Sunday, August 22, 2010

Okay, this is just crazy

From the Korea Times, we find that the U.S. government opposes a South Korean government desire to sell all their warehoused obsolete old M1 rifles and carbines to U.S. gun collectors.

At that point, the question is, WHY? Look at the two photos above. One is a popular semiautomatic .30-06 deer rifle, the Browning BAR ShortTrac. The other is the M1 Garand, a rifle designed in 1936 which is similarly a semiautomatic .30-06 rifle (semiautomatic means one trigger pull per shot -- like the deer rifle, the Garand was designed for people who were aiming, not for "pray and spray" dipshits). They have a virtually identical rate of fire. The BAR is slightly lighter, probably a bit more accurate due to its tighter tolerances (the M1's were stamped out by the millions during WW2 in factories that cared more about volume than about quality) and, because it is newer, the BAR is capable of accepting +P (high pressure) ammunition and thus has more stopping power than the M1 Garand.

In other words, there is no (zero) reason to disallow (re)importing the M1 Garand, other than typical Pentagon intransigence when it comes to our allies selling off military surplus weapons (most of the sales agreements we force upon our allies forces them to either destroy or return weapons for free to the Pentagon for disposal once they're no longer needed, a protectionist racket on behalf of U.S. arms manufacturers who don't want to have to compete with their own used weapons on the international market). And that intransigence doesn't even make sense in the case of the M1 Garand -- due to all the millions that flooded the market after WW2, the thing hasn't been manufactured for over 60 years, and compared to modern combat rifles it's a heavy slow-firing relic that nobody would want to use in combat, especially when you can buy a cheap stamped AK-47 made in any of a dozen nations that the Soviets gifted with AK-47 stamping plants for under $50 in most 3rd world marketplaces.

But my guess is that the Pentagon just jerked their knee and pointed to the lines in the policy manual that disallow reselling (foreign) military surplus to civilians. The problem is that this is giving the right wing yet another "Obama is banning guns!" headline. My advice to the Secretary of Defense: Find out who in your department is refusing to give clearance for the Koreans to resell these guns, and kick his butt until he issues a special waiver to the Koreans. Otherwise this is going to turn into a political nightmare for the Obama administration, because if you ban the bottom gun (the M1 Garand), it's really, really, really easy for political opponents to say that the Obama administration wants to ban the top gun (the Browning deer rifle) -- something that, as far as I know, is contrary to every policy position that has ever been released by the Obama administration.

-- Badtux the Well-armed Penguin


  1. The only BAR I'm familiar with is the military version (circa WWII), which weighed about 185 lbs. (might be a conservative estimate), was about 11 ft. long (could also be on the conservative side), and fired .50-cal slugs. When I fired the weapon, each three-second burst would scoot me backward about 10 inches. Damned drill instructor thought I was trying to go AWOL.

    I have vivid memories of the M-1 Garand; it was the rifle issued to Marine recruits at MCRD in early 1963. I hated that piece of shit. Kept clean it could be a reliable weapon, but it was heavy and awkward, and it just didn't work well for left-handed shooters. I much preferred the M-14.

  2. I looked up the weights. the M1 had a weight of 9.5 lbs, while the BAR in 30-06 caliber weighed 7 lbs 6 oz. For carrying, that's not an insignificant difference.

    Having handled the M1 (and weapons similar to the BAR -- ROTC had them into the late sixties at least), let me say that, if you are defending yourself against the zombie apocalypse, you want the M1. It and the BAR are about equal for stopping zombies, but, when you run out of ammo, as you inevitably must, the M1 has a bayonet fixture and it has that fore stock and extra weight for smashing the skulls of parasite-infected people.

    For carrying around in the field, well, you just won't do it more than once (take it from someone with experience). Ten pounds is heavy. I don't even want to think about carrying one of those up to a tree stand.

  3. Maybe some importer didn't pay off the right person. And a bureaucrat's first impulse is to say "NO!" because the only power they have is to deny permission. Unless they or their boss is paid off to say yes. That's how things have always worked in Russia, and how they will increasingly go in Sovok America.

  4. I think your political concern is over-wrought. Anyone who is going to hate Obama has from the beginning. Anyone who could be converted to brain-dead conservatism already was - before the election.

    Relax, and have another zombie adventure.



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