Showing posts with label Funny Looking Guns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Funny Looking Guns. Show all posts

Jul 11, 2015

Why stop there?

Washington says it's time to update the obsolete M4 carbine in its various passé costumes.   RFPs and bids and spec sheets and dream sheets and I don't know what-all are flying around the Pentagon and all rest of the Military-Industrial Complication.

Okay, look, I admit modern warriors know infinitely more about modern warfare than I do, and they can point to many glorious and clear-cut military victories in the past 40 years or so to prove it.

But sometimes a fellow wonders.

According to this guy, one of the many new specs will be "Adding room for more attachments on the carbine (e.g laser sights, flashlights, bipods)."

Is that the limit of the desiderata, or is the "e.g." meant to include other handy enhancements? How about a barrel-attached manifold to heat C-rats?   A flip-up,  lighted makeup mirror? Other e.g.?

(Off-stage voice) C-rats, you idiot? They haven't been issued in at least two generations. Shaddup!

Good point. The last OD can of lima beans was issued when the soldier's weapon was considered a rifle, a battle weapon, instead of just another MOLLE load-bearing gizmo. My bad, and I'll drag my sorry old butt down to the VFW club and whisper my opinions into a  50-cent draft Grain Belt while the guy next to me brags about potting NorComs at 800 yards with his Garand up near the Chosin Reservoir.

Aug 23, 2013

The Bastard King of Handguns*

It was time for a chore, pawing through the parts inventory of a deceased friend. Little on the planet will humiliate a man more. You amble through life thinking you're a pretty savvy firearms enthusiast. Then you start examining box after box and find you can confidently identify perhaps one part in 100. Toward the end you babble about whether this gizmo is for a Daisy Red Ryder or a Holland and Holland .577 Nitro Express.

I did okay on the .45 ACP stuff and actually carried away two projects. One is simple enough, a small tray of  parts which I'll try to sell for the family. The other may constitute a career.

It appeared to be about three-fourths of an AMT-frame-based  Colt Commander clone. I brought it home half-minded to try to sell it with the other parts, half-inclined to finish it up and buy it myself. That's still the unsettled state of my ambition, but the build is looking iffier and iffier.

The new aluminum frame is cut for a 4 1/4-inch barrel. The slide is a butchered reblue of  an unmarked something for a 4 and 1/4 inch barrel. Among other issues, the slide safety cut is 1/8-inch to far aft, meaning the safety can be engaged only with the gun out of battery that much. Not to mention the the barrel is .38 Super and the slide .45.

If I decide to take on the project, I'll report the geekery with photos -- not in hopes of  acquiring your admiration, merely to illustrate that there are still men who like to audition for the role of Sisyphus.


Advertisement:   If any blog buddies are interested, the parts box holds a few GI:

triggers ... recoil spring plugs ... thumb safeties ... grip safeties ... and new  Coltish checkered walnut grip panels.  Also that barrel marked "Colt  .38 Super Match" looking lightly used.

Pricing: Check Brownell's. Knock off 40 per cent. Add about $5 for the USPS. Pay by  personal check made out to the family member, not me. Email me at  --   alongfordmick aht yahoo daught kahm.


*Referring only to the Commanderish project, not the sainted JMB's concept and execution of the world's only really necessary center-fire handgun.

Apr 25, 2013

Hold me bitter and watch this, Cyril

I had a $20 rifle. I spent about ten hours and $50 to turn it into a $65 rifle.  If nothing else it proved that a Brit relic from the Days of Empire could be made less ugly. Grind off protuberances. Polish. Blue. Finish up a semi-inletted stock set  from Herter's final going--out-of-business sale.

The SMLE actually looked nice and sporty, and I fear I was guilty of the sin of pride.

Then comes my friend K over dinner one Friday night and says something like, "Yeah. Looks okay. Too bad it's such a weak action."  (He had been reading one expert gun writer. I had been reading another.)

"Weak action?! I'll show you, you SOB."

Yours Truly to the loading bench in a paleo-Mythbusters mood.

After concocting one round of this load I dug out a spare SMLE and a hank  of cordage. I carried the whole works to the K acreage for the annual sweet corn fest, a great party; folks came from miles around. Some shooting was always a featured attraction before we tapped the kegs.

With much advice (and damned little actual assistance), I lashed the rifle to a tractor tire lying in the shootin' pasture and hitched the pull cord to the trigger. After all, the cartridge about to be chambered was getting awful close to IED territory.

Final bets were placed as the crowd ambled toward whatever shelter was available.   I don't know the details of every wager, but the gist of all was whether  "He'll blow the sh*t out of it."   We didn't burden ourselves with precise definitions of terms. My position was, roughly, that the improbable bomblet would probably stretch the action and create visible but minor damage without "blowing up."


The extractor left for parts unknown. A big hammer was needed to open the bolt and a dowel to pound out the brass. That's not a blowup. I claimed victory. My adversaries said "Well, yeah, but...," and I don't recall ever collecting my winnings.

Then we drank a beer or two and argued about something else.

Apr 15, 2013

Tip-up porn

I'd have to be more careful with shot placement if I ever had to use one in a serious minx-up, but this little Beretta has always given me a mildly serious case of want. I couldn't begin to articulate why, maybe just an unhealthy fixation on oddballs.

I think it was Matt Helm who once found himself in one of those interminable arguments about "What caliber for (whatever)?" He brushed it off with, "You can kill an elephant with a .22 Short if you're willing to wait for the poor thing to bleed to death." Only metaphorically true, of course, but it makes a point.

Oct 1, 2012

Aye! Carrumba! Es no Colt

The guy outbid me and others and was smug at winning the Colt 1901,one of the earliest double-action revolvers in general U.S. military service. Except it wasn't.

Barrel inscription: ".38 Spc or U.S. Service Ctg." No other markings visible.

Those danged Latinos again.

This particular gun seemed tight enough. It probably would discharge a cartridge. Otherwise it scored about 9,5 on the one-to-ten ugly scale.  Still, it would have been fun to have on the wall for a price less extravagant than  $155. If nothing else I could make up a nice yarn about having had it analyzed by a crack metallurgist who confirmed it was made of melted Arbuckle's cans.

I can't explain the  ".38 Spc" except by speculating that the Mexican (or possibly Spanish) gun maker knocked it off after about 1909, by which time everyone still  devoted the the . c. .357 diameter bullet gave up on the .38 Long Colt and started  chambering these revolver types for .38 Special.


A middlin' High Standard HD,  4-inch heavy-barrel version, brought $$320, and I  am middlin' regretful I didn't make the other guy pay quite a little more.

Jun 25, 2012


A certain amount of thought has been invested in the welfare of our warriors in those new-fangled aeroplanes. What if the the dynamic defailorator  fails?  What if they get shot down? Even if they walk away from the warbird they still gotta eat,  right? They have a 1911A1 in their pilot's rompers, right?

But, also right, they can't hit crap with it.

Anyway, that's what the official survival thinkers thought, so enter the service auto as shotgun:

Approach No. 1, left, is a straightforward loading of tiny shot in a cardboard capsule, heavily crimped with two grooves aft of the case mouth. The point is to preserve the sharp mouth on which the round head spaces. This example is head- stamped Peters .45 A.C. (no "P")

Concept No. 2, center, employs a redesigned case, longer and necked to provide space for the shot. The seal appears to be a waxed or plasticized cardboard disc. The shoulder is abrupt, but still a long way from a precise, tight  fit to the chamber stop, and I have a feeling that the engineers were in a bit of a hurry and decided, what the Hell, the extractor will hold it well enough; heresy but most probably workable. This one in head stamped "R A 4." 

We'll get to survival round No. 3, right, in a moment, but first an editorial comment on the others: I suppose that if I'd dumped my Corsair in a Samar jungle I'd rather have had a handful of official government shot shells than not have them. On the other hand, I wouldn't have put a lot of faith in their (and my) ability to get me fat on the succulent Basilan flying squirrel. Or much of anything else. Anyone else who has wasted too much time playing with shot loads adapted (maladapted, to be correct) to rifled pistol barrels understands. About the best you can say for the entire line of thought is that if your stalking skills challenge Natty Bumpo's, you might kill something small to eat once in a while. 

And now to No. 3. It IS TOO a survival load. It helps you survive the dreaded feeling, "What on God's green earth am I supposed to do with this junk I found while tidying up a shop cabinet last opened before Monica stained her dress?"  

Why, I confirm that they'll actually go bang in an old .22 bolt gun and then I'm all like, hmmm. I know, I can glue a .22 Crossman pellet to the front of it and have my own wildcat! The .22 TMR Power Load Special.

I was crushed to discover that I had no .22 pellets but, unstoppable, I subbed a Daisy BB. Even though the prototype you see is the  only one in existence, it will soon be tested with full confidence that the .177 projectile will exit the barrel. 
Further than that deponent sayeth not.  


Dec 5, 2011

Monday Gun Pron: Mystery Marlin

BIG WHOLE-POST EDIT: It's a Mystery Mossberg,  RM7 variant or something close to it.

If you ever need a persistent friend trying to set you straight, I recommend  a GMA guy named John. :)  See comments.


Even before you note the Micro

 Groove rifling,  you ID it as Marlin. The utilitarian -- okay, clunky -- stock is characteristic of the fine old firm's bolt-action line. At least it's walnut.

Then there's the Marlin penchant for adding gizmos here and there. The button on the left side is a smoothly working bolt release. The one in the middle of the receiver cut retracts a cartridge feeder guide. The safety has three positions. One of the "safe" positions lets you cycle the action. The other "safe" locks the bolt closed.

Marlin has long loved Herculean locking systems. But four, count-'em, four lugs?

The mystery is the precise Marlin identity. Several net searches yield a sort of Ron Paul-in-the-MSM result. There ain't no such animal. Even searching under the private Western Auto label  -- "Revelation, Model R 270 A  ___  Cal. 30-06 Sprg." yields nothing beyond another guy who has one, lost his bolt, and is looking for a replacement.  (Rotsa ruck, Pardner.)  None of the crossover lists mentions it.

EDIT: Also note the fluted bolt.

The vendor's story is that it was a "prototype," and Marlin decided to call it a "Revelation" to protect the marque if it flopped.  I love gun show stories.

Now would be the time to own one of those high-price, limited-edition company history books so detailed as to specify the number of moles on John Marlin's back.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased to own it as a workaday rifle. The condition is superb. It's in the most noble of calibers, the one we used back when we could win wars with a certain dispatch. On a snowy Saturday, mainly checking for bangability, we kept several rounds within a minute of hillside at an estimated 400 yards.

It will make a nice place to store the old Weaver K4 and one of those nice 1903-style leather slings I've been hoarding.

I don't suppose it's necessary to mention it was loopholed quite economically -- about what desperate dealers were asking for their NIB Hi-Points.

Jun 29, 2011

Perhaps you can hear my heart pounding

Checking the market close I discovered a  Ruger press release. Gunland is graced with a new one -- the SR40c. It is an SR40 chopped down enough to earn the c, for concealable. See?

I can't begin to say how wonderful it is to have another plastic gun available.

I'll bet it shoots well enough for its intended purpose if I do my part.

Jun 15, 2011

Don't Tell Me I'm Not Green

Green flora control

Green pest control


As Cowboy Blob, proprietor of  The Saloon of 1,000 Delights, says, "Nothing runs like a Deere."  It is to him I owe the pistol photo.

(The twin JD318 tractors belong to the Camp Jiggleview, of which I am Commandant. They are assigned to the  Base Maintenance Detachment, of which I am the garrison.)

Dec 18, 2010

Set back, relax, and enjoy your flight.

The Iranian-American businessman who forgot to take his loaded  Baby Glock out of his computer bag was a little embarrassed to find it after a flight from Houston. He thought maybe the crack  TSA security operatives ought to be, too. 

 "It's just impossible to miss it, you know. I mean, this is not a small gun," Seif told ABC News. "How can you miss it? You cannot miss it."

But the TSA did miss it, and maybe --- I dunno, just maybe -- I can answer  his question.

Was one of these in the  security queue, motivating the TSA  fellas to lose concentration and squabble quietly over whose turn it was to gape at the pervoscan, or probulate her as a opt-out?  I mean, I'm just askin', here.
Bettie Page

Apr 5, 2010

Improvised weaponry

"Barefoot" is pretty good wine for the money, and it doesn't suffer the ignominy of coming with a screw top. It closes with a "cork" of plastic or some such, and the thing looks durable enough to stand rough handling.

It mikes .8125. I'm looking for something in the shed with a .8125 ID. Then compressed air? Surgical tubing? Hair spray?

Look to your laurels, Dr. Strangegun.

Nov 12, 2009

Wow. I shot a plastic gun.

Field Report:

The Glockish semi-auto was brand new and brought to the Great Pheasant Shoot-At by a friend of my son, a good man fairly new to hunting and shooting. His first handgun, it was a product of Croatia marketed by Springfield in Geneseo.

We were stowing the shotguns as shooting hours closed. He showed us the new pistol and invited me to shoot it. We put five 9x19 rounds in the magazine, and I scored one hit on a 12-ounce plastic Coke bottle at ten yards or so. My spotter, Ryan, 13, a man with a good eye, thought the rounds were going a little low and left, and a Kentucky windage shot suggested he was correct.

I liked the grip ergonomics and the three white sight dots. I hate the look and feel of plastic where God intended man to use steel. But I respect the gun. For its purpose, self-defense at a reasonable range, (What's that? Aww, I dunno. Ten yards, 15 maybe?) it is a perfectly acceptable tool. More to the point, the new owner likes it. Even more so, he is committed to mastering it.

Aug 30, 2009

A Franken-Gun

Miscegenation may produce the most beautiful human beings imaginable.* The same does not apply to firearms.

Its minor caliber notwithstanding, the purebred Mini-14 is a fine and sightly representative of the battle rifle as we understood it ca. 1939-1963. It stands tall in its Class As of walnutite and steel. It is a pleasure to shoot, an aesthetic adornment on any wall.

But mate it to the various Buck Rogers wet dreams, and it becomes ugly -- oily ugly, like the bald guy with the pencil mustache slipping out of the XXX theatre and stabbing you with an inviting leer.


*Honolulu offers luscious examples, but you do not want to go there anyway unless you lust for cynical services at Tokyo prices.

Jul 5, 2009

Risque Piece

The heart of this Pelosi pleaser is an Augusta Arsenal rebuild of a 1911. It should shoot okay (not quite done, yet) but the general idea is to irritate the authoritarians.The carbine kit is from the 1980s or '90s, a 16 1/2 - inch barrel and walnut stock serviceable also as an emergency canoe paddle.

Part of the fun is its very illegal appearance. (It is if you install only the stock.)