Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vestigial words...

At some point, way back in the day, a gun writer who had only ever used traditional longarms and revolvers must have reviewed the C96 "Broomhandle" Mauser. Looking at its construction he penned
"And it used no screws (except for the grips)! The whole thing goes together like a Chinese puzzle!"
...and to this day those two sentences, or variations thereof, have been included in Almost. Every. Single. review, article, or intarw3bz gun forum post about the Broomhandle. I know I've done it. It's so common that you don't even notice it; it's a spinal reflex, like using the word "venerable" immediately before the number "1911".

Which is kind of funny because, you know, most autoloading pistols don't have any screws (except the ones holding the grips on). Yet it persists.

Weird.

11 comments:

Matt G said...

I almost chimed in: "Like the [venerable] 1911." But in fact, the magazine release on the 1911 uses a screw. Stupid FLGR's on many 1911's nowadays do. (Bah! Spit.) Screw-on sights are common.

Funny-- with all the screws on the average revolver, you'd think that they would be considered as complicated as an established auto gun.

Anonymous said...

Well, then, it must be. . .
ubiquitous

The gun industry should ban these cliches for a period not less than 3 years. Think of the paper we'd save.

Tam said...

"But in fact, the magazine release on the 1911 uses a screw."

Ah, but that's not really a screw, just a bayonet-type catch with a slotted head.

Less said...

Stock Glocks don't have any screws - apart from the screwed up crappy plastic sights...

pdb said...

I always thought it was more interesting that the Webley autoloader made use of nothing but leaf springs, no coil springs.

og said...

i remember a do-over on a broomhandle that included careful stoning and garnet blasting of the frame recesses, an ivory gripset, and some sweet bluing. i wish i could find that article again.

Tam said...

PDB,

"I always thought it was more interesting that the Webley autoloader made use of nothing but leaf springs, no coil springs."

Do NOT run the slide on the Webley with the grip panels off. Srsly.

kbarrett said...

My broomhandle was a chinese copy ... so it really did go together like a chinese puzzle.

Jeff the Baptist said...

It's not put together like a chinese puzzle, it's put together like a fiendish Teutonic watchmaker's last act of vengeance upon his uncaring nation.

My brother and I shot my 1911 and his broomhandle side by side a few years back. When went to clean them we figured out why the US beat the Germans in both World Wars. My brother ended up taking his gun home in a bag because he had to consult the internet before he could reassemble the darn thing.

mcthag said...

After popping the side plate of my spiffy new S&W 640-3 with the hammer lock thingy, I no longer consider the C.96 overcomplicated.

AmericanMercenary said...

When the C96 was introduced there weren't a whole lot of other autoloaders around for comparison, so I'm guessing the "chinese puzzle" comparison just stuck.