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.
Russian Prime Minister (former President) Vladimir Putin, himself a former Communist Party and KGB member, seems to be defrosting the Russian Bear that had been put in carbonite when the Cold War ended. With the recent incursion into a disputed portion of the former Russian vassal of Georgia, relations have cooled to the point of near 1980s levels. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, US President Jimmy Carter boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Then in 1984 the Soviets withheld their enhanced team from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Games in return for the 1983 US invasions of Grenada and actions in Lebanon.
This game seems to be dusted off and being replayed on a smaller but no less important level today. When Russia entered disputed Georgian territory without asking last week, the US announced that it would be unable to participate in the FRUKUS naval exercise in the Pacific. The FRUKUS exercises were started in 1988 specifically to foster closer relations between Russia and the West. Now Russia, in turn has pulled out of the NATO Open Spirit 2008 naval games in the Baltic and canceled the scheduled port visit of a US Perry Class frigate to the Russian Naval Base at Petropavlask.