Sunday, 3 July 2011

Gentlemen meet the AK-47 Assault Rifle

“Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat.” (Hermann Goering broadcast in 1936)

11.31 pounds of the most iconic terrorist weapon ever, invented by a Siberian peasant *Michail Kalashnikov, the original Russian made AK 47 assault rifle weighs 9.5 pound unloaded, later models weighed in at 6.6 pounds. Overall length is 34.2 inches but with a folded butt the length comes down to 27.5 inches. This rifle is capable of delivering it’s magazine of thirty 7.62 steel core bullets in around twenty seconds.

In my experience, not the most accurate of rifles due to the shortness of the barrel but it doesn’t really matter as in the majority of cases these days it is used in relatively close battles or from a remote firing position to deliver a terrorist hail of bullets without exposing the firer, the ‘fire over the head without looking’ a favoured position. Nevertheless, it still accounts for a significant loss of life around the world.

The standard weapon of the former ‘iron curtain’ countries it was also the preferred choice through the seventies for the Arab and Black African Armies, Cuba and of course terrorist organisations like the Palestine Liberation Army and the Irish Republican Army who lost two hundred and fifty AK 47’s when the British Army Intelligence stopped and searched the Claudia, a ship entering British waters bound for the Northern Irish Coast. There are stories that the American soldiers fighting in Vietnam had difficulties with their M16’s jamming and so would use the captured AK 47’s because of the weapon’s reliability. Reliable it certainly is. Rarely does it malfunction even when treated badly or when firing poor quality ordnance, this rifle still maintains it’s firing capability.

There are two main variations of the rifle, the AK 47 with a wooden stock and the AKS 47 with a folding metal stock intended for use by airborne forces. The rifle has an open sector site with a range up to 800m calibrated every 100m. It works on a simple gas system whereby the gas pressure is used to ‘re-cock’ the firing mechanism. The initial cocking handle sits on the right of the rifle, once cocked the firer can select either single shot or automatic fire by moving the safety lever from safe to the selection required. Keeping the butt firmly in the shoulder the weapon is easily fired and controlled by a squeeze of the trigger (always squeeze a trigger, no-one who knows anything about weapon handling would jerk the trigger), however, with the butt folded the rifle is much more difficult to control as it veers with the power of the bullet/gases leaving the muzzle. If fired from the hip using the carrying strap across the body is recommended.

With over 70 million made in more than 20 countries it shouldn’t be too difficult to get up close and personal with one. Quickest way to get on the firing line is to join one of the hundreds of terrorist organisations around the world or, for the gentleman you could get in touch with the Red Blooded Male Club who can give you a selection of legitimate and safe firing ranges with expert tuition.

*Michail Kalashnikov was conscripted into the Red Army in 1938. He was wounded in a tank battle in 1941 during the defence of Bryansk and whilst in rehabilitation he designed the now legendry assault rifle. He continues to live in the Russian city of Izhevsk working in the local weapons factory until retirement. In 1998 he was awarded the order of Saint Andrew the Protoclete (orden Svyatogo Andreya Pervozvannogo). On his 90th birthday – 10 November 2009 he was named as a ‘Hero of the Russian Federation’. A published poet Kalashnikov wrote “My work is my life, and my life is my work. I invented this assault rifle to defend my Country. Today, I am proud that it has become for many synonymous with liberty”

Of Bin Laden with his AK 47 he said:

“When I saw Bin Laden with his AK 47, I got nervous. But what can I do, terrorists aren’t fools: they too chose the most reliable guns. I’m proud of my invention, but I’m sad that it is used by terrorists, I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work, for example a lawn mower.”

Saturday, 25 June 2011

How To Right An Upturned Sailing Dinghy.

You never know when you will need this survival technique but as with all of the weapons in the red blooded male’s armoury righting the upturned sailing dinghy should be one of them.

The first thing to remember when you capsize is not to lose contact with the craft. Keep a hold and hang on until you can reorganise your wits. In a sail boat the wind will push your sail onto the water surface, do not hang on or lie on the sail as once it goes under the water it will be extremely difficult to right the craft. When you can, manoeuvre yourself so that your back is to the prevailing wind at the rear of your craft with the sail laid in front of you. If there are two or more of you then one person, who knows how to sail, needs to be at the front, in a position ready to be scooped up when the boat is righted. The rest, if any, should help right the boat. One person should climb on to the daggerboard keeping as close as possible to where the hull meets the daggerboard to avoid excess pressure. Grab the boat rail with both hands making sure that your buddy has one leg in the boat and is holding on, ready to be scooped up. Now stand up, placing your feet firmly on the daggerboard or on the hull if there isn’t one, and lean back. The weight of your body will be enough to get the sail to leave the water surface. It will leave the water slowly at first, but once it clears the water the process becomes much easier. As the sail comes up it will orientate itself in the lee of the wind and as such the boat will not be sailing. On occasions the sail sheets (ropes) will be tangled in the rigging and can in fact start to sail away. The coxswain should be ready to release the sheets to stop this happening and then begin to bail out the water before bringing on board the rest of the sailors.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Suit that Suit

“The suit speaks well before the man opens his mouth.” – Kenn Griffiths.

Fashions come and go but the suit remains a quintessential part of any gentleman’s attire. Wearing a suit properly is not for the slothful. There are those who would advocate that the addition of baseball boots with the suit is ‘classy’ not so! It may be stylish, although I could argue against this, but it is certainly not classy.

When choosing a suit you should take as much care, if not more, as you would when deciding the colour of your Aston Martin.

A single button on a suit coat (not jacket) is there to create a clean stylish line bringing the eye to the wearer’s waist, giving the impression of a narrow tall figure. Ideal for the vertically challenged gentleman. When the button is fastened the coat’s lapels should meet in the centre of the torso between the solar-plexus and the navel in a straight flat line with no bends, bulges or waves, (British suits tend to show less shirt than the rest of the world and as such, sit slightly higher).

Two buttoned coats also draw the eye’s attention to the waist and are the best choice for the medium build gentleman. Two buttons are there for the look of the suit, the bottom button should never be fastened as it will take the fit of the coat out of line making it look off balance.

Three buttons draw the eye to the chest thereby adding width. The middle button is for fastening. It is acceptable to fasten the top as well but never on it’s own unless you are going for the Tonic wearing, skin head look, and if you are, thank you for your time, we’ll part company here.

Double breasted suits are for slim tall men as the style tends to add width, small stocky men should never wear a double breasted suit as they will inevitable look like a box on legs. Think Roger Moore 1962 not Bob Hoskins in Roger Rabbit.

The length of the coat generally speaking, should sit approximately half the distance from the sole of the foot to the top of the spine. Traditional British suits have only one central vent. This is a throw-back to the sword carrying, horse-riding days allowing the rider to sit comfortably in the saddle and to allow his sword not to disturb the suit line when worn at the waist hence the left side of the vent always cut over the right. Nowadays pockets are usually straight whereas traditionally slanted pockets were the norm, again for the convenience of the horse-riding male. One should never use the pockets for anything other than a discrete handkerchief, just in case the lady needs to dry a tear (clean, white, light cotton only please) but never for hands, maybe occasionally one, note His Royal Highness Prince Charles. Sleeve length is set-in-stone. The underlying shirt cuff should fall approximately one inch past the wrist joint and the suit sleeve cut to allow a half to three-quarters of an inch of shirt to be seen.

Trousers must fall in a straight line finishing as they rest on the front of the shoe with a slight crease allowing the rear of the trouser to hang slightly longer covering a third of the heel of the shoe. The rise should be comfortably high, ideally sitting at the top of the pelvis. The bigger the waist the higher the trousers. What you are looking to achieve here is the perception of long-legs, thereby slimming the figure. Pleats are acceptable but they are only there to help the larger waist. The best look is to slim down so that you can wear flat-fronted trousers without discomfort. Do not use the trouser pocket to fill with anything that disturbs the trouser line. It’s far more acceptable to use a gentleman’s handbag if you have anything to carry that would not fit in the pocket without being seen. Turn-ups are for double-breasted suits. They give weight and can make the fall of the trouser very dramatic but only the slimmest, tallest male should go for this. Never have a turn up on a single breasted suit.

Suit cloth comes in many weights and colours. Think in terms of usage. Light weights are fine for summer use and heavier (note I say heavier not heavy) for colder times. Medium weights are ideal for most temperate climates. It is fair to say that most gentlemen would get more wear out of a darker suit than he would a light coloured one. Ideally you should have a wardrobe with a selection. Suit coats should be kept on quality wooden hangers shaped to mimic the broadness of the shoulder where it meets the arm and fit all the way up to the sleeve/shoulder stitching, hanging with a gap all the way around to allow the air to circulate. Trousers should be hung separately, waste down with purpose made trouser press hangers that grip the last inch of the leg cushioned by velvet.

A bespoke suit is an absolute must. Bespoke, of course means made for you specifically and that means that you have to say exactly what you want the tailor to make. If it’s an existing style then it is in fact a custom suit. Bespoke will cost more than ‘off the peg’ but should last and look good for many years. Do not think that any tailor will do. Just because the sign says quality, does not mean it will be, likewise, Savile Row or Jermyn Street is not shorthand for quality. There’s good and bad in every profession. Get to know your tailor before commissioning your suit. Look at what they do and ask them about their work and experience. Do not be shy, remember you are the gentleman buying and, following the transaction, it will be you who will be the tailor’s best advert, experienced tailors know this. If your tailor does nothing more than allow you to choose the material and measure you, you are in the wrong place, so beat a hasty retreat. Any tailor worth his/your salt will want to know about you, where you will be wearing the suit, what you keep in your pockets, and much more.

Never wear a tired suit no matter how comfortable you find it.

The traditional linen suit conjures up images of the Empire’s far flung verandas and that’s probably the best and only way to think about them. I don’t know what it is but, certainly the British gentleman, somehow, doesn’t really carry this suit off at all.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Man's Survival Starts Here

As a man there is always an expectation that you will 'come up with the goods' when the going gets tough,like, for example, when things go wrong, not least if you are stranded and have to resort to basic survival. Here's how you should act......

Over recent years the terms survival, and survivalist have been closely linked with gun toting, muscle bound, machismo figures, misunderstood rogue soldiers and serving military special forces personnel trained to penetrate deep into enemy territory. The media hype of these types of characters has been further enhanced by the writings of former and currently serving military survival instructors. Given this, it’s sometimes hard to understand how we mere mortals could ever survive! In fact the truth is that very ordinary people have accomplished the vast majority of successful fights for survival against the odds. And why not? After all, we are survivors, everyday of our lives is one of survival. Some of us survive the crime-ridden streets of major cities others the remote jungles of Papua New Guinea. The difference is the day to day severity of the fight and our knowledge of the area in which we live. Throughout our lives we develop the skills needed to cope with our changing environment. Many of us expand this knowledge to enable us to cope, live and work in a wide variety of climatic, geographical and man made extremes. The difficulty arises when we are forced to survive in environments that we are not mentally, emotionally or physically prepared for. And yet, given a group of individuals in the same dangerous, life threatening situation, without adequate knowledge or training some will live through whilst others die. Political prisoners who have been subjected to extreme torture violence, starvation and appalling conditions, suffering severe injuries and disease have lived whilst others with relatively minor ailments have given up and died. It has to be the case that the latter group lost their will to survive.

Over the years there have been many reported incidents of outstanding personal courage that has demonstrated man’s will to survive against all the odds. One particular act that I believe underpins this, is the true account of a lone working farmer who, after having had his arm severed in agricultural machinery, had the presence of mind to realise that if he collapsed he would not survive. In that moment of logical decision he carried his severed arm a considerable distance to effect a self-rescue and thereby saved his own life. Another quite incredible feat of self-preservation is the story of the man who started his car and detonated a terrorist bomb that had been planted to assassinate him. Despite sustaining massive injuries including the loss of both legs he remained calm and conscious throughout his rescue and managed to successfully control the major shock to his metabolism. His courage and sheer determination brought him back from the brink of death.

Experiences such as these are proof that survivors are not made, training alone is not sufficient to win the fight. Mental attitude is more important! I have seen the biggest and hardest crumble under the pressure of simulated and actual survival encounters and then watched as the stereotypical weaklings have fought and won to gain a firm grip of the situation and their existence.

An appropriate definition of the word ‘survive’ is to fight, to live on when all help has gone. Obviously this is survival in its most extreme form. Fortunately not many of us will ever be in this position. In the majority of cases the survival fight is only as long as it takes for help to arrive. The difficulty is having the courage, coupled with the will to survive to stay alive long enough to either await the arrival of the rescuers or to effect a self-rescue. In both cases the survival priorities are the same and can be listed in order of priority as:
• Protection.
• Location
• Water
• Food
From the very beginning take control of your self. Have the confidence to fight. Your mind will naturally want you to survive and in the sub-conscious there is a wealth of brainpower to help you to develop the ‘will to survive’. Without this belief you will surely die. The problem is that you have probably never consciously accessed this wealth of brainpower and you may work against it, by convincing yourself that you can’t survive or win!

Be sure that you set your mind to the win mode. You can win, you can survive other people do and so can you!

Developing the will to survive is the first step to defeating the natural enemies of wind, cold, wet, and sun. From here on the struggle is with your self! You have to take on the battle to win against your poor physical condition, your lack of knowledge, panic and fear and your initial lack of confidence.

Once you have mastered the will to survive you will find that the aids to your survival will be your inner strength (often much stronger in females), your knowledge, the equipment you have, can find, or manufacture your psychological approach which is greatly enhanced by a sense of humour.

Never give up! Never let anyone or anything get the better of you! Never think you can’t, know that you can!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Money Matters!

Money Matters!
Kenn Griffiths.
Gentleman Founder of the Red Blooded Male Club.

“A real gentleman, even if he loses everything he owns, must show no emotion. Money must be so far beneath a gentleman that it is hardly worth troubling about” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Who Pays?

The rule of thumb is that whoever has requested the pleasure pays for it.

A gentleman must always be prepared to pay but not if to do so would embarrass.

In female company always offer and expect to pay, but be prepared to back down and allow the lady to pay if she insists.

In male company do allow others to have their turn to pay. If there’s one who never pays then do not under any circumstances bring that fact to attention in company. If necessary choose a time when you are alone with the abstainer and discretely ask if all is well financially and offer any help that may be needed, but only if asked to do so. If the time is not right to probe then leave well alone and continue to pick up the tab or choose not to be in the person’s company when payment is expected. Keep your own council and never enter into a conversation about it with others.

If someone else is paying be modest and keep to the mid price menu. If you are paying allow your guests to choose what ever they want to. Do not order for them or point them to the cheapest options. If dinning in a group the bill should be split equally; there should be no questioning about who had what and the differences in pricing.

Gratuities are always discretional even when included as a service charge. If you haven’t had the service you deserved then do not leave a tip. Don’t however make a fuss. Excusing yourself from the table and discretely making your views known to the management, out of the ears and gaze of everyone else, is the best way to approach the problem. If this is not possible leave the tip and take the matter up at a more appropriate time.

At the races or casino never show that loosing is a problem. In essence if you can’t afford to lose then don’t go.

If you have wealth, do ensure that you never mention it, especially when in poorer company. Talking about the cost of anything is a definite no-no. The only place where it is acceptable to talk finances is with your accountant or bank manager. So that means you should not advise your friends about shares or investments without their asking and then only if you are alone and really do have knowledge of the subject and even then you should be reserved in your answers.

A Helping Hand.

Never lend money to a friend or family member if you can’t afford to ‘write it off’. Likewise, if you have acted as guarantor, do not go looking for your ‘pound of flesh’ if you are called upon to stand your guarantee.

Borrowing money is best left to your bank or a similar institution. If there’s no alternative, whether lending or borrowing make it legal. Have a contract written that sets out all of the expectations and possible recourse if things go wrong and use a trained mediator to broker a deal or sort out future repayments.

Copyright 2011 Kenn Griffiths, All Rights Reserved.

About the author:

Kenn Griffiths is a writer, former soldier, Investigator, Social Worker and founder of:

You are free to publish this article but do include our link.

The Red Blooded Male Club (Outline)

The Red Blooded Male Club

This club is dedicated to all gentlemen everywhere.

Why do we need a club? Simply because since the 1960’s the innate role of the red blooded male has been eroded to the point where we’ve lost the skills and traits that true women really love about us. Here we’ll re-visit the male domain, that place that men crave for, not in a chauvinistic way but as a true man, certainly not a threat to women.

This club is simply a must for any male who wants to conduct himself as ‘one of the boys’ all you need is a sense of adventure, a commitment to the species and a dedication to your birth right, being a man!

From here on you’ll wonder how we’ve survived for so long without being true to ourselves.

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that; to be the best you have to beat the rest, with honour and grace!!

About our founder: Kenn Griffiths