Posts Tagged ‘History’

Thanking-Those-Who-Served

D-Day Celebrations

We do not celebrate D-Day with the same attention we give to Memorial Day or Veterans Day; some hardly take note at all. Most people will simply be toiling away at their regular 9 to 5. A few slabs of meat and stacks of 12-ounce aluminum canisters will undoubtedly be spared as a result.

Top Shot Commentator Daryl Parker

Let the Games Begin! Top Shot Returns

At last, it’s back! Top Shot All-Stars, Season 5, airs tonight on the History Channel at 10:00 pm. Eastern time, and 9:00 p.m. Central time.

Due to sensitivity regarding recent gun violence and the resulting firestorm of gun-control controversy, shooting-related television entertainment has been absent for the past several months. I’m not going to wrestle that pig; I’m just happy that some level of sanity has reasserted itself, and now it’s time for some outstanding, lead-slinging competition!

Mossberg 500 Lisa Methany and Turkey

Mossberg Model 500 — 10 Million Strong and Growing

A Closer Look at Mossberg Firearms

Firearms expert, turned author Victor Havlin’s book for Mossberg gun enthusiasts, titled “More Gun for the Money” takes us through the creation and evolution of the popular Mossberg firearm dynasty. All the while helping us shake the dust off a few memories with the phrase “My first gun was a Mossberg.”

GAU-8 Avenger

GAU-8/A Avenger

Okay, we usually just blog about firearms that you can actually get your hands on. Most people will never get the opportunity to get anywhere near one of these machines, but that doesn’t mean we can’t drool on it. It is what makes the A-10 so damn impressive.

With the right bullet, distance and placement of shot, the .223 Remington is a lethal round for small varmints , predators and medium-sized game.

Hello New Shooter, I am .223 Remington…

I’m sure you’ve heard of me. I am one of the most popular cartridges in the world. I’m the caliber of choice for America’s favorite rifle. I’ve been around since the late ’50s and have proven myself an excellent battle, hunting, competition and plinking round. Yep—I’m pretty much the most versatile cartridge in the entire world.

Gen4 vs Gen3 Magazines

Glock Gen4, Improving on Perfection

In 2011 Glock introduced the Generation 4 (Gen4) pistols. The Gen3 series was, to me, the pinnacle of Glock progression. I fully believed the crest of the mountain had been reached. That a great pistol had done all it could, and would remain a solid, trustworthy, stout yet ordinary system. I am man enough to admit when I am wrong. I was wrong.

Gen3 vs Gen4 MBS and RTF3

Manufacturer of the Week, Gaston Glock, Glock Ges.m.b.H., Glock USA, Glock FZE, Glock A.P.

How far is the jump of evolution from making curtain rods to the best selling handgun in the world? I don’t believe his theory but maybe Darwin was onto something. So goes the story of Gaston Glock and one of the greatest handguns ever designed. The neatly organized sock drawer of firearms manufacturing pulled from the dresser and dumped upside down on the floor.

GLOCK

Before we go to much further, I must come clean. I was the biggest anti-Glock person you would ever meet–was. I remember as a police officer when the Glocks made its appearance. I was not impressed and as I often do, I waited until it was proven by the hardest test of all–time. One of the most embarrassing things about my dislike for the Glock was its looks. I too became an Internet firearms aficionado. It does not matter what a tool looks like, it only matters how well it works-and how you the artist are capable of using that tool. Shame on me.

 Glock Ugly? Shame on me!

Glock Ugly? Shame on me!

This weapons system has proven its worth over time. In 1980 the Austrian military called for a firearm with over 17 high-level standards. Just reading those requirements should give you the warm  fuzzies. If this, or any other gun, could do this it would be a force to reckon with. In 1982 an engineer making a considerable amount of money-producing curtain rings and knives-assembled a team of handgun experts. How long did the prototype for the next great handgun take? Years? Within three weeks, a working prototype was on the table. Less than a month to put a dent in the entrenched firearms industry.

A void existed due to the failure of the Austrian firearms company Steyr to come up with an adequate replacement for the aging Walther P-38. Legend has it that Mr. Glock overheard a conversation about this need. He had neither worked with or even owned a firearm. Furthermore, his curtain rings were not plastic they were metal along with his knives. His business was a metal fabrication shop.

Like many engineers, his mind started working on the problem. He was advised several times to abandon the idea as he was not a gun-guy. He has often said the fact that he was not a gun-guy may have been to his advantage; take that you range and Internet know-it-alls. He bought a Beretta 92F, CZ 75, Walther P-38 and an offering from H&K and Sig-Sauer and went to work.

Perfection

Perfection

One of those groundbreaking ideas was the use of plastics or polymers. This idea caused quite the uproar and I remember it well. The gun was known as the terrorist special as it was believed the plastics would be undetectable by metal detectors at the airport and other places using preventative security. This proved to be false as much of the gun was metal and is easily detectable. The other complaint was the plastic frame was weak and could break or bend if very cold or hot, respectively. Well that didn’t pan out in the slightest. In fact, this design became so durable in so many atmospheric conditions, I believe it is the best all-weather all-purpose sidearm. No only did it survive, find a firearms-related company that does not have a contribution in polymers these days.

Gaston Glock

Gaston Glock

The second innovation would stand the industry up on its end-no hammer or external safeties. While this had existed in revolvers for some time, the idea that a pistol would have no hammer or visible safety created a stir. For someone like me, this was a bit disturbing at first and I closely followed the Internet diatribes. It occurred to me at some point that for years I had carried a handgun everyday with no external safety-a revolver. I then realized with the internal safeties of a Glock it was possibly safer than a revolver, one just keeps the booger-hooker off the bang-switch unless you intended to make it go boom-old lesson.

When Gaston Glock arrived at his 17th production model he had his pistol and thus it was named the Glock 17. Ironically, it has a magazine capacity of 17 rounds as well but the name comes from the 17th design. The gun was released in the Austrian nation in 1985 later to most of the world. The United States failed to adopt this firearm when it transitioned from the venerable 1911 in favor of the Beretta 92F/M9. I believe that was a mistake even though I am a huge Beretta fan and proudly own a Beretta M9. The Glock is responsible for almost 70 percent of all law enforcement personnel every day in this country. Glock has a factory in the United States and it is produced here in this country as well as in the UAE, South America, Hong Kong and of course Austria. I believe it is the most utilized and important handgun in the world today. This coming from a guy who carries a 1911 .45 ACP every time my feet walk out the door of my home.

Gaston Glock was a genius. The firearms that bear his namesake are the finest example of ingenuity, practicality and endurance. They only keep getting better with each new generation. From a person who was the biggest Glock persecutor, the light on the road to Damascus has blinded me. I am a believer. I do not own one but I will correct that misstep this year by getting my very own Glock 23.

Cartridge of the Week, the .270 Winchester

Who was your favorite Beatle? Paul, John, Ringo or that other guy? To me that other guy was the quiet talent behind all the others, George Harrison. That theory is true with our next cartridge. Other cartridges are better known: the .308 Winchester, the 30-06 Springfield and the .223 Remington. However, the the .270 Winchester  may be the best of all.

The .270 Winchester

This cartridge is not a new player to the game. It was designed in 1925 for the Winchester Model 54 bolt-action rifle. At the time its range was even outdoing the venerable .30-06. To be fully honest it is just a necked down .30-06, but with the lighter bullet it becomes a much more flat-shooting round and the distance is increased.

Winchester Model 54 Bolt Action Rifle in .270 Winchester

As a military cartridge, it never made a showing. I am very surprised by this fact. I have shot the Springfield .30-06, .308 Winchester and the .270 Winchester and find the ballistics of the .270 to be as good, if not better, than its two more well-known cousins. There are few military applications that this cartridge cannot meet the need. In fact, the up and coming mid-length tactical cartridge and I believe a possible replacement to the 5.56×45, the Remington 6.8 Special Purpose (6.8 SPC) is but a .270 caliber bullet in a shorter case. Nevertheless, the .270 Winchester never made a showing on the formal battlefields.

The George Harrison of Cartridges

However, this very velocity has been the source of gun enthusiast’s arguments for almost a century. We in the gun world will always find something to fight about, the .45 ACP versus the 9mm or AR-15 versus AK-47 to cite a few of classic ones I read daily on blogs and social media. The argument in favor of the .270 Winchester is lighter, faster bullet and thus a flat shooting trajectory; does one gain anything over the parent cartridge the .30-06?

I will not engage that one. To be very honest and as simplistic as possible, guns are tools. Like all tools, the best one for the job and the one you can shoot well and put the biscuit in the basket is the best one ever made. What do I own? All at one time or another. As far as hunting goes, I prefer the .308 and .270 Winchester calibers. This is not a performance issue. I do not care for the recoil of the .30-06 in that I have a smaller frame and my follow-up shot with the other two is better. I have hunted with all three as well as with numerous other cartridges. Selecting the proper gun and caliber for the intended application is the key to success in all shooting engagements.

Pronghorn Antelope

In the right .270 rifle, this cartridge is more then enough for most big game and varmints in North America. It is also used in Africa for many game applications. However, its true attractiveness is a long shot requiring a flat trajectory. For my purposes, it has been a great caliber for coyotes and antelope. I believe that mountain goats or sheep would be another although I have yet to experience that opportunity.

I have always enjoyed quiet, simple and unassuming perfection. Much like the quiet Beatle this cartridge does not seek the limelight. Nevertheless, those who have used it, and understand its simple perfection, will never give up on this humble performer.

Mk.14 EBR (Enhanced Battle Rifle)

Firearm of the Week, the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14, M21/M25 SWS, M1A, Mk 14 EBR

“It is better to burn out then to fade away.” Thus it was for one of the shortest-lived standard-issued battle rifles for the U. S. military. A firearm sandwiched in between the great M1 Garand and the M16, historically speaking this gun barely made a showing on the battlefield. However, in its brief appearance it made such an impression that it is once again being called in the line of duty. That rifle is the United States 7.62mm M14.

M&P40 .40 S&W

Manufacturer of the Week, Smith and Wesson, Smith & Wesson, S&W

Founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson the original Smith & Wesson Company, then based in Norwich, Connecticut, has few rivals as an American company not just a firearms manufacturer. It would take complete failure and the help of two unlikely sources – neither being the U.S. government – before it would become the company that is a household name around the world.