Check out this layout of Warsaw Pact and WWII Allied small arms captured by U.S. Marines of the 22nd MAU from Cuban stores of the Grenadan People’s Revolutionary Army in that briefly-Marxist British Commonwealth nation in October 1983:
Note the Marine in the top left corner in ERDL camo with a slung M16A1, M1 helmet, smoke grenade, and early PASGIT kevlar vest. Notably, the Army’s 82nd Airborne and Ranger units in the same op had kevlar helmets. DOD Photo 330-CFD-DN-ST-85-0202 by PH2 D. Wujcik, USN, via the National Archives. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/6395935
Official caption: Seized weapons on display are: (clockwise from the back) Soviet-made 82 mm M-36 mortars, 5 Soviet 7.62 mm PK general-purpose machine guns, two Bren light machine guns, 7.62 mm ammunition, two AK-47 assault rifles, an RPG-2 portable rocket launcher, a 7.62 mm Mosin-Nagant rifle, a Czechoslovakian made Model-52 7.62 mm rifle and a US-made .45 cal. M-3A1 submarine gun
In a modern version of Operation Market Time, the storied and long-lasting effort to prevent seaborne infiltration of supplies from North Vietnam into the south, U.S. and allied forces have been stopping guns from getting from rogue states (let us just say, “maybe” Iran) to Yemen, a country that has been enmeshed in a brutal civil war for years. While the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) alone picked up 1,000 AKs last year, other countries like Australia and France have picked up their fair share as well.
In 2016, the French Navy destroyer FS Provence stopped a stateless dhow that contained 2,000 AK-47s, 64 Dragunov SVD sniper rifles, nine anti-tank missiles, and other munitions.
Guns seized by the French Navy on March 20, 2016 (Photo Combined Maritime Forces)
Ever wonder what happens to them?
Well, I guess to the victors goes the spoils of when it comes to spare Kalash, and the French government just recently gifted 1,400 of those same AKs to the Central African Republic (formerly the colony of French Equatorial Africa) in an effort to strengthen the country’s military.
France has long had a thumb in the CARs affairs and has maintained a sizable military force there since 2013, its 7th such deployment since the country gained nominal independence in 1960.
A couple of URD SBR builds from Jim Fuller’s Rifle Dynamics in Las Vegas. The top rifle is a Pacnoir barrel, the bottom was done with a Vepr barrel and a refinished Romanian wood foregrip.
“The 74 URD, the fighting rifle perfected, no matter how you configure it the size weight and handling characteristics of this rifle performs beyond all others,” they say.
According to RD, the guns shoot just fine for the shorty barrels.
(“W)e have yet to get chronograph readings on these but they are hitting man-sized targets out to 500 yards, with the 11.5″ barrel the velocity loss is minimal. With 60 grn Wolf they hold about 2MOA, with Hornaday 1MOA @100yards.”
Hey buddy, got some 7.62×39?
In a 31-day period between 27 Feb and 28 March this year, the Royal Australian Navy Adelaide-class frigate HMAS Darwin (FFG-04), French Navy FREMM-class destroyer FS Provence (D652), and the Cyclone-class patrol craft USS Sirocco (PC-6) impounded the following from three separate stateless dhows:
-5,500 AK-47 assault rifles,
-309 rocket-propelled grenade launchers,
-49 PKM general purpose machine guns,
-39 PKM spare barrels
-64 Dragunov SVD sniper rifles
-21 DShK and KPV type heavy machine guns
-20 60mm mortars
It was determined that the munitions originated in Iran and were likely bound for Houthi insurgents in Yemen, where U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are leading an 11-nation coalition against the Houthi, which are supported by Iran and Hezbollah.
More photos and details in my column at Guns.com
In 1989 California lawmakers puked up one of the first assault weapons bans in U.S. history and in subsequent years added tweaked it and added such blanket restrictions as prohibitions on .50BMG (because there are so many crimes done with these…). While the California Department of Justice has tried really hard to ban anything that is AR-15ish or AK-47like, all enterprising gun owners have had to do is use devices such as ‘bullet buttons’ and low-capacity magazines to be able to own one today.
Still, between 1989 and 2001, the state allowed the registration by civilians of grandfathered guns. Well through Guns.com I did a public records request to CA DOJ and obtained their list of registered guns, all 145,253 of them. A detailed analysis found some really interesting things.
Here’s a snapshot of the top 25 manufacturers for example:
- 28,259 Colt Mfg, almost all Sporters and AR-15 type rifles
- 16,665 Chinese Norinco/Polytech/Clayco rifles, primarily AK and SKS pattern guns in 7.62mm
- 14,797 Bushmasters, almost exclusively XM-15 series rifles
- 9,158 Heckler & Koch firearms, with Model HK 91, 93 and 94 rifles accounting for the majority
- 4,529 Springfield Armory rifles, primarily M1/M1A 7.62mm guns
- 4,528 IMI guns including 179 Galil rifles and 4301 UZIs of multiple types in 9mm and .45
- 4,199 Armalites including 291 AR-10s and 1046 AR-180s
- 3,124 Eagle AR-pattern firearms
- 2,924 Intratec branded guns, all variants of the TEC-9/AB-10 and TEC-22 pistol
- 2,732 Ruger firearms, mostly Mini-14 and Mini-30 rifles
- 2,199 FN/Browning/FNH with mainly FAL and FNC type rifles listed
- 2,189 SWD guns mostly Cobray and M10/11/12 MAC-style pistols
- 1,876 Arsenal made AK-pattern rifles in 7.62mm
- 1,461 DPMs, all AR-15 variants
- 1,457 Austrian Steyrs, almost all AUG-series 5.56mm rifles
- 1,303 Korean Daewoo firearms in several variants, almost all 5.56mm rifles but also 16 DR300s in 7.62 and 5 DP51 pistols
- 1,170 Franchi shotguns in the uber-scary SPAS 12 and LAW12 varieties
- 1,132 CAI/Century guns, primarily 7.62mm rifles
- 1,082 Hungarian FEG guns, mostly SA85 AK-style rifles
- 914 Auto Ordnance, typically all Thompson 1927 style carbines
- 770 Imbel L1A1 type rifles in 7.62mm
- 693 DSA rifles, all SA58 models
- 526 Enterprise Arms 7.62mm rifles
- 496 Berettas including some 122 AR-70s and 60 rare BM-59s
- 445 SIGs, including 122 P-series pistols and 139 SG550 5.56mm rifles
- 392 Benellis, split roughly between their M1 and M3 tactical shotguns
The rest of the 3,000~ word report over at Guns.com along with a photo gallery of some of the more interesting guns here.