Friday, March 30, 2012

Guns and Gun Owners

Here's two different weapons...

Pictured are Thompson .45 sub-machine gun, and the AK-47, both without magazines.
There are differences unseen, and differences seen, but notice that without the magazines, that there is a definite similarity?
Heck...similarity!? The TRIGGER mechanism is the biggest difference in design, that one is gas the other mechanical. The unseen difference is right there in front of your eyes, and even when I say it, you'll have a hard time understanding what it means. The barrel of the AK-47 is 16" long and the Thompson is 12" long.
Which is which?
OK, I am tangenting...

I read an article that spoke to... The eddress, as it were.
It's an article by Marian Wright Edelman called

It's Past Time to Protect Children Not Guns

Good article in that it brings out a note of something being passed over. That there is a quicker and louder outcry for rights of guns than children. As most of my friends know, I have no fear about standing up for what I think is right, and this hits close to home for me.
Now, far be my attitude in describing all shooters (a term they pleasantly call each other) as evil child killers, no. Most gun owners are frightened that someone is coming for their gun, but, past that, most seem quite human. Some could even be classified as friendly ...except they critically insult ANYBODY that thinks the second amendment is being "re-interpreted"...and, in fact, sometimes they wander into articles like this guns a blazin'!
But, I had gotten a fair shot of that crap when I returned from Viet Nam... what with being a baby killer (?) and I learned to just keep quiet. Tolerate.
 No... I know they value their weapons.
But I have this attitude that it would be nice to take ALL the handguns in the world, and melt them down and make statues, or drinking fountains, or rakes and shovels.
ANYTHING other than a killing machine.
And that is interpreted as just plain wrong. "Oh the second amendment" they cry, and I always mention that those boys wrote the amendment when there were about two million people IN the united States of America. Today, our country grows more than two million people every year. I think that if EVERYONE had a gun, there would be battles on the streets for a few years, and maybe half the population. All guess work. I think dark because I got to see the dark.
THAT'S what I want.
Folk can badger me all they want, but the words will not change.
I want PEACE without the WAR.

Learned some about tolerance...
HOWEVER, there is one thing I have an extremely low tolerance for.
With all the help a computer can offer to help people stay up to par on a subject, but then have someone come out and say flat out that such and such is and there's no two ways about it?
in passing, someone asked about how many AK-47s there are, (175 million Russian made) and I looked up that weapon and noted right away the similarity of the Tommy gun. And I said so in reply to his question, when some
came by and called me a liar.,
Quick check, yes, the Thompson .45 ...

Designed from General Thompson around 1919, just too late for war use. But, that's OK, because they were popular only by hype, not in practice, as they had unusual problems. Lack of accuracy outside of fifty yards, less killing power than other weapons. The short, blunt shells were thrown out with a pistol's amount of powder, and by the time target was reached, the bullet would not penetrate any hardened clothing.

They did make inroads as a home weapon, however. Police bought them up happily, just because it was a RUSH to fire off a blaze of bullets. The hype continued, and Marines bought into it for skirmish type wars and agencies like the FBI and Treasury bought in for effect. The bullets were .45 cal,

Noting that, even the 1"-16" spin from the tip of the barrel would not be maintained for any length of distance. In one way, a seriously more aggressive weapon, as, close in (trenches, close street affairs, and the such) the danged thing tumbled. Mid air...tumbled. Takes away from accuracy plus, takes away velocity. But getting hit inside that fifty yard range was going to mean damage to the body. Interestingly enough, the hype worked on a worldwide basis as the U.S.A was always more than happy to give weapons to leaders of countries they felt to be valuable assets.
But basically, it was a failing idea that had one major point over any other.
It was America's (and the world's) first sub-machine gun.
Points to notice are how the back stock is affixed to the machinery. It is based on the same principle of a girl's bike being softer on the butt than a boys bike. The drive from the recoil is less accentuated because it is deflected more. The stock is attached from beneath the machinery, and with two handles on the gun... gave the user the feeling of controlled firepower...which, as I have stated, was an erroneous concept.

So...what about the AK-47? Similar?
First, would the Soviet Union "copy" any western technology? (if you're not laughing right now, you are entirely too pent up)
Yes...they would and have multiple times.
Here's an M-16 with a grenade launcher beneath the barrel...

I got to see one of these back in 1969. I was not impressed.
I liked the M-79 which is a unit that fires grenades, but not bullets. I have always been aware that "mixes" of two things is NOT a good idea. EVER.
But, there you have a near "antique" weapon, and here's a recently focused addition to the AK-47.

Well, besides saying "geez, what took you guys so long?" (ha!) I also wanted to point out the front handle. Here, a few people will recognize that the grenade launcher is being used primarily as a mortar, which means lobbing the shell up to "shake the bushes" up, ...lay some fire in the brush to bring out targets. The grenade shells come in flavors, explosive, phosphorus explosion, mini-napalm, and smoke.
Why is this being used as a mortar instead of forward fire?
The barrel of the grenade launcher is probably 6"-7" long.
NO accuracy would be the keynote of it. That a handle was created eating up the room for the barrel of the grenade launcher couldn't be without SOME kind of reasoning, could it?

OK, we have established that they WOULD copy design concepts and adopt them. Now, let's see if they actually HAD any Thompsons.

Through Lend-lease, the Soviet Union also received the Thompson, but due to a shortage of appropriate ammunition in the Soviet Union, usage was not widespread. The Lend-lease (public Law 77-11) was the program under which the United States of America supplied the U.K., the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations with material between 1941 and 1945.
So...let's look at the gun.

At 34" the first most noted item of interest is the stock being fastened to the machinery. Straight out from the rear gives ALL of the recoil to the stock. The trigger mechanism is at the rear of the machinery. There's a "banana clip" because these aren't .45s anymore.
Remember, the Thompson was NOT a sharpshooters weapon, untenable past fifty yards, and the velocity of the bullet at that distance is already slowing exponentially, depending on how soon it starts tumbling. The AK47 added more powder, harder slimmer bullet,

Now, there was no question of penetration however, has the same downside of the M-16, in that, if it tumbles inside a person, or hits bone and fragments, there is significant damage done.
But the hard, spinning bullet sometimes hit at such velocity, it would actually exit the person, and saving organ damage, that it would just leave an extremely angry person standing there.
Not what one wants when shooting someone. Sure isn't one of those Hollywood numbers.
Of course, it also won't blow up a car if you shoot it.

When I was in Viet Nam, we would haul Rangers from the 125th and others out to the brush, drop them off, make note, and leave. Sometimes we would pick them back up later, the next day, the next week, or, they would procure their own transportation...
Let's not get into that. In any case, most didn't like the banana clip (magazine) because of the curve, too much maintenance needed to keep ammunition from catching, or jamming. Oil was the solution, but, what stays in the mind is...if I can smell it, can the enemy? Straight magazines of one or two less than twenty rounds was popular.
 M-14s sometimes got dragged out into the field as well as .50 cal weapons. But the AK47, when captured, was usually tucked away (especially the ones with the folding stocks) as a back-up.

here's the two, with magazines...

 Not as noticeable in the photograph is that the AK-47 has a gas pipe riding along the top of the weapon. Some say this reduced the actual; thrust of the recoil, some that it increased it, but, looking at the stock itself, I would think that the extra recoil was due to the straighter thrust on the shoulder. The Soviets didn't mind putting labor to hard work producing these wooden and metal death sticks, and the early military Thompsons were also wooden in various places, but, this equaled weight.
Ten pounds...though sounding light as you sit at your computer, weighs more when you march your hide twenty miles down the road, take a break, then climb a flooping mountainside.

"HEY!" I would jokingly call to the pilots, "I'm your crew chief!" and they would sign me that they'de be back.


God, I loved those guys!
One made it, one didn't.

Did the Soviets copy the Thompson and improve it?
They did.
Do I have hard evidence?
Nope. Not a shred.
But the design, the time, the means, the whole bag of worms says
Yes. They copied the design.

But the important question is, why are some gun owners such angry haters, trouble makers, and rabble rouzers? I have a guess about THAT, too...but, that's another story for another time.


All information was found in wikipedia under AK-47, Tommy gun, and M-16, as well as the grenade launcher models, and to that:

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