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SAS, Sig P365 SAS, that is. Or, why would you want a front sight anyways?

Billed as “the perfect CCW solution for the real world,” Sig Sauer has released a new SIG Anti-Snag, or SAS version, of their P365 micro-compact 9mm pistol.

The latest variant of the P365 uses an innovative flush-fit rear-mounted Meprolight FT Bullseye sight with a combination fiber optic and tritium insert embedded into the slide, alleviating the need for a front sight post, which is interesting, to say the least.

I wonder what Paris Theodore would think of this? His “guttersnipe” ASP predated the general concept by 40 years, only restricted by the tech of the Disco Era

More in my column at Guns.com

Enterprise’s anchor heads to sea once more

While a number of relics from the country’s first nuclear-fueled supercarrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65), are being incorporated into her replacement, CVN-80, which is set to join the fleet sometime in 2027ish, at least one large chunk of the old warrior is headed to sea much sooner. A 32-ton chunk at that, circa 1957.

According to Ingalls:

USS George Washington’s (CVN 73) mid-life refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH), currently underway at Newport News Shipbuilding, includes extensive upgrades and modernization. But this time it also includes a bit of U.S. Navy history – an anchor from Enterprise (CVN 65). Instead of trying to repair a damaged anchor on CVN 73, the Navy suggested shipbuilders swap it for one from the decommissioned CVN 65.

Boomstick!

A rarely-seen carbine version of the Bushmaster BA50, with a factory 22-inch barrel. That’s a whole lotta .50 cal

With roots in Kennesaw, Georgia, the Bushmaster BA50 has an interesting backstory that provides familiar AR-15 styling in a .50-caliber BMG rifle.

In early 2003, Georgia-based Cobb Manufacturing teased the market with a rifle, dubbed the Model 50A1, that used an AR-15 type gas operating system to shoot the 50 BMG round. By that Fall, the gun had morphed to a bolt-action as the Cobb FA50(T) that kept many AR-style features.

Put into limited production, the final version of the gun produced by Cobb was the $7,000 BA50 which, as noted by the company in early 2007, was on the cover of tactical mags and in service with both law enforcement customers and “U.S. allies overseas.”

In August 2007, Bushmaster purchased Cobb and moved the company’s plant from Georgia to Maine. Two years later the company put the upgraded BA50 into their catalog in both a rifle and (short-lived) carbine variant.

Today Bushmaster still makes the full-sized BA50 rifle with a 30-inch barrel and an MSRP of about $5,700 while surplus models can be had for closer to $3450 which is less than half the price of a Barrett in any condition.

Tiger roar

In a follow-up on the Leopard jump yesterday, let us show a little love to some Detriot muscle with a bit of Tiger roar.

1st Marine Division photo by Sgt. Tayler P. Schwamb

Official caption: An M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank with the 1st Marine Division fires during the Tank Gunnery Competition (TIGERCOMP) on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, August 29. TIGERCOMP is an annual force competition that determines the Marine Corps’ most lethal tank crew. The winning crew from 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve, will have the opportunity to represent the Marine Corps in the Sullivan Cup, which is the Army’s total force tank gunnery competition.

Warship Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019: The Leader of the Pack

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019: The Leader of the Pack

Photographed by LaTour, Philadelphia. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 41956

Here we see the small crew of an early H (Holland) class diesel-electric “submarine torpedo boat” USS H-1 (SS-28), originally known as the first USS Seawolf, at the Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, Connecticut, circa 1919. Crew complement of these vessels was just two officers and two dozen men.

Built by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco, California as an improvement to the Holland 602 type, Seawolf had a staggering 70~ sisters that were ordered not only by the U.S. Navy (H-1 through H-9) but also by the navies of Imperial Russia and the British Commonwealth. With a submerged displacement of about 450-tons, these were small boats, going just 150.25-feet long overall.

USS H-1 (Submarine # 28) and USS H-2 (Submarine # 29) Fitting out at the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California, 7 October 1913. NH 66740

With a hybrid powerplant of New London Ship & Engine Co (NELSECO) diesels and Electro Dynamic electric motors, they were fast for their time, able to make 14 knots when surfaced. Likewise, they had a 2,300nm range on their meager 11,800-gal fuel bunker, a 200-foot test depth, and could remain underwater on their two 60-cell Gould batteries traveling 100 nm at 5 knots.

H Boat Cell (H-1 to H-3) at the Gould Storage Battery Company, Buffalo, New York. Each of these early boats carried 120 such cells in two batteries. NH 115013

As for armament, they carried no deck guns due to their limited size but had space reserved to tote eight torpedoes (four in their forward 18-inch tubes and four reloads).

The torpedo room of USS H-5 in 1919. The breeches of the four 18-inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes are at the center. The tubes themselves had rotating exterior bow caps rather than doors. Scanned from Page 304 of Friedman, Norman, U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1995 via Wiki Commons.

The first three vessels were ordered before the Great War and were originally to have kick-ass predator/fish names (as was common for the U.S. Navy at the time, with early boats bestowed such enviable monikers as USS Tarantula and USS Viper) but this changed gears while they were still underway. Therefore, instead of the planned USS Seawolf, Nautilus and Garfish, we simply got USS H-1, H-2 and H-3, a naming convention that would continue through the follow-on K, L, M, N, O, R, and S-class boats until the nine V-class subs under construction in 1931 were renamed for fish, a practice that carried on through the 1970s..

Nonetheless, the three Hs were a relative unknown in the 1914 Jane’s:

USS H-1 (Submarine No. 28) commissioned 1 December 1913, and she and her two sisters were attached to the 2nd Torpedo Flotilla, Pacific Fleet, operating along the West Coast out of San Pedro, ranging from Los Angeles to lower British Columbia.

Old photo found in estate collection of SS-28 and SS-29 (H-1 and H-2 respectively) moored in Coos Bay, Oregon sometime between 1914-17, via Wiki Commons. Note their early canvas topside protection. 

USS H-1 (Submarine # 28) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 30 January 1914. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969. Catalog #: NH 69853

USS H-1 (Submarine # 28) Off Long Beach, California, circa 1914. USS Stewart (Destroyer # 13) is underway in the background. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1972. NH 76006

Considered poor open ocean boats, the H-class were not very successful in U.S. service, with the later flight (H-4 through H-9) only acquired as they had already been built for the Tsar who, after 1917, was no longer signing the checks for Mother Russia. Nonetheless, with Uncle Sam entering the war, they were all pressed into use as training boats.

DANFS:

“H-1 set out from San Pedro on 17 October 1917, and reached New London, Conn., 22 days later via Acapulco, Mexico, Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, Key West, Fla., Charleston, S.C., and Philadelphia, Pa. For the remainder of the war, she operated from there and patrolled Long Island Sound, frequently with officer students from the submarine school on board.”

USS H-1 (Submarine # 28) Off the Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, Connecticut, circa 1919. Photographed by LaTour, NH 41954

Another view, same time and place NH 41955

When the war ended, H-1 and H-2 set off for their return trip to the West Coast via the Panama Canal– and they almost made it too.

On 12 March 1920, H-1 grounded in a storm off Santa Margarita Island, Baja California. Four men, including her skipper, LCDR. James R. Webb (USNA 1913), perished in the heavy surf during the effort to reach dry land as H-2 narrowly avoided the same fate.

While the repair ship USS Vestal (AR-4) two weeks later pulled the stricken submarine off the rocks, H-1 rapidly sank in 50 feet of water and her hulk was abandoned. The Navy drew a name through her entry on the Navy List on 12 April 1920, and her remains were sold where-is/as-is to scrappers a few months later. However, it doesn’t seem that said salvors were very successful.

The rest of her class in U.S. service were all much luckier, and, decommissioned in 1922, were laid up and sold for junk a decade later.

Meanwhile, the Italians and Russians had their own 19 boats, with the latter losing five in the Baltic in 1918 to avoid having the Germans capture them and continued to operate these American submersibles for years. The Soviets still had five in their Black Sea Fleet when the Germans came back in 1941, losing two during WWII. As a side note, some of the lost Tsarist subs were raised by the Finns who attempted unsuccessfully to get them working while at least one was used by White Russian Gen. Wrangel’s fleet until 1922 when it was handed over to the French for scrapping.

As for H-1s 40+ British sisters, they were produced at the Canadian Vickers Yards in Montreal, Fore River in Massachusetts, and a host of yards in the UK proper. Three were lost during WWI. A fourth, HMS H-6 (the British coincidentally used the same inspired H-series names as the USN boats) was interned in Holland in 1916 and sold to the Dutch who used her as HNLMS O 8 until WWII when the Germans captured her and later scuttled the well-traveled boat in 1945. Many of the rest of the boats lived on after Versailles as training craft and four were lost in accidents in the 1920s, as is the nature of student drivers. Nine continued to see WWII service with the Royal Navy, where two more were lost in action.

In addition to the British RN H-class units, the Canadians fielded two (CH-14 and CH-15) briefly and six went to Chile as the Guacolda-class, where they continued in service until as late as 1949, the last H-class boats in operation.

From the 1946 Jane’s:

As it stands today, H-1 could be the best remembered and most accessible of this huge class of early submarines. Lost in shallow water off Baja California, and technically not a gravesite as the bluejackets lost in her grounding died on the effort to reach the beach, her bones have often been visited over the past century.

Most recently, in 2016, locals from nearby Puerto Alcatraz rediscovered the wreck, sparking a drive by Mexican authorities of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) to move in and survey the vessel.

Time has not been kind and the stern is reportedly full of sand while most of her pressure hull has collapsed. Still, the offices of INAH, in conjunction with the U.S Navy’s NHHC, are recovering what they can for preservation and documentation.

Since her loss, the Navy has never commissioned another H-1, but there have been three subsequent USS Seawolf (s) since 1939, all hard-serving submarines.

Specs:

H-1 (SS-28) showing Profile Inboard; Profile Outboard, Midship Arrangement & Booklet of General Plans. National Archives Identifier: 55302488

Displacement:
358 long tons (364 t) surfaced
467 long tons (474 t) submerged
Length: 150 ft 4 in
Beam: 15 ft 10 in
Draft: 12 ft 5 in
Installed power:
950 hp (710 kW) (diesel engines)
600 hp (450 kW) (electric motors)
Propulsion:
Diesel/electric
2 × NELSECO diesel engines 950 hp
2 × Electro Dynamic electric motors (450 kW)
2 × 60-cell batteries
2 × shafts
Speed:
14 knots surfaced
10.5 knots submerged
Range:
2,300 nm at 11 knots surfaced
100 nm at 5 knots submerged
Test depth: 200 ft
Complement: 25 officers and men
Armament:
4 × 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes
8 × torpedoes

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. http://www.warship.org/membership.htm

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.

With more than 50 years of scholarship, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

PRINT still has its place. If you LOVE warships you should belong.

I’m a member, so should you be!

Raubkatze zum Sprung!

Described by the modern German Bundeswehr as a Kampfpanzer (battle tank) the modern Leopard 2A6 is a thing of beauty in motion. The war engine evolved.

Seen in Altmark this month. All photos via Der Heer. That Rheinmetall 120 mm L/55 smoothbore gun, tho…

Nonetheless, its MTU MB 873 Ka-501 12-cylinder twin-turbocharged diesel engine is beefy enough to push the 59-ton Leo2 at speeds topping 40mph, proving the big cat can jump with the proper application of throttles.

From Israel, with love

Israel Weapon Industries, the same people who brought you the UZI, Galil, Tavor, Negev, and others, now have gone full-on HK 416 with their new ARAD series rifle.

Wait, is that an HK416? Now, IWI ARAD

Designed for special operations and military use, the select-fire ARAD is modular, with the ability for the user to swap calibers in the field through quick-change barrel systems. Although based on the AR-15 series, the ARAD ditches direct-gas-impingement for a short-stroke gas piston operation, with a two-position (regular/suppressor) gas regulator.

It is set to be shown off at military trade shows in Europe and Asia later this year. As many have reported that HK is on the ropes as of late and is facing insolvency, IWI could be positioning themselves as a market alternative to the HK416.

Meanwhile, on the U.S. domestic market, the Israeli company is also ramping up sales and marketing of their Masada striker-fired 9mm handgun. 

First mentioned originally back in 2017, the handgun was shown off at overseas trade shows but was notably absent from IWI’s booth here in the states. Featuring a low-profile barrel as well as fully ambidextrous controls and enhanced ergonomics, the Masada is intended for civilian, law enforcement, and military markets.

Its size is almost a match for the Glock 17 while it has the benefit of being optic-ready and about $100 less, which could cut into Gaston’s profits.

Either way, IWI is far from being a one-trick pony when it comes to small arms.

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