Tag Archives: gun

Turkish Tactical

I’ve been looking at the new Tisas PX-9 Gen3 Tactical for a few months now and have found a lot to like about it. The third generation of the Tisas-made polymer-framed striker-fired pistol includes a 5.1-inch extended threaded barrel, accepts easy-to-find SIG P226 pattern double-stack mags, is offered in three finishes (black Tenifer, OD green, or FDE Cerakote), has a decent 4.5-pound flat-faced trigger, comes with steel suppressor-height Glock-pattern sights with a front fiber-optic, and has a factory micro red-dot slide cut in a Trijicon RMR/SRO pattern.

Proving reliable across the first 1,000 rounds of Barnaul import, CCI Blazer Brass, and Federal American Eagle 115-grain FMJ, I recently quieted down a bit and tested it with a suppressor.

A big one.

For reference, the overall length in this format was 16 inches and it balanced well between the full mag and the can. Keep in mind you could always shrink that down, for instance, the SilencerCo Omega 36M shown can be dropped to its short format, or you could use a lighter can such as an 8-ounce Osprey 9 2.0, but we are getting too much in the weeds here. You get the idea.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Tisas PX-9 Gen 3. Say what?

Tennessee-based SDS Imports is bringing in an affordable 9mm double stack with a ton of features, the Tisas PX-9 Gen 3.

SDS specializes in importing quality pistols, shotguns, and accessories. In the past few years, they have partnered with Tisas (pronounced “Tis-ash”) in Turkey to supply well-made M1911-style handguns to the U.S. market that have built a following through a combination of good reviews and affordable pricing. Newer and more modern is the PX-9 series of polymer-framed striker-fired pistols, with the third generation guns being the most feature-rich.

This brings me to the Tisas PX-9 Gen 3 Tactical I currently have under evaluation.

Gotta say, I don’t hate it as it has a lot of good things going for it including an RMR direct-mount optics cut, an extended threaded barrel, Glock pattern sights, P226 pattern magazines, a decent trigger, modular grip ergos, a ton of accessories, and the ability to use XD-M holsters– all for about $500.

It looks like a mix of every modern combat pistol– and for good reason

More in my column at Guns.com.

Army issues huge handgun ammo contract– including .38 and .45

Mississippi-based Olin Winchester this week secured a nine-figure Pentagon award for assorted handgun ammunition.

Based in Oxford, Olin-Winchester was awarded a $145 million fixed-price contract to make .38 caliber, .45 caliber, and 9mm ammunition for the Army. The contract was issued by the Army’s Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois.

The company has been making M1153 and M1152 9mm loads as part of the U.S. Army Modular Handgun System (MHS) program since 2016, but the inclusion of .38 and .45 is interesting and points to stocks of specialized or legacy firearms still in use by the military.

While the Army used M1911s in SF units as late as the recent trips to the sandbox, the last “official” 38s bought by the Army were Ruger Security Sixes for use by Dept. of the Army guards at assorted armories and depots in the 1980s…but the Army is still buying .38-caliber ammo

More in my column at Guns.com.

More Vulcans

The Pentagon on Wednesday announced a 10-year contract to General Dynamics-Ordnance & Tactical Systems for new M61A1 Vulcan 20mm guns.

The firm-fixed-price award, for $88,275,000, was granted to Gen Dyn by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, based at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. Classified as an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity requirements contract, it will cover the purchase of new M61A1s in support of the F-16 fighter aircraft. Of this amount, some $7.8 million in funds set aside for Foreign Military Sales were obligated. Notably, 25 overseas allies fly the aircraft along with Venezuela, which probably doesn’t rate FMS dollars anymore.

Battlefield Vegas’ 20mm Vulcan nicknamed ‘The Hand of God’ at the Big Sandy Shoot October 2018. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

More on the Vulcan contract, and Gen Dyn’s work on the Next Generation Squad Weapon for the Army, in my column at Guns.com.

A lil Gustav in your eyes

Somewhere in Aden, likely the Radfan mountains area, August 1963: “Royal Marines Demonstrate Army’s new anti-tank gun,” an early model Swedish-made FFV Ordnance Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle.

45 Commando Marine Eric Pearson, of Salford, Manchester, prepares to fire the new anti-tank gun during trials at Little Aden. IWM A 34756.

In such an environment, “Charlie G” was sure to make a dust-up when fired, and you are gonna want some goggles.

Thus:

Marine Chris Pow, of Plymouth, firing the new anti-tank gun during trials at Little Aden. IWM A 34755

The 84s in the above images were the first crop of weapon adopted by the British as the “L14, Gun, 84mm, Infantry Anti Tank Weapon,” and later standardized with the improved M2 (L14A1) model after 1970.

It remained in service– seeing action in the Falklands– with the RM and British Army, especially the Paras, well into the 1990s when they were replaced by the more potent 94mm LAW 80 and subsequently the 150mm NLAW, disposable 84mm L1A1/A2 (AT4), and Javelin.

However, images have been seen of SAS downrange with the updated M3 Carl Gustav, showing that Charlie G still exists in some circles at least.

Blue Devils with SCARs

The famed “blue devils” of the French Army’s 13e Bataillon de Chasseurs Alpins (13e BCA) date back to before the Crimean War, when they were initially raised as the plain old 13e Bataillon Chasseurs à Pied (13e BCP), fighting as such in Algeria, the Italian unification wars, and the Franco-German War.

Transitioning into crack mountain infantry in 1888, they guarded key Alpine passes in peacetime, then in the Great War fought in the Vosges, the Somme, in the Italian Alps against the Austrians, and generally everywhere they were needed, earning seven unit Croix de Guerre by 1918.

“Les Diables Bleus” WWI Chasseurs Alpins by Georges Bertin Scott, circa 1915

The blue devils received their name due to their dark blue uniforms and large berets, retained to this day in their service and dress uniforms. Hard fighters, their motto is “Jamais être pris vivant,” (Never to be Taken Alive)

Interbellum, they remained on the move for the Occupation of Germany with vacations in sunny Tunisia to fight insurgents for the glory of the Republic.

Chasseurs alpins during the Occupation of the Ruhr in Buer (now Gelsenkirchen), 1923. Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-09896

In WWII, following honors in the battle for Narvik against German mountain troops trying to hold on to Norway, they returned home to be dissolved by the Vichy government leaving most of its members to shrug and quietly join the maquis resistance. Reforming their battalion in August 1944, they fought for and captured the Grand Roc Noir (11,752 ft) from the Germans before descending into the Aosta Valley in Italy by the end of the war.

French Chasseurs Alpins showing off a captured MG42 in the Alpine mountains, January 1945.

Since then, they fought in Algeria, prepared for mountain combat in the Cold War, and, since that thawed, have been very busy in recent years with deployments to Bosnia, Lebanon, Chad, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Djibouti.

Why all this about the 13th BCA?

Well, they were chosen to be the first unit of the French Army to receive the FN SCAR H PR series precision rifle in 7.62 NATO, for use by their designated marksmen and snipers out to 800m.

The guns will replace the old MAS-derived GIAT FR F2 bolt gun that has been the French standard sniper rifle since the 1980s.

In several ways, the fusil à répétition modèle F2 is really just an updated MAS-36 in 7.62 NATO

More in my column at Guns.com.

Incidentally, the Chasseurs Alpins wear a distinctive piece of headgear: an oversized beret they call la tarte, or ‘the pie” and it is actually more useful than you think. 1st Lieutenant Clement from the 27th Brigade Chasseurs Alpins unit explains the various uses of la tarte, from keeping your feet warm to protecting your eyes from the sun. Clement and his fellow mountain infantry soldiers deployed to Rena, Norway for Exercise Brilliant Jump 22, which tested the ability of the very high-readiness component of the NATO Response Force:

Cracking the Army’s Budget Book on SmallArms

The Army’s recently announced budget request for the fiscal year 2022 includes at least $114 million for new rifles, handguns, and the next generation of small arms. 

While the overall FY2022 Defense Department Budget is $112 billion, most of the non-operational dollars are for high-level R&D and big-ticket items like the F-35 fighter. The Army’s budget book for weapons and tracked combat vehicles meanwhile has a low nine-figure ask when it comes to individual small arms. 

The bulk ($97 million) is to go to the Next Generation Squad Weapons, with much of the balance to acquire new Barrett-made Precision Sniper Rifles, and a few crumbs for M4s, M17s, and the like.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Could the Army Ditch Brass for Plastic?

The hybrid polymer-cased cartridge, developed by Texas-based True Velocity as part of the Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon program, is compatible with legacy firearms as well.

The 6.8mm TVCM composite case design, coupled with the Army’s 6.8mm (.277-caliber) common cartridge projectile, was originally developed and optimized for use in the NGSW-Rifle and NGSW-Automatic Rifle submissions submitted to that military program by General Dynamics-OTS. It performs better ballistically than 7.62 NATO and weighs 30 percent less.

However, using what True Velocity characterizes as a “switch barrel” capability, they have demonstrated it can work with much of the Army’s currently fielded small arms including the M240B belt-fed machine gun, the M110 semi-automatic sniper system, and the M134 minigun.

Which could mean that, even if NGSW tanks, there could be a revolutionary advance in the ammo used by U.S. troops in the near future.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Sig Shows off Planned Army Future Weapons

Sig Sauer, as I’ve covered a few times in the past couple of years, is one of the three teams who are in the running for the Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons, a group of guns using the same 6.8mm caliber that is set to replace the M4 and M249 families. Further, they are the only one that is solely a firearms company and plans to do everything in-house as opposed to the other two teams which are made up of several sub-contractors. 

Their submission:

Sig’s MCX Spear series carbine aims to be the Army’s NGSW-Rifle, replacing the M4. Standard features include a fully collapsible and folding stock, rear and side charging handle, free-floating reinforced M-LOK handguard, fully ambidextrous controls, and a quick-detach Sig Next Generation suppressor. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Sig’s Lightweight MMG is a belt-fed general-purpose weapon intended to become the Army’s NGSW-Automatic Rifle, replacing the M249 while hitting the scales at 40 percent lighter and with a round that has double the effective range of 5.56. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Both platforms use Sig’s 6.8mm hybrid ammunition, which is billed as offering a significant reduction in weight over traditional ammo while offering better performance and greater penetration while using a 121-grain bullet. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Further, Sig thinks they are positioned to pull it off, a move that, when coupled with the fact that their P320 pistol has been adopted as the M17/M18, would give the company the Pentagon small arms hat trick with the exception of 7.62 caliber platforms.

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.

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