Sunday 31 August 2014

Vector CR-21 - Space-ager South African Bullpup 5.56x45:

I thought that my 9mm NATO 'Just Right Carbine' was a bit "Spacie Looking" until I came across the Vector CR-21 on-line.

VECTOR CR-21 in 5.56x45 NATO - An AK in drag?
Designed 1997 by Denel Land Systems in South Africa as a possible replacement arm for the SANDF it is also being offered for export sales. Wikipedia has it as a prototype 'Bullpup' design currently suitable only to be shot by the 80% right-handed due to its ejection characteristics.
The action is gas-operated rotating bolt developed from the time-tested AK-47 (via Galil) and the polymer butt-stock has a storage compartment for standard cleaning kit.
The integral sight is described as a 1x optical sight with an illuminated reticle that does not use batteries and is easily changeable to other options.
The front sight is removable to fit a grenade launcher and the CR-21 uses 35 round R4 / Galil magazines.
"Sexy" as it looks - my first (opinionated) opinion would be that it might prove more useable if fitted with a standard picatinny tactical rail system (MIL-STD-1913 Rail) and was ambidextrous (I personally maintain that my left-handedness doesn't mean that I'm completely useless!).
My Just Right Carbine Comes with Tactical Rail System.
- Still - They both are pretty eh.
Marty K.

Friday 29 August 2014

38 SPECIAL - Confusing History:

When I was asked by a "newby" what is special about the .38" S&W Special? - I couldn't answer apart from lamely commenting that it was actually .357" diameter and not .380" at all. - This was because historically it was a development from a cartridge shell (38 Short Colt)measuring .380" (approx.) that used a heeled bullet similarly to that which our current .22RF Long Rifle cartridge uses.

When this later developed  38 LONG COLT was designed they used a straight-sided .357" diameter slug that fitted inside the .38" dia. brass case. - The different smaller size being caused by the wall-thickness of the brass - about 12 thousands of an inch.

Hand Ejector Model 1899.

The 38 Special was an up-powered .38 Long Colt (US service round) developed at the wish of D B  Wesson of S&W - from around 1896 and released in 1898/1899. The first revolver made for it - The Hand Ejector Model was sometimes marked on the barrels ".38 S&W Special and US Service Ctg."

This double-action revolver was later known as the 'Smith & Wesson Military and Police' and also called the 'S&W Victory Model' and became the 'S&W Model 10'.

Life gets complicated - as the .38 Short Colt (heeled bullet) is also known as the .38 S&W (- and I'm no expert) - But basically the .38 S&W Special is a suped-up .38 Long Colt  that was loaded with a heavier 158gn (150gn) bullet and a bigger black powder charge of 21.5gns (18gn). In a few years the powder charge was changed to white-powder (nitro). - It was itself later lengthened and suped-up into the .357 Magnum by Elmer Keith! - There is a long line or series of cartridges called '38's that lead forward to the .357 Magnum and Maximum.

The 38 Long Colt is the military round that was found lacking in 'stopping power' in the conflict between American forces and the Moro warriors in the Philipine-American War.

What was the .380 Long? - some sort of British version of the 38 loaded with a heavier 200gn slug (the 38-200) - I think!

So - now you know- Clear as mud eh!

So - what was Special , was that the .38 S&W SPECIAL was meant to work better against fanatical Moro tribesmen trying to defend their lands from invaders.

My Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum also uses 38 S&W Specials.

Probably the main factor explaining the continuing popularity of the 38 Special is that as a slightly shorter and gentler round than the .357 Magnum round it is great for a less stressful shooting session in the same Magnum revolvers..

The power level of current SAAMI rated +P  38 Specials is similar to the pre-SAAMI standard loads.

- I think (- I wasn't there)

Marty K

Thursday 28 August 2014

"Stopping Power" - 'Knock-Down' - "One Shot Stop":

You know - there's an awful lot of Bullshit around!

I've been shooting since I was fifteen years old - pistol shooting for the last twenty-six odd years - and I've heard a lot of Bull.. and being a big-reader, - I've read a lot of stuff that claims to be the "real oil" on the topic of what gun can produce what effect.

Colt .45ACP M1911

'Defensive Handgun Effectiveness' by Peters, 'Pistols and Revolvers and Their Use' by Hatcher, 'Gunshot Injuries by LaGarde, 'Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers' by Hatcher, 'FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin' by DiMaio, 'An Evaluation of Police Handgun Ammunition' by US Department of Justice,  I've not read all of these - but I've read quotes and repeats in later books.

I have read Askins, Col. Jeff Cooper, Massad Ayoob, Grant Cunningham, and many others. - The FBI Report on using the 10mm and .40S&W, 9mm etc.

Now - don't get me wrong - I enjoy reading strongly held beliefs - If someone talking or writing doesn't have an opinion they are not going to be very interesting eh. - But beliefs are exactly that - some sort of commitment based on an emotional choice, - I'd rather base my opinions on facts.

If you get a chance to study LaGardes experimental shooting handguns at beef cattle - the only truly effective stopper he actually saw used was a sledge-hammer, that was used to put the (13 0nly!) animals out of their distress by crushing their skulls when multiple pistol bullets had merely wounded them.

Greg Ellefritz who gathered together statistics of actual police / recorded shootings (well worth reading) - concludes that if you need 'one shot stops' from your defensive weapon - you'd better get a centre-fire RIFLE. His figures clearly show that even the heaviest handgun rounds fail consistently to deliver. I published Gregs Study Of Stopping Power here back on 26 January 2014.

Still, - entertaining gun writers like Jeff Cooper never let fact change their long held beliefs. Quote from Cooper 1983: "At the front end the 577 literally crumples elephants"

 - He then prints a "Knock-Out" Rating showing the 7x57mm scoring only 15.6 while his .577 scores 126.7. The accurate decimal point details really bring home the authenticity of his calculations of 'momentum x cross-sectional area'.

His implied conclusion is that his borrowed "Crumpler" .577" is EIGHT times better for knocking-down elephants than the 7x57mm.

- Don't tell W D M "Karamojo" Bell this about the 7x57mm (.275 Rigby) though - because he used it to kill 800 Elephants without complaining - and recorded all his kills..

We all like a bit of Bull..  - good story eh, but sometimes boring old fact should be considered too.

Marty K

PS: Rod ( has e-mailed to say that He'd be much happier with the .577" against elephant than a 7x57mm - well so would I - but the way Jeff Cooper calculated 'knock-down' power leaves a performance gap when judged against actual recorded elephant shootings. - And handguns of any calibre are not really what you'd use for a definite ending to any attack.

Rod also points-out that those Big Game hunters in Africa had very big balls - all of them!

Marty K

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Under-Water Guns:

The most successful underwater 'pistol' seems to be accepted as the Russian SPP-1 and later SPP-1M designed by Vladimir Siminov, - made by TOZ (Tula Arms Plant)

This gun fires 4.5 inch darts loaded from four round clips.

It's a break action smooth-bore and is claimed to have a maximum effective underwater range of 17m (approx17 yards). - Compare this to a 9mm NATO cartridge that when fired underwater is only considered to be lethal under one metre.

The reason why normal rounds are  so ineffective in water is simply that it is a medium that is 784 times denser than air and the friction/drag on bullets rapidly robs their velocity - whereas a dart will hold its forward momentum for much longer.

There is a Heckler & Koch 5-barrel pepper-pot design, the HK P-11 that works, but it is electrically fired and once all five 4 inch dart rounds are expended it must be returned to the factory to be re-loaded - unlike the Russian clip loaded 'TOZ'.

H & K P11 Underwater Dart Gun.

I knew there was something useful about 'pepper-pot' designs - for a start there is no 'cylinder gap'!

It's drawing a very long bow to link an ancient arrow firing gun with modern specialist gear - but there is some small link between this gun maker Peter Peck design and them.

A three barrel 'wheel-lock' revolver that is said to have fired short arrows - it was made for Holy Roman Emperor CHARLES V in 1540-1550. the barrels are rotated by twisting a 'wing-nut' at the end of the butt. The arrows are held in the bores by tension - made by the rear section of each seven inch steel  arrow being split apart to act as Y springs pressing against the bore to stop them just falling out.

This gun is held in the Armeria Real Museum in Turin, Italy.

Marty K.
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Sunday 24 August 2014

The Backwoodsman Magazine (USA):.22RF "Speed Straws"

I came across one of these magazines (Jul/Aug2014) the other week while waiting ten minutes for the chemist to sort and bag my quarterly medical prescription (a selection of pills to control my cholesterol-level etc.)

The Backwoodsman impressed me by addressing issues from a practical starting point - for example by showing how to make working efficient stoves from old cans and other useful hints - but it also had several articles about firearms and their use.
Backwoodsman Story Titled "A BIG BORE KIT GUN"

To quote from the editors 'Notes':  If by chance the reader is looking for a magazine that will actually save him or her money by showing ways to cut corners, build useful things from throw-aways and live a more sustainable low-tech historical backwoods lifestyle in todays persistent state of financial insecurity, then you need to look no further."

In the '38 Kit Gun' story - the writer Charlie Racine tells how you can find this model revolver in used condition very cheaply and by using basic re-loading equipment such as powder dippers - anyone should be able to afford an effective handgun and plenty of ammunition to use / practice without breaking the bank.

Knife making, - using an old brake-hub to build a blacksmithing forge. - How to make your own sulphur-sticks and 'char-cloth' for fire making.

- How about building your own copy of a 'Swiss Army Bike' ?

Note: The Swiss Army purchased 4,100 of the latest pattern bikes in 2012 - with alloy frames, 8 speed gears and disc brakes both ends. - This is no out-dated technology - These bikes keep defence forces mobile and fit while transporting essential personal supplies like food rations and ammunition.

How about using fat drink-straws or old pen bodies as 'speed-loaders' for .22RF cartridges ? - Sounds like a winner of an idea for my new Ruger 8-shot revolver (when I get it !).

- Think about it - .22s all lined-up facing the same way, ready to drop into the chambers - much cheaper than commercial speed-loaders eh but faster than wrestling with loose rounds. How about tube magazine rifles? (Close the straws ends with electrical tape or similar that you can un-peel.)

A good magazine - but the Americans will all-ready know that!

Marty K.
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Saturday 23 August 2014

SCHWARZLOSE Blow-forward Action Pistol:

I thought that the obscure 'Blow-Forward' action would be worth looking into as I had no idea how it might work - and that it would make an interesting post.

The SCHWARZLOSE 1908 Semi-auto .32"ACP Blow-Forward Action.
Well I think that I've got it - but I'm not sure that I could explain it clearly without one in my hand to demonstrate! - Luckily, the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster has thought it all out and invented Youtube where you can find almost anything.
It looks like a neat wee design but I wonder how reliable it is in use with different variants of ammo.
Anyway, Wikipedia describes the blow-forward action as one where the friction and pressure of the bullet travelling down the bore drag the barrel forward.

The spring-loaded barrel moves forward opening the breech that lets the empty shell eject and the sprung magazine pushes-up the next round into a position to be chambered by the barrel coming back into position. - There is no 'slide'.

Well the video shows it all happening:

I wonder if that action would work with a 9mm NATO power level cartridge.

Designed by Andreas W Schwarzlose - the 1908 was only made for three years in the German Empire - that might suggest that this "slide-less" design had limited reliability or other short-comings. The six round box magazine in 32ACP fed a 121mm barrel (- four and three-quarter inch), with a muzzle velocity reported as 305m/sec.

- There was a machine gun that used this blow-forward action, and several other pistol designs.

Marty K

Friday 22 August 2014

10% of Guns Seized in NSW Australia are HOME-MADE:

Supt Plotecki, new Head of the Firearms & Organised Crime Squad of New South Wales, reported in June this year that at least 10 % of guns seized by NSW Police are homemade.

Earlier this year a Hells Angel 'Prospect' was caught by police with a homemade 'UZI' that may have been a prototype he was showing to the gang to impress them.

Oddly, in this same article, the anti-gun group "Gun-Control-Australia" claimed "All guns start-out legal before they become illegal" - referring to 'by theft' or from illegal dealers!

AND - This is another grossly INACCURATE Title - Look at His Trigger-finger - He is NOT Firing the gun - he is posing with it.

Bikie Lighter Gun

Knuckle-Duster Single-Shot .22"RF.

Hmm,  does this story indicate that somebody is beginning to accept that "doing SOMETHING" by 'Banning them'  does not dis-invent them?

The media seem to have gone quiet about 3D Printed guns now - possibly because the headlines have gone soft & floppy in light of the facts that anyone with a hack-saw and a file can put together something that will go bang and cause injury without a printer.

- Face it - you can find plans and complete instructions on-line to build "Sten-Guns" or whatever else you fancy from steel tubing. But mis-guided authorities continue to pretend that they can control crime by stopping law abiding citizens from owning legal firearms.

Why don't they make it illegal for criminals to have guns? - Oh, it already is !!

Marty K
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Wednesday 20 August 2014

TUPARA - 2 Barrel Percussion Guns followed Trade Muskets:

In 1845, (6TH  December) Governor Grey wrote about the (Maori) enemy:

Their arms are generally a double barrelled shotgun, sometimes a musket without a bayonet,  and a hatchet for close quarters, but which is a useless weapon when opposed to bayonets... they invariably carry two or three pouches filled with cartridges, they put a larger charge of powder in their cartridges than Europeans use, and the guns consequently carry further than the muskets of the British Soldiers. They are at present abundantly supplied with arms and ammunition."

Brown Bess Muskets were used by Both Sides in Early New Zealand Conflict
Percussion "TUPARA"
Although TUPARA were not particularly accurate at range - they were very deadly. - At the Battle of Ohaeawai in 1845 the Maori defenders armed with Tupara were firing from behind their palisades with musket ball "solids" and wreaked havoc on the British troops who charged the Pa. - 'Scything' them down.
The two barrel percussion shot-guns were introduced into New Zealand from about 1835. - Like the muskets - there would have been big differences in the quality of the "Trade" weapons from the "Tower" quality 'Brown Bess' flintlocks. - Flintlocks were being rapidly converted to percussion.

'Takiora' wants to get her hands on Tu-Mahukis hatchet.(1866)

I guess that I might call my compact shotgun a "TUPARA" (two barrel) rather than the Italian name "Lupara" - for the wolf.

 Marty K
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Strange and Unusual Guns:

Here are some pictures of oddities:

Ten Shot "Harmonica?" -"Derringer?"

Spanish High Capacity Semi-Auto.

 This is a clone of the Astra 400 M1921 tubular pistol design - built in the industrial town of Tarrasa, Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War - around 1937, by the Republican side. It is called an 'ASCASO' after a civil war hero - and that U-shaped magazine holds 25 rounds of 9mm Largo. 

Staple Gun .22" RF Conversion.

These photos were found simply by Googling "strange guns pictures" - I particularly enjoy the staple-gun conversion and wonder how reliably it worked - if at all.

I've seen something like this being made in England currently
- to get around their Strange Gun Laws.

- And whenever I see a shot of a 'Pepper-pot' pistol I think that it's a design than should  make a come-back - especially the high-capacity "MSSA" variety at top.

That would be a bit heavy  - even without firing it.

Marty K
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Sunday 17 August 2014

Australian Criminal (53 Convictions) was granted NZ Firearms Licence:

Radio New Zealand today Monday 18 Aug. reported that "P.E." - recently sentenced to five years and ten months prison for buying NZ$50,000 worth of rifles & shotguns to cut-down and sell to gang members - had been banned from firearms ownership in Australia, however - our New Zealand Police failed to check before issuing him a Firearms Licence.
Photo of Sawn-Off Shotgun from the web.

This is despite a pilot program started in 2012 between these two Police Forces to share information.

A police spokes person is reported to have said that they were aware of the applicant having "one conviction" and "that was not serious enough to stop him getting a gun licence".

Radio New Zealand  state that New Zealand police confirmed that they don't carry out mandatory criminal record checks with their Australian counterparts before issuing gun licences.

Why not?

I am also disgusted to observe that the Radio New Zealand website has chosen to place a photograph of a S&W Revolver to illustrate their story - when the case involves a gang associate buying and sawing-off rifles and shotguns.

Marty K
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Defining a MSSA Naughty Pistol Grip:

My attention was recently drawn to the current police definition of a "Pistol Grip":


A semi-automatic firearm (other than a pistol) that has a pistol grip will be a MSSA:

A pistol Grip is a free-standing grip that -

(a) Is designed to be gripped by the whole or most of the trigger hand of a person firing the firearm and
(b) Is (if any trigger guard is disregarded) structurally connected to the firearm at only one point; and

(c) When deployed, protrudes from the firearm in a direction that is closer to being perpendicular to the barrel than to being parallel to it; and

(d) Is neither -
     (i) a thumb-hole stock; nor
     (ii) a stock of the type commonly referred to as a Drugunov stock or Drugunov style stock.

Grip, in relation to a firearm, means a component of the firearm that (whether or not it is designed to serve some other purpose or purposes) is designed to be gripped by the trigger hand of a person while the person is firing the firearm.
Someone pointed-out that my 'New York' pistol grip stock would form a New Zealand LEGAL A-Cat free-standing grip if the dog-leg butt-stock were cut-off and a standard AR15 butt was fitted - because its angle would be closer to parallel than perpendicular to the barrel.

JRC on its Bipod

I had been nervous about my Israeli made bipod that forms a perpendicular fore-grip when the legs are closed - wondering if it might be classed as a free-standing pistol grip (which it effectively is) - but the 11 December 2013 clarification says that it must be gripped by the trigger hand to be defined as such.

The Closed BIPOD forms a Legal A-Cat Fore-grip.
I have mounted the MBUS 'Back-up Sights' on the side front rail as they had to be moved to shift the scope rearward to improve eye relief.
As Kermit says - "It's not easy being green" -  You need a clear thinking legal mind to sort-out what is required at various times eh. - We could use a Kiwi version of The NRA to sort this stuff for us all.
Marty K
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Saturday 16 August 2014

Spring-Kit for Ruger SEIZED & NZ Customs Service.

I have to sadly report that NZ Customs Service - through their Comptroller of Customs, Carolyn Tremain - has refused my application for Review of Seizure of my two small springs to adjust the trigger pressure of my long awaited Ruger SP101 .22"RF Revolver. -  Ms Tremain claims that my springs were made by a firearms manufacturer Wilson Combat - which I doubt.

In a thoroughly researched letter - The Comptroller does advise that I might appeal this seizure of my $8.95 springs by lodging in advance a fee of $410.00.

Carolyn also offers further sound advice in her two page letter - that I should in future apply for a Permit To Import prior to ordering parts from overseas.

 I shall not be appealing this seizure as it is not economically sound to spend $410 to attempt retrieve $9 worth of coil springs - and I have anyway located a similar after-market replacement spring imported into New Zealand - artfully hidden inside a BIC ball-point pen !

- I intend to use this imported spring as a gun-part fitted into my revolver at first opportunity - provided Ms Tremain, - Comptroller of Customs - does not send a team into The Hurunui to seize it first.

 Spring is sprung - the grass is ris,
 I wonder where the birdies is.
The Power Of a Spring 
Marty K

Friday 15 August 2014

Gary McCormick - Anti-Gunner:

Media Personality and debater Gary McCormick spoke on National Radio today 15 August (Fridays 'Panel') about his view of the guns issue. Mr McCormick is a personable and well-meaning gentleman poet who related how he was about to help the Police Armed Offenders Unit celebrate their 50th Anniversary. - It is a pity he is so removed from reality.

- He related how he was once in a 'gun debate' with a shooters spokesman who he described as "A gun-nutter who wanted to arm everyone" - then Gary said, an AOS member spoke-up as being the man who has to knock on doors and be shot at.

AOS members in Action
McCormick seems to believe that the AOS is anti-gun - whereas the facts are that the AOS are pro-gun - for themselves. Bearing in mind that NZ Police are subject to the same rights and laws as all law-abiding citizens here - that is actually good news.
We live in a world inhabited by 'man the killer' - in the last 70 years of peace since WW2 - more than one million people have been killed by acts of war every year. Remember that the NZDF have been repeatedly volunteered for action in VietNam, Afghanistan, Korea etc. - Consider Gaza, Iraq and Syria right now.
McCormick seems to believe that disarming law-abiding residents while instructing them to not resist any life-threatening attack by armed violent criminals is good policy. - Perhaps we should telephone for police (men with guns) - if we are able to recover enough to use a phone and staunch any bleeding while waiting.
This country has four times voted Willy Apiata - a highly trained weapons expert of the NZSAS and holder of the Victoria Cross for his combat actions in Afghanistan - as its most trusted citizen. - It did not select Gary McCormick.
I will vote to ban all guns after our Government has managed to control and disarm all violent criminals - who no doubt will be lining-up to hand-in their weapons on McCormicks say-so. - It will never happen.
Of course - here in New Zealand self-defence is not recognised as a valid reason to possess firearms (What was the reason for the police having guns ??) - but we are permitted to have them as sporting equipment provided we have been proven to be fit and proper persons, declared no interest in use of firearms for self-defence, and have obtained the appropriate licence.
Marty K

Thursday 14 August 2014

NZ 1863 Stern-Paddle Wheel Gunboat PIONEER;

The Pioneer was iron-built in Sydney in 1863 and was used mainly as a river boat but for only three years - until she was wrecked on the entrance bar  at Manukau Harbour.

Armed with two 12 pounder guns mounted in cupolas she was 153 feet long (46.6metres) and came under fire from Maori cannon in October 1863 while moving upstream on the Waikato River to investigate the war preparations of the Maori king Tawhiao who had dug a series of trenches at Meremere to block the progress of British forces under General Cameron.

New Zealand Gunboat Pioneer 1863-1866.
The Tribal Master-Gunner Nganiho Tamaoho laid his battery of guns from a position high on the bank above the Waikato. the smaller six pound swivel gun was lowest and might be moved between two embrasures covering both upriver and downstream - while two other cannon, a twelve pound carronade and a twenty-four pound cannon were higher on the Meremere ridge.
Initially the shore batteries shots fell short but they corrected and managed hits to the Pioneers iron hull and upper-works. When Pioneer swung round to run back down river they loaded one piece with iron nails and scored another hit causing the only reported British casualty of a scalp wound to one seaman. the Pioneers iron plating was too strong for the maori make-shift ammunition.
The next day 30th October the shore battery loaded their 24 pounder with a heavy steel-yard weight and scored their best hit and breeched the Pioneers upper-works damaging a barrel of beef.
The Pioneers two guns and 40 Pound Armstrong guns from Whangamarino returned fire to the riverside trench system causing the Kingite Maori to prudently abandon their position leaving the two heavy guns behind.
As we used to say when kids - "He who fights and runs away - Lives to fight another day." - It's called 'a tactical withdrawal'.
The 300 ton Pioneer was the first warship purpose-built for the New Zealand Government.
Marty K.
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Maori 19th Century ;Gunners

There are many written accounts of battles of the 'Musket Wars' (1807-1842) and the 'New Zealand Wars' (1842-1872)- and there is considerable variation in the details from the different authors - but almost without exception they are written by Europeans who mostly fail to give much credit to the Maori. It was a wild and dangerous place to live.

Although they are credited with extensive use of muskets and well constructed Pa - built to withstand both musket and cannon fire, and with clever use of trenches and heavy palisades - little is said about tribal use of cannon by and against attacking armies.

Spiked 'cannon' at Ruapekapeka Pa

Many relic cannon are attributed to the pakeha ships from where they came - ignoring the fact that they were either salvaged from wrecks or bought by chiefs and then extensively used in inter-tribal war and indeed some were turned against the white settlers and their armies.
'Boyd' Carronade in Te Papa Museum.

These naval guns were heavy and often had been sold to tribes because they were worn and faulty - or were badly rusted by immersion in sea-water. - They were dragged for large distances over rugged terrain strapped to canoe hulls or sleds to then be mounted defensively - but their use was always hampered by shortage of powder and balls - in many cases the cannon-balls were replaced by loads of rounded stones and in some cases the chiefs had learned to make their own gun powder using charcoal, bird guano and sulphur gleaned from volcanic activity.

Blowing-up of The 'Boyd' by Maori 1889.
Some such cannon were used on meat gathering raids and transported to enemy strongholds complete with powder and cannon-balls - to lay siege while attempting to breech defences and fill the attackers hangi ovens with the slain.

My early story (HMS Alligator .. 8th January) about "The Harriet Affair" when in 1834 Captain John Guards whaling ship was driven ashore and wrecked on the Taranaki coast tells the story of how they were attacked by local Ngati Ruanui maori on the beach and twelve of the crew were cooked and eaten. There were many deaths on both sides of this conflict.

 - The Ngati Ruanui salvaged  / captured two 'cannon' which they used in coming years. However when HMS Alligator landed a revenging party to rescue Guards young wife - the guns were hidden by burying when they had to abandon their position. Maori of this era held the ownership of such cannon as high 'mana'.

The later recovered  half-pound cannon (used as a swivel gun), is held in Puke Ariki Museum - but its four-pounder companion mounted on the cliff near Opunake signal station was destroyed by vandals on 30 August 1909 - attempting to fire it.

 Mount Taranaki
Reference: 'Tribal Guns and Tribal Gunners' by Trevor Bentley. wilsonscott publishing 2013
Marty K 

Sunday 10 August 2014

On Range with my Just Right 9mm Carbine:

Sunday was a fine bright day up in the hills following a heavy overnight frost. - I can always tell when it's sub-zero outside because the cat stays real close to my blob on the bed! I delayed arriving on range until midday to give the sun a chance to warm-up.

I had picked-up the package Saturday from the nearest courier depot (a 45 minute drive each way) after ringing them to ask where it was - it was there - but when asked why they hadn't phoned me as arranged, the girl said "Aoh - we nevvah phone anyone."  !!

Had an interesting time assembling my bits onto it and getting the feel of its balance and looks. The Carbine strikes me as being a quality piece and worked faultlessly out of the box.

 I've not yet decided if I will change it over to left-handed. - Maybe I'll shoot it a few times first and see if I need to. - I am also not completely happy with the scope position - it may be better if moved back - which would require shifting the rear back-up sight.

Silenced Just Right Carbine with & without the foam Sleeve.
Firing it for the first time was suprising - as my face rested on the buffer tube and the 'twang' as the big spring worked felt like an air-rifle. Two shots at a time I brought the impact point in close to the centre and then moved the target frame down range to 50 yards for the first full magazine (- pinned to five rounds only (New York Compliant) - we are permitted seven round magazines for an 'A-Cat' firearm here.
Five super-sonic re-loads @ 50 yards - that's two together in the white.

- And five 50 yard 'American Eagle' 147gn FMJ flat-point at 1000ft.per.sec.
(These were 'patched' old targets that I was re-using.)
- Strange that the heavier 147gn sub-sonic pills impacted higher at 50 yards - but that's definitely how it was - They were very quiet compared to my standard re-loads but they kicked the light carbine more heavily than the lighter pills.
The Hardy over-barrel silencer was very effective - Overall I'm well pleased with this outfit and couldn't stop smiling. - I've decided that one more item has to be clipped-on - a bipod - then my JRC "Blingbine" will become a fixed part of the family.
A nice quiet winters day at the range.

Warning Warning: About halfway through sighting-in with my re-loads there was a "bang -- bang -- pop" situation  - the JRC did not cycle or eject and after manually ejecting the case, the bullet was found to have only entered the throat of the barrel and it knocked-out easily using a brass rod kept on range for these events. The pill was hardly marked by its experience - obviously the cartridge was a faulty squib 'primer-only' load.  This is one of the big risks re-loaders face when saving money - we all need to be more careful than I had been, eh.

P.S. Rod (GunDoc) has e-mailed confirming Nick & I's thinking - that the higher impact of the heavy-weight 147gn sub-sonic load is from the greater recoil acting on a longer barrel time from the slower velocity slug. - Good man that you are Rod - Life is Good.
Marty K
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?