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Older, Odd, Offbeat And Forgotten Guns & Ammo

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Enfield MkI Revolver: Merwin Meets Webley (Sort Of)
Forgotten Weapons


Published on Aug 23, 2018
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Adopted in 1880 to replace the Adams revolver, the Enfield MkI was based on an extraction system patented in the 1870s by Owen Jones of Philadelphia. This was similar in practice to the Merwin & Hulbert, with the barrel and cylinder hinging forward while the cartridge cases were held to the back of the frame. This system allowed empty cases to drop free (except the 6 o’clock position one, which often stuck) while retaining any unfired cartridges in the cylinder. Because the extractor star was fixed to the frame, the piece had to be loaded one round at a time through a loading gate (again, like the Merwin & Hulbert).

In 1882 a number of improvements were made to the design and lockwork, including features to prevent the cylinder from rotating freely and to disconnect the hammer when the loading gate was open. This was adopted as the MkII in 1882. A further change was made in 1887, following the death of a Royal Navy sailor whose gun fell out of its holster and discharged upon hitting the hammer. A new safety mechanism was added to prevent this from happening again, and most guns in service were retrofitted with it.

The Enfield was generally not well received, as it was heavy and a bit awkward to handle. It was issued to the Army, Navy, and RCMP, but replaced by the first adopted Webley top-break revolvers in the late 1880s (Enfield MkII production ceased in 1889). Unlike the Webleys and other private-production guns, there was never a civilian version of the Enfield MkI or MkII made, and they are scarcer to find today as a result.

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Swedish Antiaircraft Artillery: Bofors 40mm Automatic Gun M1
Forgotten Weapons


Published on Aug 24, 2018
Note: In the video I mistakenly describe this as a two-stamp NFA gun. It is actually deactivated, and thus does not require a tax stamp. Sorry for the mistake!

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The Swedish Bofors company developed their 40mm antiaircraft gun in the 1930s, and it would go on to be one of the most successful weapon designs in modern history. Used by both sides in WWII and in all theaters, improved versions of the 40mm Bofors gun continue to serve in military front lines to this very day. In the US, they comprise part of the armament on the AC-130 Spectre gunships, for example.

This particular gun is a WW2 vintage piece, made in Sweden. Most of the examples used by the United States were made under license by Chrysler, the car company. Something like 60,000 were produced during the war, mostly for naval use. These guns would be a mainstay of American vessels' air defense against Japanese Kamikaze attacks.

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Valmet's Bullpup: The M82
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Published on Aug 25, 2018
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The Valet M82 is a bullpup conversion of the Valmet M76 rifle, originally designed in the hopes of attracting Finnish military interest for paratroopers. These initial military rifles were made with wood stocks and in 7.62x39mm. For a multitude of pretty obvious reasons, this did not work out - but the rifles were sold commercially on the civilian market, mostly to the US. The commercial guns were chambered for the 5.56mm cartridge, and used a urethane stock instead of the original wood. A total of about 2,000 were made and sold between 1982 and 1986, when "assault weapon" importation was cut off. Today they are one of the scarcer Valmet variants, and definitely the strangest.

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"Ideal" Holster/Stock for the Luger
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Published on Aug 26, 2018
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Most automatic pistols of the early 20th century were offered with shoulder stock options, and the Luger had more than most. Probably the most interesting one I am aware of is the Ideal Holster Company’s design, which was patented by one Ross Phillips of Los Angeles. Phillips applied for his patent in 1901, and had it granted in 1904. The design uses a set of special grip panels with metal locking surfaces in them in conjunction with some very clever angular geometry to allow the stock to be easily attached and detached when in the short position, but lock tight and secure when the stock is extended to shooting length.

Not many of these Ideal stocks exist today, and it seems that the idea was not commercially viable - or at least it was too expensive to become popular. All of the known examples are marked “Patents Pending”, which would suggest that all manufacture predates 1904, when the patent was granted. Most likely only one batch was made, and they took too long to sell to be deemed worth continuing to manufacture. The company did also offer this type of stock for colt and S&W revolvers, although those are also very scarce today.

Note that the pistol in this video is being sold by Rock Island as a separate lot from the stock, and the stock does come with a set of the requisite special grip panels.

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Pair of Rigby Triple-Barrel Percussion Derringers
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Published on Aug 27, 2018
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John Rigby founded his unmaking company in 1775, and it continues to exist making fine rifles and shotguns to this day. He himself died in 1818, passing the business on to his son William, who was joined by John II (John Junior?) in the 1820s. During that time, they made not just rifles and shotguns but also a variety of pocket pistols for self defense at shops in both London and Dublin.

This pair is an interesting and unorthodox example of the type, with three barrels on each and a rotating striker on the hammer to select which barrel to fire. The selector rotates only clockwise, preventing the possibility of accidentally returning to a previously fired barrel under stress. The triggers fold up when the hammer is not cocked, preventing them from catching in a pocket and removing the need for a bulky trigger guard.

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Alsop Navy Revolver, Compared to its Pocket Model Companion
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Published on Aug 28, 2018
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Joseph Alsop and his sons Charles R and Charles H were investors in the Savage Revolving Firearms Company, but also made an attempt to produce revolvers of their own (similar) design. In 1862 and 1863 they made a total of 800, the first 500 being .36 caliber Navy pattern guns, and the final 300 being .31 caliber pocket pattern guns. The two types do have different sized frames, but not as different as one might expect. Today’s video is primarily to point out the differentiating features between the two - see my previous video on the Alsop Pocket for more on the history and mechanics of the design (the two types are identical mechanically). The most visible difference between the two is on the top of the grip frame, where the Navy has a prominent protrusion and the Pocket has just a slight step.

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Run and Gun: The Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk.1
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Published on Aug 28, 2018
Mike was recently in Canada as the guest of Rob of the channel British Muzzleloaders https://www.youtube.com/user/britishm... and got the opportunity to set up a WW2-themed run and gun with Rob's Canadian-made Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk.1*, putting into action some late WW2 techniques from some obscure training memoranda.

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.303 British Lee Enfield No.4 Mk.1* Long Branch
 

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Heavy But Effective: Britain's No4 MkI (T) Sniper Rifle
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Published on Aug 29, 2018
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The main British sniper rifle of World War Two, and arguably one of the best looking military sniper rifles of all time, the No4 MkI (T) was something the British military knew they would want even before the No4 MkI rifle had gone into real production. The first No4 snipers were built on leftover trials rifles from Enfield, and the pattern was formally introduced in February of 1942. First use was in North Africa, but the fighting there was not really suited to sniper rifles, and the weapon’s practical combat debut was in Italy in 1943.

The No4 MkI (T) was a conversion of a standard No4 MkI rifle, using examples chosen for particular good accuracy. They were sent to Holland & Holland to have scope mount bases added and No32 telescopic sights fitted (along with cheek risers on the stocks and having the battle sight aperture ground off to allow room for the scope bell). Between 23,000 and 26,000 were made during the war, and they would continue to be used in the British military for decades, including later conversion into 7.62mm NATO L42A1 rifles.

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Competition with an SAA: The Colt Bisley and Bisley Target
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Published on Aug 30, 2018
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Named for the famous British shooting competition range, the Colt Bisley was the target version of the 1873 Single Action Army revolver. Colt first offered a flat-top model of the SAA from 1890 until 1895, and dropped it to introduce a specialized Bisley model in 1894. The Bisley had a redesigned trigger, hammer, and grip frame. The regular SAA grip was designed to let the gun roll in the hand under recoil, to bring the hammer under the thumb for recocking. This was not ideal for target shooting, where one would prefer to maintain the exact same grip throughout a course of fire. The Bisley grip design eliminated the rolling of the gun, and the hammer was widened and lowered to allow easy recocking from that firing grip.

In addition to the basic Bisley model, a Bisley Target model was also offered, with a windage adjustable rear sight and an elevation adjustable front blade (the regular Bisley had the same fixed sights as the standard SAA). In total, 44,350 Bisley were sold, and 976 Bisley Targets. They could be ordered in any barrel length, but mostly were made with 7.5 inch barrels to get the longest sight radius for competition shooting. Almost any caliber could be ordered, and the Bisleys tended to skew more toward light cartridges than the standard SAA, with the most common being .32-20, aka .32 WCF. Production ended in 1912, and the last Bisley was shipped from Colt’s inventory in 1919.

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Inland Manufacturing T30 Carbine
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Published on Aug 30, 2018
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The T30 Carbine is a standard M1 Carbine that was fitted with a M82 scope, the same used on the 1903A4. The T 30 fires a standard .30 Carbine cartridge and uses standard M1 Carbine magazines. Inland Manufacturing supplied this rifle for testing at which point it was returned to Inland Manufacturing.
 

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The Last Lee Enfield: the L42A1 Sniper
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Published on Aug 31, 2018
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When the British military adopted the FAL (L1A1 SLR) in 1960, they adopted the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge along with it. While the Brens guns were converted to the new cartridge, efforts at converting the Lee Enfield into a precision rifle were not successful t the time. However, civilian target shooters and the British NRA would work on perfecting that conversion for use in competition, and would ultimately produce very accurate 7.62mm rifles built on Lee Enfield actions - accurate enough that the military took notice. Copying the competition rifles, the British military would adopt the L42A1 in 1970, an Enfield action converted to 7.62mm NATO with a shortened and free-floated stock and hand guard and a heavy profile barrel. A total of 1,080 L42A1 rifles would be converted from existing No4 MkI(T) sniper rifles, and they would serve in the front lines of the British military until 1992, when they were replaced by the Accuracy International L96A1.

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The Lewis Gun
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Published on Aug 31, 2018
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The guys (and Gals) from C&Rsenal join us today along with a World War 1 era Lewis LMG chambered in 303 British. What an awesome treat, we hope you guys enjoy this quick look at this vintage piece on the range. For a more detailed history be sure to check out C&Rsenals video on this exact rifle over on their channel at the link above. Stay tuned, much more on the way.

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DISCLAIMER: Our videos are strictly for documentary, educational, and entertainment purposes only. Imitation or the use of any acts depicted in these videos is solely AT YOUR OWN RISK. All work on firearms should be carried out by a licensed individual and all state and federal rules apply to such. We (including YouTube) will not be held liable for any injury to yourself or damage to your firearms resulting from attempting anything shown in any our videos. We do not endorse any specific product and this video is not an attempt to sell you a good or service. We are not a gun store and DO NOT sell or deal in firearms. Such a practice is heavily regulated and subject to applicable laws. We DO NOT sell parts, magazines, or firearms. These videos are free to watch and if anyone attempts to charge for this video notify us immediately. By viewing or flagging this video you are acknowledging the above.

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France's Super-Light 50mm Modele 37 Grenade Launcher
Forgotten Weapons



Published on Sep 1, 2018
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A new very light and portable mortar to replace the V-B rifle grenade was one of the facets of the French plan for rearmament and modernization after World War Two. The concept for the weapons that would become the L.Gr. Mle 37 was first requested in 1924 - but like so almost all the other parts of that arms program, it was crippled by delays through the 1920s and 1930s. Only in the late 1930s when was was looking imminent did the program finally move forward.

The design, created by Captain Nahan of the Chatellerault arsenal, was adopted in 1937 and a whopping 21,950 were ordered in January of 1938 - and the order was quickly revised up to 50,000. However, only 2900 had been produced by the time of the armistice in June 1940. Production resumed in 1944, and the launcher did see use in Indochina. In addition, its 50mm grenade was the basis for the postwar French rifle grenades, as used on the MAS-36 LG 48, the MAS-44, and MAS-49 rifles. As fired form the mortar, the projectile weighed about one pound (0.4kg) and had a range of 80 to 460 meters, with an effective rate of fire up to 20 rounds per minute.

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Old West Vignette: Wyatt Earp murders Frank Stilwell
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Published on Sep 1, 2018
March 20th, 1882 -

Wyatt Earp chased Frank Stilwell over 100 yards over train tracks at the Tucson Train Depot and killed him at point blank range with both barrels of his shotgun.

Wyatt killed this man under the belief that he had been culpable in the murder of his brother, Morgan Earp, although there were no charges nor specific evidence to enforce that belief.

Wyatt Earp and others were indicted for murder in regards to this killing, and you can read the indictment here:
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Germany's Not-So-Light 5cm Le GrW 36 Light Mortar
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Published on Sep 2, 2018
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The 5cm 5CM Leichte Granatwerfer 36 was the standard German light infantry mortar going into World War Two. It was designed by Rheinmetall-Borsig in the mid 1930s and adopted in 1936. It fired a 0.9kg / 2 pound mortar bomb with a range of up to 550 meters. In theory, it occupied the same role as the French Mle 1937 50mm light mortar - except it was far heavier than was practical, and substantially more complex to use. The LeGrW 36 weighed in at a hefty 31 pounds (14kg) - nearly four times as much as its French counterpart.

It was a striker fired design, with a trigger lever and thus did not fire immediately upon a round being loaded. It used adjustments in angle to determine range, with a constant projectile velocity (as opposed to venting a varying amount of propellent gas to adjust range). By the middle of the war, it was being pulled out of front-line use, as its weight and relative complexity made it impractical for its intended role.

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WW Marston Breechloading Pistol and Leather-Base Cartridge
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Published on Sep 3, 2018
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William Walker Marston was born in 1822, and would spend his career as a gunsmith and gunmaker in New York City. He produced a wide variety of firearms, including pepperboxes, multi-barrel derringers, percussion revolvers, and the breechloading single-shot pistol which we are looking at in this video.

This pistol is based on an 1852 patent Marston received for a cartridge which used a heavy paper or cardboard case and a leather base pad. That leather pad appears to have been intended as a self-clean bore wipe, which would be remain in the chamber when fired and then be pushed down the bore by the subsequent round. About 1,000 of these pistols were made, in a variety of barrel lengths (from 4” to 8”) and in all three popular calibers (.31, .36, and .44). While the cartridge was a nice improvement over a muzzleloading design, it was apparently not practical or innovative enough to become a real commercial success compared to the other types of combustible cartridges appearing on the market in the 1850s.

The tang sight on this pistol is rather interesting, as it seems to be usable only if the pistol is held very close to the eye. This suggests to me the use of a simple wire stock, although there is no evidence of such a thing being fitted to the gun.

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Rock Island Arsenal M15 General Officer's Model
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Published on Sep 4, 2018
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The M15 General Officer’s pistol was the replacement for the Colt Model M, which had long been the military issue sidearm for General-level officers. By the late 1960s, however, the supply of Model M pistols was running out, and Colt no longer had the design (the Pocket Hammerless) in production. Dale Hoffman, Superintendent of Small Arms at Rock Island Arsenal designed his own shortened (4.25 inch barrel) and accurized 1911 and submitted it to the Army unsolicited as a replacement for the Model M.

This resulted in trials in 1971, where Hoffman’s gun was put up against both steel and aluminum framed S&W Model 39s, a 9mm Colt Series 70, and a Walther P38. Hoffman’s design came out the best, and was formally adopted in 1972. Between 1972 and 1974, the Rock Island Arsenal converted 1004 stock 1911A1 pistol into M15s, and they were issued out until 1982, when the supply was exhausted. At that point, General officers began to be issued standard 1911A1 pistols, and later Beretta 92s. As an interesting side note, any General issued an M15 had the option of purchasing it from the government for $147 upon retirement - and I would presume that most took that option.

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The Original Pasadena Auto Mag 180
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Published on Sep 5, 2018
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The Auto Mag 180 was basically the result of two guys noticing that nobody made a semiauto .44 Magnum pistol…and that they could probably do it. The men were Max Gera, a young Italian immigrant gunsmith, and his employer, gun shop owner Harry Sanford. Gera put together the core of the gun’s design in late 1969 and 1970 - a short recoil, rotating bolt pistol with an accelerator to aid extraction and a rimless case based on a cut-down .30-06 or .308 case. This would become the .44 AMP cartridge, which aimed to duplicate .44 Magnum ballistics in a rimless case.

When Sanford brought in investors to help fund to commercial production of the gun, Gera sold his share of the endeavor and left - apparently the chaos and drama of a bunch of cutthroat investors was not what he wanted to have in his life (and I can hardly blame him). Sanford and a couple other engineers completed gun pistol design, and set up a manufacturing facility in Pasadena. The first guns came off the line in August of 1971, and by May of 1972 the company was bankrupt. They had been selling the guns for far less than they actually cost to produce, in hopes of driving enough demand to get an economy of scale going in the production…but it didn’t work. Over the next 10 years, five more companies would take on the Auto Mag, each of them losing money and selling out in short order. In total, about 9,000 Auto Mag Model 180 pistol were made, 3,000 in the original Pasadena gun and the remained divided amongst the other companies. Ironically, interest in the gun would peak only after the last company gave up, when Clint Eastwood used one in the 1983 Dirty Harry film “Sudden Impact”.

Sanford passed away in 1996, but the story continues. A new company purchased the rights and the engineering to the gun in 2015, and announced new production at SHOT Show a couple years ago. Time will tell if they can be more successful than those who came before. Perhaps with modern CNC machines they can?

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S&W 1940 Light Rifles: Receiver Breakage is a Problem
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Published on Sep 6, 2018
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Designed in 1939 by S&W engineer Edward Pomeroy, the S&W Light Rifle is an extremely well manufactured but rather poorly thought out carbine. It is a 9mm Parabellum open-bolt, semiautomatic, blowback carbine feeding from 20-round magazines. It was tested by the US military at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and rejected for a number of reasons, including not being in the US standard .45 ACP cartridge and not being full automatic. However, the British were in dire need of small arms, and S&W decided to pursue sales to the UK rather than redesign the gun to US taste.

The UK ordered a large number, but upon putting the first guns through trials found them to be unsatisfactory. The 9x19mm loading used by the British was substantially hotter than what S&W had used in designing the weapon, and receiver endocarps were shearing off in as few as 1000 rounds under British testing. The British cancelled the order, and took delivery of S&W revolvers in lieu of a refund on their (sizable) down payment. At the end of the war, all but 5 of the 1,010 guns delivered were destroyed.

In 1974, crates of leftover Light Rifles were discovered in the basement of S&W - 137 MkI types and 80 MkII types. These were sold as a batch to Bill Orr of GT Distributors, who then sold them on the commercial market. Orr also petitioned ATF to exempt the guns from NFA short-barreled rifle classification (the guns have 9.75” barrels), and was successful - so these transfer as ordinary rifles despite their short barrels.

The difference between the MkI and MkII is the safety and the firing pin. The MkI has a lever safety which locks the bolt in the rearward position, and a floating firing pin with a lever actuator like a Beretta M38. The MkII has a rotary sleeve safety which locks the bolt either forward or rearward (a better system), and a fixed firing pin milled into the bolt face. Note that contrary to most literature, the MkII receiver was not strengthened to alleviate the durability problems found by British testing.

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Denel NTW 20: A Multi-Caliber Anti-Materiel Rifle
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Published on Sep 7, 2018
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Created by noted South African gun designer Tony Neophytou, the NTW-20 is a bolt action anti-materiel rifle made in 20x82mm, 20x110mm, and 14.5x115mm. The weapon began as idea to use the large quantities of surplus 14.5mm ammunition available at the time, and a recognition that the 14.5mm Soviet cartridge was an excellent anti-armor round, with a really remarkably high muzzle velocity. To widen the rifle's capabilities, it was decided to incorporate an easily interchangeable barrel, and also chamber it for the 20x82mm round used in the Inkunzi PAW individual weapon and Inkunzi Strike machine gun. The 20x82mm is low velocity compared to traditional 20mm cartridges, carrying the same explosive or incendiary payload but without the punishing recoil of what was originally an aircraft cannon cartridge.

Both of these cartridges are fed from a 3-round box magazine on the left side of the action. A single-shot version in the longer 20x110mm cartridge was also developed by request of a military client, but this cartridge is too long to fit the magazine. A version in .50 BMG was considered, but decided against on the basis of the 14.5mm being just as available and substantially more effective.

The gun is liberally sprinkled with clever engineering and design features - things like using the recoil-absorbing travel of the action to recock the hammer, and the use of both 20mm and 14.5mm cartridge cases as levers for unlocking the barrel. The optic was custom made for the rifle, an 8x56mm long eye relief scope to prevent any chance of the scope bell injuring the shooter during recoil. The trigger mechanism uses only a single spring, and is easily removed from the action. The bolt handle itself is on a pivot pin, and provides the primary extraction leverage to ensure easy cycling with the high-pressure 14.5mm cartridge.

From a military perspective, the NTW-20 is easily broken apart into barrel and action loads, and can be transported more easily than any comparable weapon by a two-man team. The use of a recoil buffer in the action and an effective muzzle brake makes it a remarkably pleasant 20mm rifle to fire. Of all the anti-material rifles I have fired (Lahti L39, Solothurn S18-1000, Mauser T-Gewehr), the NTW-20 was by far the most comfortable to shoot. It was also the only one in which I jumped at the chance to fire more rounds once the filming needs were met. It certainly has a kick, but not at all a painful one.

Many thanks to Denel Land Systems for allowing me to try out this very cool rifle!

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Tours of WW1: Belgian "Trench of Death"
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Published on Sep 8, 2018
This kilometer long network of revetments, saps and dug-outs was one of the most dangerous Belgian positions on the Western Front, situated just 50 meters from a German bunker. As a result, the trench was subjected to almost constant fire from the Germans.

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8mm M1915 Chauchat Fixing and Range Testing
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Published on Sep 9, 2018
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Well, my 8mm French Chauchat finally cleared transfer, as did my application to reactivate it. This was a "dewat", or "Deactivated War Trophy" - a machine gun put on the NFA registry but modified to be non-firing. This is not the same as legal destruction, as the receiver of the gun remained intact. The method of deactivation on such things can very significantly; in this case the chamber was plugged with weld, the bolt face welded up, and the barrel extension welded to the receiver. I did have an intact spare bolt and barrel assembly, however.

I removed the weld holding the barrel assembly in place, cleaned it up a bit, and dropped in my new parts.

Legal note: this was done after the receipt of an approved Form 5 from ATF, complete with tax stamp.

Today I took it out to the range for the first time, to see if any further work would be needed. And yeah, there was a bit of tweaking necessary. The feeding and extraction are solid, but the ejection requires some work. So, after swapping in a better extractor, I headed back to the range for another test run.

This time is ran great, with the exception of one bad magazine (3 of 4 being 100% reliable is better than I expected, given their age and construction). So now, I have a fully functioning Chauchat and three known-good magazines. Next up? Two-gun match! Stay tuned...

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Swiss Reibel M31 Tank & Fortress Machine Gun
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Published on Sep 10, 2018
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The Reibel Modele M31 was the variation of the French Chatellerault M24/29 light machine gun made for use in vehicles and fortifications. In accordance with that role, it lacked a buttstock or sights (these were integrated into the vehicle or fortress mounts), was fitted with a very heavy barrel for sustained fire, and fed from a massive 150-round drum magazine. These were often used in dual mounts, with one left-hand and one right-hand feed gun (note that the bolt is easily swapped for feed from either side).

After World War Two, the Swiss purchased a number of these guns form France, rechambered them for the 7.5x55mm Swiss cartridge, and fitted them in AMX tanks. This particular gun is one of those, and it is mounted on a Swiss LMG-25 tripod using an adapter designed for gunsmith test firing outside the tank.

Thanks to the Kessler auction company in Switzerland for letting me take a look at this piece!

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Forgotten History: The Americans Take Blanc Mont Ridge, October 1918
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Published on Sep 11, 2018
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The German army captured Blanc Mont Ridge in the early months of World War One and occupied it throughout the years of fighting, fending off repeated French assaults throughout 1915 and 1916. While the ridge looks far from imposing, it is a piece of high ground which overlooks a large part of the front in the Champagne region of France, and was a very valuable outlook for artillery observation. Its continuous occupation allowed it to be heavily fortified by the Germans as a major strong point in their defensive lines.

In October of 1918, the task would fall to the American Expeditionary Force to take the ridge as part of the ongoing offensive that was finally pushing the Germans back all along the front lines. Years of war had gradually sapped the strength of the German forces, and the last gasp spring offensive earlier in the year had destroyed the last remaining units of elite German troops. And yet, the still had their fortifications here, armed with more than 350 machine guns on this ridge alone.

On the morning of October 3rd, 1918, a combined force of US Army and Marines (the 2nd and 36th Infantry Divisions) set off on an attack up the gradual slope towards the ridge. The attack was preceded by only a few minutes of artillery fire and then a creeping barrage behind which the men advanced. A thick layer of ground fog was perhaps their best ally, as they began the assault of the German position. A fierce fight left the positions on the front of the ridge in American hands by the end of the day, although the fighting would be tenacious for several days, as the Americans advanced well beyond the supporting French units on their flanks, and were left exposed on the reverse slope of the ridge.

By October 7th, the ridge position was consolidated, and the French and American forces continued their advance towards the next objective, the town of Saint-Étienne-à-Arnes. American casualties in the assault would come to approximately 7,800 men - this was not a position relinquished easily by the Germans. The battle was considered a major accomplishment at the time, although it has been largely forgotten in the century since.

Today, the summit of the ridge is the site of a major American war memorial:

https://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memor...

Thanks to Military History Tours for making this video possible!

https://www.miltours.com

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Catalonia's Attempt at a Pistol: the Blowback Isard
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Published on Sep 12, 2018
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The Republican factions in the Spanish Civil War had much more trouble obtaining arms than the Nationalist elements, and this led to several attempts to build pistols in small-scale workshops. The best known of these are the RE and Ascaso copies of the Astra 400, but in the city of Barcelona a group of workers attempted to produce a copy of the 1911/Star pistols in 9mm Largo - except as simple blowback actions instead of Browning-type locked actions.

Named "Isard" after a Spanish antelope, no more than about 250 were built (the highest recorded serial number is 207) and they show substantial variation between examples as one might expect of handmade guns. There were two main variants, with the later guns using a two-piece frame and a distinctive extended barrel and barrel bushing.

Today we have four examples to look at, two early type and two late type. Want to learn more about the Isard in particular, or Spanish pistols in general? I highly recommend these two books:

Star Firearms: http://amzn.to/2c29MyS
Astra Firearms: http://amzn.to/2c29OXw

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Q&A 21: French Edition
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Published on Sep 13, 2018
http://www.frenchriflebook.com
Check it out for all the cool news on my upcoming book on French military rifles!

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Today's Q&A is all about French guns, because I am getting close to being finished writing a book on French military rifles - the first book to cover this subject in English from the Chassepot through the FAMAS!

01:34 - Favorite French pistol, rifle, and machine gun
03:13 - How did I get interested in French arms?
05:05 - Lebel's effectiveness at preventing tube magazine detonation?
07:45 - Plans to make the RSC after WW1?
10:00 - Why was French arms development overwhelmingly government and not private?
12:01 - Current arms manufacturing capacity in France?
13:30 - How does the FAMAS fit into the general bullpup timeline?
16:16 - Should the RSC have been updated to use the 7.5mm cartridge?
17:30 - Do I speak French?
19:46 - Which was better, the Lebel or Berthier?
20:35 - Why did it take so long to replace the MAS 49/56?
22:18 - Would a modern FAMAS using P-mags be feasible?
24:05 - Why did France not adopt the Maxim gun?
26:02 - Do I plan to get optics for my FAMAS?
30:07 - Why did the French adopt en bloc clips?
31:20 - What French arms are currently available at reasonable prices?
34:36 - Are there French-specific themes to their small arms?
36:35 - Would it have made a difference if France had adopted a semiauto rifle by 1939?
37:04 - What did the French arsenals do under occupation/Vichy?
38:28 - Will my book include the tabatiere?
39:17 - Should France have adopted an intermediate round in place of the 7.5x54?
40:37 - Do I have a Chatellerault M91 Mosin?
42:48 - What could be improved on the FAMAS?
44:17 - Most practical French rifle of WW1?
44:54 - Did France use the Gatling Gun in the Franco-Prussian War?
47:13 - Thoughts on the adoption of the HK 416?
50:20 - Best French rifle adopted at its time?
51:54 - Why does the French government keep WW1 and WW2 stuff classified still today?
53:54 - What was the status of the MAS-40 when WW2 started?
55:46 - Greek use of the Berthier
 

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USFA Zip 22: How a Garbage Gun Destroyed A Good Company
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Published on Sep 14, 2018
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USFA used to be the producers of probably the best Single Action Army reproductions on the market - but then the company owner decided to pursue a crazy whim and embarked on the Zip 22 project. This was to be a very modular and very inexpensive little pistol with lots of cool possibilities. Problem was, the thing was a malfunctioning piece of junk that handled like a lumpy 2x4.

To make it cheap and easy to make, Donnely (owner of USFA, and apparently the actual designer of the Zip) eschewed the use of either an extractor or ejector. Furthermore, the bolt is a roughly 1" (25mm) cube of polymer and is a consumable part like the recoil springs. The combination of a short bolt travel, very light mass of reciprocating parts, and lack of traditional parts to ensure extraction and ejection resulted (not surprisingly) in a notoriously unreliable firearm.

While each individual Zip is very cheap, this is only possible through the use of polymer molds, which are very expensive to create. Apparently USFA sold off all its traditional machine tools (ie, the Single Action Army production capacity) to finance the various molds for the Zip 22 project. Donnely thought that the massive profits form the Zip would allow him to purchase new tools and restart SAA production after a two-year hiatus. However, the massive problems with the Zip destroyed the company's finances. It was only in production for just about a year, and by January of 2017 the company was formally dissolved, with no assets remaining.

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Swiss DMR ZFK-55 Rifle
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Published on Sep 14, 2018
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The Swiss needed a DMR (designated marksman rifle) so they looked towards the K31 as a basis. After much modification they came up with the ZFK55 rifle chambered in 7.5 Swiss (GP11). We take one of these rare ZFK55's to the range and do some shooting thanks to Edelweiss Arms.
 

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Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About The FN FAL
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Published on Sep 11, 2018
This video takes a look at the history of the FN FAL and 10 things you probably didn't know about this amazing battle rifle.

In collaboration with ammo.com https://ammo.com/gfg

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Zip 22: Shooting the Worst Gun Ever
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Published on Sep 15, 2018
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Today, may the good lord help me, I am taking the Zip 22 out to the range for some shooting.

Note that while it actually worked remarkably well right up until it jammed solid, on the second range trip when we went back to get the high-speed footage, we literally could not get two rounds in a row. We did get a couple neat high-speed malfunctions though...

A big thanks to viewer Matt for generously loaning me the gun to film!

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Ukrainian or Russian Partisan Modified MP40
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Published on Sep 17, 2018
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Some collectors hunt for firearms which look perfectly new form the factory, and others prefer arms that show lots of evidence of use and history. Well, this is definitely one of the latter type - this 1943 production MP40 submachine gun has a terrible finish, most likely as a result of being buried for a period of time. It also has a crudely fabricated and attached brass-catching bag. The muzzle nut is missing as well - possible just lost, or possible removed to attach a suppressor along with the brass catcher.

There is no way to know for sure, but the evidence all taken together suggests that this is a weapon captured and modified by Soviet or Ukrainian partisans during the latter years of World War Two.

Thanks to the Association of Maltese Arms Collectors and Shooters (http://www.amacs-malta.org) for providing this unique submachine gun for video!

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What Sets Gun Values? (RIA 74 Final Prices)
Forgotten Weapons


Published on Sep 18, 2018
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As usual, I have a recap today of the final prices of the guns I filmed from the most recent RIA auction (#74; September 2018). Lots of examples here of seemingly similar items selling for substantially different amounts because of factors like whether or not they are German.
 

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Special Presentation: Semiauto Pistols of the 1800s
Forgotten Weapons


Published on Sep 19, 2018
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Today's Special Presentation is an overview of all the semiautomatic pistols that were actually put into serial production before the year 1900. We have looked at these individually before, but I think it is worthwhile to examine them together in context, to gain a better understanding of what the automatic pistol scene was really like in the last years of the 19th century.

Want to learn more about any of these? Here are some videos on individual guns:

Volcanic: https://youtu.be/RZBHTOYHY6Y
Luger: https://youtu.be/rIX1EL1hTmE
Schwarzlose 1898: https://youtu.be/rYl0dQAJMh4
Mannlicher 1894: https://youtu.be/lBBCZ_5SveE
Mannlicher 1896: https://youtu.be/vtInWFneOtA
Bergmann No1: https://youtu.be/SGNPqqau-E0
Bergmann No2: https://youtu.be/yiT_LzDJqTM
Bergmann No3 & 4: https://youtu.be/gNERn3UXZXg
Bergmann No5: https://youtu.be/HnKKmeTOU-s
Salvatore-Dormus: https://youtu.be/QGzb-0PJadI
Schonberger-Laumann: https://youtu.be/AFhU3Dixvnk

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Shooting the MAS-38 Submachine Gun: Second Try
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Published on Sep 20, 2018
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Take 2! I have some ammunition loaded up for me by awesome viewer Cameron, and we're going to try it out in the MAS-38 submachine gun. This is loaded hot enough to properly cycle Mle 1935 pistols, unlike the ammunition available from Reed's and Buffalo Arms. However, it is a bit shorter than the original French loading, and I don't know if the length and bullet profile will properly cycle the MAS-38.

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Steyr StG 77, aka the AUG
Forgotten Weapons



Published on Sep 21, 2018
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Today's rifle is not quite an Austrian military StG-77, but it is virtually identical. This is one of the commemorative rifles sold by Steyr, which has been rebuilt with military parts and is a registered dealer sample machine gun (which is why I can show you the complete full-auto functionality in the trigger group.

The AUG (Armee Universal Gewehr) was one of the wave of bullpup-style military rifles developed and adopted in the 1970s, along with the British SA80 and French FAMAS F1. The AUG embodied a number of very forward-looking elements in its design, including extensive use of polymers (including the entire fire control group), a completely modular barrel, and standard integrated optical sight (albeit one considered obsolete today). Mechanically, the rifle's operating mechanism is a derivative of the Armalite AR-18, as are many other service rifles from this period.

Special thanks to Bear Arms in Scottsdale, AZ for providing this rifle for video!

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Brownells BRN-10A: A Retro Cold War AR-10 Reproduction
Forgotten Weapons


Published on Sep 22, 2018
Companion shooting video on InRangeTV:

https://youtu.be/a91nJOD31Lk

We have a new Brownells BRN-10A reproduction AR-10 to take a look at today, hot off the production line! Brownells is making both AR-15 and AR-10 rifles in their "Retro" reproduction line, but this is definitely the more interesting one to me. You can piece together a good retro AR-15, but the AR-10 platform has until now been very limited in retro options.

In today's video, I am comparing the BRN-10A to a semiauto conversion of an original Portuguese AR-10. This allows some good comparisons, but it is also of limited use, because Brownells has chosen to reproduce the cleaner lines of the early Cuban-pattern AR-10. Details like the muzzle, handguards, charging handle, and front sight block are quite different between early and late original AR-10s, but the comparison with a late Portuguese one does allow us to see how much detail did go into properly replicating many of the other elements.

Overall, I am quite impressed by Brownells' new rifle. There is room for improvement, and my biggest complaint is the feel of the handguards - but they certainly do look right. Incidentally, after I finished filming I spoke with the company, and was told that a more accurate pistol grip is in development, as are waffle-pattern mags. Those will be nice improvements added to guns as they start shipping. The BRN-10 is definitely a much better reproduction than the old Armalite AR-10B rifles, and a heck of a lot less expensive than finding a semiauto conversion of an original one!

YouTube does not allow links to firearms manufacturers in video descriptions, but I am sure you can figure out how to find Brownells.

Related videos:

Semiauto Original Portuguese AR10: https://youtu.be/7hibrCMBq_8
Armalite AR-10B Reproduction: https://youtu.be/OJcuBB24yoE
Shooting a Sudanese AR10: https://youtu.be/nuEKwdwoqBA

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