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The Adventures of Marco Polo – Its my blog and I can post anything I want!!!

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Defense of Duffer’s Drift – A great primer for how to set up a defensive platoon size defence

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WHAT WAS I THINKING? TALES OF A FIREARMS COLLECTOR WRITTEN BY WILL DABBS, MD

The No. 4 Lee-Enfield rifle carried Commonwealth troops
through World War II. It was rugged, accurate, and fast.

 

They say that the first step toward freeing oneself from addiction is admitting you have a problem. I do formally announce such today in this venue. By way of explanation, I offer the following anecdote:

Collectors are drawn to firearms for a wide variety of reasons. Just like some might favor blondes while others are inexplicably partial to brunettes or redheads, gun nerds typically have a favorite genre. Mine is classic military weapons.

Little gets my blood pumping faster than some cool vintage martial firearm. The weirder and more obscure, the better. The only way to improve on that is for the gun in question to manifest some cool story as well. As such, I am ever on the prowl.

The best of the lot might sport the actual stigmata of combat. Military weapons used by troops in action carry an almost holy ambience. At some point, some young man clutched such a trinket amidst the most intense of human experiences. The fear, anger and exhilaration associated with combat are unparalleled in the human experience. The weapons used in such action carry just a little bit of that secret sauce back with them to more peaceful spaces.

 

This particular No. 4 Lee-Enfield was, at some point in its service life, blown up. Despites its being objectively worthless, I just had to have it.

Back Story

 

The rifle in question was a GunBroker find. For those of you who might not have had the pleasure, GunBroker.com is a 24/7 coast-to-coast gun show. If you cannot find it on GunBroker, you really don’t need it.

GunBroker itself has a fascinating history. Just before the turn of the millennium, eBay decided to do some virtue signaling and prohibited the sale of firearms on their website. In response, Steven Urvan started GunBroker, a dedicated auction site catering to firearm enthusiasts. GunBroker has never sold a gun; They just connect legal sellers and buyers across the country and around the world. Their business model turned out to be fairly sound.

Today, GunBroker.com has six million registered users and averages seven million visitors per month. They list about a million guns and gun-related items at any given time. They used to have a dedicated iPhone app before Apple kicked them off the App Store. Now, you have to access GunBroker on your phone via web browser.

With literally billions in cumulative sales, GunBroker.com is the third-largest auction site on the internet, right after eBay and eBay Motors. It’s counted among the top 400 most popular websites ever. In retrospect, perhaps eBay and Apple just don’t like money.

 

Whatever struck this thing, a piece of shrapnel from an artillery round most likely, did a serious job on the barrel and forearm.

A Certifiable Piece of Junk

 

Anyway, the gun in question was a nice British No. 4 Lee-Enfield. The No. 4 was a World War II vintage evolutionary development of the previous Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE). British Tommies affectionately referred to the SMLE as the Smelly. Both guns remained in production throughout WWII. At a glance, you can differentiate between the two rifles by the muzzle. That of the Smelly is flat, while the No. 4 muzzle sports a stubby bit of barrel.
The No. 4 was a bit cheaper and faster to make and saw service with Commonwealth troops in all theaters of war. This particular example had a nice action and a well-preserved finish. It had also been blown up.

At some point in its military service, this particular rifle had been subjected to the kinetic effects of some kind of fragmenting weapon. The wooden forearm was shattered, and the barrel cocked off at a jaunty angle. There were deep gouges in the steel. The action still worked fine, but firing this weapon would have transformed the rifle into a bomb. The old vintage gun was a certifiable piece of junk, yet I absolutely had to have it.

In my defense, there aren’t a whole lot of idiots like me wandering the world. Therefore, I got the derelict old gun cheap. It transferred in painlessly via my C&R FFL and now resides comfortably in the corner of my man space. I pawed over the shattered implement of destruction, mentally cataloged its many battle scars, and let my mind wander as to the specifics of their origin. The seller had found the gun in an estate sale and had no idea of its story. I had to fill in the details myself. Fortunately, I have a vivid imagination.

It’s quite possibly the most worthless gun thing that I own. While I could theoretically re-barrel the rifle and source a fresh stock, that would be stupid. That onerous chore would require some special tools and special talent. The restoration project would cost far more than a comparable original rifle in good shape might be. It would also further ruin this already ruined rifle. The intrinsic value of this beat-up old gun stems from its many mechanical warts.

If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m still glad I threw a couple of hundred bucks away on this battered old combat veteran rifle. It has absolutely no practical utility, but it looks cool in a quirky sort of way. As my sunset years approach, I might just aspire to something similar myself.

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All About Guns Interesting stuff This looks like a lot of fun to me!

IT’S A TURKEY SHOOT! (Country Style) So much fun

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Boy Paratroopers (1961)

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Poll: Gun ownership reaches record high with American electorate By Alexandra Marquez

A record share of voters in NBC News’ latest poll say that they or someone in their household owns a gun.

More than half of American voters — 52% — say they or someone in their household owns a gun, per the latest NBC News national poll.

That’s the highest share of voters who say that they or someone in their household owns a gun in the history of the NBC News poll, on a question dating back to 1999.

In 2019, 46% of Americans said that they or someone in their household owned a gun, per an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. And in February 2013, that share was 42%.

“In the last ten years, we’ve grown [10 points] in gun ownership. That’s a very stunning number,” said Micah Roberts of Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm that co-conducted the poll with members of the Democratic polling firm Hart Research.

“By and large, things don’t change that dramatically that quickly when it comes to something as fundamental as whether you own a gun,” Roberts added.

Gun ownership does fall along partisan lines, as it has for years, the poll finds.

This month, 66% of Republican voters surveyed say that they or someone in their household owns a gun, while just 45% of independents and 41% of Democrats say the same.

In 2004, a March NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 57% of Republicans said that they or someone in their household owned a gun, while just 41% of independents and 33% of Democrats said the same.

White voters tend to own guns at higher rates than Black or Latino voters, but gun ownership rates among Black voters have jumped in recent years.

In August 2019, 53% of white voters said that they or someone in their household owned a gun, and 24% of Black voters said the same.

This month, 56% of white voters report that they or someone in their household owns a gun and 41% of Black voters say the same, – a 17-point increase among that group in just four years.

The NBC News poll also measures voters’ attitudes about gun rights.

Almost half — 48% — say they’re more concerned that the government will not do enough to regulate access to firearms, versus 47% who believe the government will go too far in restricting gun rights

That one-point difference is consistent with past results on this question over the past decade.

The NBC News poll was conducted Nov. 10-14 and surveyed 1,000 registered voters — 833 by cellphone — and it has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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How ridiculous was American production in World War 2? This is what’s inside an Ice Cream Barge by Gary Zhang (Hey it gets mighty hot & humid out there for at least 365 days a year! Grumpy)

And honestly it’s bloody cool

These were giant concrete vessels deployed by the US solely for the purpose of making and supplying ice cream to US troops throughout the Pacific Theatre of war, able to create over 5 litres of ice cream every minute.

Just to put that into perspective, this is just the Pacific Theatre that we’re talking about. The US fought a two front war, and chose to primarily focus on the European Theatre of War. Thus the vast majority of resources and assets were sent to that front with the Pacific Theatre getting the(relatively) short end of the stick.

And despite all of that, despite the fact that the Pacific was considered the “less critical” part of the US war effort, despite the fact that they were producing huge quantities of ships and aircraft for the naval battles against the Japanese, they still had more than enough resources to create, run and supply a massive vessel for the sole purpose of feeding ice cream to their soldiers.

And honestly, it’s kind of scary when you think about it.

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A Video about Sights, Buck horn or Peep on a lever action

I like this Old Boys style! Grumpy

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From Bad ass's Blog

Image result for john m browning

John Moses Browning is the greatest gun designer in human history, the father of modern firearms, and an insane super-genius who designed everything from the lever-action cowboy rifles you see in old Westerns to heavy belt-fed machine gun that is literally still mounted on vehicles used in every branch of the United States military to this very day.  Among his 150 patents and the 80 guns he designed, an unbelievable number are still in use today among military, police, and civilians around the world.  The dude invented the pump-action shotgun, the gas-operated ammunition cycling system that is utilized by literally every semi-auto and full-auto weapon in use today, and, of the 10 standard small arms utilized by American soldiers who were storming the Beaches of Normandy in World War II, six of those weapons had been personally designed by John Moses Browning.  This is made even more incredible when you realize that John Moses Browning personally helped contribute to the defeat of Nazi Germany and the destruction of Adolf Hitler’s regime even though he died eleven years before World War II even freaking began.
Browning was born January 21st, 1855, in Ogden, Utah.  His dad, Jonathan Browning, had been a Mormon gunsmith in Tennessee, helping fix and build weapons for badass American frontiersmen working on the fringes of the American countryside.  After he got pretty hardcore into Mormonism, Browning relocated to Nauvoo, Indiana, to join the congregation of Reverend Joseph Smith, but when Smith was assassinated and the Temple was burned down, Browning was brought in by Brigham Young to serve as the gunsmith during the Mormon Exodus west to Utah.  There, in the desert frontier, he helped settlers build, maintain, and repair the weapons they needed to fight off threats from everything ranging from killer bears to Native American warriors.

John Moses Browning got started working on guns at an early age, when at just ten years old he found an old broken flintlock musket and repaired t using wood and metal he just found laying around in his dad’s shop.  He turned a smashed-up piece-of-garbage gun into something that would actually fire, but his dad, like any good badass cowboy frontier dad, was just like “yeah, this is good, but you can do better.”  When Browning was 14 he built a gun from scratch for his brother.  A few years after that, he’d already made a name for himself working as an apprentice in his dad’s gunsmithing shop, doing neighborhood D&D blacksmith kind of stuff for the local settlers – everything from building rifles to repairing broken sewing machines and helping farmers repair damaged equipment.  He learned the trade, and was excellent at fixing anything that had any moving parts on it, but his true passion lie not with running the shop, or making money, but in building cool stuff.
Jonathan Browning died in 1879, leaving 24 year-old John Browning in charge of the shop.  Browning updated the shop’s tools from hand-powered stuff to steam-powered equipment, got married, got his first patent, and started building a pretty cool single-shot breech-loaders rifle.  He didn’t really love running his business and doing the day-to-day paperwork crap associated with being a small business owner, though, and in 1883 he caught a pretty awesome break when the big-time Winchester Company caught wind of the fact that there was some mid-20s gunsmithing genius out in Utah who was selling guns faster than he could build them.  Winchester’s head guy, T.G. Bennett, headed to Ogden and offered John Browning $8,000 to buy the rights to produce Browning’s rifle, and of course we all know that $8,000 in 1883 is the equivalent of roughly seventy-five kajillion dollars in 2018, so there should be no surprise that Browning accepted.
At Winchester, Browning developed and designed the 1886 and 1895 lever-action Winchester repeating rifle.  Bascially, this is the freaking lever-action gun that every cowboy carries in every cowboy movie ever made, and it was designed by a kid in his late-20s who just so happened to be a genius at making awesome stuff using machine tools and the power of his incredible mind.  He was later asked by Winchester to build a lever-action shotgun, which he did, but Browning didn’t love the way it worked.  Instead of a lever-action, he decided, a pump-action would be much better.  So he designed the Winchester 1897 Pump Shotgun, a weapon that was carried by American infantry soldiers from the year 1897 all the way through Vietnam and even the first Gulf War 100 years later.  It was the world’s first pump-action shotgun, and Browning is basically the man capable of designing what would eventually become the best weapon in virtually every single first-person shooter since Doom.

Browning wanted his weapons to possess two things – speed and reliability.  Unfortunately, those two things had, until Browning, primarily been limited by a human being’s own inability to do anything fast or reliable, and guns only fired as fast as a man could pump, lever-action, or draw back a bolt of a bolt-action rifle.  Even the famous Gatling Guns and the French mitrailleuses, while technically “fully automatic” still had to be operated by a man cranking a lever around in a circle.  John Browning thought there had to be a better way.
He was right.
One day, Browning was at a big shooting competition, and he noticed that every time the shooters would fire their weapons it would blast around the grass and reeds around the barrel.  Browning decided that if there were some way to harness the power of the gas that was generated by the ignition of gunpowder in a cartridge, perhaps that could cycle rounds through the weapon in a way that would be consistent, and also way faster than a dude could cycle rounds.
He drew up some plans, designed a mechanism, and it turns out he was right.  To this very day, virtually every semi-auto and full-auto weapon on Earth utilizes this method.  And, honestly, until we invent laser rifles or man-portable rail guns, it’s going to be the basis of cycling rounds through a firearm for the foreseeable future as well.
Browning invented the 1895 Machine Gun, which was the first fully-automatic weapon ever purchased by the United States military.  It was used in the Boxer Rebellion and the Spanish-American War, primarily as a ship-based weapons system, but this design was a breakthrough in weapons development forever.

From here, Browning went on to invent some of the most iconic guns ever built.  Working for Winchester, Remington, Colt, and FN, he created semi-auto shotguns when he built the Auto-5, then he invented virtually every man-portable firearm used by the U.S. to stomp Hitler’s nuts in World War II.  His pistol design, created in 1911 as a response to a call by the U.S. military to upgrade their sidearm from a .38-cal to a .45-cal is still revered today as the Colt M1911.  In military testing for the weapon, the second-best gun malfunctioned nearly 40 times for every 6,000 rounds put through it.
Browning’s Colt 1911 did not fail once.  In the entire trial.  Not a single jammed round.
Do you know what helped?  The fact that Browning had not only designed the gun, but the bullet that went through it.  We know the round today as the .45 ACP.

Browning went on to build the BAR assault rifle, the M1917 machine gun, the M1919 .30-cal machine gun that was mounted on nearly every U.S. airplane and tank of World War II, and the Browning M2, “Ma Deuce”, a full-auto, belt-fed .50-caliber machine gun that you can still see today on Abrams tanks and Bradley IFVs.  When the Allies stormed D-Day 13 years after Browning’s death, five of the ten small arms in the U.S. Military were guns he had designed… and one of the ones he didn’t design, the Thompson Submachine Gun, was chambered in .45 ACP, which is a bullet that Browning invented.
Oh, right, and he’d also designed the pistol the Brits and Canadians were carrying, the Browning Hi-Power.  Just, you know, for good measure.
That’s right.  The same guy designed the Colt 1911, the lever-action Winchester, the M2 Browning machine gun, and the freaking .45 ACP cartridge.  Basically every badass weapon from cowboy days to Nazi-killers was created by the same soft-spoken, quiet, humble, eccentric genius.  A man who was referred to across FN in hushed tones as simply, “le maître,” meaning, “the Master”.
John Browning died the day after Thanksgiving 1926.  His weapons are still in use in militaries across the world to this very day.

 
Links:
History.com
AmericanRifleman.org
SchoolofTrades.edu
M1911.org
Wikipedia
 
Carter, Greg Lee.  Guns in American Society.  Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2012.
Conroy, Bob and Paul Ruffin.  Browning Automatic Rifle.  Huntsville, TX: Texas Review Press, 2015.
Sweeney, Patrick.  The Gun Digest Book of the 1911.  Gun Digest Books, 2006.
Tillman, Barrett.  D-Day Encyclopedia.  New York: Regnery Publishing, 2014.
Yenne, Bill.  Tommy Gun.  New York: Thomas Dunn Books, 2009.
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HMS Barham – “Did More Than Just Explode, You Know.”