Q&A #27: From PDWs to Constant Recoil

For this month’s Q&A, we go back to a wide variety of questions, without a single specific theme. They are:

0:00:30 – Rifle, pistol, and machine gun for a modern squad
0:04:35 – Favorite non-firearm historical site
0:08:50 – What is my daily schedule like?
0:10:47 – Advantages of toggle locking systems
0:12:05 – Best PDW
0:13:40 – Can there be a comeback of Gyrojet/rocket ball ammunition?
0:15:50 – Collaboration with Time Ghost?
0:17:15 – Coverage of aerial guns
0:19:05 – Video backlog
0:22:00 – Could 6mm Lee Navy have worked with modern powder and steel?
0:23:10 – Helical magazines
0:24:35 – Restoration of rifle importation?
0:28:50 – Berthier rifles with manual safeties
0:30:01 – Book on Broomhandle Mausers (Leonardo Antaris’ book on Astra: https://amzn.to/2Dk45te)
0:31:00 – Entering the gun industry with a modernized P7
0:33:05 – Single feed mags in pistols
0:34:50 – 8mm Kurz in guns other than the MP44?
0:37:16 – Big-bore pistols
0:38:05 – Why judge service rifles as target rifles?
0:39:52 – Collaboration with The Chieftain
0:40:34 – Book on the FN MAG
0:41:05 – Have I contacted printers before reviewing out-of-print books?
0:42:14 – Why no more top-feed LMGs?
0:44:14 – Possibility of new modular platform in new 6.5/6.8mm cartridge?
0:45:29 – Why was the Walther MPK/MPL unsuccessful?
0:46:23 – Gunsmithing support for rare guns (Mark Novak’s Patreon account)
0:48:33 – Preferred brand of gin
0:51:17 – Wierdest operating system? (https://youtu.be/eUzL6clu-90)
0:53:08 – Where will Forgotten Weapons be in 5 years?
0:54:29 – Political pushback when visiting collections?
0:56:18 – Germany WW2 use of captured small arms
0:59:16 – Steyr-Hahn machine pistol
1:00:09 – Variable pitch recoil springs
1:01:34 – Bump stocks – legality and videos
1:04:30 – Custom-molded ear plugs
1:05:30 – Post-FW plans?
1:06:27 – Why aren’t there more constant recoil guns?
1:09:28 – Most puzzling military adoption
1:11:19 – Which nation in WW1 had the best overall small arms stable?
1:13:42 – Could the French attack strategy have worked is WW1 began earlier?
1:15:01 – HK irons or AR15 irons?
1:15:34 – Making magazines for rare firearms
1:17:03 – Self-loading rifle development when smokeless powder was invented
1:18:40 – Sauna!

49 Comments

  1. Visual substance might be the sole advantage of toggle lock in today’s firearms concept.

    A modernised P7 would be a repetition of an experienced fault.

    When electronics becomes popular in hand held firearms, there would be more constant recoil guns.

    Wierdiest operating system might be Pedersen’s toggle lock.

    lMHO…

    • Electronics ?

      For “constant recoil”, Ian forgot to mention that it works only with open bolt; as stated from Sullivans patent, if you were to push the gun forward in the very moment of cartridge detonation (which is impossible to do manually), you would get no felt recoil, and open bolt movement forcing the gun forward (lurching) with every shot relies on that, mitigating the muzzle climb.
      Russian balanced systems have separate part in front the gas chamber that fly forward (in the same time gas pushing on piston and moving carrier back) close to the muzzle and so push the muzzle down, like a counterweight.

      • Constant recoil approach needs added working space which scarce in today’s handheld firearms. Only electronical devices might provide working shrinked balance systems in current applications like used at gatling cannons mounted in helycopters.

  2. “Advantages of toggle locking systems”
    Regarding Maxim machine gun: did not offered somewhat more “delicate” cycling, as joint has travel through half of circle rather than straight way and thus having smaller velocity than element moving straight way (as it has to travel longer path in same time)? With introduction with new more durable cartridges this seems to become irrelevant.

    “Best PDW”
    Do not miss PM-63: https://modernfirearms.net/en/submachine-guns/poland-submachine-guns/pm-63-eng/ 9×18 Makarov cartridge, could be fired one handed if need arises.

    “Could 6mm Lee Navy have worked with modern powder and steel”
    As side note this cartridge spawned even smaller caliber, namely .220 Swift which was introduced in 1930s.

    “(…)Helical magazines(…)”
    Important point: ergonomics. Stick magazines are “easier to wear” if I could write so, than both disk and helical. (c.f. Italian “samurai” vest of WWII era: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-307-0768-20A,_Italien,_italienischer_Soldat.jpg )
    Also there is problem where to already place magazine in weapon, “Bizon way” mean that it must double as gripping area which might have negative affect feed reliability and also it might ends somewhat uncomfortable as “too fat”, “Calico way” limits space for interfaces (e.g. Weaver rails) on top, as well sight radius in case of using iron sights. Finally: loading – how much time is needed to full one empty helical against some stick magazine giving equal total capacity?

  3. In some sort of order;

    1. Toggle locking systems generally fit into limited space better than Colt-Browning or other such systems. The classic examples being the Parabellum pistol and the Maxim MG. In the latter case, the locking system is actually a relatively small percentage of the receiver volume.

    2. Best PDW is still the M1A2 carbine. Runner-up; the Ruger Mini-14/AC-556 variant. A 5.56 x 45mm is inherently “louder” and “flashier” than a 7.62 x 33mm, and is thus less comfortable for most people to use. This can cause flinching, which causes misses; only hits count. And any “rifle” is easier for non-experts to hit something with than a handgun.

    Shotguns are ruled out, less due to short range (which is sort of irrelevant with a PDW) than their heavy recoil (which again causes flinching, and misses). The fighting shotgun is a specialist’s weapon.

    In terms of killing power, there really isn’t much difference between the two carbines;.30= 950 to 1,000 FPE at the muzzle, .223= 1,200-1,300. Neither one is much use beyond about 300 yards, but at leas the .30 C ballistic tables admit it. At 100 yards or less, they get about the same results.

    The various “mini PDW” rounds (5.7 x 28, 4.6 x 30) are less powerful than either of the above, especially if you fire them from a short pistol barrel. For that application, A KelTec PMR-30 in .22 WMR is about as powerful as an FN FiveSeven, and both the pistol and the ammunition are significantly cheaper; plus, it has a 30-round magazine. Which actually is best loaded with 25 rounds, while the FiveSeven’s 20-round box works better with no more than 15; see (5) below.

    3. Gyrojet type ammunition will probably make a comeback in small arms if we need to do much shooting in vacuum, say on the Moon, and for whatever reason we haven’t developed a practical small-arms high-energy laser (best choice) or electromagnetic accelerator “railgun” or “coil gun” (second choice).

    EM accelerators- mass drivers- can be very powerful and can have appallingly high rates of fire, but they tend to be long in physical dimensions. Unlike a laser tube, you can’t “fold” a mass driver. And as they do after all use actual projectiles, it’s still possible to run out of ammunition at just the wrong moment in a firefight. The same holds true for a “gyroc”, of course.

    3. Yes, the 6mm Lee could make a comeback with modern powders and metallurgy, but there would be no point other than nostalgia. (Granted, that can be a big seller- see “cowboy action shooting”.)

    In any of its usual bullet weights (70, 100, or 112 grain) the 6 x 60mm lags from 100 to 300 F/S behind the common .243 Winchester in muzzle velocity. If you try to “magnumize” it (risking blowing up original Lee rifles), you might squeeze another 400 F/S out of it- putting it midway between the .243 and the 6mm Remington.

    Overall, there doesn’t seem to be much point in reviving the cartridge (which has been out-evolved) or the rifle (which wasn’t a very good design to begin with).

    4. Helical magazines (Evans or Calico-type) are useful if you need to pack a lot of rounds into a small volume. You have to remember that (1) they work best with non-bottlenecked cartridges (9 x 19mm- good, 5.56 x 45mm- not so good), and (2) they are never as feed-reliable as a box or drum type magazine, and far below the reliability of a tubular magazine.

    I will say that the combination of a Calico-type magazine and Plastic-Cased Telescoped Ammunition (PCTA) could be highly interesting- say, in a rapid-fire, infantry grenade launcher of about 30mm to 35mm bore.

    5. Single-column box magazines are the most reliable type of box magazines for self-loading pistols, hands down. One reason the 1911 continues to be popular today is its near-perfect feed reliability, which it often loses with double-column setups like the Caspian or Para-Ordnance.

    In my experience, the only double-stack feeder as reliable as the 1911 is the Browning High-Power, but considering both were designed by John Moses Browning (with Dieudonne Saive’s help on the HP) that probably isn’t a coincidence.

    6. Top-feed LMGs went the way of the dodo when everyone realized that you had to decide during the development workup if they were going to be for “righties” or “lefties”, because the sights had to be offset to one side or the other. Why they didn’t insert the magazine at an angle of about 20 degrees off vertical to deal with this is one of life’s little mysteries.

    All box-mag LMGs are fundamentally obsolete, due to the advent of belt-feeding starting with the MG34 GPMG. LMGs with “dual” feed tend to be a solution in search of a problem even when they work correctly, which other than the Stoner 63 is a rare thing. The cranky PITA M249 is a notable example of this.

    7. The Walther MPK/MPL died for the same reason the Franchi LF-57 did; the H&K 54 aka MP-5. Basically a pistol-caliber self-loading rifle firing from a closed bolt, it was inherently more accurate than any slamfire advanced primer ignition SMG, and that was what the buyers wanted. And still do today. Also, HK could outproduce both firms any day of the week- and did.

    The Walther and Franchi guns arrived on the market at least a decade too late, although considering the glut of “used” SMGs around from 1945 to 1960, launching them in 1949-50 probably wouldn’t have gotten much market share, either.

    8. Weirdest OS? The Hino-Komura (Japan) and Mendoza (Mexico) “blow-forward” systems, both of which were unlocked-“breech”, slamfire types, starting each firing cycle with the barrel in the forwardmost position. The 1899-vintage Hino-Komura was a self-loading pistol; the 1954 vintage Mendoza RM-1 was a .45 ACP SMG.

    Both looked like the front 2/3rds of a conventional pistol or SMG, minus the back part.

    Rafael Mendoza’s later RM-3 SMG was a more sensible Vz24-type straight-blowback with an overhung bolt, folding stock, and magazine well in the pistol grip; the latter was the only feature carried over from the RM-1.

    And yes, reliability of these two blow-forward arms was questionable at best. They were also noted for their formidable recoil, even more so than the Schwarzlose blow-forward pocket pistol, which at least had a sensible firing mechanism independent of the loading system.

    9. Most puzzling military adoption? A toss-up between the Malandrin Disc;

    https://books.google.com/books?id=XpMwAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA416&lpg=PA416&dq=Malandrin+Disc&source=bl&ots=qcM30MkbrF&sig=ACfU3U1Wp8fDb4o8igXtERsCutTsCOCySg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiT89-T3uvhAhVQIKwKHV3_A5wQ6AEwB3oECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Malandrin%20Disc&f=false

    And the continued use of horse cavalry long after the automatic machine gun had made its place on the battlefield obsolete.

    My mother, who trained horses for the U.S. Army between the World Wars, said the main purpose of horse cavalry was to provide officers with a riding club and polo ponies at taxpayers’ expense; she saw no place for horse cavalry in modern mechanized warfare of that day.

    The Polish campaign of September and October 1939 rather proved her point. Bloodily.

    10. Regarding the arms inventories of the combatants at the start of WW1, none of them had as big an inventory of anything as they would need. This was especially true of artillery pieces and artillery ammunition on both sides. The Germans at least had more and better heavy artillery (15cm on up) than anybody else did, in the more modern types. The French were tied with the Russians for dead last in modern heavy guns in 1914, because they believed their M1897 75mm could throw so much shrapnel ammunition at the enemy that the heavies were unneeded. They found out differently by December of that year.

    By that time, all the participants had also found out that (1) modern quick-firing guns break a lot easier than old muzzle-loaders do, and require more frequent repair or replacement, and (2) the demands for ammunition, especially HE shell, were a lot higher than they’d ever imagined they would be. The consequences nearly lost both sides the Flanders “campaign” several times from 1915 to 1918; the Central Powers and the Allies rather “took turns” at suffering from shortages which severely hampered operations.

    When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, we were in worse shape, but at least we’d had two and a half years of watching the others, plus the Punitive Expedition in Mexico in 1916, to tell us just what sort of mess we were getting ourselves into. And by the Armistice, we were pretty much “the Arsenal of Democracy”, just as we would be two decades later.

    See The Guns 1914-18 by Ian Hogg (Ballantine, 1971) for the gory details.

    As for small arms, there wasn’t much to choose; all sides had reasonably decent designs. The most antiquated rifle was the French Lebel; the most advanced, the Mexican/Swiss/German Mondragon self-loader, with the runner-up being the French M1916 self-loader. The Mauser 98, SMLE, Berthier, and M1903 Springfield were all in-between, and more-or-less even in overall performance.

    As far as HMGs, pretty much everybody used either Maxim or Hotchkiss types, and again there wasn’t much difference except national preferences in cartridges. Even the U.S. used Vicker-Maxim and Hotchkiss type guns due to a shortage of Browning types until the last few months of the war.

    The major issue was always quantity, rather than quality. And it boiled down to something Churchill said during the second war;

    The first year, nothing; the second year, a trickle; the third year, all you want.

    It’s still true today.

    cheers

    eon

    • “All box-mag LMGs are fundamentally obsolete, due to the advent of belt-feeding starting with the MG34 GPMG. LMGs with “dual” feed tend to be a solution in search of a problem even when they work correctly, which other than the Stoner 63 is a rare thing. The cranky PITA M249 is a notable example of this.”
      I would say even if LMG has ability to accept magazine or belt, users will generally anyway ignore 1st option (use it only in DIRE need).
      It is worth noting that mentioned MG34 actually was dual-feed as it also could accept Patronentrommel 34 https://www.bergflak.com/PT34.htm (NOT to be confused with similar-shaped belt container), however that required installation of Trommelhalter.

      North Korean machine gun called Type 73 has dual feed:
      https://modernfirearms.net/en/machineguns/north-korea-machineguns/type-73-eng/
      all photos showing I saw showing users using it combat shows it loaded with belt.

    • eon, two issues:

      vis-a-vis your #5: Ian was talking about single-position feed vs. double, and you’ve taken it as single-stack vs. double. The Browning Hi-Power is double-stack, single-position feed, just like the vast majority of other such handguns on the market. As Ian says, the virtue of single-position feed is that it requires less of a breech-face than double-position, with the disadvantage that taking the double-column magazine down to a single-column one at the top of it does tend to create a bit of a bottleneck in feeding.

      I can think of only a couple of specific double-position feed magazines on the market for handguns, and none of them have been very successful. The Steyr GB, the Rogak P-18, and a couple of obscure prototypes whose names escape me at the moment.

      The other issue I find is with your take on cavalry during the WWII era: It was not obsolete, and the supposed “bloodbath” that happened in Poland was mostly a function of German wishful thinking and propaganda. Both the Germans and the Soviets made wide use of cavalry formations during the war, and so long as they were kept within their limitations, they were still relevant to the war. The US would have been well-served to ignore the faddish mania for the motorized vehicle, and kept the 1st Cavalry mounted, using them in theaters like Italy, where the horse and mule still had relevance. Not to mention, the fact that the Army, in its infinite wisdom, essentially threw away all of its institutional knowledge for things like muleskinning, when the fact was that they had to reconstitute a lot of that for the mountains in Italy and elsewhere in the Pacific. Keeping 1st Cav mounted and “unmodernized” would have been a prudent move; the horse and mule are still amazingly relevant to making war, particularly in theaters with austere logistics environments like Afghanistan. Hell, we were sending Missouri mules to the Afghans all through the 1980s, and the first SF units into Afghanistan wound up having to learn horsemanship and muleskinning all over again. What is seen as “obsolete” often isn’t quite so–Witness the continued relevance for the tripod-mounted MG, in the dismounted infantry role. The US abandoned that for everything short of a fixed defense, and still can’t quite grasp that the only way you’re going to be able to answer max-range PKM fire with your own guns is if you’re doing it off a tripod… No skill really ever goes obsolete–At most, it will lose general utility, but there will always be edge cases where you’ll need it.

    • There are lot of online history discussions debunking the “polish horsemans storming german panzers” myth…

      Also to note that great deal of mechanization provided to Wehrmacht (and other belligerents) consisted of horses.

      • The Germans drastically underestimated their transport needs from the start. This came back to bite them in the arse in Russia, when they found that they simply didn’t have enough large prime movers like the Famo three-quarter track to move their heavy artillery.

        As for horsedrawn assets, I’ve always suspected that most of OKW, being veterans of the first war, expected trench warfare to start up again. (The British had similar wishes;see TOG-1.)

        For that, with an (extremely) static front, horse traction is probably sufficient for moving the Gulaschkanone or etc.

        While they were praying for a second Armistice after 1943.

        cheers

        eon

        • All true, that! The vaunted German Wehrmacht used fully *double* the number of horses as the Kaiser-era German army… And whatever one might think of, say, the Viet Minh and the NLF/Viet Cong use of the humble bicycle, the Wehrmacht appears to have been the armed force that most lavishly utilized the *fahrrad*/bicycle by a long shot.

          • “vaunted”
            BTW this is good example how effective III Reich propaganda was, as they were originators of that “Polish attack Panzers with sabres”

        • “most of OKW, being veterans of the first war, expected trench warfare to start up again.”
          After III Reich declared war against U.S.A. that scenario would mean loss and even earlier that should be considered undesirable: German do not have man power and also to lesser degree industrial capability to win warfare-of-attrition.

          • I’d say french were in ww1 again mentality, with their maginot line and whatnot,
            germans were aiming for quick victory at all costs, supposedly Hitler was willing to spend as high as a million soldiers to defeat France, so in the end they were maybe shocked how easily it went down.

            As for the US, if the UK fell (no more bombers sent from there), it would be interesting to see how that war could be waged, lot of ships and carriers like in the Pacific or maybe something else…
            In that case they would be at great disadvantage, US navy fighting between Germany and Japan on both coasts. Its possible there would be a ceasefire with US isolating for few years, I dont believe germans would or could mount any ground invasion.

  4. Colt potato digger as an offering for wierdest operating system; gas initiated toggle.

    I do like Toggle actions. You get all of the variable geometry effects to play with, just like a compound leverage reloading press.

    You can also engineer them to have amazingly low rates of wear

    And designing a toggle as a short recoil locked breech action, you have an accelerator implicit in the system, you can play tunes with how much of the energy from the recoiling barrel you want to transfer to the toggle and bolt.

    Then again, if you are designing a pistol or SMG, a Browning slide doesn’t need an accelerator,

    and gas operation in a machine gun doesn’t need an accelerator either.

  5. I think Ian missed one on the sweepstakes for “most puzzling military adoption”, and that would be the Indian INSAS system. Although, there is a lot of continuity between the UK and the Indian procurement systems, when one looks at the history. I do think that the ongoing Indian procurement nightmare is truly one for the record books, in all respects. INSAS is probably the worst general-procurement rifle out there–Even the L85 proved to be fixable, but the INSAS just gets worse and worse with each “improvement”.

    One feels a certain twinge of sympathy for the Indian soldier, saddled with that whole vast bureaucracy of incompetence at procuring even basic things.

    • “most puzzling military adoption”
      Hm… weapon with tumultuous history of development?
      This sound like TANTAL (and family) for me.
      https://www.forgottenweapons.com/rifles/wz-88-tantal/
      For developers of Poland it was basically like:
      – We just finished rifle you requested
      – Good job, but our requirements changed
      Several times.
      Also for some unknown to me reason Polish Army of Cold War era just loved rifle grenades – to the point even Polish Doppelganger of AKS-74U is able to launch grenades! This added additional strain on designer: how to get stock which would not break during such usage.
      Also it is interesting that Soviet Union (at that time belonging to Warsaw Pact together with Poland = ally) in response to Poland requesting license for AK-74 discouraged it with high price and export limitations, as it were some “wonder-weapon” game-changer, which even allies should better do not have.

      • They would have it much better of adapting SKS to launch grenades, like Crvena Zastavas PAP 59/66, as AK is poor platform. Even their yugo AKs are vastly inferior to PAP in grenade launching, supposedly accuracy is lost as the pressures widen the barrel, after just a couple of grenades, which does not happen in PAP as it has much stronger and better quality barrel.

    • They are launching rockets to space, don’t underestimate them, and believe all the stupid BS “western” media presents in attempt to ridicule them.

      • A lot of countries could launch rockets into space if they were willing to massively misallocate resources for many years. I mean, India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons decades ago, but does that tell you if any other Indian or Pakistani product made that year is any good, while national resources were being strained on a few priority projects? A helical magazine is not a priority project for a modern army.

        • Don’t even put koreans in the same sentence with pakistanis or indians, its a world of difference between these nations and races.

    • The Fallschirmjäger wanted the FG42 in 7.9 x 57 because on Crete, they’d found their MP38/40s outranged by British SMLEs and MGs. When offered the MKb42 in 7.9 x 33, they basically said, “No thank you, we want a REAL automatic rifle with as much range as that verdammt British one” (the Bren).

      They got it because the paratroops belonged to the Luftwaffe, not the army, and Göring regarded them as his personal army. Nothing was too good for “his boys”, and if they wanted their own special automatic rifle, by God they’d get it. And they did.

      In the end, of course, they wound up with one or two FG42s per section as SAWs, and everybody else with Kar98s, Mp40s, or the MP43/44 they’d turned down as not having enough range.

      In actuality, they could probably have just given the paras the ZB-26 that they already had and everyone would have been happy. Even Hermann.

      cheers

      eon

      • “In actuality, they could probably have just given the paras the ZB-26 that they already had and everyone would have been happy.”
        Could it be in heavily bureaucratic-rotten and divide-et-impera organized III Reich? I doubt. Who would be sad with that? Maybe, German arms manufacturers? (Why our top troops do not use German weapons?!)

        • Maybe, but more likely it was just that nobody wanted to cross Goring.

          His SOP for things like this was to invite the contractors to spend the weekend at Karinhalle, his estate, hunt deer, have them for dinner, and then sign the contracts for whatever he wanted for the Luftwaffe.

          With his skim carefully factored in.

          Goring was one of the more creative crooks in the Nazi hierarchy. Also one of the more successful ones.

          cheers

          eon

  6. 0:00:30 – Rifle, pistol, and machine gun for a modern squad:
    1. Chile: CZ-75 copy, Galil ACE, Minimi and/or MG3?
    2. Australia: Thales/Lithgow F90, HK USP, still stuck with the Minimi/M249…and FN MAG… Maybe the PKM instead for lmg?
    3. Sweden: Glock 17, AK5/ FNC, Still stuck with the Minimi…and the FN MAG.

    0:04:35 – Favorite non-firearm historical site?
    WOW! So interesting! I’m really interested in this site in Malta now!

    0:12:05 – Best PDW
    I like eon’s M1A1 carbine and Daweo’s RAK 63 answers!

    0:22:00 – Could 6mm Lee Navy have worked with modern powder and steel?
    Yes! The USMC had the rifles and the Colt potato diggers in the caliber… But muzzle erosion and metallurgy problems killed it. 6.5x55mm Swedish? .250 Savage? .260 Remington? 6mm SAW? 5.8x42mm? 6.5 Creedmor?

    0:51:17 – Wierdest operating system? (https://youtu.be/eUzL6clu-90)
    The Swiss SIG AK53 7.5x55mm rifle with gas-opeared forward-reciprocating barrel and non-reciprocating breech face. Easily!

    1:09:28 – Most puzzling military adoption
    Hmm. The Japanese Nambu Type 11 hopper-fed LMG? Italian Fiat-Revelli Modelo 1914? Italian Breda Modelo 30 LMG? The CSRG Mle. 1915 Chauchat? The Quiet, Special Purpose Revolver, aka. “the tunnel weapon?”

    1:11:19 – Which nation in WW1 had the best overall small arms stable?
    Hmm. Tough.
    Rifles: M1917, Springfield 03, Berthier carbine with night sights, Kar98a, Carcano carbines, SMLE.
    LMGS: Madsen? Lewis?
    HMGs: all of the above? Vickers, Hotchkiss, Maxim, etc.

    Ian: If rum we must drink neat, and Havana Club 7-year añejo is not available due to U.S. embargo, then please let it be Haitian Barbancourt!

    • “(…)6.5 Creedmor(…)”
      Regarding this one I want to note that there was serious advancement in chemistry/powder science between 1895 and 2007. This mean that it is possible to made cartridge giving same velocity for fixed bullet mass and longer barrel life without altering of weapon itself.
      Great example there is main battery of battleship number 61, which entered service in 1943 and was kept in service up into 21th century, with improvements regarding powder barrel life (number of shot to be fired before replacement) was extended several time.
      read more here:
      http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.php#ammonote13

  7. Regarding German WW2 use of captured weapons, the sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes” armed Sergeant Schultz with a Krag. I am unsure still if that was simply what was available from the prop shop or if “Hogan’s Heroes” sneaked in something historically accurate.

    This was commemorated in Sideshow Toys action figure line:

    http://www.mwctoys.com/REVIEW_071702.htm

  8. “0:24:35 – Restoration of rifle importation?”

    for original parts one might look around in the country of origin for gun scrapyards like

    http://www.cds-ehrenreich.de/ersatzteile/

    or

    http://www.zib-militaria.de/epages/61431412.mobile/de_DE/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61431412/Categories/Freie_Waffenteile

    plenty more around in europe, giyf.

    non-restricted parts can be ordered, paid, shipped, imported, taxed and delivered (whatever the seller states about overseas ordery) by using specialized brokers with experience in such matters, just like antique/classic/obscure car or motorbike parts.

  9. _______

    Just not seeing how an old school Scorpion beats a RAK, but I know a P90 beats both…
    _______

    Personally I’ve loved the idea behind helical mags. Ian’s right, with everything he said. The only benefit is capacity, but that IS enough of a good idea to pursue in its own right. If reliability could be improved through some as yet unfielded technology, the compact profile seems advantageous. The Bizon has probably the best mounting location, and Calico the worst. But if you can bring a mag inline to bore axis, you achieve a slimmer profile with no extra bits hanging out in front of the receiver. It’s a sticky proposition, but perhaps a bullpup configuration could run a 50rd setup quite nicely.

    Wait, what am I thinking? We’ve already arrived at the pinnacle of perfection, the limit of firearm design. No other future gun technology will ever possibly surpass the AR-15 platform.

    Unless of course we stop innovating. Then sadly, yes, that’s true.

    Just like 2000m volley sights, the bayonet, top fed LMGs, cavalry charges, plate armor, and crossbows. Everything gets it day once, maybe for a millennium, but eventually something comes along and supplants it so astonishingly, that it becomes just another forgotten weapon.

    Otherwise we be talking about what holster configurations to buy so we can comfortably conceal our Bec-de-Corbins around town. Or how to best carry an Arquebus in Condition 1.
    ______

    …then Tony Neophytou looks across the table and says, “I’ll see your .50 cal, I’ll raise you 20mm, AND I’ll make it portable…”

  10. Weirdest operating system that was manufactured and issued: My vote is for the St. Etienne 1907–gas-operated forward-moving piston?

    Would not the BESA count as a sort of constant-recoil weapon? A gas-operated MG that recoils, and times its subsequent shots on the forward stroke?

    • Admittedly, the St.-Etienne M 1907 was very widely issued and quite bizarre. That must surely be one of the top issued weird operating systems rather than just a failed prototype.

  11. And not to sound too much like The Bloke, but I would vote the Lee-Enfield the best rifle for 1914, the issue weapon most suited to rapid sustained fire by a force of trained marksmen who were under-equipped with machine guns.

    I wonder if the FW and InRange current troubles with Lee-Enfields don’t result from the simple age of the guns they have. The bolt heads are supposed to be replaced as the receivers stretch with use …

  12. Ian mentioned that Mark Novak guy, never heard of him, so I checked out his youtube channel, from what I’ve seen and heard, I can recommend it to everybody here, especially his repair videos.
    Very well presented and spot on, most importantly without stupid jokes and wannabee funny nonsense talk (a disease many youtubers suffer from).

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