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Thursday, 29 September 2016

007 - Ian Fleming Colt Python:

The original James Bond books were written by the son of a British Member of Parliament from a very wealthy merchant banking family, - who attended Eton and Sandhurst Military College (briefly).. Ian Fleming (1908-1964) was "removed from" Eton after six years and sent to Sandhurst by his desperate but influential mother - however he left there after less than a year in 1927 having reportedly contracted gonorrhea aged 18.

Eton College has educated 19 British Prime Ministers - and generations of the aristocracy who seem to enjoy being 'disciplined' and caned by their bedroom mistresses.

Although Fleming failed the examination for the Foreign Office in 1931 - he was engaged as personal assistant by the Director Of Naval Intelligence following the outbreak of WWII in 1939 (- after he had again failed both as a career financier and as a stockbroker).

Beretta 418 .25 ACP

Fleming does seem to have paid some attention to wartime happenings - as his books are OK firearm-wise. - Indeed he seems to have taken advice and changed 007s gun from the Beretta 418 in .25 ACP caliber after being told that this was "a lady's gun". - "Bond" was then changed-over to a Walther PPK pistol in .32 ACP... much better!
Walther PPK .32 ACP - Standard European Police Weapon of The Era.


The Bond stories and movies have been so popular that ten other authors have had a go at writing them following Fleming's passing.

 - But recent film "iterations" have been such rubbish that they would hardly make the 'Saturday Morning Pictures' (kids matinees) - in the "flee-pits" of my 1950s N.W. London childhood. - where we alternately booed or cheered riotously - under the glaring eye (maybe she had two eyes?) of the large lady with a torch.

Note: Phww - those post war scary women-in-charge - I'll never forget the widow-in-brown  'Mrs Bones' who ruled the children's swings enclosure at Grange Park with a rod of iron .. (maybe wood)!
--------------------------

A fine Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver by Colt, no. 35459 was presented to the famous James Bond author Ian Fleming in 1964 (the year he died). The bore excellent. In the maker's carton with the Colt three bladed flat turn-screw, bore brush and target


 .357 Magnum revolver by Colt, no. 35459 presented to the famous James Bond author Ian Fleming in 1964

The left side of the action frame engraved 'PRESENTED TO IAN FLEMING BY COLT'S PATENT FIRE ARMS MFG. CO.', top of frame fitted with Elliason adjustable rear-sight, the barrel with ramp foresight, the butt with checkered walnut grips and Colt medallions, the revolver retaining virtually all of its Colt high polish blue finish

2½in. barrel, London nitro proof

The bore excellent. In the maker's carton with the Colt three bladed flat turn-screw, bore brush and target
________________________

Eton Boys 1932.



Marty K.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Glocks Different Design: .380 ACP Pistols:

 - Glock were estimated in 2007 to have sold more than 5,000,000 guns since Austrian production commenced in 1982. They must surely have made more than 6 Million by now - but I have never heard of them releasing any production figures.

If Glock were to develop and market their own model in .22" L.R. Rim-fire for sale in USA & the rest of the world - I'd bet the farm that they'd sell a million of them real quick. - Just look at the excitement caused by the recent announcement by Ruger of their new Mark IV .22" model:

http://www.ruger.com/products/markIV/overview.html

Glock do make three guns in .380 ACP caliber - but there is only one of them generally available in USA - and that is the Model 42 - said to actually be made by Glock in Smyrna, Georgia.
Glock 42 .380 ACP - Made in America.
Only ONE Locking Block Pin Needed

The Glock 42 is a compact pistol with a single stacker 6 round magazine and a 3.25 inch barrel - and it is 'all Glock' in that it uses the locked breech operating system.. A small soft shooting pistol that is perhaps better suited to folks with smaller hands.

The other two .380 ACP guns - the Glock 25 and the 28 - are 'blow-back guns' and are not generally imported into 'Murica' because their method of construction loses them BATF points under the 1968 Federal  GUN CONTROL ACT - so they are only available as Official Law Enforcement sales there.
Glock 25 is same Size as G19 9mm.

These .380 ACPs are made mainly for sale in countries that restrict ownership of "Military Calibers" - but the technical feature here is that the .380 ACP cartridge is sufficiently low powered that it doesn't need a locked breech and will happily function by pushing the slide back against the inertia of a recoil spring and an unlocked slides' mass. Indeed when used in a locked breech - the mechanism needs to be adjusted to function at the low chamber pressure.

This low pressure / low power ammunition results in LOW perceived recoil too.
Glock 28 .380 ACP - same size as G27 & G26.

Now these two Glock 380 ACP blow-back guns do not use a fixed barrel like many other small caliber blow-back pistols do - but their barrels drop at the breech end when the slide opens - they are just not locked in place when in battery.
I really wanted to show the difference in the mechanical detail - but I can't honestly say that I see it.


-There you go then,

Marty K.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

.380 ACP Is NOT .38 ACP:

I know the difference between the 38 Special round and the 38 Super .. I know that -but my mouth has been known to stumble and record a "misspeak" when in competitive conversation. - Well, they both begin with 'S'..
38 Special Cartridge = 9x29.5mmR
 - A Rimmed Revolver Round.
The .38" Special obviously is a very popular rimmed revolver round - while the .38 Super isn't! - It is a much hotter development of the .380 ACP - and it is fashionable in IPSC competition as it makes 'Major Power Factor' - while the 4mm shorter, standard 9x19 NATO cartridge doesn't.

 38 Super Cartridge - 9x23mmSR - Velocities up to 1,500 ft/sec.
 - Dimensions same as 38 ACP = 9x23mmSR

- However what I do need to get in my head when reading is that the .380 ACP is not the same as the .38 ACP. - There is a world of difference inside that '0'.
.380 ACP (aka .380 Auto) = 9x17mm.
(SAAMI Limit 21,000 p.s.i)

 .380 ACP  (being a 9x17mm case) - is a shorter and less powerful round than the 9x19 NATO.

Whereas the .38 ACP  being 9x23mmSR is a longer (semi-rimmed) case than the 9x19mm but with similar ballistic performance to it.
.38 ACP -  9x23mmSR  (sometimes called 38 Auto)

The 38 ACP is a John Moses Browning design dating from 1900 that could throw a 130 grain pill at around 1250 feet per second - with a SAAMI pressure limit of 26,500 p.s.i.

Now the 38 Super may be seen as a high pressure, higher velocity loading of that 38 ACP - with a SAAMI pressure limit of 36,500 p.s.i. There are moves by competitive shooters using this round to reduce the tiny rim dimensions down to almost non-existent - to improve feeding from their magazines.
.38 Super - is also 9x23mmSR.
____________________

- If you Google '9mm caliber' you'll find that Wikipedia lists 23 different pistol cartridges plus 10 revolver cartridges (and thirty-one rifle cartridges). - I'll be testing you on these next week!

- So that's clear - There's rimmed, - semi-rimless, - & rimless flavors  in various lengths and power levels - I think that I've got that right.

- Confused?

Marty K.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Colt Model 1903 .32ACP Pistol - Bonnie & Clyde Liked It:

Way back in the murky past - 86 years ago, Bonnie Parker taped one of these pocket pistols to her thigh and smuggled it into prison to bust Clyde Barrow out.
Bonnie & Clyde Original Colt .32"

On March 11 1930 Clyde used it to escape - but he was recaptured after only one week.

Colt Model M-1903 .32ACP - Can you see Bonnie's sticky-leg Tape Residue?
(- Don't Look for too Long.)

The 'Pocket Hammerless' .32 was a very popular design and when Colts stopped production at the end of WWII they had worn-out the production machinery by making over a million of them in the three calibers - 32", .380", and .25"ACP.
"Rimless? -  Hammerless?"
- But Very Popular in its Day.

These pistols were described by the marketing men using typically 'near-enough' claims as the "Pocket Hammerless" - it is in fact internal hammer fired - and the legend 'CALIBRE 32 RIMLESS SMOKELESS' that appears on the R/H of the slide is also wrong - as the 32"ACP round has in fact a ten thou. rim - being a semi-rimless cartridge that can also be used in .32" S&W caliber revolvers.
This round, the .32"ACP is also known as the 32 Auto, the 32 Browning, the 7.65 Browning, the 7.65x17, and the 7.65 Walther. - The wide variety of names reflects its worldwide use by Law Enforcement & the Military for around a century - Issued to US Officers - including OSS Officers in WWII. - The 32 ACP is also the most common round used in veterinary 'Humane Killers'.

- Mind you, the slide markings also reads "Colt Automatic" at the ejection port. - fact enough for a Colt salesman? - The use of such inaccurate & deliberately misleading descriptions is what is known in the selling game as 'MARKETING TOOLS'.. which is another name for artifice or lies.
An Early Advert.

Some 572,215 of the .32"s were made commercially( - plus maybe 1M for military use) - including sales to the New York State Police and had  Al Capone  & Dillinger plus other gangsters as happy customers for this take anywhere pocket pistol.
(- The .32"s sold five times more units than the .380" Model 1908s).

The .32 ACP cartridge with its maximum internal pressure set by SAAMI at 20,500 psi - manages to effectively throw a 71 grain FMJ pill at around 900 feet per second - but most modern loadings are considerably less potent.

While there are still many of these old steel built collectible 'classics' around - they continue so well liked that Colts last year licensed US Armaments to build some 3,500 more new guns of this early John Browning design. These are the Type 2 iteration with a separate barrel bushing - but without a magazine disconnect & are fitted with wooden grips and a "gold" Colt medallion.
New Model Colt M-1903 Pocket Hammerless
- Premium-Priced at US$1,395

I wonder what Colts makers will do with their new tooling after that costly limited run is completed? - Can I smell a .380 ACP" version? - Are these new guns machined from steel bar-stock like the originals - or do they use castings?

My original antique Colt "thirty-two" - was built in 1914 - I can still see how fine the original fit and finish were back then. It doesn't go to the range - as with its 3.75" barrel it is registered to my non-firing 'C' endorsement. - Missed by quarter of an inch! - I do recall being assured that size doesn't matter - but it's what you do with it that counts.
Colt Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP  With a Glock 17 9mm

- The first few years production Model 1903 actually had four inch barrels. - The one obvious problem is those minuscule sights - I can feel them - but I really can hardly see them at all - never mind use them for alignment! - Ah, the M-1903 'Pocket Hammerless' also has a grip safety and the old style magazine catch at the 'heel' of the grips.
A "Gentleman's Arm" - A pity I'm not a 'gentleman' eh
"Seven Shots A Second" - What, with those Sights?

 - Perhaps I should reconsider the Clunky Colt 1911 ... Naah!

Marty K.
Hi Marty
 These pistols were standard issue for the NZ Police until just after WW2 (when they were replaced by .38 S&W Victory model revolvers), and one of the Colts was used in 1941 by Stan Graham after he took it off one of his Police victims (Sgt. Best I assume).  They were also widely sold in NZ until the 1921 Arms Act came into force.  The gun was only made in .32 ACP and .380 ACP.  The .25 ACP was a very much smaller pistol, although similar in basic design.

The similar 7.65mm M1910 FN Browning pistol (a true hammerless design) also saw widespread use in NZ (wholesaled and retailed by McCarthy’s in Dunedin) and was the pistol carried by the Armoured Freightways cash escorts up until about 1980 when the banks and cash escorts were disarmed.  I used to train the Armoured Freightways staff every 6 months during the 1970’s and loaded practice ammo for them using ..308 100 grain Speer Plinkers.  Their good factory ammo was saved for carry use.

Cheers
Rod

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The British Bulldog Had A Puppy:

The British Bulldog was generally speaking a solid frame large bore revolver with a short 2.5 inch barrel. - The original  Royal Irish Constabulary Model was made by Philip Webley & Son around 1870 and its Trademark was registered by Henry Webley in 1878.
The R.I.C. model dates from 1868

- Meant to be carried in a coat pocket for use against the Irish - these were built in .44" and .450" calibers and were much copied worldwide - particularly by European makers from Belgium (Liege), & France, Spain, USA, Pakistan, etc. - Indeed, every man and his dog seem to have made them! (- At one time there were recorded to be as many as 200 gun manufacturers in Liege alone.)

Webleys themselves built some smaller caliber five shot versions in .320" and .380"
 Webley No.2 Model in .320" Bulldog.

I came across an online question by someone who'd found a .320 Bulldog example for sale and was asking what they might shoot from it should they buy the old revolver. - One reply states very confidently that 32 Auto (32 ACP) will work fine - BUT I'm not suggesting that is safe to do. - For a start the 320 Bulldog bullets are .317" diameter and 32 ACPs only measure .312" - you might get away with it.

Anyway - those smaller "Bulldogs" soon were called 'Baby-Bulldogs' or even 'Puppies' - and they were popular with the ladies for purse or close body carry as "GET OFF ME" guns.

.22" Rim-fire Baby Bulldog.

Around the same late 19th Century era - cycling was becoming very popular and small guns came to be carried to protect cyclists from predators and dogs - "Revolvers de Poche" became all the go and the 5.75mm (5.5mm) velodog cartridge guns were called "Velo-Dog" guns (early bicycles were called velocipedes).
"Those damned urchins throw sticks at ones wheels - don't you know"


While wandering about researching this topic I stumbled on an extensive site about Velo-Dog handguns by Jerry Friedmanhttp://www.velodogs.com/  - well researched and interesting with great illustrations.

- And how about this for a novelty - a concealable revolver with a folding stock?

There's always something new to see eh.

The 5.75mm VeloDog cartridge was a proprietory cartridge designed by Charles-Francois GALAND - it was a rimmed centre-fire round in the .22 black powder class - longer than the current rim-fire .22 L/R.

Marty K.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Taurus Guns - Any Good? - What About SCCY?:

I was reading a review of the Taurus Judge (Gun-Tests.Com "Fit, finish and lockup were excellent.") - and asked myself just who are these Taurus people & are these a second line product - or is that just an ignorant prejudiced thought? .. so I had a look at Wikipedia for more background:

"Taurus produced its first revolver, the Model 38101SO, in 1941. Beginning in 1968, it exported revolvers to the U.S. market through a series of importers.
In 1971, the Bangor Punta Corporation, then the parent company of Smith & Wesson, purchased 54 percent of Forjas Taurus, allowing the two firearms manufacturers to easily share information regarding design and manufacturing. In 1977, Taurus was purchased from Bangor Punta by its current owners, and its ties to Smith & Wesson were severed.
In 1980, after Italian arms manufacturer Beretta had completed its contracts to produce firearms for Brazil's military, Taurus purchased Beretta's São Paulo manufacturing plant along with the tooling, technical drawings, and work force necessary to produce several different pistol designs.
In order to more effectively tap the U.S. market, the company created a subsidiary, Taurus International Manufacturing Incorporated, also known as Taurus USA, in 1984.
In 1997 Forjas Taurus purchased the rights & equipment to manufacture Rossi brand revolvers. They currently manufacture three .38 special models & four .357 magnum models under the Rossi name, manufactured in São Leopoldo, Brazil."
- So Taurus shares the same family genes as Smith & Wesson, Beretta, and Rossi.
- Now here's a neat & tidy two inch Taurus in 327 Federal Magnum..
- That sold stateside for around US$200. Surely this has to be excellent value for money - unless you are a screenager who won't wear anything without a trendy advertising logo displayed prominently.
I can't "judge" any Taurus gun as I've never owned one - but the users seem to rate them O.K. -  no better nor worse than any other brands.
____________________
Now - Talking about "value for money"..

 SCCY Industries of Daytona Florida would like you to pronounce their name "Sky". They have made a lot of their 9mm 'CPX Series' handguns and have displayed a propensity for molding their polymer frames in a range of garish children's toy colors.
- Certainly they are offering their future customers "choices" and they probably will succeed in the 'murican' market - as they proudly proclaim 'Made in America' - and are selling a decent pistol for around the US$300 mark.

Hickok45 thinks the CPX-2 is a quality little pistol with a long D/A trigger pull that may be ammo-sensitive - but he likes them at the price - with their 3.1 inch barrels and steel 10 round magazines (made 'in house').

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTgFs-m59RY
- A 'chubby' wee gun because its magazines are 'double-stacked' or "staggered" - and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
SCCYs latest model - the CPX-3 is a 380 ACP gun that uses a freshly designed 'Quad-Lock' barrel lock-up system.

Marty K.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Handgun Stopping Power - NRA Report:

I only recently found this review of Stopping Power for Handgun Cartridges using ballistic gelatin published by the American NRA back in 2012:

https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2012/8/29/handgun-stopping-power-sizing-up-your-options/

The article assesses the different factors that control the 'one stop shot' and quotes several expert sources before concluding that the key factors are penetration and expansion - AFTER bullet placement.

- It has detailed result tables for various commercial brands of ammunition in the popular calibers - recording velocity, penetration in ballistic gelatin, and an expansion factor.


This experimental assessment does largely agree with Greg Ellefritz's  An Alternative Look At Handgun Stopping Power - recorded from actual shootings.

http://www.activeresponsetraining.net/an-alternate-look-at-handgun-stopping-power

My own interest centres around multiple indications that one of the "mouse-gun pip-squeak" calibers - which is often rated as ineffective by the fashionable guru of the day - actually tests fine and is shown by the shooting records to have done the job as-&-when required ..

The 32" Caliber is more comfortable to shoot - while not hurting its owners hands or nerves - and has an extensive history as a Law Enforcement and  Military caliber over more than sixty years - before being pushed from favor by 38s - then 357 Magnums and currently the 9mm autos.

I'm not rubbishing any old favorites like the 45 ACP or the 357 Mags - they work and if you are comfortable and confident with that choice then that is great. - If you really need a buffalo or bear stopping big-bore super-magnum - fine but keep a tight sphincter muscle too.


What I am saying is that many experts - plus BOTH of these reviews of fact - show that the 32 calibers perform in the same league as the "Big Boys" while being easier for us weak & sensitive souls to shoot effectively - and they are more convenient to 'pack'.

Marty K.






Thursday, 15 September 2016

$12M Defamation Suit Against Kate Couric:

The Guardian is reporting legal action in USA over the 'anti-gun' film 'Under The Gun'.
Pro-gun group the Virginia Citizens Defense League is suing former TV news anchor Katie Couric, television network Epix and director Stephanie Soechtig for defamation over their documentary.
The suit demands $12m in damages following a fruitless round of accusations and half-apologies over the film’s editing.
In Under the Gun, Couric asks several members of the Virginia-based gun lobby: “If there are no background checks, for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” Nine seconds of silence follow as the interviewees, all of whom are named as plaintiffs, appear to be at a loss for an answer.
But by the VCDL’s accounting, and by the film-makers’ admission, the gun ownership advocates were not in fact silent but answered the question. The VCDL produced an audio recording of the interview published by the Washington Free Beacon that does not track with the footage in the movie.
“The bottom line is that while Katie and crew acknowledged that what they’d done was misleading, they continue to promote and distribute the film,” the VCDL’s Philip Van Cleave told The Guardian.
Marty K.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Police Confront Lawful Gun Owner in CHRISTCHURCH:

Report from Emily Murphy in THE PRESS at the end of July:

Armed police confronted a man seen carrying a gun case in the Christchurch suburb of Ilam on Saturday. The man was in the process of selling the firearm and was not committing any crimes.

The footage shows the man's hands are raised, while police walk towards him with firearms pointed in his direction.
In a statement, police said the man was innocent.
A 'concerned' member of the public had phoned them after seeing the man walking down the street carrying the gun case
.
He was in the process of selling his firearm, a police spokeswoman confirmed.
Private sales of firearms are legal, but the buyer must have a New Zealand Firearms Licence.
Although it was not illegal, police wanted to encourage people "not to carry firearms in public like that", the spokeswoman said.
SHOULD THE POLICE NOT INFORM ANY "CONCERNED" MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC THAT IT IS LEGAL FOR A  CASED FIREARM TO BE CARRIED ON ANY STREET BY A LAW ABIDING FIT AND PROPER PERSON - WITHOUT FEAR OF BEING THREATENED WITH BEING SHOT BY POLICE?
"If possible we do encourage people to carry them in a case in the boot of a car."
Police gave the man a lift to his destination. No charges were laid. 
Police thanked members of the Ilam community "for being vigilant".
Note: I AM REQUIRED BY POLICE REGULATION TO CARRY ANY NEWLY PURCHASED & PERMITTED HANDGUN TO THE CHRISTCHURCH FIREARMS OFFICE FOR REGISTRATION PURPOSES. - AM I AT RISK OF BEING MADE LAY ON THE PAVEMENT OR OF BEING SHOT BY POLICE WHEN I NEXT SEEK TO FOLLOW THEIR PERMIT INSTRUCTIONS?
Marty K.
P.S. The Sporting Shooters Association NZ have expressed their concerns about this incident to The Commissioner of Police.
** I have just learned that the gun case being carried contained an AIR RIFLE.

Meprolight FT Bullseye Sight (& TAS Fibre-Optic):

I know that "RED-DOT" sights work brilliantly and all.

BUT: I don't like that they are bulky and stick-up into the wind.

         .. I don't like that they use batteries that go flat when you need them

          .. And I don't like that they look stoopid to have on a handgun carried in a holster..

          .. and I don't like that I'm awfully slow at finding that red-dot when I take aim..

- Could be that the Microlight FT Bullseye Sight fixes most of those objections (- as long as they actually work.)

 This sight uses fibre-optics combined with a Tritium insert to give an easily visible sight picture in all lighting conditions .. NO BATTERIES.
 The FT Bullseye has a low, all-most 'streamlined' profile that won't smack into everything close by.
And the price seems nearly reasonable at US$199.
__________________

There is another similar sight from Israel costing much less - at $89. - but the TAS Fiber Optic Glock Sight runs without the night-time tritium insert so.. no black cats in a coalmine at midnight then.

Tactical Aiming Systems say that this is the "Fastest Combat Pistol Sight"

Here is a link to a video review:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIlpmDwW0h0


Both Brands are built from 'aluminum' and come with red or green optics - but the Israeli TAS is much cheaper at around $89. only - but no tritium.

Here's another review that says "it's very unique"!:
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e188gUYE3v0

- there doesn't seem to be any sight adjustment?

- What I'd really like to see is a thorough critical shooting test and 'on Range Review' by Hickok45 and/or Jeff Quinn of 'Gunblast' before I make-up my mind and buy one.

Marty K.

P.S. That makes 600 of these posts that I've scribbled now.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Illegal Firearms: Police Figures are Wrong:

Greg O'Connor is retiring as POLICE ASSOCIATION President this year. - His replacement will be elected on October 12 at their ANNUAL CONFERENCE.

NZ National Radio yesterday ran this report several times through the day:

The NZ Police Association is claiming that the number of guns seized in New Zealand is significantly under-reported, making it difficult to assess the extent of firearms use.
Its president, Greg O'Connor, said official police statistics had long failed to reflect what front-line officers had said about the numbers of guns they saw in their day-to-day work.
"One of the frustrations that we felt as an association was that our members on the ground on the street were telling us about how many firearms they were seizing, how many they were stumbling across, how many offenders they were dealing with who have access to firearms - but the statistics kept by police headquarters didn't corroborate that," he said.
He said in one instance, association members recorded 52 firearm seizures over a six-week period, but said that was significantly lower than the figures police recorded in their database.
A police spokesperson confirmed that 129 firearms seizures were recorded during that time period, of which 52 were voluntarily notified to the Police Association by its members.
In a statement, they said police acknowledged that there may be some under-reporting of firearms seizures.
"Police currently use a number of systems to record this information, which may lead to discrepancies in the information which is held. To address this, police is currently reviewing the relevant processes to ensure all information about seized firearms is captured."
Mr O'Connor said officers were confused about where to file reports, and there was no centralised way of collecting them from around the country.
"One of the issues is that there are different methods of recording the seizing of firearms and they're not well understood by staff in the districts. In some cases it's collected by what we call a firearms surrender form, others it's just exhibited. The problem is there is no central collection."
That was in contrast to the way police recorded drug seizures, where officers must notify headquarters so there was a very accurate national record kept, he said.
Mr O'Connor said, in some districts, police were working to improve the reporting process when guns were found, but he wanted to see that happen across all districts.
It was crucial for police to have the right statistics.
"We know that unless you have statistics to back things up, then clearly the researching and strategies around it won't be employed."
The issue is currently before a select committee.
Parliament's Law and Order Select Committee is holding an inquiry into how, and from where, criminals are getting their hands on firearms.

This report thanks to Radio New Zealand National.
Marty K.

LITTLE ALL RIGHT Revolver:

This wee antique gun is best thought of as a "Palm Squeezer" and there really are good reasons why it is obscure and unknown.
Little All Right .22" Short Rim-Fire.

Basically it is a BAD design - I am always conscious of the flame discharge from a revolvers cylinder gap - Well to fire this little baby you need to give it an intimate cuddle as you pull the hinged trigger that is normally pivoted-down over the muzzle for pocket carry!


Patented in 1876 - this nickel plated revolver is so awkward and dangerous to fire that it might have been designed by Hillary Clinton.

- What a 'dog'.

The way the trigger is located at the muzzle end of the 1.75 inch long octagonal barrel means you had to stretch your 'pinkie' all the way past that cylinder gap - and try not to brake the cylinder as it makes it's turn.

The .22" Short Rim-fire had been around for nearly twenty years (1857) - when this Horrible-but-Cute five shooter was developed  in 1876 - surely folk understood about the risks of firing a hand-held firework.

Forgotten Weapons have a good video assessment of it:

https://www.forgottenweapons.com/ria-little-all-right/

Marty K.
P.S. Good Luck to all voting-age 'mericans - you get to choose between two bowls of stale doggie-doo when what you want is a nice fresh garden salad eh.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Devils Porridge - CORDITE at Gretna Green:

Cordite was colloquially known as the "Devil's Porridge" - the name comes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote in 1917: "The nitroglycerin on the one side and the gun-cotton on the other are kneaded into a sort of a devil's porridge".

 - In 1917 - when wartime emergency production had reached 800 tons per week - King George V and Queen Mary visited H.M. Factory at Gretna.

This explosives manufacturing site stretches 19 km and straddles the borders of Scotland & England - and was developed in 1915 as a wartime emergency measure - to relieve an acute shortage of ordnance - that came close to loosing the war for the British side. The establishment was serviced by 34 engines on 125 miles of it's own Military Narrow Gauge railway tracks  - its own coal powered electricity power station, and a dedicated water reservoir that was filled by a 42 inch pipe pumped from the River Esk.

- I'm guessing that not many people have heard of this extensive explosives / ammunition site near the famous elopement wedding village of Gretna Green. - I only learnt of it recently when watching a BBC 4 program celebrating British train journeys & stations  - A travel series that was presented by a smug ex-Transport Minister of Thatchers right-wing regime - one "Michael PortaLoo" (Portillo) - who's government presided over the closure of 2,000 stations and one third of the rail network !


Quanset Hut Behind Blast-Walls

At this huge munitions plant - established hurriedly in 1916 - women used to hand-mix gun-cotton into liquid nitroglycerin to make a double-base explosive - and their hair would turn orange from the chemical effects. - Some even gave birth to 'Canary Babies'  - babies born having a striking yellow skin that eventually changed to a more normal hue.


Hand Mixing 'Gun Cotton' into Nitroglycerin

There were 4 main sites there at Gretna - and in 2005, the British Government announced it planned to close all the remaining sites that now comprise CAD Longtown by mid-2009 - but that decision was later clarified to mean only the NON-explosive aspects of these facilities would close.

Back in 1917 the Gretna MoD Factory had 11,576 women workers and 5,066 men - it is understood that currently the complex is used mainly for the storage of explosive munitions & ordnance and was called 'Central Ammunition Depot' Longtown and then 'Base Ammunition Depot' Longtown.

- Earlier, in January, this year they were advertising the sale of 25 (that leaves 100) miles of narrow gauge railway tracks from one area - Eastriggs
  • "25 miles of 2ft 35lb per yard narrow gauge railway line to include: 250 Turnouts (90% of line is with new steel sleepers, 10% is wood)  Installed between 1990-2007."
Cordite is classed as a Low Explosive  Propellant and originally comprised a mix of 58% nitro-glycerin by weight, 37% gun-cotton (nitrocellulose) and 5% petroleum jelly. - Using acetone as a solvent, it was extruded as spaghetti-like rods initially called "cord powder" or "Ballistite".
Cordite.
Marty K.