Tag Archives: Ammunition

Guns of the U.S. Army, 1775-2020

While you may know of today’s standard U.S. Army infantry rifles, and those of the 20th Century, how about those present at Lexington and Concord or the line of Springfield muskets from 1795 through 1865? What came after?

For all this and more, check out the easy 2,000-word primer I did for this last weekend at Guns.com.

You know the C20, eh?

The Colt Canada-produced C20 semi-automatic Intermediate Sniper Weapon is being acquired for the Canadian Army in small numbers.

Produced domestically by Colt Canada in Kitchener, Ontario, the semi-automatic C20 has an 18-inch barrel with a 1-in-10 twist and is reportedly pretty friggen accurate. Testing showed the rifle to fire 8,000 rounds with no stopping and deliver an average of .66 MOA over 144 five-round groups using 175-grain Federal Gold Medal Match.

The overall length on the C20 is 38-inches while weight is 9.1-pounds. It has a 46-slot continuous MIL-STD-1913 top rail and a handguard with M-LOK accessory slots in the 3-, 6-, and 9-o’clock positions. (Photo: Colt Canada)

More in my column at Guns.com. 

Pocket rocket, DB9 edition

For the past few months, I have been carrying Diamondback’s new Gen 4 DB9 pistol.

The $225 micro-framed 9mm, with an unloaded weight of just 13.4-ounces, while maintaining a 3.1-inch stainless steel barrel that gives an overall length of 5.73-inches, is described by Diamondback as the “smallest and lightest” 9mm on the market. With a flush-fit magazine shoe installed, its height is 4-inches flat. The maximum width is 0.89-inches. This puts it a hair larger than “mouse gun” semi-autos in .22LR, .32ACP and .380 Auto, but more than, say a J-frame .38.

While I prefer to carry a double stack (G19, S&W M&P M2.0 Compact, et. al) on most occasions, I did find the DB9 great for going to the gym as I find it weird to wear a belt with track pants. Likewise, while kayaking in shorts or doing yard/housework, the Diamondback in pocket carry was a good fit.

In all, I put about 1,000 rounds through the palm-sized parabellum in the past few months and found out a few things about it.

Anyway, more in my column at Guns.com, should you be curious.

What your average Tommy DMR looks like

Photos via British MoD

Photos via British MoD

Here we see the British Army’s L129A1 service rifle, sniper, better known on this side of the pond as an LMT LM308MWS. The Brits bought 3,000 of these bad boys in 2014 and are known for a sub-MOA group at 800m with match 7.62x51mm NATO ammo, which is not bad out of a 16-inch barrel. The basic optic is the Trijicon 6×48 ACOG. Also shown are the standard SA80/L-85 Enfield bayonet (note the wirecutter sheath in the top left), and the MilSight S135 Magnum Universal Night Sight (MUNS).

Not pictured is the L17A2 Schmidt & Bender 3-12 × 50 Sniper Scope for long distance work and the SureFire SOCOM762-RC husha can for when you want to spend some quiet moments in the hills looking for ISIS-types. Weight all up (with the ACOG) is 11-pounds, if carrying other sights or the can, this jumps, as does adding a bipod or scrim. She takes regular AR-10 style mags, which you will notice that the Brits use PMAGs (doesn’t everyone).

What she looks like with her shit together

With the U.S. Army looking for a new commercial-off-the-shelf Interim Combat Service Rifle (ICSR) in 7.62x51mm, you better believe guns like the LMT 308MWS are being looked at.

Albanian Ammunition Follies

Albania, former bastion of Maoist Communism in Europe, has an ammunition problem. You see the former beloved ruler for life, Enver Hoxha, was just a tad paranoid. He was born in what was part of the old Ottoman Empire, and saw at one time or another Austrians, Serbs, Italians, Germans, Greeks, and Soviets occupy or pass through his country. Little Albania, home to just about three million people, was a non-aligned Communist country for a large part of the Cold War. This meant it was alienated and possibly threatened by both NATO and/or the Warsaw Pact, not to mention a very finicky Yugoslavia led by Marshal Tito to the north. Taking a page from Switzerland’s book, Hoxha decided to build over 700,000 bunkers all over the country (i.e. one for every four or five citizens) and stock them with an absolutely immense amount of small weaponry.

Well Hoxha died in 1985, the Cold War ended roughly a dozen years later and today Albania is a democracy looking to join NATO. The problem is they still have all of the bunkers and weapons. In 1997 no less than 839 million rounds of ammunition (about 300 bullets for each inhabitant) simply walked away from its arsenals and into the hands of local citizens. Another 46,000 tons of ammo and 130,000 assault rifles have been simply destroyed by the government. Thousands of Albanian SKS rifles (the last SKS’s made for an armed forces, manufactured at the Umgramsh Factory from 1967-1980) are showing up all over the world as bargain surplus guns. The country is even looking into giving away its old Whiskey class submarines to the land-locked Czech Republic.

Now the country has hit on the idea to simply donate its surplus ammunition to Iraq and Afghanistan…where it will undoubtedly be used.