Anniversary of an amazingly enduring design

Monday, March 29, is the 99th anniversary of the legendary 1911 semiautomatic pistol designed by John Moses Browning.
The 1911 .45 was the standard U.S. military sidearm for most of a century until the mid-80's when it was supplanted by the Beretta M9 9mm, partly because 9mm was/is a standard NATO munition, partly because the M9's were cheaper to manufacture and partly because it reduced training costs since learning to shoot a 1911 well takes longer than learning to shoot a 9mm. The M9 is an accurate pistol, quite easy to shoot well, but spec ops who can have whatever sidearm they want sometimes opt for a 1911 because a .45 hits harder.
The 1911 is a classic, still very much in demand today. There are dozens of companies currently making 1911's including majors like Springfield, Kimber, Para and Taurus and more elites like Wilson Combat etc. One can buy a new one for as little as $500, or a hand-made custom for well north of $3K and the makers of those are backlogged for over a year. Essentially same design, finely crafted.
How many designs more complex than a paper clip are still so viable a century after conception? The zipper might be one, but I think the list of other candidates is quite short.
The M2 50-caliber machine gun that JMB designed is still in active service with U.S. forces. The man was a genius designer.
Attitudes toward firearms vary and I respect that, but I submit that a designer of this rare level of accomplishment is worthy of note by readers of a metalworking newsgroup.
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...
There's a one hour biography show on JMB I've seen on the History or Military Channel. I would guess there would be a replay on Monday. The man was an incredible genious. How he could conceive such complex and reliable mechanisims is beyond me.
And, he didn't have AutoCAD or Alibre to do his designs <VBG>
Karl
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Karl Townsend wrote:

Neither did NASA when we went to the moon.
--

Richard Lamb
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cavelamb /
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Richard sez:
"Neither did NASA when we went to the moon."
Just goes to show there's a lot of truth in the old saw, "Technology without mathematics would only be two weeks behind"
Bob Swinney
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I wonder how much sooner we would have got there if the engineers had a scientific calculator instead of those books of logarithms?
Wes
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Wes wrote:

You mean like - now???
I'm almost ready to believe that it was a one-time thing.
Will we EVER go back?
--

Richard Lamb
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I hope we don't abandon space. I must have Shatner in my head but it is the 'Final Frontier' and most of us in the US are decended from explorers. It is in our genetics.
Wes
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Wes wrote:

No, Wes, it's in our past.
(and there's more where that came from)
--

Richard Lamb
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Sun, 28 Mar 2010 16:37:19 -0500 did write/type or cause to appear in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Should we go back?
    I wish I had taken notes, because I loaned the book. "Mars Direct" is the program, which figured that using the technology available in 1994, it was possible to put men on Mars for about 20 billion dollars. No need to invent space stations, moon bases, or "battle star galactica" multi-tonne Space Cruisers (you know the ones - a thousand meter long monsters with a crew of 5,000.). Two Saturn rocket (or equivalent) launches and the project is underway.     Why not the Moon? Because, in short, you have to take everything with you, there's nothing there readily exploitable. Fuel for a return trip can be made on Mars - it's evidentially 1890s technology. Secondly in terms of delta V, the moon is almost as far as Mars. That is you have to spend money (fuel) all the way to the surface. On Mars, you can aero brake into orbiter, and land by parachute. And the environment on the Moon is hostile. Remember, earth plants are set up for a twenty four hour cycle, not 29 days.
    Personally, I don't care which way we go, but I'm more enthusiastic for a Mars mission. OTOH, Obama care will mean that there will be no money for any space program. Or any other future.
pyotr
- pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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pyotr filipivich wrote: And

Isn't one side of the moon always in the sun and the other dark?
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Jim Stewart wrote:

NO!
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Richard Lamb
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It's been a long time since grade school. But I some how remember that one side of the moon is always light, the other always dark.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Nope. If keeps one face toward us (more or less). We never see the other side of the moon. But the Sun does - about 1/2 of the time.
From Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbit_of_the_Moon
Libration Animation of the Moon as it cycles through its phases. The apparent wobbling of the Moon is known as libration.
The Moon is in synchronous rotation, meaning that it keeps the same face turned toward the Earth at all times. This synchronous rotation is only true on average because the Moon's orbit has a definite eccentricity. As a result, the angular velocity of the Moon varies as it moves around the Earth, and is hence not always equal to the Moon's rotational velocity. When the Moon is at its perigee, its rotation is slower than its orbital motion, and this allows us to see up to eight degrees of longitude of its eastern (right) far side. Conversely, when the Moon reaches its apogee, its rotation is faster than its orbital motion and this reveals eight degrees of longitude of its western (left) far side. This is referred to as longitudinal libration.
Because the lunar orbit is also inclined to the Earth's ecliptic plane by 5.1, the rotation axis of the Moon seems to rotate towards and away from us during one complete orbit. This is referred to as latitudinal libration, which allows one to see almost 7 of latitude beyond the pole on the far side. Finally, because the Moon is only about 60 Earth radii away from the Earth's center of mass, an observer at the equator who observes the Moon throughout the night moves laterally by one Earth diameter. This gives rise to a diurnal libration, which allows one to view an additional one degree's worth of lunar longitude. For the same reason, observers at both geographical poles of the Earth would be able to see one additional degree's worth of libration in latitude.
--

Richard Lamb
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Please tell me you're joking. Just in case you're not, the moon is tidally locked, which means one side always faces the earth. We refer to the side away from the earth as the "dark side" of the moon (cue Pink Floyd), but it isn't actually always dark.
--
As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should
be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours;
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about Mon, 29 Mar 2010 16:41:50 -0700 did write/type or cause to appear in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Nope. One side it towards the earth, the other side is "the far side of the moon." Rotational lock on the earth. Take about 29 earth days for it to make that rotation.

- pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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On Mon, 29 Mar 2010 16:32:24 -0700, pyotr filipivich

Let me guess, you're against deficit spending as well...

Why don't you suggest hospitals on the moon? That makes way more sense than phony conservatives lobbying for a Mars mission.
Wayne
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Let the Record show that snipped-for-privacy@citlink.net on or about Mon, 29 Mar 2010 17:49:29 -0700 did write/type or cause to appear in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    So, how's that covered wagon working out for you? - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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pyotr filipivich wrote:

It's about the depth of the gravity well, p.
The moon (IMHO) was put there as a useful resource.
Aluminum galore. LOTS of solar power. And - damit - water!
So, you DON'T have to take every thing with you. You mine, refine, and manufacture - on the moon.
Unless, of course, you want to go straight to Mars. (Which I doubt it really do-able) We NEED a moon base...
Heck, check the escape velocity numbers. You can THROW stuff up to orbit from the moon. (solar powered linear accelerators)
Had we set up a moon base back in the 70s - 80s, I'd bet we'd be ON Mars by now.
But without that "tree house in the sky"?
We aren't going anywhere.
Ever.
--

Richard Lamb
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cavelamb /
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Mon, 29 Mar 2010 20:31:50 -0500 did write/type or cause to appear in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Low Earth Orbit is half way to the universe.

    For two weeks out of the month - and the next two weeks?

    All you need to do is bring your food. Your air. Your water. Your space suit. But it is doable. Just realize that solar energy is only available 14 days a month. The rest of the time you're going to be on batteries, or imported nuclear power plants. (And good luck getting those, the green weenies will pitch hissy fits at the very idea of polluting the pristine Lunar Surface with nuclear pollution and waste.)

    According tot he book, it was doable in 1990. Or doable starting in 1990, within ten years. With existing technology.

    But you have to pilot a space craft all the way to touch down. There is no "free" negative acceleration on the moon. Now, one of the nifty things about the moon is that because there is no atmosphere, there is nothing to prevent you from orbiting a meter from the surface. But you can orbit there forever, because there is nothing to slow you down for a reentry/landing.

    The saying it of old, earth orbit is half way to the universe. And the difference in Delta V between going to and landing on the moon (remember, you can't trade speed for heat on the moon, as you can with a reentry to planet with an atmosphere), and going to Mars is "minor" (on the order of a couple meters/sec if I recall correctly).

    The guys argument is basically, if you want a project which would have cost 450 billion dollars in 1990, take 20 years, and requires development of many new technologies, then the "BattleStar Galactica" approach to a mission to mars (LEO station, a moon base, and then the construction in pace of a ship to transport an away team to Mars for a thirty day ground mission.) - then go for it. You just have to make sure that you can convince Congress to keep up such a program, though several election cycles. But with what we had, on the shelf so to speak, and 20 billion dollars to start, starting in 1990 we would have several years of data and the potential for a self supporting base/colony on mars. One that does not have to import food, oxygen, fuel, or raw materials.     When I get the book back, I'll dig up the numbers. While any planetary exploration/base project is not necessary a bad one, IMHO, the Mars Direct is the better goal. One of the things he mentions as a reason for this is the whole need for a "Frontier" - particularly as Americans. There is a need for someplace to go, where the emphasis is on getting things done, not filling out the forms and holding meetings in order to get approval to approach the next circle of hoops to jump through. Much of the technological innovation which drove the American expansion was driven by the relative lack of labor and the need to "get 'er done!" Mars would provide just such an environment, far more than the moon would. - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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I think the pressure the sun exerts on your craft will cause it to deorbit eventually.
http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/Numbers/Math/Mathematical_Thinking/sunlight_exerts_pressure.htm
Wes
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