Saturday, September 04, 2010

Overheard in the Office:

RX: *thumbing through my latest issue of SWAT Magazine* "EMA Countdown mags?"

Me: "Yeah, that's what I want: more moving parts in my magazines. Can they figure out a way to make it run on frickin' batteries, too?"

RX: "That's what I thought."

36 comments:

reflectoscope said...

It might also require a special left-handed metric tool to load, too.

Jim

Sean said...

My first comment on seeing these a few months ago was a Pat Rogers quote: "An answer to a question nobody asked."

Noah D said...

Ah, the internal war between 'my firearms need to work as simply and reliably as possible' and 'Aliens was one of the most awesome movies ever'.

fboness said...

The rifles in the Alien series were dolled up Thompsons. Why not just get a plain Thompson instead of dolling up what you have to make it look like a dolled up Thompson?

Anonymous said...

Note that if you use them you'll be an "operator" not a shooter.
(One ringy, dingy...)

Außenseiter said...

Aren't 'operators' supposed to count the shots in their heads? It's not that difficult to do, especially for someone who has all the time in the world to train..

Ancient Woodsman said...

Henry David Thoreau on guncraft: "Simplify, simplify." Or, something like that. Maybe the subject wasn't guncraft, but was direclty connected to all that is good.

These magazines are the opposite of that.

Tam said...

Außenseiter,

"Aren't 'operators' supposed to count the shots in their heads? It's not that difficult to do, especially for someone who has all the time in the world to train.."

The only operators I know work at the phone company.

As far as the number of BB's in my gun, either it's full or, if I have time to look at it and wonder how many BB's are left in the tank, I should be reloading.

Anonymous said...

Well, you see, the young'uns coming up aren't taught at those schools they done goned to so they could be teached how to count...all they got larned was how to press buttons on them calculumber thingies...

cap'n chumbucket

Ed Foster said...

Don't laugh, I saw a magazine a while back that had no spring. It was gear driven off the bolt.

Actually, it wasn't as silly as some might think. They've been running belt fed machineguns that way for more than a century.

Außenseiter said...

The only operators I know work at the phone company.

That's usually the case, but I've heard you USians use that term to refer to those elite supermen in who make up your military's special forces..

Silly designation. Reminds me of the Bofh.

RevGreg said...

EMA Tactical was showing them at SHOT Media Range Day...I was proud of myself for not face palming in front of the guy.

@Ed Foster: If you look carefully at the way a Lewis Gun operates...the magazine is actually a gear. The center of the mag is fixed and pawls engage the protrusions cartridges slot into to rotate the mag body. Never saw a gun that was as finicky about mags!

Tam said...

Außenseiter,

"That's usually the case, but I've heard you USians..."

I've seen you Central Europeans kiss up to both Adolf and Josef, but that doesn't mean I think you're all spineless.

Neutrino Cannon said...

RevGreg beat me to it, but the bolt-driven magazine follower is how the Lewis Gun works. The Lewis Gun also appears to be the ur-gas piston/rotating bolt design.

The weirdest magazine setup I've ever seen was the one in the HK36:

http://www.hkpro.com/image/hk36mag.jpg

(Not the G36, which was originally the HK50)

It's a fixed magazine on an assault rifle from the 70's. To reload it, you're supposed to pull down on a chain that drags the follower down until it locks. Then you pull open a door on the side of the magazine and put in a bunch of pre-packaged cartridges (essentially a 30-round en-bloc clip). Close the door, and give another yank on the chain to release the follower, rack the bolt and you're ready to shoot.

George said...

Back when I was a gun noob (1973), I always counted my shots, it just seemed right. Then, I was told 'real shooters' didn't do that, so I stopped. Wish I had kept counting...

Firehand said...

I can't help it; I always count shots, pistol or rifle or scattergun. I once heard someone say "Only amateurs count shots, pros do(whatever the hell it was)" and I wondered if I should stop.

Then I discovered A: the guy was full of crap and B: I can't stop anyway...

Ed Foster said...

Still, a savagely effective cooling system, if also savagely massive. I can see why the British desert forces were so fond of them as jeep mounted AA.

And Tom Sellick just looked so cool in High Road To China, dismounting those stripped down Lewis guns from the Gypsie Moth and John Wayneing all the evil warlord's stooges. One of the really under appreciated flics, especially for the flying scenes and photography.

I stayed in the theater for every bit of the credits roll, just to watch the aerobatics done by that beautiful little plane.


Me, if I was back in the day and legging it, I'd rather carry a BAR, preferably the Belgian/Polish version with the quick change barrel, and make up the difference in extra ammo.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Of course, we could always go to the other extreme and extoll the virtues of J.C. Garand's wonderful 8 round clip that allowed you to know that it was time to reload by going "TING!" and telling the Enemy "Shoot me, I'm Empty!" Couldn't add an extension and have a blind magazine and feed it using Springfield Stripper clips, like the Japs did to a few Garands just before the end of the War. Or he could have used the exact same design he put on the M-14 AFTER the war to make it use BAR magazines. A semi-auto rifle in 30-06 with 20 round magazines that would weigh 10.5-11 pounds? What a silly idea!

ravenshrike said...

A bright blinking LED that went off when you got to the last 5 rounds would work a hell of a lot better than an actual counter. Outside of actual combat of course.

Stretch said...

"Why make it simple and efficient when it can be complex and wonderful?"

I think that's the motto of every German engineering school.

Will said...

Ed,
the novel had a much better ending. I think if the movie had stayed with it, it might have made it more memorable, and therefore more profitable. Still, a neat movie, even if they butchered most of the story.

Anonymous said...

Stretch:

That motto is one of the reasons Germany lost WWII--a fight they could not have won anyway once they invaded Russia, much less even when the paperhanger decided they could whomp up on the US of A.

Saw a part of as History (?) channel program about German WWII armor. They showed a main bearing for a Mark 5 Panther tank that was so well made that if it had been installed in a semi would have lasted for 300,00 miles easily, and it was going into a tank that had an estimated service life of three months!! No wonder they couldn't build enough tanks...

cap'n chumbucket

Don Meaker said...

One technique to determine if your magazine is empty is to use the weight. One has to be pretty out of it to miss the differentce between 3 rounds and 30 rounds.

Außenseiter said...

@Tam
Nazis, spineless? Then how come they conquered about the whole of Europe and stood a decent chance of whupping Russians had they not fumbled the opening. (and perhaps treated soviet civilians better)

@Les
I'm sure J.C.Garand knew all about box magazines. That 8-round clip is surely something concieved by a military commitee. You know, there can't be anything protruding below the rifle.. that sort of crap.

Ed Foster said...

Will: I'll try to find it. Sounds like a good read.

Bubblehead Les: When I was at Lejeune, we had some Cuban refugees who had been in Batista's army. They put on a demo where they ran with an M-1, firing from the hip, and went into a forward shoulder roll, coming up reloaded.

Actually, accurate aimed semiauto fire from a walk would have been far more effective, but it did serve to illustrate the fact that an experienced man could reload the M-1 far faster than a single stripper clip could have been inserted. That gaping hole in the middle of the rifle is just so much bigger than a clip slot.

I suspect that someone who jumped up when he heard the clip pop would get shot by that same rifle before he was fully vertical.

I took the director's tour at the Springfield Armory a couple of years ago, the one where you go upstairs and see all the experimental stuff from 200 years of tinkering.

They had several racks of Japan invasion prepped M-1's, all with BAR magazines. Also, a Russian style cleaning rod hole in the back of the reciever, so that the soldier could clean his barrel from the rear instead of the muzzle.

I really don't know how well the M-1 barrel would have held up in the kind of sustained fire the boxes would have encouraged, and I suspect marksmanship would have suffered. The BAR tube has a lot more mass, for control and for heat dissipation.

Mack Qwinne mentioned once that John Garand told him he'd wanted to go with a box from day one, but Douglas MacArthur wanted an En Bloc clip, and that was that.

I will say the M-1 has some real virtues when you're close to the ground, in a foxhole, or shooting a tight sling, and keeping the ammo away from dings isn't a bad idea, so I'd give it a pass compared to any other full power weapon of it's generation.

In the Battle of the Bulge, the M-1 was probably the deciding factor in the Americans not being overrun and crushed. Every American was trained to fire accuratly out to 600 yards, with a rifle and sights that, combined with better marksmanship training than anywhere else on the planet, gave him an enourmous advantage in the leafless forest and open fields around Bastonge.

Most German soldiers trained at 100 meters, and even the machinegunners only got to work at 300. The Germans considered any weapon that could hit consistently at 600 meters a sniping weapon, which is how they classified the issue M-1, along with the Norwegian Krag.

Cybrludite said...

Reminds me of the story of the German made anvil. 70+ moving parts and had to be wound twice an hour...

nbc said...

I agree with George, we were always taught that you should count your rounds and avoid dead-man's click. That little noise that, if you were lucky, you'd hear more than once.

That said, any range staff hearing a click would beat the sh*t out of the poor unfortunate, just to reinforce the lesson.

Steve Skubinna said...

Les, I believe the Army insisted upon an en bloc clip. Many militaries were leery of semi-autos, fearing they would lead to waste of ammo. Even many early bolt actions had a magazine cut-off, the soldier was expected to load and shoot one round at a time. The magazine was reserved for when the Zulus were coming over the top of the mealie bags.

Aus, as for the term "operator," I have never heard anyone in the SpecWar community use that term. It appears restricted to magazines selling spiffy tactical gear to civvies.

Ancient Woodsman said...

Remember that the original design for the M-1 was in .276, in which caliber the en bloc clip held ten rounds. That was at the time a boatload of ammunition - twice as much as the then-official 1903A3, half as much as the M1918 BAR.

Neutrino Cannon said...

Ed Foster;

I don't know if you've had the pleasure to strip a K43. I have, and came away with the impression that the garand had it in spades over its axis counterpart at least. High-friction action (the flaps tend to abut against the receiver walls), lots and lots and lots of parts (three part gas piston and the left and right locking flaps are not interchangeable!), and a bolt that rides outside of the receiver, bizarrely enough.

The SVT-40 looks like a better design, but I'm not convinced it's quite up to the same standard as the M1. The stock was very fragile, among other things. The AG-42 which was at least a contemporary if from a neutral country is one of the few designs that's actually worse than the garand about eating thumbs.


As for the term "operator", I have a scan of the report on the test between the T25, proto-FAL and EM-2 which refers to the rifle shooter person as such, and that's from the 50s. Not sure when it came semi-ironically to mean HSLD ninja type folks.

Tam said...

Neutrino Cannon,

Ed horse-traded me out of my old SVT-40; it'd be interesting to know what he thought of it from a mechanical standpoint...

Mister_V said...

Or you could just use a clear plastic mag. "Yep, still loaded." KISS.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Good news everyone! I've developed a twin-scroll snail magazine for 1911s that uses gas bled from the barrel to boost the spring rate, and has a small servo to pull the follower back for you during loading! It even announces your round count for you in a nice Canadian woman's voice!

tom-the-impaler said...

I think it ought to use, not just batteries, but batteries which A: can't be found at wal-mart, B: cost at least $10 bucks each, and C: claim a service life of 1000 hours while in reality always seem to be dead when you pull them out of the closet the second time.

Tam said...

Mister_V,

"Or you could just use a clear plastic mag. "Yep, still loaded." KISS."

By my way of thinking, if I have enough time to look at the mag, I have enough time to prophylactically top up the gun.

Ninjasuperspy said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YWYs9bvt6Q

Turns out they found out a way to add batteries.