Tag Archives: gun culture

Sig: Next-Gen Weapons Delivered to the Army

Sig Sauer this week announced it has completed the delivery of the company’s Next Generation Squad Weapons system to the U.S. Army.

The company is one of three contractors who in 2019 got the nod from the Pentagon to continue with the NGSW program. The sweeping initiative aims to replace the Army’s 5.56mm NATO small arms – the M4 Carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. Sig’s program consists of an in-house-designed lightweight high-performance 6.8x51mm (.277-caliber) hybrid ammunition, NGSW-AR lightweight machine guns, NGSW-R rifles (based on the MCX carbine), and next-gen suppressors.

They certainly look the part and, if selected, would give Sig the small arms hattrick as their P320s have been adopted as the DOD’s standard handgun to replace everything from the USAF’s lingering K-frame 38s to the Marine’s M45 CQB railguns and everything in between. At that point, the only man-portable system used by the Army not made by Sig would be the M240 and M2, which FN still has a lock on.

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Standard Bearer for the Modern .32 Pocket Gun

Ludwig (Louis) Wilhelm Seecamp was a pre-WWII German gunsmith who, once called up and placed in the Gebirgsjäger, logically served as a unit armorer, furthering his firearm skills. Post-war, he emigrated to Canada and then to the U.S., starting a career with Mossberg that endured across the 1950s and 60s.

At age 72, he founded L.W. Seecamp Co. in 1973 after a lifetime of experience, specializing in double-action M1911 conversions until, in his 80s, he patented a series of compact DAO all-stainless pocket pistols that didn’t skimp on craftsmanship.

The LWS 32

The small double-action gun didn’t have sights, which adhered to Seecamp’s wartime experience on the Eastern Front. 

As noted by the company’s history, “Ludwig had become a firm believer in the value of DA after a Walther P-38 saved his life in WWII. That incident, which left him with a cheek-long scar and some missing teeth from a bullet wound, also convinced him point shooting rather than sight use is the reality in close range combat.”

The LWS 32 proved so popular, introduced at a time when John Browning’s circa 1899 cartridge was dying out in defensive pistol use, that the handgun market was soon flooded with pocket pistols in the same caliber and general layout. These included the Beretta 3032 Tomcat, the NAA Guardian, and the Kel-Tec P-32.

As they say, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery…

More in my column at Guns.com.

NGSW? Don’t Hold Your Breath

The current NGSW field 

The U.S. Army is full-speed ahead on an initiative to select a new series of innovative 6.8mm-caliber Next Generation Squad Weapons to phase out its 5.56mm platforms for combat troops. However, it would seem the Department of the Army is hedging their bets with traditional systems just in case things don’t work out like planned such as in past ambitious programs for futuristic small arms.

In April, FN won a 5-year $119 million contract for new M4/M4A1 Carbines from the company’s South Carolina factory– where 500 of the shorty 5.56s roll out every, single, day.

And this week, Big Army likewise issued a $78 million award to FN for more M249s, the squad-level U.S-made variant of the FN Minimi light machine gun that has been standard since 1982.

Just google the Individual Carbine (IC), Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW), or the Advanced Combat Rifle (ACR) programs to see why keeping the legacy infantry arms in production until things work out is a good idea.

The army advanced combat rifle ACR prototypes.

Serial Numbers, Serial Numbers, Serial Numbers or how Gun Day Needs to Happen

A deer rifle swiped from underneath a blanket on the bed of a pickup truck during hunting season 47 years ago recently surfaced some 500 miles away from where it vanished from. Police were able to recover the gun when detectives ran the serial against the federal database— but only because its previous owner had known and reported the serial.

Even though the hunter died in 1998, police are now contacting his children, who have an opportunity to claim their lost father’s rifle.

The problem

According to a recent U.S. Department of Justice study, there is an average of at least 135,000 unrecovered guns stolen in residential burglaries nationwide each year. The main reason for guns not being recovered is that the owners did not record and keep up with their serial numbers.

In Nevada recently, law enforcement has been inundated with calls for stolen guns. Guns that when they are recovered, no one can come reclaim.

“When they are taken, more often than not the owner can’t ID them — they can’t name the make or caliber or serial number,” said Washoe County Sheriff Michael Haley told the Reno Gazette-Journal

“So, in reality, when a weapon is stolen, it can’t be traced or returned because we don’t know who it belongs to,” he said.

To help fix this, Haley said he would ask two things: “Take personal responsibility if you own a gun, secure it in your home. And two, keep the serial number in a secure place separate from the gun.”

Monthly ritual

Me and the crew on Gun Day…almost

One thing I like to do in my home is the simple ceremony I refer to as “Gun Day.”

On the third Saturday of the month (you have to set a specific day to do this or you will forget, I promise), I like to spend a couple hours in my mancave going through my personal collection. Now of course, like most gun guys, it varies from year to year, sometimes from month to month as I buy, sell, trade, swap and rearrange my collection.

However, no matter whether you have one old rusty shotgun or a half dozen bulging gun safes, Gun Day needs to happen.

If I’m out of town or something comes up, it GD can be rescheduled but it still happens.

At least once a month.

For me it’s simple. I sit, put on my gloves (I hate to leave excess fingerprints on my guns as the oils and salts left behind can lead to surface rust), and go through my collection. I have a simple Field Note Book that I write down my collection in with the date I acquired the gun, the make, model, caliber, my estimated value at the time, and serial number. The six things fit on one line.

Each month I go back over the book, remove any old guns that have been traded away (or note guns loaned out to friends, trust me, this can help figure out missing guns months later!) and add any new pieces.

While going through my guns I have a chance to notice any issues that may have come up in storage such as rust, dust, and the like, keeping the band going strong.

New guns even get a photoshoot for reference just in case something ever happens to them. Lightboxes are cheaper than you think, and if you don’t have a lightbox, just take a photo on your back porch in natural light.

Speaking of photos, I take a picture every month of that notebook entry and email it to myself, just in case something ever happens to it.

Then it’s back into the safe and cabinet, closet, holster, and nightstand for the collection.

Until the next Gun Day.

My thoughts on the New Colt Python

So Colt brought the Python back from retirement after a 15-year hiatus. The old I-frame was a hand-fitted full-lug .357 with a tight lockup and superb finish.

The classic Python…

The new gun is different.

I handed several models both on the floor at SHOT Show and at the range on media day and I have to admit: the new gun looks like a Python and shoots like a Python but it just isn’t. Arguably, it is better, with modern CNC techniques producing a wheel gun reportedly stronger, more durable and made to tighter tolerances than the Python of old.

Changes that came as part of the reboot included re-designing the internals to trim the number of parts (14 less to be exact), thus streamlining the trigger group, while improvements were made to reinforce the new Python through the use of stronger stainless steel alloys. The results say Colt, is that the upcoming Python has a smooth-as-butter trigger, and is more reliable, easier to maintain, and more robust.

The “semi-bright” stainless finish on the new Colt Python after running hundreds of rounds on Industry Day. Colt tells us they fed the two shooting models on hand Monday over 4,000 rounds with no issues. (Photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

More in my column at Guns.com

Ever thought about a SCAR in 6.5 Creedmoor?

Last year, FN apparently trialed a version of their MK 20 SSR (sniper support rifle) in 6.5 Creedmoor as USSOCOM was flirting with the idea of fielding the new– and increasingly popular– round for future use. Not to let research go to waste, the company just announced they will start selling the commercial variant of the SSR, the FN SCAR 20S, in 6.5CM.

Boom.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

More info on the new French Glocks, SCARs

Last week, the French military purchasing agency announced they are picking up 75,000 new Glocks to replace older MAS G1 (Beretta 92) and MAC 50 (Sig P-210ish) pistols. The new handguns will be two-toned (black over Coyote) Gen 5 G17s with Marksman barrels, suppressor-height night sights, ambi slide levers, a lanyard ring (G19X, is that you?) and forward slide serrations.

Voilà

The new French PSA G17

Additionally, to replace the 1980s-era FR F2 bolt-action rifle, the French will be issuing the SCAR-H PR, essentially a SCAR-17 with a heavy barrel. It will be issued with an FN-made QD suppressor, a cleaning kit, four 20-round magazines, and two 10-round magazines.

More details, including videos, in my column at Guns.com. 

Never before, well, not until 1983 anyway

While John Browning’s everlasting M1911 design had long been made in various blued and nickel coatings, up until the early 1980s it had not been cranked out in a production stainless steel model. That’s where the company formed by airline executive Ken Lau and retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Russell Randall, seized the opportunity.

The Randall Firearms Company started off making stainless .45ACP magazines, which sold exceptionally well, then began firearm production in Sun Valley, California and by June 1983 they started marketing, what gun writer Len Davis described that year in American Handgunner, the first “full-size, all-stainless steel .45 ACP autoloader.”

In production for less than two years, the California-made Randall M1911 hails from the Reagan-era and is a solid collectible. And, yes, this one is named in honor of The Big Cigar.

More in my column at Guns.com

Le Glock Mle 2020

French trench raiders during the First World War, winter 1917 Bezange Forest, Lorraine, note the Ruby pistol.

The French military has flirted with modern semi-auto pistols for longer than most. During the Great War, thousands of Spanish-made Ruby and Star pistols augmented the country’s rather lackluster Modèle 1892 revolvers.

This cleared the way for the later FN 1922-inspired MAB Model D pistol and Charles Petter’s famous Mle. 1935, the latter design one that went on to morph into the Swiss SIG P210, arguably one of the best handguns of the 20th Century.

After WWII, the MAC Mle 1950, itself very P210-ish, was adopted and, coupled with the PAMAS G1, a domestically-made clone of the Beretta 92F, is still in service today.

The French MAC 50 PA modèle 1950 pistol

Now, 115 years after the Ruby was first ordered, the French defense ministry has placed an order for 75,000~ new Glocks.

The Glocks, reportedly a two-tone Gen 5 G17 MOS with a threaded barrel, suppressor-height night sight, and optics plate, will be delivered through 2022.

Besides the Austrian polymer pistols, the French are also going FN when it comes to a rifle to replace their venerable FR F2 (itself a souped-up MAS1936).

Sniper overwatch by a 3e RPIMa marksman with a French FR-F2, Rwanda, 1993. These rifles will be upgraded to SCAR H PRs in the coming years. 

More in my column at Guns.com.

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