Archive for the ‘firearm’ Category

I almost bought an AR.

I guess the H&K MR556 or SIG516 are AR-15 variants.

So, number one deterrent was price. The SIG is the less expensive of the two, but still in the four figure range. We are talking a price of US$ 1400+. Ouch. Toss in that I am leaning toward the H&K compared to the Sig.

And that’s the price if you can find one.

Assault Rifles and guns in general are a hot commodity these days. For good reason given the chaos of the past week. Some people have seen it on TV. Other people have lived it.

And people want to protect themselves. And what better way than with a weapon that was designed for the battlefield and proven in mass shootings across the country. Las Vegas was a good advertisement. The chaos of the past week are the perfect advertisement for a weapon like this.

I may not like it, but it is hard to say that people shouldn’t be able to own these weapons when the cities are under siege. That makes me different from a lot of people on the left, but I am also much more pragmatic than a lot of people on the left.FireShot Capture 012 - Why are some US police forces equipped like military units_ - World n_ - www.theguardian.com

Those are the ones who are moaning about the militarisation of the police, like this article in the Guardian. But it misses something that this post is pointing out. Civilians can buy the 5.56 Assault Rifle with no problem. Shouldn’t the cops be as well armed as the civilians if they are going to keep the peace?

Toss in there is a movement to defund the police:

Defunding, said activist Jeralynn Blueford, is the logical response from leaders in this moment of unprecedented unrest. “If police had been serious about reform and policy change, then guess what? People would not be this angry.”

What The Fuck? Serious What the Fuck?

3d25106b37We have seen chaos and looting in US cities over the past week. Gun stores have lines that wrap around the block as people scramble to buy weapons to defend their homes.

While I support keeping guns out of the hands of people like criminals and the looters, it is thoroughly insane to prevent the law abiding to their safety. And for the most part I am sceptical of firearms for home defence, I can get why some people would want them.

It’s the image in this Tommy Gun ad from the days when they were freely available.  The ability to protect your home against marauding bands of evil doers.

And the do gooders (I can’t really say the left since there are some of us who get what needs to be done) who would defund the police and try to make assault rifles illegal. The argument that “no one needs one of these in a civilian world” rings hollow these days.

The chaos of the past week ISN’T the civilian world and toleration of those who are destroying US cities is wrong. It’s turning the “silence is consent” argument back at them. Even worse, it’s not silence, but outright appeasement.

Black Lives Matters lost any relevance the moment the fires and violence broke out. They could have salvaged their effort if they stood down and denounced the violence. But allowing violence on either side is wrong.

I don’t really like that I have to accept that assault rifles are an undeniable fact of US life, but there needs to be some feeling of safety and security until people stand down: especially the rioters and looters. Violence isn’t the answer. Especially if you are not the body authorised by law to keep the peace. Breaking the law really isn’t the answer.

There are options other than violence and chaos, however, there is a misguided belief that is what is necessary. That is costing the Black Lives Matters its legitimacy even amongst the people it claims to represent.

Because the people buying guns aren’t just white.

The coolest Submachinegun ever.

Yeah, I guess this would be a surprise post from someone who is “anti-gun”, but you might be surprised at how much some of us know about guns.

Anyway, my personal vote is for the MAT-49 which comes from Manufacture Nationale d’Armes de Tulle (MAT) armoury for use by the French Army and the fact that it was first produced in 1949.  Forgotten arms has a great video on the MAT-49.

The reason I like the gun is that it is one of the more unusual guns out there in that the magazine well folds up to the body. There are only two guns I know that do this the Hotchkiss Universal and the MAT-49: both of which were in competition to be France’s submachinegun in the post-war period. That said it has connections to Vietnam and Algeria.

Although, I would be less inclined to want one for reenacting Vietnam. The French were using other countries weapons: especially early in the war. An M1 Carbine works just as well. An M1 carbine can also be used for Algeria, but the MAT-49 was standard issue for the French military by that time. Although, the gun was being used by French Paratroops: especially at Dien Bien Phu.

Let’s toss in that the MAT-49 retooled for the Tokarev round was used by the Vietnamese (as were 9mm versions).

Still, this gun is expensive as heck in the US, while one can pick up a deact/neutralisé MAT49 no problems! And the deact is a fraction of the price of the parts kits I’ve seen for sale in the US. There are few options for replicas in the states since I’ve seen movie prop resin versions sell out at a 4 figure price! Relics UK sells a wooden version which works for prop or display use.

The problem is that the action is what makes this gun so interesting. Toss in its popularity among collectors (these things are really pricey if you want one that WORKS!). They were designed for full-auto, so I’m not sure how easy it would be to make a semi-auto version.

35ak7ly

I’m putting this here as a guide to the missing pieces for the upper.

I’m surprised Denix hasn’t made one yet. I’m pretty sure they would sell. Especially since deacts aren’t legal in the US. And Deacts are getting harder to get in Europe.

I know I’m not alone in my interest in this weapon since doing a search on the MAT-49 will turn up a lot of material. Maybe we are just a small community out there.

BTW, if you have a parts kit that is missing pieces, the best place to get them is naturabuy.fr. Unfortunately, it takes knowledge of French to be able to buy there. Also, the people with the best prices usually don’t ship outside France.

Some vocabulary if you want to try shopping there:
Guidon=front sight
Oeilleton=rear sight
ressort=spring
verrou de crosse=stock locking pin
Carte bleu=Visa (the best way to pay outside of France). And yes, there is a difference between Visa and MC in France.

Firearm technology…literally

Defaite_des_Yroquois_lg

My money is on the Indians.

OK, I was curious about matchlock muskets and how practical they would have been in early American society. Early explorers carried them since the wheellock [1] and snaphance [2] don’t seem to have too much popularity (snaphance was out of fashion most places by 1680). Toss in the flintlock seems to have been less expensive than the other mechanisms (beside the matchlock).

Anyway…

An inherent weakness of the matchlock was the necessity of keeping the match constantly lit. The match was steeped in potassium nitrate to keep the match lit for extended periods of time. Being the sole source of ignition for the powder, if the match was not lit when the gun needed to be fired, the mechanism was useless, and the weapon became little more than an expensive club. This was chiefly a problem in wet weather, when damp match cord was difficult to light and to keep burning. Another drawback was the burning match itself. At night, the match would glow in the darkness, possibly revealing the carrier’s position. The distinctive smell of burning match-cord was also a giveaway of a musketeer’s position (this was used as a plot device by Akira Kurosawa in his movie Seven Samurai). It was also quite dangerous when soldiers were carelessly handling large quantities of gunpowder (for example, while refilling their powder horns) with lit matches present. This was one reason why soldiers in charge of transporting and guarding ammunition were amongst the first to be issued self-igniting guns like the wheellock and snaphance.

The matchlock was also uneconomical to keep ready for long periods of time. To maintain a single sentry on night guard duty with a matchlock, keeping both ends of his match lit, required a mile of match per year.

Maybe that explains why the Indians were pretty good at preventing early settlement (see Martin’s Hundred and the Indian Massacre of 1622).

Addition: the Carignan-Salières regiment was equipped with flintlocks when they were sent to New France in 1665. Flintlocks didn’t need the constant flame and had a higher rate of fire than the Matchlock. Still, possession of flintlocks (and large military presence) didn’t stop Iroquois raids on the habitants which continued up until the Treaty of Montreal in 1701.

Oh, yeah… here’s a link to one of these being fired.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KTS8PQ06Qo

A link to wheellock history and firing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk-pISvud6w&t

Matchlock and wheellock firing according to authentic French 17th century regulations


Notes:
[1] A nacent technology, wheellock guns were complex to build in an era with no machine tools. They appealed therefore only to the wealthy who could afford them in the first place and then who, generally, expected them to be highly decorated. They were deluxe examples of the armourer’s craft and not for the masses.

[2] Snaphance – A spring-loaded lock whereby upon pulling a trigger, a hammer holding the flint falls which strikes the steel frizzen and while pushing it forward scrapes particles from its surface, which as sparks, fall into a flashpan containing a priming charge of fine gunpowder, igniting first it and then, through a touchole, the main propellant charge (sort of like a cigarette lighter works). A separate pan-cover would allow the gun to be carried loaded, but for safety, not cocked.

Snaphances and flintlocks are similar, but the flintlock is faster to operate and more reliable in wind and rain than a snaphance. Also, Flintlocks can be carried half cocked, where as snaphances are either cocked or not.

The problem of probate

Or is it really a problem? It was for Michael Bellesiles who lost his career because it was assumed that Arming America was solely based upon that information.purdey

The problem is that “common items” such as hoes don’t show up, but firearms do. Which is “proof positive” that firearms were somehow common.

This neglects the expense that firearms most likely were in pre-industrial revolution, colonial America.  On the off chance that there were gunsmiths cranking out firearms, let alone rifles, we have to address the issue of coming up with metal that would withstand being used as a firearm.  That means any steel would have to be hand forged given the Navigation Acts, in particular the Iron Act of 1750, ban on colonial industry (and Birmingham’s monopoly on firearm manufacture).

My previous post comes up with a budget bespoke firearm going for £2,500 (US$3,115.03 at today’s rate). I would post the top end of the firearm range, and some used Purdeys selling in the range of US$65,000. Now, wouldn’t it make sense for something which would cost roughly US$3,000 to 65,000+ to be listed in probate record over something which might have cost anywhere from a couple of dollars to maybe 100 in modern funds?

Also, which would be more valuable? Obviously, the more expensive firearm.

If we are going to say that gunsmith were common, we have to address the cost of tools on top of the cost of producing metal which could be used in firearm production. I seriously doubt that a rifling lathe could have been produced on the frontier.  That would mean that such a device would have had to have been imported from Europe: those pesky Navigation Acts might have been a factor.

It is common knowledge that rifles were being produced on the frontier, which might have had something to do with a prohibition on industry more than societal factors. While muskets may have been inaccurate, early muzzleloading rifles had more problems than they were worth.

I’m sure expense would have been one of them.

While rifles were the more complex firearm to build, they still were like building clockworks. And we are talking about hand making clockwork in a pre-industrial society.

Which leads to two issues:

  1. Were firearms really common, or luxury items that would have been contested after death?
  2. Were colonial gunsmiths actual full blown firearms manufacturers, or just somebody who fixed broken weapons?

I am under the impression that firearms are one of the great American founding myths since it doesn’t look too good when one realises that independence really came because of a grudge match based upon the Seven Years/French and Indian War (e.g., most firearms used were European manufactured): not colonial superiority of any kind. We have documentation of a lack of firearms and firearms manufacturing capability in colonial North America, which I have mentioned before and in this.

The need to make firearms a common item at the time of the founding is a fundamental key to any attempt to portray the Second Amendment as somehow not relating to the common defence.  The problem is that it is painfully obvious  that firearms were luxury items in preindustrial societies, as anyone familiar with hand made firearms will attest.

I would bet the farm that firearms would be as expensive as a Purdey, if not more so, back then.

That’s why probate records are not reliable.