Category Archives: Weapons Website of the Week

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: The Five Bravo

OK, this has absolutely zip to do with weapons. It’s another t-shirt company by combat vets with a sense of humor, 5 Bravo. (Well, one of the founders was a “small arms specialist” in the Army. Does that count?

The name at first puzzled us. Why “5 Bravo?” There’s an explanation on the site, it turns out.

“Embrace The Bravo” – ETB is the slogan for 5B in a very realistic standpoint. 5B originally meant bullets, bacon, beards, babes, and booze. Now the “Embrace The Bravo” movement has become so much more.

Hmmm… sounds like they’re selling t-shirts. NTTAWWT.

Here, they bust America’s smallest Stolen Valor case.

They also enjoy trolling trolls on Facebook right back. But mostly, they sell apparel, the sort that, well, we wore in Young Grunt Days, which are long behind us.

If you’re still a Young Grunt (or young at heart) you might just want some of these t-shirts.

But we get to the site every once in a while for the laughs. Most of the humor is in the “From the Inbox” section where they conduct countertroll operations. They explain:

As you may know, at 5B, we get a lot of hate mail in our inbox. We get a lot of awesome, motivational and uplifting mail as well, but you don’t wanna look at that. This is what makes us, us. Every day we scour through hundreds of messages hunting trolls for your humor and satire loving pleasure. We are experts in the craft of “Trolling the trolls” so every chance we get, we offer you these screenshots on a silver platter for your entertainment. People always ask us “5B, why don’t you put the names in there with them?” We believe in humor, not harm. We aren’t here to be negative or make anyone’s life harder. we just want to give laughs to millions of people as we do so well. Below, we have archived and will continue to post these EPIC troll messages in our “From the Inbox” section. We love the support, the comments and shares, so keep them coming and always “Embrace The Bravo”

This one is mildly NSFW.

One more such after the jump (not before because it’s full of NSFW lingo).

Continue reading

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Tom Scott’s Things You Might Not Know

Tom Scott is an engaging young Briton who gives you an occasional video — hundreds of them, and counting — under the titles Things You Might Not Know and Amazing Places

His entire YouTube Channel, which so far as we know — we have not seen all the  videos by any means — has little to do with weapons, is fascinating.

Here he tells the story of RAF Fauld, something we’ve been meaning to write about for years (we actually have a partially written post on this, but he hits the high point; Things He Might Not Know include that Britain participated in the Manhattan Project, and was in on the nuke secret from the very beginning, as was Canada. In fact, before the merger, the British project, code named Tube Alloys, was well ahead of their transatlantic allies. Churchill approved a-bomb development over a year before Roosevelt did).

There is the video up at the top, on Swiss water system redundancy. The Swiss were preppin’ before preppin’ was cool.

And there is this — one way nuclear tests are monitored by an internationally maintained infrasound system in remote Qaanaaq, Greenland.

And this — a university tramway whose brain is a repurposed Minuteman missile computer.

Even when he yields up the floor to a guest presenter, like Sally lePage here, the channel’s fascinating.

Yes, it’s not directly weapons related, but we suspect it will be right on target for many WeaponsMan.com readers. He’s got a couple hundred videos (151 Things You Might Not Know) so we’ll see you some time in February.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week — The Survival Gardener

Check out survival blogger/author David the Good at The Survival Gardener.com.

His focus on gardening, culturing trees, and managing water for economic production of foodstuffs is rare among survival bloggers, and he writes engagingly. To wit, in a post about managing water storage:

Mosquitoes can take a great idea and make it a health hazard. As new viruses sweep around the world, people are rightly concerned about the danger of harvesting rainwater improperly. Even old tires hold enough water to breed mosquitoes, so a rain barrel has the capability of breeding thousands of the bloodsuckers.

No matte how you define “survival,” he can hook you up. Maybe for you, coffee is not a luxury but a staple. Consider growing your own, if your climate suits the plant.

I have wanted to grow big piles of delicious coffee for a long time. Back in Florida I grew multiple coffee plants and even sold then in my nursery, but the climate wasn’t the best so I was stuck keeping my big coffee tree in a pot in the greenhouse or bringing it inside during frosts.

The one I planted by the south-facing wall of the house did well, though, and is still alive today so far as I know.

I did well enough with coffee, tea and yaupon holly that I wrote a little booklet on growing it, thanks to the additional help of Kona coffee farmer Gary Strawn (owner of Kona Earth coffee, which tastes amazing) who corrected some of my more exuberant ideas.

We’re not coffee drinkers, but we enjoy David’s presentation of practical means of securing nature’s bounty to yourself and your posterity. If you like this stuff, make his blog a regular read (and throw some coin his way for his books).

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Faulty Wiring

In New York City, where guns are outlawed, people still die unexpectedly young. This week, a fire’s box score of killed is incremented one, while the “only injured” tally decrements in turn. The New York Post:

The fire that killed a 1-year-old boy in Brooklyn this week has claimed another life, police said.

A 40-year-old woman died today from her injuries sustained in the raging 13th floor-fire at the Howard Houses on Wednesday.

Little Ivan Baez died in the 8:30 a.m. inferno, which officials determine was caused by faulty wiring.

Five other residents were also injured. The massive blaze gutted the family’s three bedroom apartment at the Brownsville housing complex.

A previous story has more details:

As flames shot out of a top-floor window in the 13-story building at the Howard Houses in Brownsville at about 8:30 a.m., a neighbor on the street shouted, “Oh my God, oh my God — she has a kid!”

Tiny victim Ivan Baez was covered in soot as a firefighter carried him out of the building.

“He wasn’t moving but they were trying to get him back,” said Angela Hoye, 31, of Queens, whose mother lives a floor below the fire.

“It’s sad,” she said. “I didn’t see him with any clothes except for a diaper or a pull-up and with a mask over his face.

The tot was rushed to Brookdale Hospital in cardiac arrest and pronounced dead at 9:37 a.m., officials said.

The flames completely destroyed the three-bedroom apartment and filled the entire floor with billowing smoke, officials said.

The apartment building appears to be largely welfare housing. 7 people, reportedly three generations of a single matriarchal family, lived in the three-bedroom apartment.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Waffensammler-Kuratorium

OK, we didn’t get this up on time due to other requirements (had to drive to Boston to pick up Kid who was coming in from the Midwest) and so we’re just throwing one out to you: the Kuratoriums zur Förderung historischer Waffensammlungen, which means “Trustees for the Advancement of Collecting Historic Arms”.

If the Awful German Language is not among your attainments, you can read the Awful Google Translation of the site instead. The intro says (our translation, not Google’s):

Collecting weapons — a Fascinating Hobby

Do you like to look at weapons in museums or displays, and wonder at he gunsmith’s art? Are you interested in their historical background? Then we at the Kuratorium zur Förderung historischer Waffensammlungen have the information you’re after.

Normally we’d say more about it, but time, you know? There are some excellent historical articles, in .pdf format, albeit in German, for you to find. Enjoy.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Manowar’s Hungarian Weapons Page

Behind this 1990s interface lurks more information on Hungarian small arms that you can find anywhere else -- online or off.

Behind this 1990s interface lurks more information on Hungarian small arms that you can find anywhere else — online or off.

For some reason, people don’t think about Hungary when they think about European small arms. Maybe it’s because most of Hungarian history has taken place under somebody’s boot-heel or the other, like the Habsburg Empire or Soviet Union. Or maybe it’s because the Hungarian language is a complex tongue, quite unrelated to Germanic, Slavic or Romance languages, that few foreigners master. (It does, fortunately, borrow some firearms words, as “rifle” is the same in Hungarian and western Slavic languages, “pushka”, for instance).

But Hungary not only has a lot of European charm that’s uniquely its own, it also has its own small arms history. Naturally, there are collectors who focus on that nation and its fascinating small arms history. Those collectors rely on the definitive information at Manowar’s Hungarian Weapons & History page.  (The URL is www.hungariae.com).

manowars_kiralyEarly Hungarian cartridge arms, during the period of the Dual Monarchy, were sometimes Budapest-made variants of Austrian designs, and these less common variants of Mannlicher rifles and Roth-Steyr pistols are sought as variants by Habsburg weapons collectors. But during the brief Hungarian independence 1918-44, Hungarians developed many of their own weapons. The Frommer Stop pistol and the submachines of Király would be standout designs in any nation. His fascinating delayed-blowback lever design was unique (although the French FAMAS rifle owes Király a debt).

manowar_misconceptionsOne of the best things about the site is its “misconceptions” page, a small segment of which is shown at right. For example, we always thought the 7.65 Frommer Stop pistol was chambered for the 7.65 Browning or .32 ACP cartridge — Manowar sets his readers straight on that.

Even if you think you are completely uninterested in Eastern European arms in general, and Hungarian ones specifically, we defy you to spend only a couple of minutes at hungariae.com. We bet you can’t!

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Firearms History

firearms_historyThis is a first-time, never-before thing: a second shot at W4 for the same website.

Why? Because Firearms History at blogspot.com has spent most of 2016 doing a deep dive into the history and technology of black powder, starting with the raw materials, and working their way up to industrial production.

A look at as much of the archive menu as we could screencap shows you what we mean. Open up these archives, go to the bottom and find “What is a Saltpeter Man?” and work your way up, if you’re at all interested in how gunpowder — original, black, gunpowder — was and is made.

firearms_history_blackpowder

It’s a priceless resource. There is no other place where all this information is available in one place. It’ll be even better if he follows up with the early history of smokeless powder, which saw simultaneous development of multiple technologies in multiple industrial nations.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: HBSA

We had to go to acronyms or the name of this W4 (see what we did there?) would stretch into Thursday: the Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association is a British fraternal organization which at once sponsors competitions with modern (i.e., not muzzleloading “antique”) firearms to the extent that such things are still permitted in Once Great Britain, and tries to defend gun rights, along with larger groups like the hunting-oriented British Association for Shooting and Conservation (144,500 members) and the target-shooting-oriented UK National Rifle Association (~20,000 members). The HBSA is more interested in the historical and collector firearms which are of secondary interest (if that) to the larger groups.

The Rights Battle in Britain

In the United Kingdom (partially excepting Northern Ireland under Home Rule), shooters and collectors lost the cultural battle before they lost one legislative and judicial battle after the next. While, technically, there is a “qualified right” to firearms for British subjects, compared to the status of Americans, Canadians, Australians and even many Continental Europeans, it looks a lot more like a conditionally granted and arbitrarily managed privilege.

As far back as AD 1181, as described by Blackstone’s Commentaries on the (Common) Law, the right to arms was extant, as an “auxiliary right,” but depended on who you were, that is, your station and class of birth (emphasis ours):

The …last auxiliary right of the subject, …is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is … a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation….

You could call that “the clauses that ate the sentence.” Today, the legal battle is well and truly lost; the right of self-defense outside the home was erased in the 1937 Firearms Act, the right inside the home went in 1968, semi-auto and slide-action long guns were confiscated starting in 1988, and all pistols in 1996-7.

Britain’s gun cops continue blaming the dwindling number of legal owners for the roughly thirty firearms murders in the home islands annually. This means the shooters’ associations are stuck fighting a defensive battle in a steadily shrinking perimeter.

So, when you look around Massachusetts, New Jersey or California and think you have it rough, imagine the plight of your English cousins.

The Historic Part

And here is where most of our readers will find more to like about the HSBA. For example, this post recounts some interesting books written or co-written by French expert Jean Huon.

The historical part of the Association is evident in its annual Journal, which is high-quality but very expensive (US $12.49 for a 44-page .pdf download). But the equally interesting Lecture Notes can be downloaded from the site if you have a SlideShare account, or read online even if you don’t. Example: “Medical Aspects of the 2nd Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902.”

HSBA has also been instrumental in preserving some fragmentary firearms collections from the rapacious rozzers. Heritage Pistols, are a term of art under the law, must be stored at one of ten ranges nationwide.

 

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: LaBounty Precision Reboring

labounty_precisionWhy would we make a Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week out of a single small shop’s web page? Well, it ties in to the discussion we’ve had on rifling machines and methods, which is, incidentally, the name of Clifford LaBounty’s book: Rifling Machines and Methods. For convenience’s sake, that’s the URL of the web page, too.

As far as we know, it is the only full-length book on rifling machines that makes an attempt to describe all the major methods, and it’s even more useful because it meets LaBounty’s intent in writing it: to pass on the information that nobody ever passed on to him, when he was starting out; to tell the barrel makers of the future what he wished somebody had told him.

So if you’re really interested in that stuff, do like we did, go to LaBounty Precision Reboring, and buy the book. It’s a ≅$50 8½ x 11″ paperback of about 170 pages, but, as he discovered when he started out, there’s not a lot of books on rifling out there. There is enough information on the book on the web page for you to figure out if you want it or not.

Apart from the book, he also has several other tools that are useful for gunsmiths seeking to accurize or blueprint bolt-action rifles, and a nifty holder for letter or number stamps that lets you mark firearms (or fixtures, or anything you mark with a stamp) in a neat, legible row.

 

 

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Horst Held

horst_heldWhy would we make a single dealer the Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week? Well, Horst Held is not just any dealer. Not when you take into consideration the historic significance and quality of the collector pieces Horst is selling. Even if some of them are priced in the nosebleed range, his collection is broad enough, deep enough, historic enough, and packed enough with odd curiosities — like the flintlock revolver currently on the front page — to be an education in itself.

We first came across his site while trying to decode the mysteries of the repeating pistols of Weipert (Vejprty), Bohemia. For example, he has two Gustav Bittners in stock. Given the prices he has placed on them, all we can do is look, but he has characteristically included numerous photographs of these peculiar and historic “missing links” between the first single-shot and double-barrel cartridge pistols, and the true semi-automatic service pistol which came along in a few years and rendered the repeaters, operated lever-action (usually by action of the trigger guard), obsolete.

Bittner Repeating Pistol, (7.7mm?) cased with tools, ammo and en-bloc clips, from Forgotten Weapons. We believe this pistol to be in the personal collection of Horst Held.

Bittner Repeating Pistol, (7.7mm?) cased with tools, ammo and en-bloc clips, from Forgotten Weapons. We believe this pistol to be in the personal collection of Horst Held.

He also has a page on those strange hybrid weapons that incorporate a pistol or revolver and some kind of knife or sword blade, with an awful lot of examples, not including the rare Elgin Sword Pistol. The Elgin may be rare in absolute terms, but it’s common compared to his examples, like this Dumonthier revolver with a folding bayonet!

horst-held-dumonthier

And then there’s a Dreyse needle-fire — but it’s not the celebrated Prussian rifle of 1870, but a double-action needle-fire revolver.

But there’s far more here than just that. If you can look at this site and not learn anything, we’ll be very surprised — “By the heathen gods that made ye, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.”

And if you look at the site, you’ll almost certainly be entertained. You may not want to spend thousands on exotic antiques, but you’ll marvel at the ingenuity that went into some of these artistic creations, even as you wonder at the thought processes of the designer who thought it might be practical.