Three Samurai

Three Men Dressed as Samurai Pose for a Photo, they are holding a Yumi , a Saihai , and a Yari . The middle Katanas Saya appears to have a fur covering.

Photo by Kusakabe Kimbei, Hand Colourised, ca. 1880  Photo Source

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SIG’s all-metal subcompact: The P224

Sig Sauer has carved out a loyal following around the world from Navy Seals to suburban homemakers with their classic pistols. However, one gun that has long been missing from this lineup is a true subcompact. Well SIG fixed that with the P224.

Swiss arms powerhouse Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft (SIG), with a history going back to the 1860s, cooked up their revolutionary “Pistole 75” in 1975 (hence the designation) for military and police sales. This, now classic, design is known as the P220 and it launched what was to become possibly the most admired family of combat handguns in use over the past forty years. With German firearms legend J.P. Sauer & Sohn providing overseas sales due to Swiss neutrality laws, the P220, and 226 was soon adopted by military and security forces around the globe. Heck the 226 only narrowly missed being the standard issue U.S. military sidearm, losing out to the Beretta 92F in 1984 over a bid price of a few dollars.

The P220 is SIG's grandfather design from which their whole 'classic' series of pistols is based on

The P220 is SIG’s grandfather design from which their whole ‘classic’ series of pistols is based on

Today the slightly more compact 229 is a hit with law enforcement ranging from the U.S. Coast Guard and Secret Service to your local beat cops. All of these guns share the same overall internal design features of their Pistol 75 grandfather, giving the whole family tree and instant familiarity to those who have ever used one.

With a lineage like this to stand on, the only thing that SIG needed to complete the portrait is a subcompact model, which begat the P224.

palm gun p224

Read the rest in my column at University of Guns

Rest in peace, Jim

rockford files

You may not know this, but James Garner ran off and joined the Merchant Marine in the tail end of WWII, being too young for the military. This didn’t stop him from later joining the National Guard and being wounded twice in combat in Korea (one of those being shot in the ass by friendly fire– which isn’t)

You can close your last file, sir.

Clocking in with the AR: Not your grandpa’s hunting rifle

When Eugene Stoner designed his famous AR-15 in the 1950s, the bolt-action rifle was an aging king on the throne of both military and sporting rifles. While the new 5.56mm rifle soon ascended to the top of the service rifle food chain, bolt-guns remained the go-to for hunters. Now, over sixty years later, a pretender to that throne is increasingly taking to the woods in the hands of sportsmen from coast to coast– the hunting AR.

female deer hunters ar15 ar 556 223 mississippi clarion ledger

Why this evolution?

Throughout modern history, hunting rifles have often just been surplus military guns pressed into this new duty. As guns were withdrawn from service with the army, sports shooters (who in many cases had experience with these rifles from prior involuntary military service) picked them on the cheap for the purpose of putting food on the table. For instance, some of the most common hunting rifles in the late 1800s were Civil War-era Springfield muskets and Spencer carbines, which had been sold in surplus stores for as little as $2. Introduced for military service some fifty years before, they were the modern sporting rifle of the time.

Read the rest in my column at University of Guns

“Gunfight Over Rabaul”

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click to big up

“Gunfight Over Rabaul “ showing U.S. Marine Corps F4U-1 Corsairs of VMA-214 (The Blacksheep) engage Japanese Zeros in combat high over Rabaul, in the Solomon Islands, as they provide top cover for a B24 raid on the enemy stronghold below, December 1943. The closest corsair is ” 740″ (F4U-1,BuAer 17740) while it appears that “883”, Pappy Boyington’s plane, is ahead. By renowned aviation artist Nicolas Trudgin

Want a $100 gift card for your broken, rusty, or otherwise junk gun-like object?

Live in Baltimore? Have some junk gun that you just cant get rid of on Armslist or Gunbroker for more than a bill?

Well then go on down to the New All Saints Catholic Church in the 4400 block of Liberty Heights Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday to get a $100 gift card to ShopRite. Officials said no questions will be asked upon the exchange.


junk guns turned in

Taking a look from the haul shown in this article it looks like some locals made away like bandits.

Of course the idea is to get guns off the streets, but seriously, these would pose more danger to people behind the barrel rather than in front of it.

Warship Wednesday July 23, Jules Verne, Meet the U.S. Navy

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all of their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.

- Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday July 23, Jules Verne, Meet the U.S. Navy

Here we see the magnificent V-type submarine USS Nautilus (SS-168) in an oil on board by the artist I.L. Lloyd depicting the submarine engaging a Japanese merchant ship at close quarters.

Between the two world wars, the U.S. Navy built a collection of nine more of less experimental “V-boat” submarines. These boats took lessons from British and German submarines learned after WWI, and incorporated these into a more Yankee design. Each of these subs were very different as the design bureau experimented as they went. One of the ships, V-6, a very close pattern of V-5, which came before her, was built to a submarine-cruiser design.

This concept was a huge sub, meant to have very long legs, and capable of taking the war to the enemy wherever they may be. For this they were fitted with large, cruiser-caliber guns, and an impressive torpedo battery. Laid down at Mare Island Naval Yard on 2 August 1927, this V-boat (designated V-6/SC-2) was commissioned in June 1930. Following sea trails, V-6 was renamed USS Nautilus (SS-168) on Feb 19, 1931.

Steaming into New York City, 1931. Photo credit: Navsource

Steaming into New York City, 1931. Photo credit: Navsource

The sub was fitted with a pair of massive 6-inch/53 guns in special Mark 17 wet mountings. This gun was designed as a secondary battery of the Lexington-class battle cruisers and South Dakota-class battleships but were only installed in Omaha-class cruisers. Capable of firing a 105-lb shell to a maximum range was 23,300 yd (21,310 m), at the maximum elevation of 25 degrees, they were a hoss of a battery for a boat meant to operate underwater. With the exception of near-sisters (and fellow V-boats) USS Argonaut (SM-1) and USS Narwhal (SS-167, ex-V-5), the guns carried by the Nautilus were the largest fitted to an American submarine.

To get a feel for how big these guns were, here we see the Nautilus (SS-168) photographed from her sister ship, the Narwhal (SS-167).  Photo credit; Navsource.

To get a feel for how big these guns were, here we see the Nautilus (SS-168) photographed from her sister ship, the Narwhal (SS-167). Photo credit; Navsource.

Capable of traveling an amazing 25,000 nm as long as she kept it slow and filled her ballast tanks with fuel, Nautilus could cross the Atlantic six times without refueling if needed. However, she was meant to operate in the Pacific against a growing Japanese naval threat, and she soon found herself there as flagship os SubDiv12 at Pearl Harbor. Although her near-sister Narwhal was present there on Dec. 7, 1941 (shooting down two torpedo bombers of the Japanese Combined Fleet), Nautilus was laid up undergoing maintenance back in California.

However she soon got underway and conducted an amazing 14 war patrols. Nautilus found herself in the middle of the Japanese fleet at the Battle of Midway, firing 5 torpedoes at the battleship Kirishima and the carrier Kaga (with little success due to faulty torpedoes) while surviving 42 enemy depth charges. However, just a few weeks after the battle, she ran across the Japanese Shiratsuyu-class destroyer Yamakaze  and sent that ship to Davy Jones approximately 60 nautical miles (110 km) southeast of Yokosuka on 30 June 1945. The photo taken of the Yamakaze sinking after being torpedoed became an instant hit and was used for war bond art.

Yamakaze sinking by Nautilus


Yamakaze sinking by Nautilus used in 1943 Electric Boat ad

Yamakaze sinking by Nautilus used in 1943 Electric Boat ad

In August, 1942, along with the fellow V-Boat USS Argonaut, the two subs carried elements of the Marine Second Raider Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson to raid the isolated Japanese garrison at Makin Atoll. Carrying 90 men of Bravo Company, the raid annihilated the small force on the atoll, and was a huge propaganda victory for the nation at the time.

U.S. Marine Raiders exercise on the deck of USS Nautilus while en route to the raid on Makin Island on August 11 1942

U.S. Marine Raiders exercise on the deck of USS Nautilus while en route to the raid on Makin Island on August 11 1942. And yes, thats what a 6″/53 Mk17 looks like up close.

Nautilus went back to her life as a fleet submarine, but was also pressed back into duty carrying raiders behind enemy lines.

In 1943 she carried 109 Eskimo Scouts to land on the Japanese-occupied Aleutian island of Attu just before the main assault. Then at Tarawa, she put ashore a 77-man group of the 5th Amphibious Reconnaissance Company. Towards the end of the war she helped carry supplies and recon teams around the Philippines, helping to resupply and tie in local guerrilla groups led since 1942 in many cases by stay-behind (left-behind?) U.S. military members to the effort to liberate the islands.

However, with the war winding down, so did the Navy’s interest in the old and reliable Nautilus. Decommed before the war even ended on 30 June 1945, she was stricken and sold for scrap that fall after a very hard 15-year life. Her war patrol reports are public record.



Displacement, Surfaced: 2,730 t., Submerged: 3,960 t.;
Length 371′ ;
Beam 33′ 3″;
Draft 15′ 9″;
Propulsion, diesel electric, Maschinfabrik – Augusburg- Nurnburg, New York Navy Yard diesel engines, hp 3175,
Fuel Capacity, 182,778 gal., Westinghouse Electric Co., electric motors, hp 2500, Battery Cells 240, twin propellers.
Speed, Surfaced 17 kts, Submerged 8 kts;
Depth Limit 300′;
Complement 8 officers 80 enlisted;
Armament, four 21″ torpedo tubes forward, two 21″ torpedo tubes aft, four 21″ torpedo tubes topside, 24 torpedoes; two single 6″/53 deck gun, two 30 cal. mgs.;

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International.

They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find

The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

Nearing their 50th Anniversary, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

I’m a member, so should you be!



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