If you haven’t been paying attention, you should take note that Christmas in nearly upon us – we were rather surprised to realize ourselves that it’s less than two weeks away now. However, there is still time to order something cool for the gun nut in your life. Or pick out a neat new toy for yourself if your friends and family have given up trying to figure out what obscure cosmoline-soaked chunk of metal you are really looking forward to. I have taken some time to pick out some things that I think are pretty cool – although browsing through online catalogs is really half the fun of gift-giving.
To be blatantly self-serving, I will of course suggest that the gift of knowledge is a wonderful thing, and one of the most information-packed deals out there is our very own DVD Archive of Machine Guns Manuals. It has more than 200 different manuals, the vast majority scanned by us directly from originals,, loaded with great diagrams, color plates, and descriptions of guns from the commonplace to the very esoteric. You can read more details on the DVD, or just jump straight to ordering a copy! (We do ship internationally, unlike most gun-related items)
Replica non-gun Liberator pistol, $395. The Liberator was a clandestine OSS idea to arm vast numbers of European civilians with a simple pistol so that they could knock off Nazi soldiers and really make trouble for armies of occupation. Who can argue against shooting Nazis and then taking their guns? This non-gun replica is a couple hundred bucks less than a live firing Liberator, which is about as much fun to actually shoot as being kicked in the head. Comes with reproduction packaging and instruction sheet – an excellent reminder of why we need to remain an armed society.
Swiss M1911 Long Rifle, $295. Lots of people have Swiss K31 carbines, but you can stand out from the crowd with one of the much less common M1911 full-length rifles. Made form 1913 until 1919, these rifles were built from scratch to use the modern 7.5×55 cartridge, so you’ll have no worries about shooting it. Swiss engineering and quality with an extra-long sight radius means outstanding potential accuracy if you’ve got the skills to take advantage of it.
Yugoslav AK accessory kit, $22.95. These parts were made for the Yugo M70 series of AKs, but will fit pretty much any standard AKM pattern rifle. This package is a great price for some cool accessories. It includes a bayonet and scabbard, 30-round magazine, and detachable grenade launching adapter. Don’t have any grenades? Well, then keep it for display, or make your own dummy grenades to practice launching!
Lacquer paint stick, $6.95. Want a simple and quick way to really make your guns look great? Use one of these to fill in the markings with bright white lacquer paint and have them really stand out. Easy to apply, and easy to remove with mineral spirits (no permanent effect on the guns).
The Borchardt & Luger Automatic Pistols, three volumes, $300. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Luger and its history. Plus lots more that you didn’t realize you didn’t know! Includes the Story of the Luger documentary on DVD, and a complete copy of the book in PDF format for easy reference and zoom-able drawings and pictures.
Soviet SG43 parts kit, $445.75. I think these kits are one of the best deals still out there for neat parts kits. The SG43 was one of the lesser-known machine guns used in WWII, but it is a solid and reliable design. It uses 7.62x54R ammunition (still cheap), and standard Maxim/Goryunov/PK belts (also cheap and easily available). Apex has several versions of the guns available, with and without wheeled mounts. They all include cut receivers to start your semiauto build with. Remember when 1919 kits were $500 or less? That pang of regret for not getting one (or more) then is exactly what you’ll be feeling once the SG43s run out and their price doubles in the secondary market.
ZB-39 parts kit, $495. One of the rarest parts kits still available with an intact barrel, the ZB-39 is a Bulgarian contract Bren gun made in 8x56R. Only a small number were ever made, and the parts kits are in great shape. They can be built on standard Bren gun receivers, and are a great opportunity to get an unusual gun from WWII. You can be sure that once this batch is sold out you’ll never see them on the market again.
Mauser Model 71/84 rifle, $325. We all know about the K98k Mausers that were made by the millions, but do you have any of its ancestors in your collection? The 71/84 was the first repeating rifle adopted by German armed forces, a modification of Paul Mauser’s single-shot 1871 model. This particular example has a reasonable bore and looks good – and it’s a pre-1898 antique so you can have it shipped directly to your home.
Vintage Polish 26.5mm flare pistol, $55. These are a cool piece of history (dated 1950s through 1970s) and a practical tool too. I picked up several and keep one in my truck and one in my emergency pack, because it’s always good to be able to signal people. Flares are readily available through a bunch of places on the web, and you can take your pick of colors. For a few bucks more, you can add an original carry case or upgrade to a current-issue model.