health care for special needs?

In addition to her nationalized health care, Great Britain leads the world in a healthy approach to sex. With her team of counsellors and sex therapists, Dear Deirdre replies individually to around 1,000 Sun readers a week, helping them solve their problems – including the sexual difficulties most of us run into from time to time. Inspired by this progressive populism, I pose my follow-up question to the latest Presidential address.

Glitter Graphics

importing guns

 I have imported guns from Switzerland and am about to import from Germany. Here is a current summary of my experience, linked to relevant online resources:

  • Research comparable values. Study all relevant web pages in the foreign top level domain of your concern. In my case, an interest in the SIG P210 calls for all Kessler catalogs and price listsHere is a search query composed in accordance with my interests. Bear in mind that all long-distance purchases involve a risk. With market prices abroad on items of my interest running between a quarter and a half of market prices for comparable items stateside, my risks are well justified. Likewise in cases when such items cannot be had locally for love or money.
  • Find an export agent. Your best bet for finding an agent willing and able to handle your firearms lot for export from the foreign country is online auctions. For example, the Swiss dealers selling on Gunbroker include AfA and swissdagger. Make sure that your export agent understands the legal requirements for shipping firearms to the U.S. Also make sure that he has the right connections to do so. For example, Swiss law no longer allows shipping firearms by mail. Many common carriers follow suit, refusing to accept firearm shipments, unless the sender cultivates a "special relationship" with them.
  • Choose wisely. Generally you will have to pay for your firearms before you can apply for export and import licenses. The firearms you import must be deemed suitable for "sporting use" and attested as having remained in the country from which you are exporting them for the past five years. Only civilian firearms and foreign military firearms that qualify as curios and relics can be imported. U.S. military firearms cannot be re-imported.
  • Select a U.S.-based importer. I am paying through the nose for import licenses and international courier services, but Andrew Zink (AfA) and Stefan Mahrer (swissdagger) have access to common carriers and less costly importers. Make sure that the importer that your export agents recommend will mark your gun discreetly, e.g. inside the magazine well or under the stocks.
  • Stay legal. ATF requires licensure of both the importer and the import itself via the ATF form 6 application. Of special importance on this application are items 19 through 24, which discuss release of the firearms shipment from Customs custody. Also of importance is the form 6A, which must be presented to Customs at the time of its entry. ATF Form 6 s only good for occasional private imports via an FFL holder, for your personal use, but no one will stop you from reselling some of your personally imported guns after a while.
  • Understand the tariff classification and duty rate of firearms. See the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2009)SECTION XIX: Chapter 93: Arms and ammunition; parts and accessories thereof. Special classification and duty treatment are afforded to firearms meeting the collector’s interest and/or antique provisions of SECTION XXI: Chapter 97: Works of art, collectors’ pieces and antiques. In addition to duty and applicable taxes, Customs collect user fees such as MPF (Merchandise Process Fee) equal to 0.21% of the entered value, with a $25 minimum, and a $485 maximum, and HMF (Harbor Maintenance Fee) equal to 0.125% of the entered value, with no minimum or maximum, and only applied on importations via seafreight.
  • Consider using a broker. A licensed customs broker located at the port of entry will be able to submit the license and release documents locally. National Customs Brokers Association lists local associations of individual brokers. Port of entry information is available from U.S. Customs. Import brokers charge a fee for a Customs entry, plus charges for messenger services where applicable. Brokers may also charge a fee for government agency submissions, its amount depending on the complexity of the agency requirements. Additionally, a customs bond will be required, either as a continuous bond for ongoing imports over a calendar year or as single entry bonds per each instance of importation.

Good luck. Please feel free to pose further questions and requests via email or phone 323-363-1860.

double action revolvers in europe

 I am relatively new to owning revolvers, though my experience of collecting, researching, and maintaining autopistols dates back over 30 years. In .357 Magnum I have three prewar S&W revolvers, two registered and one non-registered; a 1937 Colt Shooting Master and a 1957 Python; and three MR73 Manurhins, with many more coming from Germany. I also have two Colt Bankers Specials in .22LR. In am not interested in Rugers or any other oversized cast guns. Over the past two years, I have taught myself to work on my Colt, Manurhin, and Smith & Wesson revolvers. Here are my observations.

  1. Colts are much better made and more precisely fitted, of finer and stronger materials, than Smith & Wessons. I base this statement on the personally observed differences in working internal parts with a diamond file, and wear and peening in contact surfaces with comparable round counts.
  2. The Smith & Wesson single stage lockup is not nearly as precise as, but much more durable than, the Colt double stage lockup. The Smith & Wesson bolt is softer but less stressed than the Colt bolt. The S&W action is much easier to work on than the Colt action.
  3. The Manurhin MR73 is a significantly improved S&W K-frame Combat Magnum derivative that combines the quality and precision of the Colts with the ruggedness of the Smith & Wessons, and ease of tuning unavailable in any other service revolver.

Based on my experience, the quality ratio of Colt to S&W is proportional to that of S&W to H&R. The MR73 is designed as a crucially improved S&W and manufactured to the quality standards of 1950s Colts. I have tried the current S&W revolvers. There is no comparison. In a nutshell, an early Python is a better revolver than a Registered Magnum, in the same sense whereby a Ferrari 330 P3/4 is a better car than a Ford GT40. But the MR73 is the only revolver I would take in harm’s way, in the way I would choose the Citroën ZX over the Ferrari and the Ford for entry in the Paris-Dakar rally.

The problem with S&W is not design, but quality. Their basic action layout is capable of uncompromising performance, as witness this Manurhin chambered in .32 S&W Long, beating match guns by S&W, SAKO, and Walther. But in order to get a current production S&W to perform like that, you would have to rebarrel it and replace its MIM lockwork with increasingly unobtainable forged parts. And even then, it will not approach the quality of Manurhin’s hammer-forged frame, barrel, and cylinder.

The basic features of Colt double action revolvers are well summarized by Grant Cunningham:

Colt revolvers have actions which are very refined. Their operating surfaces are very small, and are precisely adjusted to make the guns work properly. Setting them up properly is not a job for someone who isn’t intimately familiar with their workings, and the gunsmith who works on them had better be accustomed to working at narrow tolerances, on small parts, under magnification.

On the other hand, by referring to a copy of Kuhnhausen’s shop manual, I was able to fit a new bolt to one of my Bankers Specials using NSk calipers, S&W screwdrivers, the diamond-coated file of a Leatherman Charge TTi, and a wooden shaft. So I agree that Colt actions are highly refined. I also agree that they require working at narrow tolerances, on small parts, under magnification. But much of that is within the reach of a hobbyist equipped with a $30 manual and $200 worth of hand tools.

Since you are in Norway, the Manurhin MR73 makes more sense than either the Colt Python or any S&W. It is as strong as a Ruger, as lively and easy to work on as a K-frame S&W, and much smoother and more precise than either of them. You can find them with barrels measuring 2½", 3", 4", 5¼", 6", 8", 9", and 10¾", though 4" and 6" are the most common variants. Some of my current and incoming revolvers are shown here. The 6" target model is nimble enough to be used for self-defense, while its sight radius is adequate for target shooting. I get my Manurhins on for a fraction of the new retail price. Many of the sellers can be talked into exporting, but if you have a problem getting them to ship to Norway, contact me via email for assistance.

microcosmographia academica

Cornford: Microcosmographia Academica




Published by Bowes & Bowes Publishers Ltd, Cambridge

First published





If you are young, do not read this book; it is not fit for you;
If you are old, throw it away; you have nothing to learn from it;
If you are unambitious, light the fire with it; you do not need its guidance.
But, if you are neither less than twenty-five years old, nor more than thirty;
And if you are ambitious withal, and your spirit hankers after academic politics;
Read, and may your soul (if you have a soul) find mercy!


‘Any one of us might say, that although in words he is not able to meet you at each step of the argument, he sees as a fact that academic persons, when they carry on study, not only in youth as a part of education, but as the pursuit of their maturer years, most of them become decidedly queer, not to say rotten; and that those who may be considered the best of them are made useless to the world by the very study which you extol.
‘Well, do you think that those who say so are wrong?
‘I cannot tell, he replied; but I should like to know what is your opinion?
‘Hear my answer; I am of opinion that they are quite right.’

PLATO, Republic, vi [487a-c]

My heart is full of pity for you, o young academic politician. Continue reading microcosmographia academica

горький хлеб изгнания

Российские эмигранты жалуются на неблагожелательное отношение со стороны оставшихся к их потугам на участие в старосветской культуре и политике. Но у этого вопроса имеется другая сторона. Выходя из дома или из города своего, эмигрант обязан отрясти прах от ног своих. Без этого невозможно стать полноценным гражданином нового, неродного общества. И в той мере, что он пренебрегает этой обязанностью, его бывшие и нынешние сограждане вправе укорять его за неполноценность. А в какой форме вменяется сия неполноценность, суть вопрос несущественный.