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May 12, 2006

In the midst of too much to do...

...while suffering the dammed curse 'o the Sassenach, I find this gem in my email box.

A terrible death in the family

Dateline 1979, Germany. A Troop, 3/7 Cavalry is on maneuvers at the military training site at Hohenfels... a handsome and studly young tank commander removes the shoulder holster containing his Army .45 and hangs it from the turret roof near the loader's station. It'll be safe there whilst negotiating the cross-country target acquisition course!

Now imagine if you will, gentle reader, the pendulum effect of a heavy pistol suspended by a leather strap from the turret of a 52 ton M60A1 tank- when in the course of the aforementioned exercise the tank is traversing rough terrain and our hero is desperately manipulating the commander's override turret control to engage close range targets... all in a days work for the Cav! But somewhere along the line physics and gravity overcome the precarious hold of the leather holster strap on it's mounting and the pistol falls!... and becomes intimately engaged with the gear mechanism which rotates the turret... the 16 ton turret... which requires a powerful motor to drive said gear... which consumes and ejects a .45 pistol with all the disdain of yer cousin Bubba spitting a sunflower seed.

Sheesh... this cost me $54, the Gummint cost for the WWII Remington Rand-made .45. A chunk of money for me at the time; I was an E-5 and making 450 monthly- and then the bastids wouldn't let me keep it! I wanted it for a conversation piece, ya know- like, "Hey looky what some dumbshirt did to this here gun thingy!!!" but the bean-counting sumbirtches insisted it was still US Property even after they stripped the dinero from my miserable stipend.

The M16 I crushed two months later cost me $174 and they wouldn't let me keep that, either. Bastids.

Heh. Just in case you're interested in what they retail for now... admittedly in somewhat better condition.

You may amuse yourselves determining *who* might have provided this tale of woe...

by John on May 12, 2006

February 12, 2006

Rednecks of Argghhh! - and a vote bleg.

As SWWBO noted in her post yesterday, it was a very Red State day at Argghhh! Buying large animal supplies, taking care of the horses, late breakfast at Waffle House, 400 rounds downrange in the afternoon. And of course it was a Castle Argghhh! Range Day, with two WWII vets providing the fun.

SWWBO is getting more famous among gun bloggers (hey, she's getting *linked* and I'm not!) than Castle Argghhh! Why is that? She's getting dangerous with a pistol. And by dangerous, I mean to the intended target, not random locations generally downrange, either. Just take a look here.

Don't mess with SWWBO!

That's three magazines, 45 rounds. No misses. Not bad for her first day shooting a semi-auto. And this isn't her only target, she put over 150 rounds downrange yesterday.

It was a typical day for a beginner - first round was a 10x. After that, we had the usual issues with grip, anticipating recoil, closing the eyes, etc. Rather than get all anal about technique, etc - I just let her blaze away downrange, keeping the occasional eye on things when they got bad (grip problems, especially) but mostly just let her get comfortable with the whole concept of shooting a pistol. We can drag out the Right and Left handed Castle Shooter Analysis Targets on a later trip, and start working on the pathologies. For all that - I must note - every round she sent downrange - hit her target. No misses, which I think says a lot about the pistol *and* the shooter. She tried both the Castle Nazi-marked Radom VIS-35 pistol and the Inglis Hi-Power. Although the VIS-35 probably fit her hand better, she likes the Inglis better - as that target above shows.

We went shooting at Total Range, L.L.C, in St Joseph, Missouri - a place we were introduced to courtesy of KCSteve who invited me to a Christmas party held there by members of At $20 per person per year, we bought memberships. Very nice place. We don't recommend it to you, however. Then you'd go buy memberships and start taking up range space and we might have to wait to get a shooting stall. Nothing to see here, move along.

The Armorer was pleased with his performance yesterday. I only put one magazine through the Inglis, at 5 yards, with this result. Mostly making sure the Inglis was in good shape, so that problems in shooting would be SWWBO-related, not weapon-related. Easier to fix when you can isolate the variables, eh? Our Product of Canada was in fine shape, only suffering from his user's problems, not those of his maker or bad storage.

Armorer's target, Inglis Hi-Power, 5 yards, PMC 9mm fodder

I then shifted over to the Nazi-marked Polish Radom VIS-35 pistol. Also a 9mm like the Inglis. Three magazines (24 rounds) through that, again at 5 yards.

Armorer's target, Polish VIS-35 pistol, PMC 9mm fodder, 5 yards

This is the first time I've shot the VIS-35. I'll spare you the target by target details, but after I was comfortable with it, I sent the carrier downrange to 20 yards. [I'll note at this point while I did cherry-pick the targets to post here, they were *all* like this] The head shots in the following picture are at 20 yards.

Armorer's target, head shots at 20 yards, body shots at 10.  Polish VIS-35 pistol shooting PMC 9mm

Not being happy with the leftward drift (combination of my glasses and how the downrange and uprange light interacted with target and sights), I pulled the target in to 10 yards and put a box of 50 through the Vis. You can see that in the pic above - or better yet - in this pic.

Armorer's target, Radom VIS-35 pistol, 10 yards, 50 rounds PMC 9mm

The Armorer *really* likes the VIS-35. A lot. That's 50 rounds in that target - no flyers, no misses. I really really really like that pistol. I need to find some more magazines.

Note to goblins - just remember - if you *do* get past me, SWWBO's right behind me, turning your liver into pate'. You should take the offer of "Turn around and leave" when it's offered. It will only be offered once.

All in all, a good Red State kind of day.

Which is why we think you should vote for us in the Best Master Gunnies competition! Early and often! <===Click that link! Once a day, every day! From home *and* work! At Internet Cafes! We think The BMG Trophy would look good on an Arsenal Bookshelf... but the only way *that's* gonna happen is if I steal it - unless you guys get really busy and start doing what Bill's been doing- borrowing other people's computers... of course, that would be wrong.

by John on Feb 12, 2006
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: I love Saturdays like this

January 30, 2006

Vaporware from the Armorer...

...just to annoy Ry. Something else that will appear. Whenever I finish it.

Brothers in arms - the unlikely story of two pistols during WWII

But hopefully this week. A wholly unverifiable, but interesting, war story.

by John on Jan 30, 2006

January 29, 2006

Gun Pr0n!

Gun Pr0n - the Castle's Luger P08

Having been nominated for Best Gun Pr0n (and you *can still* vote), it's time for something I haven't done in a while - Gun Pr0n! One reason I haven't is because doing these right takes a lot of time and I haven't had a lot of time lately, and I'm a slug and like to sleep. I know. A weakness to be sure. This one took 12 hours total out of my life this week.

So, you've met the Castle Luger, Georg. You can check out his story here. You can get a sense of his prowess in the hands of a mediocre shooter here.

The basics of the Luger story are simple, though there are *several* good books out there if you are into geek-level detail. This is a blog, we'll skip that for a precis...

The Luger is one of the most distinctive and widely-recognized pistols the world over. You can thank WWI, WWII, and war movies for that. Well, that, and perhaps because the Luger Navy Model of 1904 introduced the world to the 9mm Euroweenie pellet, as Kim du Toit is want to call that round. Regardless of what I or Kim think, however, it is the most common pistol and sub-machine gun round, and the Luger Navy Model of 1904 introduced it to the world. Georg Luger was the designer of that bullet, building on his design of the 7.65 Luger round, which he developed after recognizing the need to make shorter, yet reasonably powerful rounds if automatic pistols were going to get down to a useful size.

The impetus for the development of the Luger pistol gathered steam in the period of 1890-1900. The gunmakers in Europe and the US were angling to land large military orders as the 1st rank armies of Europe were looking to modernize, and the US Army had discovered weaknesses in it’s arms in the Spanish American War. In Germany it was DWM, Mauser, and Bergmann; in England Webley &Scott, to name some of the major players. US interest came on the heels of the success of the European efforts.

What most people I’ve talked to don't know is that the Luger has an sorta-American connection. Georg Luger, the primary engineer, collaborated with the Hugo Borchardt to develop the first Luger pistol, improving on Borchardt's initial design by removing the balance and handling-destroying rear overhang and replacing it with a recoil link and spring in the butt of the pistol, vastly improving the handling of the pistol.

Submitted to the Swiss Army trials of 1898, it was adopted by the Swiss in 1900 as the Ordnance Pistol 1900. A quick distinguishing characteristic of the Swiss pistol is a grip safety that you don’t find on the German pistols - as you can see on these examples. The OP 1900 was chambered for the bottle-necked 7.65mm (called .30 Luger by us 'Muricans), and was as finely crafted a pistol as anything mechanical or chocolate the Swiss have ever produced.

Lugers were produced in Germany by primarily Deutsche Waffen Und Munitionsfabriken (DWM, the builder of Georg the Castle Luger), as well as Simson, Krieghoff, the Erfurt Arsenal, and Mauser. Vickers in England made them for the Dutch, and, as previously mentioned, the Swiss produced them at their Bern Arsenal. No one knows how many were produced due to destruction of German records during WWII, but the guesstimate is better than 2.5 million. Damn things still cost a lot for all that production!

The Kriegsmarine (Navy) was the first German adopter, in 1904, and it is they who gave us the Luger chambered for the 9mm Parabellum round, and a 6 inch barrel. The German Army adopted the Luger as the Pistole Model of 1908 in (drum roll, please) 1908, with a 4 inch barrel. Usually abbreviated P08, this is the version most of us are familiar with, though there have been many other models (see those books for geeks I was talking about). DWM produced the pistol until 1930, when it was taken over by Mauser. The Luger remained the German Army's official sidearm until the adoption of the Walther P38 in 1938, with production continuing through 1943, and issue continued throughout the war and beyond, in East German service. Counting the German variations of the P08, there were, IIRC, about 35 different variations of the Luger produced, and it has been produced in specialty runs at least as late as the 1980s, and perhaps more recently than that – but we all know I’m weak on stuff less than 50 years old…

The other relatively famous version of the Luger you might be familiar with is the Model 1914, the long-barreled version, sometimes called the "Artillery Luger" which was fitted with a long barrel that had integral long range sights, and was often used in conjunction with a wooden shoulder-stock/holster that locked onto the grip. It was for this pistol, in Air Force use, that the 32 round snail drum magazine was developed, as a way to arm pilots when the "Knights of the Air" took to shooting at each other before they got their machine guns all figured out. That pistol uses standard P08 components less the barrel and sights - and in fact, all Lugers produced for the German army have their grips slotted for the stock - even after they no longer made the M1914 or stocks.

Okay - so skip all the history carp and get on to the good stuff!

If ya wanna see him nekkid and exposed... and understand how he works, then come back, behind the curtain, to the peep show in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Jan 29, 2006

January 12, 2006

Little tiny additions.

Not to the Castle, but to the Armory Holdings. As noted, large, expensive additions to the collection are on hold, so the Armorer indulges his collecting jones with smaller stuff, in price, if not always in size. Yesterday's mail delivered a case in point. The Armorer is a Rotarian - and one of the fun things about my particular club is that they are very tolerant of their more eccentric members (among whom the Armorer, of course, is numbered). Rotary sponsors several forms of international exchange programs, both hosting international students and small groups of Rotary-sponsored people doing research, projects, etc. We are probably one of the few clubs that takes visiting foreigners out shooting, usually themed shoots, such as the US Civil War for the Japanese group last year (using member's Civil War era firearms), the South American Mauser shoot for the Argentines, etc. The Armorer has hauled some of the Castle Holdings to meetings, and we've had guest speakers bring their own Kewl and Needful Things to illustrate their talks.

Then there's my usual table and the two other geeks who sit there, Beau and Charley. Charley is a groupie. He got into collecting late, whereas Beau has been collecting for 50 years, and I, 33. We sometimes look like drug dealers or gun runners out in the parking lot, open the trunk and admiring some wondrous new acquisition. We do have some discretion - we don't routinely stroll in with pistols and rifles. But we do stroll in with pocket-sized stuff. I went home yesterday to let the Exterior Guard assume their duties, and the mail had arrived.

Which contained this wonderful bounty from France:

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Lefaucheux pinfire rounds, in 5, 7, 9, and 12mm caliber, and 5 (only one shown) 6mm Longue cartidges. The Longue was interesting to me as it is another transitional cartridge (as discussed in this post some time ago) reflecting the state of manufacturing at the time - using a copper case and a brass base, because they hadn't worked out all the kinks of producing drawn brass cartridges with primer pockets in their bases. The Longue is a rimfire cartridge, meaning the primer composition is in the rim of the base of the cartridge, rather than in the center of the base - just as .22 ammunition is today.

The pinfires represent a different form of transition - that of figuring out just where the heck the primer goes. You may be surprised to learn this system was was developed by a Frenchman named Casimir Lefaucheux possibly as early as 1828, and it was certainly established on the Continent by 1840, though it was slower to jump the Channel, reaching England at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, and making it to the US just prior to the Civil War. These rounds represent the attempt to apply percussion primers with self-obturating (sealing) cartridge cases, to produce effective, reliable self-contained breech-loading ammunition.

This is how they worked - the primer was either glued to the side of the cartridge on the inside, or was embedded in molded powder compound, and the pin runs through the cartridge and protrudes from the side, as this diagram from an old book shows.

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It worked fairly well, all things considered - the drawbacks being complicated assembly and the fact that there would be some blow-by around the pin - which was okay in a black powder weapon, which generates relatively low, slow-building pressure, but wasn't going to work for the new nitro-based smokeless powders.

The Arsenal does not yet contain (but will, but will) any pinfire weapons. A pinfire pistol looks pretty much like any other, with two exceptions.

And if you want to see those - hit the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Jan 12, 2006

December 18, 2005

The Christmas Party of Argghhh!

For those who don't follow She Who Buys Me Machineguns' saga this holiday season will have missed the fact that the Armorer usually has 5 pretty fun Christmas Parties in the season. My firm's, Beth's firm's, Rotary, the client's, and the sub-section of client's (the guys I actually work with day-to-day, vice the whole organization).

The client, being government, everybody pays out-of-pocket for those. Rotary, being a fund-raiser, ya pay some more (but it's still a fun party). The corporate parties are paid for by the firms, with mebbe a kicker for spouses. I hate doing parties stag. Really hate it. Suffice it to say that this year, SWWBO's travel schedule has prevented her from going to *any* parties, and all the money we paid for her to attend... well, ain't getting any of it back. There's a used Lee-Enfield rifle-equivalent of our cash gone back into the economy as donations...

I did attend the Rotary party, and while I put in an appearance at my company party, my heart wasn't in it, and rather than paste on a happy face, I left early. As in during the cocktail hour, *before* dinner, after I had made nice with the Senior People. I just couldn't force myself continue to be pleasant, and *that* would have been rude to everybody, just being a depressed lump at the table, tapping my fingers waiting for everything to end. So I left. I spent more time driving to and from than I spent at the party itself. Sometimes the Armorer just isn't a people person.

So why all this recitation of that doom and gloom? Simple. KCSteve to the rescue! Steve is a reader who lives in the KC area and is a member of Missouri Carry. He invited me to their local Christmas party, held last night at the Total Range complex in St. Joseph, Missouri (just north of here, for those not up on their regional geography).

It was odd, being among a bunch of people who *really* know their modern stuff, given that the Armorer thinks anything younger than 35 or so years of age is a punk. I saw some *very* nice carry pieces, target pieces, a combat shotgun... all in hands of nice, polite, but *very* serious people. Steve's wife was there, and she's a live wire... Steve, like me, is a large, scary man with a beard. Unlike me, he's married to a very petite woman (SWWBO is *regular* sized). A very petite woman who likes to shoot her pistol... with a laser on it... and that laser dot doesn't move very much at all. I only wish I was as steady as she is... for those who remember the Lethal Weapon movie with Mel Gibson's character shooting the happy face on the target? This pistol-packin' momma can actually do it...

The range can take hiigh-powered rifles (though I didn't ask about .50's), and they have a combat shooting range inside - a shoot house. And they do force-on-force in there, too, with training ammo. That might be fun, if I get to feelin' the need to get shot at again. Definitely a venue under consideration for the Blog Shoot of Arggghhh! this spring.

I won the nonexistent prize for oldest weapon. Being the Armorer, I took something historical. In this case, Georg, the Luger.

For an 87 year old guy, Georg shoots pretty well, hampered only by the fact that his assistant isn't anywhere near as good as he is. No jams, functioned flawlessly with American Eagle fmj fodder, at 20 yards. For such a stubby barrel, Georg ain't too bad, though he takes a while to reload. Yeah, yeah, I know, get a loading tool. Heh. All of us older guys take a while to reload... but I digress.

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The flyers in the 7 and 8 ring are all me in rapid fire. The trend left is a function of my glasses and lighting. I was paying attention to what I was doing with the trigger finger and grip. Shooting wearing progressive lenses is a challenge. If I was shooting competively, I'd get purpose made glasses for respective ranges.

For shooting bad guys in the parking lot at night... I think I have it down, even if I can't do a happy face.

by John on Dec 18, 2005
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies
» Kesher Talk links with: Welcome to the RINO Carnival
» Kesher Talk links with: Welcome to the RINO Carnival

November 20, 2005

Serious Timewaster

Especially if you'd like to spend some time getting some practice with sight pictures, and setting sights for competition weapons.

I lost an hour of my life here so far... and will no doubt lose more.

Euro Firearm Simulator.

Heh. Might be a way to work this into a Cyber-shoot...

Work safe for just about everybody but Ry.

by John on Nov 20, 2005

November 19, 2005

Okay Pistol Grognards...

Any of you smart guys seen a M1911 with this modification before?

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Picture 2

Picture 3.

by John on Nov 19, 2005

September 07, 2005

Hey! It's been too long.

Hey! 1.7 million kids live in homes with loaded guns! I think I'm supposed to be upset at that. I'll be upset if they are improperly stored loaded guns... otherwise, welcome to my world!

My son grew up in a house with guns. Lots of 'em. And not one shot was fired in the house! Whew! Dodged a bullet there, eh? Just dumb luck, I'm sure.

I originally started blogging about guns and gun collecting. Of course, when I saw all the people who did that so much better than I, I switched to politics. Boy, was that a bad idea. So, I drifted into general military stuff.

But by golly, it's been too long since the collection made an appearance!

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So, how about the pistols?

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There. I feel better now. Except, I need to add a new one!

by John on Sep 07, 2005
» Alphecca links with: A Nice Pistol Collection

August 04, 2005

Heh. Just heh.

From an email.

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FM Radio This unusual weapon is a functional FM radio with earphones that is worn on a belt but also conceals a gun. Law enforcement officers should be aware of the possible threat of this object.

H/t, Dave M.

by John on Aug 04, 2005
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Most Americans

June 03, 2005

Footnotes to the day.

First and foremost... Carnival of the Recipes #42 is up at Conservative Friends. Enjoy!

Some historical notes I overlooked yesterday...


1740 Marquis de Sade, sometime soldier, full time wierdo. 'Nuff said!


1774 Parliament passes the Quartering Act, forcing billetting British
soldiers in homes, and one more straw goes on Colonial America's back.
1866 Repulsed from Canada, Irish Fenians surrender to US forces. One of our numerous failed attempts to conquer Canada.
1914 Glenn Curtiss flies the Langley Aerodrome. One ungainly bird!
1943 All-black 99th Pursuit Squadron flies 1st combat mission, over Italy.
1943 Pope Pius XII denounces air bombardment, is totally ignored. That whole Monastery at Monte Cassino thing must have really chapped him. But I wouldn't say he was ignored completely. The bombing weapons and tactics we have today are directly derived from the concern that large-scale area bombing (we were generally as accurate as we could be, at the time)was not a good thing...

Today, of course, is the anniversary of Tiananmen Square. Check out Bad Cat Robot's recollections.

Stand by for ram on Abu Ghraib again.

If the stuff missing from these sites was not taken by us... this does represent a significant failure in planning for OIF, whether we like the UN on this issue or not...

Not surprisingly, LT Pantano wants out. No arguments from me. If he stays, the controversy will always hang over him, rightly or wrongly, and he'll be a lightning rod.

I'll defer to Dusty - but this strikes me as penny-wise and pound foolish.

New handcannon. This won't be entering the Arsenal holdings any time soon, as we don't do babies, only providing homes to Old Soldiers.

200-grain bullet at a speed of 2,330fps. Reputedly this pistol now ranks as the highest velocity revolver *in production*. And velocity is only a component of the energy equation... but I'm sure I've got some readers who can, and will, elucidate... The Smith and Wesson 460XVR, only $1,253.00. There are several things I want for the arsenal before I shell that much out for some new-fangled thingy! But I know some of you have a regrettable yen for newness...

Mind you, I'm only talking the Arsenal at Argghhh! there... for the troops... mmmm, Ray Guns! And cool cameras. Of course, now the Armorer will be taking photos of the yard periodically and using software to point out anomalies... just in case.

by John on Jun 03, 2005
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Friday Fun

February 25, 2005

The Answer

All righty then... yesterday I brought out the Arsenal's Chinese Type 51 copy of the Soviet Tokarev pistol. He was damaged during his career on active service, though not as badly as his previous owner who was deadlined and dropped from the reporting system.

And the answer? How many dings?

And the Lord of the Keep spake, saying, 'First shalt thou peer closely, seeking the places where metal is not, yet whereat it should be. Then shalt thou count those places where metal, due to energetic energy transfer, hath been made thinner, yet denser, than previous. Seek thou also the place where plastic no longer is where it once was. Truly, there shall also be a lessening of metal, and a increase in density there. When thou has done this aright - Then, shalt thou count to four. No more. No less. Four shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be four. Five shalt thou not count, nor either count thou three, excepting that thou then proceed to four. Six is right out. Once the number four, being the fourth number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Cap of Celebration towards yonder scruple, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.' So ends this reading from the Book of the Castle, Chapter Miniatus Armas.

Indeed. Four is the answer. Except when it is five. As it is. But not for this, as the 5th point of damage is on the side that is terra incognito - the Far Side of the Pistol, (a new album coming soon from Pink Floyd). The hit on the backstrap hit a pin which transferred the energy over to the other side, damaging that grip as well. Per the comments from some of you yesterday, you may recognize this staining pattern, as well. There's more than that, but it proved challenging to photograph with the time I have this morning.

by John on Feb 25, 2005

February 24, 2005

Okay - we did it with Bill, now let's do it with me.

Get yer mind out of the gutter.

This is the Arsenal's Chinese Type 51 Pistol, a copy of the Soviet TT33. Like "Hubert," Twitchy Bill's Trusty Steed, this pistol and its previous owner had a tough day at the office.

Unlike Twitchy and Hubert, the pistol's then-owner did not survive the encounter. Evidence of the encounter is visible on the pistol. How many hits do you see?

Click here for hi-res.

by John on Feb 24, 2005

January 20, 2005

Gratuitous gun pic.

Since I'm killin' time, waitin' for the time to head to the airport to pick up SWWBO, watchin' CSI on Spike, had too much wine, here's the flip side of the Inglis pic downstream.

The Castle's Hi-Power being shy. Here she is all demure in her stock... out back on the deck.

Y'know, the little bottles of wine (1 liter may be cheap, but it ain't a lot...) but SWWBO's big glasses, well, you can knock down the bottle in only two glasses!

Good thing I've got three hours! Hic!

And for the curious, it's an Aussie wine, Yellow Tail Merlot. $6.25 a bottle at the Class VI. (Military liquor store) Not being much of a wine drinker, I do like the Aussie reds.

by John on Jan 20, 2005

January 19, 2005

Gratuitous Gun Pic

Since I'm pimping Canadian ordnance today - let's go with a little eye-candy.

The Castle's Inglis Hi-Power. A Chinese-contract pistol that never made it to China, having been diverted for use by the Canadian Army. Complete with the Chinese stock-holster, and sporting custom wood grips. On display in the case, he sports his proper black plastic grips.

Hi-res here.

by John on Jan 19, 2005

December 19, 2004

Gratuitious Gun Pic

I had a photo-essay planned for today, but some technical problems (like an unmountable boot sector) are getting in the way. So, while I deal with that, here's a shot of some of the pistols, artillery sights, periscopes, and other optics in the collection of the Arsenal at Castle Argghhh!

Hi-res here.

by John on Dec 19, 2004

October 21, 2004

The answer to the teaser...

Okay. The teaser I posted was pretty tough. A lot of thought went into most of the responses. If you're new to how I do this... *usually* not always, but usually, there are clues in the Arsenal photo album. In this case, the answer was there, as I had already uploaded all the photos while I was still doing a little research to flesh out the post.

It's a tround. From Triangular Round, seen here with a Brit WWI-era .303 MkVIIZ ball round. The Tround was developed by David Dardick, who developed a revolving pistol that could be magzine fed. Yep. A magazine fed revolver (see picture links below)

The tround uses a strong plastic (some sources also assert aluminum-reinforced) cartridge of triangular section. The gun is a revolver, but the chambers are open to the outside. The cylinder was wrapped in a casing (which is why in the picture below it doesn't look like a revolver), except where the cartridge was loaded and the case ejected, similar to the drawing here, from Chinn's series of books on machinegun development (ya want those books or CD if you are into machineguns). That's the innovation that makes it possible; the cartridge drops straight into the chamber through the gap in the casing, rotates in line with the barrel and when fired is supported by both the cylinder and the casing, which in combination act as the more traditional chamber.

Primer view. (click the link, you guys from Sixgunner - I do too know the bullet end from the primer end!)

The Dardick pistols and carbine were produced in Hamden CT, from around 1959-61 There were 3 different pistol models, and a carbine modification.

Model 1100: This came with two interchangeable barrels for the .38 Special and .22 Long Rifle. The barrel lengths were 3.0 inches. It could hold 11 trounds.

Model 1500: This also came with 2 interchangeable barrels for the .38 Special and .22 Long Rifle, but had 6 inch barrels and could hold 15 trounds. I have seen sources which also say the 1500 only carried 11 trounds.

Model 2000: The Model 2000 held 20 rounds.

Rifle Conversion: Remove the barrel and the pistol frame could be fitted into a stocked rifle.

Numrich/Gun Parts Corporation also produced Dardick pistols, but what little info I've found on that indicated they never worked reliably due to manufacturing flaws in cylinder timing.

There are three types of trounds, of which I have two. The first, and the kind I don't have, is really a carrier for the standard cartridge, which slipped into the tround. The second, of which the black one I used in the teaser is one, were purpose-built, with a primer, powder, and bullet integral to the tround. Tround are reloadable. Reloading would have been relatively easy, as there is no case expansion and thus no need for resizing or crimping. Simply replace the primer, load the powder and press the bullet in place. There is an internal cannelure in the case to hold the bullet and provide enough resistance for the initial pressure build to ensure a more complete powder burn and reliable tround-to-tround perfomance - though I have no idea how many times you could reload one.

The example in the Arsenal is a .50 caliber dummy, part of a bunch made for the development of a tround-loaded light machine gun in the late 80's early 90's.

The other tround in the collection is the one which had the most commercial success. It was developed for a drilling device for rock drilling. This is a salesmans sample. Sarco has 'em for sale I believe - they want $100 which is a heckuva lot more than I paid for mine at a gunshow.

Made of clear plastic, it has three ceramic 'bullets' in it, with a common powder charge and primer. To quote from Sarco's website:

Super rare 20mm rock drill cartridge - Dardik's only commercial success. This was a rock drill gun and if drilling hit a snag it shot three ceramic bullets in to the holes to pulverized [sic] the snag.

I think it was Gunner of No Quarters who asked me if I knew anything about trounds. Now you know pretty much all that I do. Sorry if I was a little slow, Gunner!

by John on Oct 21, 2004
» Quotulatiousness links with: If you read L. Neil Smith's books and wondered . . .

April 03, 2004

Mebbe I'm missing something...

But it sounds like the only home this family should be in is jail - not a $250K (Aussiebucks) palace with a hot tub and horse paddocks.

Interesting government thinking out of the box here.

Mebbe *everybody* will behave if we give them a nice house.

Good luck funding that, dudes.

by John on Apr 03, 2004

January 28, 2004

New gun p0rn.

Next up for your viewing pleasure is Friedrich Langenhan’s masterpiece*, the “Langenhan Army Model.”

This is a simple blowback-operated semi-auto chambered for the 7.65mm Auto pistol cartridge. It has a four inch barrel and a magazine capacity of 8 rounds. As you can see from the photos (behind the curtain, in the extended post), the barrel is not where we are used to seeing it. The recoil spring lays above the barrel, opposite most semi-auto pistols with which we are familiar. This layout is driven by the way Langenhan handled the breech of his weapon. I don’t know if he used this approach to avoid patent issues, or to simplify some aspects of production (though certainly not the overall complexity).

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Jan 28, 2004

January 25, 2004

Next gun in the hopper.

Is an obscure little german automatic from WWI.

by John on Jan 25, 2004
» Mind of Mog links with: More Linky Love

January 24, 2004

Okay, here we go with the Type 94.

I'm late, but cut me some slack. I'm busy, I've hurt myself, and this isn't costing you anything anyway... Good news is, while doing this, I did the pics for the next pistol, the Langenhan, so I'll have fewer excuses for that one.

Back to that piece of crap, the Japanese Type 94. This particular pistol is an early production one - when the quality was better. Can't say good. Japanese officers had to purchase their own sidearms, and this chromed pistol was produced specifically for that market. Some people conjecture that these plated pistols were produced for naval officers, but I remain unconvinced of that (any having a source that says otherwise, pass it on!)

This thing is a real pain to take apart and put back together, too.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Jan 24, 2004
» Les Jones Blog links with: Weekly Gun Links #2

January 22, 2004

Gratuitious Gun Pic

This not having my regular computer has really put a crimp in doing gun stuff. I'll be glad when the new one is built!

Anyway - this is all I have time for right now... a teaser. One of the spugliest, poorly made (and this is a GOOD example), badly designed, dangerous to the user pistols to ever get a young officer killed because it was a POS, the Japanese Type 94.

We'll take a deeper look at it tonight.

by John on Jan 22, 2004

January 18, 2004

Some readers of this space...

...based on recent emails, are concerned that the Imperial Armory is sans pistoles. This is not the case. To quiet the peasants with pitchforks, here are two views of the Armory's stock on handguns. Rather than list what each one is, I will leave that for you, the reader to sort out. The on-line museum will get to them as the Muse seizes me. I'm currently contemplating a bit on the needlegun, or early catridge types, or, by request, the SKS. Not to worry - those of you who answered the poll awhile ago - all that stuff is in the mill!

As you can see, while no where near as extensive as the longarm holdings, there are still a fair number of handguns!

by John on Jan 18, 2004

December 10, 2003

I don't want one of these.

I don't think it was a particularly good idea to make it, either. Some of you will disagree. So be it! But, it is kinda cool, in an abstract way.

Besides, I owe ya some gun pics.

Thanks to CAPT H for the video.

by John on Dec 10, 2003

October 18, 2003

What do you see?

According to a guy in Kim du Toit's email about Lugers what came to mind when he saw a Luger was "...was the image of its barrel pressing against some innocent's head." Hmmm. While I can understand his point, I see something different.

I see one pistol that encapsulates German military experience from the Great War to the reintegration of East Germany. Yes, from this picture I can tell this weapon spans the whole era. How, at a glance?

He has imperial proofs, aluminum base magazine, and the trigger is hot blued, not strawed (strawed is when the steel is in-the-white with some color from heat treating). More pics behind the curtain, even if I don't feel like blogging in a lascivious manner today. I'll do that tomorrow, with the DP-28 post.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by John on Oct 18, 2003

October 13, 2003

Glock fun! Gun movie instead of a pic.

Here's a movie for you guys who like your firearms a little newer than WWII, with a nod to Vietnam.

This thing would be expensive to feed, but seems remarkably controllable, all things considered. You'd be close to invincible in a one-on-one, and probably scare the hell out of anyone in a one-on-one+x fight.

Ya'd need lots of practice, to make sure you had good fire discipline so you didn't get popped changing magazines.

Gee, izzat a bad thing? Lotsa practice? Not if someone else is paying the fodder bill.

It's almost enough to make me wanno get a Class III license. Can't get one any other way unless you're a cop or military, as they weren't available pre-86 dang-it-all!

Though I suspect if I were cops, I'd think twice about issuing these as a standard side-arm. It might tempt the goblins to ambush cops to get a couple. Since I don't run on that side of the fence, I have no idea how hard these are to get otherwise.

UPDATE: The Emperor has approved (see comment below). All LC's may now procure the new Glock Imperator for use in service of the Rottweiler Empire.

by John on Oct 13, 2003
» Les Jones Blog links with: Full Auto Glock