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Sturgeon's House

The Small Arms Thread, Part 8: 2018; ICSR to be replaced by US Army with interim 15mm Revolver Cannon.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Question since I've seen so many recent posts about the Beretta 92F over at TFB.

Why is a slide safety/decocker ifeature so derided by gun officionados?

I get why the 92F is hated since it replaced the Holy 1911 and fires the 9mm Euro-pellet. But inevitably the issue of the safety placement is brought up which draws collective nods and affirmations of "Ayup. Slide safety bad."

And I know there were issues with accidental discharges with the M9s safety/decocker. But I chalked that up to poor armory maintenance on beat-to-hell guns.

I own a 92F and while there are issues I have with it, the safety is not one of them. It's ergonomic and right there by the thumb, ready to go, with just a flick. On the other hand (get it, hand?) my paws are fairly large which has always stood me good when handling something as large, curvy and voluptuous as a sexy Italian handgun.

So are the complaints about the Beretta's slide safety more a problem with 1911 guys with small... erm... decockers?

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The safety is perceived to reduce the strength of the slide. Frankly, I think that's BS, but w/e.

The current fashion is for handguns to have minimalist or no manual safeties and striker-fired pre-loaded triggers. The Beretta comes from an earlier time when they didn't know what the hell people would want from semi-autos so it has fifteen different fire modes.

It's a fine handgun.

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Let's all take a trip back to the late 1970s and early 1980s.  This was the time of punk.  This was the time of despair.


Punk was all about minimalism; strip everything down to a few chords, wear clothes you fished out of a garbage can or made yourself and infect yourself with parasitic worms so that when you vomited on some other asshole in a fight, they got parasitic worms too.  It wasn't pretty, but it was cheap and it worked.


Punk was about to hit pistol design in a big way.  The aglockalypse was just around the corner.  The glock is the practical application of punk to the art of small arms design.  It's reminiscent of John Browning's early striker-fired design prototypes for the hi-power, only made out of plastic and missing half the parts.  Not pretty, but cheap and it sure does work.


The world was very different in the punk era.  Remember that in the United States, violent crime increased dramatically in the late 1960s.  In the 1970s they were still figuring out what to do about that.  They hadn't had a few decades for the idea that gunfights were just something that might happen day to day to sink in, so the art of practical handgun usage was in a pretty sorry state.


Or rather, practical handgun knowledge was in a hilariously bad state at the time.  I read through a police marksmanship manual from the late 1960s or early 1970s; it's like an infantry tactics manual written pre-WWI.  It's heartbreakingly naive because they hadn't seriously had to seriously think about the problem before then.  They had come from a more peaceful world, and were still getting their bearings in the grimdark of the 20th century.


This police marksmanship manual still taught the FBI crouch.  The FBI crouch is a sort of distillation of the WWII-vintage Fairbairn-Sykes theory of gunfighting, which emphasized speed over accuracy.  The idea behind the FBI crouch is that you crouch down so that you're harder to hit, and you sort of get your dominant arm that's holding the weapon into a repeatable, ergonomically neutral alignment with the rest of your body so that you can aim with your entire body.  As you can see, this isn't a shooting stance that allows you to use the pistol's sights.  In some variants of the stance, you cross your left forearm over your torso so that incoming bullets have that much more flesh to go through before they start hitting your vital organs.


Basically, it's the sort of theory of how to gunfighting that you might come up with in a society that, until recently, hasn't been doing a whole lot of gunfighting.


Everything was in a more primitive state than it is now.  Nowadays you can go into a gunstore and have dozens of brands and styles of pistol ammunition to chose from; hollowpoints of all descriptions line the shelves, each promising to kill people more dead than the next one.  Oh, and you can buy full metal jacket if you need something cheap for practice.  Back then, full metal jacket was the fancy stuff; the most common ammo was cast lead.  Also, cops weren't totally sold on automatic pistols until about halfway through the '70s, they still mostly used revolvers.  Also, almost nobody owned a handgun.  It was considered weird.  Owning a rifle or a shotgun was perfectly normal; what else are you going to go hunting with?  Owning a handgun was weird because handguns are for shooting people, and why are you even thinking about shooting at people you weirdo?  The laws and court precedent for self-defense cases were a lot different then too.  Formerly peaceful society, still coming to grips with the grimdark.


So, secret about Beretta; they basically want to make hunting shotguns and make up-scale hunting apparel.  They can't design automatic firearms actions to save their lives.  Whenever they have to make something automatic they rely on Germans to design the things for them.  The AR-70, for instance, was originally a joint design effort with SIG (SIG's evolved into the SIG-540/550 series).  The ARX-160 was designed by Ulrich Zedrosser, who, as you might surmise from his name is not Italian.  The Beretta 92 is the last in a line of Beretta pistols that started off basically as clones of the Walther P-38.


You can imagine it; Beretta in the 1970s doesn't really know what makes an automatic pistol a superior combat piece, although they've been making clones of the Walther action long enough that they can make them work very well.  Cops don't know how to gunfight either; all they know is that these automatics seems a whole lot easier to shoot yourself with than revolvers, so they're going to need some sort of super-duper double safety device.  Some want double action with a decocker, some want a safety as well, someone want a combined safety decocker...


So Beretta shrugs their shoulders and tries to please all these cop agencies.  Obviously, they're mainly going to be selling these things to cops and military and a very small number of weirdos.


Meanwhile, Jeff Cooper, Jack Weaver and a small but growing number of practical pistol competition shooters are figuring out how to actually fight with a handgun.  Meanwhile, in Austria, long-standing armament maker Steyr is about to get a nasty surprise when the Austrian Army holds a competition for their next pistol.

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If you haven't read colli's post, do so. He's entirely correct.

So, it's worth pointing out for this generation that the above situation is why Jeff Cooper is important. I've said a lot about what a weirdo Jeff is, and how stupid his scout rifle idea is (OK, realtalk: Just because an idea has an internally consistent train of logic does not make it a good idea), but he was one of the first to concern himself with the idea of the fighting civilian. The scout rifle is like the FBI crouch: It's not really a great idea, in retrospect, but the scout rifle has its origins as far back as 1966 - so even then Cooper was thinking about the problem of, basically "what happens if there's something like Ruby Ridge?" almost thirty years before that actually happened. And yes, the Bren Ten handgun is goofy and stupid, but it was an answer to a question that was brand new at the time.

For people interested in tanks, you can draw parallels between this situation and that which resulted in the American tank destroyer doctrine. I was walking through the Barksdale Air Power Museum about a week ago with my father, and we were talking about Butterfieldian historiography and the Apollo program, and as an example he brought up the American tank destroyers. "I was reading an article," he said "about the tank destroyers, and what they were trying to do. Nobody had stopped the Blitzkrieg at that point, but they knew they needed to. I tell you what, they didn't end up using them quite that way, but somebody was really thinking when they came up with that idea."

Indeed. Here's to you, Jeff Cooper. For thinking where few else did.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So, yes, being that I am very lazy at times, and I really want a post I made regarding Taiwan and their love of thier US equipment and basing their future armament off of it much of the time transferred from the original small arms thread over here, behold the ghost of copy-paste past.


"I guess reference photos would be nice for what I'm referring to here. (warning, quite a few, will be featured in here if you're not really interested, just skim by this post.) basically, this fun little tidbit I shall call a mini showcase of Taiwanese small arms being used.


One thing I have been told by some Taiwanese friends is that, in general, their armed forces are generally quite trusting of US based designs (or, Belgian and Joint Belgian/US designs in the case of the SCAR/Other FN designs) that will be illustrated here somewhat. though they have accepted other foreign designs before.


T91 (Guess it goes with the trend that Taiwanese soldiers are quite insistent on not wanting to replace with AR-15 and 18 based designs they've been using for a while for a new design.)




SOPMOD/Flat top




and then the XT-97 (note, the caliber change thing I mentioned earlier could merely be a confusion as one of my Taiwanese friends pointed out there's also a Taiwanese Pistol with the same designation that, judging from It's appearance looks  based on a Glock 17 with a manual side safety, I'll have to look into it.) Also now been told It's intended more for marines and airborne forces. Christ finding concrete info on Taiwanese gear is even worse then Chinese gear, and that's saying ALOT. also, one notable difference that exists is that it actually uses a bolt head more styled like an AK pattern rifle as opposed to any Stoner design.


Note: nevermind to the above, there is infact a 5.56mm AR and 9mm SMG both based on the same design.





Image showing version with alternate stock and top rail designs among other changes, aswell as a carbine variant. also once again featuring the T91, the 86 that's the older, full length direct impingment variant more based on the M16A2 memory serve me, and the T93 sniper rifle based on the M24






And just a few bonus pictures.


The XT-98, a modernized "marksman" variant of the T57 (License built copy of the M14) in Similar Fashion to the Mk.14/M39




and JUST because I feel BabyOlifant hasn't quite had a stroke yet, it turns out the GPC concept has spread to Taiwan, perhasp they should stop reading our random firearms forums, as they've also more recently developed a short stroke piston driven robustly built (sort of like an IAR from what I've been told) AR-15 variant that has a caliber of 6.8mm.....though, in this case, by committing what he'll probably consider the ultimate heresy of doing so by necking out standard 5.56x45mm casings. said rifles are known as the XT100 and XT101 with the difference being the barrel length and robustness mostly.




So, there's my little mini section on Taiwan and some of their insight into the AR-15/18, the SCAR, M14 and SSP AR-15's with IAR and alternate caliber variants. (and I guess a Cameo appearance from the M24/T93).


Also, the XT97 Pistol which caused  some initial confusion on the rifle.



(Glock 17 with manual safety for....some reason?)"

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That XT-97 rifle does have one interesting feature:




The receiver appears to be stamped sheet steel with rails welded RIVETED; I CAN TOTALLY TELL THE DIFFERENCE in, ala AKM.  Most SCAR-clones are extruded aluminum.


I'm also curious what that pin running through the side of the bolt carrier does.

Edited by collimatrix
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