June 12, 2013
I just have to start by saying that the MP40 was the first machine gun I ever shot. I was about fourteen when I got to shoot it, and I immediately fell in love—and really what’s not to love here?
It’s got good balance and feel, it has a good rate of fire, it’s simple, and lastly it works. The thing is just a workhorse of a machine gun. I honestly have no idea how many were produced, but if it’s not in the millions I’d really be surprised. When you picture a WWII German soldier, you picture one of two things: a K98 or an MP40.
I mentioned on the video that my MP40 is a tube gun. Y’all are probably wondering what that is. Well, a tube gun is basically built on a non-original receiver. You take a kit and a new manufactured receiver and make an MP40, a Sterling, or a Sten, etc. Of course, if you make it after ‘86, it’s a post sample, but there are quite a few transferable tube guns. They don’t command the same, stupid high, price as an original gun, but they run just as well. In fact, you are probably better off using a tube gun as a shooter than an original. The reason is that if you break a part on a matching gun, you cry. It is no longer matching at that point. Its value and, to my mind, part of its history is gone.
Now, on a tube gun parts can be swapped in and out, and the value and history of the gun isn’t changed. As a matter of fact, tube guns may be made to a higher standard than what can be found in some military production lines.
So that’s a little about the MP40 and the one I have in particular. I hope y’all dig the video.
http://www.youtube.com/embed/jefWrjTUreYClick on one or more of the social media buttons above to share on your page.
June 7, 2013
I’ve messed with a ton of different firearms and, for the most, part enjoyed it. This gun, for better or worse, changed my life: the MG42.
I know, I know, I’ve already talked at length about the ‘42 in one of my earlier blogs. This is true but I want to better tie this blog in with The Gunner’s Vault. So, I’m going to say a few basic things about how it has affected me.
I bought my first ‘42 kit at my first Knob Creek for a thousand dollars. I had every intention of making a semi-auto out of it and just terrorizing the range. Halfway home in our twelve-hour trip though, I decided that it should be a full-auto. I was working for an SOT at the time, so it was an option and, to be honest, this was early on in my flourishing gun building carrier. Full-auto would be easier to build. Also, I wanted to see if I could come up with a better semi-auto design, but needed to see how the thing actually worked before I could.
The gun took a little over a week to build, after an extensive study on how it went together. This was my first full-auto build, and I wanted to do it right.
The build turned out to be the easy part. It took another month and a half to get it running right. In hindsight, I could have gotten it done quicker, but like I said I was new at this.
I didn’t shoot it often; it was just too expensive to do so. But when I did, man, you talk about an attention getter! I’d let people shoot it off the Lafette that I’d restored, and they enjoyed the hell out of it. After all, how many ten year olds can say they shot an MG42?
After about a year of playing around with it, I took it on an interview I had for Red Jacket. I knew they had a show, and I wanted to be on TV, so I brought it along. As it turned out, it was just the thing needed to solidify me a place on the show.
The rest is, as they say, history. Recent history that is, for the full work up of the firearm you will have to check The Gunner’s Vault.
Speaking of The Gunner’s Vault, it’s something I’ve been kind of guiding myself towards without even knowing it. I was often disappointed by Sons of Guns just glancing over the firearms that were on the show, instead of really getting into them. After all it was supposed to be a show about guns right?
Well, now that I’m not on the show any longer, I can devote myself to this and really get in depth on the guns. I’m hoping y’all will dig it as much as I like doing it.
May 30, 2013
I’ve posted quite a few videos on YouTube: everything from me shooting some form of machine gun to my daughter playing with her blocks and damn near everything in between. But there is one video that gets the most attention. It’s the Mosin Nagant Pistol or, as I like to call it, the Somali Special. No really, it’s Form 2’d as that. It’s the official name for it according to the US government!
For those of you who haven’t seen the video, it’s my take on the Obrez. That’s basically a Mosin Nagant with a couple feet chopped off of it and a pistol grip made or attached to it.
First off, for the purists, I don’t like chopping a classic firearm anymore than y’all do, but this one was already, shall we say, messed with. It was heavily sporterized when we bought it, and we couldn’t figure out what to do with it. At that point, being the creative bastard I am, I said, “I bet I can make a pistol!”
Yep, turns out I could!
I didn’t crown the barrel, I didn’t attach any high speed sights, and I didn’t add a flashlight or a laser. In short, I just chopped off a couple feet off one end, about a foot off the other, and attached a Mossberg pistol grip, then started shooting it.
The thing is a beast! I like shooting it at ranges that have a tin overhang. The concussion is so big that it makes the top ‘gong’ like thunder for a little while. When shooting it at dusk, the fireball is easily four feet across. When you shoot this thing, the entire range stops and turns to see just what in the hell you are shooting. It is one of the most fun toys I own.
I know, I know, a firearm isn’t a toy. But in this case, I can’t think of a better word for it.
Lastly, I just want to leave you with this advice before posting the vid links. I may not be able to hit the broad side of a barn with it, but I’ll be damned if I can’t set it on fire!
May 26, 2013
Memorial day why I remember
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May 21, 2013
Okay, so here is the first installment of my video-and-blog endeavor. I think it’s coming out well, but I must warn you, you really have to like the MG34 or just want to know how a machine gun works to watch it. Or maybe you just think I’m pretty.
Anyway, in this installment I wanted to go over some features and some of the workings of the weapon. I tried to keep it entertaining, but we shall see on that.
The MG34 is a conglomeration of several weapons all rolled into one. The end result is the world’s first successful GPMG or General Purpose Machine Gun. This basically means it can fulfill multiple roles on the battlefield. It did this very well. The only real drawbacks to the MG34 were that it was very expensive to produce, and it was a really finicky gun.
Of course that doesn’t make me love it any less. In fact, it’s the opposite: I truly love this weapon. The workmanship, the attention to detail, and the approximately eleven thousand—there may not be that many—parts all working together just make this gun for me.
Anyway, here is the first video installment. In future Vlogs, I guess we can call them that, there will be more in the writing area as well, but for now I present you the MG34.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD6sFTSowx0Click on one or more of the social media buttons above to share on your page.
May 11, 2013
Howdy all. I’ve been doing some thinking, and there is one thing missing out there. Lots of people have reviews about the latest and greatest in the world of firearms. I’m not even gonna try to get in there.
If you have been following my blog here, you probably have noticed that I really like the older stuff; it’s kind of my thing. Well, I often have access to the older stuff and am thinking it’s time there is a serious review site for that. For instance:
Just how revolutionary was the MP44?
In comparison to the M240 just how does the MG42 stack up?
Is the Thompson really that much better than the M3 Greasegun
There is a host of other stuff as well. MG’s, pistols, rifles, and, when I can, artillery. In short, I won’t be bored doing this.
The main difference is I’m incorporating an all-video format for my reviews utilizing YouTube—Flemgunner is my YouTube name. I’m planning on it all being free too!
Am I gonna shoot the guns? Well, there are some just too valuable to shoot, but I will as often as I can. One thing I won’t be doing is blowing things up. I want the viewer to see the effect of the round and what it does, accuracy, wound, etc. You just can’t see that with a fireball. Besides, the Tannerite thing has been done to death.
So there you have it. I’m gonna try to get the first video up in a month or so and do others as weapons and time are available. Y’all use the comments section and tell me what ya think. Or if it’s been done before, let me know. Remember with my background, we will be going into the workings of the weapons, not just how well they handle, perform, etc. So, I’m hoping to go into more depth than anyone has before.Click on one or more of the social media buttons above to share on your page.
May 2, 2013
Y’all may have seen the last show to air, centered on a Solothurn 20mm anti-tank gun.
I just have to say, for the record, it is one of the most beautiful guns I’ve ever seen. It was made by the Swiss so that should tell you something right off the bat. Oh yeah, and it weighed a hundred and twenty pounds, making it the single heaviest man portable gun I’ve ever messed with.
Ira and I are pretty tight, both on and off the show, so I kind of had a heads up that he was coming by and what he was bringing, but I was still floored when I actually saw it. It’s a completely machined chunk of steel that fires a 20x138mm shell and does it in style. The actual name for the weapon is S18-1000, which I think is pretty damn fancy, but enough of that.
The gun came in and was not working. A previous owner had let the bolt fly home after assembling the gun incorrectly. This basically caused the gun to seize, which tore up some of the internals. You see, this particular weapon actually creates recoil WHEN CLOSING THE BOLT!
It is that powerful, it has a much more robust action than the Lahti—and that gun is no lightweight. Once the weapon was apart, it was a simple matter of filing, stoning, and polishing the affected parts. Pretty easy stuff, especially when it’s on a massive scale; it’s much easier to see what you’re doing.
Of course we did have the problem with the firing pin but y’all saw that on the show.
Once the pin was installed, it was off to the range. The first shot was a dud. We were using sixty year old ammo, so sometimes it just doesn’t go bang. There is basically no danger, unless you open the bolt too quickly, and it’s a hang fire as opposed to a misfire.
A misfire is when the round does not go off. You still need to sit there and wait about thirty seconds because you never know.
A hang fire is when the primer is struck and after, usually, a second or two the round goes off. If you don’t know what you are doing here, it can be a scary thing—especially with a 20mm. In reality you just wait about thirty seconds and if it doesn’t go off, it’s a misfire and it won’t. None of the ammo we had was explosive, so that was never a factor. But we did have to collect the dud rounds and soak them in oil for a week. After that time, they could be taken apart and the components reused.
So anyway, it was finally my turn to fire the thing. I’m not gonna lie, I had been waiting for this chance since I saw it.
I shouldered up behind the gun and found a good eye relief on the scope. Once satisfied with my aiming point, I pulled the trigger. And damn was that cool!
The Lahti, while firing the same size ammo, had nothing on this. The way it fires you get a recoil force coming and going. It was really interesting. I had never felt anything like that. Of course, you get the recoil of the round going off but you also get the reverse recoil of the bolt slamming back into battery—a really interesting feeling.
So that was it, I had fired a S18-1000. Another marked off the list. I cannot recommend shooting this enough. It is singularly one of the most complex and interesting weapons I’ve ever messed with, and the way it shoots is just incredible.
Oh, and did I mention I hit the bull first shot and penetrated 1” of solid steel. That, my friends, is neat as hell.
I don’t really have much to say on this beyond, if you have a spare eighteen to twenty-grand lying around, you need one of these. Oh, and you should call me to come shoot it. You know, just to be safe.Click on one or more of the social media buttons above to share on your page.
April 23, 2013
What can I say? Working on a tank was awesome! It was scary and fun all at the same time, and firing the thing was one of the best experiences ever.
Scary? But why? Well we had to move a 700 pound breech ring around in a very small area with, in my opinion, too many people. I like having help but there comes a point when there are too many folks for the space allocated. But that’s neither here nor there.
The Tank came in on a rainy day, and we had to get it under the overhang. No one was sure if it would crack the concrete or not, but the load displacement on the tracks is very good, so that turned out not to be a problem. Next came the cleaning of rust off the area on the barrel, where the ring goes, and servicing the ring so it would work.
This was actually pretty hard. The ring weighed close to 700 pounds—something that made me very nervous. It was just a huge chunk of steel, and any time you had to move it, you were in danger of losing a finger or toe. I must admit that I like mine where they are.
Once cleaned and prepped, putting it on was actually very easy. Insert tab A into slot B, and poof you were done. If the above sounds rushed, it’s because it is. I really want to get to the heart of this thing: firing it!
We loaded three blanks to fire first. With the benefit of hindsight, I’m actually not sure why we did that; it didn’t really test anything. The pressures were just too low.
After the blanks we went to the live rounds. Eight pounds of powder and a 25 pound projectile make for a total of about a 50 pound round.
On the first live round we used a lanyard. Nobody wanted to become red toothpaste with the first ‘real’ test. The lanyard was pulled, and . . . .
I had no clue what happened. Did the tank explode? Did my eardrums rupture? Where was I? What was going on?
That lasted for about a second. The concussion of the round going off rang my, and everyone else’s, bell badly. If you have ever stood to the side of a very effective muzzle break as it was fired, picture that with a 90mm cannon. Yeah, it rang us.
But damn! It was cool. We shot two more times, and every shell was a solid shot; there was no explosive in the warhead. The thing is, it’s so damn powerful there didn’t need to be. A solid shot into the white minivan, again with no boom loaded in either the car or round, and when the shell hit the minivan the results were nothing short of spectacular.
I don’t care if you don’t like the show; you need to watch it for the one slow motion shot.
The round hit the van. The van almost immediately jumped into the air, flipped over, burst into flames, and was incinerated in a matter of moments.
I’ve shot a lot of cool and big stuff, but nothing comes close to that tank. It was just amazing.
I know those of you who watch the show are now going, “What happened with all the smoke?” Well, I kind of have to be a dick and say, I can’t tell ya. You are just gonna have watch next week’s episode.
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with these words of wisdom. If you ever get the chance to fire a tank, I don’t care if you have to miss your own wedding, do it! You will not be disappointed.
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March 28, 2013
Yep, I’m back. I must apologize for the lapse in posting, but I have been incredibly busy: filming at RJF; opened my own shop, Acadiana Gunworks; hanging with the family, whenever I have time; working on my car; and etc.
Yeah I know, it’s rough being me. Anyway, i just wanted y’all to know I’m still here. By the way, I’m also doing a radio thing every Friday: Firearms Friday on KPEL 96.5 at roughly 08:45am. I got to tell you I really like it, but it’s much harder than TV is. I have to watch, shall we say, my colorful language. You also have to know the stuff ahead of time and be ready for the answers, so you have to study up on what you are saying. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, it shows.
So, what else am I doing? Well, I’ve been toying with writing a book, but I’m not sure I’m interesting enough to do that. I have had more than a few folks tell me I should though, so maybe I will. I’m hoping they make a movie of the week, and I can star as myself!
In case y’all haven’t heard Sons of Guns is supposed to start back up April 19th so I’ll have some stuff to talk about along those lines. I’m also gonna talk about some stuff I’ve been interested in for a while, but haven’t mentioned or done yet. Y’all will be the first to know.
That’s it for now, as its past my bedtime. Y’all take it easy and enjoy ride we are gonna take.
PS here is some mandatory gun porn
February 5, 2013
Hey yall there is a fund set up for the families of Chris and Chad. Please go here and help out if you can
http://www.thecraft.com/InMemoriam.html?Category=49084Click on one or more of the social media buttons above to share on your page.