Tag Archives: Rifle

What your average Tommy DMR looks like

Photos via British MoD

Photos via British MoD

Here we see the British Army’s L129A1 service rifle, sniper, better known on this side of the pond as an LMT LM308MWS. The Brits bought 3,000 of these bad boys in 2014 and are known for a sub-MOA group at 800m with match 7.62x51mm NATO ammo, which is not bad out of a 16-inch barrel. The basic optic is the Trijicon 6×48 ACOG. Also shown are the standard SA80/L-85 Enfield bayonet (note the wirecutter sheath in the top left), and the MilSight S135 Magnum Universal Night Sight (MUNS).

Not pictured is the L17A2 Schmidt & Bender 3-12 × 50 Sniper Scope for long distance work and the SureFire SOCOM762-RC husha can for when you want to spend some quiet moments in the hills looking for ISIS-types. Weight all up (with the ACOG) is 11-pounds, if carrying other sights or the can, this jumps, as does adding a bipod or scrim. She takes regular AR-10 style mags, which you will notice that the Brits use PMAGs (doesn’t everyone).

What she looks like with her shit together

With the U.S. Army looking for a new commercial-off-the-shelf Interim Combat Service Rifle (ICSR) in 7.62x51mm, you better believe guns like the LMT 308MWS are being looked at.

Hearing Protection Act ‘alive and well’

Cutaway of the Maxim Model 15 “silencer” on a 1903 mockup.

Since 1934, the federal government has treated devices designed to muffle or suppress the report of firearms as Title II devices that required registration under the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record and mandated transfers that included a $200 tax stamp. The HPA would repeal this requirement and treat suppressors as firearms – which would allow them to be transferred through regular federal firearms license holders to anyone not prohibited from possessing them after the buyer passes an FBI instant background check.

We spoke with industry insiders about the Hearing Protection Act on the eve of the 146th National Rifle Association Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta last week, who argued the measure has a fighting chance.

More in my column at Guns.com

175 million self-loading military rifles made since 1896– and most are likely still around

AK-47 style rifles accounted for almost half of the global production of self-loading rifles over the past century according to the study. (Graphics: Small Arms Survey)

AK-47 style rifles accounted for almost half of the global production of self-loading rifles over the past century according to the study. (Graphics: Small Arms Survey)

A new study released by the Small Arms Survey found that over half of all autoloading rifles ever made for military use are either AK-type or AR-10/15 type designs.

The 60-page study was authored for the Geneva, Switzerland-based SAS by N.R. Jenzen-Jones, director of Armament Research Services, an international policy-neutral technical intelligence consulting group.

The effort concentrates primarily on military arms issued as a primary combat weapon and not those built or marketed to the civilian or law enforcement user. As such it includes select-fire and automatic magazine-fed rifles such as the AKM and semi-auto battle rifles such as the M1 Garand made after the advent of smokeless powder. Excluded were crew-served weapons.

Starting with the Danish Navy’s order of 60 Rekylkarabin carbines in 1896 and moving forward, the study concluded some 175 million self-loading rifles have been produced for military use since then, noting this figure was “conservative.”

More in my column at Guns.com.

Bringing the M1’s back from the ROK

m1 garand

A House measure introduced last week would override the Obama-era State Department’s embargo on thousands of M1 Carbines and Garands long blocked from import.

The legislation comes as the latest installment in an effort by Republican lawmakers to change the 2009 decision to block the importation of no less than 87,000 rifles donated to South Korea and now surplus to that country’s needs.

“These M1 models represent a significant piece of our military history and should be available to collectors in America to the extent that other legal firearms of the same make are routinely bought and privately owned,” said bill sponsor, U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., in a statement.

More in my column at Guns.com

The American FAL that could have been

Isn't it beautiful? The FN T48 rifle in (limited) U.S. Army service, May 1955. (Photo: National Archives)

Isn’t it beautiful? The FN T48 rifle in (limited) U.S. Army service, May 1955. Dig the strapped-down M1 helmet and olive drab fatigues(Photo: National Archives)

Springfield Armory was the nation’s clearing house for rifle designs dating from approving the contracted Model 1795 muskets, through the famous Trapdoor Springfield breechloader to the M1903 (which was more or less an unlicensed copy of the Mauser bolt gun) to the M1 Garand of the 1930s and dozens of prototypes and other rifles in between.

Their last design project to be adopted, the T44 rifle, became the M14, but the route that it took to get there was very complicated.

Competing against theT25/47 design of Earle Harvey (of Springfield Armory), was Garand’s own T20 design tweaked by Springfield’s Lloyd Corbett into the T44.

Soon, the T25/47 was dropped by the wayside and the T65 .30 light rifle cartridge (7.62x51mm) became the choice of the Army moving forward and the T44 would be the gun to use it.

The thing is, the European part of NATO had fallen in love with the Belgian-made FN FAL rifle and it looked like just about everyone except the French and Italians were going to adopt it. In short, a gentleman’s agreement was made in which Europe would adopt the U.S. Army’s T65 7.62x51mm round as the NATO standard, and the U.S. would pick the FN FAL to replace the M1 Garand, M3 Grease gun and M1918 BAR light machine gun.

With that, the Army duly ordered 3,103 7.62x51mm-chambered FAL rifles from Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre in 1952 and they were imported into the U.S. from Herstal over the next two years.

These rifles, classified as “Rifle, Cal.30 T48 FN” by the Army, were 21-inch four-groove, right-hand twist barrels that taped out to 47.25-inches overall. In addition, a small quantity (200) of FAL Heavy Barrel Rifles (HBAR) with bipods were ordered– which were classified as the T48E1.

All were the standard lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed (20-round detachable) design. Though primarily intended for semiautomatic fire, they were select-fire and could stitch it up at a 600rpm cyclic for as long as the ammo held out.

Weight of the standard rifle was 9.43 lbs. empty and 10.2 lbs. with an attached muzzle-mounted rifle grenade launcher for NATO standard M29 (T42) grenades. The heavier T48E1/HBAR, with its hinged butt plate, went 12.43 lbs unloaded, and was intended to be used as a SAW or sorts.

In Jan. 1954, Harrington & Richardson Arms Company, Worcester, Ma, was awarded a contract “for the production of 500 T48 F.N. (Fabrique Nationale) Infantry Rifles required the expansion of activities in the Hand Arms & Equipment Unit. This action was necessary to prepare Ordnance drawings and provide manufacturing information and technical data to the Boston Ordnance District for use in administering the contract.”

H&R company officials visited the Canadian FAL works to observe their operations before they made their limited run.

High Standard Mfg. Co., Hamden, Ct. at the same time made 12 guns, serialed #HS1-#HS12.

This means a total of about 3,815 U.S. and Belgian-made T48s were delivered to the Army between 1952-55.

These guns were evaluated in field tests at Fort Benning, in the Arctic, and the desert.

Caption: Quabbin Pictures Taken of T48. Rifle, Caliber .30, T48 - with Gunner (Majewski) - Firing M29 (T42) Grenade, via National Archives

Caption: Quabbin Pictures Taken of T48. Rifle, Caliber .30, T48 – with Gunner (Majewski) – Firing M29 (T42) Grenade from a “mortared” position, May 1955, via National Archives

T48, Rifle, Caliber .30, T48 - with Gunner - Off-Hand Firing May 1955

Caption: T48, Rifle, Caliber .30, T48 – with Gunner – Off-Hand Firing May 1955. Photo via National Archives

One of the problems was that the original FAL was crap in the desert (which the Israelis found out in their campaign in 1967, leading to the local design and production of the AK/Valmet-based Galil), and another was that it had suffered “early and violent extraction, violent ejection, and broken parts” during testing in the frozen north– though in the end the rifle was determined to be fit for arctic use.

Besides this, the T44 was a tad lighter, had fewer components, and was all-American rather than Belgian, which in the end (IMHO) was the chief reason it was adopted in 1957 as the M14.

This left the American FAL’s out in the cold and they have largely been scrapped over the years.

Springfield Armory has no less than 58 T48 rifles listed in their collection including 28 made by H&R, 5 of the extremely rare High Standard models and 25 assorted Belgian rifles from FN itself, all transferred to the museum between 1959-65 at a value of $150-250 each (the Springfield Armory price for M14s was $155.98 at the time).

Their lot includes FN-made T48E1 SN#1 complete with grenade launcher, at least two different rifles modified to run on .22LR ammo, High Standard SN#1 HS1 and FN T48 SN#2.

Early FN-made T48 SN#2. Photo: Springfield Armory

Early FN-made T48 SN#2. Photo: Springfield Armory, SPAR3673

T48E1 FN FAL HBAR SN#1 in Springfield Armory. Some 200 of these guns were acquired for testing. Note the forearm and bipod

T48E1 FN FAL HBAR SN#1 in Springfield Armory. Some 200 of these guns were acquired for testing. Note the forearm and bipod as well as the “32” rack number. Photo: Springfield Armory, SPAR 3652

FN-made T48 SN#1816 in .22LR caliber-- note thin barrel. Photo: Springfield Armory

FN-made T48 SN#1816 in .22LR caliber– note thin barrel. Photo: Springfield Armory, SPAR 3663

High Standard's first T48 FAL rifle, SN#HS1. Photo: Springfield Armory

High Standard’s first T48 FAL rifle, SN#HS1. Note the different style handguard from the FN guns above. Photo: Springfield Armory, SPAR3683

A great representation of Harrington and Richardson's (H&R's) T48 FAL, this one SN#4538. Note the grenade launcher attachment

A great representation of Harrington and Richardson’s (H&R’s) T48 FAL, this one SN#4538. Note the grenade launcher attachment. It is also one of the few T48s in the SPAR collection to retain a magazine and all of its small parts (sights, sling swivels, etc.– most are missing something) Photo: Springfield Armory, SPAR 3687.

Lucky FN-made T48 SN#13 is on public display with alongside the M14 and T44 (T65E3) SN# 1 with the following exhibit label:

“T48 – Despite American problems with the FN the British adopted the weapon over their own design increasing the pressure in the United States to conform. The Army contracted the High Standard Company of New Haven to produce an American version of the FN, designated the T48.”

Lucky FN T48 SN#13 represents the breed to the public

Lucky FN T48 SN#13, third down, represents the breed to the public. Photo: Springfield Armory.

Other guns are in private collections, public museums and the like, with at least one, H&R SN#4142, in the National Firearms Museum.

H&R SN4142 T48. Dig the beauty of those handguards

H&R SN#4142 T48. Dig the beauty of those handguards

Also, the Marine depot at Quantico as of 2008 had some 70 remaining H&R T48s, as noted in an extensive post here at FAL Files.com

After all, if anyone can appreciate a really nice select-fire 7.62x51mm battle rifle, it’s the USMC.

Captian Ben Grant with one of 70 H&R T48s via FAL Files, 2008

Captian Ben Grant, USMC with one of 70 H&R T48s in Marine Corps storage, photo via FAL Files, 2008

Sumter’s Parrotts to see renovation

The Right Face Wall of Fort Sumter contains 11 6.4-inch Parrott Rifles in the first teir casemates. They were moved to the fort in 1873 from the Augusta Arsenal and their provenance is hidden under 150 years of rust and paint (Photo: NPS/Taormina)

The Right Face Wall of Fort Sumter contains 11 6.4-inch Parrott Rifles in the first tier casemates. They were moved to the fort in 1873 from the Augusta Arsenal and their provenance is hidden under 150 years of rust and paint (Photo: NPS/Taormina)

Charleston, South Carolina’s historic Fort Sumter, famous for its role in the Civil War, received an influx of $200,000 to restore 11 vintage Parrott rifles.

The donation came from an individual who wished to keep their name private, in honor of their father, a Citadel graduate.

The guns (officially: Parrott, 6.4-inch, rifle, seacoast, Model 1861), fired 100-pound shells and are something of a mystery to the National Park Service, being shipped from Georgia’s Augusta Arsenal to the fort in December 1873. They are covered in layer upon layer of paint, rusting and pitting– obscuring their foundry numbers which would tell when they were cast and potentially where they saw service during the war between the states.

More in my column at Guns.com 

When things are so bad that you have to send it to the people

So in California, which has had an assault weapon ban going all the way back to 1989 and yet still have mass-shootings with California-compliant firearms, lawmakers tried to pass over 20 legislative actions on increased gun control this session.

A baker’s dozen of these made it through the legislature in Dem-heavy votes of which Gov. Jerry Brown signed 7 into law and returned five with vetoes.

Since gun rights groups and Republican lawmakers couldn’t derail these, a group of gun owners on a gun forum (Calguns) got together and decided, “Let’s try for a ballot referendum to repeal these…”

And that’s exactly what they are doing.

With a pressing deadline of Sept.29, they are trying to get 450,000 signatures on 7 different propositions. Of course, California has 13 million gun owners, which by definition should all be capable of registering to vote, so it’s not far-fetched.

I’ve spoken with the man behind the effort, a San Diego tech company executive, and it’s a hail Mary play with a lot of spunk behind it.

More over in my column at Guns.com here and here.

An innovative (and probably effective) way to ban ‘assault weapons’

"Kanarejka” (Canary) system, mounted below the AKS-74U assault rifle.

“Kanarejka” (Canary) system, mounted below the AKS-74U assault rifle. Now this is a real assault rifle. An “assault weapon” is a political term.

“Assault weapons bans” go back a quarter century with California implementing the first such restrictions in 1989. The the California Department of Justice’s assault weapon list has some registered 145,253 firearms  as of last year when I did an in-depth report on them. However, the AWB, although tweaked continually, focuses on named models and arbitrary cosmetic features such as hand grips, barrel shrouds, and threaded muzzles, deeming such guns “assaulty” while they accidentally wind up making such innocent models as the Marlin Model 60, a tubular magazine .22LR popgun, illegal in some states.

Such bans aren’t very efficient, nor do they reduce crime, as witnesses a decade after in a postmortem on the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, which sunsetted in 2004.

Even the sometimes left-leaning New York Times noted that, “The continuing focus on assault weapons stems from the media’s obsessive focus on mass shootings, which disproportionately involve weapons like the AR-15, a civilian version of the military M16 rifle.”

Further, manufacturers can just rename their guns and delete cosmetic features, selling state-compliant models. As such, you can still very much buy modified AR-15-ish rifles in California legally over the counter. Sure, they have bullet buttons and look funny, but at their heart they are still ARs.

A state-compliant AR

A state-compliant AR. Even these abominations are banned in Massachusetts, at least for now.

However, Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Maura Healey last week flipped the script and decided to re-interpret the state’s 1998 ban to include an interchangeability test on the gun’s action, as ruling whether it is banned under state law. For instance, if Mass-compliant 5.56mm semi-auto rifle accepts the same bolt carrier group and magazine of the banned AR-15, it is banned as well.

So now components, such as the bolt carrier group and charging handle, define what make up an "assault rifle" under Healy's interpretation of Mass law....not the gun itself.

So now components, such as the bolt carrier group and charging handle, define what make up an “assault rifle” under Healy’s interpretation of Mass law….not the gun itself.

Gun grabbing genius this is. Because of the extremely broad strokes used to issue her office’s new guidance, most semi-auto centerfire rifles with the exception of a few (Ruger Mini-14, Remington 7400, Winchester 1910, etc), can be outlawed.

The thing is, Healy may have overstepped her authority and there has been a run on stores by gun owners fearing it will stick and some are promising legislation and litigation to short circuit her effort.

Either way, you can bet it is a blueprint for future moves by lawmakers to place a much more restrictive gun prohibition in the works.

The all-seeing eye (of the networked FFL)

Go ahead, tell me you wouldn't shop there...

Go ahead, tell me you wouldn’t shop there…

Following the news that the terrorist in the Orlando attack was able to legally purchase his firearms from a local store after he was turned down by one licensed dealer just days before, I spoke a couple weeks ago with software developer and long-time gun owner Seth Banks who came up with an idea that gun shops could help network to keep this from happening in the future.

The idea is simple. A private network for verified Federal Firearms Licensees to share and report incidents they have with suspicious buyers, and communicate with each other. When one shop in the network posts an alert, other dealers within driving distance are alerted via email, in-app notification, and/or text message.

“FFLs deny gun purchases for all sorts of reasons; including mental health, straw sales, intoxication, violent comments in the store, etc. … FFLs are on the front line protecting our community from bad actors already. Why not make their jobs easier?” Banks argued.

And with that Gun Shop Watchlist was formed.

More in my column at Guns.com

Lawmaker seeks to open the floodgate of South Korean M1 imports

Universal Soldier by Tim Page  showing a ROK marine in vietnam after combat. Note the M1 Garand, the South Koreans have over 87,000 of these in arsenal storage that they have been trying to sell to a U.S. importer since 2009

Universal Soldier by Tim Page showing a ROK marine in Vietnam after combat. Note the M1 Garand, the South Koreans have over 87,000 of these in arsenal storage that they have been trying to sell to a U.S. importer since 2009

A measure introduced this week to the U.S. House of Representatives is looking to override the State Department-imposed blockade on thousands of M1 Carbines and Garands coming home from Korea.

The move comes as the latest installment in an effort by Republican lawmakers to force change in the administration’s 2009 decision to block the importation of no less than 87,000 rifles donated to South Korea that are now surplus to that country’s needs.

Previous attempts launched in past sessions to free-up the guns failed to gain traction, however with recent GOP gains in Congress and a seemingly lame duck president in the twilight of his term, one representative isn’t giving up.

The rest over in my column at Guns.com

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