Bloke on the Range videos

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
Because, naturally, buckshee private soldiers are born firearms connoisseurs: viz the SLR fanboys who can't grasp the proposition that a weapon whose front and rear sights are mounted on separate pieces of metalwork with a wobbly hinge holding them together is, pretty much by definition, an inferior design, irrespective of all other factors.
Heritic, burn you must.
 
Because, naturally, buckshee private soldiers are born firearms connoisseurs: viz the SLR fanboys who can't grasp the proposition that a weapon whose front and rear sights are mounted on separate pieces of metalwork with a wobbly hinge holding them together is, pretty much by definition, an inferior design, irrespective of all other factors.
Given the general standard of service shooting, who outside of Batt. shooting teams would notice any hinge wobble?

BTW I'm picking a factory-refurb one up on Thursday. There's basically zero hinge wobble on it. There's more play in the folding bit of the rear sight :p
 
I just stumbled across the following, which may interest some people. It's a Library and Archives Canada web page containing a few documents associated with Sam Hughes, Canadian minister of defence in early WWI.
Sir Sam Hughes, General, Minister of Militia and Defence - Library and Archives Canada

Of those, there are two that may be of interest. One is a letter by Hughes to General Alderson, a British general commanding Canadian troops.

In the letter Hughes defends the Ross Rifle, blaming its problems on bad ammunition. I would take anything that Hughes had to say in his own defence with a very large grain of salt.

Some of the things which he mentions in passing may be interesting, including the effects of proof loads on Lee Enfield (and Ross) chamber dimensions. I think his comparison of dealing with stuck cartridge cases comes out in favour of the Lee Enfield rather than the Ross, although he clearly differed.
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discov...r/canada-first-world-war/Documents/hughes.pdf

The second is a letter from Sir Charles Ross to Sam Hughes, detailing several improvements to be made to the Ross in light of experience. One rather interesting one was raising the foresight so the battle sight would shoot at 300 yds rather than 600 yds.
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discov...ada-first-world-war/Documents/ross-letter.pdf

He also makes a number of practical recommendations involving the musketry regulations and training, and that troops should be issued and trained with breech sticks as used by the "English".

When reading historical documents such as these, keep in mind not just the author's main subject, but also what both the overall context and minor details tell you about other things as well as the assumptions and general views of that era.
 
I suspect by the way that some of the "Mausers are the best" views came from Americans who were comparing their new Springfield Mauser clones to the Krag-Jorgensens they had before.
The irony is that the big deal with the 1903 Springfield isn't even the action - it's the first rifle to really crack stocking-up the forend. That's what its legacy was - the subsequent really accurate (by the standards of the day) 30+ cal military bolt-action rifles almost all used the muzzle up-pressure pioneered there in some form (P14, M17, No.4, K31). The only exception is the Swiss G11, but then that has a really heavy barrel in comparison.
 
The irony is that the big deal with the 1903 Springfield isn't even the action - it's the first rifle to really crack stocking-up the forend. That's what its legacy was - the subsequent really accurate (by the standards of the day) 30+ cal military bolt-action rifles almost all used the muzzle up-pressure pioneered there in some form (P14, M17, No.4, K31). The only exception is the Swiss G11, but then that has a really heavy barrel in comparison.
I think what impressed the Americans about the Mauser in comparison to the Krag-Jorgensen was that it introduced them to charger loading. Charger loading was one of the big milestones in military firearms technology in that era and the Mauser system supposedly made a big impression on the Americans when they came up against it in the hands of their opponents during colonial wars in Cuba. The "dump loading" system of the Krag-Jorgensen apparently was nice in theory and perhaps on the range, but was impractical in the field.
 
I think what impressed the Americans about the Mauser in comparison to the Krag-Jorgensen was that it introduced them to charger loading. Charger loading was one of the big milestones in military firearms technology in that era and the Mauser system supposedly made a big impression on the Americans when they came up against it in the hands of their opponents during colonial wars in Cuba. The "dump loading" system of the Krag-Jorgensen apparently was nice in theory and perhaps on the range, but was impractical in the field.
Ditto Boer War for the Brits. Hence the OMGWTF quick adoption of it by the UK immediately afterwards.

It was the conceptual realisation that a magazine rifle is a MAGAZINE RIFLE and not a single-loader with a magazine in reserve.

The US, having made exactly the same initial error, came up against exactly the same rifles and had exactly the same realisation.
 
Because, naturally, buckshee private soldiers are born firearms connoisseurs: viz the SLR fanboys who can't grasp the proposition that a weapon whose front and rear sights are mounted on separate pieces of metalwork with a wobbly hinge holding them together is, pretty much by definition, an inferior design, irrespective of all other factors.


Q: Why would FN, possibly the greatest arms design bureau ever, come up with an "inferior" design? Having done so, why would 90+ countries then adopt it?

A: Possibly because a rattly hinge between front and rear sight (if it ever gets to the rattly stage) has an insignificant effect on the weapon accuracy?

0.5mm vertical/lateral travel in an FAL upper/lower (a lot) equates to about 0.1 mil of displacement of line, or 1cm at 100m. Thus a beat up rifle, long overdue for armourer's attention, might have a shooting error that would be largely undetectable by a skilled shot using a target rifle and match ammunition, let alone in a military rifle only equipped with battle sights...


History's great weapon designers cracked on and put sights on separate components (top covers, action bodies, handguards, etc) for the simple reason that they'd already established that this had a negligible effect on the accuracy parameters required for that weapon.
 
Given the general standard of service shooting, who outside of Batt. shooting teams would notice any hinge wobble?
Well, me for a start, and I was much more interested in mastering the pistol, personally.

But I'm ahead of you all the way on the near universal abandonment, by the officer class , of interest in basic shooting competence - never mind proficiency, or excellence as the standards to strive for (say fvck 'em and call in fast air, instead?)

It breaks my heart.
 
Q: Why would FN, possibly the greatest arms design bureau ever, come up with an "inferior" design? Having done so, why would 90+ countries then adopt it?
1. Everyone has off days.

2. I'm gonna go with it being cheap enough, readily available and NATO ,(as in US military) calibre compliant, driving down ammo cost, and Murphy's Law about your weapon being made by the lowest bidder.

It's an OK weapon, bordering on "meh". It's not great.

That accolade goes to the SMLE.
 
And with that news, UK domiciled SLR onanists by the dozen will doubtless be fantasising about being you on that day . . :thumleft:
I have no problems with you living vicariously though me :p
 
1. Everyone has off days.

2. I'm gonna go with it being cheap enough, readily available and NATO ,(as in US military) calibre compliant, driving down ammo cost, and Murphy's Law about your weapon being made by the lowest bidder.

It's an OK weapon, bordering on "meh". It's not great.

That accolade goes to the SMLE.
What's the alternatives for full-whack battle rifles?

AR10 - awesomeness (source: I have owned one of the Dutch made originals), but aside from the Sudanese and Portuguese, a unicorn.
G3: agricultural wriggly tin claptrap. Controls where you can't reach them. On a shoot with @Cutaway a while back we lost two (of two) to breakdown. My SLR saved the day.
M14: sorry, you want to use a spanner to strip the gas system and have how many small fiddly parts out of the thing? And the fact you have to take the metal out the wood to strip it at all means that, although the sights are all on the "same" bit, once the metal gets a bit of imperceptable slop in the wood, you're done accuracy-wise.
MAS49/56: lovely. But 10 round mags.....
SIG AMT: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Stgw 57: see SIG AMT + it's a boat anchor.

Frankly the FAL was NATO's AK for good reason... Best of the non-unicorn bunch.
 
Having worked in MoD procurement (stand down you lot, I can't be blamed for various bits of shite bought for the army, it was a Satcoms project) I can understand why the FN beastie was bought.
There's no such thing as a "perfect" item that meets all the requirements including cost and availability, there is always compromise. The FN FAL ticked a lot of boxes for a lot of buyers, plus of course dodged the issues the Stoaty bloke pointed out. It also appears to have been rather popular with a lot of the chaps that lugged them about in bangy situations.
 
To be honest, the "sights on 2 different bits" is the FAL version of the "rear locking" nonsense spouted about Lee-Enfields. Usually from a similar source.

As if a clapped out, wobbly M14 shoots any better than a clapped out, wobbly FAL...
 
To be honest, the "sights on 2 different bits" is the FAL version of the "rear locking" nonsense spouted about Lee-Enfields. Usually from a similar source
. . . aaand yet, somewhere in your BOTR videos I'm pretty sure there's a 2 second clip of you espousing this very piece of nonsense/wisdom . . . . :thumleft:
= = =
P.S. I first took the Queen's shilling in early 1973. I never found the SLR a weapon to like. Possibly because it was getting old and cranky in the last decade of its working life. Whatever was the case, I never was issued one that was younger than me, and the standard of my shooting declined between leaving the TA and going regular. . . . .
 
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. . . aaand yet, somewhere in your BOTR videos I'm pretty sure there's a 2 second clip of you espousing this very piece of nonsense/wisdom . . . . :thumleft:
= = =
P.S. I first took the Queen's shilling in early 1973. I never found the SLR a weapon to like. Possibly because it was getting old and cranky in the last decade of its working life. Whatever was the case, I never was issued one that was younger than me, and the standard of my shooting declined between leaving the TA and going regular. . . . .
Yeah, probably. But then I'm an effete gravelbellying type. It *is* a thing on a shagged out gun, play developing in the folding rearsight is probably a bigger issue (but almost never talked about). But the critical point is that it's overplayed and Internet-worshipped types aren't problem-free either.

Re. your PS - the one I had in Holland shot OK. There was a bit of upper-to-lower play, and a metric shït ton of play in the sight leaf. I replaced it with a DSA non-folding one which helped. The one I'm picking up on Thursday is a factory refurb - 1961 receiver date I think, but super tight, new barrel, new furniture, completely refinished. No upper to lower play to speak of, probably as close as you're going to get to one factory fresh. Likely significantly better than any seen in the service after about 1965! :D
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
Yeah, probably. But then I'm an effete gravelbellying type. It *is* a thing on a shagged out gun, play developing in the folding rearsight is probably a bigger issue (but almost never talked about). But the critical point is that it's overplayed and Internet-worshipped types aren't problem-free either.

Re. your PS - the one I had in Holland shot OK. There was a bit of upper-to-lower play, and a metric shït ton of play in the sight leaf. I replaced it with a DSA non-folding one which helped. The one I'm picking up on Thursday is a factory refurb - 1961 receiver date I think, but super tight, new barrel, new furniture, completely refinished. No upper to lower play to speak of, probably as close as you're going to get to one factory fresh. Likely significantly better than any seen in the service after about 1965! :D
OK, we're jealous (quite a lot of us anyway). What more do you want? :D
 
The one I'm picking up on Thursday is a factory refurb - 1961 receiver date I think, but super tight, new barrel, new furniture, completely refinished. No upper to lower play to speak of, probably as close as you're going to get to one factory fresh. Likely significantly better than any seen in the service after about 1965!
1 year younger than my little brother, 5 years my junior.

And since you've written a paragraph of unashamed SLR porn, be prepared for a barrage of "pics or it never happened" posts . . .
 
btw the next phase of "mortgaging the children for gats in case we lose the referendum at the weekend" is tomorrow evening..... SLR + 2 (probably an Olympic Arms A2-style AR15 and TBD, where TBD might not actually be something affected cos I think I've covered it all....)
 
You must have one hell of a gun room or a mahoosive safe to house the bang sticks in your videos (I know the odd one is borrowed), one of these days you will have to show the housing (if permitted under Swiss law and PERSEC) with everything racked up.
 
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