Monthly Archives: March 2017

So, How Many CZ Clones Are There?

Short answer — beats us with a stick. And we’ve been studying this for a while. Here is a very preliminary, rough and incomplete hack at the problem in mindmap form. As you can see, there are several ways to look at it: are the guns copies, clones, or inspired? The taxonomy is complex. Even breaking it down by nationality is difficult, as company names come and go.

It all begins with the simple CZ-75…

This looks old, but it’s a limited production CZ-75B Retro. A model that’s not on the mindmap yet, but already discontinued in the CZ-UB catalog.

…but CZ-UB alone has produced a bewildering array of versions and variations. Only some of them are listed on this mindmap, along with only some of the known clones. There are two breakdowns here, both grossly incomplete. The first is by the pistol’s legality (although as I understand it, some “licenses” are disputed). The categories are CZ products, Licensed products, unlicensed “Clones,” and unlicensed and different firearms “inspired” by the CZ-75.

As a rule of thumb, the interchangeability of parts runs in about that order: from full interchangeability to none at all.

Clones existed almost as soon as the CZ became popular, because American trade laws made COMECON (the economic equivalent of the Warsaw Pact) products hard and expensive to import. The Italian Tanfoglio TZ-75 was probably the first common CZ-like pistol most American shooters got to handle; it started as a copy of the CZ with only cosmetic changes (and full interchangeability) but has evolved over the decades into a full line, often offering versions that CZ hadn’t built yet (if they ever built them). Tanfoglio was first with out-of-the-box race guns and with compact carry CZ clones. They went through several US importers; Jim Thompson tells the early clone history in this 1997 Gun Digest article. Tanfoglio also exported parts in white and provided the basis of many a new company’s or nation’s CZ clone line startup.

 

Another way to look at the many CZ clones is by nation of production. (That’s what the blue section of the chart tries to do; it should probably be broken into a separate chart). Even here it gets cloudy, as many of the smaller clone producers are actually using partly completed receivers and other parts from CZ (rarely) or Fratelli Tanfoglio (more often).

A nation can have two competing cloners, one cloning CZs and one the divergent Tanfoglios — Turkey is an example of this. (And yes, it’s not up to date on the chart.)

This came to mind recently with a new CZ clone entering the walled garden of the Russian market. EricB at The FireArm Blog has a good introduction to this CZ clone, which is meant to keep Russians shooting in competition in the face of international sanctions that has starved them of CZs and parts and service. The sanctions-busting pistol, called the SoRatnik, resembles the CZ SP-01 but is wholly made in Russia. The prototype is a nice-looking pistol:

And it’s supposed to be part-by-part compatible with the current CZs. A dissassembled view would seem to confirm that.

North Korea and China also clone the CZ, as well as Israel, Italy, South Africa, Turkey, and others. Even England produced two clones prior to the 1996 UK handgun ban.

We’ll keep adding to the chart, but we have a sinking feeling that new manufacturers will ce coming on line, faster than we can keep track of them!

They Brought Brass Knuckles, Knife to a Gun Fight

“Who needs it?” Wrong question. Right question? “How many?”

Midday. Your dad’s house. You and Dad are home.

A tremendous crash comes from the glass back door of your home, and you arm yourself. The AR should back them down, but when you meet, there are three of them, in black hoodies and masks, and they threaten you. They’re only armed with tools brass knucks, and knives, but your life just became a real-life Tueller Drill in your own damn kitchen.

That appears to be what actually happened. Four youthful career criminals from Owasso, OK, went to a neighborhood in Broken Arrow, OK, in which they’d been finding easy pickings. They had burglar tools and contact weapons. The 21-year-old woman who drove the getaway car, Elizabeth Rodriguez, supposedly organized the whole thing — she knew the young man in the house, and knew what property he and his father had for stealing. Like guns.

She waited in the getaway car with her three young children while her three pals went a-viking.

The three bold youths, Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn and Jake Woodruff, were ready for resistance — they would beat it down, or stab it. They didn’t know anyone was home, or, more likely, they didn’t care.

Now, they’re beyond caring. The three young criminals are at ambient temperature — two were DRT in the kitchen, and one made it to the driveway before collapsing. The last thing he saw in his worthless thieving life was probably his getaway driver (and the three kids comprising her next generation of idiots) running away on him. Not that it did her any good. As you’ll read below, she’s in the bag and will answer for her fellow criminals’ deaths in their mutual felony enterprise.

Of course, there’s another way of looking at it. A well-off young woman in the Blogbrother’s Facebook timeline sent this:

Three CHILDREN who made a bad decision were murdered, local people rejoice. Comments on the Facebook post for this story are seriously disturbing. This state is legit Fucked up.

Blogbro’s unsympathetic comment (to us, not to his FB friend):

She’s talking about the cooling slabs of meat who pulled that home invasion in Tulsa.

Those poor children.

I think I’d piss her off if I used the expression “evolution in action.”

We’ll say this: going out on a day rain is forecast without a jacket, is a “bad decision.” Picking up a Steven Seagal film from the $5 bin is a bad decision. Conducting a violent home invasion is not remotely a bad decision: it’s an invitation to be culled. An attempted suicide. Voting yourself off the island.

Only two things happen with a home invasion: you get stopped — shot or arrested — or you get away with it — stealing somebody’s stuff, maybe hurting ’em.

One of the children was 18 or 19, so he wasn’t a “children.” Likewise, the getaway driver was a fat, stupid-looking woman of 21, Elizabeth Rodriguez. She’s not very grown-up, but she’s nominally an adult anywhere in the world. As for the rest of them, old enough to attempt the crime is old enough to pay the piper.

Rodriguez fled the scene but later showed up at the police station to demand the cops arrest the murderer of her friends.

It doesn’t work that way. She’s charged with three counts of felony murder. As well as a bunch of stuff related to the burglary.

As of this writing, neither the homeowner nor his 23-year-old son who took out the trash has been charged.

Court documents indicate the homeowner who fired the shots is Zachary Peters, 23, and that Rodriguez knew him by name. The documents note Rodriguez planned the burglary, took the three boys to the house, and was waiting in the driveway until she heard shots and left.

Wagoner County deputies said she turned herself in to give officers the names of the dead so their parents could be notified.

These four slugs were just going to keep on doing this until someone put ’em down. They were armed home invaders.

Had Peters not been home, they could well have been armed with his rifle and any other guns in the house, next time. They didn’t respect anyone else’s life, and there’s no reason anyone else should respect theirs. Blogbro was right: think of it as evolution in action. (Just a bit late in the case of Elizabeth Rodriguez, unfortunately).

Some people say — no doubt the Blogbro’s fine young friend would say — nobody needs an AR-15, nobody needs a standard-capacity magazine, why would you ever need such a thing.

We dunno. How about — three young, violent home invaders?

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Escalators

This is actually better than our last few escalator mishaps: nobody’s dead yet. If you recall, we had a Shanghai citizen get sliced and diced mortally after being sucked into the mechanism of one, an Escalator of Doom at the British store Debenhams that killed one and wounded one (the article has a helpful roundup of gruesome escalator deaths), and a woman in New Jersey toppling off of one after a night of imbibery.

Now, we’re back to China again, specifically Hong Kong, where the hong escalator suddenly started going kong, reversing itself and dumping people all over the place. One shopper is seriously hurt, and a couple of mechanics are sampling the amenities of Hong Kong’s fabled jails after allegedly having tried to cover up their part in the screwup.

Two mechanics have been arrested for possibly tampering with evidence after a mall escalator abruptly reversed direction, launching confused shoppers to the ground below.

The 150-foot-long escalator at Hong Kong’s Langham Place had been carrying passengers upwards when the sudden change in direction occurred, CNN reports.

Among the 18 injuries, one man received a head injury and is in serious condition.

Video taken by security cameras as well as fellow shoppers captured the instant horror that occurred at the bottom of the shifting steel staircase Saturday afternoon as those caught on the escalator screamed and braced themselves.

Some more helpful members of the crowd below rushed over to try and catch people as they rocketed off the escalator.

Authorities say the mechanics have been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly tampering with the machine after the accident.

via 18 injured as 150-foot-long Hong Kong mall escalator reverses – NY Daily News.

What should you do if this happens to you? Be ready to get dumped in a pile of people. Keep your feet and knees together, knees slightly bent, and ready to execute a dynamite PLF. Stay clear of the mechanism at the end, and when you’re back on your feet, take immediate action to help your fellows, most of whom will not have reacted in time to avoid a nasty spill.

If the escalator keeps spewing people, keep pulling them away so that others don’t land on them or trip over them — and stay out of the line of fire yourself.

The TSA Excels Again.. at Power Tripping

This is an old report, but the title is always true.

We all know the basic readout on the TSA: No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at the TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

And we haven’t had much to say about them since they walked a bunch of imams affiliated with the Moslem Brotherhood and other pro-terrorist groups through their procedures back in August.

You know what that means, right? It’s time to clear the TSA spindle.

Item: Texas Group Grope

Here’s a story from DFW, where mom of a special-needs kid, Jennifer Wilson, posted, as reported in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

We have been through hell this morning. They detained Aaron for well over an hour at DFW. (And deliberately kept us from our flight… we are now on an alternate) We were treated like dogs because I requested they attempt to screen him in other ways per TSA rules. He has SPD and I didn’t want my child given a pat down like this. Let me make something else crystal clear. He set off NO alarms….

I wish I had taped the entire interchange because it was horrifying. Somehow these power tripping TSA agents who are traumatizing children and doing whatever they feel like without any cause, need to be reined in.

Good luck with that. They’re untouchable, and you must not Question Their Authoritah.

Mrs Wilson said she was held for “over and hour” so the TSA group could grope her kid. The TSA’s six-figure PR officials, as competent as the rest of the agency, countered with “35 minutes.” The spokesman later admitted that was a lie, but now wants the public to believe “45 minutes.”

In case you ever wondered what happened to Joe Isuzu, the answer seems evident.

Item, 2016: Gross Mismanagement

In front of Congress last year, TSA workers complained about “gross mismanagement.” And they said that “more turnover is needed.” Since then, the TSA has turned over whistleblowers, not the mismanagers.

Item 2016: Over $70 Billion had been wasted on the TSA by this time last year, including $1B on the failed “Behavioral Detection Officer” program. This doesn’t cost the economic cost of the time Americans waste waiting on TSA, estimated in the same article as an additional $8 Billion. More people have actually died driving to avoid the TSA gropers than died on 9/11, given the greater per-mile death hazard of driving over flying.

Item Aug 16: TSA Cracks Down on Batarangs

Only the payroll patriots of the TSA can fight the fans of the masked man who fights crime. Or something.

The TSA has priorities, and one of them is making sure that the attendees of comic conventions don’t get their novelties home. TSA’s six-figure overpaid PR flacks:

Passengers are not allowed to bring anything on a plane that resembles a weapon, so anything like a boomerang or anything like that would not be permitted in the airplane cabin.

And

Every year during Comic-Con International, our officers have issues with the various items that people purchase and then either carry-on or place in their checked bags. These come in the form of figurines, costume items (including replica and real weapons) and other mementos that generally alarm our checkpoint and checked baggage screening systems and result in a bag check.

In other words, “We’re too stupid to tell toys from weapons.”

But maybe they’re on to something. Right around the same time, some nutball threw one at a police cruiser. Of course, that was in ever-weird Seattle. The cruiser, as you might expect for a steel thing that had a toy thrown at it, was unharmed.

Lord love a duck.

Item, Feb 2017: “Wave of Security Lapses”

A series of reports on leaked security documents from Stewart International (a reliever airport northwest of New York City) demonstrate both TSA overreach (on an airport that sees only occasional flights) and that TSA’s overreach vastly exceeds its grasp. One of the things it dropped the ball on was checking pax against the no-fly list.

Item, Feb 2017: TSA’s Legacy of Failure

As TSA waits for a new political-appointee director, a news story recounts the agency’s immediate history: nothing but a litany of failures and misconduct, just that month:

  • On Monday, 11 people walked through a security lane at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport without being screened;
  • Last week, TSA employees were indicted for smuggling cocaine from Puerto Rico
  • Earlier this month, a House Homeland Security Committee report indicated the TSA failed to properly vet and screen potential employees, uncovering examples of “insider threats” within U.S. airports.

If you really want to see the entitled incompetence of TSA employees, read the comments to that story where one of them speaks up to prove that no one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at the TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

Shorts (clearing a large spindle)

Conclusion: is it time to disband this thing yet?

A Translucent, .22 Glock?

That’s sure what this looks like:

Where did it come from?

There’s a clue in the pictures, and it’s clearer if you look at this shot of the bare frame…

…bare frames….

…rendering…

…and print in progress.

Yeah, it’s a 3D printed Glock. Cue the media meltdown now.

Yes, it does shoot:

*Update* Test firing the 3D printed Glock frame

Of the test fire, Matt, the maker, wrote:

First test of the frame. Fired prob 10 rounds through it. No issues found with it as of yet. …I was on a schedule and had to leave pretty quick so I ran my tests real quick to see how it looked then took off.

The frame does depend on metal rail inserts, and the designer has promised to release the .stl files… after a frame rail redesign.

Responding to skepticism about the part strength, he wrote:

It would take a long time for the actual frame to brake. Nylon is incredibly strong and specifically this nylon I am using is very close, property-wise, to the nylon Glock uses in their frames and they don’t tend to break very often even after hundreds of thousands of rounds. The first thing to go on my frame would be the rear metal rails since they are held in by a strong glue but have shallow slots since there is not a lot of room back there. I am redesigning the print a bit to allow me to actually put solid, connected rails into it mid print to help alleviate the need for glue since it will always be the first failure point. I am also modifying the design to add rear nylon rails along with the metal ones because the combo of nylon and metal on the front is proving to be very resilient and precise vs the only metal rails in the rear.

The material he’s using is Taulman Nylon 910.

…the easiest nylon I have ever worked with. I made the dehydrator they actually have on their site and that thing is amazingly good and cheap… then I just ran the nylon on the recommended settings and it was already pretty good then I just tweaked it a bit with calibration to get my printer zeroed in and that frame was printed with no issues at all, other than some minor warp when it cooled. And as a minimum 10 hour print it had a good amount of time to mess up.

He explains that the Nylon solves the single greatest bugbear of highly-stressed 3DP Fused Filament Fabrication parts, layer stratification and delamination:

Normally, yes, 3D printed would have a weakness in the layer adhesion. Nylon specifically though has incredibly good layer adhesion when printed properly. The times I have managed to break nylon parts they have never delaminated and always broke across laminations randomly. It is pretty much the way even an injection molded nylon part would break.

He’s not done:

The next iteration of the frame will be even better and will have an even longer potential life with no need for repair. I have identified a couple places that end up being a pain when its printed but don’t matter as much when injection molded, so I am working around them to make it specifically a solid 3D printable frame. I also have a few ideas for alternate frames based on the pistols in mass effect.

For more information:

 

Walking in PO Ackley’s Footsteps

In a post we wrote a couple of years ago but that never appeared on this blog (because it was never finished), we wrote about legendary 20th Century riflesmith and cartridge wildcatter Parker Otto Ackley, known to all as P.O. Ackley.

PO Ackley made an entire career of making what he called “improved” cartridges. Each of the Ackley improved cartridges was based on some mainstream cartridge but with an increased powder capacity and a sharper shoulder, which implies less taper in the body of the cartridge itself.

We described Ackley similarly in another post that did get published, in 2012. That of course understates Ackley’s career, because apart from all his cartridge wizardry, Ackley was a gunsmith, barrel maker, and a writer with a prodigious capacity for work.

in a new book by Fred Zeglin, this career is explored and evaluated, and Zeglin actually emulates some of Ackley’s famous experiments, including these on Bolt Thrust that are excerpted at GunDigest.com.

Since the post-WWII years, if not before, there has been an ongoing argument concerning whether breech thrust (bolt thrust) is reduced by the improved case design. P.O. Ackley has certainly influenced the argument. The definition of an improved case is pretty simple. The case body is blown out to minimum body taper, which is described by Ackley as 0.0075 per inch taper. Shoulder angles between 28 and 45 degrees are normally considered to be improved, although it could be argued that any shoulder sharper than the original parent case is improved. Finally, an improved design allows the firing of a factory cartridge in order to fireform the brass for the new design.

…a method of recording breech trust was necessary in order to go beyond the somewhat subjective experiments that P.O. Ackley wrote about in Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders Vol. I. There Ackley used a Model 94 Winchester because, as he stated, “We often hear that the Winchester Model 1894 action was designed for low pressures and is an action which could be described as ‘weak.’” The purpose of his experiment with the ‘94 was to prove that the improved case design minimized bolt thrust; that the brass will support and contain some pressure; that oily chambers increase bolt thrust; and finally, the notion that actions are designed for specific pressure ranges is a fallacy.

Zeglin conducted a high-tech version of Ackley’s tests, using a test fixture he developed, “a .30 caliber barrel with a universal breech plug to allow for adjustable headspace, and to accommodate the strain gauge utilized by the Pressure Trace.” He developed loads beyond the SAAMI pressure limit for the .30-30 Improved, and discovered that even with excess headspace, the Improved case stayed in place, extruding the primer instead of shearing its head off. Conclusions:

[W]as Ackley right about his findings?
Yes, but he may have missed a point or two.

Since .30-30 brass is thick and pressures are low relative to brass strength and case capacity, with most appropriate powders pressure is not a big problem. To be fair, we did find some powders that will develop pressure far beyond SAAMI levels for the .30-30 AI case. Because the brass is so thick, it actually cannot stretch and cause head separations due to excess headspace. In that respect the .30-30 is not a good choice for Ackley to prove that improved designs handle pressure better.

However, Ackley used the .30-30 because the ‘94 Winchester action had been labeled weak. In this respect, Ackley did prove that the ‘94 can handle anything the .30-30 or .30-30 AI can dish out, without any question.

Bear in mind that the action of the Winchester ’94 was labeled weak by Winchester, who wanted to upsell customers to stronger rifles, like the ’95, which could handle the big-game and service cartridges of the early 20th Century with no problems.

There’s quite bit more to it, so Read The Whole Thing™. In other things in the book there is something that made us order it: Ackley’s own, previously unpublished, description of his own home-made cut rifling machine. (See the Table of Contents left).

Like any highly specialized book, it’s expensive, and has potential to go out of print at some time in the future. That’s just life in specialty book markets.

How expensive? The list price for hardcover or eBook is $60, although at this writing Gun Digest is sweetening the deal with $10 off the hardcover edition, and free shipping. (Pity they don’t offer a deal on both. We prefer hardcover books, but you can take a Kindle or iPad into the shop without worrying about getting cutting fluid on an irreplaceable heirloom). For what it’s worth, we just ordered the hardcover.

While this book rates the full price (to us at least), Gun Digest publishing does find itself overstocked from time to time, and if you’re into gun books and willing to let price be your guide, they have Under $30 and Under $15 pages, too. Free shipping if you can run the tab to $50 — we bet you can. (Dunno what the shipping is to those of you dwelling in foreign lands).

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Sharp Turns

Three years ago, a sharp turn — and, perhaps, the usual Korean slapdash engineering and systems operation — caused an intercity ferry to roll. All ships roll in turns, but Sewol kept rolling, and sort-of-stabilized with a profound list… that guaranteed flooding, more list, and the vessel turning semi-turtle and slipping beneath the waves.

The crew did not cover themselves with glory, or even live up to the ancient honor code of the seaman. They saved themselves, or froze, disbelieving, in place. They ordered the passengers to return to their cabins and await rescue.

Rescue wasn’t coming.

The Republic of Korea did not have sufficient SAR resources for the conditions — naturally, it was dark, and the weather foul — or the sheer number of passengers. Few nations’ coast guards or lifesaving services would; they’re great at lifting a family of four from a dismasted yacht, or plucking the 8-man crew of a modern merchant ship from the sea, but hundreds of people would overwhelm anybody, and the ROKs’ lifesaving resources were overwhelmed.

Over 300 souls, most of them passengers, most of them children on a school trip, were extinguished.

This week, the ship was raised… to renew a disappointingly incomplete investigation (which so far has settled blame on the captain, who most certainly did not go down with his ship, and who has been threatened with the death penalty), and in hopes of recovering the remains of nine who are still missing.

The ferry, Sewol, was structurally unsound, overloaded and travelling too fast on a turn when it capsized and sank during a routine voyage off the southwest coast on April 16, 2014.

Bereaved families have been calling for the ship to be raised and for a more thorough investigation into the disaster. Officials also hope to find the last nine missing bodies.

Salvagers started to bring up the vessel, which has been lying on its side at a depth of 144 feet, late on Wednesday, and worked through the night.

Television pictures taken from the air early on Thursday showed the white 460-feet long hull, coated in mud and sediment, breaking above the surface, flanked by winching barges.

“The work needs to be done very cautiously,” Lee Cheol-jo, an official at the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries, which is in charge of the operation, told a briefing.

It’s a hell of a thing, both that this is necessary, and that it is possible. A Clive Cussler tale come to life, but with no lost treasure or happy ending. And consider this:

A Chinese salvage company has fitted 33 beams beneath the hull with 66 hydraulic jacks inching the ship up.

via Sewol ferry raised in South Korea after THREE years | World | News | Express.co.uk.

There was a time that your go-to guys for marine salvage would have been British or Dutch. Then, there was a time where the know-how rested unquestionably in American firms.

Now, if you want to raise a ship from the depths and solve a mystery, you look to China. (We can barely build warships, any more, and no US merchant ship is ever built except for some government boondoggle). The raising of Sewol is a true extreme-engineering case, and her Chinese salvors are to be congratulated. (Not that they’re done yet, but they’re on track for mission completion).

There’s a lot to be learned from this accident, but we wonder if the highly politicized environment in the Republic of Korea is conducive to such learning. In our experience, only disinterested and professional investigators have any real hope of getting to the bottom (no pun intended) of such a complex accident. Adversarial proceedings and public hearings are almost certain to be useless, at least in terms of understanding what happened, and preventing next time.

Thereby guaranteeing a next time.

Plus de Napoleon — Invasion of Russia

The last historical film we presented on Napoleon chronicled his rise, which was built largely on good fortune and pure nerve. Those continued to serve him in good stead, amplifying his self-regard, up until his rather irrational decision to solve Russian backsliding on alliance with him… by invading Russia, in 1812. (With Bonaparte so preoccupied in the East, Britain was able to take a decent shot at turning a war they stumbled into, into a near-run reconquest of America … but that’s another story). This French film (professionally dubbed into rosbif) is a more traditional documentary, with acted scenes separated by low-budget CGI and talking-head historians (both French and Russian ones, who have a somewhat different view). The first half of the video culminates in Napoleon’s pyrrhic victory at Borodino before Moscow. A much weakened Grande Armée then takes up lodgings in an empty Moscow… that is promptly set afire by clandestine incendiaries, sent out by Alexander I. At this point, Napoleon’s plan, to defeat the Russians and impress them into alliance, is absolutely impossible. He persists.

Here’s the second part, in case the first one doesn’t lead in automagically.

It does underestimate the now-proven effect that disease, especially typhus, had on the Grande Armee. Instead, they attribute the devastation of the army to stress and starvation.

Napoleon made several errors here:

  1. He underestimated his opponent;
  2. He underestimated the effect that disease, especially typhus, would have on the Grande Armee; 
  3. He conducted a total war with limited-war aims;
  4. He believed that a single decisive victory would end the war on his terms.
  5. When he took the enemy’s capital, he considered himself the victor, and the campaign over. To his chagrin, the Russians didn’t see it that way.
  6. When it was clear his plan had no hope, he clung grimly to it.
  7. When he finally made the call to retreat from Moscow, he made it far too late for a horse-drawn army — 19 October 1812.

Every one of those errors comes, in our opinion, from his charmed life that began when he made gambles against tall odds, and seemed charmed to win, regardless of those odds. Improbability obeys mathematical laws and cannot continue forever, even if Napoleon hadn’t been stacking the wagers on his gambles ever higher.

The biggest casualty of the ill-considered Russian Campaign may have been Napoleon’s aura of invincibility.

Tons of Details on German WWII MG Tripods: “Lafettes”

We can’t discuss machine guns on this site without someone — usually Kirk — reminding us that the GI M122 tripod is rudimentary junk, and the class of the tripod world was the German Lafette 42. We’d like to steer those interested in these ‘pods to the incredible Lafette 34/42 web page of “Bergflak (“Mountain AA”) who is posting his work in progress on these amazing feats of German engineering.

How complicated was it? These are the parts of the lower half of the MG.34 Lafette. (The lower half of the MG.42 version was fundamentally identical).

Not complicated enough for you? Here’s 100-odd more parts from the Oberlafette, or upper half.

But wait, there’s more! 70-something parts that comprise the T&E mechanism.

Here’s a brief blurb from Bergflak:

The MG Lafette was a pretty complicated piece of machinery for its time. Some would say “typical German over-engineering”. It contains several systems that all work together. The difference between the Lafette 34 and the Lafette 42 is mainly the cradle. The weapon mounts and the trigger mechanism are simpler on the MG42 cradle. In addition it has a different bolt box. Everything else seems to be identical.  This page will only describe the Lafette 34. The change from the Lafette 34 to the Lafette 42 will be fully dealt with on the Wartime development page. On this page I will briefly explain the function of each of the components that make up the Lafette. For an even better and deeper understanding of the components you must visit my page Extreme details or the pages about Evolution of the Lafette (when they are finished).

via MG34 Lafette construction and details.

These pages explain which each part does, and pages on the evolution of the MG-34 and MG-42 Lafettes actually are complete now. Unfortunately, the page explaining the usage and employment of these tripods is not yet complete.

The whole site is worth reading already, and it stands to reason that as more information is acquired and analyzed, the site will just keep getting better and more useful.

Sunday Storytelling

There’s a million stories in the naked city, or something like that. There’s only a few stories a day at WeaponsMan.com, and a lot of them are pretty dry if you’re not a gun person. Here’s a few updated on stories that have been told before:

  • Tom Kratman has reappeared in the comments after a long absence. We believe that’s an indicator that he may have just dropped a manuscript on his editor and is in the calm before publication, but perhaps he has other reasons. Meanwhile, Tom and Amazon are offering you the Crack Dealer Special: your first hit of the Carrera SeriesA Desert Called Peace, for free (on Kindle). The series was great entertainment even paid for. Some people have charged that Carerra is a Mary Sue: he’s just like Kratman only more so: more handsome, more accomplished, more lucky, and more sociopathic. All we will say to that is that Tom would not center a series on a character who was unbalanced for no reason.
  • We mentioned before that even though most “hate crimes” are hoaxes, and most “nazi threats” are as dead as Adolf his crazy old self, there are real neo-nazi murders; even if they’re very sparse compared to the TV version, they actually do occur in non-zero quantities worldwide. And even though TV has 1000 white racists killing black people to 0 black racists killing white people, in the real world the situation isn’t entirely reversed: while whites killed out of black racism and resentment are an everyday affair, there is a non-zero set of real white racists who kill black people. A pox on all of them. (Worse yet, this asshat was a veteran. May his poxes contract poxes).

While the happy news readers on TV are often lying (the tell is: their lips move), the mystery of man’s bestiality to man, and the sheer complexity of the human race, makes life imitate their art, occasionally.

In cheerier news, the Official Blog Niece has distinguished herself in dance competition yet again, and the weather is warm enough for Small Dog Mk.II to enjoy some outdoor time, which is his favorite. (That’s the thing with dogs: everything is their favorite).

And we’re looking forward to a great week in the Extended New England Winter.