Category Archives: Pistols and Revolvers

What Should the Army Do About Pistols?

On the way out? Beretta M9

On the way out? Beretta M9.

The Army is dissatisfied with the M9 9mm pistol. Many of the existing guns are badly worn. A complex, expensive Joint Modular Handgun Program is underway, trying to use a 367-page specification to select a complete system to replace the M9 and the M11 undercover pistol. Recently, Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley poured scorn on the Modular solicitation. (It’s almost as if he reads WeaponsMan.com1).

What should the Army do? What do you think? Here’s a chance to make your voice heard! Maybe Mark Milley is listening.2

What Should the Army Do about the Pistol Problem?

 
pollcode.com free polls

 

That’s about all the options we could think of.

Notes

  1. We’re pretty sure he isn’t. He has flunkies to do his reading for him.
  2. See Note 1.

The Engineering History of the M9’s Pivoting Locking Block

M9_DA-SN-91-11017As most of you know, the US 9mm Pistol M9 uses a pivoting block design, originally developed and patented in 1950 by engineer Tullio Marengoni of Beretta of Gardone, Val Trompia, Italy. But he drew, of course, on the 1936 design by engineers at Carl Walther Waffefabrik, then in Zella-Mehlis in the state of Thuringia, Germany, that would become the P-38 locking system. However, Walther’s designers, Fritz Walther himself and Fritz Barthelmnes, drew in turn upon earlier work by the Mauser-Werke’s Josef Nickl and Nickl’s own mentors, the three Feederle brothers. Thus does one feature of one famous firearm bear the stamp of not just one, but seven brilliant designers, each one of whom has passed on and each of whom is better known for other firearms!

There are actually more designers involved than that, because the Beretta M92/M9 has undergone quite a bit of engineering work in recent years, after production engineering “improvements” over the original M1951 materials and methods turned out to reliability engineering disasters; but the original M92/M9 locking block was very little altered from its M1951 forebear.

To tell the whole story, we must go back to the beginning of automatic pistols and the Feederle brothers, Friedrich, Fidel, and Josef, the developers of the Mauser 1896 pistol, the famous “broomhandle,” the first commercially successful self-loading automatic pistol. By 1907 they were working on a new design that involved a large pivoting block as shown in German Imperial Parent (D.R.P.) Nº. 209513. (The patent is in Paul Mauser’s name, as was normal in the Mauser-werke, but it was the Feederles’ work). The locking block of the experimental 1907 Mauser is large and located behind the breech face in the rear of a slide, but the way it pivots to lock the slide to the barrel during the short recoil is the first invention on the way to the M9’s locking system. But the Feederle brothers are certainly best-known for the C96, which used a different locking method entirely.

mauser_locking_block_patentA Feederle protégé brought the next innovation into the design when Bavarian engineer Josef Nickl began experimenting with breech locking. Nickl’s goal was to update the Mauser 1910/1914 pocket pistol to a more powerful cartridge like the 9mm Parabellum, and he tried many different kinds of locked-breech mechanism to make this work. At one time or another, he experimented with flap-locking ike a Degtyaryev machine gun, a rotating barrel like the Mexican Obregon, and the mechanism in which we’re interested in — a pivoting locking block that moves much like a Beretta locking block, but is mounted below the barrel. This patent — credited, as usual, to Paul Mauser — was DRP Nº. 250493 of February 5, 1911.

mauser_locking_block_patent_sketch

A prototype, serial number 4, survives and has passed through several top-flight collections, including Dr. Geoffrey Sturgess’s. The following Nickl prototype pistol will be in the RIA April auction. It’s in .45 caliber (one of several such Mauser-werke prototypes) and may be flap or pivoting-block locked (it’s not clear). It is marked with the serial number “2”.

mauser bretherton tipping block locked 2

The following is  9mm pistol, serial # 129, showing the “chipmunk cheeks” of the Nickl pistol using Degtyaryev locking-flaps. It too is in the RIA April auction.  mauser bretherton flap locked 2

Nickl, though, is not famous at all for his locking block, which is a footnote to Mauser’s efforts at best. He is best known today as the father of the first “native” Czechoslovak firearm, the Vzor (Model) 24 pistol, a barely-modified, badge-engineered version of one of his Mauser prototypes. Nickl offered it to the Czechoslovaks while installing a Mauser-built production line for rifles at the Zbrojovka Brno plant.

walther_locking_block_patentWhen the Walther firm developed a 9mm pistol bringing their double-action, single-action / safety-decocker concept to the service pistol, their design had three new patented features: the dual recoil springs, the hammer design, and — germane to our subject here — the locking block. While Fritz Walther, son of Carl whose name was on the letterhead, was involved in the design, the principal design seems to have been that of engineer Fritz Barthelmnes, then a Walther employee. According to Bruce’s excellent book, Walther’s name alone appears on the relevant German patent, DRP 721702, applied for 21 October 1936 and issued 15 June 1942, but Barthelmnes is actually also credited on the patent and on derivative foreign patents.

walther_locking_block_patent_sketch_1

The key feature of the Walther block, missing from earlier versions, is the unlocking or disengaging pin that ensures positive unlocking of the block (#12 in the illustration above).

Barthelmnes is known, of course, for the P.38, but he’s arguably better known for his own postwar FB-Record blank and air pistols.

Which brings us to Italy and Tullio Marengoni. At a glance, Marengoni’s 1950 patent (Italian Patent Nº 467871) appears almost identical to the Walther patent. In fact, we were unable to get our hands on the Italian patent and see just what Marengoni is claiming that Walther and Barthelmnes didn’t in their 1936 patent — but it’s interesting that Marengoni does not cite the two Fritzes’ patent at all, according to the patent citation records at the German patent office. (This may be caused by the German database not seeing foreign patents). If we can get a hand on Marengoni’s patent, we’ll see if we can determine where his design differs from Walther’s (a diagram in Bruce’s book does show that one of the claims was the Beretta disconnector, quite different from a P.38’s).

So next time you check an M9 out of the arms room, take a good look at that block! You’re handling the best efforts of many of the world’s greatest firearms inventors, all the way back to the first auto pistols in the 19th Century.

Sources

Bruce, Gordon. The Evolution of Military Automatic Pistols: Self-Loading Pistol Designs of Two World Wars and the Men who Invented Them. Woonsocket, RI: Mowbray Publishing, 2012.

German Patent Information System Network (DEPATISNET). Various historical patent documents. Searched at and Retrieved from https://depatisnet.dpma.de/

Dynamis ZEV: This is Not Bubba’s Glock

Yesterday affternoon we promised you more information on the Dynamis Alliance / ZEV Glock pistol. We have a couple of pictures and a little more information at this time. Let’s start with the pictures!

Dom Raso ZEV limited production glock01

Trainer and former SEAL Dom Raso says he has put 5,000 rounds through the first pistol, and that he’s thoroughly satisfied with it. As these pictures show, those rounds went through in a wide range of conditions. These pictures also show some of the mods than make these guns special:

Dom Raso ZEV limited production glock

There’s a unique ZEV-Dynamis slide with broad serrations (that appear to be neither unusually deep nor snaggily sharp) over the whole side of the slide; it’s marked with the Dynamis and ZEV logos. The frame has a fine-grained stipple job and one of ZEV’s custom triggers. And the barrel is dimpled, and the Surefire light is part of the package.

We’re told there are going to be exactly 50 of these made. The work, is, throughout, well done and well integrated. It might not be to your taste, and if that’s the case, you might be just as well served by a stock Glock. The defensive pistolero (or pistolera) for whom this pistol is just right will probably know it right away.

UPDATE: After we went live with this post, OTR sent us some more information that he picked up during his Situational Combatives post.

  • It’s on a G3 frame because that’s what they could get for this run of 50. They wanted a fourth generation frame, but there’s no stripped G4 new frames in the supply chain yet.
  • There may be subsequent runs of the gun, but they’re not sure when. Subsequent runs will have the G4 frame if possible.
  • Price is … drumroll… $3k! Leading to this discussion:

Nose: Eeek. But probably in the ballpark for a ZEV built gun.
OTR: OK. I exaggerated. It is only $2,995.00.

  • Even at that price (it’s a Glock for the love of Mike, not a Rolex) demand is high.

Pictorial History of the Walther P.38

Illustrated mostly with guns coming up for sale at Rock Island Auctions, most of them from the Brotherton Collection (thank you, Bear).

The 9mm Blowback MP

First, Walther tried scaling up the classic PP (Polizei Pistole) to the German 9 x 19mm service cartridge. This was called the MP (Militär Pistole) and had the problems you’d associate with making a 9mm blowback firearm. With the unlocked breech, the firearm needed a heavy slide and stiff spring to be safe (although it’s much safer to rely on bolt [slide] weight than spring tension). While you can see a touch of P.38 ancestry here, it’s mostly just a PP with thyroid issues.

Walther 9mm blowback mp

Like an Uzi as much as like Browning’s original slide patent, this massive slide. How heavy does the slide have to be? Orion’s Hammer makes use of this equation from Chinn :

bolt mass in pounds = 1.09×10-5 * bullet mass in grains * bullet velocity in fps * (diameter of bolt face / diameter of bullet base)2

To make an approximate calculation of 1.7 lbs. which is a pretty heavy slide weight, mostly well forward. (Good for bullseye accuracy in rapid fire, unlikely to be popular as a service pistol). He uses a somewhat odd 9mm load (88 grain bullet at 1600 fps) but changing the load at the same chamber pressure should, ceteris paribus, give us the same bolt weight (because any changes in weight should produce a change in velocity).

So, a blowback 9mm worked — we think the owners of any of these rare birds can shoot them with perfect safety, Walther engineers could do math — but it wasn’t optimal. Time for a new gun.

The “Hammerless” MP and AP series

This early prototype is named “Walther Armee Pistole MP” and it’s fairly close to classical P.38 form. The departures include: lack of a slide arch at the front, slide reinforcements, and a “hammerless” (really, internal hammer) design. We don’t know why Walther went with the internal hammer. They had used an internal hammer decades earlier on some of their pocket pistols, like the single-action PP forerunner Model 8, and perhaps they thought the Army did not want an external hammer (the P.08 Luger was striker-fired, and the Army’s problem with it was primarily its cost — in Reichsmarks, machine time, and materials). There are some small and subtle differences from later P.38s, also, like the checkering pattern on the grips. This image also lets you see how the proto-P38 frame retained some of the features and aesthetics of the 9mm PP-based MP.

Walther Armee Pistole MP

According to Rock Island, the pistol above is Serial Number ?? The following one is serial 044. It has taken several steps closer to the final P.38 in the shape of the slide and in some details such as the takedown latch, the bolt catch, and the grip checkering. walther armee pistole no 44

This firearm, serial number 09, we’ve already seen in an earlier post. It appears to be a cousin of #44 above, and is labeled Armee Pistole. The long barrel and stock/holster are original.

Armee pistole no 09

A “Sheet Metal” P.38? Or an Early Toolroom Prototype?

This weapon is hard to figure out. RIA describes it as a sheet metal P.38 prototype, but it has many very early features, and may be the original P.38 prototype or toolroom mule, in the white, with some parts like the slide built up from sheet or plate due to lack of forgings.

toolroom armee pistole prototype

Note that the takedown latch, sight, and safety all resemble early designs, but the slide release resembles the later design. A fascinating  one-off, whatever it is.

These weapons evolved into the P.38. First, though, they passed through the Heeres Pistol stage. This is a 1939 made HP for Sweden. It is for sale by Hallowell & Co. We’ll show you both left and right.

walther-hp-1557-left-2

In most details, this resembles the later P.38. In comparison to the earlier guns, the HP has a smooth-sided slide, and most clearly visible, an exposed hammer. The grips have the same checkering pattern as some of the prototypes, but are made of a bakelite-like thermosetting.

walther-hp-1557-right

Next we have a typical wartime P.38 (although it has an uncommon manufacturer code, 480) which is, again, for sale by Hallowell & Co. in Montana. And again, here are  both left and right.

p38--6075--left p38--6075--right

Changes are cosmetic and small, although the replacement of checkering with serrations on the takedown lever probably saved some manufacturing time. While the grooved grips that replaced the checkered ones are obvious, the much larger recess for accepting a lanyard snap is typical of the many small improvements in the wartime Walther.

The P.38 in turn evolved into the postwar P.1, which was basically a P.38 with an alloy frame. Due to loss of engineering documents, at least some parts of the P.1 were reverse engineered from production P.38s. The grips reverted to checkering. There are several versions of the P.1, and many variations of the postwar commercial P.38.

Walther also produced a modified, slightly shorter-barreled version as the P.4.

Then, finally, the P5 was the end of the line for Walther’s 1930s DA/SA tilting-locking-block design. The Walther P88 and subsequent service pistol designs used a modified Browning tipping barrel. The Walther style tipping block of course made a jump to Beretta in the M1951 and all its successors, including the M9.

 

CZ System, High Style, Made in… Israel?

Shawn at LooseRounds was kind enough to say some very nice things about this blog this week, but honest! That’s not why we’re cribbing part of a post from his site. We’re doing it because (1) it’s a really good post, and (2) it’s about a gun we were curious about, too — the Jericho 941, the latest version of the venerable Israeli Tanfoglio/CZ clone.

IWI Jericho from LooseRounds

The writer of this piece, Lothaen, is a Glock guy (we’ve read his other posts on optics) but his wife wanted steel. We are very, very fond of the CZ here, and the Jericho retains the CZ-75’s unusual DA/SA/non-decocker system, which as Lothaen notes requires you to carefully hand-decock to carry hammer down on a loaded chamber for a DA first shot, or use the 1911-style safety to carry cocked-and-locked. (Czech and Czechoslovak pistols have historically had slightly unusual , even peculiar, safety arrangements; the safeties on post-war Czechoslovak service pistols are unusual, and one of their designers offered a DAO pistol with no safety before World War One). But his thorough review fully satisfied our curiosity about the Jericho. A taste:

The Jericho 941 is steel meets steel. It’s a heavy, big service pistol. It’s the type of gun you would want to hit someone with after exhausting all your ammo. Clean lines, excellent (or rather, peerless) machine work give us a pistol with incredibly smooth contours and lines. There are no machining marks, or rough edges. I am really impressed by the work in this piece.

We were impressed to learn this. It is a beautiful gun in more of a modern Bauhaus or even Pop Art style than the 20th-Century upright and businesslike CZ — or “industrial” as Lothaen says.

Cocked and locked, but with a second-strike capability. Any CZ-75/85 (full size) mag fits.

Cocked and locked, but with a second-strike capability. Any CZ-75/85 (full size) mag fits.

After researching the Jericho 941 and ordering sight unseen… I was a wee bit worried. Not so much anymore. The action is based on the CZ75 with an Israeli twist. It bears a familial resemblance, but the lines of the Jericho are much more industrial and flat.

It’s not all aesthetics, as our Glockmeister quickly finds something where the CZ or Jericho gives up some user interface points to the blocky Austrian.

Like its relative, the action and slide of the Jericho sit tight inside the frame and as a side effect, reveal little of the slide itself for weapon manipulation. Unlike say, my square Glock which gives me lots of real estate for racking and manipulation, the Jericho gives much less purchase. Consider this a negative if forced to manipulate the weapon when wet or in slippery conditions. Oil carefully so that you don’t coat the slide in excessive slippery oil. Overall, the slide serrations work fine and once you have a normal grip on the pice, it slides back to the rear with little effort.

And, having done that, he has an epiphany:

Once you do get the slide back, you might also notice how smooth it is. Coming from the Tupperware generation of Glocks, I recall the first time I racked a Glock and was met by the scratchy, gritty feel of Gaston’s masterpiece. Once we got the Jericho home and I racked it back, I was jealous. The slide came back so buttery smooth that I instantly realized that IWI had quality in mind with the piece. There is no grit, no chrunch, just a smooth resistance until the barrel drops, which then is increased ever so slightly as the slide pushes the hammer down into the cocked position. Fantastic quality here folks, especially at $549 dollars.

via The Jericho 941: High Quality, With Quirks | LooseRounds.com.

The post gets even better after this point, as he and his wife take the Jericho to the range and learn what it likes and what it doesn’t — and discover one annoying quirk.

His bottom line is that it’s a good gun for someone who likes a steel service pistol for (due to size and weight) OWB carry.

Revolvers Never Die: They Just Keep Getting Bigger!

Here’s a single-action revolver… in .600 Nitro Express, an African big- and dangerous-game cartridge normally delivered by massive double rifles.  It’s the biggest cartridge revolver we’ve ever seen.

It was designed by Franz-Josef (Joe) Peters. And why did we specify “cartridge”? Because Ryszard Tobys of Poland took a Remington cap-and-ball revolver and blew it up, in the sense of “magnification,” not “detonation.” From Russia Today:

Pan Tobys took 2500 hours — equivalent to a year and three months of full-time work — to machine this Goliath of revolvers from scratch. No word on what reloading data he uses, only that the lead bullets are 136 g (about 2100 grains, 10 times the mass of your basic .338 LM projectile).

Just the ticket — for Jurassic Game Park. Elmer Keith, eat your heart out.

 

The Incredible Auto Mag

Here’s an Auto Mag for sale on Gun Broker.  It’s not just any Auto Mag, as we’ll see, but it serves to illustrate the attractive physical lines of this firearm, which is so rarely seen these days that the only people who identify it correctly on first glance are either hopeless gun nerds, or people who searched the internet after watching Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry movie that features it (we think, Sudden Impact but we’ll accept correction in the comments. One of you gun nerds probably watched it last week).

Sanford Auto Mag 10-in proto 01

Seller says (punctuation added, and ALL CAPS “sent down” for the benefit of the reader):

Sanford Auto Mag 10-in proto 03This is from Harry Sanford’s personal collection, the rare of the rare, Serial # 1 and the only one made.

The new b series silhouette 10.5 bull barrel with many accessories and provenance from the family. Will ship over nite with tracking, Fedex.

harry_sanfordHarry Sanford was the entrepreneur who brought the Auto Mag to production in the 1960s and early 70s in southern California, when that area was a hotbed of futuristic thinking, from the science-fiction movies being shot on back lots, to the weird but compelling sounds the weird but compelling Brian Wilson was wringing out of the recording studio, to the real space work by SoCal aerospace giants like Lockheed, North American, and McDonnell Douglas and an intricate web of small prototype shots and designers who supported them.

The Auto Mag was originally designed by Max Gera. Sanford had it redeveloped in the then-futuristic gun material, stainless steel. It was chambered (primarily) for a proprietary cartridge, the .44 Auto Mag, which shared a bolt-face diameter with the Mauser rifle cartridges (and therefore with the .308 Win/7.62 NATO and the .30-06, providing AutoMag buyers a source of casings for handloads).

Production was (and is, this photo, a bolt and its drawing, is from a New Auto Mag prototype, 2015-16) mostly based on machining parts from bar stock.

new auto mag bolt

Investment casting also has been used to produce parts. The new guys have a SolidWorks model that enables them to access modern manufacturing technologies. Here’s a new-old-stock raw casting with an experimental print:

inv cast pattern and frame

The Auto Mag was produced in many different variations — dozens of them — and was also advertised in .357 Auto Mag, a necked-down version of the round, although we’re not convinced any of the .357s or conversion kits ever shipped.

aristocratBrochureLLee Jurras was also involved and the gun was a darling of the magazines, especially with Jurras’s custom exotic-wood grips. Jeff Cooper, another Auto Mag enthusiast, wrote:

The pistol was designed by Max Gera, and incorporates all the “modern conveniences.” Barrel and sights are in one rigid unit for target accuracy. The trigger linkage is similar in concept to the proven line of Hi Standard target pistols, permitting a very nice adjustment. The sights are fully adjustable and patridge type. The positive, hammer-looking safety is symmetrical and works on either side. Ejection is forward. An accelerator is provided to insure reliable action in sub-zero temperatures. Though the prototype is constructed of a standard chrome-moly alloy, the production model will naturally be made of stainless steel throughout.

total_power_LAlong with the High Standard trigger (these were the auto pistols that dominated smallbore bullseye in the USA at the time), the AutoMag incorporated recoil operation with dual springs like a Walther P.38, a hammer and safety lifted from the 1911 (except ambidextrous out of the box, revolutionary for 1966-70), and a rotating eight-lug bolt like an AR or Johnson rifle.

The Auto Mag’s styling was clean and modern. It is, aesthetically, a beautiful and striking gun. (It’s also huge, something that you have to hold one to appreciate, although it’s a hair smaller than a Smith 29, according to Cooper). There are elements of Luger, a rib taken Genesis-like of Python, a degree of the classic streamlining of the beautiful dead-end Whitney, and classic proportions (at least in the usual 6.5″ version). Only a few thousand were made, and an ordinary one goes for around $4k now to collectors. It’s in the hands of a buyer whether this unique long-barreled Auto Mag is worth the asking price of over $10k.

Sanford Auto Mag 10-in proto 02

 

Originally, the Auto Mag was intended — we are not making this up — as a handgun for hunting big game and dangerous game. But it never crossed the reliability threshold you want in a hunting gun. Many if not most buyers had problems, and not only did the company fail,  several subsequent companies and restart attempts failed. The key failing seems to have been the price — around $200 retail, per Cooper, in 1970 — did not cover more than 20% of the cost of goods sold. Sanford’s idea seems to have been to buy market share and visibility at a loss, and then hope for manufacturing to lower costs on a vector that would, at some point, intersect the vector of price increases that he’d be able to do, given market popularity. This never seemed to work, and one group of investors after another would crash on the hard shoals of gross income minus COGS minus expenses.

Today, they are fewer than 10,000 AutoMags ever made are the centerpiece of many handgun collections. Most of them are curios and relics, because even the ATF recognizes this as a collector’s, not criminal’s, gun.

Maybe you don’t want to get this rare AutoMag, or a more ordinary 6 1/2″ barrel version that showed up on GunBroker at the same time (in the usual price range). You can still enjoy looking at them.

Then again, maybe you want a new one. A new AutoMag reboot is under way, as Walter Sanford, Harry’s son, has sold the AutoMag intellectual property, and the guys at New Auto Mag seem to be thinking cautiously and clearly. Lots of cool AutoMag history can be found at AutoMagParts.com. (That’s where we found the vintage pictured in this post). And for all kinds of AutoMag goodness, check out Maynard Arms. And to see what we mean about the aesthetics, here’s an image of a standard .44 AM, courtesy of the New Auto Mag LTD:

The+New+Auto+Mag+Gun+2

And if the New Auto Mag venture, too, comes a cropper, don’t lament that these men did not succeed. Rejoice that they tried.

How to FOOM! a Springfield

Here’s a Springfield M1903A1 rifle that’s been subjected to a bit of the ol’ FOOM.

M1903 fired with 8mm "S" Patrone

As the image’s text makes clear, the cause of this kinetic reversion to kit form was chambering and firing a German “8mm” cartridge, which is what American users called the 7.92 x 57mm Mauser cartridge for most of the 20th Century. The nominal .317 bullet of the German “S-Patrone” has two possibilities: it can swage down to .308 and exit before pressure peak exceeds the strength of a Mauser action (which is what the ’03 is), or, well, not. This image is what “not” looks like.

The plate is from a remarkable manual that collects images and lessons learned from a variety of American small arms: TM 9-2210 Small Arms Accidents, Malfunctions & Causes, dated 1942. A digitized version is available from archive.org.

The weapons are those that were common in US service in the years before the manual’s date: Springfields, the 1917 Enfield, the Browning machine guns, the 1911.45 caliber pistol, and the 1917 .45 caliber revolver. The M1 rifle is notable for its absence, six years after its original acceptance. (Perhaps GI’s hadn’t kB!’d enough of them yet).

Apart from the .30 caliber weapons, whose 7.62 x 63mm chambering was a comfortable fit — at least, until fired — for the 7.92 x 57 round, you couldn’t blow these guns up by putting the wrong ammo in. You needed to use proof rounds (which shouldn’t ever pass into troop hands) or bad ammo. Here’s an illustration of some Springfield barrels that were fired with bore obstructions.

Springfield Rifle Obstructed Barrels

The original text explains what each bore obstruction was, but the archive.org file is missing a significant number of pages, and so does not. Obstructions can include cleaning rods or materials, grease (as in Cosmoline for storage), or a previously-fired bullet from a squib round. (See the bullet seized in the barrel, third barrel from the top).

Even the oversized S-Patrone might only have cause a bulged barrel, if it were a conventional jacketed lead bullet. If it was the late-war jacketed steel bullet, the pressure wasn’t going to be sufficient to swage it down — and the receiver and barrel wasn’t going to suffice for retaining  the barrel.

In addition to user-operation problems, the Springfield Rifle was also plagued by manufacturing deficiencies. The manual contains a number of illustrations of barrels and rifles destroyed by faulty manufacturing, particularly excessive temperatures (in manufacturing).

Springfield Overtemp Barrels

The manual advises the would-be investigator that a key indicator of this type of failure is that the barrel has burst whilst the cartridge case does not show such markers of overpressure as a bulged case, blown primer, or separated case head. If the case appears normal in all respects, chances are good the round made normal pressure, and the gun failed for some other reason, probably metallurgical.

 Cracked rifle barrel -- bad metallurgy

Likewise, a barrel that fails due to obstruction has a way of telling you how it happened. An obstruction near the chamber causes such a rapid overpressure that the case head usually blows out and the receiver of the firearm suffers. An obstruction midway down the barrel leads to a bulge, if a bulge is enough to release it; otherwise it leads to a blown-out barrel. And an obstruction near the muzzle usually just causes a split.

Despite the missing pages, this obscure manual is a worthwhile read. Along with these shattered Springfields, there are similarly enlightening pictures and tales of busted Brownings and pranged pistols.

We’re willing to digitize & host a better copy, if we can get our hands on one. (The UWORL hosts a Fujitsu book scanner).

A Side You Might Not Know of a Company You Do

If you think you know Beretta Defense Technologies, the professionals’ side of the 15th-Century gunmaker… do you recognize this?

trg-m10-bolt-action-sniper-rifle-rifle-scope-folding-rear-stock-desert-tan

That state-of-the-art looking sniper rifle is a Sako TRG M10 bolt-action sniper rifle, availble in the three most common Western sniper chamberings: 7.62 NATO/.308 Win; .300 Win Mag; and .338 Lapua Mag. Beretta says this about that:

The TRG M10 is a bolt-action sniper rifle that is available in multiple calibers, manually operated and shoulder-fired, as well as magazine-fed. It has a high-capacity magazine and fully adjustable stock that make it a multi-functional system in a single weapon, suitable for many different situations. The M10 sniper weapon transforms from a compact medium range precision tool into a full-bodied sniper platform capable of engaging targets out to 1500 m and beyond–in minutes and virtually without tools.

Currently TRG M10 offers three different calibers (.308 Win, .300 Win Mag, and .338 Lapua Mag) and all these in multiple barrel lengths. Each of the calibers feature a high-capacity magazine. There are also three standard color options to select from: Stealth Black, Military Green, and Coyote Brown.

The folding stock shown on this example is an option. And the M10 is far from the only BDT sniper rifle; there are four separate sniper product lines, ranging from a light law enforcement Tikka T3 in .223 up to this Goliath in .338 LM.

That’s one of the things we learned stooging around Beretta Defense Technologies’ new website  today. BDT represents several other Beretta-owned brands including Benelli, Sako (as above), and Steiner (Optics).

Of course, Beretta has a whole line of pistols, for which it’s probably best known in the USA, as well as several carbines.

Aside — We’ve never understood why so many are eager to badmouth the M9. It deserved its selection, given the competition at the time, and back in the 1980s when they selected it we were very pleased. (Some military units had already jumped the gun and been using them, bought with a forerunner of MFP-11 money). Yes, there was the debacle of the locking blocks, and that shook the gun’s reputation badly. But once they got over that, M9s were back to running really, really realiably).

It’s almost as if familiarity with the M9 has bred contempt. And in some people, it’s such great contempt that they don’t even consider more modern weapons, like the PX4 or the new striker-fired APX.

End of Aside.

It is a mystery to us, as well, why Beretta’s rifle- and pistol-caliber carbines haven’t gained more sales.

Finally, the BDT website is a gateway into Beretta’s armorer courses, conducted at Beretta HQ in the People’s Republic of Maryland, or at various agency sites nationwide.

Bubba the Pistolsmith

Can you put a HK p2000 slide on an HK45?

Uh, no.

Wait, what if the HK45 is an airsoft toy?

No. Double no.

Bubba's HK

Posted on Imgur and on Reddit:

p2000 9mm slide stuck on airsoft hk45 receiver, wont come off, what do i do>???

He asked for help, but didn’t wait for it. Instead, he forged on furiously. As you might expect, his solution to boneheadedness was MOAR BONEHEAD.

Bubba's HK after

UPDATE: I FIXED IT, well more like ripped the lower receiver apart. Everythings fine on the p2k except the o ring, got a little stab wound from the knife, but the hk45 gbb is destroyed, Lesson WELL LEARNED :DD

via NEED HELP – Imgur.

Then, another aspect of the Supreme Godhead of Bozosity that is the immortal Bubba attempted a similar kitbash, of two Glocks. At least they were both real Glocks and neither was a toy. But they were almost equally incompatible, and once again, the Frankengun got stuck.

G34 meets G26

The two donors are a Glock 26 (frame and slide) and Glock 34 (barrel). There’s a reason Glock sells you a whole replacement gun, not just a barrel and slide, when you want to make large changes in barrel length.

This particular Bubba got his Frankengun apart without having to destroy it. So there is that.