Q&A 58: Tenuous Travel, Time Travel Investment, and 7.65 French Magnum

00:00 – Introduction
00:26 – Videos I want to re-film?
My ZK-420S video: https://youtu.be/xQa_1gWW_6U

03:05 – Gas system change between MKB-42(H) and MP43
04:15 – Why do we still use rimmed shotgun shells?
06:54 – What sketchy travel plan worked out well?
09:45 – Do I convert my guns to left-handed controls?
11:20 – .30 Super Carry and 7.65mm French Long
14:04 – Forward mounted vs grip mounted magazines in SMGs/PCCs
17:24 – Double action in rifles
19:07 – What to carry if there were no semi autos or revolvers?
21:41 – Future of economically affordable handguns
23:31 – Side folding stocks vs top and under folders
25:23 – Effect of tanks on WWI small arms
28:38 – “Tales of the Gun”
30:38 – Time travel gun investments: $100,000 in 2002
36:50 – Selling guns without serial numbers
38:15 – What historical era would I want to live in?
39:03 – Full auto M1A1 Carbine?
40:39 – Making the M1919A4 into a pseudo-SAW?
44:43 – Do I like cars?
My Jeep & 1919: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnRtK-rdKYM

46:38 – Why I don’t like the spinner as a competition target
51:14 – Electronic ammo counters on guns
54:12 – Am I writing another book?
54:52 – Biathlon rifles
56:40 – Electric gatling-type guns on US WW2 ships?


  1. Rimmed shotgun shell for compatibility with old guns and… Producing easier extractor catch…

    Double action long guns… Yes… Especially new revolving magazine types…

    Modern pepperboxes if no revolver or semi auto present…

    Affordable handguns… Turkish clones…

    • Even though revolvers do exist, pepperboxes make more sense below a certain (“snub”) length.

      For rimless shotshells, headspacing on the case mouth would require completely different shell architecture. The end of most loaded shells isn’t actually the end, which is crimped and opens up flush with the rest once fired. That wouldn’t be possible / safe in a chamber with a hard step there.

  2. Rimless SG Cartridges

    There were long running threads on several forums about a dozen years ago, by a (maybe more than one) gentleman who was experimenting with heavy loads in cases made from .50 Browning Brass

    I think there were also experiments with kiln gun cartridges. Those are large rimmed SG cases used to shoot clinker off the inside of rotary kilns while they’re running and far too hot to enter or put any sort of machine into.

    I think every SG case has a brass rifle case analogue, although the headspace isn’t always identical on the rimmed rifle cases.

    12g and .50 Browning are an obvious one

    .410 and .303 (.30-40, .401 Winchester, .375x 2 1/2 inch…)
    Are the ones that stand out from memory

    Some of the more esoteric SG cartridges share head dimensions with things like. 577 Snider and the .577 express cases (I think it was something like 28 gauge from memory).

    Those brass cases provide a basis for anyone who wants to experiment with other styles of headspacing

    You can soft solder or epoxy H&H style belts on, you can neck down and headspace on a shoulder…

    You’ll have a very interesting time
    If you want to headspace on the case mouth. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, only that it will be interesting .

    I suspect that the persistence of the current SG case designs for something approaching 160 years, is probably telling us something important.


  3. All-brass shotshells are old stuff — very old stuff. My brother was given a batch of about two dozen early 20th century all-brass 12 ga shells sometime before 1963. Except for a few that have work-hardened and split at the case mouth (he tries to keep them annealed, but sometimes that antique brass just goes to Shadow Country), he’s still contentedly loading and firing them. My point is that rimless metallic shotshells could headspace on the rim and present no extraction difficulties if your shotgun was designed for them. Or converted to them, which wouldn’t be an impossible piece of gunsmithing.

    Some decades back, the US Army experimented with belted-head rimless brass shells for a combat shotgun. I kinda hope Ian will work up an episode on that project.

  4. Electronic ammo counters on guns — to me this is like all the electronic gizmos that are being stuck on automobiles these days. Very little advantage for something that is subject to failure from minimal causes which result in huge repair costs. Teach people to count and keep the guns simpler and more robust.

    • My old Savage Model 99 has a brass counter that goes to 6. I’ve never looked at it in use.
      The problem with counting is, modern guns hold so many rounds, and many people seem to have a hard time counting past 10 anymore.

    • Those counters don’t make much sense until you’re the guy managing a fleet of M4A1 carbines that you’d like to be replacing parts on before they reach their critical wear points. In that situation, it’s crucial to know how many rounds are on a particular weapon so that you can replace things.

      I’m here to tell you that relying on a manual count, trusting the guy with the rifle? A mug’s game. They won’t log rounds properly on things like recoilless rifles and artillery pieces, where you can kill six or seven guys at once when the barrel or other critical part fails, so on an individual weapon…? All I can say, in my highly jaded experience, is that that ain’t happening. So, an automatic shot counter makes a lot of sense.

      I’d honestly put one on every rifle and MG in the inventory, and then use the data gathered to gain knowledge of where and when things fail, so that I can learn when parts should really be replaced for preventative maintenance. It’d also be nice to be able to compare weapons of similar round counts and then extrapolate out why one might be more worn than another, which would potentially tell you a lot about the unit or the shooter.

      I once worked on a guy’s weapon that looked brand-new and utterly pristine, on the outside. Inside was another story; I think he may have put over 30,000 rounds through it as a trainer doing demonstrations. The interior parts were very well-worn, which I presume was due to his philosophy of running the gun dry, rather than wet.

      There’s an awful lot that we really don’t actually know about weapons, their wear, and the lubrication/maintenance regimes they’re operated under. Having an automatic shot counter and then doing the requisite data gathering would help fill in those holes in our knowledge.

      • I believe the competitive shooter could benefit as well. I’m pretty sure Beretta is still making the A400 Ecel with a shot counter in the stock.

      • I’ve idly wondered about this before, doing post-fire on my weapon at the armory. How much of what we do— “heavy lube here, thin film here, scrape the bejeezus out of this part until it shines”— is received wisdom and ‘just-so stories’? I’d be fascinated to see how a data-driven approach like you describe would change the way we do things

        • Like as not, you’ll never see it under any current regime. Nobody really wants to know, nobody cares–So, the data isn’t gathered.

          They should have put round-counters on every weapon deployed over the last twenty years, baselined them all before deployment, and then watched what was done with them in-country, followed by baselining them again upon re-deployment. We could have learned so much, but the problem is that the people running these programs are fundamentally not all that bright, nor do they really care about anything besides their little pet projects, a good retirement, and making some money. That’s why we spent millions on useless crap like the XM-25 instead of product-improving the 40mm HEDP. It’s also why precisely none of the small arms programs of the last fifty years have actually produced squat in terms of product improvements, and why the M16A2 was an utterly useless piece of shiite that was abandoned by the Infantry en masse as soon as they saw the M4 carbine.

          It’s all artisanal in approach, when you go out to talk to people about maintenance–When should you replace barrels? Bolts? What schedule should you replace springs at? It’s also subjective as hell, in the workshops and depots–The guys doing the work are all doing things based on their subjective impressions, a lot of times. That’s how those M249s got through–Yeah, they met the specs, but they were making judgement calls about the observed wear they really should have gone the other way on. Round counters on the M249 would really tell you how many and how quickly rounds went through that weapon, which would then actually give you a rational, reproducible way to tell when the damn things were done.

          That we’re not doing this? Pretty much tells you how primitive and eaten up with frivolity our small arms programs really are. You go out looking, and you won’t find one bit of objective, definitive data on how many rounds an M249 receiver is good for–Because they don’t know. And, they don’t know because they’ve never bothered to gather the information. They could–I saw working electronic blackbox round counters demonstrated as far back as the 1980s, ones that simply went into the pistol grip and were fairly usable. Modern technology would make those look pretty damn primitive, in terms of what data could be gathered. Yet, we don’t do it.

          There’s a ton of things we don’t know about small arms and combat that we simply do not care to gather the data on. Why we haven’t? I’ll never understand, but there are tons of things that we’ve left to purely subjective opinion that we really shouldn’t have. When we do bother to go look at reality and gather the data, I’m morally certain there are going to be one hell of a lot of surprises waiting for us.

  5. The Tony Neophytou interview was outstanding . Perhaps my video of all . Came across as an extremely knowledgable, likeable man .i would love to hear more from this guy .

  6. The U.S. Navy did have some power-driven Gatlings, at least experimental ones, in the first few years of the last century. Whether they could have been managed for anti aircraft use is another question. And I believe those ones were in .30 Krag…

  7. “.30 Super Carry and 7.65mm French Long”
    They have common motivation – need to place numerous cartridge inside magazine of finite size, note that according to https://www.smallarmsreview.com/display.article.cfm?idarticles=1077 French requirements from 1921 stipulated magazine was to contain at least 15 cartridges
    Note that one of early automatic pistol for said cartridge, namely MAS 1925 No. 1 has capacity 10 see drawing 49-10 https://www.earmi.it/armi/atlas/271.htm

  8. If I could recommend a “re-do” of a past Forgotten Weapons video/Youtube short, it would be this:

    SIG AK-53 7.5x55mm Swiss forward-operating gas-system select-fire rifle with 24-round magazine. RoF something like 300 rpm? Unbelievably ungainly magazine changes… Makes me wonder if re-loading from the top of the receiver of the 6-round sheet metal and papier-mache/cardboard Schmidt-Rubin chargers was envisioned? It’d be nice to get access to one in a Swiss collection and compare it to the rather, erm, “dodgy” version in the UK… Also if any documents could be found on it?

    19:07 – What to carry if there were no semi autos or revolvers?

    Hmm. Make mine a 4-barrel Lancaster .476 or .450 pistol please… Or perhaps a Nagant double-barrel side-by-side rolling block pistol, as designed for Belgian police back in the days of bowler hats and fastidious moustaches and cobble-stone streets… If no metal cartridges are allowed either, then I guess you’d have to beware of my https://www.forgottenweapons.com/ria-double-barrel-percussion-knife-pistol/

    1846 Postførerverge Knife-Pistol

    Or, a brace of 1837 Elgin patent .54 caliber cutlass pistols?

  9. Wasn’t there some postwar Italian SMG, meant for police use, with a double-action trigger? Needless to say it was a closed-bolt weapon.

    • Excellent choice! Ever since seeing that video, I’ve been thinking that one built as a DAO would be perfect for deep concealment.

    • I suspect that in a world without cartridge firearms, we might have evolved into things like single-shot “bangsticks” and those weird Australian Metal Storm weapons. Detachable, disposable barrels that would plug into various sorts of receivers.

      It would be interesting to be able to examine alternate universes for the technological paths they followed. I’m sure that there would be a lot of similarities and convergences, but I’m equally certain that there would be things that would make you go “Huh… Never thought of that…”, and be just as workable as what we routinely do. There is no particular reason you have to do things a certain way–There are just contributing factors that make certain courses more likely than others. Pinfire, for example: You could have done magazine feed with those, had you developed flush pins for the cartridges and then had some sort of annular constricting hammer mechanism that would fire the cartridge regardless of position. Highly improbable, but not impossible…

  10. .30 Super Carry vs. 7.65French vs the originator of .30 cartridges of that application- the .30 Pedersen for the Pedersen conversion of the 03 Springfield to a semi auto hi capacity weapon for trench warfare. .30 Super Carry pressure is going to dictate redesign of gun internals and rebalancing springs to prevent slide failure after very limited shooting. High pressure is never easy to design for.

  11. For economical handguns: Between Glock and Taurus has the perfect quality/price breakpoint. S&W M&P Shield, Ruger LC9S, Walther CCPM2 (and some other stuff, they’ve got a lot of pistols) and some others will cost less than a Glock.

    As for the investment with a time machine: Buy stock in S&W or Ruger, where you’re (nominally) buying partial ownership in their entire inventory. Ruger went from $6.74 to $67 (nearly 10x) while S&W went from sub $1 to $17-$20.

  12. Indeed. I know one of the books on the Gatling has an engraving of one with an electric motor on the crank and mounted on a ship. I don’t know who did the experimenting, but I’m virtually certain it was never actually mounted on a ship. If I remember correctly, the ROF was about 1500/minute. The Accles drum they used would have emptied pretty quickly.

  13. Regarding Biathlon rifles, the large majority of athletes uses a design with seven locking balls pressed from the bolt outwards into a recess in the receiver.
    It is very well illustrated on the Anschütz home page:
    Go to anschuetz-sport.com, click on the Union Jack to switch to English. Then look at the 1827F Biathlon rifle and scroll down to ist features. There is an excellent image of the bolt.

    Toggle systems were used by the Russians over a long time. These rifles did not have the straight pull of today. The bolt handle clearly swung outwards.
    The East Germans used what they called Unterlader. The pistol grip could be operated similar to a lever action. But it was rotated only about 30 degrees forward to cycle the action. The hand stayed on the grip and the trigger finger inside the trigger guard.

    • A ball locking like the Heym SR-30 hunting rifles. I always thought it was a knee joint locking like the Furrer guns or a Parabellum, because the outside mechanism looked like one with the actuation lever on the side.

      Those DDR designed Unterlader rifles have been used for quite some time after german (re-)unification by various competitors. It was basically either Anschütz or the Unterlade for german athletes, but the majority of athletes seems to have settled on the Anschütz design today. Worldwide too. A bit boring really, when all use the same gun.

  14. On “which historical era would I rather live in?” I’m more-or-less with Ian, in that I’d like to at least see what the future will be like, say about a century from now.

    If I was forced to choose a past era, it would be the 1860s to 1880s, especially in the U.S. and the British Empire. For one thing, modern medicine was beginning to evolve (germ theory etc.), so there would be less chance of dying from lack of care or a doctor’s ignorance.

    On a personal/professional note, I’m pretty sure that in London in August-November 1888, I could have caught the Whitechapel serial killer aka “Jack the Ripper”.



  15. I would expand my generous aunt’s gift just a bit, to include ammunition: a few pallets of .22LR, all the HSP and South African .303 I could find, and all the GP-11 7.5 Swiss.

    As for actual firearms, I would snarf up lots of C&R stuff in crate lots. Century 5-fers on Mosins, Turkish Mausers, and all the Lee-Enfields I could find.

    Those might not individually produce a high return, but it’s a diversified portfolio with a chance for some real gems buried in the mix.

    If my favorite aunt had been so generous in 1992, I would have bought up a ton of USGI before Saving Private Ryan caused a run on the market.

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