Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Words to live by

From the man who is more responsible than any other for our way of life in America:

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. This gives exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball are too violent for the body and stamp no moral character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walk."
-Thomas Jefferson

Guns I Wish I Had (part 4) FN FAL 7.62x51mm

Known as the Right Arm of the Free World, the Fabrique National de Herstal Fusil Automatique Leger( Light Automatic Rifle), or the FN FAL, is one of the greatest weapons produced in the post -WWII era.

And I want one.

Used by most of NATO (excluding mainly the USA) and in dozens of countries around the world. It got its name by being the default weapon of almost everyone who was not a client or puppet state of the Soviet Union. The FAL, while considered obsolete, is still in use around the world, especially in Africa. The 7.62mm NATO cartridge has some advantages over the lighter and faster 5.56mm and 5.45mm that have replaced it, namely range, penetration and power.

West German and US troops in Korea

The FAL was designed by FN following WWII as experience had shown that a detachable magazine -fed, self loading rifle was necessary to replace most of the bolt action guns and submachine guns that had been used. The adoption of the standard NATO 7.62x51 ammunition made it clear what cartridge the FAL would be produced in. ( although the original design was chambered in the StG 44's 7.92x33 Kurz cartridge)
A adjustable gas system was included, making it possible for soldiers in the field to control the amount of gas to compensate for environmental conditions (or an extremely dirty weapon) and the port could be closed completely for firing rifle grenades.

US Marine performing familiarization drills with a British L1A1 in Kuwait, 1991

There have been several variants of the basic FAL, some militaries opted for a semi auto only version, like the U.K.'s L1A1 SLR, as controlling a battle rifle on full auto is extremely difficult. Folding stock variants for paratroopers, versions with a bipod, even scoped designated marksman versions have been made.
Heavy Barrel versions were made for the Squad Automatic Rifleman position, although the recoil of full auto fire is reported to be considerable, to say the least.

In recent years, the many FALs have been shipped to the USA as parts kits and made into semi auto rifles by Century Arms and gunsmiths and have received even more attention and modification, as you can see from examples below.
FALs are still produced by several companies, most notably DSArms.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Think about it

Silly Iranians.
Don't they know that you are automatically the bad guys when you march like that?

Historical Oddities- Quaker Guns

Quaker Gun in Port Hudson, 1863

Now I am all for spending the money that is necessary to have a strong military and give them all the weapons, tools, and equipment that they need.
But soldiers very rarely (and by that I mean never) have everything that they need.
So some imagination is needed.

This is a painted log called a "Quaker Gun" at a Fort in Centerville, VA in 1862. Sure it does not fire, but sometimes giving the impression that you are stronger than you really are can deter attackers. Or it might distract them while you bring your real strength up on his flank.
The Quaker Guns get their name from the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers, pacifist religious sect that abhors violence.

The first reported use of a Quaker gun was in the American Revolution by Colonel William Washington ( George's second cousin, once removed) in Camden, SC. The concept made its way to WWII, and the Doolittle raid B25 Bombers were given broomsticks painted black instead of machine guns to save weight and complete the mission.

Deception, misdirection and misinformation can be as effective on the enemy as bullets.

Quaker Gun in France made out of paper

*However, sometimes pretending to have weapons that you don't just gets your ass kicked.
(Saddam Hussein, for example)

Historical Oddities


I found this pic awhile back, the caption said that it was a tribal conflict in the Sudan in 1975. What is really interesting is that she is using the first true "Assault Rifle", the StG-44 or Sturmgewehr 44 ( Assault Rifle 1944) I imagine this is not what Hitler intended for this weapon.
Some other random weapons in the background as well, a Mauser K98, a M14, an Enfield and what I think is an M16A1 at the far right. Strange to think that this young woman is rebelling or whatever with a gun that is worth $100,000? $150,000? Who knows how much?

It is also strange to think how the extremely uncommon 7.92x33 Kurz ammunition could be acquired in the Sudan, I can't even find .38 Special ammo, and I live in America.

One of the reasons that I like old guns is you can pick it up and imagine, but you know you will never really know the full story of the days and places that it has seen.

Weird Guns (part 3) Double Revolver

Not much info on this one, Evidently from the Nineteenth Century, an attempt to increase the ammunition capacity and rate of fire of a revolver by giving it a cylinder with two rows of cartridges and a over under double barrel. From the looks of the hammer, both barrels may have fired at once. I'm not sure if that would have made a greater impression of the one firing the weapon or the target. The barrels' diameter would lead me to guess that it was chambered for a .45 or .44 caliber bullet and it looks like it was made for centerfire ammunition. As with most firearm technology that is not common or stolen by other manufacturers, it probably didn't work very well. I can't imagine that this gun had any kind of balance at all, which likely made it only accurate at food throwing distances. From the clumsy looks to the rather insane design, I also am going to guess this weapon was made in France.
(sorry, France, you are good at other things)

If anyone has more info on this weapon, let me know.

Iconic Guns- Part 2- Thompson Submachine Gun

The Thompson Submachine gun, designed in 1919 by Brigadier General John T. Thompson. One of the most recognizable guns in history, the Thompson was known by many names throughout the Roaring '20s, the Great Depression and WWII. The Tommy gun, the Chicago Typewriter or just the Chopper, just to name a few.

Just to show that it seems some people can make the right decisions on things, lets look into the career of the General and the development of the Thompson. During the Spanish American War, Gen. Thompson put together the first specialized Gating Gun unit which later took an important part in the Battle of San Juan Hill, also serving to expose modern technology and tactics to the rather inflexible and dogmatic Army Officer Corps. After the Spanish American War, Thompson was appointed chief of the Small Arms Division for the Ordnance Department of the US Army. While there, he supervised development of the 1903 Springfield Rifle and also chaired the ordnance board that approved the M1911 pistol. It is rumored that during testing for the 1911, he implemented rather unusual and macabe tests involving firing the weapon at donated human cadavers and live cattle to assess ammunition effectiveness.

As a result of the new trench warfare tactics of WWI, Thompson decided that a man portable automatic weapon was needed to clear enemy trenches. Hence the term, "Trench Broom". After discarding a .30-06 Autorifle design as overpowered, he turned to the .45 ACP and a delayed blowback design by Navy Commander John Blish. Thompson and his Auto Ordinance Company purchased the patent, and in 1920 the first Thompson machine guns were patented.

The Thompson was produced in several different variants throughout the years. Above is the 1928 version with the ribbed barrel, vertical grip fore end, 50 round drum magazine and Cutts Compensator. Below is the wartime simplified version, the M1A1, with a simple blowback action, rate of fire reduced from around 800 rounds per minute to about 600, 30 round stick magazine, straight fore end and sling.

The Thompson was technically out of date at the start of WWII, and the Ordinance Department, despite buying a great many of them, was looking for a replacement. The manufacturing process for the Thompson was expensive, needed highly skilled operators and was fairly slow. What the Government wanted was a weapon like the British STEN or German MP40 that was made of of stamped and welded parts, unlike the heavy machined steel and lathed hardwood of the Thompson. The end result was the creation and adoption of the M3 "Grease Gun". An uglier and cheaper weapon could not be imagined. They did their job however, and these were in inventory as late as the 1991 Gulf War for some Combat Engineer units. The Thompson was used for the whole of WWII in American, British, Commonwealth and even Soviet hands. It went on to serve in Korea and even Vietnam. U.S. Thompsons were still in use in some conflicts around the world at the close of the 20th Century in the Balkan Wars.

Thompson 1928 and M1 sub machine guns

The Thompson, while heavy, has excellent balance and erognomics and the weight serves to eliminate almost all the recoil of the heavy .45 ACP cartridge. This in addition to the slower rate of fire on the wartime variants makes the weapon very accurate and easy to control when fired in bursts. Extremely durable and reliable, the Thompson was used in every climate and condition in WWII and was well liked and even fought over by the troops. Thompsons are highly sought after today and even modern, long barreled, semi auto copies are worth a couple thousand dollars.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Awesome Camo

I don't know if this is real or not, but damn is it awesome.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weird Guns (part2) Apache Revolver

This strangle little weapon is known variously as the deadly flower, Apache revolver and a few others most likely.
It Consists of a 6 shot, .27 caliber, black powder pinfire revolver, with a swing out mini Kris bayonet, and when folded, the grip can be used a knuckle duster.
The revolver likely had an effective range of about oh, 3 feet due to the lack of a barrel and I highly doubt that the other features were much more useful. Still it is pretty neat.
The Apache name does not actually have anything to do with the Native American tribe, but instead a group of 19th Century Parisian criminals who called themselves " Les Apaches".
Sacre Bleu!

A weapon like this was also used in the excellent sci-fi book, The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester.

Rule # 1

Emergency Preparedness--Equipment for the Home

Here we go again. It is time for FEAR MONGERING!

No really folks, a few dollars spent and a small amount of time might save you a lot of headaches.
(or save your life)

To review, you do not have to believe that the UN black helicopters will descend on your compound after Nancy Pelosi tells them your address to have a need for an Emergency Plan.

To get right down to it, water, money, and guns (and lawyers)are probably the most important things.
But the list of things that may be very helpful is quite long.

Equipment for the Home

The most important thing to have is water. In any kind of emergency, having a adequate supply of clean water is essential. How much is enough? Well, you can never have enough. It is recommended by faceless authorities (like myself?) to have 3 gallons, per person, per day. Suffice to say, start picking up some water, 2 gallons a time, at the store.

Canned and dried foods, enough for about 2 weeks. This is really not all that much, you can probably buy all you need for $50, depending on how many mouths you have to feed. Buy the things you actually eat and use a Last in, First out (thanks for nothing Business School!) system to keep it from going bad. Don't forget to keep some extra food for your animals, too. Or the cat is gonna get pretty smacky when you won' t share the SPAM.

It is always important to keep some cash around the house. One day the ATMs and credit cards might not work. It would likely only be for a few days or weeks, but you would feel pretty stupid with a bank account full of money and no way to get any. How much money? Well, that depends more on your financial well being than anything else. But with the market how it is today, you would not be losing anything to keep a few hundred dollars in a safe place in case you need it.

As for weapons , I am of the opinion that if you care at all about your personal safety, you should own a gun. More than one, ideally. What kind of gun? Well, if you are only gonna have one, I would choose a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun. The reason? Versatility. No other firearm in the world as many different types of ammunition for as wide a variety of uses. 00 buckshot, slugs, birdshot, bean bag rounds, rubber rockets, Taser even makes a 12 gauge "shock the crap out of you" round. Also, you can keep a shotgun in most areas of the country. (except places like D.C. and Chicago, where the Constitution is apparently not in force)
And for those who think that pumping a shotgun will scare off intruders--- that might work.
( it would certainly scare the crap out of ME)
But I bet the ferocious roar of a slug approaching them at 1000 feet per second would do the job even better and should you happen to not miss, it would solve the problem as well.

Other things you should probably have:
  1. Flashlights. More than one. With extra batteries. Maybe one that doesn't need batteries. LED lights are where it is at. I have several that I got out of a cereal box that are even pretty good up close.
  2. First aid kit. I would go further and recommend that you step it up to a trauma kit, with extra gauze, bandages, a tourniquet, pressure bandages and quick clot.
  3. NOAA weather radio with a hand crank. Many of these also have lights, compasses and other junk.
  4. Duct tape, rope, electrical tape, etc.
  5. Bleach
  6. Candles, matches, Lanterns, firewood if applicable. (you people in Michigan could be in for some long, dark, cold nights otherwise)
  7. Fire extinguishers- One for every room with a major appliance or electronics, especially the dryer.
  8. Basic tools-- hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, crowbar, bow and hack saw, etc.
  9. Tarps or plastic sheeting for covering windows, etc.
  10. Toilet paper and buckets.
Well, I am bored of writing this post, so you most likely stopped reading it 10 minutes ago. Just in case you are still here, please review the list of bad things that could happen where you live and take some appropriate action.

(terrorist attack, riot, hurricane, earthquake, wildfire, virulent pandemic, flood, zombies, global economic meltdown, tornado, solar flares, zombies, meteorite strike, cat uprising, nuclear war, conventional war, civil war and zombies.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rule # 10

Historical Oddities

This is the homemade bulletproof armor of Ned Kelly, the infamous Australian Rebel/Bandit/Criminal/ etc. Constructed of plate steel and bolts, it was enough to stop the cast lead bullets of his day, although it didn't help him when he was hung in Melbourne Gaol in 1880.

Oh, and kids- this might not stop a modern rifle so don't be forging at home thinking you will be robbing banks with impunity. And it didn't really help Ned anyway. Also, some of you might have seen The Devil's Rejects, they completely stole Ned's idea.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Great Guns of Heckler and Koch

In 1949, German Engineers Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch, and Alex Seidel formed Heckler and Koch from the remnants of the Mauser company, In 1956, after spending some years making parts for sewing machines, gauges and such, they developed the G3 rifle for the use of the West German Bundeswher.

The G3 has a different system of operation, using rollers to delay the recoil until chamber pressure has diminished to a safe level before unlocking the breech and moving to the ejection and reloading portion of the cycle. This system is reliable and accurate, but very difficult, time consuming, and expensive to produce. Regardless of these difficulties, it was a design feature of many of HK's weapons.
G3 Sharpshooter variant with bipod, scope and cheek comb

The Rare FBI MP5 10mm with 2 round burst

By far the most famous of all HK's, the MP5 first became widely known when it was used by the SAS in the Iranian Embassy Rescue in London, 1980. It has been used widely by Special Forces, Law Enforcement and others ever since. Unlike many other submachine guns, the MP5 fires from the closed-bolt position, its ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability were far ahead of most if its rivals. It remains, 30 years or more after its design, one of the best weapons of its type.

The MP5 and its variants have been somewhat superseeded by the easier and cheaper to manufacture UMP series, available in 9mm, .40, and .45ACP, with a range of accessories, variants and even colors, the UMP is one of the most popular SMGs in the world today. Most UMPs have a folding stock, rails for the attachment of sights and forward grips, and a threaded barrel for suppressors, making the weapon very modular and adaptable to many needs.

UMP 40 submachine gun

HK has always been an innovator in the field of small arms, being the first to use polygonal rifling, which increases accuracy while protecting the barrel and giving it a longer useful life of many thousands of rounds.
Also, contrary to popular belief, they were the first to mass market a polymer-framed pistol. The VP-70 burst pistol, released in 1970 while it failed to become widely used (probably ' cause its ugly) it showcases the forward thinking of HK's engineers.

The VP-70, the first polymer-framed pistol

HK Mk 23, designed for US SOCOM

G36 in the hands of a German Army soldier

USP with laser module

PSG-1 Marksman's Rifle with Nightvision Scope Attached

The sadly canceled XM8 carbine being tested by a US Army Serviceman

HK 416

HK 417

One of the latest developments from HK in the wake of the XM8 cancellation was the 416 and 417 rifles. Discarding the direct gas impingement system of Eugene Stoner's AR-15/ M16 series, they replaced it with a gas piston, greatly increasing reliability and parts life while decreasing the large amount of cleaning needed for the M16 series.

The HK 416, chambered in 5.56 NATO and the 7.62 NATO HK 417 have seen service with the Special Operations Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and have all but replaced the M4 with US SOCOM. Perhaps soon the Pentagon will realize the many insurmountable failings of the M16 series and get a quality weapon into the hands of our troops. You know, or not.

This is one of HK's latest guns, the MP7A1, it is chambered in HK's own 4.6x30mm cartridge and the weapon was designed to better arm support troops than with a 9mm pistol that is difficult to shoot well, and easily defeated by soft body armor. The 4.6mm will pierce most vests that are Level IIIA or lighter and the weapon is designed to be worn in a holster like a pistol, but it can be steadied by extending the stock and folding down the fore grip. Seen here with a suppressor and Elcan red-dot sight, the MP7A1 would be in a good configuration for Special Forces in Urban areas, etc. The true effectiveness of the super small cartridges like the 4.6mm and the 5.7 are still up in the air, however.

Rule # 7

From someone who knew what he was talking about.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

DON'T get sent to prison

Or, what to do WHEN you get sent to prison. Your choice, I guess.


If you don't like Conan the Barbarian-- get the hell off my blog. Punk.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weird guns (part1) SwissMiniGun

Swiss Mini Gun

The SwissMiniGun has a total length of 5.5 cm and is 2.34 millimetres in caliber. This firearm is a scaled-down model of the Colt Python. It's a keychain with a bang.

I once saw a gun like this in a museum in St. Augustine. It was described as a "lady's gun" and that it was designed to deliver a fatal blow by being shot down the ear canal.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guns I Wish I Had (part3) IMI TAR-21

Israeli Military Industries Tavor Assault Rifle- 21st Century, also known simply as the Tavor.

Designed to replace M16 and M4 rifles and carbines, the Tavor is chambered in 5.56NATO and is compatible with STANAG AR-15 magazines and all NATO 5.56 cartridges.

The Israel Defense Forces decided that they were unhappy with the overall performance and characteristics of the M4, especially its high rate of stoppages and overall length. They began a lengthy process to design a new rifle that would be much more reliable with a shorter overall length, while retaining some of the positive features of the AR-15 series.

The TAR 21 is a bull pup-style assault rifle, meaning that the operating group and magazine are located behind the firing hand, decreasing the overall length of the weapon while not reducing the barrel length. This makes the Tavor much easier to use in urban areas (such as Gaza) and when exiting vehicles than longer weapons. The Tavor was also designed with a red dot sight and a IR/visible laser aiming module built into the weapon. It also has a fold-up iron sight.

The ambidextrous safety/selector has a semi auto, burst, and fully automatic mode and the optic powers off when the safety is on. The end result shows that the Tavor is a very accurate and reliable weapon and in addition to the IDF it has been adopted by several Special Forces and SWAT units worldwide, including India, Turkey, Georgia, and Portugal, with more units and Countries likely to adopt in in the future.

The Tavor is offered in 4 variants:
T.A.R. 21--Basic Carbine

G.T.A.R. 21-- Notched barrel version for attaching a 40mm grenade launcher such as the M203

C.T.A.R. 21-- Compact version for Special Forces

S.T.A.R. 21-- Sharpshooter's version with a bi pod and magnified optic scope

Civilian-legal semi automatic versions of the Tavor are being made, although I have yet to see one for sale, and I imagine they will be quite pricey, likely over $2,000. Oh well.

For purposes of comparison, look at this TAR 21 and a SIG 556. As you can see the Tavor is much shorter than this SIG and yet retains the accuracy of a longer weapon.
Fight smarter.