Jump to content
Sturgeon's House

Recommended Posts

It is time to explain The Aglockalypse.



This is the handgun that killed handgun design in the West.  Nobody has had any new ideas worth mentioning on the mechanical design of service handguns since this design came out.  Almost every major arms manufacturer in the West makes what is materially a Glock clone; albeit with a few small embellishments and their own logo stamped on the side.


What Makes a Glock a Glock?


Almost every mechanical contrivance in small arms design was invented about one hundred years ago by some Austro-Hungarian noble you've never heard of or by John Moses Browning.  It's about 50/50.  Most of small arms design these days consists of applying new materials and manufacturing techniques to old ideas (which may have been unworkable at the time), or by taking a lot of old ideas from different sources and mixing them together in some way that's complimentary.  The Glock pistol design is no exception; the ideas were not novel, but putting them all together proved an absolutely world-beating combination.


1)  Polymer Frame



An H&K VP-70, the first production polymer-framed pistol.


Polymer-framed pistols were not an original idea, but at the debut of the Glock 17 they were still a fairly new idea.  Glock proved the concept to be mature, and it provided the Glock with a huge advantage over the competition.

Traditional metal-framed pistols are made by taking a hunk of metal, either a casting, billet or forging, and cutting away everything that isn't pistol-shaped:



This translates to a lot of machine time and a lot of expensive alloys that end up as shavings on the floor.  The frame of the Glock was much faster and cheaper to make.  Some metal inserts were put into an injection mold (which admittedly is an expensive device, but you pay for it once), and then hot, liquid plastic was squirted into this cavity to form the frame.  The entire process takes less than a minute.  Cost-wise there is no way for a metal-framed pistol to compete with a polymer-framed one, apples to apples.  For very large contracts the math tilts even further in favor of injection molding, since one-time capital costs are a large percentage of injection molding costs while ongoing costs are smaller, while ongoing costs for machining stay largely the same.  Gaston Glock was very aggressive about pursuing large contracts (notably the NYPD, which was an early coup), which helped him best use this advantage.

2)  The Glock locking system




Glocks use a linkless Browning tilting-barrel short recoil system and lock the slide to the barrel via a large rectangular lug machined into the barrel that fits into the ejection port.  Glocks were the second major pistol design to combine these two concepts, the first being the SiG P220 series.JgBD7mJ.jpg

Ejection port of a Webley automatic pistol, showing the square breech section of the barrel locked to the slide via the ejection port.  The barrel translates diagonally.



Cross section of a Browning hi-power.  This was the first mass-produced pistol to use the linkless short recoil system.  The barrel locks to the slide via a series of rings in the barrel that tilt into corresponding grooves in the slide.



SiG P220

This operating system is robust and reliable, and fairly easy to manufacture.  It has a few theoretical flaws, such as the barrel being slightly off-angle during the extraction of the spent case, the pivot sitting below the barrel and thereby raising the bore axis, and the necessary clearances for the movement of the barrel degrading accuracy.  In practice these objections are immaterial.  Glocks are absurdly reliable, have a low enough bore axis and only a unusually skilled shooters would notice the mechanical contributions of the precision of the pistol over their own wobbling aim.


3)  The Glock Fire Control System




The Glock fire control group is an elegant combination of several ideas.  Again, most of the ideas in the Glock fire control group had antecedents, but their combination and execution in the Glock was very clever.  The trigger transfer bar is a complex shape, but it is stamped from sheet metal and so quite cheap to produce.  It also combines several functions into a single piece, including enough safeties that Glocks are reasonably safe to carry even though they lack an external safety.


The complete lack of a machined metal hammer, and the clever trigger dingus-lever were also cost savings over traditional pistol design.


There are several other incidental design features of the Glock pistol, but these three are in my opinion the ones that allowed it to gobble up market share because they economized manufacture.  They are also the three features that the overwhelming majority of Western pistols designed since the Early '80s copy unashamedly.


Victims of the Aglockalypse


When Gaston Glock first entered his creation in the Austrian Army pistol competition, nobody in arms design had heard of the guy.  Longstanding Austrian arms company Steyr was quite confident that their own GB pistol would win the competition.



This is basically the pistol equivalent of the couple making out in the back of a convertible at night in a horror movie.  It is remembered only as the first in a long list of casualties.


Instead, not only was the Steyr GB to lose the competition, but it would fade from the marketplace without making much of an impression anywhere.  This is a shame, in my opinion, because the Steyr GB has a few good ideas that deserve a second look, such as the two-position-feed magazines (seen otherwise only in rifles, SMGs and Russian pistol designs), and the truckbed-liner crinkle finish.  The design also has some good features for economy of production and excellent mechanical precision, but really, on the whole, it's completely inferior to the Glock.  These pistols have a really poor reputation for being unreliable and wearing out quickly, and while Steyr fans will claim this is in large part due to inferior license-produced versions from the United States, nobody argues that even the Steyr-made GBs have anything on the nearly bomb-proof Glock.  Also, they're enormous.


As far as the Glock was concerned, the Steyr GB was just the first blood.  It wasn't enough to best a local competitor; the Glock would obsolete an entire generation of automatic pistol designs.


In neighboring Germany, Heckler and Koch's flagship pistol offering was the P7.  The P7 has many admirable features.  Like the Steyr GB it has a fixed barrel and excellent mechanical precision.  It is also very slim and has an extremely low bore axis.  It also has the most hideously complicated fire control system ever seen in a pistol that isn't a revolver:




A pistol like the P7 could simply never be made cost-competitive with the Glock, much less by a company like HK which usually errs on the side of high performance rather than low cost.


Walther, the other big German small arms manufacturer, was busy making the P5:




No, the picture isn't reversed.  The ejection port is indeed on the left side of the P5, which is because the P5 is nothing more than a slightly re-worked P38 of World War Two vintage.  The frame is aluminum, the barrel is shorter and the fire control group has some detail improvements, but it's otherwise the same, right down to the dubious rotating-block locking system.  It didn't even have a double-column magazine.  Just another outdated design for the Glock to drop-kick into the dustbin of history.


Longtime Belgian designer FNH was pushing the Browning BDA, a pistol so boring that I can barely write about it while remaining awake.




This is basically a Browning hi-power with a double action trigger somehow shoehorned in.  Given how the Browning hi-power trigger works, this is not exactly a straightforward conversion, and this would invite curiousity were it not for the fact that this pistol carries with it a highly stiffling aura of impenetrable boringness.  I seriously cannot bring myself to care.


Across the Atlantic, in gun-happy America the Glock would face stiff competition from hardened, skillful American firms that had more to offer than face-lifted wartime designs and botique gas-delayed guns.  The rugged American outlook on law enforcement provided a stiffly competitive market for quality peace officers' weapons.  


Haha, I kid.  They were just as complacent and mediocre as everyone else.




Sturm Ruger Co, one of only two publicly traded firearms manufacturers in the US, released their P-series of pistols in the mid eighties.  It seems a little uncharitable to list these chunky pistols as victims of Glock superiority, since they sold in decent numbers and aren't terrible.  But victims they were; the design was simply outdated.

The strangest feature of the P-series pistols is that the older designs in the family use a swinging link to cam the barrel in and out of engagement with the slide.  While the swinging cam arrangement works well enough, and several fine weapons use it (e.g. 1911, Tokarev), with modern materials and manufacturing tolerances the linkless system is simply better because it doesn't produce the grinding movement caused by the short radius of the link swinging radius, and because it has fewer parts.


The P series was also reasonably cost-competitive because most of the parts are cast before machining to final dimensions.  Sturm Ruger has exceptional expertise in firearms castings, which has long given them the edge in pricing.  Castings can be made very closely to the final shapes required, which saves a lot of machining time.  However, this gives many of their designs a bloated, water-retaining look.




The other publicly traded firm, Smith and Wesson, was doing reasonably well with a whole family of automatic pistols that I absolutely do not care about.  They have names that end in "9", have generally Browning-ish insides, and the single stacks look pretty and elegant.  There are also some double stack variants, and some are in stainless.  Something something unbuttoned pastel shirts, designer Italian pants and cocaine.  Oh look, there goes my mind, wandering again because these pistols are BORING, MEDIOCRE AND I HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO CARE ABOUT.




OH LOOK IT'S ANOTHER PRE-GLOCK SINGLE STACK METAL FRAMED PISTOL.  This time it's from Colt.  It is a well-documented fact that Colt's senior management spent the entire 1980's doing nothing but licking their own genitals like cats.  I don't even know what this pistol is called.  Do you know what it's called?  Do you care?  Do you think Colt's management cared?  Of course not.  So let's make up a name.  We'll call it... the Colt Elantra.




This Colt pistol is more interesting, and has an operatic history.  Unfortunately, that opera is Wagner's Ring Cycle.  Nobody did anything that made sense, and by the end there was a fat lady singing and then everything burned to the ground.


The pistol was originally designed by Reed Knight and Eugene Stoner, who were by that time already living legends for designing the combat robots that crushed the communist menace decisively at the Battle of Arrakis.  The design was mechanically fascinating, featuring an unusual rotating barrel, roller-bearing supported striker fire control group, polymer frame with screw-on grips, and an unusual, but very appealing slide stop design.


Alas, Colt completely screwed up the design by making it too big, making the trigger pull too long and too heavy, and by making it not work.  Even without the stiff competition from Glock, the design would have been an ignominious failure.


All of the above designs, though in some cases initially successful, would face dwindling market share against the cheaper-to produce Glocks.  Their respective firms sat down and quickly came to the conclusion that they were not as clever as Gaston Glock, but that was OK since he had done the clever for them.


Saint Gaston Converts the Industry to Glocktholicism




The first of the Glock clones to hit the market, the S&W Sigma is so similar to the Glock that some of the parts will interchange:


This resulted in some drama, hasty design changes and a settlement payment for an undisclosed amount.


Next came the Walther P99:




This pistol introduced the interchangeable backstrap, which was generally considered a good idea.  It also introduced several option trigger modules, including a DA/SA version with a decocker button on top of the slide.  This is bid'ah, and heresy against the Glockspel.  The great genius of the Glock is that it's simpler and cheaper to produce than competing designs.  One cannot successfully outcompete the Glock by taking a Glock and adding a bunch of extra shit to it.  Then you just have a more expensive Glock, which, ipso facto, will not outcompete an Orthodox Glock.




HK was, until recently, one of the last holdouts of Albigensianism hammer-fired handguns, being unable for some time to bring themselves to make an unabashed Glock clone.  However, their USP series is, compared to their previous offerings, quite Glocky.  They have switched to the Browning short-recoil, linkless tilting barrel design with a barrel that locks to the slide through the ejection port.


By 2014, however, HK had entered into full Glockmmunion, and introduced the VP9; a striker-fired, polymer framed pistol:




FNH of Belgium initially responded with the FN Forty-Nine, which is like a Glock but with a DAO trigger:




However, they swiftly recanted of their error and introduced the FNP, FNX and finally the FNS, an all-but-Orthodox Glock clone:




Steyr introduced the M9 series of pistols, which were actually designed by a former Glock employee!  These are basically Glocks, but slanted, with weird sights and that say "Steyr" on the side instead of "Glock."




In 2007, Ruger was converted and introduced the SR-9:



In 2005, S&W made a slightly more refined clone called the M&P:



There are several versions now, including some for blasphemers that have external safeties.


Colt has yet to introduce a Glock clone; their strategy regarding this portion of the handgun market remains enigmatic.







For various reasons, a few metal-framed designs have survived and remain commercially competitive.  But there is reason to think that their days are numbered.




The Beretta M92 series is mechanically rather similar to the Walther P-39, except it has a double stack magazine.  The widespread adoption of this essentially sound, but uninspired design, by many militaries not the least of which is the US Army, has bought the design staying power.  However, the recent announcement that Beretta, too, has discovered how to stencil their own name on to the side of a Glock shows that they haven't come up with anything better either.




The CZ-75 design continues on as well, in no small part because producing a CZ-75 clone is a right of passage in Turkey that all adolescents must pass in order to be recognized as men.




Turkish CZ-75 clones are so common at firearms trade shows that they are often used for paperweights and juggling.  When there is heavy snow it is common to keep a bucket of Turkish CZ-75 clones handy to pour onto icy patches to get better traction for a stuck vehicle.


But the latest offering from CZ proper, the CZ P-09 is beginning to look a lot like Glock-mas:



Polymer frame, barrel that locks into the ejection port...  It keeps the distinctive CZ-75 slide-inside-frame and fire control group, but it's more like a Glock than a CZ-75 is.  The trendline is unmistakable.


There are a few other hold-outs, but by and large the firearms industry has found Glock's recipe to be compelling.  To be cost-competitive, new designs copy these innovations to a greater, rather than a lesser degree.  This has meant a stultifying lack of creativity amongst pistol manufacturers, as more and more of them decide that their best bet is to copy a thirty five year old design.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Saint Colli, while you have made an excellent tribute to our Messiah Gaston Glock, I believe you forgot some designs.


Design that was also arguably killed. (Colt SSP)




Other companies falling in line and joining the religion of the striker fired master race.


SIG P320




Another shitty gun that should be excommunicated for the crime of being incredibly shitty, the HS2000 (Springfield XDm)





I hope this addition pleases you Saint Colli.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Saint Colli, while you have made an excellent tribute to our Messiah Gaston Glock, I believe you forgot some designs.


Design that was also arguably killed. (Colt SSP)




Other companies falling in line and joining the religion of the striker fired master race.


SIG P320




Another shitty gun that should be excommunicated for the crime of being incredibly shitty, the HS2000 (Springfield XDm)





I hope this addition pleases you Saint Colli.


Oooh!  Good choices, and yes, there are many victims and clones that I did not mention.


You've got to wonder WTF was going on with Colt at that time.  Basically all of their automatic pistol design introductions were flops.  Rather than grit their teeth and unfuck them, they let themselves get chased out of the automatic pistol market... just in time to miss the explosion in pistol sales thanks to changes in CCW laws across most of the USA.


The XD has an interesting departure from the Glock where the slide actually rides on this big, machined steel insert that's pinned into the frame.  But otherwise, yeah, it's a Glock with a bunch of unnecessary crap added to it.


The 320 goes one better; it has a stamped insert that (it looks like from pictures) acts as the slide rails and also holds the fire control group and acts as the serialized component.  Otherwise it's fairly Glocky.


The idea of using a metal insert as the serialized component that has the slide rails on it is clever, and would give a manufacturer a small edge over the Glock in the US marketplace.  It's harder to injection mold a polymer frame with metal inserts in it than it is to just injection mold a solid polymer frame.


Furthermore, if the polymer frame is the serialized component of the gun, the ATF requires that the serial number be on a metal plaque molded into the frame.  Most firearms manufacturers don't have their own injection molding equipment, and most injection molding companies don't have a firearms manufacturing license.  So the ATF has to grant a variance in these cases.


By making the slide rails/FCG/serialized box a separate, pinned-in piece, SIG bypasses the FFL variance paperwork and the difficulty of molding the metal inserts into the frame.


It's not an enormous advantage, but at this point anyone doing anything that's actually cleverer than Glock is noteworthy.


How about Strike One, a Glock for those, who is sick of Glocks?



The insides of the Strike One are surprisingly un-Glocky:



They made a big deal about the differences in the operating mechanism in one of their early presentations:


It's a little similar to how the P-38/M92 lockup works; there's an extra little piece that locks the barrel to the slide.  Instead of pivoting around the pitch axis like the P-38's locking piece it slides up and down.  Mechanically it's fine, although I don't think it has enormous practical advantages over the Glock design.  The big problem with their locking design is that it has a bunch of tiny corners that need to be machined inside the slide.  To make these tiny corners they use electrical discharge machinging (EDM), which is insanely precise and also insanely expensive.


So it's not a very good design from a cost-control standpoint.  Surprisingly, they've kept the price to about 1.5 Glock 17s.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So the final stages of the Aglockalypse has come. SOCOM is basically 100% Glock now (even the Rangers and SEALS). Given this, and the pressure from Milley, Glock is likely to be selected by MHS. Glock was selected by the FBI (again).


In ten years, no one will remember that any other handguns existed.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So the final stages of the Aglockalypse has come. SOCOM is basically 100% Glock now (even the Rangers and SEALS). Given this, and the pressure from Milley, Glock is likely to be selected by MHS. Glock was selected by the FBI (again).


In ten years, no one will remember that any other handguns existed.

Where it gets really weird is when glock accidentally releases a new model that is simply a square, plastic cut-out of a gun. And nobody notices any change in unit effectiveness.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So the final stages of the Aglockalypse has come. SOCOM is basically 100% Glock now (even the Rangers and SEALS). Given this, and the pressure from Milley, Glock is likely to be selected by MHS. Glock was selected by the FBI (again).


In ten years, no one will remember that any other handguns existed.


I remember an unclassified writing from a Delta Force member that, like MARSOC, They were also using Glocks (either the 17 or 22 oddly enough) and STI 2011s, but stopped buying 2011s because they required a shit ton more maintenance.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

CZ, noted purveyors of not-Glocks with hammers and other things won a victory over themselves:




It's a glock, with milling on the top of the slide to decrease felt recoil, and a focus on making the trigger feel good and be broken in.


Also, it has friend backstrap.


Most notable:


" Take-down of the P-10 will be familiar to most fans of striker-fired guns, and even more pleasing will be holster compatibility with some of the most common guns on the market. "


The sights look reasonably nicer than Glock standard too, and at a reasonable price. I think in a way that makes it one of the truer glocks that actually tries to be different in that it tries to improve without the addition of fiddly things.


I like CZ's lack of pretense about the whole thing. It's a Glock after common aftermarket mods. There ya go.




It looks like Remington's had a response as well in the RP9. They omitted the key features of a striker, actually reliably working with NATO ball ammo, and the only reason I know about it is my habit of looking up pistols that end up on deep sale. I also think that its ambi slide release only actually works from one side because it's weak stamped metal. In a firearms market where exciting new developments are slight elaborations upon the Glock, a Slovenian CZ99 descendent that's best described as "a lot like a P226 that's a bit more efficiently made" and the few daring souls still willing to make guns that aren't actually good, this is technically an exciting release.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

The P-10 has reportedly had a bunch of teething issues, although once these are resolved I expect it to be a quite solid market offering.


Trigger is nothing special tho.


I'm not surprised one bit. The Glock trigger seems to be perfectly acceptable, and absolutely fine once broken in. The main thing CZ talks about is basically breaking theirs in beforehand. If you've fired one, is that roughly how it feels?


What teething issues incidentally?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, xthetenth said:


I'm not surprised one bit. The Glock trigger seems to be perfectly acceptable, and absolutely fine once broken in. The main thing CZ talks about is basically breaking theirs in beforehand. If you've fired one, is that roughly how it feels?


What teething issues incidentally?


There are a bunch of different ones. You can get a sense by googling "cz p10c issues". I have faith in CZ as a company that they'll fix them, but I'd hold off if you're thinking of buying one.


The trigger just feels like a lighter Glock trigger, which is not very impressive to me.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much every P-10C I've used (or bought) has worked perfectly fine for me, It's like the one G19 wannabe that actually feels noticeably better than a G19 in quite a few areas to me.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is cool, how do you like it, and what do you think it does better?


I'm committed to getting a G19 because it is the default choice considerably easier to get accessories and support for, and by the time I've bought more mags, a happy stick, a red dot, a milled slide, a comp and a light, support for those and a holster to fit it all (especially custom safariland kydex from valhalla) is a major trait of a gun as a part of the system.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, xthetenth said:

That is cool, how do you like it, and what do you think it does better?


I'm committed to getting a G19 because it is the default choice considerably easier to get accessories and support for, and by the time I've bought more mags, a happy stick, a red dot, a milled slide, a comp and a light, support for those and a holster to fit it all (especially custom safariland kydex from valhalla) is a major trait of a gun as a part of the system.


My advice is always: Buy Glock, and if you don't like it you can sell it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. Plus, I'm trying to get it together before a 2-gun match at the start of February so things like waiting on custom holsters and stuff isn't happening. Instead, I got a holster that was in stock, mags that were on sale, and so on and so forth.


In the land of the universally competent pistol, the broad ecosystem is king.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, xthetenth said:

That is cool, how do you like it, and what do you think it does better?


I'm committed to getting a G19 because it is the default choice considerably easier to get accessories and support for, and by the time I've bought more mags, a happy stick, a red dot, a milled slide, a comp and a light, support for those and a holster to fit it all (especially custom safariland kydex from valhalla) is a major trait of a gun as a part of the system.


Note that for the record, I'm not not one of the hypocritical fanboys of other polymer framed, striker fired handguns that think their copy of a Glock is just so much better for.....exactly no reason other than *brand dicksucking here*, hell, I own 2 Glocks and had 2 prior to now, and tried many of their imitators, the Walther PPQ M2 was probably my favorite but even then, I ultimately went back to a G17 (traded in a G22 to get one before that since I didn't need it.) and you'll notice I usually go for full size guns and not the "compact" G19 size frames and clones because, as this will be important for why I like the P-10C better, I have big fucking hands and this often affects my gun choices. (I can do the Hollywood/video game bullshit dual wield Desert Eagle comfortably for example.....my accuracy isn't the best, but I can do it.)


That being said, let's get onto why the P-10C.


First off, going to have to disagree with Sturgeon on the trigger, anyone who's paid attention to my posts here knows I have annoyingly high standards of triggers and sights and, normally when it comes to triggers on striker fired guns, assuming we're not referring to after market mods, the P-10C is pretty much the first trigger on a striker fired Glock style tongue safety trigger that I find noticeably better, from the pull weight to the reset to travel distance, It's just a very clean trigger for a striker fired gun, and, for reference, for other striker fired polymer guns to compare to a Glock, I've tried heavily or owned:


Walther PPQ M2 (I'd rate the trigger as slightly better but not massively, at least not by the margin the P-10C is.)

S&W M&P (Haven't got to use many of the newer 2.0 models which have a different trigger setup, but the 1.0 triggers are horrid and this was almost the single biggest turning point on why I never bought one over a Glock.)

SIG P320 (Owned one before it was cool, overall worse trigger bar none, that wasn't the only reason I traded it in though.)

H&K VP9 (Yet another case of H&K fanboys overhyping the shit out of anything with 2 red letters on it, touted as the greatest thing to happen to striker fired guns ever, is not noticeably better than a Glock in any way aside from some arguable minor ergonomic changes despite costing more.)

FN USA FNS (about the same, nothing special but not a bad alternative by any means, haven't tried the newer 509. On an unrelated note, I'd still recommend a Glock because FNH/FN USA charge fucking murder for new magazines and other gear.)

STEEEEER M9-A1 (The *other* Austrian Striker fired polymer framed handgun, these are really nice actually and a steal for the price, better sights and great ergos for sure, as for the trigger I feel they're about even.)

Canik....anything (LOL, seriously, trigger issues are only the beginning, don't buy anything from them, their shit is horrid and all their good reviews were from already anti Glock fanboys who were paid off in gun mags basically.)


There's probably more I'm forgetting or simply don't want to bother talking about, but you get the Idea.


Second is the front cocking serrations, this doesn't need me to go into much, It's a roughly G19 length slide and I have gorilla hands so that's really useful to me, It's also a very simple thing to do.


The grip angle and the grip shape, along with the space in general I have for my hand from below the slide to the very bottom of the grip just fits me quite a bit better for my freakishly large hands, the P-10C also has a slightly roomier trigger guard which is good for when it's fucking cold out and I'm wearing gloves.


Lastly, they have an MSRP of only $500, making them an absolute steal, street price is lower obviously, but, you won't have a chance to get one if you see it for long because they're going fast right now.


Originally, I would've recommended the Steyr M9-A1 or L9-A1 series as "the Polymer framed, Striker fired pistol with no manual safety you should get if you absolutely hate Glock for no real reason at all.", the P-10C moved the other Austrian offering down to 2nd however (the M9-A1 series has better sights however, though pretty much all stock sights on pistols and rifles alike are dogshit and should be the first thing you change.). they're also going to be offering a 12 shot .40 S&W version at some point indicated by the owners manual to try and grab at the balls of the G23 market, so look forward to that. you said you're interested in 2 gun, in USPSA/IPSC, Open Major division has a 10mm minimum caliber requirement so guns for this bracket are pretty much always chambered in .40 S&W as said cartridge is literally just a 10mm Auto casing cut down by 3mm and set to a lower approved pressure rating.


.....Though to be fair, if you ever get really serious into IPSC, chances are you won't be using a striker fired, polymer framed gun.



15 hours ago, xthetenth said:

Yep. Plus, I'm trying to get it together before a 2-gun match at the start of February so things like waiting on custom holsters and stuff isn't happening. Instead, I got a holster that was in stock, mags that were on sale, and so on and so forth.


In the land of the universally competent pistol, the broad ecosystem is king.


You know, I know it's a really arrogant thing to say but, assume they actually participate in the event and don't just host it, I legit think I can beat Ian and Karl in a 2 gun match.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Khand-e said:


You know, I know it's a really arrogant thing to say but, assume they actually participate in the event and don't just host it, I legit think I can beat Ian and Karl in a 2 gun match.


Do it. They're participating in that event (They're in squad one), and (disclaimer) I think their events are really cool and want them to succeed (end disclaimer). As a heads up, they are both running Classic division. If you'd like, I can ask what they'll be running again since I don't remember it off the top of my head. I'm going to be in their squad. Considering my firearms experience consists of a few hours on the twelfth, I'm probably going to do terribly.


Plus, believe me, Karl gets much worse than "I legit think I can beat them". I think the ones that really bug him are the armchair commandos that talk shit without being willing to put their skills on the line. Hell, he'll be the first one to admit he's not shooting as well with the time he puts into IRTV and not focusing on a single gun the way some of the other dudes can.


I'm probably not going to get into IPSC, the matches that Ian and Karl run are more what's got my interest.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Sturgeon
      The year is [year]. You are a [thing] designer working in/for [country/nation state/corporation]. The [things] of the rival [country/nation state/corporation] have recently *gotten meaningfully better in some specific way* and/or *the geopolitical and/or industry circumstances have significantly changed*. You have been tasked with designing a [thing] to meet the needs of this new and changing world!
      If that made you laugh, maybe you've participated in a design competition before, here or on another forum. I've been a contestant or judge five or six design competitions by this point, and I'd like to highlight a mistake I've seen people make often that I think could hurt your chances. And that is, designing something for the wrong time period, specifically designing something that is too early for the period in which the competition takes place.
      Quick: When you think about US rifles in World War II, what comes to mind? A lot if you would answer with the M1 Garand, I'd bet. If I went on another forum and started a "Design a Rifle: USA 1944" thread, I bet I'd get a lot of entries that took their cues from the M1 Garand - but the M1 wasn't designed in 1944, it was designed in the late 1920s. In attempting to "fit in" to the time period of the competition, they would have in fact submitted a design that is 15 years too late! The an appropriately dated entry would be something like a T25 Lightweight Rifle, which is associated mostly with the late Forties and early Fifties, but whose design began in the mid 1940s. Using the M1 Garand as a model for your 1944 design would result in something like a slightly refined Garand with a box magazine slapped on, putting you well behind the curve!

      The T25 was what 1940s designers thought the rifle of the future would look like. Keen SHitters will notice the joke about the M14 in the above paragraph.
      Tanks and other vehicles are the same way. The M48 is associated with the Vietnam era, but its development began in 1953. The Space Shuttle is associated closely with the 1980s, but design work on it began in the late 1960s, before the first man ever set foot on the Moon. The MiG-15 is associated with the Korean War, but Soviet jet fighter designers at that time were already putting pencils to paper on what would become the MiG-21.
      It's tempting to create a design that looks like it would fit right in to the battles we know and associate with whatever time period a competition covers. Yet, the real-world designers fighting those battles from their drafting tables were already imagining the next thing, and even what would come after that, in turn. Design competitions are just for fun, but in some ways they are also practice for the real thing, so don't get stuck in the past!
    • By Sturgeon
      The idea for a design competition predates SH itself, actually going all the way back to the 2011-2012 timeframe on the World of Tanks North American Forum. Before the Exodus of 2014, there were several tank design competitions, two of which I entered. Earlier today, I found my entries to those competitions saved in various forms on my computer, and I thought I would post them here for people to reference moving forward.

      Entered in: Design a Tank - 1938 Germany
      The Early History of the Mittlerer Panzer Greif

      In 1936, as Heinz Guderian was writing Achtung – Panzer!, he was solicited by the Heereswaffenamt Wa Prüf 6 to create a specification for light, medium, heavy, and super-heavy tanks, as part of Germany's ongoing re-armament. The tanks then in development, the Panzer III and IV, were seen as adequate for future needs, but the purpose of Wa Prüf 6's solicitation was to gain a greater understanding of upcoming panzer technologies and tactics.

      Guderian's submission eliminated the heavy and super-heavy categories entirely, in favor of fast light and medium tanks requiring large engines and excellent suspensions. Wa Prüf 6 immediately began design studies on panzers to fill these needs, while still allocating some effort towards a heavy breakthrough tank design.
      Early panzer designs focused on improving the existing Panzer III, but a special division of Wa Prüf 6, the Spekulativpanzerabteilung, was tasked with pushing the limits of what was possible. One design, the Mittlerer Panzer K, was selected for further study.
      The original MPK design used a forged armor steel hull welded together into an elliptical shape, which the Spekulativpanzerabteilung determined would give the best internal volume to weight ratio, providing the best protection, but still maintaining the high power-to-weight ratio specified by Guderian's white paper. Armor at the front was 30mm thick, sloped at around 45 degrees, for the hull. The turret was a simple welded design, mounting the latest 5cm L/60 high velocity cannon, while the suspension was torsion bar similar to the Panzer III, but with more roadwheel travel. Sighting was with stadia reticles, and the tank was powered by a 300 horsepower Maybach HL 120TR, which gave 15 hp/tonne to the 20 tonne tank.
      As Spekulativpanzerabteilung improved the design, it morphed beyond recognition. To improve the cross-country performance, the suspension was changed to an early form of hydropneumatic suspension, with more roadwheeltravel, mounted in units bolted to the side of the hull. A tank's mobility, SPA reasoned, was greatly affected by its ability to stay in repair, and thus the modular suspension was developed. Due to marginal increases in weight, the engine was modified to mount a supercharger, increasing the engine power to about 400 horsepower. A mockup was built, but a prototype was never completed.
      In early 1938, Germany intercepted Russian plans to build a tank in the 100 tonne range, with upwards of 100mm of armor. A requirement was set to build, as quickly as possible, a panzer that could counter such a behemoth. SPA's medium panzer design suddenly went from a low-priority technical study, to a full procurement program. No guns in the German arsenal could reliably penetrate 100mm of armor at combat ranges without special ammunition, so immediately a new gun was sought. Eventually, it was decided that a Czechoslovakian artillery piece, the 8cm Kanon 37, would form the basis of the new medium tank's armament. Production was licensed from Skoda immediately, and it entered service as a towed anti tank gun in June of 1938 as the 7.65cm Kanone 38. The Kanone 38 differed from the K37 by firing the same projectiles as the 7.5cm KwK 37, which had been adopted a year earlier for German AFVs, but at nearly three times the velocity (900 m/s). 
      Fitting this monster cannon to the MPK required a total redesign. The ambitious elliptical hull was kept, but everything else changed. The turret ring swelled to a (then-enormous) 175cm, and accommodated an advanced turret, mounting a reduced-weight variant of the 7.65cm PaK 38, the 7.65cm KwK 38 to sturdy forward-mounted trunnions, with low-profile recoil recuperators. The turret was a semi-elliptical tetrahedron shape, constructed from welded forgings, with dual stabilized, stereoscopic rangefinders for both the commander and gunner, something seen only on battleships at that time. The commander's cupola sported 360-degree panoramic periscopes with a Leiteinrichtung - or slaving device, to slew the turret onto new targets. Armor on the new turret consisted of eighty millimeters of frontal armor on the mantlet, with fifty millimeters all around protection. The hull armor's slope was increased to 60 degrees, and thickened to fifty millimeters to cope with the new generation of guns. The weight of the tank ballooned to 34 tonnes, and the suspension was completely redesigned as a new compound hydropneumatic/Horstmann design, called Schwebesystem, which utilized 60cm wide tracks. The old 400 horsepower turbocharged Maybach was not deemed sufficient to power this new tank, and so the suspension was lengthened by a roadwheel to accommodate the new Jumo 250 engine, a two-stroke turbocharged diesel, which produced 650 horsepower. Transmitting this power to the roadwheels was a brand new compact Merritt-Brown-derived transmission, with an automatic planetary gearbox, which allowed the tank to steer in place, as well as travel in reverse at 30 km/h. Upon an early prototype demonstrating this ability, Guderian exclaimed "sie bauen es!" - "build it!"
      The first prototypes of the newly renamed Mittlerer Panzer Greif rolled off the line in January of 1939. These new panzers were the last to be produced by Germany by the old method of batch production, and as a result, each was slightly different than the next. Full rate production would begin once testing was concluded in August of 1939, at the brand new WPW plant in Obendorf.
      Specifications, Mit.PzKpfw. V Greif Ausf. A:

      Weight: 34 t
      Length: 6.95 m
      Width: 3.00 m
      Height: 2.85 m
      Main armament: 7.65 cm KwK 38
      Caliber length (KwK): 55
      Tube length (KwK): 4.053 m
      Tube life: 500 shot
      Secondary armament: 1 × MG 34
      Cannon ammunition: 45 
      MG ammunition: 2700
      Upper Hull: 50 mm / 60 °
      Lower Hull: 30 mm / 45 °
      Rear Hull: 25 mm / 90 °
      Hull Roof: 20 mm
      Hull Floor: 20 mm
      Turret Mantlet: 80 mm / 90 °
      Turret Front: 50 mm / 90 °
      Rear Turret: 50 mm / 75 °
      Turret Roof: 20 mm
      Engine: Jumo 250 six-cylinder turbocharged opposed two-stroke diesel, 650 hp
      Displacement: 16.63 L
      Gears (F / R): 7/5
      Power to weight ratio: 19.2 hp / t
      Top speed: 55 km / h
      Fuel storage: 720 l
      Reach: 525 km (road), 350 km (off road)
      Track width: 65 cm
      Leichter Panzer IV

      (The writeup for this one appears to have vanished into the aether, but I do recall that it was armed with a short 7.5cm gun and an autocannon!)
      Entered in: Design a Tank - NATO 1949
      NATO Medium Tank
      Concept: License-produceable medium tank "kit"
      By 1949, it had become clear that not only were tensions between the Warsaw Pact and NATO going to escalate, but that Soviet-aligned countries were actively readying for a full-scale conventional conflict. Because of this, the then-new civilian Operations Research Office was tasked with development of new weapons to be proliferated throughout - and, if possible license produced by - NATO member nations. The Armored Vehicles Team of the initiative, which was dubbed Project FOUNDRY, contained a scant seven members who began brainstorming ideas for a cheap, easy to produce, and eminently maintainable NATO-wide tank.
      Such a tank, it was reasoned, would not need to necessarily be the standard and only fighting vehicle of all NATO forces, but would allow less industrially capable NATO nations to defend themselves independently, as well as member nations who so chose to fast-track development of their own customized versions of the basic vehicle, without need for multiple lengthy, independent, and redundant tank development programs.
      While many concepts were explored, the one that gained the most traction was for a generously roomy welded chassis, with standardized turret ring dimensions, so that turrets and hulls could be exchanged at the depot level. Running contrary to current Army thinking, which emphasized small hulls with advanced, efficient transmission layouts, the concept had a large hull rear, supporting space inefficient, but widely available automotive components.
      As the AVT refined the design, they worked closely with British and American automotive engineers to try and create a design that could easily be adapted for the different automotive components then available, and projected. The design was intended from the outset to contain at least the British Meteor engine, and the Merrit-Brown Z.51.R transmission used in the Centurion. Because of this, the tank could not be made very much smaller than the Centurion, but this was deemed acceptable.
      The hull design received the most attention initially, and design of the turret and armament initially languished. The AVT had to solve, satisfactorily, the problem of producing specialized fighting vehicle components - the gun, turret, and sighting systems - in a variety of nations. Eventually, it was decided that the facilities in more developed countries, such as the US, Britain, France, and Germany, that could produce armed turrets and rings for all users, to be shipped abroad and mated to locally produced hulls.
      One further problem facing the AVT was ensuring the transportability of the new tanks by the various trucks, ships, and railcars that were in use at the time by member nations. The solution was to limit the weight of the new tank to 40 tonnes, enabling it to be transported by the majority of surplus wartime infrastructure.
      The resulting hull design was highly convergent with, but distinct from the British Centurion tank. The armor plates were to be rolled, heat-treated, and cut to shape by industrially capable member nations with the industrial capacity, and then shipped along with automatic welding equipment, if needed, to member nations for assembly. Each welded part assembled together using dovetails - like a cardboard model - to improve the strength of the welds, allowing for somewhat expedited welding practices. The turret ring race and other senstitive contact areas were finished before the plates shipped. When assembled, the hull used a series of mounting rails for engine and transmission, which approximated very nearly the modern "powerpack" concept, albeit in a much less space-efficient form. The driver's position was accommodating, with appreciable space as well as adjustable controls and seating, and power-assisted steering levers and shifter.
      Armor on the hull consisted of a two three-inch plates joined at a 60 and 45 degree from the normal, attached to side plates two inches thick set at an angle of twelve degrees, like the Centurion. Top and bottom armor plates were one inch thick, while the rear armor plate was 1.5" thick. Like the Centurion, there was provision for .25" thick standoff plates mounted to the side of the hull, encasing the suspension.
      The hull was to be furnished with automotive components in-situ, so there was no standard engine or transmission. However, most studies were done with either the British Meteor engine and Merrit-Brown Z.51.R transmission of the Centurion, or the AV-1790 engine with CD-850 transmission of the T40 experimental US medium tank. Special mention, however, should be made of the design study of the tank using a Ford GAA engine and syncromesh transmission from an M4A3 Medium, intended as a backup configuration in the event that a member nation could not obtain more modern engines and transmissions. In this configuration, the mobility of the tank would be significantly decreased.
      Suspension was provided via a series of mounting points to which suspension elements could be attached. The "default" suspension configuration was for an individually sprung Horstmann derivative, but the design accomodated both single and bogied forms, as well as internal and external torsion bar, Bellevile washer, and volute spring methods of suspension. Track pitch, width, and design were likewise left up to member nations, but most early scale models used standard US 6" pitch 24" wide T81 tracks.
      Ancillary components, such as stowage boxes, lights, fuel tanks, and other minor details, were to be produced by the receiving nations, with stamping equipment and technical know-how distributed as needed. 
      With all of the allowed variation, AVT realized it would need to publish an "engineering guide" to the new tank design, by early 1950 somewhat uncreatively christened the "NATO Medium Tank". This was accomplished with the first trials of automotive pilots, and "AN ENGINEERING GUIDE TO THE NATO MEDIUM TANK" was published by ORO on July 21st, 1950, and distributed to member nations. As the document only detailed the dimensional and production aspects of the tank, it was not considered a security risk, as member nations couldn't possibly leak any sensitive information from it that they did not already possess.
      By 1950, the first mild steel turret mockups had been created, giving two of the automotive pilots a "proper" look, even though they were no more combat capable than before. The turrets were cast in a single piece, and fitted with a 90mm high-and-low velocity gun based on the British 20 pdr but utilizing experience gained from the American 90mm series of cannons. It was determined that for member nations, the most common type of shot available would be solid APC shot. Because of this, a high velocity conventional AP round would be needed to deal with anticipated Soviet vehicles. The resulting round fired essentially the same T33 AP shot as the 90mm M3 gun, but at a much higher velocity of 3,200 ft/s. Testing revealed the round could penetrate a 100mm RHA plate at 60 degrees from normal 80% of the time at 500m. This was considered, initially, sufficient to defeat the anticipated armor of Soviet medium and heavy tanks.
      In order to allow more fragile, and thus higher capacity HE and utility (smoke) shells, ammunition was also developed for the gun that used a foam-lined, reduced volume case loaded with a smaller charge. This high explosive round produced 2,100 feet per second with its unique 22 pound shell, loaded with 2.6 pounds of Composition B high explosive. The technical data packages for these two types of ammunition were widely disseminated to member states, for their local production.
      The new 90mm gun was also compatible with any projectiles for the older M3 series of cannons, including HEAT and HVAP. Further, it was expected that the cannon would serve as the basis for a new 100-120mm gun, designed to fire a new generation of HEAT and APFSDS projectiles.
      Also included with the armament were three unity periscopes for each crewman, a single-plane stabilization system for the main gun, and a gunner/commander cowitnessing system. The turret had two ready racks of five rounds a piece, with additional ammunition stowage planned to be in the floor of the vehicle, and adjacent to the driver.
      The turret was cast with 3.5-3.6" all around armor, improving to six inches at the front. A large, wide mantlet/gun shield of 6" thick was provided, partially to help balance the gun in its cradle. The turret ring was 74".
      NBC protection was available through a "kit" modification that was distributed to member nations upon request.
      Specifications, NATO Medium Tank:

      Crew: 4
      Weight: 39.4 t
      Length (Hull): 7.2 m
      Width: 3.4 m
      Height: 3.05 m (without roof MG)
      Main armament: 90mm T104E3/M56
      Caliber length: 62
      Tube length: 5.60 m
      Tube life: 500 shot
      Secondary armament: 1 × M1919, M60, MAG, MG3, etc GPMG
      Cannon ammunition: 65
      MG ammunition: 3200
      Elevation: +25/-12
      Penetration with T53 Shot, 10.9 kg at 976 m/s:
      100 m: 22.2 cm
      500 m: 20.0 cm
      1000 m: 17.9 cm
      2000 m: 14.3 cm
      Upper Hull: 76.2 mm / 30 °
      Lower Hull: 76.2 mm / 45 °
      Rear Hull: 38.1 mm / 90 °
      Hull Roof: 25.4 mm
      Hull Floor: 25.4 mm
      Turret Mantlet: 152.4 mm / 90 °
      Turret Front: 152.4 mm / 90 °
      Rear Turret: 90 mm / 90 °
      Turret Roof: 50.8 mm
      Engine: Depends on variant, often AV-1790 w/ CD-850 transmission or Meteor with Merrit-Brown Z.51.R transmission. Variant with Ford GAA and syncromesh transmission also trialled.
      Displacement: Depends on variant
      Gears (F / R): Depends on variant
      Power to weight ratio: Depends on variant
      Top speed: Depends on variant
      Suspension: Depends on variant
      Fuel storage: Depends on variant
      Range: Depends on variant
      Track width: Depends on variant
    • By SirFlamenco
      Hi everyone, first post here 
      I stumbled across this video : 
      It’s super dense polyethylene with a neutral buoyancy core for impact resistance. It weights only 4 pounds, so for weight effiency it’s around 3 times better than ar550 and 4 times better than other ceramics ballistic plates, AND that’s while including the water, which I doubt add any bulletproof capabilities. 
      Is it just me or does it sound a bit fishy?
    • By Collimatrix
      Here at Sturgeon's House, we do not shy from the wholesale slaughter of sacred cows.  That is, of course, provided that they deserve to be slaughtered.
      The discipline of Military Science has, perhaps unavoidably, created a number of "paper tigers," weapons that are theoretically attractive, but really fail to work in reality.  War is a dangerous sort of activity, so most of the discussion of it must, perforce, remain theoretical.  Theory and reality will at some point inevitably diverge, and this creates some heartaches for some people.  Terminal, in some cases, such as all those American bomber crews who could never complete a tour of duty over Fortress Europe because the pre-war planners had been completely convinced that the defensive armament of the bombers would be sufficient to see them through.
      In other cases though, the paper tiger is created post-facto, through the repetition of sloppy research without consulting the primary documents.  One of the best examples of a paper tiger is the Tiger tank, a design which you would think was nearly invincible in combat from reading the modern hype of it, but in fact could be fairly easily seen off by 75mm armed Shermans, and occasionally killed by scout vehicles.  Add to this chronic, never-solved reliability problems, outrageous production costs, and absurd maintenance demands (ten hours to change a single road wheel?), and you have a tank that really just wasn't very good.
      And so it is time to set the record straight on another historical design whose legend has outgrown its actual merit, the British EM-2:

      EM-2ology is a sadly under-developed field of study for gun nerds.  There is no authoritative book on the history and design of this rifle.  Yes, I am aware of the Collector's Grade book on the subject.  I've actually read it and it isn't very good.  It isn't very long, and it is quite poorly edited, among other sins devoting several pages to reproducing J.B.S. Haldane's essay On Being the Right Size in full.  Why?!!?!!
      On top of that, there's quite a bit of misinformation that gets repeated as gospel.  Hopefully, this thread can serve as a collection point for proper scholarship on this interesting, but bad design.
      Question One:  Why do you say that the EM-2 was bad?  Is it because you're an American, and you love trashing everything that comes out of Airstrip One?  Why won't America love us?  We gave you your language!  PLEASE LOVE ME!  I AM SO LONELY NOW THAT I TOLD THE ENTIRE REST OF EUROPE TO FUCK OFF.
      Answer:  I'm saying the EM-2 was a bad design because it was a bad design.  Same as British tanks, really.  You lot design decent airplanes, but please leave the tanks, rifles and dentistry to the global superpower across the pond that owns you body and soul.  Oh, and leave cars to the Japanese.  To be honest, Americans can't do those right either.
      No, I'm not going to launch into some stupid tirade about how all bullpup assault rifle designs are inherently a poor idea.  I would agree with the statement that all such designs have so far been poorly executed, but frankly, very few assault rifles that aren't the AR-15 or AK are worth a damn, so that's hardly surprising.  In fact, the length savings that a bullpup design provides are very attractive provided that the designer takes the ergonomic challenges into consideration (and this the EM-2 designers did, with some unique solutions).
      Actually, there were two problems with the EM-2, and neither had anything to do with being a bullpup.  The first problem is that it didn't fucking work, and the second problem is that there was absolutely no way the EM-2 could have been mass-produced without completely re-thinking the design.
      See this test record for exhaustive documentation of the fact that the EM-2 did not work.  Points of note:
      -In less than ten thousand rounds the headspace of two of the EM-2s increased by .009 and .012 inches.  That is an order of magnitude larger than what is usually considered safe tolerances for headspace.
      -The EM-2 was less reliable than an M1 Garand.  Note that, contrary to popular assertion, the EM-2 was not particularly reliable in dust.  It was just less unreliable in dust than the other two designs, and that all three were less reliable than an M1 Garand.
      -The EM-2 was shockingly inaccurate with the ammunition provided and shot 14 MOA at 100 yards.  Seriously, look it up, that's what the test says.  There are clapped-out AKs buried for years in the Laotian jungle that shoot better than that.
      -The EM-2 had more parts breakages than any other rifle tested.
      -The EM-2 had more parts than any other rifle tested.
      -The fact that the EM-2 had a high bolt carrier velocity and problems with light primer strikes in full auto suggests it was suffering from bolt carrier bounce.
      As for the gun being completely un-suited to mass production, watch this video:
      Question Two:  But the EM-2 could have been developed into a good weapon system if the meanie-head Yanks hadn't insisted on the 7.62x51mm cartridge, which was too large and powerful for the EM-2 to handle!
      Anyone who repeats this one is ignorant of how bolt thrust works, and has done zero research on the EM-2.  In other words, anyone who says this is stupid and should feel bad for being stupid.  The maximum force exerted on the bolt of a firearm is the peak pressure multiplied by the interior area of the cartridge case.  You know, like you'd expect given the dimensional identities of force, area and pressure, if you were the sort of person who could do basic dimensional analysis, i.e. not a stupid one.
      Later version of the British 7mm cartridge had the same case head diameter as the 7.62x51mm NATO, so converting the design to fire the larger ammunition was not only possible but was actually done.  In fact, most the EM-2s made were in 7.62x51mm.  It was even possible to chamber the EM-2 in .30-06.
      I'm not going to say that this was because the basic action was strong enough to handle the 7x43mm, and therefore also strong enough to handle the 7.62x51mm NATO, because the headspace problems encountered in the 1950 test show that it really wasn't up to snuff with the weaker ammunition.  But I think it's fair to say that the EM-2 was roughly equally as capable of bashing itself to pieces in 7mm, 7.62 NATO or .30-06 flavor.
      Question Three:  You're being mean and intentionally provocative.  Didn't you say that there were some good things about the design?
      I did imply that there were some good aspects of the design, but I was lying.  Actually, there's only one good idea in the entire design.  But it's a really good idea, and I'm actually surprised that nobody has copied it.
      If you look at the patent, you can see that the magazine catch is extremely complicated.  However, per the US Army test report the magazine and magazine catch design were robust and reliable.
      What makes the EM-2 special is how the bolt behaves during a reload.  Like many rifles, the EM-2 has a tab on the magazine follower that pushes up the bolt catch in the receiver.  This locks the bolt open after the last shot, which helps to inform the soldier that the rifle is empty.  This part is nothing special; AR-15s, SKSs, FALs and many other rifles do this.
      What is special is what happens when a fresh magazine is inserted.  There is an additional lever in each magazine that is pushed by the magazine follower when the follower is in the top position of the magazine.  This lever will trip the bolt catch of the rifle provided that the follower is not in the top position; i.e. if the magazine has any ammunition in it.
      This means that the reload drill for an EM-2 is to fire the rifle until it is empty and the bolt locks back, then pull out the empty magazine, and put in a fresh one.  That's it; no fussing with the charging handle, no hitting a bolt release.  When the first magazine runs empty the bolt gets locked open, and as soon as a loaded one is inserted the bolt closes itself again.  This is a very good solution to the problem of fast reloads in a bullpup (or any other firearm).  It's so clever that I'm actually surprised that nobody has copied it.
      Question Four:  But what about the intermediate cartridge the EM-2 fired?  Doesn't that represent a lost opportunity vis a vis the too powerful 7.62 NATO?
      Sort of, but not really.  The 7mm ammunition the EM-2 fired went through several iterations, becoming increasingly powerful.  The earliest versions of the 7mm ammunition had similar ballistics to Soviet 7.62x39mm, while the last versions were only a hair less powerful than 7.62x51mm NATO.
      As for the 7mm ammunition having some optimum balance between weight, recoil and trajectory, I'm skeptical.  The bullets the 7mm cartridges used were not particularly aerodynamic, so while they enjoyed good sectional density and (in the earlier stages) moderate recoil, it's not like they were getting everything they could have out of the design.

      note the flat base
      In addition, the .280 ammunition was miserably inaccurate.  Check the US rifle tests; the .280 chambered proto-FAL couldn't hit anything either.