Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2009 Surplus Firearms on Shelves Now

Another great special issue from Guns & Ammo just hit the shelves (though I’m still ticked I don’t get the special issues with my subscription!). This one is for all of you military surplus nuts out there. Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know I’m a huge C&R rifle nut, so when I saw this issue sitting on the shelf I had to pick it up.

On the cover is the Gibbs copy of the 1903A4 sniper rifle. A lot of people have mixed feelings about reproductions, but honestly this looks like a fairly good one. Gibbs is using original Remington World War II actions and bolts with a host of reproduction parts. They have, however, changed some small details and proofs so people can’t simply pass one of these off as the real thing. At a retail price of just under $1000 (including sling, dust sleeve, and a reprint of the manual) far more people should be able to afford one of these than the real thing – currently running at $4000 and above.

There are some real oddities this time around, including the Belgilan Albini-Bradendlin and the Bira gun. I’m more focused on World War II, so I knew very little about these two firearms. The Bira gun was a huge 1000 pound mechanical machine gun. Looks fun.

Next is an article on one of my favorites, the Japanese Type 38. Unlike many articles on Japanese firearms, this one gives the rifle a fair shake. Complaints were made about the stiffness of the bolt and the length of the rifle. They did, however, praise its accuracy.

One of the more interesting weapons in the article is the Spanish Destroyer Carbine. The underlying idea behind the destroyer was to give police a weapon with better range and accuracy than a sidearm. The destroyer is a bolt action rifle that uses 9mm largo pistol cartridges in a six round magazine.

There’s a great extended article called “Life in the Trenches.” It goes through the various trench systems used in World War I as well as the weaponry used during the long stalemate. World War I was horrific on many levels, and this article doesn’t pull any punches.

There’s lots more in the issue as well including the Italian Vetterli rilfes and a unique Italian submachine gun. France’s first semi-automatic rifle is detailed along with a host of other firearms. I highly recommend anyone with even a remote interest in historical military firearms pick this one up!

Until next time!!

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