.50 caliber machine guns

RED HOT: Three badass Marines light their smokes off a 50 caliber machine gun barrel that got red hot while firing at Red troops in central Korea. They are, left to right: Cpl. Charles E. Fritchman of China Lake, California, Pfc. James E. Hickman of Fort Worth, Texas, and Sgt. Donald MacGillivray, Chicago, Illinois. Ashland, Ohio, Times-Gazette. Monday Evening, May 7, 1951.

All Outta Bubblegum

This game is copyright 2001, Michael “Epoch” Sullivan and Jeffrey Grant.  It was posted on a now defunct website.


Characters in All Outta Bubblegum have one stat – Bubblegum.
It’s technically a number which varies from 0 through 8, though the designers highly, highly recommend that you don’t do anything so banal as write down a number, and, instead, pass out actual sticks of bubblegum to the players. This will also help when you play All Outta Bubblegum drunk, which is, let’s be blunt, probably the only time you’d even consider playing this game.

Bubblegum always starts out at 8.


Any action which does not fall under the broad category of “kicking ass” is resolved by rolling a d10. If the number rolled is equal to or less than the amount of bubblegum the character has left, then the character succeeds in his task.

Any action which falls under the broad umbrella of “kicking ass” is also resolved by rolling a d10. However, in this case, youwish to roll greater than the amount of bubblegum that you have left.

Losing Bubblegum

Whenever you fail a non-combat roll, you lose a stick of Bubblegum. You may also sacrifice a stick of Bubblegum before the roll to ensure success.

Bubblegum also rates your damage. If someone else succeeds in a roll of asskicking against you, you lose one stick of bubblegum.

Zero Bubblegum

When you lose your last stick of bubblegum, you are officially all outta bubblegum. You may no longer attempt any kind of non-asskicking activity. Simple devices like, say, the handles of doors confound you (eerily enough, you have no problem field-stripping a .50 caliber machine gun to clear a jam in 15 seconds flat). However, you automatically succeed in anyasskicking-related activity. You are a nearly unstoppable ball of bubblegum-less fury. When someone else succeeds in an asskicking roll against you, they roll a d10. If they roll a 10, you are knocked out. If they roll a 1 through 9, they’ve only succeeded in making you, if possible, even more angry.

However, bear in mind that it’s relatively easy to trap a zero-bubblegum person in a situation he’s totally incapable of dealing with.

There ya go. Think up your own damn adventures and campaign settings.

@endreal, this seems up your alley.

Michael Bay Announces Retirement From Directing

Action director Michael Bay took to the news microphones today to announce that he would no longer direct movies. Bay had just released his fifth Transformers film and was about to state that he felt it couldn’t be topped, when suddenly his podium exploded, blowing him across the room as ten men in body armor opened fire. Bay returned fire with an M2 50 caliber machine gun that he kept in his watch pocket, killing six of them and blowing up two of their vehicles.

Bay ran as the attackers’ explosives carrier caught fire and the entire press symposium exploded behind him, throwing fire high into the air and scraping an F-35 that took damage and screamed to the ground, blowing up a gas-tanker truck. The remaining covert soldiers ran for Bay, but the retiring director evaded them by stealing a motorcycle from a woman in incredibly short shorts and taking off across a busy highway.

Speeding away from the mayhem, Bay was almost rammed by a truck carrying rolls of aluminum. Bay responded with a grenade, destroying the driver (who was also shooting at him) and letting the metal rolls loose. As they crashed into every oncoming car and smashed their engines to massive ignitions of fireballs and shrapnel, Bay jumped the motorcycle off a bridge and leapt from it, landing unharmed as the bike flew down to the fireworks sale below, setting off a chain reaction of blasts that blew up so much stuff so bad and there was fire everywhere and the military sent in everything they had to stop the carnage with American flags waving over their Humvees. They in turn were blown up by a meteor impact which caused an even bigger explosion, which Bay turned his back to and walked away from in slow motion.

Bay later retracted his retirement, stating that he’d just come up with a new idea for a movie.


A familiar figure sprints by. It’s United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes, a.k.a. Rhodey. If there is anyone that Stark wants to see in this particular situation, it’s Rhodey. Square jawed, with no trace of fear in his eyes, and black skin made even darker since it’s smeared with charcoal. He is firing a 50-caliber machine gun. It’s impossible for Stark to determine whether he’s shooting at something in specific or just laying down suppressing fire or maybe just shooting wherever he can and hoping to God he hits an enemy. He notices Stark peering out of the window.

“Get down, Tony! Get the–”

More explosions. Smoke is billowing everywhere. Rhodey fires into the chaos, and Stark wonders how Rhodey can see what he’s shooting at. Maybe he’s not. Maybe he’s just firing blind. It’s easy to sit nice and snug at home and wonder how one’s own soldiers can wind up getting killed through friendly fire. Now Stark sees all too easily how such a thing could occur.

Rhodey advances into the smoke and murk.

-Iron Man Novelization
more novelization posts
: [x] [x]


The Vickers Balloon Buster,

Beginning in the American Civil War armies began using lighter than air balloons to observe enemy movements, direct artillery fire, and even deliver messages from besieged cities.  In the Franco Prussian war (1870) armies began to develop guns to shoot them down.  At the beginning of World War I the British developed the Vickers “Balloon Buster” to bring down German observation balloons.  The Vickers machine gun was an improved version of the Maxim machine gun created after Vickers purchased the Maxim company in 1896.  The Vickers Balloon Buster was a version of the regular machine gun chambered in a large 11mm cartridge.  The new powerful cartridge gave the balloon buster enough range to shoot balloons out of the sky.  Typically, phosphorous tracers rounds were used to ignite the high combustible hydrogen gas which provided the balloon’s lift.  Later in the war the Vickers Balloon Buster was phased out for longer ranged and more powerful flak cannons.  However, the gun was excellent for dogfighting, and was often mounted on fighter planes.  On the ground machine gunners found that it was also brutally effective as a heavy machine gun against infantry formations.  It would serve as inspiration for other heavy machine gun designs, such as the Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun.

Sometimes you find the darnedest things lying about abandoned buildings… on the second floor of the Fort Totten Army Hospital in Queens, I found this plastic riding grasshopper.  How this object got into a building that had been abandoned for decades is beyond me - the documents on how to zero a .50 caliber machine gun in the basement at least made sense!


Photo series #9

Today, i bring you a World War II legend, the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang.

The Mustang is a long range fighter that was widely used in the escort role of heavy bombers such as the B-17 and B-29, it also went to action during the Korean War alongside the jet fighters of the time.

It was first flown by Royal Air Force (RAF) in the tactical recon and fighter-bomber roles, the P-51, in it’s earlier variants, was first fitted with the Allison V-1710 engine and that limited the performace of the fighter at high altitudes. With the development of the B and C variants, the Rolls-Royce Merlin was the chosen engine and it gave a much better performance for the Mustang above 15,000ft allowing it to face Luftwaffe fighters such as the BF-109 and FW-190.

The version that really made the P-51 shine was the D variant, it was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 and was armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2/AN Browning machine guns.

During 1944, it helped the USAAF ensure air superiority over Germany and also support bombings through it’s fighter-bomber roles but Europe wasn’t it’s only action zone, the Mustang also fought in the North African, Mediterranean, Italian and Pacific theaters.

When the Korean War broke out, the P-51s were the main fighters of the United Nations until jet fighters took their place but this was not their end as it continued to operate on the ground attack role, fitted with bombs and rockets. It started to lose ground to the newer USAF F-84 fighter-bombers, United States Navy (USN) Grumman F9F Panthers and jets from other nations such as Gloster Meteor F8s. Today, the P-51 is widely used by civillians and air races.

That’s it for this photo series! As always, if you have any suggestions or contributions, don’t hesitate to send them to me.

Have a good day, folks!

Mustang I (AM190) with experimental installation of 20mm cannons. Small numbers of the heavily armed Mustangs went to Britain but most P-51s flew with four, then six, .50-caliber machine guns.

The Bizarre F-82 Twin Mustang fighter,

One of the most unusual airplanes in aviation history, the F-82 Twin Mustang was a specialty escort fighter designed for very long range patrols.  First developed in 1943, the F-82 was simply an airplane built from two.  Two regular P-51 Mustangs were fused together wing to wing with a rear stabilizer added on the back.   Designed for extra long mission escorting bombers over Europe and Asia, the purpose of this was to have two cockpits with two pilots so that one pilot could fly the plane while the other rested.  Each pilot could work in shifts, switching control of the plane from one cockpit to the other.  Later models were produced with only one functional cockpit, the other carrying a radar operator/navigator.  The central wing housed six .50 caliber machine guns while the outer wings could hold fuel tanks, bombs, rockets, or other ordnance.

The technical difficulties of producing one airplane out of two were challenging at first.  On its first take-off, the F-82 couldn’t even leave the ground due to design flaws.  Unfortunately the F-82 project was unable to be designed and tested in time for use in World War II.  However the F-82 was used to escort bomber patrols during the Cold War.  In Korea the version with a radar operator/navigator was often used as a night fighter.  It was the first American fighter deployed in Korea and the first to score kills.

The F-82 was retired in 1953.  270 were built.


Getting to know you: MARQing the Pave Hawk.

[1] Helicopter maintainers from the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron perform preflight checks on an HH-60 Pave Hawk at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. Helicopter maintainers here ensure Bagram’s combat search and rescue helicopters are ready to fly at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys, 26 DEC 2015.)

[2] U.S. Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Harold Hutchison, Pacific Air Forces command chief, receive a tour of an HH-60G Pavehawk at the 33rd Rescue Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan. O’Shaughnessy received a mission overview of the rescue squadron’s challenges and capabilities operating in the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard, 11 AUG 2016.)

[3] An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 943rd Rescue Group, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., refuels from an HC-130 P/N King aircraft from the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., over Portland, Oregon. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Anna-Marie Wyant, 27 JUL 2013.)

[4] Airmen from the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron taxi out on HH-60G Pave Hawks, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Members of the 83rd ERQS participate in a personnel recovery exercise in order to maintain proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman, 9 JUN 2016.)

The Pave Hawk is a heavily customized and reinforced Sikorsky UH60 Black Hawk airframe, redesigned and outfitted to meet the needs of the US Air Force’s unique mission requirements. It is equipped with automatic flight control system, inertial navigation system, global positioning system and lightweight airborne recovery system.

The avionics suite installed in the HH-60G include AN/APN-235 Doppler navigation system, AN/APN-239 weather avoidance radar, AN/AAQ-16 forward looking infra-red (FLIR) imaging system, PRC-112 survival radio, An/ARC-210 SATCOM, AN/APN-239 colour weather radar, AN/ARC-220 earth digital radio and AN/ARC-222 SINCGARS radio system.

The HH-60G is also equipped with an AN/ALQ-202 radio jammer, AN/ALQ-213 electronic warfare management system, AN/APR-39 radar warning receiver, AN/ALQ-144 infra-red countermeasure system, infra-red missile jammer, infra-red suppression system and flare / chaff dispensers.

The HH-60G can fly at a maximum speed of 360km/h. Its cruise speed is 294km/h. The range and service ceiling of the aircraft are 933km and 4,328m respectively. The maximum flight endurance is 4.2 hours. DRS Defense Solutions was contracted by the US Air Force in January 2012 to upgrade the HH-60G Pave Hawk with improved altitude hold and hover stabilization (IAHHS) at a cost of $12m.

The Pave Hawk can be equipped with two crew-served M240 7.62mm machine guns or GAU-21 .50 caliber machine guns.

Aircraft Spotlight:  F6F Hellcat

The bigger, more advanced brother of the Wildcat, the Grumman F6F Hellcat was designed to replace the older aircraft and finally give the US an edge over the Japanese Zero.  In this regard it performed exceptionally, destroying 5,223 aircraft during its service with the USN, USMC, and Fleet Air Arm; this was more than any other Allied naval aircraft, with a kill/loss ratio of 19:1.  Over the course of the war almost 2400 aircraft were lost to all causes, 270 to aerial combat and over 1200 to accidents outside of combat.

The Hellcat competed against the F4U for the Navy’s contract of a new carrier-born fighter to replace the Wildcat.  Both aircraft were built around the P&W R-2800 engine, the same as the P-47, which provided a whopping 2000 horsepower.  While the F4U showed excellent promise it had issues with carrier landings, largely due to its long nose and landing gear legs, which left the Hellcat the winner of the contest; production of the F6F-3, the first combat model, began late in 1942, with the type’s first operational squadron equipping VF-9 of USS Essex in February 1943.

As with the Wildcat, and most US fighters during the war, the Hellcat was armed with six .50 caliber M2 machine guns.  Some variants, mainly night fighters, replaced the inner .50 caliber gun with a 20mm cannon, giving it more offensive striking power.  Hardpoints under the center wing section could carry up to 4000 lbs of ordinance, including 150 gallon fuel tanks, bombs, a torpedo, or HVAR rockets; this gave the Hellcat a potent ground attack capability, and the type dropped 6500 tons of bombs over the course of the war.

The Hellcat became the premier Navy fighter of the war, claiming fifty-six percent of all air-to-air victories for Navy and Marine units.  Its combination of long range, maneuverability, armor, and armament allowed it to gain an edge over most Japanese types fielded during the war; a 13:1 against the A6M, 9.5:1 against the Ki-84, and 3.7:1 against the J2M.  Most of the Navy’s aces were made in the Hellcat, including its top ace David McCampbell with 34 victories.

The US Navy, Marine Corps, and Fleet Air Arm all used the Hellcat through the war, in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.  In most cases the type was retired immediately after the end of hostilities, with the F8F Bearcat for the USN, and various British aircraft for the FAA.  Some Hellcats were used by the French navy postwar in Indochina, and several examples were used by Uruguay until 1960.  Today a fair number of Hellcats remain in museums, including seven in airworthy condition.