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The LA Times just posted its review of "Heart of a Soldier", the San Francisco Opera's newly commissioned opera about the life of Rick Rescorla which premiered last night. You may not remember his name, but Rescorla was the head... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2011 at Locus Medius
It's not really accurate to say that they "fit" polling data to a bell curve. The bell curve is used only to determine the sampling error — the only error information actually reported in these polls. In fact, that's not even totally accurate. There is a formula for determining the sampling error that was derived based on sample error being distributed along a bell curve. The sampling error is the error caused by polling a subset of voters. So the sampling error they report is really the answer to the question "how far off could the poll be merely because we might have accidentally not polled a representative population?" (Actually, the question needs to add the additional information that we want to know how far off we could be such that 95% of the time we'd be within that range.) The sampling error is determined only by plugging the number of voters polled and the estimated total number of voters into a standard formula.
85% is sort of a meaningless number without knowing more information. For all we know from that table, it takes 90% of the performance of a 24" barrel to reliably drop a man at range. If that was the case, then the complaints about the M4 would be justified. Considering there are complaints about the performance of even the 20"-barrelled M16, then anything that performed even a little worse would probably be noticeable. The other thing I would want to know is what type of rifling they used. Supposedly, polygonal rifling allows for higher muzzle velocities compared to traditional rifling. If so, then the M4's problem could be the short barrel combined with the old-style rifling. When the XM8 was being discussed, it was claimed that the 12.5" barrel would not be a problem on the personal defense version because it would perform pretty close to the 14.5" barrel on the M4, due to the rifling design.
Toggle Commented May 23, 2006 on 5.56mm barrel length at Airborne Combat Engineer
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For the people who might have to look it up (like I did), in the AK, the driving spring is part of the piston assembly and pushes the piston forward, which pulls the bolt forward. In the AR, the buffer assembly is located behind the bolt, extending into the stock of the weapon, and pushes the bolt from behind. This makes the AK more flexible in terms of stock design (or lack of a stock altogether).
Toggle Commented May 21, 2006 on Kel-Tec PLR-16 pistol at Airborne Combat Engineer
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Steve, The "8 people in one SUV" logic only works if the SUV is replacing two smaller cars most of the time or at least a lot of the time. It doesn't work if you are justifying the SUV just to occassionally drive 8 people around. Also, the "few extreme cases" are unfortunately not as rare as that description would make them out to be. If the SUV gets 1/2 the MPG that each of the small cars does, then you break even. That's all too often the case for small cars vs SUVs in the U.S.
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Oops, I hadn't read the article you linked to about the SR-47. It seems to have a very similar quote. Oh, well.
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Here's a copy of the Jane's Defense article on the SR-47. They key detail they point out is: "So they wanted a weapon that had all the muscle memory of an M-4 - safety, grip, everything that's familiar to the soldier or the SEAL - but capable of using battlefield pick-up magazines."
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Oh, also no 'c' in Medius. Locus Medius roughly translates as "Middle Ground". Locus Medicus would probably roughly translates as "Doctor's office" or something like that. ;) (Don't worry, I'm not remotely bothered by it. Just thought I'd point it out.)
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ACE, FYI your permalink to this one article was broken for an hour-or-so. Don't know if you fixed the link on purpose or if it just sort of worked itself out, but thought you'd want to know. Also, I tried to email you about it but the message was bounced at the email address listed to the top right.
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