly draw cut. Additionally, it ends in a needle sharp, yet remarkably sturdy point, so it pierces as well as cuts.

Designed by Lynn C. Thompson, the Talwar™ blends the sleek style of the east with the dynamic technology of the west. Using a Titanium frame as a foundation, the pistol grip handle features highly polished black linen micarta slabs with deeply carved finger grooves that allow it to settle naturally in one’s hand for maximum control. And its curved shape allows for reverse, or palm reinforced gripping techniques. Additionally, a hard-hitting ball shaped pommel enhances the Talwar’s™ versatility. Made from mirror polished stainless steel, it can be used as a striking tool to deliver blows to bony areas, nerve centers, and other soft targets. It can also serve as a secondary grasping point, allowing its user to extend his reach by as much as three inches.

The Talwar’s™ lock is designed to adhere to Cold Steel’s most stringent standards of quality, with a state of the art rocker lock that’s peerless in the knife industry. It features extra strong springs, super tight tolerances, world class machining, as well as some extra promising refinements that can only be called “trade secrets.” These features, we believe, make it superior to any other lock on the market.

To keep your pocket sword secure and close at hand and ready for action, the Talwar™ is aided by dual mirror polished pocket clips for ambidextrous operation and a unique removable thumb plate. The thumb plate allows the knife to be opened as it is drawn from one’s pocket by snagging it on the edge of the pocket seam. It can also be used like a thumb-stud for one-handed opening operation.

Specifications: Blade: 3 3/4"
Overall: 9 1/2"
Thick: 4mm
Weight: 7.6 oz.
Steel: VG-1 San Mai III®

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Defining A True Pocket Pistol
Dr. Marshall C. St. John

The author's Kel-Tec P-3AT

How do YOU define a "pocket gun?" Obviously, this is a very subjective thing, and people will have a variety of opinions. For example, I found this comment on an internet forum:

"For some reason, people like to take compact firearms and try to claim that they are pocket guns. You want a test: here is one. Go into a gun store wearing jeans. Take a gun and put it into your rear pocket. If it can be totally concealed in your rear pocket, then you have found a pocketgun. If a little of it peeks out, then you have a small gun, but not a pocketgun...My personal test as to what is a pocket gun and what is not, is the guns ability to be fully concealed in the rear pocket of a pair of slacks."

Someone else said: "My definition of a pocket gun is one that can actually be carried in,and drawn from, the pocket effectively in public, not merely being able to fit in one's pocket."

There are some who say they are able to conceal a full-size 1911 handgun in their pocket. I don't believe it. On the other hand., by strict definition, a pocket gun is any gun that will fit in a pocket. That's pretty broad and inclusive!

Here's a link to "flyandscuba's" collection of pocket pistols (photos and comments).

My personal definition of a pocket gun ties in with the guns usefulness as a concealed weapon. Many a large gun can be stuffed into a pocket. But it will be noticeable, because of its size, thickness and weight.

I define a genuine pocket gun as one that will comfortably fit into a man's front pants pocket, not be uncomfortably heavy so as to shift around a lot while walking, and not be noticeable to the general public. I believe these criteria rule out anything that is larger, thicker and heavier than a Kel-Tec P-11. This is just my personal definition, and of course you are welcome to your own opinion!

There is a "thread" on the Keltec Owners Group forum in which P-11 owners are discussing whether they think the P-11 is just a tad too much for pocket carry.

Here's a picture of a Kel-Tec P3AT and P-11 together. As you can see, the P-3AT is quite a bit smaller. However, the P-11 CAN work as a pocket pistol, though it is at the borderline, in my opinion.

The Kel-Tec PF-9 (see my review) is just a bit lighter and thinner than the P-11, and works better as a pocket pistol. However, the capacity of the PF-9 is only 7 + 1. The PF-9 is 5.85 inches long, 4.3 inches high, and .88 inches thin. It weighs 12.7 ounces empty. It is said to be the flatest and lightest 9mm pistol available. I carry one in my pocket, and in my opinion it is (for the money) the best pocket pistol available. If you have plenty of funds, then you may prefer the Kahr PM9, or the Rohrbaugh 9mm pistol.

Here is a drawing to illustrate the sizes of a few popular semi-automatic pistols that may be carried as pocket guns. The measurements are in inches and are not perfectly accurate to the nth degree, but close enough for a visual comparison.

Here's a photo of my Kel-Tec P-11. If a gun is larger than a P-11, then I don't see how it can be easily used as a pocket gun. My P-11 weighs 21 ounces (according to my postage scale) fully loaded with 11 rounds of 9mm ammo.

You will see from the drawing that the Kahr PM9, is somewhat smaller (and a bit thinner) than the Kel-Tec P-11. This would make it more of a true pocket gun. I don't own a PM9 (yet!)

The PM9 has a capacity of only 7 rounds, versus 11 rounds for the Kel-Tec P-11. So, subtracting the weight of four rounds of 9mm ammo, a fully loaded PM9 must weigh in the neighborhood of 19 ounces.

There are a few handguns even smaller than the Kahr PM9, and here we enter the realm of undeniable pocket pistols. The Kel-Tec P-3AT (.380ACP) and the Rohrbaugh R-9 (9mm) are nearly identical in size.

My 1st generation P-3AT weighs about eight ounces, and around eleven ounces fully loaded. I am told that the 2nd generation P-3AT weighs about an ounce more. The Rohrbaugh weighs 12.8 ounces, and around 15 ounces fully loaded. The R-9 is the most "pocketable" 9mm pistol in existence, and the extra weight will probably not make it more uncomfortable than the P3AT, if a good pocket holster is used. The firepower advantage of 9mm over .380 must not be overlooked.

The Kel-Tec P-3AT has an older, smaller brother, the P-32. Their sizes are very nearly identical, but the P-32 weighs about an ounce less, and shoots the smaller, lighter .32ACP caliber round. Of course, it would be better to use at least a .380 caliber bullet for self-defense.

The smallest .380ACP semi-auto pocket pistol is the Seecamp LWS380, which is only 4.25 x 3.25 x .9. The weight (11.45 oz unloaded) is a bit more than the Kel-Tec P-3AT, but less than the R9, and not unmanageable.

With a pistol this small, it is important to have a pocket holster that will fill out your pocket, hide the outline of the gun, and keep the gun from rotating around in your pocket. You wouldn't want to reach for your gun in trying circumstances and come up holding the slide instead of the grip!

Speaking of "hiding the outline" of the gun, here's a photo of my Kel-Tec P-11 in my pocket.

The "print" of the gun shape is hidden by a thin piece of plastic that I cut out and stuck in my pocket before putting the P-11 in my pocket. I have not purchased a leather pocket holster, but the principle is the same, and the little piece of plastic is very light and smooth. The pistol rides behind it.

North American Arms makes some neat little revolvers: the Black Widow, the Mini-Mag, and so on, that are true pocket guns. These little guns shoot either .22 or .22 magnum cartridges. Usually they come with two swappable cylinders.

North American Arms also makes the semi-auto Guardian pistols in .32ACP, .380ACP and .32NAA. These are very nice firearms. The .32 Guardian is 4.4 inches long, 3.2 inches high, and only .86 inches thick. It weighs only 13.5 ounces. The .380 is a bit larger and heavier (18.7 ounces).

The Beretta Tomcat is a popular .32ACP pistol. It measures 4.9 inches long, 3.7 inches high, and 1.1 inches thick. It weighs 16.9 ounces.

There are also those who claim that Smith and Wesson Ultralight J-frame revolvers can be pocket guns. Some of them are definitely light enough. For example the 342PD Airlite Titanium weighs only 11 ounces, and carries five .38 special cartridges. However the 342 PD revolver is 6 5/16 inches long and about 1.3 inches thick. This is quite a bit larger than a Kel-Tec P-11, and probably too big for MY pockets!

By the way, has a great review of the S & W 342PD, with lots of photos. Click here to read it.

There are also a number of .25ACP pocket pistols available, such as the Raven, the Baby Browning the NAA Guardian.

Finally, let's not forget the "Derringers." The one or two cartridge pistols that have been around for over 100 years. They are small and come in all calibers.

My personal choice for the ideal pocket gun is either the Kel-Tec P-3AT or the Kel-Tec PF-9. The P-3AT is the lightest .380ACP pistol, and of a very pocketable size. It is also quite affordable. For many links to information about any of the pistols mentioned above, click here. For my review of the PF-9, click HERE.

Also "Bobo" from "The High Road" has made a fantastic chart featuring 16 different pocket guns with photos and specifications. Here is the link to the pdf file.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9 mm Hi Power Reliability - Stephen Camp

9mm Hi Power Reliability

By Stephen Camp

This is a question that pops up on the gun forums regularly and one that I have been asked on many occasions. It may be phrased in different ways such as, "Is the Hi Power reliable with hollow points? I've heard that they only feed ball reliably," or "Is the Hi Power as reliable as a Glock?" Some ask if it is reliable enough for self-protection. Others ask how it rates next to the old 1911.

Let's take a look at this issue as much without bias as possible and based on first-hand observations.

The question concerning "only ball ammo being reliable" in the Hi Power stems from the older Hi Powers, which have the old humped feed ramp. These definitely could have "indigestion" with other than FMJ round nose ammunition, not all but some. With the advent of the Mk II Hi Power in the 1980's, FN changed the feed ramp to a "straight" design and since that time, Hi Powers are reliable with about any JHP I've tried. All of the Mk III pistols I've tried have also been reliable with high-performance ammunition.

Shown are two 9mm Hi Power barrels from BarSto. The top has the humped barrel and closely resembles the FN factory bbl of humped design that was common in Hi Powers preceding the Mk II. The bottom barrel has had the hump removed and appears the same as the current straight ramp factory Hi Power barrels. If one is going to have a humped bbl's feed ramp made into a straight one, care must be taken to insure that most of the work is done at and below the hump. We do not want to remove any more steel than is necessary at the rear of the chamber. Improperly done, this can lead to insufficient case support, never a good thing. (The bottom bbl is an early BarSto of one-piece construction. The top bbl was made later and is of the usual two-piece design as can be seen by the small line where the two parts are joined. Factory Hi Power barrels are of the two-piece design. I have never had a problem with either after tens of thousands of rounds. Neither can I see any difference in accuracy. For more on two-piece barrels, click on the link:

In the earlier 9mm Hi Powers, Mec-Gar was not the OEM magazine manufacturer. Factory magazines often did not hold the cartridge at much of an upward angle. This didn't really matter with FMJ round nose military type ammo, but it did not help those of us trying to shoot blunt JHP's. I have seen the simple substitution of a current Mec-Gar magazine turn a stuttering classic Hi Power with the humped ramp into a most reliable Hi Power using JHP's. This does not always work, but frequently it solves the problem.

The suggestion that the 9mm Hi Power is only reliable with FMJ ammo is not necessarily true. The Hi Power in this picture is of the current Mk III design. Nothing has been done to enhance reliability because nothing at all has been necessary. This one, as well as several others, has proven to be utterly dependable with every JHP I've tried weighing at least 100 grains. I have found no factory JHP in either standard or +P weighing 115-gr. or over that the Mk II or Mk III will not feed. I suppose that there could be individual examples of the gun that don't, but on the whole I believe that Hi Powers having the current straight feed ramp are not particular.

Every Mk II and Mk III pistol I've tried has feed expanding ammunition of varying LOA and bullet shape extremely well.

It is also frequently parroted that the 9mm Hi Power will not work reliably with the "heavy-weight" 147-gr. JHP's favored by some. I have not found this to be true. Though the only hollow points I've tried in this weight range have been from Remington, Speer, and Winchester, there have been exactly zero problems. Such has held true whether I was using a factory standard 17-lb recoil spring or slightly stronger 18.5-lb spring from Wolff.

The main culprit I've seen in current Hi Powers being less than reliable with any type of ammunition has been weak extractor springs. It has been my experience that the Hi Power requires stout ones. If you have a Hi Power that is failing to extract and eject fired cases, this may very well be the problem and is where I would begin looking. Press the rear of the external pivoting extractor inward toward the slide with your thumbnail. If it moves easily, the extractor spring is too weak. When I've experienced such problems (rare indeed), I've replaced this spring with an extra power one from Wolff and the problem disappears. Sometimes the front "pad" on the backside of the extract needs to be filed down a very few thousandths to solve the problem, but almost always simply replacing the spring does the trick. Before replacing either the spring or working on the extractor, check and make sure that the extractor claw is not chipped or broken. If such is the case, simply order a new one.

I have also been asked if the buffers I use (Buffer Technology's products) decrease reliability. I have not noticed any decrease in reliability.

For those interested in the Buffer Technology shock buff, go here:

In over 3 decades of shooting Hi Powers regularly, I have seen but two that had broken ejectors. If you are suffering ejection problems and the extractor and spring are not suspect, you might inspect the ejector to see if the tip is broken. If it is, replace it but I personally believe that this is very rare.

Sadly, what is unfortunately not rare seems to be a lack of maintenance by either the uneducated or the lazy. Let me explain. For over a decade I've been an instructor for my state's concealed carry program. Firearm qualifications are part of the process. On a fairly regular basis, we see both 9mm and 40-caliber Hi Powers on the firing line. The vast majority of the time, they function flawlessly but on three occasions, Hi Power shooters had reliability problems and on three occasions, their Hi Powers had not been cleaned or lubed in years; they were dry as the proverbial bone! On these same three occasions, a drop of oil on each barrel lug and a drop in the slide rails solved the problem. The Hi Power is definitely a time and battlefield-proven sidearm, but even normally dependable firearms need at least a minimum of maintenance. FWIW, in the three cases of neglect just mentioned, the firearm did not malfunction (usually failure to eject) every single shot. It would normally fire three or more cartridges between malfunctions. Don't let this happen to you; maintain your firearms be they Hi Powers or something else. (One of the badly neglected Hi Powers was a barely shot, never cleaned "T-series." I believe that is probably more than neglect and simply has to be some sort of a sin!)

Now and then, I get emails concerning how a fellow's Hi Power simply is not working with handloaded ammunition. Once again, failing to extract and eject is the usual problem. In each instance, the load was simply too light. The Hi Power's mainspring is rated at 32-lbs, heavier than on most 9mm (or .40) pistols. This is to both insure super-reliable primer ignition and slow rearward slide velocity. Add to that the normal 17-lb recoil spring (for 9mm; 20-lb for the forty) and it becomes clear that the Hi Power is not set up from the factory for light loads. They just don't have the "hootus" to move the slide rearward enough to cock the hammer, eject the fired case, and then strip another cartridge from the magazine and chamber. A general rule of thumb I've found to be true with the 9mm Hi Power is for handloaded ammunition to have a muzzle velocity of at least 1020 to 1050 ft/sec with 115-gr. bullets. Some will operate fine at slightly lower velocities, but every single Hi Power I've shot will work fine with this as it comes from the factory. If a person is bound and determined to shoot really light handloads in their 9mm Hi Power, a reduced power recoil spring is probably the solution. I have not tried this because I simply don't shoot light 9mm loads so I cannot provide any first-hand observations here.

It is no secret that I use both the buffer and the Wolff conventional 18.5-lb recoil spring in my 9mm Hi Powers. My guns' mainsprings are the standard 32-lb from the factory. I've had no problems with standard pressure ammunition or +P with this arrangement, but have noted that some folks do. If the heavier recoil spring is not working for you, go with the factory standard. If you shoot standard pressure loads, the factory 17-lb spring will work fine. If you shoot a goodly number of +P loads, I'd go with the 18.5-lb recoil spring. Sometimes a gun that wasn't working with the 18.5-lb recoil spring when new will after a couple of thousand shots.

This covers the primary causes for stutters in what is usually a very dependable handgun.

For those who might be interested, the greatest number of shots I've fired between internal lubing and cleaning has been just over 700. The gun was running fine then, but I couldn't stand it any longer and gave it a good cleaning and lube job.

In my long-term observation, the Hi Power remains one of the most proven reliable automatic pistols on earth and if one is not, the solutions mentioned here should transform it into one. Most will be from the get-go.

Monday, September 10, 2007



Israel is run by "TRAITORS" known as the "EREV RAV"....If you will do a google search on the "EREV RAV" you will understand what I am talking about. This will eventually bring about the final battle of Armageddon in the valley of Megiddo. Read EZEKIAL Chapter 38 & 39. My spelling may be wrong but I am logically right. The leaders of Israel are turning to the European Union for help and especially "GERMANY" - which they just purchased 2 nuclear subs from. This is a terrible mistake.

In a world of about 6 (six) BILLION PEOPLE there are just about 12 to 13 MILLION Jews which is the short name for JUDAH. Why are they in the news headlines day after day after day. ?? We are approaching the final hours of what will be the deciding factor of all our lives. You must prepare to survive for the day after as you can not change a thing, its cast in concrete.

Our hours and days and weeks and months are not calculated the same in the after world. YOU MUST READ LEVITICUS CHAPTER 26, VERSE 19. AMERICA HAS WON ITS LAST WAR. BRITAIN HAS WON ITS LAST WAR. ISRAEL HAS WON ITS LAST WAR. G-D has broken the pride of our power and our Military is being spent in vain because the politicians will not let the soldiers who are the finest in the world fight to win like in WW II. Its more important to take care of our wounded than give out money to foreign countries, close our borders now. we are finished as our enemies are already within our borders thanks to the politicians.

While you are at it you must read the following scriptures - ISAIAH chapter 17, verse 1... DAMASCUS SYRIA WILL CEASE TO EXIST AS A CITY.

ISAIAH Chapter 34, verse 6 and there will be a terrible slaughter for G-D in Basra, Iraq. THIS IS THE KEY TO EVENTS THAT ARE COMING.

ISAIAH chapter 30, verse 25, it says the TOWERS WILL FALL - this was written 700 years before the Christian era.

There are so many more things I could have you reference but most people do not believe a word I am saying. Be sure to prepare your supplies now. WHAT IS THE ONE COMMODITY THAT PEOPLE WILL WANT TO BARTER FOR FOOD ?? ANSWER IS AMMUNITION...

Be sure to get all your family members a FOX 40 or STORM whistle so they can use it if they need help. Buy it from AMAZON.COM - Be sure to buy a camping WATER filter to make filthy water drinkable. Look at buying a KATADYNE FILTER. It is available at all sporting and camping supply stores. go to

Always keep your BIBLE handy as all the answers are in there. It does not matter what you think or "MAY" believe, because all the prophecies are in the BIBLE. THE SCRIPTURES DO NOT LIE.

No one knows how many guns are in this country and around the world, they give you guesstimates, you must own a gun of some kind or you will become a victim of human vultures if you survive. Your neighbors that have nothing will become your enemy if you are one of the people that have what it takes to survive and they do not.

Walkie Talkies are very cheap at this time and the new ones are 26 mile range. They cost approx. $60.00 for a set of two. It would be best if you can use "AA" batteries as there may be no power. Having a small battery solar charger is an excellent idea.

No government in this physical world is calling the shots, it is all being controlled by DEVINE INTERVENTION. Things that we are not capable of understanding.

If you need appliances buy old style mechanical devices such as a mechanical wind up watch. "THINK MECHANICAL" Its all coming to a head and all we are able to do is prepare to survive for the day after. Ammunition prices and availability are sky high and they are not available. People tell me its all because of the war effort, I say BS because if thats true why is 38 special so hard to find and so expensive. WHY are 22 LR CCI STINGERS so hard to find ?? CCI/SPEER AND FEDERAL ARE NOW OWNED BY THE SAME COMPANY.

Buying some basic reloading equipment is a first class idea. All you really need is a single stage press or a turret press. NO NEED TO BUY A VERY EXPENSIVE PROGRESSIVE PRESS. Think basics and be calm and get your things in order such as your medication and extra eye glasses and what ever you specifically need to survive. Remember without "PRIMERS" there is no reloading ammunition. Get some while you can. Do not wait.

You will need flashlights and stay with "LED" bulbs as they will outlive me. Buy all size batteries that you will need. I could write a book but I just want you to realize this world is like a runaway train with no engineer and no brakes.

Thanks for reading my commentary.....TJ

between the lines Joseph Farah

<span class=WND Exclusive Commentary" height="20" width="181">
Unholy alliance in Israel

Posted: September 10, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Olmert, Peres and the inner sanctum of the Israeli political elite fear the Temple Mount. They always have. In fact, ever since Israel captured the site in June 1967, fools like Olmert and Peres have been skulking about trying to figure out a way to rid themselves and their country of it.

You've heard the term "unholy alliance."

I think it was invented to describe those parties conspiring to transfer the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to the permanent care and custody of the very Islamic fanatics who claim no Jewish Temple ever stood on the site.

Who comprises this unholy alliance?

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli President Shimon Peres, most of the rest of the Israeli political elite and the sworn enemies of the Jewish state, those who would finish the work of Adolph Hitler if they ever got the chance.

That is the amazing story within the story of a drama unfolding at the most explosive piece of real estate in the world.

While the Muslim zealots who administer the Temple Mount continue to excavate the site without a thought or care as to the integrity of the most sacred ground in Judaism, not to mention an archaeological treasure trove, the Israeli political elite is secretly working out a "final solution" for what they consider a troublesome, burdensome stone in their shoe.

Why would Jewish leaders give away to their archenemies the holiest site in Judaism?

It's an ugly little story, but one you should understand – because it's about to become center stage in the theater of world affairs.

(Column continues below)

Why do they fear it?

Because they know if it remains in the possession of the Jewish people long enough, the Jewish people will obey their G-d and rebuild the Temple. This would be unthinkable to the Israeli political elite. They believe the Israeli government is the one, true G-d of the Israeli people. The Israeli political elite does not recognize the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They do not recognize the G-d who gave the Jewish people the land deed for their nation. They do not recognize the G-d who promised the Jewish people would be restored to the land. And they do not recognize the G-d who restored them to the land after 1,800 years in exile.

The Israeli political elite believe they are wiser than that G-d. So, they want to remove the temptation of the superstitious Jewish people to rebuild their silly old Temple by handing over the foundation to people who want to destroy all Jews.

Does this make sense?

It does if you are a member of the Israeli political elite. Trust me.

Olmert and Peres and the rest of those unprincipled cowards and wolves in sheep's clothing have sold out their own people. They are now bed partners with the Islamo-fascist fanatics they have entrusted with the holiest site in all Judaism, not to mention Western Civilization's richest archaeological treasure.

Let me make a little prediction: No matter how hard Olmert and Peres work in conjunction with the Muslims to destroy the Temple Mount, it will never come to pass.

In fact, I will predict that their actions will lead to a rising chorus among Jews in Israel and around the world to rebuild the Temple.

Olmert has tried to perform his dastardly betrayal behind closed doors. He has made a secret of his negotiations to turn over the Temple Mount. He has ignored requests from eminent archaeologists to stop the unsupervised, unnecessary excavation abomination taking place now at the Temple Mount.

He thinks he can just make it all go away – quietly.

I'm predicting he can't.

It really doesn't matter what Olmert does. Olmert is a political pipsqueak, at most a historical footnote in the history of the Jewish people. He couldn't give away the Temple Mount if he tried – because it's not his to give.

It belongs to G-d, as most observant and biblically astute Christians and Jews comprehend.

Has Olmert ever read the Bible? Does he have no fear of G-d? Does he think his nation's history is based on fairy tales? Who does he think he is?