This is a considerably smaller auction than those that are conducted by Rock Island Auctions and James D. Julia, but there are some absolutely fantastic and rare firearms being auctioned here this month.
Auction Nº113 is a 2-day live auction sale, offering over 1700 lots beginning at 0900 on 25 and 26 March 17 (which are a Saturday and Sunday, for those of you who are not autistic and don’t know that already). On Day 1, Saturday 25 March, Lots Nº 1 through 821 go under the hammer; on Day 2, Sunday the 26th, lots Nº 1000 through 1909. (There aren’t 909 lots, because there are some gaps).
Yes, we’ll be bidding (probably absentee). There’s stuff here we really want. Of particular interest to collectors (and to us as an ongoing gun blogging enterprise) are some of the fine 1911s and Lugers. A good example of either pistol is a point of pride in many a small collection; in childhood, the most impressive gun in the family was certainly an uncle’s Luger.
Many fine auto pistols in the collection came from the Walt Rauch collection; we didn’t know Mr Rauch, but after looking through this auction catalog, we’re very impressed with his taste and pursuit of quality. Most of his guns are in can’t-be-improved-on-or-upgraded condition. In addition, they have many firearms and books from the collection of noted gun writer Craig Brown.
At first it was the 1911s that first caught our eye. Many people are familiar with the Argentine Sistema 1927 Colt. This was a very slightly modified 1911 that was built in Argentina on a line set up under Colt license and with Colt cooperation. But most Americas have only seen the beat-up end-of-life police guns imported a decade or so ago by Century. Lot # 8 in the auction — one of the first to go Saturday morning — is a near new in box, non-import-marked Sistema 27 that is easily the best one on the market at present.
This one was made in 1953, and comes with its original box and two spare mags, still in the wrappers.
Amoskeag estimates that Lot Nº 8 will go for $1500-2000. While auction houses often estimate low deliberately to encourage bidding (and so that they can brag about beating estimates, and thrill their consignors with surprise upsides), we’ll go out on a limb and say it’s going north of $3k, maybe even 4.
Want a beater? Saw one in a shop yesterday for $650, and had a sense they were ready to negotiate. Remember, in Collector World the three words are condition, condition, condition. Rarity is also a factor, but a preference for high condition produces a rarity all its own. You are unlikely to see another Sistema 27 like this for years.
Those of us not bidding can be thrilled just to look.
Our personal favorite 1911 is not the Argentine, although that’s ver’ nice (said with an Italianate Spanish accent like a native Argentine would). Nope, our favorite is the Norwegian 1914, basically a ringer for the Colt 1911 apart from a glove-friendly slide release, a nod to an Arctic nation that has eight months of skiing around Harstad and Narvik, and 12 months further north. Amoskeag has a near-new 1914 a couple lots later, Nº 10. This pistol was assembled and finished postwar, in 1945, after the Norwegian Resistance took the surrender of the massive German army in the nation. (How massive? The Heimevernet, the Home Guard, would be armed and equipped with German stuff for forty years after the war, and a Guardsman took his Kar 98.k home with him after his draft service).
In any event, this one seems to have gone right onto a shelf (perhaps in the Harstad tunnels) and stayed there until the Norwegian Army surplused it as excess crown property.
Lugers? There are 91 of them, all German, Dutch (Vickers made) or Swiss, except for one oddball, a stainless steel Stoeger made in the 1980s from castings. There are 37 P.38s, mostly wartime guns, with Lot Nº 1701 being one oddball custom job, shortened almost to Man From U.N.C.L.E. proportions, and featuring rich re-bluing and gold-plated small parts. Just the thing for that hard-to-please Wehraboo pimp on your Christmas list!
Plenty of long guns, too. Winchesters, Mausers, exquisite sporting shotguns, they have it. There are several Prussian needle fire guns including a rare M1857 carbine (it’s one of the first lots up).
But wait… there’s more. The lots mentioned above are all from the live action auction catalog. There’s also a silent auction, with thousands more firearms. Most of these are modern or lower-condition firearms, that will not sell for nosebleed prices, but will thrill their new owners. Some are oddities. One such was entertaining:
2241. A.H. FOX STERLINGWORTH BOXLOCK DOUBLE SHOTGUN serial #52744, 12 ga, 28” solid rib barrel choked modi ed and improved modi ed with a very good bore on the left barrel and the right barrel has had a catastrophic failure and is blown out along with much of its length. …. This is an excellent display gun for the walls at camp or as a Hunter Safety teaching aid.
Not all the silent auction lots are illustrated, so if you can’t make it to Amoskeag’s Manchester, NH offices for a showing (like all the terms and conditions, explained in the auction catalogs) then you’ve got to put faith in their descriptions. But the Silent auction is not aimed at advanced collectors; many of the bidders will be retail dealers looking to stock their shelves with the guns customers want; others will be individuals who want the guns themselves. A few may be fools who overbid, even! You can’t get too invested in an auction item until the auction is over and your list of winning bids is in hand. (If you don’t know who overbid at that point… it’s you).
The silent auction, along with its great quantity of modern and sporting firearms, also has a few lots of gun parts, a lot of .22 1911 conversion kits (including a rare Norwegian one, in which you load .22 rounds into faux .45 casings), and — be still, beating heart — lots of books. Here’s a different non-gun item that caught our eye.
3674. VERY RARE GERMAN SNIPERS TRENCH PLATE This lot consists of a German military steel sniper’s trench plate. This breastplate shaped heavy steel plate measures 18” tall and is about 13 1/2” wide. The plate features two folding legs which extend to support it in standing position and it has a 4” x 2 1/2” window with pivoting cover. The plate is a solid 3/8” steel which has a small crack at the top center that is about 2” in length and has light oxidation throughout. Much of the original green paint remains and included is a tan canvas carry strap. Designed to protect a sniper in the prone shooting position it offers protection from counter attack and stray re.[sic] A unique piece of German military history. (47884-63) [Craig Brown Collection]
Body armor, OG style.
While the gun auctions are all for individual firearms, the accessory, parts and book auctions often are for lots, but the lots often have some internal coherence to them.
Finally, Amoskeag has been doing this for a while (and its principal, Jason Devine, has been doing it for longer) and they’re, naturally, very savvy about firearms (they are a firearms and related materials auctioneer only) and about auctions. Accordingly, reading their site can be very educational for a bidder. For example, this page demystifies absentee bidding and explains what bidding strategies are effective and which are not, in plain English.
Do you have a problem with firearms? Or are you a full-on gunaholic? Before you start looking for a Dropkick Murphy’s Drying-Out Academy for gun addiction, you should consider the signs and symptoms of this increasingly common addiction. Adapted from this site’s list of issues with an older but equally common addiction.
It’s hard to be objective when it comes to figuring out whether you or your loved one has a problem with gun collecting. Emotions run high, rationalizations and denials lead to confusion and it can seem hard to draw the line between what’s acceptable and what’s going too far. Although the boundaries are fuzzy, issues with guns are either classed as “gun problem” or “gun dependence.” Problem gun collectors don’t have a full-fledged addiction to guns, but their acquisition may be starting to take its toll on their everyday lives and they are at greatly increased risk for becoming dependent later. So while some of the warning signs of gun dependency are technically signs of problem gun acquisition, there is a lot of overlap, and identifying either one is cause for concern. Here are 10 of the most important things to look out for in yourself or your loved one:
- Lying About or Hiding Your Gun Collecting – Denial is common with people having problems with gun collecting, so both problem gun collectors and addicts might buy secretively or lie about how much they buy to make it seem like less of an issue. This can be hard to spot for anybody but the individual, due to its very nature, but it’s an important sign of a more serious problem.
- Collecting to Relax or Feel Better – Almost all people struggling with addiction abuse their substance of choice for emotional reasons. Whether it’s stress, depression, anxiety or anything else, using GunBroker as a method of easing negative feelings is a risky habit—the “relief” it provides is only temporary and it ordinarily makes things worse in the long run. If you bid more when you’ve had a stressful day or need to refresh your Watch List to feel like you can really relax, it’s a big sign that you’re using gun collecting as an emotional crutch.
- “Blacking Out” Regularly – Buying so much that you have no memory of what you have bought is another red flag for a problem with collecting. So is buying something because you forgot you already own one, or talking yourself into “upgrading” a piece when you know you’ll never part with the original. Simply put, it means you buy way too much. If you find this happening to you (or notice it happening to someone else), you have to ask what is driving you to collect so excessively? You don’t need to black out to have fun, so what’s the real reason?
- Being Unable to Stop Once You Start – If you always pursue every roll-marking variation once you’ve bought one piece, or hunt down every exotic sub-version when even another specialist’s eyes glaze over when you try to explain the hair-splitting difference, it’s another sign you aren’t in full control of your collecting and you may have a problem.
- Collecting in Dangerous Situations – Buying when you really shouldn’t—like browsing GunBroker at work, rerouting your convoy to go to the village where the elder’s uncle is a gunsmith in Darra Adam Khel, or buying against your wife’s orders when she’s one more little .25 from taking the kids and going back to her mother with half your stuff—is an important sign of problem collecting. Even if something hasn’t gone wrong yet, every time you do something like this you run the risk of serious consequences. Regularly taking those risks strongly implies that gun buying is the main priority in your life.
- Neglecting Your Responsibilities – If you’re having problems at work, school or with your household responsibilities because of your gun buying, you have a problem. Guns have crossed the line from an occasional indulgence to something that seriously impacts your day-to-day functioning.
- Having Trouble in Your Relationships – This is closely related to the last point, but it’s in many ways more important. If your collecting is causing problems with your closest friends, your significant other or your family, it’s an indication that guns are a bigger priority than even the most important people in your life. These last two symptoms are general signs of any addiction, and might mean that your issues are going beyond the problem-collector stage.
- Being Able to Collect More Than You Used To – Tolerance is another key sign of addiction, so if you can collect more than you used to and need to buy more than you did before in order to get that happy feeling, it’s a strong indicator that you’re becoming an gunoholic. It means your body is exposed to firearms regularly enough that it has adapted to cope with it better.
- Experiencing Withdrawal – Withdrawal is different from a hangover; it’s the reaction to the lack of gun acquisition rather than a direct effect of too much buying. If you start to feel irritable, tired, depressed, nauseous or anxious when you haven’t bought a gun, there’s a possibility you’re going through withdrawal. Other signs include having trouble sleeping, losing your appetite and experiencing shakiness or trembling.
- Trying to Quit but Being Unable to – If you have realized your gun collecting is becoming a problem (or someone who cares about you has) and tried to make a change but have been unsuccessful, you should seriously consider finding additional help. Deciding to quit gun collecting shows that you understand the impacts it’s having on your life, but the fact that you’re unable to means there’s a big chance you’re struggling with gun addiction.
(If you do seek help and decide to divest yourself, we can help you. Just sayin’. Not that we have a problem or anything. -Ed.)
It’s important to note that experiencing just one of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a problem collector or an gunoholic, but if you’re experiencing a few of them (or you see numerous signs in a loved one), there is a very strong possibility your collecting has gone too far. The latter five symptoms in particular are signs of addiction rather than problem buying.
It might not be an easy road ahead, but one day you’ll see deciding to get help as the day your life started to change for the better.
And like we said, if one of the guns screwing up your life is rare and Czech, give us a ring, we’ll make sure it finds a good home. Heh, heh.
A most surprising sale at GunBroker in which hot bidding led to a relatively ordinary Colt AR-15 Sporter (Serial SP1 11001) selling for a mighty high four large.
There are reasons it might have gone that high. For one thing, as pictures showed, it was in very, very good condition, and if we know one thing about collectors, “Condition, condition, condition” is as much their mantra as “Location, etc.” is to realtors. This rifle shone as if new.
It also had a memorable serial number that tracked it to 1968.
SP1s of that period still retained most early-production AR-15 features, because as rolling changes replaced parts on the .mil side of production, any leftover parts of the old, obsolete variety were diverted to civilian SP1 production. Early parts include a front sight base that has been ground smooth front and rear, and a second-type three-prong flash suppressor. The three-prong was eliminated from new production of military firearms in 1966, but would remain in inventory until the A1s were replaced with A2s, twenty years and more later.
Another early feature is the “Edgewater” buffer, so called because it was packed with edgewater washers.
While the three-prongs are common as a loose part, the Edgewater buffer, scaled down from the one used in the original AR-10, sells for hundreds when one is available.
One of the few late M16A1 features was a Parkerized bolt carrier, cut for forward assist. The previous chrome finish was easier to clean but was thought to conceal the development of cracks; military officers also complained about the rifle’s shiny bolt in the field.
Here’s how the seller described the gun:
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL EARLY PRODUCTION EARLY 1968 COLT AR-15 RIFLE IN INCREDIBLE NEAR MINT CONDITION! IT IS 100% ALL CORRECT AND ALL ORIGINAL FROM END TO END!
He also noted that it was a re-listing due to a deadbeat buyer. Hopefully, second time did the trick. Here’s some more of his description (paragraphs added for legibility):
This is a stunning AS NEW near mint “Early 1968 (January, 1968.) ” production Colt AR-15 SP1 semi-automatic rifle with its original and unaltered parts.
This rifle has NEVER had any parts replaced or exchanged at any time. Nothing has ever been reworked or refinished.
It has the early style upper receiver with no provisions for a forward assist. The lower receiver has the Colt three line markings with the 6 digit serial number “SP1, GREAT Serial Number 11001” indicating production in January 1968, the 4th full year of Colt AR 15 production.
It is fitted with the early original Colt marked parts such as the original non-chrome lined barrel. Barrel has the MP marking on the right side under the sight post. The barrel is fitted with the early three-prong flash hider with fine checkered split washer. It still retains its original first generation (and very rare) old style, large head, two-piece type recoil edgewater buffer.
Note also the front sight is finished smooth front and back with NO drain hole. Later on, they added the drain hole and the flashing ribs remained front and back.
It is also fitted with it original black plastic pistol grip, early triangular handguards with no L and R markings on the inside shields.
The stock is also the early version that lacks any provisions for the internal storage compartment. It is correctly fitted with a solid rubber/plastic buttplate with no provisions for the later trap door. Rear stock has swing sling swivel. (Those were later changed to a fixed configuration).
Complete with one original Colt marked AR-15 20 round magazine.
(Also note, that by mid to late 1967 the bolt carriers had the notches for the forward assist which is correct for this rifle. Those assists were only on the Military M16a1 Models and not the commercial rifles. However, the carriers were still used on the commercial AR15s and only modified at the rear bottom base of the carrier (milled back a bit) to deactivate it’s a ability to shoot in full automatic mode. So the notched carriers are completely correct for this gun. I’ve seen several and it’s totally right! They would not be correct for SP1’s from 64 through 66. And perhaps to about mid 67.)
Condition: Outstanding near mint with 99.9% of its original Colt parkerized/anodized finish on all the parts with the least bit of wear on the most moved parts. The bolt carrier assembly retains 98% of it’s original finish. The plastic components are near mint! Mechanically as new.
This is probably one of the finest early Colt AR15’s that remains in existence today. It’s a truly high end collectible museum quality piece that is completely original and 100% all correct as issued in early 1968. These are sure getting incredibly hard to find at all, let alone this nice!
For a long time SP1s were unwanted by collectors and even by the rabid retro heads, leading to many rifles like this being parted out to make M16 clones. This auction is an early sign that it is a more rewarding path to keep a high-condition SP1 intact. (That’s good, as worn rifles are currently like African rhinos: due to the rarity of one or more parts, they’re worth more dead than alive!)
Now that this mint-condition rifle has sold for $4k, expect a spate of neckbeards to list shagged-out beater SP1s with a starting bid of $4k, and wonder why the things don’t sell. But anyone sitting on a minty early SP1 might want to start thinking about following prices, and perhaps adjusting his insurance. Remember: Condition, condition, condition. And if the market doesn’t clear, price is not set right.
Ordnance.com offered this on GunBroker (it will either sell, expire or roll over to a new listing today). It’s a live RPG-7V trainer that shoots, not rocket-propelled grenades, but 7.62 x 39mm rounds. It’s regulated to shoot to the same point that the normal PG-7V grenade hits, with tracer ammo, but it’s all-around a great procedures and marksmanship trainer for this ubiquitous AT weapon. (And anti-personnel weapon. And anti-helicopter weapon. And anti-anything-worth-shooting weapon. And we-Afghans-are-celebrating-a-wedding weapon. And… well, you get the point).
This one’s been modified a little to color within the lines of the National Firearms Act of 1934. First, it can’t load or fire a live PG-7V or other rocket-propelled grenade round, only the subcaliber device. Second, ATF interprets a subcaliber device as a “firearm,” not any specific kind of firearm… but installing it in an RPG-7V, even one that’s been modified so that it cannot fire live rounds, creates a “short barreled rifle.” (Hey, Congress writes the laws and the ATF has to work with them). This is not some experiment that they think will be approved by ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch, but they have the FTB letter.
The shipping/handling case is also a creation of Ordnance.com. It’s an elegant set-up with laser-cut foam for the launcher, subcaliber round, ammo and accessories. The Russians and Soviet satellite forces used to ship these things in wooden crates, like everything else. Russia has plenty of lumber.
This RPG-762 kit contains the following items:
RPG-762 Rocket Launcher Training Kit
- Aluminum hard case, with wheels
- RPG-7 Rocket Launcher
- Optical Sight with soft case
- Bipod assembly
- PG-7 7.62x39mm Subcaliber Firearm
- 7.62mm BoreSnake bore cleaner
- 15 rounds of 7.62x39mm Spotter/Tracer Ammunition
- 30 rounds of 7.62x39mm Tracer Ammunition
- Letter from the BATFE which states the launcher is not a destructive device
Overall, the kit is in museum quality condition. The Bulgarian RPG-7 rocket launcher started out as a demiled unit, and we painstakingly reactivated the fire control and have restored the launcher to like-new condition. External finish is not painted, but is a beautiful and very durable glossy powder-coated finish.
The launcher is only capable of firing the PG-7 subcaliber unit, and cannot fire live rockets. The unit was evaluated by the Firearms Technology Branch of the BATF, and it is not classified as a destructive device, but rather a trigger mechanism for the subcaliber firearm. A copy of the BATF’s determination letter will be included with the sale. The subcaliber firearm, which is chambered in 7.62x39mm, is classified as a “firearm only” by the BATF, so the subcal unit must be transferred/shipped to your FFL dealer. You will then go fill out a 4473 form and pick the subcal unit up……just as you would any other regular firearm. There is no special NFA paperwork involved in the purchase or transfer of this kit.
The subcal unit has been modified to work with the launcher, and is also approved by ATF. The subcal unit is not classified as a rifle or a pistol, but just as a “firearm”. The original barrel length was less than 16-inches, so it has been permanently lengthened, so ATF would not classify the subcal unit as a short-barreled rifle, when used in conjunction with the RPG-7 launcher.
The kit is extremely fun to set-up and shoot, and is a fantastic training aid to practice firing the real RPG-7. It is also a stunning display piece, and would be a beautiful display in your office, gun store, firing range, or man cave! The rifling in the subcal unit is over-broached, which makes the grooves extra deep. This was to allow additional blow-by of the propellant gases, and gives the 7.62mm projectile the same trajectory as the real PG-7 rocket propelled grenade that the RPG-7 fires.
You have to admit, that is a solution that is at once ingenious and simple — a Russian solution an American engineer would never think of!
The optics are in beautiful condition, and the optical sight has been sighted in with the subcal unit, and is surprisingly accurate. If you click on the video link below, you can view a YouTube video of us setting up the kit and firing it…..this video will do a better job of explaining how the kit works, than our written description here, so please take a look at the video and the photos. As mentioned previously, the subcal unit will need to be shipped to your FFL dealer. The hard case, along with all of the contents will be shipped directly to you, via UPS Ground insured.
Just the thing for the advanced Russian small arms collector. The launcher works with the enclosed subcaliber device / dummy round exclusively, and it can be aimed with the optic (ISTR the nomenclature is RPO-7?) or with the back-up iron sights. Yes, every RPG-7 since they were introduced some 55 years ago has BUIS… Ivan had BUIS before BUIS was cool. (The prismatic optic is extremely robust, for what it’s worth).
We’re yuuuuge RPG-7 fans here. It’s a simple weapon, but a reliable, dependable, accurate and powerful one that the US still doesn’t have a real counterpart for, a half century later. We half considered just buying this thing, rather than blogging it and letting one of you guys grab it. But we’ve decided to sleep on it. (And, funny thing: this post was a hasty fill-in because the long, technical post we worked on all day yesterday was not coming together in time. Yet, we like it better than the one we worked on much longer).
Received from Tracking Point, and we thought we’d pass it on to all of you. The biggest single objection people have had to a Tracking Point Precision Guided Firearm has been cost — and that’s not going away; it’s the price of being an early adopter of future technology in any milieu. (People are still amazed to hear what a Mac IIcx cost us in 1987). Still, the cost has come down to much closer to the cost of a premium AR and a premium scope at these discounted prices… price-wise, they don’t bear comparison to a bottom-tier AR at $500 or less, but then, they offer a completely different capability you can’t just pluck off any LGS shelf.
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That’s TrackingPoint’s pitch, and as we said, we’re passing it on.
Obviously we’re fans of the technology and the company, so you might ask, why don’t we own one of these things? What, are we hypocrites?
We don’t think so, we have reasons for not buying, yet. First, it is a lot of money for a firearm. Second, you have to have a reason to shoot it to justify spending that money. (It also works best with Tracking Point;s own ammo, which is, to put it mildly, premium priced). Third, you have to have a place to shoot it.
If we were javelina assassins working the ranches and fields of Texas we would be all over this offer like ugly on a Womyn’s Studies convention. But as it is, we have a selection of 100-yard ranges to shoot at, and hunting around here tends to be a close-in sport, with a long shot being 200 yards, and most shots with a firearm taking place at a range where archery would do the job. However, there is a 1000-yard range complex fighting its way through zoning less than two hours away, in the southwestern corner of NH.
We have written about this pistol before, but it’s had a long and arduous trip to market, and it’s still not really here. It may finally be coming (and here’s another allegation of imminence from four months ago). In any event, we haven’t got hands on one yet — hell, we haven’t seen one for sale, but we’ve found a couple of articles by people who have handled the gun, not just the press releases. And of course, there’s the manufacturer’s website.
Despite the inventors’ denials, and the gun and ammo’s own unique technology, it clearly owes a great deal to the CZ 75 and its descendants. (That’s not a bad thing, necessarily. After all, everybody owes a great deal to the M1911 and its descendants, too). The lockwork seems similar to the precision-oriented CZ single-actions.
The pistol is manufactured conventionally, for a Czech firearm. That is to say its components are CNC milled from billet or from investment castings (possibly by Poldi, which has cast for ZB and CZ since CZ-Strakonice days, before CZ built the UB factory in 1936).
But the FK Brno 7.5 offers a unique high-velocity round, a unique buffer system, and unique sights. The FK 7.5 pushes .30 caliber copper bullet at 2000 feet per second, not quite rifle speed, but better than such remarkable rounds as the long-defunct .357 Auto Mag. Its numbers make the .357 SIG look like it has the parking brake on.
It’s otherworldly enough to generate considerable skepticism. When the FK 7.5 first came up on the radar last year, John Zent of American Rifleman noted its sudden appearance on the market had a certain “out-of-nowhere” quality. John Roberts a Guns, Holsters, and Gear also was unimpressed by the claimed velocity, because it can be matched by a 9mm firing an ultralight 50 grain round — delivering half the FK 7.5s energy.
Here is celebrity trainer Rob Pincus, with what he promises is Part I of a multipart article. Rob was invited to the Czech Republic to try the gun during its long period in ATF purgatorio, and has some interesting comments.
A High Capacity Handgun that fires a propriety [sic] 100 grain round at over 2000fps and costs over $5000. The round, by the way, is still moving at 1500fps at 100 meters… which is the distance at which the pistol is zeroed with a unique set of sights when it comes from the factory. As others in the above links note, the gun is relatively large, fires a very powerful round and isn’t going to be cheap. FK BRNO also claims that the gun is very controllable and capable of high levels of precision. And, the only guns currently in the USA are there for government evaluation so that importation could be approved.
Per Pincus, the company considers itself primarily an ammunition research company, which builds the pistol as a way to get its ammo concept into shooters’ hands. He hits these takeaways — and elaborates on each, so you’ll want to Read The Whole Thing™:
- FK BRNO says that they are an Ammunition Company that also makes a handgun.
- FK BRNO set out to develop a handgun that delivered AK-47 performance in regard to Terminal Ballistics at ranges between 50 and 150 meters.
- The 7.5 round delivers high levels [of] precision.
- The Terminal Ballistics are even more impressive than the precision capability.
He concludes: “FK Brno have done what they set out to do.” We’ll say again, Read The Whole Thing™, and we’re looking forward to the next part.
The tactical niche this pistol fills is unclear, although it seems to overdo what the Secret Service and Federal Air Marshals Service selected the .357 SIG to do. It is, without doubt, a magnificent engineering accomplishment, and the prototypes seen so far are beautifully finished. One clue is that, in its native country, it is available in a folding shoulder-stocked version, making it a near-peer of PDWs like the HK MP7 and FN P90 / FiveSeVen combination. It also appeals to people who love that kind of engineering for its own sake.
If it’s a success, it will seem less strange in due course. If it’s not a success, it will be a footnote to firearms history of near-GyroJet proportions. Either way, we want one!
Rock Island Auctions is holding their largest-ever auction this weekend (although the action starts Thursday). Over 10,000 firearms are included in many thousands of lots (some lots include up to six arms) in this Regional auction, and there’s something there for everyone. Unlike a Premier auction, which has predominantly high and very-high-end collectibles, this auction has pieces for the beginner as well as the advanced collector, and some guns for the practical shooter or gun retailer.
Ian at ForgottenWeapons.com often does videos on some of the exotica for sale at these auctions.
The Rock Island auction catalog is here online. It’s not at all hard to set up an account and bid online, but make sure you understand the payment terms, particularly the nasty little auctioneers’ convention, the Buyers’ Premium.
The Rock Island blog promotes some of the more interesting pieces. This report on a particular Japanese Type 99, tied to the Battle of Saipan by a plaque on the right side of its butt, is a tour de force. Despite the non-guarantee-able provenance of the gun, the plaque does align (as the long post proves) perfectly with the history of the invasion, and the author tracks it to a probable capture by some member of the New York Army National Guard 27th Division.
The Rifle – Japanese Type 99
By now, you may be wondering how this Japanese Type 99 is tied to the Battle of Saipan. Attached to the right side of the butt is a small brass plaque that reads,
“At 0440 on the morning of 16 June 1944, an American infantryman just landing on the shores of Charan-Kanoa Beach, Saipan, threw a hand grenade at a Japanese sniper killing him instantly. The forward stock of the rifle was damaged by the explosion. Presented by Commander Walter Bantau. USNR.”
Besides giving us a really cool story, and perhaps the ultimate tangible connection to it, the plaque also provides some very helpful information that pinpoints its place in history – where it was and what it was doing.
Of course, the dates and location are provided on the plaque, but what other clues can we obtain? For starters, based on the landing time we know that the man who threw the grenade must have been on of the soldiers of the 27th Infantry Division of the National Guard that arrived long before dawn broke on D+2, June 17. The plaque does indicate a landing on June 16, and many sources are conflicted on this information. In the research for this article, it was found that at 0330 on June 16, Marines were busy holding off a desperate second Japanese counterattack attempting to retake the beach and “push the Americans into the sea.”
We also know that in the 27th, there were only three infantry regiments: the 105th (formerly the 2nd New York), the 106th, and the 165th (formerly the 69th, a.k.a. “The Fighting 69th” and “The Fighting Irish”), so the fortunate grenadier must have been in one of those regimentss. Each of those regiments is comprised of men from the New York Army National Guard so we can say with some certainty that it was likely a New Yorker who killed the sniper on the beach that day.
The Type 99 not only has that interesting plaque (and the potted history of the Saipan campaign that Rock Island has assembled for its next owner), but it is also one of the finest examples of a bringback Type 99 we’ve seen in a long time. It’s not the usual ground-mum beater!
Good luck and happy bidding. It’s a safe bet that you’ll be bidding against us if you’re bidding on anything both rare and Czech or Czechoslovak.
And can you have too many guns? Brownells says yes, you can. Well, they can, being a dealer… and they’ve got a clearance running on firearms. (Sorry, overseas readers. Your bad fortune today).
Follow this link to go there: Brownells Firearms Overstock Sale.
All the guns in question are new overstock. The pipeline is jammed with ARs in particular, that were produced in anticipation of an Omigawd-Hillary!-Won run on gun dealers nationwide. That backed-up inventory (and the costs of storage and carrying, especially with manufacturers, jobbers, and dealers who are leveraged and making payments on this inventory) is putting a hell of a downward price pressure on the AR market. For the premium brands, it’s showing up as a sales slowdown or a change from backlog to inventory. For the bargain brands? It’s race to the bottom, pricewise.
What you’ll find are 20 models of overstock firearms, including:
- Quite a few ARs from many vendors’;
- Some under $500, an unheard-of price a couple of years ago;
- One AK;
- Quite a few inexpensive handguns, including S&W (which has a good reputation) and Taurus (which only has a reputation);
- A few expensive handguns, including an H&K VP9, for those who seek a BDSM relationship with their pistol manufacturer.
All at good prices.
It is a very good idea to line up your transfer dealer first. A lot of dealers get very cheesed off when you use them to transfer a gun you bought on a deal like this (or from a cutthroat discounter like Bud’s or KY) and you bought it at a price that they can’t get wholesale. Some dealers don’t mind, and actually pursue transfer business. You want to be doing your transfers with the second guy.
If you’re a dealer, and you’re the first guy, our advice is don’t badmouth Bud’s or KY (or a clearance at Brownells). Just treat the customer right, price transfers reasonably and do ’em quickly enough that you’re not losing on him, and try to take the opportunity to (1) sell accessories, which have a way better margin, and (2) build a relationship with the customer.
Sure, some customers are bottom feeders who will put themselves through anything to save $5 and think customer loyalty is for chumps. But for every one of those, and every one of the guys who wants to spread his business around all the local shops, there’s a whole bunch of people who like to settle in with one gun dealer. In almost every business, your best business is repeat business, and your next best is referral business. That’s 100% certain-sure true for gunshops.
This was, as I predicted, the Year of the Pistol Caliber Carbine. They were all over the place on the SHOT floor, and I don’t think we were able to even scratch the surface. While there were a lot of “Me toos!,” with many AR manufacturers rushing to get a pistol caliber product out the door, there were some interesting new products as well as substantial evolution from dedicated pistol caliber companies.
Do Read The Whole Thing™, because Michael does a fairly thorough run-down of available pistol-caliber rifles, leaving out only a few, like the Kriss and the Kahr Arms Thompsons. (The semi Thompsons, available as 16″ carbine or as SBR, date to Numrich Arms and the West Hurley, NY iteration of Auto-Ordnance, so they’re often forgotten out of sheer senescence. “New” is one of the most powerful words in the English language, and these are absolutely “not new”).
Now some people certainly think 2017 is the year of the semi subgun. Maybe SIG-Sauer is one of them, because, as we reported yesterday, they’ve raised the prices of their MPX pistol-caliber carbine from $61 to almost $300, depending on model. Bane likes that one, too. His conclusion (from the same post linked above):
Some things haven’t changed — the Sig MPX absolutely rules the roost. The venerable Kel-Tec SUB-2000, available in 9mm or .40 S&W with magazines for multiple platforms and a low-ball price of $500, remains the first choice for a first pistol caliber carbine — if you can find one! GunBroker is your best bet. MP-5 clones are coming on hard…I did an earlier post that covered MP-5 clones, including the HK SP5K. I’ll cover the RONI instant-SBR concepts in a different post (and I’ve talked about them on the podcast).
Here’s the link on my parts list for my QC-10 build.
Here’s my post on the advantages of a pistol caliber carbine for self-defense.
In our opinion, these are plinking curiosities, like .22LR clones of service weapons; for practical defensive use, the rifle-caliber carbine or SBR is generally superior, which is why militaries and cops have dumped most of their smorgasbord Stens, Stirlings, M3s, MP5s, and Uzis for a boring oatmeal of AR and AK.
One thing could change this calculation: if Congress were to lift the assignment of short-barreled weapons to the National Firearms Act, and make them Title 1 weapons instead. We don’t consider that likely this year, which is unfortunate because the People of the Gun might not have such a strong political alignment for a while. But if it were to squeak through the legislature and into reality, subgun clones would really take off.
Funny that this should come up right the same day we run a thing on flying with one’s hardware: a clearance on two models, rifle and pistol, Plano cases at Midway.
We don’t like Plano cases as much as Pelican or Hardigg, but they’re okay, and these two are reasonably priced.
We’re not sure that the buttons will work from this page. If not, go to this link and they’ll definitely work from there.
(And no, we’re not getting anything from this).
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.