Q&A 34: Brought to you by Scotch

Today’s Q&A is brought to you by the Patrons who make Forgotten Weapons possible! Not actually by Scotch (although maybe that’s why it went longer than normal). Our questions this month are:

0:00:50 – Why not post a series of videos all back-to-back?
0:02:58 – Most I have filmed in one day or trip?
0:05:21 – Self-cocking revolvers
0:06:32 – How much money to save for surplus rifles?
0:07:00 – Magazine safeties
0:09:24 – Example of the right gun at the right time
0:12:13 – Why not more revolver carbines?
0:14:30 – The one that got away?
0:15:40 – Simultaneous development of tilting bolt semi autos?
0:17:33 – My favorite Lee Enfield
0:18:37 – Would the USSR have benefitted from more SVT-40 rifles?
0:20:03 – My favorite modern pistol
0:20:34 – Would the vz.58 have benefitted from using AK magazines?
0:23:04 – What if Germany was first to invent smokeless powder?
0:25:15 – Will Headstamp publish a new version of my father’s book?
0:26:25 – Disconnecting mainspring from bolt a la G41(M)?
Recommended video (Dreyse 1910): https://youtu.be/IY-fbrzPS5U

0:28:46 – Why did Britain keep using military revolvers so long?
0:31:09 – M1E5 folding-stock Garand
0:33:42 – Book on British top-break revolvers
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Ozgxf6

0:35:31 – Thoughts on the Gewehr 88
0:37:36 – Will the machine gun registry be reopened?
0:39:00 – Straight pull vs turnbolt
0:40:30 – My choice for hearing protection
0:41:59 – Best book for collecting Japanese rifles?
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Vuros9

0:43:08 – Modern red dot on a WWII rifle
0:44:26 – Can the public view the NFA registry?
0:44:48 – Ejection ports angled 45 degrees downward
0:45:30 – Rifle AA sights
0:46:48 – What gun made the 9×19 cartridge so popular?
0:47:27 – HK VP70 vs Mauser M712
0:48:43 – Modern toggle-lock pistol?
0:49:08 – Favorite .22 plinker
0:49:46 – Post-WWII nations abandoning national arms manufacturing
0:52:25 – Books about WWII firearms (all of them)
0:54:29 – Guns that were good but failed to catch on
0:57:26 – Franklin Armory straight rifling
0:58:40 – If WWII went into 1946/7, could the G30/WAR have been adopted?
0:59:52 – Japanese Type 64 reduced-power 7.62×51
1:01:56 – PSG-1 and WA-2000 both the Ultimate German Sniper Rifle?
1:02:38 – Using the M1 left handed
1:04:25 – Guns I have examined but really want to shoot
1:06:14 – Who approached who for Project Lightning?
1:06:52 – Plan to visit Russia?
1:08:40 – Have I ever been scared or overwhelming by the amount of support?
1:12:50 – Future of bullpups, given Chinese adoption of a conventional rifle?
1:13:40 – Single-shot military rifles without handloading
1:15:35 – What odd 9x19mm pistol would I live to have?
1:16:20 – How to write a book without time or resources
1:18:04 – Reloading for .32 French Long
1:19:48 – Modern stocked pistols like the B&T USW and P320 Flux?

Forgotten Weapons
6281 N. Oracle #36270
Tucson, AZ 85704


  1. Certainly, reading about the travails of arms development (Mosin-Nagant, Lebel etc.) the enormous costs, and potential handcuffing to bad technology, would seem to make outsourcing small arms VERY appealing for most militaries.

    The sprawling influence of NATO and the Warsaw pact probably helped to diminish local resources even further. Unless you’re the Czechs.

  2. Strong disagree on “autorevolvers”, at least when it comes to the Mateba. People who’ve fired the 6 Unica almost universaly say that it’s the most comfortable way to shoot .44 mag. It’s obviously ridiculous for serious purpose shooting, but If you think big magnum revolvers have any use then something like the Mateba is a good way to control recoil.

    • Well, that’s one way to avoid shooting yourself up the nose. The Mateba’s barrel lines up at the bottom of the cylinder.

    • Besides the ones Ian mentioned, there was also one called the Reifgraber (which I understand the Union was pretty much copied from) and the Spanish Zulaica;


      Made by the same people that made the “Royal” Eibar-type automatic pistols, it was a six-shot .22 rimfire.

      Here’s the Union for comparison;


      They basically follows the Webley-Fosbery method of operation, with a set of zigzag slots in the cylinder’s outer wall to cause rotation against a lug as the upper section recoiled. The difference, as I understand it, was that the Zulaica had an actual recoiling bolt or short slide at the top rear, and a lug that moved back and forth with it in the topstrap; it actually ejected the empty and recocked like a straight-blowback autopistol. On the Union/Reifgraber, the lug was fixed in the lower frame and the entire upper receiver recoiled across it, as with the Fosbery.

      Incidentally, all of them inherited this zig-zag slot setup from the Mauser “Zig Zag” revolvers of the 1880s.

      Just to add to the confusion, top-break revolvers with automatic simultaneous ejection were often called “automatic” revolvers by publicists who didn’t understand what they were advertising.

      The problem with all of the actual “automatic revolvers” was that they were single-action, and in event of a dud, simply recocking the hammer did not bring a fresh round topside; you had to rack the action like a conventional self-loader to get the cylinder to rotate. This is graphically shown in the 1974 John Boorman SF movie Zardoz, in which Sean Connery is constantly racking his Fosbery by hand because the theatrical blanks simply didn’t have enough power to make it recoil.

      While of little moment on a target range, this sort of thing could get you killed in combat or in a self-defense situation. And the Union and Zulaica don’t look much like they were intended for anything but self-defense. The Fosbery was more of a dedicated target range gun, and that’s probably where it should have remained.

      As Col. Cooper once observed, the automatic or recoil-operated revolver is an ingenious solution to a non-existent problem.



  3. “(…)Example of the right gun at the right time(…)”
    My bet is M1 Carbine as issued to personnel whose task was not fighting using handheld weapons. It proved to be possible to distribute production among many manufacturers including those who did not have prior experience in fire-arms production. M1 Carbine provide better effective* range than Colt M1911A1 or S&W Model 1917, yet is noticeable lighter than Thompson sub-machine gun. Lighter (but flatter shooting) cartridge is also plus, if you have to lug it around all day.
    * – note that handgun training was never priority for described personnel

    “(…)Would the USSR have benefitted from more SVT-40 rifles?(…)”
    This answer is very hard one to answer. On one hand in 1941 Workers Peasants Red Army suffered shortage of machine guns and felt itself somewhat under-gunned as DP machine gun, could not deliver volume of fire on par with belt-fed MG34, ancient Maxim 1910 guns have limited agility due to being excessive heavy (by 1941 standards) and long-developed DS-39 proved so unreliable that it was dropped from production in favor of mentioned Maxim 1910. Taking that in account enhancing volume of fire was desirable.
    On the other hand Workers Peasants Red Army consisted of conscripts and their technical literacy was often too weak to properly maintain SVT-40 in working condition. Thus it got backronym Сами воюйте,товарищ. SVT-40 was not especially complicated compared to other self-loading rifles of that era, but more than Mosin rifle. Example of Naval Infantry shows that there were units able to utilize greater-firepower-harder-maintenance weapon, but I suspect arming every soldier in Workers Peasants Red Army would result in main rifles soon become without proper maintenance.

    • Agreed on Carbine.

      I found this whole question and its answer(s) fascinating.

      First, Tank Museum Guy’s insight was wise, but only half an answer! Which tank did he think met his criteria?

      Second, a Garand rifleman may have an advantage over a bolt gunner one-on-one (though hardly “an order of magnitude”). Realistically, pitting Garand + BAR squads vs. MG-42s supported by K98Ks, I’d take the latter, and consider the GPMG more of a game-changing small arm.

      • I concur with using the MG-42 supported by the K98 squad, but by that point America upped the game by bringing in bigger guns, or simply put, HEAVY ARTILLERY! No machine gun, not even the feared MG-42, is a match for an hour’s barrage from 155mm field howitzers. “See that suspiciously quiet ruined town with no civilians fleeing from it? Barrage it until there’s NOTHING LEFT! But first annoy whatever’s still in there with the standard ‘run for your life within the next ten minutes’ message.”

        • Agreed – I thought about that myself (just how holistically to look at the fight) after I typed. Bring in US air power, and the pendulum swings far in our favor.

      • Best tank of WW2? I’d have to call it a tossup between the PanzerKampfwagen IV, the T-34, and the M4 Sherman.

        All three had similar armor and automotive performance. All had about the same all-up weight, in the 30-ton class; this was important in terms of crossing bridges and soft ground, and in the case of the Sherman transport by sea- it was right at the optimum load limit for the dockside cranes in most seaports at the time.

        All three had guns of similar performance and were upgunned through the war to deal with more heavily-armored opponents.

        The major difference between the three was that Sherman and T-34 were more easily mass-produced than Panzer IV (the Germans never really did get the hang of assembly-line production until the West German “economic miracle” of the 1950s), and the Sherman was the MPG contest winner, as well as being the most mechanically reliable and the easiest to fix on the rare occasion that something actually did go wrong.

        As for the Sherman’s reputation as a “death trap”, once wet stowage (glycol-filled bins under the decking) for the main gun ammunition was instituted in the M4A1 76(W), it was no worse than any other tank in that area.

        Incidentally, the vaunted Panther was noted for actually blowing up with penetrating hits to the sides of the upper hull just under or aft of the turret; the shell racks were either side ahead of the firewall, the fuel tanks were either side behind it, and hitting either one generally set them both off.

        Of the three, the PzKw IV was the only one in production right through the war (1936-45) compared to the T-34 (1940-45) and Sherman (1942-45). Nevertheless, the Sherman won the sheer production numbers race, with about 45,000 built vs. about 36,000 T-34s and 15,000 Panzer IVs. Of course, nobody was bombing or shooting up the factories where Shermans were built, either.

        Germany was producing all sorts of military vehicles during the war (they built more “assault guns” than actual tanks, for one thing), and in Russia’s case, they had to literally build factories from the ground up for the job. Sherman production was a triumph of American industrial methodology- like everything else we used during the war.

        After all, while building 45,000 Shermans, we also built 24,000 B-24s, 12,000 B-17s,and close to 6,000 B-29s at the same time.



        • Thanks! I’d probably go with the T-34 myself, but my point wasn’t really about tanks.

          I just found it funny that Ian quoted the portion of the response that framed the question so brilliantly, without getting (or at least without repeating) the museum worker’s actual answer.

          • The Russian Army got over 4,000 M4 Shermans from the U.S. under Lend-Lease. There were at least two entire Russian “tank armies” (we’d call them corps) equipped entirely with Shermans.

            The Russian Shermans were primarily M4A2 76(W)s, the “A2” indicating welded hull vs the “A1” cast hull. To be exact, they were M4A2E2(VVSS), which translates to “M4, welded hull, Diesel engine, Vertical Volute Spring Suspension”. Yes, there were Diesel-powered Shermans during the war, and the majority went to the USSR.

            I understand that the Russian Army nickname for their Shermans was “Emcha”, which I gather is simply “M-four” in phonetic Russian.

            Interestingly, although the Russian army must have known pretty much everything there is to know about the Sherman from their use of same in 1943-45, they apparently did not share this knowledge with either the North Korean People’s Army or the Chinese People’s Liberation Army prior to their activities in the Korean peninsula from 1950 to 1953.

            By comparison, the United States Army knew a good bit about the T-34 even before VE-Day. The reason is, to say the least, interesting;




          • “(…)I understand that the Russian Army nickname for their Shermans was “Emcha”, which I gather is simply “M-four” in phonetic Russian.(…)”
            D. Loza explain it was short form of em chetyrye (i.e. M-four), there exist also other hypothesis for genesis of this term – similarity between (one form) of digit 4 and Russian letter Ч.

            “(…)By comparison, the United States Army knew a good bit about the T-34 even before VE-Day. The reason is, to say the least, interesting;(…)”
            Actually example of T-34 and example of KV were given to the U.S. by the Soviets at the end of 1942 for familiarization:

  4. Scotch? Bunnahabhain!

    0:07:00 – Magazine safeties

    A great idea for civilian self-loading firearms! So many people have negligent discharges assuming the chamber is cleared. No substitute for safe gun handling, of course, but I just don’t think the ability to fire with the magazine removed matters much to non-military, non-specialist LEOs…

    0:09:24 – Example of the right gun at the right time
    M1911A1? Showed up after a bunch of hyperbole about the un-scientific LaGarde tests concerned about “stopping power” and after the Filipino-American War. The Sten? I mean, maybe it was a bit late on the scene, no? M1 carbine, as others have stated.

    0:12:13 – Why not more revolver carbines?
    We really do need the Pieper gas-seal Nagant carbine! Of course, given ammunition availability, this would have to be in the old 7.62x38mmR Russian M1895 cartridge! It’d make a nice long-arm combo for those with Russian/ Soviet revolvers. The ammo might come back into production. The only people who used the Pieper carbine were the Mexican rurales under Porfirio Díaz… The Taurus Judge in .45 LC in carbine form might be kind of nice too…

    0:18:37 – Would the USSR have benefitted from more SVT-40 rifles?
    Obviously? But they were too expensive, too sensitive to ammunition, and the design itself was really more of an unfinished prototype. Instead, the Soviets cranked out the PPSh41 Shpagin SMG, artillery–the god of war–crummy but adequate “good enough” tanks, and figured out how to reduce the time and man hours to crank out the obsolete M1891/30 in truly prodigious Strakhanovite numbers! The history as it happened is more interesting than any “what if” scenario.

    0:20:03 – My favorite modern pistol
    Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

    0:43:08 – Modern red dot on a WWII rifle
    Modern red dot on M1 carbine makes a nice combo, in my opinion.

    0:44:48 – Ejection ports angled 45 degrees downward
    Garand/ Springfield top-feed “light rifle”/ carbine prototype

    0:46:48 – What gun made the 9×19 cartridge so popular?
    P-08 Luger

    0:49:08 – Favorite .22 plinker
    Marlin tube-fed .22 just not that reliable… Swedish Husqvarna single-shot!

    0:49:46 – Post-WWII nations abandoning national arms manufacturing
    After Cold War: Finland

    0:58:40 – If WWII went into 1946/7, could the G30/WAR have been adopted?
    BAR-magazine fitted to “improved” Garand… Yes.

    1:12:50 – Future of bullpups, given Chinese adoption of a conventional rifle?
    Steyr AUG. British IW/L85A3 or A4 or A5 or whatever looks to be around for quite some time, as will the FAMAS in reserve use… Israeli Tavor… Still offers a full-sized barrel in a small package.

    Odd 9×19 for me?

    French Model 1950 and Smith and Wesson Model 547!

    • Magazine safeties;

      In law enforcement, it’s less about “the forgotten round in the chamber” than avoiding being shot with your own weapon in a scrum. If you’re about to lose control of the sidearm, you drop the magazine and the perp can’t shoot you with that chambered round. What you do then depends on department policy.

      Favorite modern pistol;

      None, really. My all-time favorites just on looks are the Colt Python and the Auto-Mag, neither of which is particularly “modern”. For a pistol to bet my life on, the Browning High Power 9mm or Ruger Single-Six .357 Magnum. For a “knock ’em down and stomp ’em” sidearm, the Freedom Arms revolvers in any of the heavy Magnum calibers from .454 on up to .500.

      Right gun at the right time;

      Definitely the M1s (Garand and Carbine) and the Sten. Postwar, the AK. Before them all, the Winchester lever-actions, the Colt Peacemaker, and the Mauser 98. All filled a real need in their own times, and to a great extent still do.

      Gun that made the 9 x 9mm popular;

      Don’t overlook the Browning High Power. At one time or another it was the standard sidearm of 65 different national armies. Although to be perfectly correct, it was the preponderance of SMGs in 9 x 19mm that really put the round “on the map”, in the 1930s and on into and after WW2, rather than the round’s usage in any handgun.

      Future of the bullpup?

      Like the “automatic revolver”, a not-so-ingenious solution to a non-existent problem. Hint; make the roofs higher in your IFVs, guys.

      Odd 9 x 19mm for me?

      Weirdly, the Dardick, pus the French M1950 and MAB PA-15. Although the only thing “odd” about the M50 is the safety it inherited from the M1935. If you ignore it and just thumb-cock the piece on the way up, it makes as much sense as any other Browning-type auto.



    • “(…)Strakhanovite(…)”
      Stakhanovite (without r between t and a. After this dude: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexey_Stakhanov

      “(…)Taurus Judge in .45 LC in carbine form might be kind of nice too(…)”
      Rossi produce long-arm derivative of mentioned revolver: https://www.rossiusa.com/product-list.cfm?category=15

      “(…)Odd 9×19 for me?(…)”
      I will go with endless-conveyor-automatic-pistol, namely SOSSO 1941:

      • Spacibo! Thanks! Yeah, that dude indeed.

        If one could add a truly odd 9x19mm SMG, vs. a pistol, well then, it’d have to be the Holek samopal ZB47, no?

  5. Disconnecting mainspring from bolt;…

    Understood as “Disconnecting action or recoil spring from bolt”… Mainspring is the part enabling to fire the gun… Action or recoil spring is the part turning the feed assembly to its business location…

    Disconnecting recoil sprng at G41(M) and Dreyse 1910 are for very different purposes… G41(M) uses this facility to turn the rifle from auto to hand loading and Dreyse uses it for easining to retract the slide away from the powerfull recoil spring. There is some Clement patent based SW pistols using the same approach but it seems useless since the powerfull recoil spring reflecting its terminating power at breech and receiver impact at its returning voyage…

    Regarding to auto to manual feeding, it is desirable to use that approach in recent pump/auto shotguns since no example of them having it…


  6. Hi, if anybody’s still reading, here’s some additional bids:

    Right gun right time? SMLE in 1914-15 in the hands of a professional army short on machine guns.

    Tilting bolt development? On automatic weapons, I think we start with the 1895 Colt-Browning, unless I misunderstood what it has for a bolt. Then we head through Hotchkiss, Chattelerault 24/29, Czech ZB to Bren — all known for reliability under harsh conditions. As the MG led to the self-loading pistol, so the tilt-block MG led to the tilt-block self-loading rifle. In my humble opinion …

    The Webley book at $300 costs less than probably any authentic revolver you would contemplate buying, will save you from making incorrect purchases, and at least let you see pictures and read descriptions of guns you will never see, handle, or buy.

    Ezell’s books on small arms and handguns are still the best overall guides, though Hogg’s are more fun to read — he was wittier.

    This was a most above-average Q & A, in quality of both questions and answers. Includes comments above. Thanks to all.

    • Talking about the SMLE, the No. 1 Mk V was apparently made in much larger numbers than the historians generally assume, according to Ian Hogg and John weeks, who knew a thing or two about Royal Army small arms and the procurement thereof.

      Introduced in the early 1920s, the Mk V production tranches serial number ranges were just lumped in with the runs of first the No. 1 Mk III, and then the all-new Rifle No. 4, which was really pretty much a No. 1 Mk V redesigned for faster mass production. There is not and never was a separate serial number “run” for the No. 1 Mk V by itself.

      In the process, the No. 1 Mk V was in production at Enfield and Fazakerly (Liverpool)both off and on from 1922 to late 1939, plus production at Long Branch in Canada and Ishapore in India (because the Mk V could be made on Mk III tooling with no real problems).

      As such, even the British Army was never entirely sure exactly how many No. 1 Mk V rifles there were, except “a lot”. If you study early-WW2 photos of British troops, you see quite a few No. 1 Mk Vs interspersed with No. 1 Mk IIIs and Rifles no. 4.

      No one seems to have minded.



      • Very interesting! Of course the No.4 rifle was only adopted in November 1939, by which time the Germans had adopted the Kar98k (1935) and the French the MAS Mle. 1936 (1936-7), aka. “the last bolt action rifle.” My understanding has it that the No. 4 was a sort of happy compromise of the easier-to-produce-than-the-Model-1907-SMLE-but-retain-the-Lee-Enfield action, along with the heavier barrel profile of the Pattern 14. I’ll have to look more closely at the photos for No.1 Mk. Vs.

        As for magazine safeties… I never saw a need for them at all, and like Ian’s comment, these were a “fail safe” for idiots who didn’t know safe gun handling… Then I moved to Texas! Ouch! Talk to emergency room folks in this state sometime… 🙁

        • It’s perfectly possible to shoot yourself with a self-loading pistol with a magazine safety. A sheriff’s chief deputy up here did it with a S&W M59, while clearing it at home.

          He dropped the magazine, put an empty one in, then instead of racking the slide to eject the chambered round and lock it open, he pointed it at the floor and pulled the trigger. Unfortunately, his lower leg and foot caught the 9mm hollowpoint before the floor did.

          He walked with a pronounced limp for the rest of his life. He was lucky that was all he got for his trouble; he barely missed the anterior tibial artery on that side.

          As the old saying goes, it’s impossible to make any mechanism foolproof, because fools are so ingenious.

          The magazine cut-off in a bolt-action rifle has a lot less justification than the magazine safety in an automatic pistol.

          An article in the 2017 Gun Digest, “Springfield Sporters” by Phil Shoemaker, had this to say on the subject;

          The 1903 Springfield had another feature, the magazine cut-off, that could also cause problems. Many military rifles of the era, including Krags and early British Lee-Enfields, suffered the same affliction. The cut-off was an anachronism insisted upon by hidebound generals who had come up through the ranks during the era of single-shot rifles. Its purpose was to isolate all the rounds in the magazine for use in an emergency, while in normal use the soldier was expected to load, aim and fire the rifle as a single-shot. It was an unnecessary complexity that could become a fatal flaw in the hands of the unwary.

          So no, unlike the magazine safety, the cut-off was never a safety feature. It was purely intended to enforce the “traditional” manual of arms with the new repeating rifles.

          No, the siege of Plevna in the Russo-Turkish War and the use of the Spencer and Henry repeaters in the American Civil War had taught these generals nothing. Or at least nothing that they cared to learn.



          • In the course of my research of the Model 1895 Lee straight-pull, it was found that the clip loading–all five cartridges in a charger–and the use of a little mechanism to open the action on a cocked weapon, resulted in the Marine so equipped simply firing off all of the remaining cartridges in the magazine, and then opening the now un-cocked mechanism, putting in another clip of cartridges, and thereby ensuring he had five in the weapon rather than, say, three, or two, or four. In June 1898, with the U.S. Navy ships being the only source of supply, it was feared that the landing force would use up the available supply of cartridges by such indiscriminate firing. The M1 Garand had its ammo sent to the front already packed in 8-round en-bloc clips in cloth bandoliers, so the same practice was also reasonably common by WWII. At least by then, U.S. logistics were second to none!

            As Douglas MacArthur once put things, accurately in this case, the Victory in WWII was owed the M-1 rifle, the Jeep, and the Liberty Ship. Good weapons, real mechanization vis-a-vis the horse-drawn Wehrmacht–even helping to put the Red Army on the road to Berlin, and logistics in supplying the distant battle fronts with men and materiel.

        • “(…)never saw a need for them at all, and like Ian’s comment, these were a “fail safe” for idiots who didn’t know safe gun handling(…)”
          Keep in mind that first magazine-safeties in automatic pistol appeared in heydays of revolver, which eject all cartridges (and spent cases) at once – either top-break (like Webley Mk VI) or swing (like Modèle 1892), so users were accustomed to thinking that single action make hand-gun totally empty.

  7. Not actual magazine safety but, a different reflection of that approach, is so called ” Automatic Magazine Cut Off” at ltalian origin shotguns… lt is made in rule of a government regulation in ltaly as forcing the manufacturers to make auto loading shotguns enabling auto feeding from magazine only by actual firing and manual loading at other times and whole world accepted it without question even USA Ordnance with M4 shotgun. ln fact it is not practical magazine cut off device to clearing the chamber or changing the shell with another one away from the magazine since busying both hands and further not a practical device for tactical shooting as causing time lost.

  8. I strongly disagree as to the magazine safety being “safer”. VERY often there are negligent/unauthorized discharges in the Canadian military with pistols due to the combination of improper handling and a magazine safety. Every other magazine fed weapon = remove magazine, open bolt/inspect chamber, bolt forward, pull trigger to ease springs/fire the action. With a mag safety the extra step is to replace the magazine before pulling the trigger. Again, VERY often the careless or poorly trained insert the mag before closing the action in that sequence and end up having an ND. Yes, we still use the Inglis Hi-Powers, they need to go.

    • I see… I stand corrected. Clearly, for some folks, there is “no hope!” “All guns are always loaded” is the simplest training mantra, and for good reason!

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