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  #126  
Old September 22nd, 2005, 06:00 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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I finished Sturmgewehr! last night. Overall, it was a very worthwhile read and I definitely learned a great deal about the StG44 and many other German weapons. Also covered are short chapters on the Walther MKb42(W) and the Mauser StG45(M). These are some of the best chapters in the entire book.

Some criticisms would be the clumsy translation from German to English in the majority of the work, the description of the CETME's method of operation as "roller-locked blowback" (a locked blowback is an oxymoron), use of the term "submachine gun" instead of "machine pistol" (calling the MP40 a "submachine gun" is sort of like calling a U-Boat a "submarine"; it's not incorrect but it's a clumsy translation), the curious opinion that an aperture sight is slower to use than an open sight, and a general overemphasis on factual detail to the nth degree (my eyes glazed over trying to read the numerous data tables containing what could properly be described as minutiae) instead of a mix of fact combined with analysis.

Where there is some analysis, I couldn't help but get the impression that the author is a staunch devotee of the assault rifle concept and that somewhat clouded his judgment in many of his conclusions. His conclusions about the assault rifle concept's validity and unequivocal success are a little too strong, I think, and the short chapter on the FG42 is one of the worst in the book. My personal belief is that the jury is still out on the validity of the assault rifle concept. For example, the assault rifle has been with us about 60 years now, and it has never completely displaced the rifle. Machineguns chambered for the assault rifle cartridge have never completely displaced the machineguns chambered for rifle cartridges. My personal belief is that if we had a sudden surge in propellant technology that enabled rifle cartridges to be miniaturized or some development in caseless technology that caused the caseless cartridge to become viable, the rifle could make a comeback. But some of the author's conclusions are so strong that the reader might be led to believe that the development of the intermediate cartridge obsoleted the rifle cartridge. This lack of analysis and recognition of the assault rifle's place in history is probably the weakest part of Sturmgewehr!.

On the plus side, Sturmgewehr! contains numerous superb photographs of the numerous variations of the StG44, and also devotes a lot of space to the StG44's methods of production, historical background information on why such methods were required, and a very detailed description of the methods of subcontracting to firms for the StG44's component pieces. Many pages are also devoted to describing the wartime shortages of materials, manpower, energy, time, losses of weapons on the front, etc. This same detailed analysis also covers the macroeconomic reasons for adoption of the 7.92 kurz cartridge, why it shared the same bore diameter and case head diameter as the 7.92 rifle cartridge, and why severe shortages of 7.92 kurz severely delayed widespread adoption of the StG44 by field units. Sturmgewehr! also lightly covers the engineering problems of developing a practical self-loading rifle, how the StG44's weaker cartridge enabled engineers of the day to create a locking breech capable of containing this weaker cartridge when they were dumbfounded on the self-loading rifle, and how the StG44 started as a heavy machine pistol that fired from an open bolt and evolved into a more rifle-like weapon that fired from a closed bolt. These historical analyses are very good at examining the StG44's place in history, and are probably the strongest parts of the book.

Overall I would rate the book an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. I definitely recommend Sturmgewehr! to all serious students of small arms.

I started Backbone of the Wehrmacht last night. This one looks to be good as well.
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  #127  
Old October 9th, 2006, 08:18 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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I ran across Wikipedia's gun section and I must say I'm stunned how authoritative Wikipedia's gun stuff is. I expected a few pics here and there, the usual Jane's Infantry Weapons and Ian Hogg stuff. However, there's lots of history and insight there. For example, check out Wikipedia's description of roller-delayed blowback:
Roller-delayed blowback is a firearm operating principle, a refined form of blowback. The main proponent of the system, Heckler & Koch, also referred to it as roller-locked, although the rollers delay, rather than positively lock, the bolt.... Roller-delayed blowback is not to be confused with roller-locked recoil operation in the MG 42, for example, where the bolt is rigidly locked to the barrel as it recoils. In roller-delayed blowback, by contrast, the barrel is fixed and does not recoil at all.
This is pedantic firearms stuff at its best. This site actually distinguishes between roller-delayed blowback and roller-locked recoil operation! Holy shit.

Check out Wikipedia's definition of a rifle:
A rifle is a firearm with a stock and a barrel that has a spiral groove or grooves ("rifling") cut into its interior.... True rifling dates from the mid-15th century, although the precision required for its effective manufacture kept it out of the hands of infantrymen for another three and a half centuries, when it largely replaced the unrifled musket as the primary infantry weapon.
Here we see another surprisingly deep understanding of firearms. Wikipedia's definition of a rifle includes spiral grooves down the bore as an essential element of a true rifle. Note that Wikipedia also acknowledges the rifling as the primary (only?) difference between a rifle and musket. That is so much more accurate than this lame ass attempt at precision:
Long gun, medium to high-power cartridge, either bolt-action or semi-automatic, multiple-shot, Fed by either internal magazines loaded by stripper clips, or inserted exterior magazines.
Wikipedia also properly classifies weapons like the StG57, G3, and FAL as "battle rifles" and not "assault rifles":
The term battle rifle can have different meanings. Usually it refers to rifles firing a "full-sized" (as opposed to "intermediate") cartridge, such as .303 British, .30-06 Springfield, or 7.62 51 mm NATO, from a full-length barrel. A main battle rifle is a battle rifle that is used as a military service rifle. Battle rifles may be bolt-action, semi-automatic, burst fire, or fully-automatic. Modern battle rifles are capable of selective fire. Almost all battle rifles have a long barrel and fire a large caliber round.
Wikipedia's definition of "assault rifle" is limited to weapons firing intermediate cartridges:
Assault rifle is a term describing a type of automatic weapon generally defined as a selective fire rifle or carbine, chambering intermediate-powered ammunition. They are categorized between the larger and heavier light machine gun, which is intended more for sustained automatic fire in a support role, and the smaller submachine gun, which fires a handgun cartridge rather than a rifle cartridge. Assault rifles are the standard small arms in most modern armies, having largely replaced or supplemented larger, more powerful battle rifles, such as, the WWII-era M1 Garand and Tokarev SVT.
Note that the definition of "battle rifle" is not limited to action type but the definition of "assault rifle" is limited generally to select-fire weapons. Nice.

Surprisingly, Wikipedia even covers the failure of the battle carbine to supplant completely the rifle on the battlefield:
Meanwhile, many armies are experiencing a backlash against carbines and lighter rifles in general, and are equipping selected soldiers, usually called Designated Marksman, or DM, with higher power rifles. While firing more smaller bullets makes it easier to hit a target, and is good for beginner marksmen, it offers very little to more advanced marksmen. In addition, the additional range of the heavier weapons has proven to be necessary in open environments such as deserts. As a result, the focus on more highly trained soldiers equipped with, for example, 7.62 mm NATO firing rifles, such as the U.S. Marine Corps Designated Marksman Rifle variant of the M14, has increased somewhat. A squad of soldiers armed with assault rifles would have a single soldier assigned as DM who would carry a battle rifle for selectively engaging long range targets. The DM differs from the sniper in that the DM is highly mobile, moving with his unit, and engages targets at ranges beyond the 300 metre (330 yd) effective range of modern assault rifles, but less than the 600 metre (650 yd) range which is the optimal engagement range for snipers.
This is surprisngly accurate information for an online encyclopedia. I'm impressed.
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  #128  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 06:19 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greghirst
LOL-I would imagine this gun would also "suffer" from a high bore axis and thus excessive recoil. Of course, the caliber chosen may have something of an effect as well...

http://web.archive.org/web/200304060...t/Zeliska2.pdf

Yes, I believe the word "suffer" would be very appropriate in this case.

Here's a TC Contender chambered in .600 Nitro:


Why do people build such things?
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  #129  
Old January 5th, 2007, 01:36 PM
utahdog2003 utahdog2003 is offline
James Reed
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: FL
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
I like the P2000 much better than the USP. The USP ain't got no soul.

You cats brought this thread back from the dead, so I'll give an update. My USP has no soul.

Thank You

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  #130  
Old January 5th, 2007, 02:04 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utahdog2003
My USP has no soul.

It doesn't.
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  #131  
Old January 11th, 2007, 07:46 PM
Scott Brady Scott Brady is offline
Scott Brady
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Prescott, AZ
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First post... it might as well be in a gun thread

My USP .45 has no soul either, kind of like my Tacoma. However, both are great, functional tools for the job.

Galco leather has added a bit of class with a paddle holster and the Explorer Vertical holster.

The USP has never failed to operate after several hundred rounds and I prefer the large grip. Accuracy is also excellent.

Fun topics on this board
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  #132  
Old January 12th, 2007, 06:23 AM
JMH JMH is offline
Jonathan Hanson
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Tucson, more or less.
Posts: 274
I'm with Scott. I love shooting my Webley .455, my (German-made) Walther PPKS and P5, and my 1911, but when I hear a noise outside at night I pick up my soulless Glock 31 and its attached Surefire (or the equally soulless Mossberg 500).
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  #133  
Old January 12th, 2007, 07:31 AM
JMH JMH is offline
Jonathan Hanson
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Tucson, more or less.
Posts: 274
. . . But then there's my wife's P7 (which I bought new in 1983), which manages to be both interesting and utterly reliable for defensive use.
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  #134  
Old January 12th, 2007, 09:26 AM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Exactly.

Why limit yourself to mere function when you an have both function and soul?
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  #135  
Old January 16th, 2007, 11:18 AM
utahdog2003 utahdog2003 is offline
James Reed
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Join Date: May 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
It doesn't.

Exactly.
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  #136  
Old February 5th, 2007, 04:14 PM
anthony paris
 
Posts: n/a
why hasn't anyone mentioned/recommended any of the following?
KIMBER,WILSON,LES BAER OR ED BROWN...I guess price range would
dictate alot...for the $$$$ i think a kimber is hands down the best made "production" 1911 out there...want something custom or semi-custom,go w/a brown or wilson...thats my 2 cents.

2004 disco
1993 nas defender
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  #137  
Old February 5th, 2007, 04:36 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,158
Why no mention of Kimber love? It ain't cost, that for sure.

If you want a nice 1911, this is my favorite of the current production 1911s:


There are some things I don't like about that pistol, but overall it's the nicest production of the current-production 1911s to my way of looking at things. I especially like the slimline stocks on that TR. The TR also comes standard with Novak sights and Trijicon inserts. These are thoughtful touches in a world of douchebag 1911 mods.

1911s for me are sort of like the Smith & Wesson revolvers. They just don't make them like they used to:


I miss the Colt Ace as well:


Some companies, including Kimber, make .22 conversions for the 1911, but they pale in comparison to the Ace. The Ace had a floating chamber, like the P7K3. It was super sweet.

It's hard to get excited about 1911s when the current ones are so ugly. They're serviceable weapons but they're ugly. Bad ugly, not good ugly.

My favorite custom 1911s were the Pachmayr Combat Specials, like the ones Jeff Cooper and Ross Seyfried used to shoot. Those 1911s had a blue slide and hardchromed frame. The slide was engraved something like "Pachmayr Combat Special" and "Custom built for JEFF COOPER" and "Custom built for ROSS SEYFRIED". They were fucked up old school ugly. I loved those.

Ross Seyfried wrote that both of his Pachmayr Combat Specials had an oily smoothness to their operation. When firing, there was no perceptible feeling to the cocking of the hammer, depressing of the disconnector, and locking/unlocking of the barrel. Seyfried also wrote that none of his other 1911s (and he has many) has that kind of oily smoothness to the operation.
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  #138  
Old February 6th, 2007, 03:08 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Here are some links to the what a Pachmayr Combat Special looked like:

http://www.pistoldynamics.com/Combat_Spl_1.html
http://www.pistoldynamics.com/CS_Classic_1.html

Paul Liebenberg was built the Combat Specials for Pachmayr Gun Works back in the day. Ross Seyfried also has another Liebenberg 1911 that looks super sweet.

I found some pics of a Liebenberg Combat Special on Guns America:


That pistol is just stunning. I love it. It's as ugly as a Jubilant Pepsi.

The Combat Specials I'm accustomed to seeing had the rounded trigger guard. The squared trigger guard was big in the 1970s but eventually lost favor. Ross Seyfried's two Combat Specials have rounded trigger guards with checkered fronts, even though Seyfried shoots with support hand's index finger on the trigger guard.

I love the Pachmayr beavertail. Its shape is just right and it isn't huge like many of the competition-based beavertails.

I would love to have one of these pistols, but with a flat mainspring housing, short trigger, slimline checkered walnut stocks, pinned grip safety, non-ambidextrous safety, and "Custom built for JOHN LEE" engraved into the starboard side of the slide. It would go nicely with my K-80 and Jubilant Pepsi.

Looking at this pistol makes my 1911 love come out once again.

If you have $5k to burn, here it is.
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  #139  
Old February 6th, 2007, 04:18 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Here's an original Pachmayr Compact Special:


This is more like most of the Combat Specials I've seen. Note how the front sight is a serrated ramp rather than a post.

You can see the "CUSTOM BUILT FOR" lettering engraved into the slide behind the ejection port. The Combat Specials I've seen were engraved with illustrious names like Jeff Cooper, Ross Seyfried, and Ray Chapman in big lettering engraved into the slide below the ejection port area.

One of Ross Seyfried's Combat Specials says something like "Custom built for ROSS SEYFRIED 1981 IPSC WORLD CHAMPION" or something along those lines. It's a very sweet pistol.

The "Pachmayr" logo on the pistol above is also different from the one I'm used to seeing. The Combat Specials I've seen had the italic Pachmayr logo.

And this one has the Pachmayr black plastic trigger. I'm accustomed to seeing them with the aluminum trigger.

But what a beaut. It's as ugly as the Camel Trophy brushguard on a Defender.

I love it.
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  #140  
Old February 6th, 2007, 04:44 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Another one:

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  #141  
Old February 7th, 2007, 03:28 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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My 1911 love is rekindled, so I was looking through some of my old gun magazines to find the pics of the Pachmayr Combat Specials. I found the mags and snapped some pics today.

Here are three of Ross Seyfried's 1911s:




There are differences among the three pistols but all are fitted with Pachmayr stocks, Bo-Mar adjustable rear sights, Swenson ambidextrous safeties, Plaxco extra-long triggers, flat mainspring housings, and pinned beavertail grip safeties.

The top pistol is a Paul Liebenberg custom:




Unlike the other two, this pistol has an undercut trigger guard so that Ross can hold the pistol as high as possible to lower the bore axis. Here's a port side view of the same pistol:




You can see at the bottom of the butt in both shots that there is a magazine funnel welded to the bottom of the handle. This is a very nice touch. Unlike the add-on magazine wells that are secured via the mainspring housing, this magazine funnel does not increase the overall size of the weapon and this 1911 is still a practical carry pistol. The Pachmayr stocks are shortened at the bottom to clear the magazine funnel.

Note the scallop cut in the port-side Pachmayr stock. Seyfried cuts the Pachmayr stocks and uses the port side from one set of Pachmayr stocks and a starboard side from a different set of Pachmayr stocks to get the combination he likes. He likes the scallop cut because it gives additional clearance for the magazine release.

I love how the front of the slide on this Liebenberg is narrowed in front of the dust cover. I wish all 1911s were narrowed like this.

This pistol is very accurate. Seyfried wrote that when this pistol was new, it would hold 1" groups @ 50 yards from rollover prone. That's amazing.

I love this pistol.
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  #142  
Old February 7th, 2007, 03:30 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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The second pistol is a Dale Guthrie Colt:




Note the magazine well on this pistol. It's much more than beveled. The magazine well's mouth has been swaged open and the stocks have been thinned at the bottom so that their outward appearance is unchanged. This is a very artful modification.

This pistol is no accuracy slouch either:




This is my least favorite of Seyfried's 1911s. However, that is not to say that I don't like it. It's quite an impressive pistol.
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  #143  
Old February 7th, 2007, 03:35 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Here's a close-up of the Pachmayr Combat Special:




I believe this is the pistol Seyfried used to win the 1981 IPSC World Championships in South Africa. Seyfried used this pistol and practical carry leather while the other competitors used race guns and race holsters. Seyfried still beat them all.

You can see the italic Pachmayr lettering on the slide. I prefer this lettering to the other lettering.

Here's Seyfried's other Pachmayr Combat Special:




You can see the "custom built for..." engraving on the slide. I love this engraving. It's gaudy but it's also bad ass.

I'm far from sure, but I believe this second pistol was made for Seyfried to commemorate his World Championship victory. Note that the grip safety is not pinned on this pistol. I'm not sure if Seyfried shoots it or not.

All of these 1911s are very sweet. They're custom pistols, but they're practical combat/carry pistols in every way. They're not douchebag 1911s.
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  #144  
Old February 7th, 2007, 03:37 PM
greghirst greghirst is offline
Greg Hirst
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee










I love how the front of the slide on this Liebenberg is narrowed in front of the dust cover. I wish all 1911s were narrowed like this.

This is interesting. I wonder how much weight this takes off the slide and how it changes the balance overall.

I have to admit-I like the Hi-Powerish look.
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  #145  
Old February 7th, 2007, 03:53 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Who cares what it does to the weight or balance. It looks super sweet. Too bad John Browning didn't do it to his design. I think the 1911 would look so much better with a thinned front slide. It would take away the "old slabsides" look to the 1911, and it would ease reholstering as well.
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  #146  
Old February 7th, 2007, 03:59 PM
greghirst greghirst is offline
Greg Hirst
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LOL-I agree. That is a sexy 1911.
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  #147  
Old February 7th, 2007, 04:02 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,158
Seyfried's pistols are so much more interesting to me than the douchebag 1911s one sees in every issue of Combat Handguns and similar magazines.

Here we have three 1911s that are custom 1911s but are still practical carry guns. And when a master like Ross Seyfried shoots them, they are marvels to behold.
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  #148  
Old February 9th, 2007, 02:57 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,158
Ross Seyfried is a very good gun writer. I daresay he knows more about guns than anyone else I have ever been exposed to. Furthermore, he is much more than a gun writer. He was IPSC World Champion. He was a professional hunter in Zambia. He has been there and done that.

My first exposure to Seyfried's writing was in Guns & Ammo. He doesn't write for G&A any longer. For sure, Seyfried still writes for the Double Gun Journal and I believe he also writes for Rifle magazine.

It was in reading Seyfried that I first became attracted to the great African rifles and cartridges. Here's a Seyfried article on the super heavies:


http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazin...d=553&magid=44
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  #149  
Old August 16th, 2007, 04:16 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,158
If you love Heckler & Koch weapons, or even if you're just a serious student of smallarms, then this vid is a must-see:




I have seen many photos of a hammer-forging machine and the hammer-forging process of making barrels, but this video actually shows the machine in operation. It's quite impressive.

One thing that struck me is that with all of the high-tech CNC machining, automated heat treatments, polymer molding, electronic cyclic rate measuring, and so on in the HK factory, the barrels are still straightened by hand and eye. We have yet to devise a suitable barrel-straightening machine. I will be very impressed when some brainiac devises such a machine.

The only thing that really bummed me out is that the HK factory workmen no longer wear those bitchin blue coats. The Krieghoff workmen still wear those blue coats, and I love them.
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  #150  
Old August 30th, 2007, 12:11 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Location: Torrance, CA
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My friend Jeff emailed me this pic:


Jeff's comment:

"It might be worth it to enlist if I could bring one home."
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