Category Archives: Weapons Education

Rifles: 2nd Half of the 19th Century

We have commented before on how interesting it is that no firearms advance gives any nation a lasting advantage. This takes place both because everybody who is not experiencing success copies others’ successes with alacrity, and because technology tends to advance at about the same rate everywhere, as equally bright people work to develop new ideas on the shoulders of the same body of prior work.

Reasons notwithstanding, you can pick just about any period in history and watch the armies of the nations of the world advance together, as if they were in step. Let’s pick the second half of the 19th Century, which began with everyone more or less on the same sheet of music — call it Movement I, maestoso, with Minié or other displacing balls fired from muzzle-loading rifle-muskets — and at the end of a rapid flurry of advances was playing a livelier gavotte on repeating bolt-action rifles firing fixed centerfire ammunition.

Experimental 45-70 Springfield

In the middle of the 19th Century, the question was: how do we get from rifle-musket to breechloader? Conversions were the answer almost everywhere.

We’ve made rather a dog’s breakfast of too many metaphors there. We promise to stop; we’ll stick to declarative sentences, here on out.  In military service, service long-arms passed through four stages between 1850 and 1900, almost regardless of nation. Here’s a little graphic illustrating what we mean.

rifle_history_1850-1900Germany is an outlier here, in part because we selected Prussia as our representative German state (the German Empire wasn’t unified under the Prussian crown yet at the start of this period. Had we chosen Bavaria it might have looked more like the other nations).

At the end, we just didn’t have room for the definitive bolt-action repeater, the Mauser 98!

If Germany was a leader, looking at the dates, the United States was a bit of a laggard; the 1888 Springfield was fundamentally unimproved from the 1865 Allin conversion. Imperial Russia, often thought of as backward, doesn’t look nearly as bad. (Of course, adopting a rifle is one thing; producing enough of them to arm the Russian Army is a whole other challenge). It would be interesting to add other powers, such as Spain and Sweden, and perhaps some of the more advanced South American lands, to the chart.

Although we like our bright colors, the next step ought to be to make a proper Gantt chart of it, in which you’d see how much variation there was in years of adoption, visually.

By the way, the individual steps are not nearly as neat and clear as the graphic implies. This comprehensive and illustrated analysis of the Enfield P.53s progress to the Snider is representative. Like the Allin conversion in the USA, the Snider won out over many possible alternatives in testing. (And here’s a great page on the Martini-Henry, the Snider’s follow-on). For every repeater, breech-loader, and conversion that was adopted, there were many also-rans.

Hey, Dude, Where’s My Guns?

burglarThat was the question a Sanford, FL detective was asking when he went back to his Ford Explorer after a softball game and found his back window smashed open — and two guns, his cuff key, body armor and badge gone.

D’oh. The smash-and-grab theft was one of two at the park that day, but the other guy didn’t have guns locked in his car (and if he wasn’t a cop, would have gotten in trouble if he had… since the guy who armed a criminal is a cop, he faces no consequences more serious office mockery). Nope, what the thieves got from the other victim was a diaper bag. (So much for our master plan of hiding our guns inside a diaper bag).

After shattering the window, someone grabbed the detective’s department-issued Sig Sauer pistol, his personally-owned Remington 870 shotgun, body armor, a handcuff key, a stun-gun cartridge, radio microphone and his law-enforcement badge. The items have a combined estimated value of more than $3,400, the report states.

The Orlando Sentinel rounds up other local cop theft victims:

Guns are a popular item among thieves who target law-enforcement officials.

Earlier this month, thieves robbed a retired FBI agent of his credentials and gun while he napped inside his car outside a business in Altamonte Springs. And in a 6-month span last year, there were at least three separate incidents of guns disappearing from law enforcement vehicles in Central Florida.

Two the incidents involved Orange County sheriff’s deputies and the other a Winter Park police officer. It’s unclear if any of the weapons stolen in those cases were found.

Don’t worry about it. They’ll turn up in gang murders. Hopefully it’s only the gang members who get murdered, which is just Evolution in Action® (“Evolution in Action®” is a registered trademark of Niven and Pournelle).

While it’s fun making fun of law enforcement, nothing feels like being ripped off, except perhaps being raped. And the biggest reason we have such a high level of theft, apart from living in a low trust society produced by unassimilated immigration, and racial and ethnic identity politics, is that punishment for the thieves is neither swift, nor sure, nor sufficient. We still think malum in se felony sentences should be simplified to 10-20-Life, with no parole, no probation, no plea bargains. A second arrest while on pretrial release should nullify pretrial release rights for life. Get the pathogens out of the bloodstream, and the patient gets healthy.

Then, there’s this little two-liner from the Sentinel:

How often law enforcement vehicles are burglarized isn’t known, as agencies rarely alert the public.

Sanford police released information about the incident on Saturday as a public safety notice, saying a statement that residents “should be aware of the possibility of police impersonation.”

Good on Sanford for doing the right thing in this case, and really, it’s better to get this kind of news out in public with your own spin on it, and look like you give a damn, rather than look like you’re covering up.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: All4Shooters.com

all4shooterscomWant to see how the other half lives? For Yanks (and Canucks), a visit to the pan-European website All4Shooters.com will let you know what an international community of shooters is doing. While the site was created by a German firearms-media firm, it’s becoming a trusted source for information about the European market and it’s probably the best place to see Eurozone firms promote their firearms and shooting-sports accessories to their home-continent customers.

You may learn more than you expected about upland hunting in Italy, collecting in Belgium, or products created for sports that are popular in Europe but not here.

In some ways, it reminds us of where the American gun culture was forty or fifty years ago. Looking through old gun magazines, one is struck by the much greater roles played by formal competition, and how some sports have died (quick-draw competitions) and others have been born (practical pistol and 2- and 3-gun). A gun magazine in 1966 was more likely to put a pheasant-hunting scene on the cover than a defense pistol, and was unlikely to have much to say about gun law or gun rights. Indeed, gun rights in 1966 didn’t include the right to carry one, in most States. America in 1966 was a lot like Europe in 2016 that way. What became a rights revolution in America started with the legislative overreach of Tom Dodd’s Nazi-derived Gun Control Act (which passed in 1968, after Dodd had been censured and left the Senate over unrelated corruption) and the botched ATF raid that killed Kenyon Ballew in 1970; these two overreaches triggered a grassroots backlash that has led to today’s very different gun culture: concealed carry is legal in most states, in nine of them with no permit at all; and guns of all kinds have never been more widely distributed to peaceable people, nor more used for lawful ends.

Europe today reminds us of America before that ball got rolling, and we see European guys and gals with levers all around their version of the ball. It rolls slowly at first, friends. But your efforts are worthwhile.

The site is decidedly apolitical, although it reports on gun laws in Europe and on gun rights organizations (which fight just as hard, against much more entrenched officialdom and with much less assistance from the dead hands of Constitution writers, than our champions here in the Western Hemisphere).

European gun, sport-shooting, and hunting culture is both like and unlike ours. They still have hunters, competitors, and collectors like we do, but their hunting is different. In Central Europe it’s very formalized, in part because of hunters’ tradition and in part because of population density. In England, it is the now nearly extinct recreation of a nearly extinct nobility and gentry.

Everywhere the laws are different, and different from those in the USA. But that is because the local culture and history is different. The biggest threat to the European sportsman is, these days, the rise of the European bureaucrat, where deracinated and rootless commissars in Brussels are closet Caesars, dreaming of completing the interrupted unification that eluded Napoleon and Hitler. (These are the cretins who are pushing to rename World War II — we are not making this up — the European Civil War — in effect, conceding Hitler’s point).

But while Europe may still be in the Dark Ages as far as the rights of man are concerned, it’s still a hotbed of firearms development and innovation, not to mention the cradle of a great deal of firearms history. This gets covered extensively at all4shooters.com, which is trying to be the portal for Euro gunnies. An example of new development is the Schmeisser SLP-9, which turns out to be a rebranding of a Montenegrin Glock-off called the TARA TM-9 at home; an example of history coverage is the fascinating story of the founder of the German Rottweil ammunition plant, Max von Duttenhofer. (Rottweil is most famous, of course, for its native dog; but it is also the future home of the world’s highest elevator-testing tower, and perhaps a pedestrian suspension bridge a half-mile long). (The ammo plant in Rottweil is now closed and repurposed for many, mostly cultural, purposes; and Rottweil ammuntion is made in Fürth in Franconia (a region in the state of Bavaria).

A good series of basic technical articles by Max Popenker (still an ongoing series) introduces operating systems: blowback, delayed blowback, and recoil are the ones produced to date (can “gas” be next? Probably). A4S collects all technical articles in a single category.

The English translations of other languages’ articles occasionally have one or two small things that let you know that they were not developed by a native speaker, but if you’re not looking for them, you may miss them. Sometimes All4Shooters has articles in some languages but not others, so if you’re multilingual don’t restrict yourself to the English (or your native language) articles.

More Retro/Vintage ARs, This Time from Troy

A routine email from TFB reminded us that Colt’s Retro ARs are not unique after all, but that since this year’s SHOT Show, Troy has been promoting retro ARs. At SHOT they introduced a retro GAU-5A/A, and at the NRA show, an XM177E2.

They are promoting these rifles at the cleverly selected URL, myservicerifle.com. And they’re sensibly priced ($1,200-1,300 MSRP).

Here’s the GAU. A great deal of attention to detail has been applied here. It’s the right color grey.

GAU_5AA_rightThe lower receiver is contoured correctly for the A1-era CAR-15, and has almost exact rollmarks, until you look closely. It even has the “pin” for the auto sear — actually, just an engraved marking. GAU_5AA_right_rearThe pistol grip is an original surplus part — the only one. The barrel is about an inch longer than an original, and the profile of the false “moderator” — which is pinned and welded to make the barrel an ATF-legal 16″ — is a little bit off, but this is the closest any manufactured gun has gotten. Note that the bayonet lug has been milled off (this is correct to the originals).GAU_5AA_left

Care has been taken with the 2-position (period correct) stock. It is made of aluminum and then coated (probably not with the original vinyl acetate dip… that would be asking for OSHA to come a-viking to one’s factory). GAU_5AA_left_extTroy has not forgotten people who dwell within the Moonbat Curtain. You can also get one with the stock pinned in place and with the magazines gelded, and you can even go Full Harem Guard with a California-Legal (at the moment) Bullet Button. And each GAU (and the XM177s as well) comes with a package of accessories.

GAU_Included_accessories

And let’s have a look at the XM177E2.

As you can see, it comes with all the same features and accessories as its Air Force / Son Tay brother, down to the “strap, utility” sling improvised with 550 cord loops….

XM-177E2_leftBut looking at the other side, we see the difference between the GAU and the XM, the yin of the Air Force and the yang of the Army — the forward assist, an Army-peculiar feature, originally. XM-177E2_rightHere’s the forward assist in close-up. Note how accurately they got the part colors, the lower receiver contour, and the dead-on look-and-feel of the stock.

XM-177E2 forward assistIt can’t turn you into Dick Meadows, but it can damn well give you his sight picture:

XM-177E2 sights

Here’s sthe stock with the field improvised sling.XM-177E2 stock

And here’s the other end of the sling showing how it’s attached., as well as the period-correct .625″ barrel OD. XM-177E2 FSB and slingThe moderator looks almost perfectly right.XM-177E2 false moderatorThis selector switch photo shows the false selector markings and the little fake-auto-sear “pin”. XM177E2_SCAR-XM11-14YT-00-autoMarkings-1-1024x512They’re also available with limited-custom, tasteful, laser personalization.

XM-177E2 custom laser engraved

They also include such things as copies of inspectors’ paint marks.

The Charity Angle

But wait! there’s more. For every one of these retro blasters Troy sells, they’re going to make a contribution to an appropriate charity. For instance, the GAU supports the National Leage of Families; the XM177E2 supports — what else? — the Special Forces Association and the Special Operations Association. The SFA is the regimental association of the SF Regiment, and the SOA restricts full membership to veterans of behind-the-lines or cross-border units and

We’re life members of both SOA and SFA, and yet we never heard of these things before so we’re extremely glad we picked up Nathaniel F’s report thanks to the TFB email.

Some American Thoughts on Russia’s “New Generation War.”

russian_rangerettes

You’ve come a long way, baby! Russian movie portrayal of the Red Army.

Both of these documents were sent to us by a retired senior special operations officer who is employed in an influential position in operations planning. The authors of the first (and more recent) document recently did a stand up in front of, if we have this right, Joint Ops at the Pentagon. So you’re learning here what American colonels, generals, and senior policy civilians are learning about our Russian rivals.

“Rival” is, we think, the right word; so far, Russia sees itself as in competition with the democratic West, and not entirely at war. In fact, Russian leadership, which was Soviet junior leadership during the Cold War, seems intent on a new Cold War with the same broad spectrum of rivalries: political, economic, propaganda, and military via proxy wars. We have not seen a return to terror sponsorship on the level of  the pre-1992 KGB and GRU, but we can’t tell whether that’s because: today’s Russia actually eschews this as a tactic, either on moral or practical grounds; today’s Russia is better at doing it undetected than the USSR was; or, increased surveillance of terrorists and their sponsors heightens risks for state sponsors. (If we had to pick one we’d go with #1, Russia is not sponsoring terrorists, because Russian policy does not permit that at this time. But we don’t have evidence for that).

The first article is a nine-page extract from Army Magazine, the usually low-value trade mag of the Association of the US Army, an organization that young lieutenants are dragooned into joining. But it’s by two serious guys, Professor Phil Karber, a reformed Marine who’s been a heavyweight in US Army ground forces strategy for over 40 years, and LTC Josh Thibeault, a typically overeducated (heh) Operations Analyst.

(U)Russia’sNew-GenerationWarfare(ARMYMagazine,Jun16)

(Note that we made three small corrections in the file, a typo in the filename, removed a blank tenth page, and ran it through our own OCR. If you are planning on sending this around anonymously, get the Army version from the Early Bird or “they” can trace you to WeaponsMan). Here’s an edited excerpt:

Russia represents a real threat, to real allies, on real terrain. Though Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions might be unknowable, we do know what his game plan is.
It’s called “new-generation warfare,” and it targets Western weaknesses, not strengths. New-generation warfare differs from Western views of hybrid conflict in that it combines both low-end, hidden state involvement with high-end, direct, even braggadocio superpower involvement.

Russian new-generation warfare is manifested in five component elements:

– Political subversion.
– Proxy sanctuary.
– Intervention.
– Coercive deterrence.
– Negotiated manipulation.

Contrary to Western politicians, the Russian leadership understands these military options and plays them like a Stradivarius.

Karber and Thibeault do examine each of those in depth, and review such newly evident Russian competencies (many of which, in fact, the old Soviet Army was not at all weak on) and their consequences for US Army RDT&E, strategy and doctrine. These areas including electronic warfare, unmanned aerial systems (new, as is the way the Russian Army uses them), tank and IFV developments, air and missile defense.

Russian artillery is particularly well-developed. Always a historic strength, new technology has made this artilllery more effective, accurate and lethal, and Karber and Thibeault project a bit of what might happen to American units if they were hit as two Ukrainian mech battalions were hit two years ago, in July 2014. (The authors don’t mention this, but the units were moving as agreed with the Russians under a cease-fire agreement).

Russia launched fire strikes with long-range artillery and multiple rocket launchers employing top-attack munitions and thermobaric warheads against two Ukrainian mechanized battalions in the open. This intensely concentrated fire strike lasted only a few minutes yet inflicted high casualties and destroyed most armored vehicles, rendering both battalions combat-ineffective.

The T-64 improved Bulat tanks of the Ukrainian 1st Armored Brigade burn, 13 July 14

The T-64 improved Bulat tanks of the Ukrainian 1st Armored Brigade burn, 13 July 14.

In combat situations like this, when up to 30 percent of a unit is killed or incapacitated, command and control breaks down and the unit is unable to treat its own wounded, much less reconstitute itself and continue its mission. The Army needs to develop reconstitution teams at the brigade level that will re-establish command and control, provide triage and other medical support, and quickly coordinate reconstitution. Likewise, units at all levels must frequently train in mass-casualty scenarios.

It’s an interesting idea, but the reconstitution team can’t work as long as the artillery continues.

Needless to say, fifteen years of desultory low-intensity warfare against rifle- and RPG-armed primitives in plastic flip-flops has not prepared the United States Army to fight against a competitor like this. (And what is a Russian capability today is a Chinese capability tomorrow, and a global second-tier state’s capability in months or a year. We are not the only ones studying these battles).

Meanwhile, we have a leadership adept at social engineering, but incompetent at war planning or even weapons procurement. What the Russians did to those two Ukrainian battalions, the US can’t do, because the US has unilaterally disarmed from thermobaric and cluster munitions. The article’s conclusion on that:

Russian artillery maintains an approximate 3:1 size advantage over the Army’s artillery, and they have a capability advantage as well with their use of dual-purpose improved conventional munitions and submunitions. For the Army to be competitive, the DoD must repeal then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ 2008 directive to comply with the provisions of the Ottawa Treaty, which resulted in the removal of all submunitions from the Army’s inventory.

Note that, while Gates is often thought of one of Obama’s lousy defense officials, when he made this lousy decision he was still one of Bush’s lousy defense officials. This is a defense problem, not a partisan problem.

One more thought: military planners love infantry fighting vehicles. You know who doesn’t? Infantrymen. After seeing what protection a BMP provides, Ukrainians ride on top. In Chechnya, Russians rode on top. In Vietnam, American mech infantry rode on top. None of these things can resist artillery fires. Which right now the US unilaterally has disarmed itself of, believing that navigation satellites (subject to other Russian and other weaponry) and air supremacy were permanent conditions of US deployments.

And one final thought, on aviation. The Russians swept the Ukrainian fast movers and helicopters from the sky. Flying this high could be deadly (20 August, 2014):

So could flying even lower:

Ukrainian helicopters were reduced to flying 3 to 5 meters above ground or treetop level to avoid the larger surface-to-air missiles from the self-propelled systems, but ambush teams of two to five manportable air defense systems, cued by the integrated air defense network, shot them down. Without adequate suppression of enemy air defense assets or hardened bases and defenses, Ukraine was powerless to stop this.

Some other interesting tactics have been emerging, too, but this is a start. As we said, there are two articles; the other tomorrow or Thursday (we have to hunt it up).

Student Filmmakers Mistaken for Active Shooters

Last week, a bunch of kids with airsoft toys that look very like real guns were making a student film at their school in Tustin, California. How much like real guns do they look? Real enough that the kids probably don’t even grasp just how close they came to being capped by cops. Behold:

Tustin Cops Fake Gun Photo

After everybody’s pulse rate got back down into the normal range, the cops had a talk with the would-be Tarantinos, so that this film didn’t end like one of Quentin’s bloodbaths, except with buckets of real blood.

By the way, in the image above, two of the guns are the kids’ airsofts. One is one of the cops’ patrol rifle that he responded with. (You can probably figure it out). The cops’ whole statement:

We are currently clearing a call of several subjects with rifles at one of our schools. Ultimately we determined the subjects were local high school students making a film and the rifles were only replicas. Neither the school or the city of Tustin had any knowledge of this incident until we received the radio call. This situation could have turned tragic. Parents, please use caution when allowing your children access to replica firearms. These situations have turned deadly across our nation. The photo shows two of the rifles we encountered on this call. The third rifle in the photo is one of our real rifles that we responded with. We included it to show you how realistic these weapons can appear, especially in darkness.

Really, a kid can get hurt playing with the wrong toys. But if you deny kids any engagement with real guns under adult guidance, they’re going to develop their own knowledge under peer guidance. That seems to be the antithesis of a good idea.

A hearty hooah to the Tustin cops for not shooting anybody. Can you imagine how they’d crucify the poor cop that nailed one of these kids? But look again at the guns — it would be hard to fault a cop for jumping to what turned out to be a wrong conclusion.

Sometimes the best thing is to sit weapons tight and develop the situation.

Prague 1938: The Doomed and the Saved

jan_syrovy_may_1938

As you can see from the cut-off margin and wavy horizontal line, we’ve got to go back to the drawing board on this scan.

We have been working to scan a story from the 30 May 1938 LIFE magazine for the site. The cover of that magazine shows “Commander of the Czech Army,” whose actual title was General Inspector (or Inspector General), Jan Syrový. A tough-looking guy, he had fought on both sides in World War I, like many Czechs and Slovaks, abandoning the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s weak claims on his loyalty, and going over to the Russians. The Russians had their own problems, but allowed their Czechoslovak POWs to form the Czechoslovak Legion, which started small but would ultimately be a brigade-sized unit of three infantry regiments. Syrový lost his right eye fighting alongside the Russian Army during the ill-fated Kerensky Offensive. (The Czech Legion took their objectives, but few of the Russian units did). Around the time this photograph was taken, Czechoslovak defense leaders had mobilized their reserves — 70,000 men — under threat from Germany.

At the time, Munich was still in the future (by then, Syrový would have bene elevated to Prime Minister, over his own objections), but in May, the Czechoslovaks were still hoping for support from former allies Britain, France and the USSR; in the end they would be betrayed by all three nations, Britain and France cutting the Munich deal for the death of Czechoslovakia (with Czechoslovakia conspicuously unrepresented), and the USSR writing the rump of the state off in the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact of 1939.

In the LIFE issue, we saw the photo immediately below. The LIFE caption was:

German Refugees. In this hand-decorated Prague cellar of an abandoned factory Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany find the safe haven Prague has long offered their race.

german_jewish_refugees_in_prague_2

That struck us pretty hard. Note the tied-down swastika on the map of Germany, and the weird cartoon figures… not sure who they’re supposed to be. LIFE had more to say about the refugees, including some fairly deep background. As we read it, the realization sank in that these people were almost certainly murdered in the next few years. Seeing the picture, we know what the happy musicians could not: the Nazi menace was coming their way.

Generations before Romulus and Remus found their Roman wolf, Prague on the Vltáva River was an old established village that had been inhabited continuously since Paleolithic men scrabbled caves in its riverbanks some 15,000 years ago. Modern industrial Czechoslovakia thus has not only one of the oldest capitals in Europe, but one of the most beautiful. The curving Vltáva (pronounced Vultava) splits the city in two as the Seine splits Paris.

Prague has an ancient and honorable reputation for liberalism. Its university is the oldest in Central Europe. The martyrdom of John Huss not only foretold the Protestant Reformation, but started a wave of Czech nationalism among the nobles of the Bohemian court. Like other medieval cities. Prague kept its Jews in a ghetto, the Josefstadt, but they were not molested. They had a separate Jewish town hall, with a Jewish clock that still ticks on its steeple. The 14th Century synagogue where the Golem was made is still in use. Prague’s Jewish cemetery is the oldest in Europe.

Currently Prague is an asylum for thousands of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. At the left LIFE’s photographers show several of these in an abandoned factory in Prague’s Strašnice district. Their faces are purposely turned from the camera for the protection of relatives still in Germany. They manage to exist on an average of 11¢ a day donated by Czech workers’ unions, but because of Czech unemployment they are not allowed to accept jobs. All of them are ready to enlist in an anti-Nazi brigade should Czechoslovakia be invaded by Germany.

It was depressing, reading this, reading the cautious optimism on the crumbling pages, and knowing what became of the Jews of Prague and other Czechoslovak cities (herded into ghettos, relocated to KZ Theresienstadt (Terezín, Czech), relocated to KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau, murdered like rats. Especially the kids. When a transport came in, the old, the sick, and the children went straight to extermination.

We looked on that picture, and the accompanying legend, and despaired. They never got the chance to “enlist in an anti-Nazi brigade.” The list of European nations and statesmen who sold them out is a long and bleak catalog of shame. To that must be added the shame of the United States in not accepting these refugees — for unlike the ISIL advance parties currently roiling Europe, these people were actually refugees in the classic sense of the word.

The day after hitting an emotional rock bottom over this long-forgotten little tragedy, in one corner of The Greatest Tragedy Show on Earth that was the Second World War, we stumbled on this report by Kemberlee Kaye at the great law blog, Legal Insurrection. It’s all about this guy, a master of English pluck… and English understatement.

Sir-Nicholas-Winton-memorial-service-holocaust-hero-saved-children-world-war-ii-2-e1463766689273-620x435

Nick Winton was a young stockbroker who found himself in Prague on holiday about a year after that Life Magazine, and he decided to do something. Something was getting permission to bring unaccompanied refugee children from Prague to London from the Nazis (which turned out to be easy, as they were looking to get rid of Jews), from the Foreign Office (which turned out to take one visit and compliance with a list of conditions) and the rest of midcentury British bureaucracy (which was a little more complicated).

At one point, he resorted to forging a letterhead to convince authorities he wasn’t just one guy, but head of a large and potent organization. He did all that he could.

He saved 669 children; the parents who put them on the train, and most of the rest of their families in Europe, vanished forever into the Nacht u. Nebel of the Final Solution.

And what did he do then? Like most men his age, he served in the war, and afterward, moved on with his life. What is different about his rescue is what he didn’t do — he didn’t tell anybody. Apart from a brief mention in a flyer for a 1950s campaign for local office — he lost, by the way — he never brought it up. He did it, and that was enough. It was in 1988, almost fifty years later, that his wife found an old scrapbook — and discovered Nick Winton’s secret.

After that, he was showered with honors, none of which he sought. Last week, there was a memorial service for Sir Nicholas Winton, who passed away last year, leaving alongside his own progeny perhaps as many as 15,000 “descendants” among his foster children.

Winton didn’t do this alone, of course, and that is one reason he never blew his own horn. He actually ran the operation from London, and had a team of helpers — all long since passed away — on the ground in Prague. So do bear in mind that it was a team effort, if you go (as we are about to recommend!) to Kemberlee’s story and Read The Whole Thing™, and watch the two embedded videos there (one from the Beeb and one from CBS’s 60 Minutes, but they’re not like all the others…).

 

Sometimes, a Modification is Not Bubba

When we really need to be hunched over the chomputer [sic] grinding out words for the two books due this summer, or at least need to be wading deep into Czech pistol research, we’re easily distracted by shiny things on the internet. OK, experts, ID this:

CZ52_in_65_Grendel_custom_01

Got it? It’s so off-the-wall, you don’t. Here’s a better side view. The project is not completely finished yet, but it includes parts of at least four different service rifles — and is chambered for a round that has never been a service round.

OK ,here’s the barreled action before parkerizing:

CZ52_in_65_Grendel_custom_05

Hmmm…. detachable magazine, looks like it’s 10-20 rounds. What are those squatty little rounds? The sharp shoulder and loooong bullet make it look like it might be a good long (well, intermediate long) range round. Mauser type sight. Machined receiver. Both stamped and machined components in the trigger group, and a safety like a Garand. Feeds from Mauser/Springfield type strippers, and the bolt carrier locks back to enable that. Could be a couple things, but look at those serrations in the receiver cover. It’s a Czechoslovak vz. 52 semi-auto rifle, but that round sure isn’t 7.62 x 45mm… nor is it the 7.62 x 39 or the vz. 52/57 variant.

As the guy explains in the build thread at Gunboards, it’s a conversion to 6.5 Grendel. That requires him to change the barrel, and if he was doing that…

[T]his will be a 6.5 Grendel VZ-52 conversion. But will look nothing like an original VZ. A new Green Mountain 1:9″ blank has already been contoured, fitted, and chambered. The next step will be the stock. Just from cycling the action, I can tell the 6.5 Hornady ammo feeds flawlessly.

He’s doing something really, really smart here: if you’re experimenting with the gun, don’t experiment with the ammo. Mess with one or the other at a time. An experienced troubleshooter never changes two or more things before retesting… one experiment at a time is the way to rifle nirvana. Hornady ammo is expensive, but shoots straight (and accuracy is why he chose 6.5 instead of his other option, 7.62 x 39. Sure, the Czechs picked it, but that was because the Soviets told them they had to, not because any of the Czech engineers thought it was a good idea).

The Denver-based owner, who’s unknown to us, had to try a lot of gunsmiths before he found one willing to take on the barrel-fitting project: Pete Hubbard of Homeland Gunsmithing, La Junta CO.

Pete was interested in the project and we discussed the details throughout the whole process. Nothing but good things to say about him. As for caliber, the only other feasible choice would be 7.62×39, and it’s not at all an accurate cartridge. I’d rather chamber for a known accurate cartridge than settle for something mediocre.

Remember that we said he was using parts from four guns? It’s actually more like six guns, plus some extras. Those are (clockwise-ish in the picture):

CZ52_in_65_Grendel_custom_04

  1. The vz. 52 barreled action, custom-barreled from a Green Mountain blank by Hubbard;
  2. An uninletted Wenig M14 stock, which he inletted himself (he intends to glass-bed the action, and add a customized M14 wood handguard, minus op-rod cut, that he got from the maker of his stock blank;
  3. Not from a gun, but an aftermarket Tech Sights TS-200, an SKS aftermarket aperture sight adjustable for both windage and elevation, with the dual flip apertures and the  windage knob copied from the decent M16A1 sight;
  4. A front sight and base from a CETME (with the bottom bow destined to be ground/filed off);
  5. Not in the picture, but an M1 butt plate;
  6. Not in the picture, but a sling bar from a French MAS 49/56 semi-auto rifle;
  7. Not in the picture, but a front band from an HK SL6 or SL7 sporting semi-auto rifle.

It’s quite the mixmaster.

An update to what I’m calling the VZ52/15. Just received my M14 contoured un-inletted blank from Wenig today. A much more ergonomic stock (better aesthetics too) than the Czech one. The stock will get an M1 Garand buttplate, a MAS 49/56 butt sling bar (rear) and an H&K SL6/7 front band that has a sling mount loop welded on. The handguard will be tackled later.

I’ll be removing the rear sight leaf and permanently attaching a steel TS-200 Techsight to the receiver. A CETME triple frame will be altered (lower ring ground off) and pinned on for the front sight. The triple frame will need a bushing welded in to give a snug fit over the barrel. The sight radius will be increased by about eleven inches with the new 23″ barrel.

Inletting has begun, and the stock will be contoured tighter for the more slender vz. 52 (compared to the robust-and-a-half M14).

CZ52_in_65_Grendel_custom_03

Inletting complete, the barrel is free-floated:

CZ52_in_65_Grendel_custom_07

And finally, inletting and contouring complete, butt plate fitted, metal parts parkerized, and stock treated with Chestnut Ridge Dark Stain and Tom’s (a work in progress).

CZ52_in_65_Grendel_custom_02

Still remaining is to adjust the front sight to final position (depends on shooting results; it’s currently fastened with set screws so it can me moved to tune barrel harmonics, if needed), route out the buttstock pocket, glass bed the receiver, add the handguard and a more hand-friendly windage knob.

It is a very different looking gun from the original vz. 52 with its gaudy laminated or light-colored hardwood stock, hooded sight and permanently-attached folding bayonet.

VZ 52 (top) and 52/57. Black paint on the handguard and receiver cover is a 52/57 telltale, by the way.

VZ 52 (top) and 52/57. Black paint on the handguard and receiver cover is a 52/57 telltale, by the way, as is the magazine. But the receiver markings tell the tale. With the delta between the prices of the two variants being over 100%, exercise caution when buying a 7.62 x 39 52/57, and don’t modify one of those rarities!

At some time in the future, will this well-crafted custom be worth less than if he had left the surplus rifle unmolested? The answer’s a probable yes. But does he care? He’s taken a mass-produced rifle chambered for an obsolete cartridge, built something that was neat and attractive, and he’s having fun with it. This case is an illustration of the fact than an individual can plan and execute a worthwhile custom job, using professional help where necessary, and putting sweat equity into the gun. This is not Bubba!

We can’t wait to see how the “vz. 52/15” performs on the range.

On a sad note, enjoy Gunboards while you can. You know how Canadians have a reputation for being square-dealing and decent folks? You’re about to meet the exception that proves the rule. The site and its content and revenue streams have been bought by the media moguls of the anti-American and anti-gun Toronto Star, through its notorious forum-exploitation subsidiary, VerticalScope. Forum sponsors, brace for a 300% boost in ad charges and a 75% loss of eyeballs.

This is a really good time to review your ad placements with Gunboards. You’re about to get pressed for a deal that will lock you in to a long term of automatic billing, and fewer and fewer readers will be seeing your ads.

If VerticalScope runs true to form, the site will shed its moderators within weeks, and it will be thick with pop-up spam and new Nigerian “vendors” in days. Also, they go through musical admins, whom they pay below market rates and work to exhaustion… so it’s a pretty safe bet your login information, and personally identifiable data if they have it, is not safe. If you have an account there, this might be a good time to zero it out.

Apparently the site owner has been setting this sale up for some time, but didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag until a bolus of memberships and sponsorships renewed. (Indeed, he’s emailing people about the sale, but if there’s an announcement on the site, I can’t find it). That’s kind of a dirtbag thing to do, so one has to wonder if he’s kind of a dirtbag. If he isn’t, it doesn’t really matter, because the forums’ new Canadian overlords are. 

A School System Full of Weapons

(Not this school system's pile. This is a file pile).

(Not this school system’s pile. This is a file pile).

“A School System Full of Weapons”? Actually, that describes what we had growing up, where one of the teachers might bring in his Springfield and some old gear to illustrate something about the First World War, or a couple of us might have squirrel guns in our cars for after school. All the guys carried a pocket knife and a lighter.

Today, they’d probably throw us so far back in the school brig that we’d have to be fed by Wrist Rocket. And actually fire the teachers (but keep the pervy ones, because Vibrant Diversity® FTW). Then, they didn’t have a school brig. See what Progress® gets ya?

So that leaves us a little unsure how to react to this tale in the Daily Mail. It’s hard to get inside the minds of the uncredited reporter there; we suppose it’s a steady job, but he wants to be a paperback writer. Anyway, we’re not sure whether the best angle on this is:

  1. the sheer gun-fearing wussiedom of the schools;
  2. the degree to which Britons are aghast that Yanks have eeeeewwww guns. (We can assure our UK readers that they are not slimy, merely smooth and cool to the touch);
  3. the fact that all this keys off a notoriously mobbed-up union, the Teamsters, getting twaumatized by weapons in the schools (we’ll believe the Teamsters have turned over a new leaf when they give up the mortal remains of purged capo Jimmy Hoffa);
  4. the fact that the famously-violent union supposedly twaumatized by all these guns supported Andrew Cuomo and his SSAFE Act, which was supposed to usher in the era of the New Soviet Man or something;
  5. The laziness of reporters, which we bring full circle by writing a report based entirely on a Daily Mail report which is based entirely on a New York Post report which is based entirely on sniveling provided by the union goon. At least we’re self-aware; not sure if the paperback writers in Fleet Street are, also. If so, Troll Level: Journeyman at least.

Anyway, here’s the Mail, with some interspersed snark:

Terrifying haul of 2,000 revolvers, handguns, meat cleavers and daggers confiscated from children as young as 11 in NY schools in just 10 months… and the NYPD are trying to keep the problem a secret.

Um, revolvers are handguns. Would you write “Horses, animals, vegetables and minerals…”? Well, you actually mightn’t, but they very well might. It is the Daily Mail, after all.

1,751 guns, knives and other weapons were confiscated from children in the city’s schools between July 1, 2015, and May 8 of this year.

Didn’t he just say 2,000? He did (look in the previous quote). Don’t know how to break it to the Math Is Hard Barbie reporter here, but 1751 ≠ 2000.

That is a rise of more than quarter from the same time last year

Forgive us if we find your estimate a bit dubious, without the underlying number. But it might be right, as the Ferguson Effect has many major-metro cops “going fetal,” to borrow Rahm Emanuel’s evocative condemnation of his own PD; a lot of places have crime up a quarter, and it’s a toss-up whether Rahm or De Blasio despises his cops more.

Shocking figures were released as school safety agents were thanked

Greg Floyd, the Teamsters local leader. Note union/Cuomo campaign signs.

Greg Floyd, the Teamsters local leader quoted in the article. Note union/Cuomo campaign signs.

The passive voice here hides the fact that the “school safety agent” is a neither-fish-nor-fowl level of city employee who isn’t a teacher, isn’t a cop, but is very well paid for a guy or gal whose occupational requirement is ability to fog  mirror. (Like TSA, but the upper crust thereof).

Revolvers, 9mm handguns, meat cleavers and daggers.

These are just some of the weapons schoolchildren are bringing into classrooms in New York City on a daily basis.

Boys and girls, some as young as 11, have taken them out to use during fights while others have used them to target other youngsters.

According to the New York Post, the dangerous items have been confiscated by faculty at schools, some of which don’t have metal detectors.

OK, now they’re admitting that the whole thing is really the Post’s report. Halfway down the page. (Not that the Post, either, is likely to employ someone who can identify a gun three times out of five at five paces).

An investigation has revealed how a huge number of dangerous weapons are being taken into New York schools on a daily basis. This revolver was found on a student at M169 on the Upper East Side.

NY School Revolver

“An investigation has revealed.” Hell of a way to say, “Union representatives, who are looking for a lever in contract negotiations, handed us a prefab story…” The junk revolver appears to be a die-cast zinc el cheapo, and the Made in Italy origin statement was enough for us to track it down. It’s a close cousin of this cheap Italian .22 blank starter pistol, the Mondial Model 1060, if it isn’t exactly the same thing. The one at the link sold at auction … for a penny. If the Mondial name was ever applied to a real firearm, news of such has yet to arrive in Googlestan.

I bet they don’t submit these to trace, for fear they’d raise Time to Crime numbers and undermine the push for New Laws To Punish Those Who Didn’t Commit Any of These Crimes.

This .38 caliber pistol was found loaded with a single bullet at PS 40 high school in Queens. Safety officials say they are being threatened with punishment if they release information about weapons being taken from kids.

NY School Hi-Point

Ah, yes, the mighty Hi-Point. Not only that, it had… drumroll please… “a single bullet.” (The guy would mean cartridge, if he knew what that was. Or maybe he does and has too little faith in the Mail readership. Of course, it can’t be an edgy report without an edged weapon, too:

NY School Dagger

This dagger was confiscated at Newtown High School in Queens. It was one of 1,751 weapons seized from schoolchildren between July 1, 2015, and May 8 of this year.

Ah, yes. The Mall Ninja Store blue-light special, this. Actually the deadliest weapon of the three, but like the Hi-Point with “one bullet,” it’s probably only good for one shot. “Hey, let’s put some weakening holes in here!” — said no knifesmith, ever.

Hard to imagine the blood of Churchill and Nelson and Shackleton running cold over this pathetic display, but evidently it does. One hopes Alfred the Great is not looking down at the moment, or he might be moved to weep.

But we finally do get to some numbers:

Between July 1, 2015, and May 8 of this year, safety agents and cops recovered a total of 1,751 guns, knives and other weapons in schools.

That’s a rise in 26 percent from the same period last school year, when 1,394 weapons were confiscated, according to data provided to the Post by the NYPD

Gregory Floyd, president of the safety agents union in the city, Teamsters Local 237, told the newspaper the NYPD are cracking down on people who tell the public about the weapons seized from youngsters.

Those who leak information to the press have also been threatened with docked vacation days.

Floyd told the Post: ‘The purpose is to intimidate and to make an example of them so other safety agents will be afraid to report crime.’

He added: ‘If there’s no information to report, (Mayor) de Blasio can come out with his skewed numbers that crime is down and schools are safe, and parents don’t get a true picture of what’s going on.

Now this makes sense in a twisted sort of a way.

‘We shouldn’t be in the secrecy business. We should be in the business of making sure weapons brought to school doesn’t happen.’

Well, with that command of grammar, he’d better stick with his union gig. Of course, we can’t expect too much from the guy, he’s probably a graduate of these same pathetic schools.

Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union told the Post: ‘It’s a cover-up, while putting the lives of our children and school staffs at risk.’

Families for Excellent Schools, an organization who has sued the NYPD for failing to protect their children at schools, says the latest statistics proves more weapons are being taken into schools on a daily basis.

Um, the police have no duty to protect anyone in particular. Established law, we’re afraid. And notice the reporter’s lapse into NYC Public School graduate grammar: “statistics proves.” Subject verb agrees should, no?

The NYPD defending its response to the seizures in a statement and insisting information that is ‘disseminated’ must be approved.

Then, the article shoots itself in the foot by announcing the following are “examples of dangerous weapons taken into New York schools in the last two months”. If you read them, you can see they’re more like “examples of dangerous weapons taken into New York schools in the last two months,” but this reporter’s innumeracy apparently extends to the differences between the various single-digit whole integers.

On March 15 – An 11-year-old boy sneaked a .38-caliber handgun loaded with one bullet into PS 40 in Jamaica, Queens. He was seen waving the gun at another student he had a beef with.

That’s the Hi-Point illustrated above. Note: the punk in question was eleven. Given New York’s attitude to crime and criminals, and the expected pace of medical advances, he could still be crimin’ in the 22nd century.

On March 17 – A 15-year-old student stashed a .38-caliber handgun in his backpack and smuggled it into York Early College Academy, a middle school in Jamaica. He was spotted flashing the revolver during a dispute with students in a stairwell.

This kid was Old School, with some cheesy alloy (Zamak strikes again?) .38 Smith knockoff, complete with round-noses and a shades-of-Joe-Colombo electrical taped grip (per criminal legend, defeats fingerprints). The Mail didn’t have the picture but the NY Post did:

loaded_gun_in_jhs_8_3_17_16

Seriously, that’s like a crime gun from 1966 that’s been in some kind of criminal time capsule for the last fifty years.

On March 22 – A 14-year-old boy at Dr. Gladstone H. Atwell Middle School in Crown Heights, Brooklyn took a 9mm pistol and two magazines of bullets in his backpack. When a dean questioned him about a prior fight with neighborhood kids, he admitted packing heat.

That’s this fine example of firearms technology, which appears to have been cared for appropriately:

NY School Jennings

It’s a “Jennings Nine,” made by the Southern California nest of junk-gun makers that anti-gunners have dubbed “the ring of fire.” Anybody who’s been a cop for a while has taken a Jennings or two into evidence, but the more common ones are the pocket pistols. Thing is, for all their use in crime, many tens of thousands of these kinds of cheap guns are used by people who can’t afford our tuned designer work of defensive art, but still have every right to defend themselves. Drive up the price of guns, and the only gainers are the criminals.

On March 29 – A 14-year-old student at Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports in Concourse Village in The Bronx pulled a steak knife on a 16-year-old boy.

We’ll go to the Post for this one:

steak_knife_urban_assembly_hs_3_29_16

We’re guessing that the “Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports in Concourse Village in The Bronx” sends more grads (and dropouts) to the NY DOC than to the NBA, NFL or MLB. And we wonder what sport in particular this young sport had in mind.

Now his mom’s one steak knife short. Think she’ll be mad when she finds out?

On April 4 – A 13-year-old boy reportedly threatened a female student with a .22-caliber revolver at M169 Robert F. Kennedy on the Upper East Side, then passed the gun to a friend.

That’s the cheesy zinc alloy revolver visible earlier in this report.

On April 8 – A 16-year-old boy was allegedly found with a medieval-style dagger at Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens. It was uncovered after a 17-year-old girl told authorities that he had put it to her neck.

That’s the mall-ninja toad stabber seen above.

And the soi-disant “students” have been expelled from school, charged, and convicted of SAFE Act violations, and sent to prison, right? Right? Anybody?

Don’t be silly. The law is meant to be used as a stick to beat gun-owners Upstate, not Downstate hood rat gangbangers in the school (and hood rat gangbanger wannabees, which is the feedstock of gangbanger production). It’s certainly not meant to be used on actual criminals. 

NY Post guns in schoolsClicking through to the Post’s story, which was the cover story (right), we see that Postie Susan Edelman, no more au courant on guns than her hoplophobic British opposite numbers, spins it differently:

These are the guns and knives Mayor de Blasio doesn’t want you to see.

A surging tide of weapons — including loaded revolvers, 9mm handguns, meat cleavers and daggers — has been confiscated this year from students in city schools, most of which do not have metal detectors.

But instead of praising unarmed school safety agents for grabbing the weapons, the NYPD is cracking down on them for alerting the press and public, according to Gregory Floyd, president of the agents union, Teamsters Local 237.

Ah, it’s all Bill De Blowfish’s fault. Have you ever noticed that for New Yorkers, especially New York media functionaries, the worst mayor in history is the one they have right now, compared to the one they had before him, who was second best — and the one they will support to replace this schmo, that next one is going to be the Best Mayor Evah.

Edelman is alarmed that only some schools have metal detectors, and that most of the weapons were seized in schools without. Amazingly, though, almost 700 weapons were seized in the schools with the detectors, making one wonder about those union dudes running. Here’s the number.

Of the weapons seized this academic year, 698 came from schools with metal detectors, the NYPD stats show. Students brought 1,053 weapons — 60 percent of the total — into schools unequipped with metal detectors.

The mayor is reporting crime in the schools is down, but it seems to be simply that juvenile criminals are not being charged.

Floyd also disputes the city Department of Education’s new discipline policy, which discourages student suspensions, and a pilot program to give “warning cards” to students for marijuana possession or “disorderly conduct” such as yelling, cursing, fighting and assaults. Some offenses previously might have warranted a criminal summons.

“In many cases, the children aren’t arrested, so the crime statistics are down, but it’s just not being reported,” Floyd said.

And we’ll close with a couple more of the little darlings’ playthings. The Post says of this catch:

On March 11, a safety agent at Fashion Industries HS in Chelsea found a 4-inch razor blade in a girl’s backpack. When she began to kick and scream, a report said, three agents restrained and handcuffed her before finding a 10½-inch meat cleaver in her bag.

NY School cleaver

That’s both of them in that grainy picture, the razor blade and the cleaver.  And then there’s this cleaver — it’s not the same cleaver, but its point of confiscation is unknown.

cleavergrover

Now against that, before you send your kids to the New York City Public Schools, you need to weigh the fact that these Dewey Factories prepare their students (at least the ones that survive to graduation) perfectly well to compete for the unskilled factory jobs of the 1890s and beyond, like at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory; or to work as slackjawed government clerks.

 

Army’s New Compact Semi-Auto Sniper System (CSASS)

We’re far from the first with this story, but we hope that means we can get it right. (Not everybody has). First, a picture:

Army Compact Sniper System 2

Then, the key facts:

  1. The Army wanted a new semiautomatic sniper system to replace the Knight’s Armament Company M110, the more general issue version of the successful Mk11 SOF SASS. They wanted to meet or exceed the performance of the M110, suppressed, in a lighter, more compact firearm.
  2. Every single entry was SR-25/M110/AR-10 based.
  3. Unlike some Army procurement boondoggles (cough Modular Handgun cough) the competition proceeded without much drama. A shortlist was developed, more tests conducted, and a contract awarded.
  4. The winner was Heckler & Koch Defense Inc, the Virginia-based subsidiary of the Oberndorf firm.

Enough facts, here’s another picture:

Army Compact Sniper System

Here’s the meat of HK’s press release, available with more boilerplate on their website:

Ashburn, Virginia —Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. was awarded a contract worth up to $44.5 million from the U.S. Army for a new compact sniper rifle. The Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) will provide the service with a small, lightweight, highly accurate weapon, addressing a critical need to replace older and heavier rifles currently in use.

Under terms of the award, HK Defense will produce up to 3,643 rifles. The new HK rifle is a lightweight variant of the 7.62 mm G28 in use by the German Army. The HK CSASS capitalizes on the proven G28 design, meeting the Army’s requirements for accuracy, reliability, and size. Heckler & Koch will also provide spare parts, support, and training to the Army.

“This award represents another significant achievement for Heckler & Koch,”said Wayne Weber, President of Heckler & Koch USA. “The HK CSASS rifle is a substantial upgrade over the Army’s current sniper rifles, enhancing accuracy and reliability while providing for a handier, more compact arm. It also confirms Heckler & Koch as a leader in providing small arms to the U.S. military.”

Knight’s Armament, which competed but didn’t make the shortlist, issued a statement that’s a model of corporate class, and perhaps a gentlemanly brushback against some of the subtext in Weber’s statement:

For over a decade Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) has produced the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) for the U.S. Army. The M110 semi-automatic rifle was the first purpose built U.S. semi-automatic sniper rifle fielded.

The Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) competition was driven by evolving requirements pioneered by KAC products in use by today’s warfighter. Government competition drives industry innovation. Industry’s common goal is getting the best product to the warfighter as quickly as possible. Knight’s Armament Company congratulates the winner of the CSASS program.

Knight’s Armament Company continues its long tradition of innovation, design and manufacture of premier small arms, small arms accessories and night vision for the U.S. military.

While the contract looks great for HK — who wouldn’t want to land a $44.5 million account? — it leaves the company facing considerable risk. That number is what HK stands to take in if the full 3,643 firearms are ordered. But the contract only guarantees a buy of 30 rifles for QA/QC testing (and possibly an Operational Test as well). That would leave HK trying to recoup its development costs against only about $375k in revenue. So how different is the CSASS from the earlier G28 version of the HK 417? Here’s a G28, “Patrol” variant:

HK G28 Patrol Rifle

Among the immediately visible changes:

  1. Changed scopes;
  2. Delete forward assist. In fact the whole upper is different (on Bundeswehr G28 it’s steel and significantly heavier);
  3. Changed furniture;
  4. Delete muzzle brake, add suppressor;
  5. Color
  6. back-up iron sights (CSASS uses Troy’s at 45º).
  7. Modular rather than 100% picatinny rails.

The whole package costs the US a good stiff amount, about $12,000 — but less than the same number of M110s or Mk 11s would go for!