Strange ideas in gun designing

This one happens to be SMG specific, but for every design that makes excellent sense and meets the target it was made for, you get the ones where you want to go back in time and ask "what the hell were you thinking?"

 

Popped up in my mind after seeing a pic of a vz61 Skorpion on Facebook. 

 

I'v never carried an SMG on duty, though I've shot quite a few and as a class i find them fascinating in how many designs can attempt to fill the same few roles. 

Most military SMGs have done well, and make sense, i.e Thompson, Uzi,  MP5, etc. Among the machine pistol crowd you get some more unusual stuff even today.. the ones that blur the lines have always made me scratch my head. 

The Skorpion was, to the best of my knowledge built from the start to be a pilot/vehicle crew PDW, able to be worn like a pistol. Even in the 60s, body armor was becoming common. Yet somehow giving crews bailing out of a vehicle into a possibly nuclear Cold War battlefield full of 7.62mm rifle armed infantry, with limited ammo a FULL AUTO micro SMG...chambered in .32 ACP.... made sense.

Even in a Communist country, there had to be some WTFs being said. How a full auto pocket pistol was supposed to be better than a Tokarev, or even a Stechkin, or another serious caliber piece just boggles the mind. 

One reason the AKSU appears to have gained prominence in later years..

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

Original Post

You have to remember the history, this is a 50s design for the very cramped interiors of comblock armor. They needed something even smaller than the typical SMG (which at the time was mp40/ppsh41/m3 grease gun sized). The Uzi was western, the Thompson is a heavy mofo and outdated by then, the mp5 was still 20 years off, the stetchkin was larger than a pistol, had a fragile buttstock, expensive to manufacture, and was brand new Russian stuff (the Russians did not really trust the Czechs with new stuff, on account of their frequent rebellions) which was phased out as a sidearm for those reasons.

Forgotten weapons does a good breakdown and shooting



(excuse the "1s" video links, for some reason YT isn't cooperating on just giving me the normal video link)

Learn how to talk and how to fight, if you can't do one you'll be doing a lot of the other.

The vz23-25 predated the Uzi by years and the Skorpion by a decade. Same size as the Uzi, a hell of a lot more shooter friendly in a slightly more sane caliber... from the same country.

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

MrMurphy posted:

The vz23-25 predated the Uzi by years and the Skorpion by a decade. Same size as the Uzi, a hell of a lot more shooter friendly in a slightly more sane caliber... from the same country.

Sorry for necropost, but just ran across this thread and love it. 

So, the next gen of SMGs (MP5, Uzi, Walther...) often had small versions. I wonder if the Czechs do not just, experimentally, do a pistol-length-barrel version of the CZ23, to be issued with a flush mag. It would not much bigger than a pistol at that point. 

And if I bail out of my tank, I'd much rather be shooting people with Tokarov (well, the "+++P" Czech version!) bullets than .32 ACP ball.  

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

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Kaja, who is Czech, pointed out the Skorpion was basically security for crewmembers getting out of the tank to take a shit. I still would prefer the 25, or a "real" pistol (Cz52, Tokarev) for that over a .32 shooting 900 rounds per minute...

 

That said, both former Soviet troopers I've met (not knowing each other) who served in Chechnya and Afghanistan were huge fans of the Stechkin,  mocked the Mak as only good for suicide or executing prisoners... despite chambering the same round.

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

shoobe01 posted:
MrMurphy posted:

The vz23-25 predated the Uzi by years and the Skorpion by a decade. Same size as the Uzi, a hell of a lot more shooter friendly in a slightly more sane caliber... from the same country.

Sorry for necropost, but just ran across this thread and love it. 

And if I bail out of my tank, I'd much rather be shooting people with Tokarov (well, the "+++P" Czech version!) bullets than .32 ACP ball.  

There is a YT vid featuring a historian talking of WW2 US Tank myths- in talking of Sherman casualties he mentioned most US tanker deaths occurred after they bailed out of the M4.

MrMurphy posted:

This one happens to be SMG specific, but for every design that makes excellent sense and meets the target it was made for, you get the ones where you want to go back in time and ask "what the hell were you thinking?"

 

Popped up in my mind after seeing a pic of a vz61 Skorpion on Facebook. 

 

I'v never carried an SMG on duty, though I've shot quite a few and as a class i find them fascinating in how many designs can attempt to fill the same few roles. 

Most military SMGs have done well, and make sense, i.e Thompson, Uzi,  MP5, etc. Among the machine pistol crowd you get some more unusual stuff even today.. the ones that blur the lines have always made me scratch my head. 

The Skorpion was, to the best of my knowledge built from the start to be a pilot/vehicle crew PDW, able to be worn like a pistol. Even in the 60s, body armor was becoming common. Yet somehow giving crews bailing out of a vehicle into a possibly nuclear Cold War battlefield full of 7.62mm rifle armed infantry, with limited ammo a FULL AUTO micro SMG...chambered in .32 ACP.... made sense.

Even in a Communist country, there had to be some WTFs being said. How a full auto pocket pistol was supposed to be better than a Tokarev, or even a Stechkin, or another serious caliber piece just boggles the mind. 

One reason the AKSU appears to have gained prominence in later years..

Suppression make it a bit more attractive?

Since I, for no really good reason, have run this website in my spare and largely-unpaid time for 20 years, my official excuse to visit the Royal Armories last month was to open up some Star SMGs. They have really very poor info, and I found some unique things about them, dismissed some mythology. 

Now, it's a lot of work to take scribbles and photos and turn them into a useful article, so it'll be months before I have finished them all, but I have updated the first one now, and you may like it: 

http://star-firearms.com/firearms/guns/smg35/

I cannot cross post the best part, the photos, as the Royal Armories are pretty antsy about reproducing things, and I only have permission for my site there. So, do visit it and try not to stick photos up here as I'll then have to tell you to knock it off. 

But you might like it because It Is So Crazy. Early 1930s design: delayed blowback. And oddly so, integrating with the (linear) hammer, so one spring. Some nice execution, but overthought in the extreme. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Great website.  Reminds me how badly I want a Star compact 9mm BK, BM or Starlite.  I want a slim, Commander size 9 mm with barrel length legal for Canada (4.25 inches,106 mm) (like the new Browning Black Label in .380...only in 9....) .  I think one of those Stars fits that bill.

Joined sometime in 2008.                  Live in Canada.        

A few people on [other forums] have been buying Bs and BMs lately so someone has some. In Canada? Meh. 

My B-super is a bit sketchy still with it's home-hacked slide stop, so do fear that. Parts have REALLY dried up. Better for pre-Super guns, but not awesome. Make plans accordingly. 

An alloy frame would be especially nice. Would love to find one of those crazy like BRIGHT blue anodized frame BKMs unloved on a shelf somewhere. In Kansas, though. Man are transfer fees a pain anymore. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

 This one isn't so much strange ideas as something strange that worked. 

A key reason Americans still don't trust diesel cars is that (among other reasons) GM after the 79 oil embargo era rushed to market a diesel engine. Or rather, a "diesel engine." They were gas engines converted to diesel. But diesel is not just different fuel; it operates at MUCH higher pressure. And in real life, they start wearing out, and performing very badly right away. 

Back to guns, there were a LOT of .40 conversions that were awful or specifically failed back in the early 90s. The P7 and High Power in 40 were just stupid, with huge amounts of extra mass added to otherwise lovely guns. Things like the Star and Daewoo service pistols simply were awful, and horribly unreliable. 

To materials, aluminum is not steel and plastic is not aluminum. Yet we see people build things all the time where the same shape is made in a different material and just doesn't work. Aluminum FAL receivers are a good example of this, but others abound. 

Handguns especially are very dynamic systems so aside from straight up strength,  the frame flex in plastic is critical to them working properly and it took some folks a while to get the gist of how to make a plastic pistol of any value. 

With that in mind, let me introduce you to the Star M205 Ultrastar: 

A plastic framed, single stack, closed-campath, browning lock, selective DA, decocker mid-caliber pistol.  

Except it wasn't designed to be a plastic framed gun. There was an alloy-framed M105, that got advanced enough in design it was cataloged, in the Jane's annual back then as In Production, and loaned to gun writers for review.

Look at it! It's the same damned gun! And, the Ultrastar was a brilliant gun. Nice size, weight, etc. and scrupulously reliable. 

How the hell did they do that? How did a couple guys in Eibar, within about a year, make their first plastic framed handgun, by modifying nothing else, and not totally screw it up? 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

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Gonna need details and photos of that one. Does not ring a bell. 

Though I recall the race to the biggest AMR stopping when it was realized (in several countries) that people still have to fire them. E.g. 20mm rifles were demoed then quietly withdrawn. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Looks a bit crazy. But, constant recoil guns! Love that concept, wish it was more widespread. Is this the same guy who submitted a constant recoil pistol to the (never fulfilled) UK PDW program? Would be after this 1996 article, so not mentioned of course. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

shoobe01 posted:

Looks a bit crazy. But, constant recoil guns! Love that concept, wish it was more widespread. Is this the same guy who submitted a constant recoil pistol to the (never fulfilled) UK PDW program? Would be after this 1996 article, so not mentioned of course. 

What I found interesting was the cause: installing .50 MG in UK aircraft that had been designed around .303 Brownings: the .50 MG would have to have much the same dimensions & recoil of the .303 to be feasible.  As it was, enough US material became available & we followed the UK into 20mm...those CAC 'super-Mustangs' would have been 20mm, not .50 cal.

Sounds like you are talking of the Bushmaster PDW with the electronic rate reducer.: shot one in the UK.

Some Euro firm (as of a few years ago) was marketing them.  UK 'Handgunner' had a couple of very good articles on them.

Robinson did do a PDW...it was unusual to say the least.  Handled one in a visit to the Pattern Room.

Image result for Robinson PDW

Image result for Robinson PDW

Sinister posted:

A few constant recoil guns -- MP38/40; Ultimax 100; and AK-107.  All awesome.

Robinson went to work in the USA (Springfield Armory, as I recall) & the US military adopted a couple of weapons based on the concept: M73 & M85.

Not very good weapons, unfortunately.

Image result for Robinson M85 M73

Image result for Robinson M85 M73

Now back to defending myself from cruel & hurtful accusations of being a poof.

Oh lordy, I've never shot the M73 and heard no end of how awful it was. Long funny story I was told in narration while watching a friend's TC qualification video at Riley. He all but got a round of applause at the review because they'd had a main gun issue, so while it was being worked out he just kept firing the MG, to good effect no less, and...

...they had never seen one fire for so long, ever. 

Not that he didn't cease fire because he had a somewhat catastrophic stoppage anyway. Terrible gun. Never heard of anyone who actually liked it. 

 

Love, love, love the Ultimax. Academically yeah. Never fired one. No one lets me have that much fun. 

 

Yeah, got my two guns mixed up. Was thinking the Robinson gun design, but timed to the Bushmaster (ugh, so many "Bushmaster" guns who can keep track!).  

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

I would like that, but instead hate you for having shot these.

After handling an SR-88 in Leeds, it's now one of my favorite rifles.  

Again, academically. I liked, e.g. the TMP until I shot one. Dreadful trigger and way to high ROF. I recognize it's hard to tell what a gun is really like without shooting it, so again: hate you!

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Mostly that the receiver was so compact. Unlike especially a lot of modern guns with their extruded receivers, it felt less like a box with a grip on the bottom than an integrated package. Just felt right, and shouldered (to the sights, etc) very nicely. 

Ever shot the SAR-80/SR-88/SAR21?

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

A reader sent me photos of this Star pistol the other day: 

What model is it? Well, look close at the slide. It's a Star. With valid looking marks. That "STAR" is in the right size and typeface for example. But, nothing about the gun itself it is right, and certainly not Star-like. 
 
It turns out, there is a budding market of clones and knockoffs being sold in various war-torn countries. Syria (where this came from) is a key market these days for things like this. For another example, this differently-awful,  totally-not-an-Astra A-80 also from Syria.
 
The A-80 is the Sig-like one. So they aren't even trying to emulate real guns, unlike the 1930s era Chinese Broomhandle Mauser and Baby Browning clones. They are just... "generic guns" from somewhere. Even has plastic molding set up, I'll note. So this isn't a hand-filed back yard gun, but someone has a crappy factory to make "A-80" pistols somewhere. 
 
That Star is likewise just, something, roll stamped to persuade un-knowing buyers that it's made by a reputable maker. I presume they pick brands that are known to the market, and there are say a lot of old surplus Stars in Syria, with a decent enough reputation to try to steal from it. 
 
For more on the range of cloned guns, try this Glock on for size. This has been sourced, and is for sure the Pakistani clones that are more generally around. They are on the second or third generation of these, and getting more hard to distinguish now:
 
They have also seen Walther P99, CZ75, CZ97 and more. Not sure where all are from, if local, Pakistani, or some are coming in from places with larger manufacturing bases like China. 
 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Rifling in the Glock. 

Syrians reportedly call the Glocks "Turkish" so... maybe all in all, not the Pakistani factory produced guns. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

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Lordy it's not a GOOD gun, but this Forgotten Weapons review of the USFA ZIP .22 is very interesting. Tiny plastic bolt! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9bULArrKs4

Also, weird business. And now, "the whole thing kind of fizzled up and blew away like dust." 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

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Did another of my Star SMG updates. See details and photos (since I cannot share them otherwise here: 

http://star-firearms.com/firea...ns/smg45/index.shtml

Interesting to mess with this one as it's been long considered by everyone to be a straight up MP40 clone but... it's not. I mean, layout is similar, but not one part is the same. To this thread; 

Really weird removable barrel: Barrel. Only. Not the barrel shroud. Like a 30s MG, for cooling, but not usefully shortening the gun. WHY? 

Clever, and unique as far as I know charging handle lock. Worth a look at that, and anyone can tell me if some other gun did have something like it. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

shoobe01 posted:

Mostly that the receiver was so compact. Unlike especially a lot of modern guns with their extruded receivers, it felt less like a box with a grip on the bottom than an integrated package. Just felt right, and shouldered (to the sights, etc) very nicely. 

Ever shot the SAR-80/SR-88/SAR21?

Put a few rounds through a SAR21...OK I guess.

The conventional forend compared to the AUG style grip drew the comment.

Searching for something else, found these insane ideas for the P90 program. 

https://medium.com/war-is-bori...ine-gun-e57181055cea

The lower one was expressly not to be shouldered. Not exactly a handgun, but sorta. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

I’ve tried a few times to find a carbine I recall from SOF Mag or maybe GungHo  in the early 80’s.

It was chambered in .44 AutoMag, and fed through the grip.  Sort of like the Linda Carbine, just in AutoMag. If anyone else recalls it, would like to know.

http://www.wilkinsonarms.com/L...m-Carbine_p_179.html

 

would be interesting in the other odd ball .224 BOZ

 

https://web.archive. org/web/20050404115225/http://www.civil-defence.org/products/ballistics/boz224/boz224.html

CRISAT armour is the name given to the NATO future classification of red team armour. CRISAT is made from 1.5mm Titanium and 20 layers of Kevlar. .224 BOZ  is the only weapon system of its type tested by DERA (UK Defence Testing Agency) to have passed this level of performance.

One particular requirement was to ensure the ammunition used a well-known bullet format, and .224 BOZ favoured the 5.56mm penetrator, being well documented and of known ballistics, both in flight and terminally. This selection offered a huge range of options with differing bullet weights and types ranging from ball, through to armour piercing and tracer. In addition, various innovative manufacturers have created specialised 5.56mm projectiles such as paint ball markers and ceramics for frangible training indoors.

Yeah, I remember that week when .224 BOZ was going to take the world by storm. SAS totally had MP5s chambered in it and everything. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Not a lot of good stuff on the BOZ but here's one retrospective on the cartridge side; 

Case Histories: 224 BOZ

Case Histories: 224 BOZ

This month we look at a commercial ‘wildcat’ from the imaginative arms and ammo developer Bill Alexander, created during his time at Civil Defence Supply (CDS).

It was at the time when CRISAT defeating ammo and PDW’s were being researched by almost every NATO Alliance country. CRISAT quantifying the penetration specification that would defeat the relatively modest 1.6mm titanium and 20 element Kevlar sheet Warsaw Pact body armour of the day.

PISTOL OR MACHINE PISTOL?

Through the late 1980s and into the 1990s, the race was on to produce a winning design. Browning had their 5.7 x 28 FN P90 and H&K the 4.6 x 30. Whilst others were looking to produce auto (MP) combinations of ammo/ weapon, CDS believed that a compact, pistol-based system would prove more practical. The 10mm Auto (Bren Ten) case was selected as the most suitable base. The prototypes were designated 5.56 x 25 and based around a necked down version of the large pistol primed 10mm Auto case. As work progressed, it was re-engineered to employ a small pistol primer and reduced in length to a new designation of 5.56 x 23. Die sets were produced by the custom shop at RCBS. Test weapons were initially just pistols, the Colt Delta Elite and highly reworked Glock 20 doing most of the work. (Lightening their slides was a key factor).

At a later stage a limited batch of H&K MP5’s were re-barrelled by CDS using Douglas blanks. The parallel wall case design and aggressive neck angle giving the cartridge good stacking and feeding qualities in both the Glock and MP5 magazines. The finished ammo being given an Imperial designation, the .224 BOZ. The suffix being added as a homily to one of the codevelopers, his nickname being ‘Boz’, an abbreviation of Boris Karloff - with whom he allegedly bore a resemblance.

  • Case Histories: 224 BOZ - image {image:count}
  • Case Histories: 224 BOZ - image {image:count}
  • Case Histories: 224 BOZ - image {image:count}
  • Case Histories: 224 BOZ - image {image:count}
  • Case Histories: 224 BOZ - image {image:count}

The production design settled upon the small primer pocket and 23mm length, with a marginal increase in the upper wall thickness over that of the parent 10mm. The small primer gave Alexander greater internal ballistic flexibility when creating the widest range of performance and projectile combinations. Propellant choice was varied, again dependent upon the projectile and desired performance, but all were conventional commercial double or single base such as Win 296, H4227/IMR4227, Viht N120 loaded to 105%, with Max/Min practical burn rates spanning Alliant 2400 to Rel7. In addition to the basic ball, there were AP tracer, frangible and blank designs. The two primary rounds were the 50-grain jacketed spire delivering (in the reworked Glock) 2000 fps and the 40-grin steel core achieving some 2300 fps. Velocities not dissimilar to the performance of .22 Hornets in a modern arm.

COLLECTOR STATUS

Commercially produced ammo based upon a 55-grain FMJ pill was available for about a decade and collector boxes still appear.

Brass is hard to find in the correct primer pocket/wall thickness configuration but can be made from stock 10mm Auto with suitable dies and the application of an accurate annealing process, albeit with a large primer pocket. Swaging and reloading die sets can be made to order but you would need to specify exactly which iteration of the BOZ you intend to load.

WHAT, WHERE AND WHY?

No commercial rifle or pistol builder has offered their wares chambered for the BOZ. However, one-offs have been made in everything from 1911’s to AR’s. Whilst it shoots almost completely flat at 100 yards it is not going to win competitions! So, why go to the expense of a custom firearm, dies and brass when it cannot be used by you and me for its’ true purpose? My suggestion would be to add examples of the ammo to your collection – and call it quits…. or Boris

 

https://www.gunmart.net/ammuni...se-histories-224-boz

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Desert01 posted:

I’ve tried a few times to find a carbine I recall from SOF Mag or maybe GungHo  in the early 80’s.

It was chambered in .44 AutoMag, and fed through the grip.  Sort of like the Linda Carbine, just in AutoMag. If anyone else recalls it, would like to know. 

There was a .44 Automag... carbine: 

That maybe? 

Best buttstock ever: 

And by best i mean, silliest. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

No photo description available.

I don't know what the hell this is but I want one.  Source document says homemade 12 gauge.

 

 

 

 

....

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

 

When violence is the local language, be fluent.

 

“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.“   Lt. General Paul Carton de Wiart, British Army

 

shoobe01 posted:

Not a lot of good stuff on the BOZ but here's one retrospective on the cartridge side; 

Case Histories: 224 BOZ

 

This month we look at a commercial ‘wildcat’ from the imaginative arms and ammo developer Bill Alexander, created during his time at Civil Defence Supply (CDS).

 

https://www.gunmart.net/ammuni...se-histories-224-boz

There was a guy in the UK producing local copies of MAC10 (called BMAC): there was at least one in .223 Boz.

That .224 BOZ sure looks like a complicated .22 TCU.

( I got to know Ray Wilkinson a little before he died. He moved his factory up from California to just north of a small town in Idaho ( Parma) and set up a pretty nice place in the dry-hills. I got a tour of the place when he was up and running.  Nothing but top of the line equipment.  Much of the talk about his stuff was it was just to over-engineered/designed, much like WW2 German stuff.      He was an older guy when I met him, really neat to listen to his stories.  When the Parma Rod and Gun Club was in the early stages of building a range (where it now sits) a short distance away from his factory, at the first public hearing he showed up walking bent over with a cane in one hand and holding a literal brass horn in his ear like you saw in movies regarding deaf/hard of hearing people 150 years ago!   He acted like he was all but totally deaf, and made sure when it was his turn to speak, everyone heard the (alleged) reason his hearing was gone--- due to too much gunfire.   After a few minutes of watching this charade, I leaned over and whispered to my friend-who knew Ray A LOT better than I did, if his hearing was really that bad and if he really used a horn in his ear.  My friend laughed and said no- he didn't want the range near his factory.)

And, FYI, someone apparently bought the rights or the name, and Wilkinson Arms is alive and now in a town of 97 people (Murphy, Idaho)- damn near out where God-lost-his-shoes. 

Worthless tidbit of stupid info for the day.

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