Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jack Bauer Tally: Hour 21

Now this is what I'm talkin' bout.

Jack's efforts to help resolve the FB sub-circuit board mess (we still don't know what "FB Sub-Circuit Board" stands for) are all for naught, he's sidelined by an otherwise sympathetic Nadia, who's waiting for her replacement from the oft-mentioned but never-seen District Office. Mike Doyle is suiting up a bunch of expendables (you can tell by their dark navy CTU Tactical uniforms) for a raid on the Bloomfield Chemical plant, where Audrey was held.

Skank-In-Chief Lisa Miller gets told to go back to her traitor lobbyist (redundant, I know) boy-toy to pass back information to the Russians that the FB sub-circuit board is secure. She gets a magic handbag with a camera that she just so happens to position so that she can be seen being disrobed and ravished by said boy-toy in the bedroom. She is understandably nervous, as is The Biscuit, who cares less about Lisa's naughty bits and more about the lobbyist uploading the digital bits of fake memos stored on Lisa's PDA about the crisis being over to his KGB handlers. No resolution on this count this week.

Being that Jack is cooling his heels and the tactical teams are en route to where they're just sure Cheng is located, of course Cheng and his mercenaries are planning an assault somewhere else. Jack Bauer abhors a vacuum, so the intended target of the mercenaries is of course CTU. The poorly-shaven Chinese hacker dude from last week shuts down all of CTUs systems and the baddies emerge from the sewer, spreading mayhem. Milo Pressman, (who looks remarkably like the son of the parking lot attendant who stole the Ferrari in Ferris Bueller's Day Off) bravely identifies himself as the station chief, and gets capped in the head for his troubles. It saves Mike Doyle the trouble of doing it for himself to break the Nadia/Doyle/Milo triangle. Who says being a systems analyst isn't dangerous?

Jack of course knows the place is under attack immediately and when the security guard hesitates after opening the door he gets shot for his troubles. Jack deftly uses the dead body (did we really know he was dead?) as a shield, picking up the guard's pistol and getting fatal hits on the assault rifle-wielding merc while lying on his side. He picks up the pistol (a Beretta PX4, if my eyes don't deceive me), reloads, sprays some shots down the hall to give himself cover and moves out. He gets another couple of kills with the PX4 and manages to snag one of the G36Cs the bad guys are using.

Grame Bauer's recently-ex wife and Jack's torch-carrying ex-girlfriend, Heidi Petrelli from Heroes and her son who looks suspiciously like Jack are in a rest area, having been debriefed. The bad guys break in and grab the boy, who is apparently their target. Jack takes them out with two precise three-round bursts and away they go, walking through the endless maze of CTU corridors looking for an escape. The find an air vent with a big nasty torso-slicing fan, which Jack jams with the rifle. The boy makes it into the vent, then the bad guys are on them. Jack shoots his pistol empty (see a pattern), and unable to retrieve the rifle, surrenders. Heidi Petrelli and Jack are marched back down to the control room where everyone else is sitting morosely around the cooling body of Milo Pressman.

The kid comes back out of the shafts when Chief Mercenary promises to shoot his mom. Seeing as Chief Mercenary has already used his Glock 18 (the machine-pistol version) to kill once in the last six or seven minutes, this isn't a hollow threat.

As the episode ends, we find out that the guy fixing the FB sub-circuit board is none other than Big Daddy Bauer, and kidnapping his grandson is part of the plan, along with a relocation to China, safely away from the treason charges and the Avenging Angel Of Pistol Caliber Justice, i.e., Jack.

Previews show Lisa Miller's boyfriend figuring out he's been played. I predict a tactical Biscuit-raid to save her. Morris will show he's got a pair and make up with Chloe, I estimate his chances of survival to the end of the season at 2 out of 3, though with another wound. Jack will kill everybody, including his Dad. Heidi Petrilli and the kid will survive.

Technical Note:

The G36C, or Compact, is a shortened version of the Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle. The G36 is a .223 caliber assault rifle, it differs from the AR-15/M-16 in that is uses an operating rod to push the bolt back and reload the rifle after firing. The AR-15 series uses direct gas impingement to push the bolt back, which improves accuracy but adds fouling. The G36 body is almost all plastic, the G36C has a shorter barrel for, well, walking around in sewers, for example, and other indoor overwhelming firepower needs. It's a well-regarded weapon, though you wouldn't want to use the C-version for shots over 150-200m. The short barrel and resultant slower speed of the projectile mean there is less terminal damage, the shortened M4 version of the M16 has reduced lethality beyond 75m, according to Martin Fackler, the demigod of projectile injury.

The Glock 18 is a basically useless modification of an already-great firearm, the 9mm Glock 17. The 18 model is modified to fire in fully-automatic or semi-automatic based on the position of a switch on the slide, visible in the picture above. Chief Mercenary's Glock had a stainless slide, but it's the same gun.

The problem with the Glock 18, and most other machine-pistols, is that the moving mass of the slide is so light that the cyclic rate (rate of fire) is unbelievably high, around 1200 rounds per minute, or 20 rounds a second. This will empty a standard Glock 17 magazine in a little under a second. Even the extended 33-round mags made for the Glock 18 only give you a little more than 1.5 seconds of wildly inaccurate firing.

This is a video of this borderline-useless pistol in action:

Note the references to The Matrix. It's about the only place you can use a Glock 18 with any effectiveness. People skilled in firearms usage train for weeks and months to be accurate with a fully-automatic two-handed weapon like the MP-5, nobody is truly accurate with a full-auto pistol like a Glock 18. There are only a few in private hands in the US. There is a conversion device that replaces parts on the back of the slide and can turn pretty much any Glock into a fully-automatic pistol, but it's a) highly-illegal and b) turns a useful and reasonably accurate semi-automatic pistol into a useless and inaccurate fully-automatic pistol. If I want to see Fort Leavenworth, I'll take the visitor's tour, thanks.

Accurate fire is all that counts. Pros shoot semi-auto and hit their targets.

Jack gets five kills this week, three pistol and two assault rifle. An extra point to the assault rifle kills for three-shot bursts, that's good trigger control.

The Score so far:

Biting A Carotid9.0 -1 for lack of Universal Protocol
Shooting Curtis-8-10 own goal, +2 neck shot over a hostage
Shooting guard while handcuffed7.0+2 for while handcuffed
Handgun6.0+1 for saving hostages (Milo & Graeme's wife)
Handgun7.0+2 for disarm
Handgun6.0+1 for suppressor, because suppressors are cool
Handgun6.0+1 for suppressor
Handgun6.0+1 for through car window
Handgun10.0+5 for called headshot
Neck Snap7.0Always cool.
Handgun5.0Fayed henchman
Handgun5.0Fayed henchman
Handgun5.0Fayed henchman
Handgun5.0Fayed henchman
Handgun5.0Fayed henchman
Length of Chain8.0Strangled Fayed
Handgun5.0Chinese henchman
Handgun5.0Chinese henchman
Handgun6.0Merc, +1 for available cover
Handgun6.0Merc, +1 for three-round burst
Handgun6.0Merc, +1 for three-round burst


Mike Riley said...

I really appreciate your very knowledgeable comments on firearms and their use. One of the best things I can say is that your writings remind me of Jeff Cooper, especially in the philosophical area of trigger and muzzle control. The "spray and pray" method may look sort of cool in the flicks, but give me three well-placed rounds from my Kimber any day.

Darren Duvall said...


Thanks for reading! And any favorable comparison to the late Colonel is a high compliment indeed. I always flipped to the back of Guns & Ammo and read Cooper's column first, either that or I waded through every ".45 vs 9mm" or ".308 vs. .30-06" debate with the certain knowledge that there would be genuine wisdom on the last page, at least.

I guess I need to get his books and read them, too. I never made it out to Gunsite, I would have loved to have met him. I will not pass up the opportunity to meet Clint Smith, though. Never managed to make it to Mountain Home, foolish me, so now I have to go to Oregon, but Clint is as close to Jeff Cooper as we still have.

Mas Ayoob writes some exceptionally good stuff as well. His regular column in American Handgunner is a must-read.