Category Archives: Weapons Website of the Week

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Nuclear Archives



It’s obsolete, it’s defunct, and it hasn’t been touched in nine years. But it’s still worth looking at. It’s the Nuclear Weapons Archive, last updated in 2007 after a rocky ride around various sponsoring non-profits and hosting sites, and it’s full of interesting nuclear documents, like this short British run-down on what it will take to make His Majesty’s first nuke, as of 1947. (The link is to a .pdf).

Another, similarly defunct site that was a parallel and cooperative site with the Nuclear Weapons Archive was the Trinity Atomic Web Site, which appears to have assumed ambient temperature in 2005, but exists in a sort of undead (and un-updated) state.

But if you really want to understand the technical factors involved in the production of the first A-Bombs, factors that are often glossed over by highly verbal but innumerate and scientifically weak writers, you need to buy one book: Atom Bombs by John Coster-Mullen.

Coster-Mullen is not a professional historian or archivist, but you would never know that from his book. (He is actually — we are not making this up! — a truck driver). Through sheer determination and hard work, he mastered the subject and wrote the definitive work on it (with equally definitive documentation and illustrations). If you go to the Amazon link, and select all buying options, the seller coster60 is the author himself.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Navy History & Heritage

naval_history___heritageIf you’re here, you probably like to read. You probably like history. You’re probably going to like this site: The Naval History and Heritage Command.

Lately, the Command has followed the rest of the Navy down the Diversity is Our Vibrancy!® rathole, but when you’ve skipped past all that drivel on the front page, you get to the Research page, shown here on the right. The page offers a Navy timeline which can be handy to confirm just where a particular ship, battle, officer or weapon came into play.  It also offers the following subdivisions:

  1. Archives – Primary documents up the wazoo, including operation reports and deck logs, plus a killer trove of digitized documents. Try the list of documents keyed ordnance, or this dictionary of bronze-cannon-era ordnance terms for a taste of what’s there.
  2. Histories — official histories and biographies.
  3. Library — literally too many things to describe here, lots of ’em good. Sadly (and this is true for all of this site, generally) the documents are generally not downloadable as .pdfs or ebooks, but are only presented as 1990s-style HTML pages.
  4. Publications —  a wide range, again, of rather haphazardly organized material.
  5. Underwater Archaeology — what’s been found under the sea, ship and aircraft wrecks.

The basic problem of the site is its haphazard organization or lack of the same, which limits the prospect of finding anything in particular; but it can be well worthwhile to simply follow the breezes of Serendip through the site.


Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week:

all4shooterscomWant to see how the other half lives? For Yanks (and Canucks), a visit to the pan-European website 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, 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.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week:

nylonrifles_dot_com_websiteWe have a brief one tonight, and it’s off our usual topic of service weapons. And thereby hangs a tale. If you were fortunate enough to grow up in the 1960s, you not only experienced a golden age of pop music and auto design, you also grew up in era of the Space Age, atomic energy, and the incredible wonder material, Plastic. These things together were going to revolutionize everything. We saw this at the 1964 worlds fair in New York. By the turn-of-the-century, people would be working or vacationing in orbit or on other planets, keeping their personal helicopters with plastic bubble canopies their garages, and commuting by jet pack.

While the future is not what it used to be, we can look into the past and see that Remington offered a Space Age rifle to its customers: the Nylon 66. We always thought them name came from the year of introduction — 1966, when even the Beatles had a Rubber Soul — but 1966 just when we first saw one. It actually was introduced in 1959, and was named after the material used for the rifles unitary stock/receiver, DuPont’s Nylon 6/6.

It seemed like a brilliant idea. After all, the boys in the field had a “plastic” gun, isn’t it time the casual plinker had one, too?

Lots of Nylon 66s

The Nylon 66 also had Buck Rogers styling with swoopy, “artistic” (traditionalists said “cartoonish”) lines. Indeed, your opinion of the Nylon 66 was unlikely to be neutral: early adopters loved ’em, and traditionalists — and most gun buyers are traditionalists — were aghast. When Uncle Jim showed up with one of these new rifles, our Winchester suddenly seemed frumpy, dowdy and cobwebbed next to this new ray gun. (What can we say? At that age, we actually did read comic books).

The story of the Nylon 66 and its plastic stablemates is told at


One thing the site offers is a collection of old manuals, including maintenance information.

While there was a great deal of engineering in the Nylon 66 — worked out by both DuPont and Remington working together — it gave a strong impression of being fashion forward, and in 15 or 20 years they looked as dated as the 1966 Plymouth Barracuda, unlike the “classic” Winchester. One fashion decision was for the gun to load its tubular magazine through the butt, which prevented the N66 from having the clunky underbarrel magazine tube of most semi .22s, but at the cost of lower ammo capacity. Did that matter, in a plinking and small-game gun? The squirrels weren’t shooting back; suppressive fire wouldn’t fill the pot.

DuPont was in it to win it, “it” being a share of the plastic rifle market, and was behind Remington as the New York gunmaker expanded the line. In time, or at various times, it included guns with green and black stocks, chromed (not nickeled!) rifles, magazine-fed Nylons (the Nylon 77), special models for high-volume retailers, and .22 short Nylons for shooting galleries (remember them?) Most of these models were short-lived. The shortest lifespans were for the bolt-action versions — gaudy Space Age styling applied to the traditionalist’s choice of action was a pretty good way to count down sales to zero.

Anyway you look at these guns: as marketing lessons learned, as examples of engineering problem-solving, or as cultural and historical artifacts, they’re fascinating. Which brings us to our Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: is a bit haphazard, but it’s more information on these guns than you’re going to find anywhere else. Here’s the site’s own overview:

There were about 1,050,000 Nylon 66s made. The standard model had a brown stock (called Mohawk Brown) with blue metal. It was a tube fed through the stock semi auto. Variations included a green stocked version (Seneca Green), a black stock and chrome receiver version called “Apache black” and a black stock rifle with a blued receiver cover called the “Black Diamond”.

via » Introduction to the Remington Nylon Rifles.

Naturally, the images in the post come from the site.

The last gasp of the Nylon 66 came in 1989, with the costly injection-molding molds on their last legs. It would have cost Remington a fortune to keep producing what was, by that point, a retro-60s-nostalgia piece. And the Chinese were making a decent knockoff that was already underselling the genuine Remington with its aging but fully-amortized and -depreciated production tooling.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Max Velocity Tactical

max_velocity_tactical_webpageA long time ago a commenter recommended this site, Max Velocity Tactical, as a Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week. And indeed, we’ve read it from time to time, and it seems to be a pretty good and sensible discussion of fitness, tactics, and so forth. It’s primarily a vehicle for tactical training, both by word and by promoting “Max’s” books and, especially, tactical training classes.

The training classes include people with all levels of training and experience, but they tend to look eerily like military training, because that’s what they are, essentially. Here we have shooting on the move, live-fire. (Note the high instructor-student ratio, a must with live fires, especially with people new to the group and each other).

Max Velocity-CTT-July-Square-Range

The word “tactical” is rather haphazardly strewn about, these days, but in the case of Max Velocity, it fits. If you attend a course, read a book, visit the forum or read the posts on the website you may indeed learn something about tactics — something of some practical use.

Here is another picture that, apart from the mismatched uniforms, might have been snapped at Dahlonega or Camp Mackall (actually, we had mismatched uniforms in Ranger Class 1-83, because Army students had to wear OD green fatigues or OD-107 jungle fatigues, and the other services could wear ERDL camo or the then-new BDUs).


Max encourages students to review and critique training, and these reviews are available on site. There’s also a discussion forum of value.

You never know what gems will show up. For a single current example, this recent report from one of the site’s associates deals with one of the most necessary and, especially when starting out, unpleasant fundamental skills: rucksack marching. Here’s the briefest taste:

[S]tart some run/walks with some added weight.  Don’t start with a full load out.  Just like any other progressive training program, start with 15 lbs and maybe 2-3 miles.  Work up to a goal weight of say 35 lbs.  I would take 4 weeks on this.  Then get off the pavement onto the trails.  This will really start to condition your feet and ankles and lots of other stuff.  At this point you would also switch to your trail runners/light hiking boots (duh) and regular hiking clothes.  Another 4 weeks here.  Then you take it up hill.  This will be  real eye-opener.  You thought you were in shape.  Hell you are in decent shape.  But this is a whole ‘nother level.  Hard to believe you can be breathing hard, close to red-lining when you are just walking up a hill.  But you will.  Another hard 4 weeks (this is based on fitness level, see below).

At each stage, drop the weight, and lower the distance again, and work your way back up to goal load and distance targets.  Speed becomes a relative thing now, because you are moving as fast as you can sustain, for whatever the terrain allows.

I can’t think of any other physical activity that is directly applicable to what we may have to be doing in the future. It is a hell of a lot of work, but it is also immensely satisfying. So get out there and get in touch with your inner Mohican.

The author also makes the point that you should be running. That hits hard here, because Your Humble Bloghost can’t run, and doesn’t even walk so great (when they said don’t turn the MC1-1C below 200 feet, they weren’t just whistling Dixie). Here’s his point:

[M]y running base made a huge difference in being able to switch gears and do serious ruck marching. Your feet, ankles, knees, and other body parts take a serious pounding in this activity. What this tells me is every one who is serious about preparing for uncertain times needs to get out and establish a running-based fitness program. Along with calisthenics, this will prepare you body for the rigors of field work.

If you don’t do this, when it’s go-time, the fitness curve is so steep that your body will inevitably break down, leaving you combat ineffective at the moment you need to be at your best. It’s not just about cardio or muscle strength; it’s also about all that connective tissue being conditioned to take the pounding. Feet, ankles, knees, hips, lower back. This goes double for older folks. All that shit is not as supple as it was before so you have to work harder to make sure you stretch it out and strengthen it to take the load.

Now, that’s all from one post, and that by a guest author (but it got us to figure out where the ALICE is… under a bunch of books in the library… and shake it out and take out some of the weight that was in it for an initial shakedown).

Here’s another guest post: a one-post history of the German invasion of Russia, 1941-44, and its consequences for Germany, which along with the crushing of the Japanese Empire constituted the most complete and thorough defeats of nations since the national exterminations of ancient warfare. (Had Stalin, and some Americans such as Baruch had their way, Germany might have gone the rest of the way to the fate of Carthage and Troy).

Many of the real gems that MVT has to deliver you will have to pay for, like the courses and the training plans. This is how he, and his assistant instructors, pay the bills. It is not very expensive for training that can save your life and that of your family (consider this post on the recurring problem of shooting friendlies, and how to avoid it, complete with video of a real puckerful moment where the camera-equipped shooter ceases fire just for an instant because a teammate runs in front of him, oblivious). Even the free parts of the site are very worthwhile, and that would make their dollar value infinite, wouldn’t it?

There are no great mysteries to combat tactics, now “jaw-dropping shortcut” or “One weird trick,” to use the argot of clickbait. There are fundamental principles, which the tactical training programs of every professional armed service in the world follow, and tactics, techniques and procedures, which are variable so long as they preserve the inviolable principles. If your “militia” shoots now and then on a flat range but can’t organize and conduct a patrol, establish a defensive position, or advance by fire and maneuver, it’s not a militia but a mob. (Call it a “nilitia.”) Max and his guys have been working to close this gap, and they deserve recognition and attention.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Doomed Soldiers

doomed_soldiersWhat was so doomed about the “doomed soldiers?” They were freedom fighters. For a nation squeezed between two of the great nightmare totalitarian tyrannies of the 20th Century; at first, the two mighty powers combined to conquer and divide the nation of the doomed; then, one of the two double-crossed the other and started a war, with the doomed’s land a battlefield going and coming; and then, the other gang of totalitarians triumphed, and proved to be even worse in victory than the first bunch had been.

The doomed, of course, were the bold resisters of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa); their nation divided by the de facto Axis allies, Nazi Germany and the USSR, in 1939, only to become a battlefield again when the Nazis turned on their fellow totalitarians in 1941, and for a third time in 1944 as the Red Army harried the Wehrmacht back towards Berlin.

Then in later 1944, the Russian NKVD began to hunt the AK implacably, with unlimited resources, and with a ruthlessness that put the mere Nazis to shame.

A message from one monster to another tells one part of the tale, as Russian troops began to disarm and jail their ostensible allies of the Polish Home Army:

July 20, 1944
L. Beria to J. Stalin
Nr. 778/b
Top Secret
State Defense Committee

[For:] Comrade Stalin, J. V.

Following information regarding operation to disarm enlisted men and officers of the Polish Home Army were received from comrade Serov and Tcherniakovsky: All in all, according to the preliminary assessments, during two days of the operation, 6,000 men were disarmed. Among them, 650 officers and NCOs.

During the disarming, confiscated were 5,100 rifles, 350 machine guns, 230 light and heavy machine guns, 12 light artillery pieces, 27 vehicles, 7 radio transmitters, 350 horses, and large amount of ammunition.

The Polish enlisted men and officers [of the Home Army] are transported under security to the assembly points.

Some of the Poles saw what was up and scattered. The last time Poles had been taken prisoner by the Soviets, in 1939, the officers had been murdered almost to the last man on the direct orders of Stalin via Beria.

It seems as if Beria, at least, was willing to do it again:

2. Enlisted men and NCOs who expressed desire to join the [Communist Polish People’s] army are to be directed to the reserves’ regiments of the Main Recruiting Board, in order to use them in the future as rear units of the Red Army.

3. The officers’ cadre of interest to NKVD-NKGB, counterintelligence, and “Smersh” [… unintelligible]

4. The remaining officers are to be transported to the NKVD camps, because under the present circumstances, they will begin to [re-] organize various Polish resistance organizations.

The Doomed Soldiers site is dense with information and the pathways through it are not always clear or logical. We found it rewarding to hunt up primary sources like the above, and survivor interviews. Plus, there are the many dimensions of human courage, from the guy who broke away from a mass execution (“the PPSh fired… I felt a bullet go through my shoulder”) to the officer who got himself captured and condemned so that he could get eyes on what the Germans were doing in Auschwitz.

The site definitely has a point of view, and sometimes seems to lapse into paranoia. But if you were as ill-used as the poor suffering bastard’s of the Home Army, is it really paranoid to think that everyone’s out to get you?

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Paul Mauser Archive

mauser_archiveWe have already honored one of the creators of this site, Mauro Baudino, for his other site on the Artillery Luger. But Baudino and Gerben van Vlimmeren manage another must-view website in the shape of this delightful archive from their Belgian base. At the Paul Mauser Archive, they bring to light facts about one of the greatest minds in the history of firearms design, Paul Mauser; his designs, from the Prussian M/71 on; and the mighty company he built, which had such a profound impact on the industry that Heckler & Koch is but one secondary spin-off of the living legend that is the Mauser-Werke.

The bio of Paul Mauser alone is fascinating. I didn’t know his brother Wilhelm was his partner (European gunmaking is full of these brother acts, and Paul Mauser’s father and all of Paul’s brothers became gunsmiths, with one brother even working at Remington in Ilion, NY). Paul was the primary inventor and Wilhelm the primary contract-chaser, something he worked himself to death (literally) doing o that Waffenfabrik Mauser could succeed.

Their first factory burned down in 1874, a common hazard in 19th Century gunmaking (Colt’s burned down in 1862, for example). But they had already proven themselves indispensable to the armorers of the German principalities, and they were back in production in a few months.

The site is, in fact, so full of promise it’s a little bit disappointing that it doesn’t deliver it all at once! But Baudino and van Vlimmeren are conscious that they have a treasure trove here, and they’re taking care to see it’s properly analyzed, digitized and preserved.

Recommended without reservation, the Paul Mauser Archive.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Assault Weapon Watch

The Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week is a bit of a one-trick pony. It is, as far as we know, the longest-running test of the involvement of “assault weapons” in crime.

Assault Weapon Watch, run with tongue firmly in cheek by the Coalition to Prevent Assault Weapon Violence,  has had three firearms set up for years with cameras on them 24/7/365, there to document it when they snap and go on a killing spree.

So far, they haven’t.

The three weapons are a frightening AR, a dangeous M-14 and a very dangerous belt-fed HK21.


Read the FAQ for more.



Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Police One

policeone_screenshotWe wish we had more time to tell you why we like this site. The bottom line is this: PoliceOne is a good place to go for cop news. For news about cops, for news that is important to cops, and to get a handle on what cops in general in the USA are thinking. It also has some training and equipment stuff, but that’s not its strong point.

Where it’s good is just seeing what cops, and criminals, are up to.

Some parts of it are private, closed to anyone that’s not a sworn officer. That’s perfectly OK; like anyone else, cops need a place to hang out with their own kind.

While individual cop blogs can cover one jurisdiction well — one favorite here is Second City Cop, who has Chicago wired like the FBI wires its confidential informants — PoliceOne covers a wider range, in (necessarily) less depth.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Christo’s Military and Intelligence Corner

Today has been a travel day, and we’re still a bit behind, so this is going to be brief: the Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week is more an intel website than a weapons one. (So sue us. We’re 18F as well as 18B around here). But you’re really going to like it.

It’s Christo’s Military and Intelligence Corner.

Christo is an avid student of intelligence history, as you can see by a couple of recent post titles:

As can be seen from these examples, the site is full of serious, quality scholarship on subjects that remain of great interest to us today, many decades later.