Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Don't Get It

Off the east coast of Africa, the continent, Somali pirates have hijacked a Saudi oil tanker loaded with upwards of 2 million barrels of oil. The tanker, the size of an aircraft carrier, was seized in open waters about 450 nm from Kenya. It's only the latest event in a growing piracy trend in that region.

As you can see, such a vessel is not much of a runabout, but for cryin' out loud, the pirates who are commandeering these commercial vessels are doing so from dinghies, pulling alongside the lumbering ships, and boarding via grappling hooks and rope ladders.

Why in the world are the ships' owners not arming their crews, or positioning mercenaries aboard to thwart these would-be Jack Sparrows? After all, even if they don't eventually lose their shipments, the time value of money on the goods in transit (in the case of the oil tanker, said to be around $100 million), and the payroll for the crew, add up to quite a tidy sum.

We think it would be a great idea, and great fun, to staff a few of these ships with a few good men (possibly women too, we're equal opportunity), armed with the following varmint rifles:

The top one, a Vulcan .50 cal, could put a few dents in the pirates' dinghies, while the AR-30 in .338 Lapua and the SU-16 could be used if the miscreants actually succeeded in boarding. We think a few well-publicized rounds of 'prairie dog' shooting, complete with empty dinghies floating off the African coast, might persuade up-and-coming pirates to return to fishing or basket weaving.


todd said...

A .50 cal varmint gun? That's a big varmint! The website says it has a "cock on opening action". Is that a selling point?

The Donald said...

Well, I was using artistic license, referring to the type of rats that were commandeering commercial vessels.

'Cock on opening' simply means that the striker in the bolt assembly cocks when the bolt opens, rather than when it closes.

'On closing' was supposed to allow easier cycling of the action in battle, but resulted in a slower lock time. The Lee-Enfield and pre-
'98 Mauser rifles were 'cock on closing' types (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee-Enfield).

'98 Mausers, '03 Springfields, and, if I'm not mistaken, all modern bolt rifles (Rem 700, Ruger 77, Savage 110, Win 70) cock on opening.

From my research, there is a 700 gr HE round that would probably do much to dissuade dastardly dinghy drivers from plundering plodding peacetime payloads.

Anonymous said...

Some 'varmints' are bigger than others.