In the early 1980s, Korean War vet and firearms inventor John Andersen (sometimes-spelled Anderson) thought out the concept of a gas-operated, automatic-fire shotgun for military and police use. His gun would allow full-auto (up to 240 rounds per minute) fire of new and advanced 12-gauge shells, be rapidly reloaded via a 10-round cassette, and still be small and compact enough (17 pounds) for the average foot soldier to carry into combat.
To accomplish this, he envisioned a reciprocating barrel with a fixed gas piston enclosed in a cylinder. When the gun fired, the barrel pushed forward and the action, set in a bullpup style behind the trigger group, ejected the spent shell hull and loaded another in what we would consider a very complicated process. This unique action gave the gun (which turned out looking rather industrial anyway) a very distinctive ‘jackhammer’ style of operation when firing that led to its nickname. If the trigger was kept depressed after the first shot, the weapon would continue cycling, thus producing automatic fire until the trigger was let up or the weapon ran out of ammunition. There was no option for single-shot fire; the gun was full-auto only commenting directly on its philosophy of use.
The 20.75-inch smoothbore barrel gave a 31.10-inch overall length and a weight (unloaded) of ten pounds. Polymers were used as much as possible in the firearm to keep weight low, in itself was a very visionary concept for 1982. At the time, the Glock 17 aka “the plastic fantastic” was only then being introduced into the US.
Perhaps most interestingly though, some of these loaded cassettes could also be laid as booby traps. Referred to by the company as a ‘Bear Trap’, the cassettes could be set like mines and would trigger all ten rounds simultaneously if disturbed—possibly the first time a multi-use explosive trap was included as a factory option in a firearm.
Officially called the MK3, the concept was best remembered as the Pancor Jackhammer automatic shotgun.
The thing is, it never got out of the beta test phase and is basically weapon vaporware. However, a few prototypes went on to legendary status in more than 20 video games (Max Payne, Far Cry, and Rainbow Six ring a bell?) between 1998 and 2018.
Speaking of which, Morphys has the only working Jackhammer up for auction.
Yes, it’s real. Yes, it’s full-auto. Yes, it is transferable. Yes, it is expensive.
The backstory on how six divisions worth of M1 Garands got repatriated from the Phillipines, where they have seen hard service since the 1950s in some cases, back to the U.S. to be sold through CMP in Anniston. Contrary to what a lot of people think, CMP actually had to spend a small fortune to get these vintage weapons back CONUS.
“It goes almost without saying that accurately accounting for and transporting approximately 90,000 small arms from the other side of the globe is challenging under any circumstances. Throw in termite infestation, monsoon season, and asbestos contamination, and you will have a recipe for disaster.”
In the tail end of World War II, the Australian military was crafting a shortened Enfield .303 for jungle warfare, but it never made it into full-scale production before the A-bomb ended the conflict.
The above beauty is a rare bird and a bit of evolving gun control history all in one.
The Lithgow Small Arms Factory, which crafted Australian Lee-Enfields and bayonets from 1912 into the 1950s when they switched to making inch-pattern semi-auto FAL (L1A1SLR) rifles, had this beautiful No 6 Mk I Lithgow Enfield recently turned over to their museum from the New South Wales Police. According to the museum, it is a super low serial (XP124) and was one of just 100 of that rare model made, 50 with brass butts and 50 with rubber.
As noted by a British site on everything Enfield, the “No. 6 Australian” was that country’s domestically-made equivalent to the British No. 5 “Jungle Carbine” designed for use in the Pacific island fighting in WWII and, “Only the capitulation by Japan, which brought the conflict there to a close, precluded the Australian No.6 rifle from going into production.”
John Walter in his book Rifles of the World, notes the No. 6 Mk I rifles were shortened and lightened guns crafted on older No 1 Mk III actions with half-stocks and handguards and used 19-inch barrels, tipping the scales at 7.5-pounds. He also says some were later altered by the Royal Australian Air Force to take 7.62x51mm NATO and use 20-round box mags in the 1950s.
Here is an unconverted prototype .303 No 6 Rifle Mk. I in the collection of the Australian War Memorial, donated by a collector from Queensland:
However, the gun turned over to Lithgow is not original.
Tragically, around 1950 it was re-chambered from standard .303 British (7.7×56mmR) to the just slightly shorter 7.7x54mmR by area gunsmith Barry Cockinos to get around the new gun law passed in NSW after 1948 banning “military caliber” firearms for civilian ownership.
NSW police recently impounded 109 firearms from a collector, including several rare pieces, that he did not have a license to possess, so this may have been one of his…
Under threat of a fine of up to A$280,000 ($219,000), 14 years in jail, and a criminal record for being otherwise caught with an unregistered or illegal gun, Australia’s National Firearms Amnesty concluded on Oct. 1. Australian media is reporting that 51,461 firearms of all type were turned over to police in the three month period, up from the 26,000 tallied by early September.
However, some of the rarer birds were saved….
Robbie with Wheaton Arms sat down with the Sootch00 YouTube gun channel and contrasted the new Glock Gen 5 against legacy Gen 4 and 3 models both inside and out.
There are actually a lot of differences.
Still, as when they introduced the Gen 4 and it went through a year of teething problems and stealth fixes, I’ll wait a year for the bugs to get worked out of the Gen 5.
Call me old-fashioned, but I am still a Gen 3 guy when it comes to my combat tupperware.
I thought this was great.
Australia is conducting their first nationwide firearms amnesty since the great melt-down of 1996 in an effort to get an estimated 300,000+ undocumented guns either on the books or in the furnace and they have had a lot of interesting stuff show up. These included this awesomely wicked specimen turned over to blue heelers in QLD.
The thing is, the impressive hand cannon is actually a British-made Thornton-Pickard Mk III H model “camera gun” of the type used by the Royal Air Force, and to a lesser degree the U.S. Army Air Corps, during WWI and the immediate post-war period.
The only thing it shoots if film.
More in my column at Guns.com
As I covered over at Guns.com, the Russians spent 35 million rubles (about $580K US) on a sprawling monument to the late firearms engineer Mikhail Kalashnikov that was unveiled in Moscow last week. Besides a nearly 30-foot high statue of Kalashnikov, the base of a monument to St. Mikhail, the Orthodox patron of gunsmiths and warriors, contains a representation of several of the engineer’s designs including an AK42 sub gun, AK47, AKM and AK74 rifles, as well as RPK and PK machine guns.
However, as noted by some sharp-eyed firearms enthusiasts and reported by Russian-based Kalashnikov magazine, just under a Krinkov AKS-74U is what appears to be the parts diagram for a German StG-44 Sturmgewehr.
Which some (notably outside of the Motherland) have contended that the AK was based on for decades.
This has caused understandable heartburn in Russia, and, as Russian firearms wonks pile on to disagree with the lineage of the AK– noting it is as Russian as a Florida pirated movie salesman, the offending diagram has been torched out.