Alabama-based Kimber is donating 9mm pistols and .308 Winchester-caliber rifles to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.
The company announced on Wednesday it is inspired by the courage of the Ukrainian people in their struggle against an ongoing military invasion from neighboring Russia and is ready to help.
“The people of Ukraine are enduring tremendous hardships and are in need of support from around the world,” said Leslie Edelman, Kimber owner and CEO.
In terms of support, Edelman says Kimber is sending 200 R7 Mako 9mm subcompact pistols (my current EDC for the past several months), 10 Advanced Tactical rifles in .308 Win., and 10 bolt-action rifles in .308 Win. Each rifle will include two magazines and a replacement firing pin assembly while the Makos will ship with 800 extra 13-round magazines.
While shipping such pistols to a modern European combat zone seems curious at first, handguns are in common use as sidearms for officers, specialists, pilots, and heavy weapons operators.
Of note, the Mako is roughly comparable in size to the PM Makarov, long a standard pistol in Eastern European service, while offering a higher magazine capacity and a more effective cartridge.
More in my column at Guns.com.
Florida-based firearms maker KelTec made the most of a sudden surplus of 9mm carbines and donated them to Ukraine.
Adrian Kellgren, director of industrial production at KelTec– and son of the company’s legendary founder, George Kellgren– told local media the company was recently left with a $200,000 order for SUB2000 carbines. The original order, to a longtime vendor in the Black Sea Ukrainian port city of Odesa, was unpaid for, and the vendor was unable to be contacted.
The 400 9mm carbines had been ordered last year, but by the time the red tape cleared the client was unable to accept them and Ukraine is now fighting off a Russian invasion– with enemy troops closing in on Odesa. The solution hit on by Kellgren was to donate the guns to the Ukrainian government to aid in the resistance to the invasion.
Introduced in 2001, the KelTec SUB2000 9mm pistol-caliber carbine is now in its second generation. Lightweight at just 4-pounds while still retaining a 16.1-inch barrel, it folds in half for easy storage and transport, able to be carried in a pack.
The SUB2000, while not a frontline weapon by any means, can for example fill a role with static defense/home guard-style units posted at local infrastructure to keep an eye out for sabotage, or in guarding POWs, of which there seems to be an increasing amount.
A classic Molot VEPR in .308 with the long 22-inch barrel and Counter Sniper Mil-Dot 4-16x44mm optic with illuminated reticle. Now more expensive than ever!
Back in January, I spoke at length with people over at Molot who were working hard on extending their exports of VEPR rifles and shotguns to the U.S. They were hopeful that the new Trump administration would be friendly to lifting some sanctions on Russian-based companies. Russian-made firearms were popular export items to the states until the conflict in the Ukraine and the resulting international backlash triggered a host of official embargos.
Per figures from the International Trade Commission, 204,788 firearms of all kinds were imported from Russia in 2013.
This figure plunged to just 9,556 in 2015 — mainly from Molot, the only large firearms maker not named in sanctions.
Well, it looks like that figure is going to be a lot lower in 2018…
Some are hopeful the new management in Washington will be able to lift barriers to overseas firearm imports erected over the years, though the going could be slow.
President Donald Trump on Friday said it was “very early” to tell if the United States should lift sanctions on Russia, but that he seeks a “great relationship” with Putin and Russia.
On the campaign trail, Trump’s platform on trade concentrated on American jobs while floating the possibility of a tariff on all imported goods to help ease the current trade deficit. However, the Republican’s position on gun rights promised to curtail federal gun bans and limits. The two concepts, when balanced against one another, leaves open the possibility of action on foreign-made guns currently off-limits to buyers in the U.S.
I talked to industry insiders on both sides of the pond, the ATF, and the International Trade Commission to get the scoop on if bans going back to the 1960s could be reshaped.
More in my column at Guns.com