Saturday, September 13, 2014

Vintage Military Rifles

1903 Springfield

After participating in a manually operated military rifle match to recognize the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, I have new respect for the designers, soldiers, and craftsmen who created and used these magnificent arms in battle.

It’s amazing to witness the fine shooting performances turned in by rifle which are nearly 100 years old. The quality of materials and high standard of manufacture is evident in how well these rifles shoot today. Granted, in their service configuration with battle sights, none of these rifles will strike fear into the hearts of any Camp Perry. But, they are still accurate and effective nearly 100 years later. Many of the rifles used were not pristine collector grade examples either. Many had seen untold years of service before being sold off surplus. 
Mosin Nagant 1891

Over the years many of the rifles had parts switched or replaced and most languished in the hands of colonial and reserve troops for decades or were roughly handles by raw recruits during initial military training. Yet these survivors soldier on in the hands of rifle enthusiasts as the symbols of the conflicts they were used in.  
1873 "Trapdoor" Springfield

Mausers, Enfields, Springfields, and Mosin Nagants among many others were the tools which shaped the 20th century. These rifles have endured, and in a few cases still see use in isolated and forgotten corners of the globe. Every once in a while, the rifles are seen in fleeting glimpses on cable news shows.

Compared to today’s modern military assault rifles, the bolt action rifles of the early 20th century seem to be quaint antiques. In reality, they still deliver power accuracy and reliability unmatched even in today’s weapons.           

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kahr Arms Auto Ordnance M1911A1

The Best 1911A1 Currently Available.
The Kahr Arms Auto Ordnance M1911A1 is the most authentic GI M1911A1 currently made today.
The Kahr Arms M1911A1 (top) compares favorably to a WWII vintage Remington Rand m1911A1.
Brownell's Ophoxo Blue fixed the shinny barrel hood and give the pistol a more GI appearance.
In the quest for a currently made USGI style 1911A1 for recreational shooting, I’ve discovered the Kahr Arms Auto Ordnance 1911A1. This gun is destined for general recreational shooting and some period specific events like 1930s Action shooting (Zoot Shooting). I had several criterion which this pistol has to meet. Here is a list of features I wanted:

·         Parkerized Finish

·         Lanyard loop

·         Checkered wide spur hammer

·         A1 sights

·         Standard ejection port.

·         1911A1 frame contours

·         GI style grips

Getting all of these features on the same gun proved impossible for all manufacturers accept Auto Ordnance. The Kahr Arms M1911A1 PKZ embodies all these features which pleases me greatly. From a few feet it easily passes for a vintage M1911A1. 

There are a few minor differences:

·         Series 80 style safety

·         Model 1911A1 is stamped on the slide and not on the frame

·         The barrel hood is polished and not blue.

·         Mid length trigger

I believe none of these are a matter of any concern. The Series 80 safety is internal to the gun and only visible on disassembly. The 1911A1 U.S. Army stamping on the slide is relatively small and does not detract from the appearance of the gun. Brownells’ Oxopho Blue remedies the shiny barrel hood, giving it a very authentic looking blue color. The mid length trigger is easily replaceable, but I find it comfortable.

The old pre-1999 Auto Ordnance/Thompson pistols were cast (both slides and frames) in Spain and assembled with spotty quality control in West Hurley, MA.

The new Kahr Arms Auto Ordnance is an entirely new product, competitively priced, and  made if the USA.   Some of the early Kahr guns had a thick frame in the grip area which I found rather unsightly. This problem was address a couple of years ago and the frame contours compare very favorably to vintage M1911A1 pistols.  The feed ramp is also nicely polished and feed jacket and lead bullets well.  The M1911A1 is a very credible defence pistol. This pistol is an excellent value and is every bit as good as it's Worls War II ancestors.


Monday, August 4, 2014

A Company of Note

In a project unrelated to this blog, I had the great fortune to meet and speak with members of the Hodgdon family. They own and operate the Hodgdon Powder Company which produces and sell many of the iconic brands of powder used by hand loaders for decades. The Company’s founder, Mr. Bruce E. Hodgdon, started his business after World War II by selling government surplus powder as a part time family oriented business.  The company has grown into a premier producer of smokeless and black powder providing a wide variety of product to hand loaders.  This company exudes excellence at every level. This includes products and customer service. They are very worthy of our patronage.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

New Army Camouflage

The UCP is a poor choice for most environments
The Army has dumped the horrible and useless Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP). I was issued this uniform in Iraq.  I can tell you it was, and is worthless.

UCP in Iraq, we still had woodland body armor, another poor choice for the desert
So after 9 years of insanity, the Army is adopting the Scorpion pattern, which is very similar to the Multicam used in Afghanistan.  Why not use Multicam pattern? Well its copyright belongs to a private company, which requires compensation. Rather than pay millions in royalties, the Army adopted the scorpion which it owns the copyright to.  
Superior Army Scorpion camouflage pattern
Some more good news, if you operate in a snow or urban environment, in which UCP excels, plenty of inexpensive surplus will hit the market soon.

 Contrast between the the UCP and Multicam in the field 

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Longest Day

We know what day it was. It had nothing to do with mother nature. it was the courage of men.  Here is a picture of my uncle who jumped into Normandy on D-Day, 70 years ago.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Another shot during filming

Sorry about the quality of the picture, here is the Enforcer filming for the TV documentary.  More to follow.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Enforcer on TV!!!!

Enforcer (right) during filming

Your humble blogger was contacted by Nutopia Productions for an interview on several firearms subjects. Colt revolvers used by the Frank and Jesse James during their partisan guerrilla days and early robberies. Another subject was the Thompson SMG. The best part of the day was firing weapons, from the 1847 Walker Colt to the Thompson model 1927A1. Stay tuned for further details!