Thursday, May 14, 2009

Meme Time: Impractical-But-Cool Guns...

Via the rules at Shangrila Towers:
I'm only including firearms that the average Joe could go out and actually purchase here in the United States, without going through too many hoops. That means no NFA stuff, no exotic guns that never went into production (I'm looking at you, Jackhammer automatic shotgun), and no imports that never made their way to these shores.
Okay, I'm game. Here are my favorite guns that reply to the question "What's it for?" with the obvious answer "To sell!"...


1) Heckler & Koch SP-89

The whole genre is silly, of course, from the various semiauto MAC clones and the TEC-9 on the low end all the way up through the "Micro" Uzi Pistol and the B&T reboot of that malfunctioning paperweight Steyr used to sell. Really, what can you do with a foot-and-a-half long, three pound 9mm "pistol" that you couldn't do better with a Glock 17 and two mags? But the SP-89 sure does look cool, with that whole MP-5K cachet...



2) Franchi SPAS-12

An innovative Italian fowling piece that could malfunction in both semiauto and slide-action modes. As an added bonus, on the early versions the safety wasn't. Plus it had ergonomics apparently designed for people with hands that could palm basketballs and two elbows per arm. But it looked real mean and found its way onto the set of more action and SciFi movies than you could shake a stick at.



3) Barrett M-82

Well actually any .50 cal rifle, but only if you live east of the Mississippi. My old boss in Georgia had a Barrett. The longest range on his property was maybe 150 yards. Fish in a barrel was an exciting and challenging sport by comparison... "Sure kid, you can drive your old man's Corvette. Just don't leave the driveway!"



4) Half of the cool "Assault Rifles" from the salad days of the late '80s

Valmets, Beretta AR-70s, .308 Galils, Semiauto FA-MAS's (yes, they exist.) Sure, it's cool. Sure, you're probably the only kid on your block. But "practical"? Only if you define "practical" as "Nonexistent spare parts and scarce mags".
"Take it to Gunsite 223? No! What if it breaks? Then I'd have to shoot an AR or AK like everybody else."



5) COP 357

As big as a Glock 26 or Kahr MP-9, but heavier, and will only fire four times. Maybe. Spotty QC. A trigger pull that requires two grown men, a small boy, a mule, and a chainfall. But it has Science Fiction written all over it.




So there's my five. Feel free to play along!

32 comments:

West, By God said...

Just FYI, the word verification for my comment is "failinsu" which has to be one of the most awesome ones I've ever seen.

Anyway, I don't really have time to play the meme game, but I couldn't help but think of the Century Arms catalog sitting beside my toilet with a picture of the wheeled behemoth, semi-auto-ified Goriunov on the back.

Lord I want one of those, if for no other reason than to have a non-NFA gun that requires wheels, and chambers a readily available cartridge.

Tam said...

Yeah, if Mulliga hadn't already mentioned the semiauto 1919, I'd have riffed on the silliness of semiauto beltfeds myself. :D

Jay G said...

Heh. The COP 357 is the only one on the list I've shot.

It's actually a pussycat next to the S&W 360PD...

And as for #4, preach it sister...

-JayG, owner of a VEPR in .308, whose magazines are apparently made from compressed unicorn tears...

Tam said...

"It's actually a pussycat next to the S&W 360PD..."

Of course it is. It weighs as much as three S&W 360PD's and holds less ammunition than one of them.

the pawnbroker said...

for pure impracticality and oldschool cool, you can't really beat the american derringer in .45/.410...

silky stainless steel, beautiful wood grips, and built like a brick...literally.

but for those who see a need for a derringer-shaped double-barrel pocket gun that is heavy enough to pull your pants off, has a single-action-only function that requires a double-fisted grip around it's cueball-shaped butt and borrowing tam's chainfall to hammer-back, chambers cartridges that are as long as the barrel itself resulting in all the ballistics of a ball bearing out of a slingshot, the a.d. 45/410 is just the "gun" for you. (i think somebody else makes it now...bond?) and it's a real steal of a deal at about five bills.

still like 'em though :o)

jtc

pdb said...

Good God the SPAS-12 was a POS. It's composed almost completely of sharp edges and is unable to be handled unless you're wearing kevlar gloves.

Another thing, the SPAS action was also sneakily imported by Franchi as the LAW-12. It looks more PC, but is still 100% fail. The one that showed up to my shotgun class lasted all of 1 string of fire before vomiting what looked like a handful of walnut shells and an extractor out the ejection port. Needless to say, that guy got really good at his handgun transitions! I offered him my Winchester 1300, but he declined...

Noah D said...

Okay, I'll toss a few in the ring:

Bushmaster M-17.Heavy for its size, and from the few times I handled one, the ergonomics left a lot to be desired.

FN PS-90.Try getting a cheekweld on a corner, and Wal-Mart doesn't even stock 5.7mm. Also, terminal ballistics of said cartridge are apparently a bit lacking. But they were the preferred weapon of SG1, so that's something. :)

S&W Model 500.Seriously - what is accomplished here that isn't with a .44, or .357, for that matter? I'll gladly grant the handgun-hunting argument (and my above reasoning is vulnerable to reductio ad absurdum), but that was always a headscratcher for me. Taking large African game with a handgun? Are you mad?

The Raving Prophet said...

Sure, I'll toss one in...

The Brugger & Thomet TP-9, sold by DSA. What might have been a fun 9mm subgun, once made semiauto only for the US, is now an extremely oversized, horrendously ugly, and frighteningly expensive pistol. For $1250 you can have a gun that is too big to conceal, has an extremely awkward charging method for a handgun, and relies on accessories mounted on its various rails for any kind of utility. If you think the Micro UZI pistol was useless, the BT-9 will have you wondering "who in God's green earth thought THAT was a good idea?"

John said...

Mateba Mo. 6An unnecessarily baroque solution to a problem that was probably obviated by the double-action revolver. Fun to shoot, though.

docjim505 said...

I've always rolled my eyes at the snub nosed "tacklebox" guns, such as the Ruger Alaskan, that have recently become popular, though I suppose that, if I fished in a place where becoming lunch for a grizzly bear was a possibility, I'd pack one of those sawed-off naval guns, too... and hope that it didn't break my wrists and / or whang me in the nose if I ever had to fire it.

http://www.ruger.com/Firearms/FAProdView?model=5301&return=Y

What about the Gyrojet? Or (delving even more deeply into Hollywood) the man-portable minigun?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrojet

http://www.t-nation.com/avatar_images/1/9/19412-Predator_MacShootingMinigun.gif

Dan said...

Dardick Tround

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dardick_tround

The answer to a question no one asked. At $50 a round (tround?) er... shot, It'd better be more fun than 10 .50 BMG's.

Re: the COP .357, I guess being toted by a french drug runner in Bad Boys wasn't enough to spark a run on those. For future reference, it's probably best to stick with Clint Eastwood for gun endorsements. Gran Torino made me get another Garand!

Kristopher said...

The Bren 10 magazine.

Even more rarer than magazines made of compressed unicorn tears.

( the Galil .308 sniper was just cool. A Galil ARM in .308 IS problematic ).

Rabbit said...

While not a 'complete' firearm, Pachmayr's Dominator, particularly in .308 (or 7mm-08 and .35Remington), is just silly. A single-shot breech and barrel assembly, bolted to a 1911 frame and chambered in a medium to large game caliber is a sure sign that orthopedic surgeons should not be involved in gun research.

I've fired one round through (someone else's) a .308 Dominator. It's a lot like extending your arms, palms front, elbows locked, and getting hit across the palm with a tennis racket.

Dunno about the Galil .308, but I've got a friend who popped a burglar with one. Seemed to work ok for all parties involved, but the burglar didn't much enjoy the experience. Tears up steel doors pretty badly, too.

The TP9- yeah, Steyr was eating the funny mushrooms in their quiche with that one. Ingram should have been enough of a lesson to not do it again, and I have to wonder if DSA is only doing a rehash to corner the Counterstrike Kiddies and chairborne Rangers, or if the Deagle is just so 1990's now.

H&K's 4.6mm PDW/MK7? Yeah, right.

Remington's foray into the market with EtronX. Who doesn't want a 700 lookalike sporting rifle that uses a smoke alarm battery to fire ammunition? Oh, yeah. Everybody.

Regards,
Rabbit.

West, By God said...

Nobody mentioned the calico yet?

Lame-R said...

Another overweight, oversized, underperforming handheld, the AR pistol. I wouldn't mind having one just for the novelty of it. Oly Arms examplesThe Ruger hbar Mini-14; it's like buying a shovel with a handle inlaid with pearl. You can put a gold ring in a pig's snout, it's still a pig. Ruger Mini's are decent and sturdy basic-use tools, and that's about it. Paying more so your 150 yard gun can be used out to 200 yards is for suckers. But the oversized Browning BOSS clone on the end of the barrel might at least scare some anti-gunners into thinking you've got a silencer on it.

The Steyr Scout. It's a great gun in its own right, but at its price you might as well get a semi-auto battle rifle with far greater parts ubiquity. But if you just gotta stand out from the crowd at Gunsite and want to consider yourself leet, then running a bolt gun with low capacity mags and a gimped scope may be right for you! Still, they're sweet shooters and I'd love to have one of my own.

Desert Eagle .357/.44/.50 semiautos. Totally badass, perfect for action movies and vidya games. Dual-wielding these bad boys turns you into a WMD. As impractical as they are, I'd just love to show up at a practical shooting competition with one. For the lulz, ofc.

Sigivald said...

I've fired a SPAS, and while it's an unwieldy monster, it seemed reliable enough.

How about the USAS?

Tam said...

"I've fired a SPAS, and while it's an unwieldy monster, it seemed reliable enough."

I'm sure somebody's gotten a quarter million miles out of a Yugo somewhere, too. :)

staghounds said...

Others beat me to Mateba, COP, and 50 cals.

And this is reaching inot "bad gun" territory- it's "cool but impractical".

How about .45 Broomhandles and modern semiauto Thompsons?.

Vaarok said...

Any semiauto version of a machinepistol. STEN, Uzi, whatever. They're launching the same pellet, less reliably, for a far higher cost than a Hi-point carbine that does the same thing.

Joel said...

The only thing I had was a semiauto 1919, and I got nailed in one comment on that one so I'll stop pathetically trying.

The only one you mentioned that I've actually fired is that COP .357. A gunshop-owning friend unpacked one while I was hanging around his store, back in the late '70's as I recall. Neither of us had ever seen anything like it, and once we stopped snickering (we were both 1911 purists) we just had to run it down to the range. OMFG. I don't remember what the trigger pull was like, but I do remember commenting that I was pretty sure the four barrels weren't supposed to hit four (sometimes overlapping!) separate points of aim. Consistently. That one went high in my list of all-time PsOS.

David said...

Tam, as a proud COP owner I must protest your unconscionable understatement of the flaws of this fine piece of shooty goodness! It falls upon me to set the record straight.

To wit: it weighs as much as Orson Welles, has a trigger pull like a dump truck hauling refrigerators down a bumpy road, functions with all the reliability of Arlen Specter, and is less accurate than NAA's Black Widow mini-revolver.

That said, when it works, it is a hell of a lot of fun to shoot .357 Magnum out of.

stranger said...

Sounds like a variant of "What would you run back into a burning house to save." But I will bite.

Shotgun? There are plenty of others on the rack, and 16 is not my gauge. Besides, I am not enthused about double guns, but I would grab the Darne, and hassle with the insurance company over the rest. Some things are irreplaceable.

Rifle? Depends on where the burning house is. A .22, the Anshutz 54 most likely. Probably the Rem 721 Swift for a varmint caliber, and the '53 Model 70 FW 270 for almost everything else.
Or one of the .300's. Weatherby for nostalgia or Winchester for cartridge availability? Good question.

Pistols or revolvers? I would not have to run back in the burning house. The Remington 51 that has saved my bacon a few times rides on my ankle or in my pocket - a 1911 is inside my waistband, and tomorrow a Smith 57 will hide under my coat. They take turns, you see.

Assault rifle? Blazes, I'm too old to assault anyone. But there was this bar in - nemine!

Stranger

Anonymous said...

How about a NAA single shot derringer in 45-70?

Anonymous said...

Well here is one:

Colt 1911: This clunky, ornate piece of history has shown to have no practical use in the modern world. Abandoned long ago by the U.S. Military for the much superior Beretta, and it's 9mm cartridge. Though modifications, such as beaver tails and full length guide rods have made it far more functional; the Colt 1911 will be seen as a quint piece of history.

atlharp said...

Well here is one:

Colt 1911: This clunky, ornate piece of history has shown to have no practical use in the modern world. Abandoned long ago by the U.S. Military for the much superior Beretta, and it's 9mm cartridge. Though modifications, such as beaver tails and full length guide rods have made it far more functional; the Colt 1911 will be seen as a quint piece of history.

What the hell? The Colt 1911? You have got to be kidding me! What a total buffoon. Dude, the 1911 was in use in the U.S. Military from World War I up to Vietnam. Hell even the Marines still use them! No practical use- tell it to every open shooter in USPSA, or every gamin' a-hole who uses a STI in ESP in IDPA!

Geez, these trolls ain't that bright! LOL!

Tam said...

"Geez, these trolls ain't that bright! LOL!"

Well, he sure spun you up. ;) :p

Anonymous said...

Although I have full respect for the 1911 and all of its aficianados (I carried one decades ago in the Navy), and would never knowingly show any disrespect for the above, I truly believe that if Saint John Moses Browning were designing pistols today, his genius would result in products strongly resembling the Sig product line.

Please don't hurt me too bad...

Old Squid.

Rabbit said...

...or the CZ-75, which I consider to be an 'evolved BHP', Squid.


Regards,
Rabbit.

An Accountant said...

I have a Singapore PD Webley breaktop revolver in 38 S&W. It is in amazing condition and very, very fun to shoot. I can reload it INSANELY fast, breaking the top on my thigh as I bring a speedloader up, in the neighborhood of 2 seconds. Why is it also silly? It has a safety. Blows my mind.

Anonymous said...

I'm real close on the "pistol grip only" shotguns in 12 ga. Had one in 20 ga and it worked pretty well. Buddy had a 12 ga that almost cracked his wrist against his dive watch. The "Kimmel Kamper" was another firearm that killed at one end and crippled at the other.

"finglett" - don't think I'm even going there on that verification word. :)

Joel said...

another firearm that killed at one end and crippled at the other. Good one! I'm saving that for a proper occasion.

But yeah! Shotguns with no buttstock; that's always been a favorite "silly gun". A powerful, heavy-recoil firearm that can neither be aimed like a long gun nor properly pointed like an handgun. You can neither fire it precisely nor conceal it well. How can it do anything well except look evil? The TEC9 of shotguns, but you see them all over the place.

the pawnbroker said...

in defense of pistolgrip shotguns everywhere, my ugly black mossie fits quite nicely under my store counter, would likely have the desired deterrent effect if the big hole on the business end was directed at some cretin, and is unlikely to kill an innocent in the parking lot out front in the event of its discharge.

and while it's use would involve pointing rather than aiming, the two-to-ten foot range involved would do wonders for bodymass accuracy, and wrist recoil would likely go unnoticed with adrenalin kicking in...

everything has a purpose; i hope i never have to employ it, but its quiet residence in that hidden corner does give additional peace of mind and capable backup to my little colt cobra .38 and my son's glock .40 that are our daily carryons.

jtc