Between 1973 and 2018, the swaggering Dirk Pitt, a decorated Air Force pilot on loan to a fictional maritime agency who often found himself a human monkey wrench thrust into the center of international intrigue and buried treasure, appeared in at least 25 high-octane adventure novels– two of which were made into movies— all featuring a lot of serious hardware in addition to a range of classic cars, exotic damsels in distress, and international thugs of all sorts with which to engage.
As such, he predated today’s “American James Bond” figures such as Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. In fact, you could go so far to say that those fellas couldn’t even hold Pitt’s orange-faced Doxa dive watch.
As a child of the 1970s and teen of the 1980s, I was on the hook from Raise the Titanic to Deep Six, Iceberg to Cyclops, and beyond. You could say that, in many ways, I was raised by Mr. Pitt, or at least his creator, Clive Eric Cussler, which would probably explain some things about how I tick.
Farewell, Mr. Cussler, finder of the Hunley and Manassas, manufacturer of heroes, and cultivator of sparks. We will try to pick up the torch from here.
I’ve always had a soft spot for P-38s (the guns, not the can openers, as I find the longer P-51 type a much better form of the latter and don’t even get me into the P-38 Lightning) since I was a kid.
With that, I had the great opportunity recently while in the GDC Vault to find examples made by all three WWII makers– Walther, Spreewerk, and Mauser– as well as some Cold War-era West German Ulm-marked guns.
For insights into how to tell them apart and what to look for, check out my column at Guns.com. https://www.guns.com/news/2019/12/04/the-world-of-german-p-38s-walther-mauser-spreewerk-and-otherwise
Turned over in a police firearms surrender, a trophy Luger from a historic Great War battle on the Western Front is now in a museum.
The pistol, a 1911-marked DWM, was collected by the Wiltshire Police during the UK’s National Firearms Surrender this summer. While the majority of firearms collected will be torched, the Luger was passed to the famed Tank Museum in Bovington for them to display.
“Firearms handed into the police during surrenders are sent for ballistic tests to ensure they haven’t been used in crime and are usually then destroyed,” said Wiltshire Police Armourer, Jamie Ross. However, an exception was made for the Luger, which was transferred in unmolested condition. “This live firearm is a part of history and I know that it is a welcome addition to the collection at the Tank Museum,” said Ross.
More in my column at Guns.com
One of the interesting things I came across in my travels around SHOT Show last month was that some classic Central European arms makers are still in the business of making classic European arms.
Over at Mauser’s booth, besides offerings in their classic M98 line for $10K+ safari rifles (!) there was the new M18, a $699 bolt-action billed as the “People’s rifle” (Volkswaffe) or “People’s repeater” (Volksrepetierer) by the German rifle maker. It’s a pretty sweet design, complete with a detachable mag, hidden cleaning kit in the butt (hey, it’s a Mauser) and a wide offering of calibers.
More about that over in my column at Guns.com
As for Steyr, which of course continues to market modern polymer framed pistols, precision rifles to include the giant HS-50 and their iconic AUG line of bullpups, they are bringing back the Zephyr. Now I had a chance to get my hands on a Zephyr .22 that belonged to my great-uncle as a kid and absolutely loved it. The reboot includes a traditional Bavarian cheek piece and fish scale checkering on a walnut stock, and an action so smooth it will make you cry.
More on that after the jump.
Rock Island Auctions has over 100 Lugers at their upcoming Premier Auction in May including carbines and artillery models and rare pistols meant for Persian, American, Argentine, Mexican, Swiss and Russian markets. They got em in 7.65 blank, 7.65×21mm Parabellum (which almost became U.S. Army issue!), and good ole 9mm parabellum.