The Kickstarter presale for my book, Chassepot to FAMAS, is still running, and you can still get an exclusive Kickstarter copy at a discounted price!
Questions for today’s Q&A, as always, come from my Patrons, who are noted for their classy good looks and excellent taste. Specifically:
00:22 – First Polish purchase for a C&R licensee
04:00 – What’s the deal with the black powder .50 BMG Hotchkiss revolving cannon reproductions?
05:35 – Tarja or Floor?
05:54 – Where to start doing primary-source research?
07:54 – Does the depiction of guns in movies and video games help or hurt the community?
09:18 – Forgotten Weapons on Amazon Prime
10:20 – What are the next books coming from Headstamp Publishing
12:21 – Carbine conversion kits
16:12 – What load out for the trenches of WW1?
17:37 – Are black powder cartridges like modern cartridges?
19:16 – Was the Kropatschek really an improvement on the Gras in a practical sense?
22:58 – Interarms/Mauser Luger – is there a Swiss connection?
(recommended book: The Parabellum is Back!)
26:59 – What is my next book project?
28:28 – How about a French pistols book?
30:14 – Is my wrist ready to sign 3,000 books?
30:25 – What does my book presale success say about the future of publishing?
31:39 – What are the top 3 fun and interesting open-bolt SMGs?
33:42 – Expert status and imposter syndrome
35:58 – Favorite thing I learns while writing my book?
38:16 – Has anyone adapted the AK to short stroke piston or DI?
39:04 – Would Germany have been better off with the G98 in 5x57mm?
40:26 – Deigning my own firearms; lessons from handing old guns
41:28 – Why you should not buy a machine gun
44:34 – Galilean optical sights in WW1
47:09 – Government property marks on guns
48:55 – Why so few vintage suppressors for sale?
51:30 – Night sights in WW1
53:00 – Why are American AKs so awful?
56:25 – What load out for Desert Brutality 2020?
59:42 – What gun am I current looking for?
here is a forgotten weapon, (sorry no pictures though) back in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s someone showed a fully automatic firearm, and it got a lot of attention. Mostly because it fired a .22rf at some really fast rate. It was small, overall, but, pretty bulky. It got national media attention, at least for a filler in the nightly news. It would be a treat to see it and learn of its history again.
Was it American-180
If it is indeed the American-180, Ian already has a video on it:
no sir it wasn’t an American-180, from what I can remember of the news video it was shaped like a (for lack of a better description) space gun. about the size of a Uzi with a round body, and that is about all I remember of it, with the exception of the bumblebee sound as he pulled the trigger.
presuming you are referring to Nightwish, and their revolving lead singer, TARJA is the only one worth talking about.
Revolving? three different singers in 23 years is a really low count in member changes for a band. Other bands change their members like underwear.
Having seen all three Tarja was certainly the best, because the bands style formed aroundher singing. Her solo songs lack the composer holopainen. Anette Olzon was a total misfit to the bands style. Floor is imho on par with Tarja in technique, but a different style and voice. And why should she imitate someone else. Certainly fits the band and they seem to be happy togehter. So for me it is a draw between the two.
‘Help or hurt’ WHICH ‘community?’ There isn’t anything like a single one. The anarchist/survivalist fringe will be delighted with stuff that techno-nerds will loathe. And that’s just two possible sides among dozens.
You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!
Regarding the WW1 trench loadout, I’d be torn between a Winchester M1907 or M1910 self-loading carbine or a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun like the Winchester M1897. The MP18 was a decent weapon, but the Trommelmagazine 08 wasn’t always a reliable feeder, especially in trench conditions. (Note how fast it was replaced by a straight box magazine on the MP28 version after the Armistice.)
In either .351 or .401 WSL, the Winchester carbine reached out further and hit harder than the MP18’s 9 x 19mm round, was more accurate, and at close range could fire almost as rapidly on semi-auto as the MP18 could practically be fired on full-auto.
As for the shotgun, the trench shotgun versions of the M1897, M1912, etc. could of course fire buckshot or slugs (“punkin’ balls” back then). With slug loads they could probably hit effectively out to 50 yards or so, which was probably about as far as you could see into “No Man’s Land” at night when most of the “above ground level” activity took place.
Also, the ’97 could be rapid-fired by simply holding the trigger back and “pumping” it, because it had no disconnector. Plus, it had something that would be very handy in a trench fight; a mount for the M1917 Enfield bayonet, less for skewering somebody than keeping him from grabbing the front end of the weapon and taking it away from me.
The one thing I absolutely would not want in a trench or anywhere else would be the U.S. Army issue M1910 field pack. This horror was basically a long duffel bag with shoulder straps and a waist belt that had to be literally dismantled to get anything in or out of it. When worn on the back, it essentially prevented the soldier from bending at the waist, sitting down, crouching while stationary or moving, or doing anything else except standing straight and marching; not a good thing when you’re under fire.
In the photo, the soldier without the “blanket roll” is humping the M1910 with a full 70-pound load;
In spite of everyone’s complaints about the M1910, its design was perpetuated in the M1928 field pack;
Both of these monstrosities continued in use well into WW2.
As far as the 7 x 57mm Mauser round, I still maintain that if everybody had adopted it in the 1920s, or better yet around the turn of the last century about 1900 or so, every army that did (including ours) would have been a lot more satisfied with the results.
The development of the 7.62 x 51mm NATO round, that gave rise to the .308 Winchester, .243 Winchester, .358 Winchester, and the 7mm-08, could have been avoided and a great deal of time and money saved. All of the above could have been based on the 7 x 57mm if anybody had felt a need for a 7.62 mm, 6mm, or 9mm rifle cartridge. And all the “intermediate” rounds and rifles developed prior to the 7.9 x 33mm and 7.62 x 39mm might actually have worked.
Given a choice for a trench raid, I’d rather take a Ruby pistol (or one of its contemporaries from the Eibar region, like a long-barreled Zulaica Royal), plenty of magazines, a bag of grenades, and a sword bayonet (sans rifle) as opposed to the harebrained Hollywood concept of one-man-humping a Lewis Gun with a backpack full of pan magazines (for “assault rifling” a trench-full of enemies into honeycomb), a Lee-Enfield (for “no-scope sniping of enemy machine gunners”), and a Webley revolver (for “one-shot-stopping” any surviving Huns). Yes, this is just a joke post!
Yes, it’s almost as funny as the British Army’s “Instructions for Grenade Use” in 1916. Four man half-squad, two men with rifles and bayonets, two with two bags of Mills bombs each. Get across No Man’s Land (somehow), get into German trench, sneak along until you hear Germans ’round next traverse, then throw grenades until they are no more. For actual trench wrecking, add a half-section of sappers with demolition gear.
As Ian Hogg related, the Germans took a dim view of other people running around in their frontline trenches and took precautions. Like digging a “bombing trench” about five yards behind the front trench and staffing it with their own “bombers” and enough grenades to deal with any “uninvited visitors” in short order.
And roofing over their communications trenches and zigzag saps with wire rope netting with about 6″ mesh. This made throwing grenades out very difficult, but dropping them in “dead” easy.
Oh, BTW, the British Army originally called their trained grenade-throwers “grenadiers”, but when the actual Grenadier regiments objected, they officially redesignated them “Bombers”. Never mind what the RFC thought.
“(…)As far as the 7 x 57mm Mauser round, I still maintain that if everybody had adopted it in the 1920s, or better yet around the turn of the last century about 1900 or so, every army that did (including ours) would have been a lot more satisfied with the results.
The development of the 7.62 x 51mm NATO round, that gave rise to the .308 Winchester, .243 Winchester, .358 Winchester, and the 7mm-08, could have been avoided and a great deal of time and money saved. All of the above could have been based on the 7 x 57mm if anybody had felt a need for a 7.62 mm, 6mm, or 9mm rifle cartridge. And all the “intermediate” rounds and rifles developed prior to the 7.9 x 33mm and 7.62 x 39mm might actually have worked.(…)”
Wait, if Germans would opt for 7×57 rather than 7,9×57 wouldn’t that mean intermediate Kurz cartridge would be also 7 mm?
Quite ironical that USA adopted such rucksack. I would except something better from country in which, in 19th century, many people just needed to carry their property (for example fur hunters). For comparison default for Germany M1915 Rucksack:
The 7.9 x 33mm began life as a necked-up variant of a short 7mm round developed by the Polte firm in Magdeburg for hunting small-to-medium game such as musk deer.
In fact, one early proposal for the Kurz was a 7mm, but the HWA didn’t want to change barrel tooling any more than MacArthur did when he decided that the M1 Garand would be a .30-06 instead of a .276 Pedersen.
“MP18 was a decent weapon”
Well, sub-machine gun were in their infancy and MP18 does not look bad in comparison with other sub-machine gun of similar age – Beretta 1918 or Thompson Annihilator
33:42 – Good answer! The most critical life lesson anyone can learn is that you don’t know everything and there’s always more to learn.
39:04 – Had the Germans been better of with a 7 x 57 Gewehr 98 ?
Gewehr 98 was adopted to replace the in some respects problematic Gewehr 88. Changing to a different cartridge than the adopted 7.9 mm Patrone 88 was not a consideration, because during Gewehr 98 development nobody knew that in a few years France would introduce the streamlined balle D bullet.
After admitting that the G 88 developed by state arsenals was less than optimal it would have been an unacceptable blow to also drop the state arsenal developed Patrone 88 by a Mauser-developed 7 x 57. The 7 x 57 was not derived from Germany’s 7.9 x 57 as seems obvious, but in reality by Mauser from his own 7.65 x 54 adopted by Belgium. A close look at the base diameters shows this. Its also shown by not calling the 7 x 57 “M88/7” at the time, as was done with for cartridges derived from the 7.9 mm military cartridge (like M88/9), but “M93/7”.
I agree with Ian that the difference of Gewehr 98 firing 7 x 57 instead of 7.9 x 57 would have been much too small to accept the logistic consequences of changing the ammunition.
Last not least: against popular opinion, Gewehr 88 and Gewehr 98 share the same bore dimensions (7.9 / 8.2 mm). When copying the French by giving the S bullet a larger diameter (8.2 instead of 8.1 mm), only the case neck area of the chamber was made larger. This was done also on all G 88 still in the inventory. Bore dimensions remainded unchanged. Unbelievable as it may seem, the smaller German J caliber originates with the German commercial gun trade, not the military.
Understandable than their did not want to switch to new cartridge, after just few years taking in account it did not resulted in tremendous improvement. Nonetheless if they would it might resulted in 7×57 becoming default cartridge of Poland and Czechoslovakia (OTL using 7,9×57) and maybe France developing 7 mm in place of 7,5×54.
Your going to sign 3000 pages. 3000… I’m sure folk wouldn’t mind if you had a stamp made. Most politicians just, like… Photocopy one page, etc; and they could have everyone killed by an atom bomb. Stamping is much more authentic; your happy, stamp. Your trigger finger might be damaged.
Yeah, make a stamp and when at it, why not also “outsource” to somebody else stamp it. Totally genuine signing.
What about the all-time most-seen pistol-to-carbine conversion of all time? The U.N.C.L.E. Special! The four of them built by MGM for the ’60s TV show all apparently worked (with blanks at least) and even worked on full-auto, thus getting the studio in hot water with the ATF. Some gunsmith out there, I think I saw, was offering a conversion kit for your Walther P38, and there is even an available conversion kit or an actual complete working Airsoft or BB gun.
80s were golden age of cool movie guns, nowadays 90% are carbine AR15s with picatinny gizmos added.
Lot of these less known designs were kinda marketed via movies (Jatimatic, International Ordnance mp2 etc.) so when machinegun ban killed their market and development, it killed diversity placement in movies also, I suppose.
Of course, action movies from that period and today are very much different in plot and setting.
I just want to know where he got that shirt. Never seen anything like it! Hope he’s referring to Century Child …