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File: roadrage [& knuckles].png (907 KB, 1122x964)
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Videogames (mostly older ones), weapons, weebshit, and some old horror movie stuff.
Talk if you want.
This is a Ruger Blackhawk 'Convertible' model, in .45 Colt
It comes with a replacement cylinder which allows you to use .45ACP cartridges, they headspace like they should in the chambers, and the ejector rod pokes them out like any other casing when they're done.
This can be nice considering .45 Colt usually will cost more, consider also that the average off the shelf .45ACP is generally a little more powerful than the average .45 Colt load.
.45 Colt can however be loaded up to quite impressive levels using modern casings, up to levels comparable to .44 Magnum, and supposedly beyond, though I generally wouldn't get TOO adventurous with handloading for the Convertible model Blackhawks, as they're not as strong as the regular models.

This one features a set of aftermarket grips made out of pewter, which I think looks quite pretty here.
This is another Ruger Blackhawk 'Convertible' Model, this one is in .357 Magnum, and comes with an extra cylinder which chambers 9mm Luger cartridges.
Just like with the other Blackhawk, the 9mm cartridges will chamber and headspace in the chambers, and the ejector rod can poke them out just fine later.

Since .357 Magnum and 9mm Luger differ slightly in caliber (as in projectile size), to get precision with 9mm, this revolver has a slightly tighter than normal bore for .357 Magnum, which will let the 9mm projectiles engage the rifling like normal, but not so tight as to stop .357 Magnum projectiles (or .38 Special projectiles, which are the same), from squeezing through.
This does result in some higher pressure when shooting .357 Magnum and .38 Special, and while this is fine with typical off the shelf amo, this is a reason why this Convertible model isn't as suitable to especially high powered ammunition as the normal Blackhawk, such as Buffalo Bore brand, or certain handloads.
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Here's a Ruger Super Blackhawk, in .44 Magnum, and this one can be fed particularly powerful loads.
It also has grips which features the Japanese painting "The Great Wave off Kanagawa", which I think is quite nice.

I quite like Ruger's Blackhawk line of revolvers, compared to the original Colt 1873, it has a lot of advantages, such as far better sights, and with all but the older variants, it has a transfer-bar safety and separate firing-pin, the hammer being unable to strike and transfer energy to the firing-pin unless the trigger is pulled, which raises the the transfer-bar.
The transfer-bar safety thus ensures that if the hammer is struck and somehow slips off the sear (say the gun is dropped on its hammer against the ground), the hammer may drop, but as it doesn't contact the firing-pin, it will not fire.
This makes it safe to carry this revolver with all chambers loaded, as opposed to the classic Single Action Army, which has no such safety feature, and which easily would fire if the hammer was struck and slipped off the sear, thus commong practice with those guns were to leave one chamber empty, resting the hammer on that.

The Colt 1873 SAA for that matter, even with better modern metallurgy, is not quite strong enough in its original design for souping up already powerful cartridges like .44 Magnum (or for chambering in really powerful ones like .454 Casull), the cylinder walls are slightly thin, the lockup isn't quite strong enough, etc.
Though I find the Blackhawk overall much more practical than the 1873, this doesn't mean I hate it.
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This is a Virginia Dragoon revolver, an engraved one, made by Interarms, it's a copy of the classic Colt 1873, though stronger, built for .44 Magnum

Interarms, back when they existed, were mostly known for importing firearms, milsurp, foreign commercial guns, antiques, you name it, but they did actually produce some of their own, and this is one of them. They can be easily distinguished from the typical Single Action Army for the slightly taller frame and the fluting running horizontally along it.

There are some ideas out there about the Virginia Dragoon that it's unsafe, which to my knowledge isn't true at all, and there's the idea that they aren't accurate, which actually has some merit.
In the beginnings of production, barrels weren't made properly, and some of them had oversized bores, which obviously isn't a good thing, particularly given that the .44 Magnum cartridge actually uses 0.429 inch projectiles, which are supposed to be swaged down a little by a bore that is slightly tighter than that. In some examples, this could be so bad that if you dropped a loose .429 caliber projectile down the barrel, it would just rattle down there and come out the other side.

If you're looking to buy one, consider making sure that the bore is actually correct, as with the sloppy oversized ones, you will loose shitloads of energy and get basically no spin-stabilization, meaning it won't shoot straight and will be all wimpy, which .44 Magnum should never be.
This problem was solved early on though, and most of these revolvers have perfectly fine bores.
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Something I think is kind of cute is that on each Virginian Dragoon revolver, there is a variant of the Gadsen Snake stamped on the butt of the grip.
Actually I'm misremembering, some of them are stamped with a Gadsen, some are stamped with other things, such as "We the people...", or "Sic Semper Tyrannis"

This is one with grips made out of horn.
As far as I know, all Virginian Dragoons have adjustable sights, so together with its stronger frame, these are actually rather close to the classic Ruger Blackhawk in .44 Magnum
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This is a USFA Rodeo II, which is a clone of the classic Colt 1873 Single Action Army.

On the surface, it may look like any other clone, but these actually have a lot going for them. USFA was a somewhat small scale company, and they made everything but their grips in-house, all down to the screws, pins, and springs, everything was made by them, and to really quite a good standard, some people say these revolvers were the best clones of the Colt 1873, and I can see why.
There's small changes here and there on the internals, to make certain parts and fittings much stronger, these guns really can take so much more abuse than any of the original Colts, even things such as hammer fanning, a practice discouraged on most Colts, as without special modification it leads to quite excessive wear.
They were available in all sorts of calibers, .45 Colt, .44-40 Winchester, .44 Special, .38 Special, .32-20 Winchester, etc. Basically any caliber you could get the original Colt 1873 in, and Colt's own later improved versions. These guns were quite liked by people who were into Cowboy Action Shooting.

Regrettable though, USFA was owned by a person who is notoriously fickle, production batches could sometimes take excessive time, sometimes he'd take orders for making 1911s, which took an awful lot of time, one time he had this idea for a goofy revolver using .410 Bore shotgun shells, etc.
One of his ficklest ideas was a .22LR semi-automatic pistol called the Zip-22, the production of which he would finance by selling all of USFA revolver tooling, the idea being that obviously the Zip-22 would make a lot of money and they would buy it back.
This didn't happen, because the Zip-22 was a plastic deathtrap and overall piece of fucking shit, which nobody wanted to buy. The company goes under because of this absolute potatoing, and the owner, who had other businesses, moves on.

These nice revolvers thus are now rather desirable and collectible, as there will be no more of them made.
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A CZ75 Model B pistol.
Don't have a lot to say about these, but I like the all steel construction, DA/SA, the comfortable grip, and particularly the ones with spur hammers.
Only issue is I can't reach the slide-release with my right thumb without shifting my grip, as the safety is in the way, though I find I can just use my left thumb instead.
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Here's a CZ75 B which was imported as surplus, probably from Israel.
These pistols were used long and hard, and as a result have a lot of wear, so a thing some people would do with them was to buy them for cheap (which they were when they were coming in), then have the remaining finish stripped and the pistol cerakoted.
These aren't bad.
Norinco Type-84S, this is a semi-automatic sporter, made under Norinco in China for commercial market export.
A typical Kalashnikov rifle, this one is in 5.56x45mm NATO/.223 Remington, and features furniture made out of black ''Bakelite' (phenolic resin), this style of side-folding stock is seen on some other Chinese sporters and military variants, both in 5.56x45mm NATO and 7.62x39mm, as well as a few air pellet rifles.

As these don't readily share magazines with any other 5.56mm AK variant (to my knowledge), and Chinese firearms have been import banned for quite some time, getting mags in the US can be tough, a single normal 30rd steel magazine can easily go for $100
I think this rifle looks quite beautiful, in a way.
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Some. I mostly like their older pistols, like the P210, which I think is very elegant.
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The Sig P232 (and the preceding P230) is quite a lot like the Walther PP, double-action/single-action trigger, hammer fired, all steel, straight-blowback, recoil spring sits around the barrel, etc.
Two noticeable differences is that it doesn't have a manual safety, just a decocker, and unlike most other Walther PP clones, like the Makarov, CZ82, or the Astra Constable, it doesn't disasemble by pulling down the trigger guard, rather having a lever.

It has a sleek appearance, looking modern and simple, not overdesigned.
In .32ACP it's probably quite easy to shoot, in .380ACP it may or may not be snappy in recoil, which the Walther PPK noticeably is in that caliber.
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Time for a less nice one. This is the Double Eagle, this was one of Colt's many ill fated attempts at trying to catch up with the market of service pistols that they had neglected, hoping to just keep selling 1911s forever.

What this is essentially, is a new frame for a 1911 slide, because of course Colt would do that. Conceptually, this isn't actually a terrible idea, it has a double-action/single-action trigger and a decocker, but the execution comes off as rather lackluster, because it still just uses normal single stack 1911 magazines, which even with 9mm Luger gives you like 10+1 or so, which wouldn't be bad if it was meant specifically for civilian commercial sales during the 1994-2004 AWB, but it wasn't, the pistol hit the market in like 1987. This thing would not be able to compete with the Glock 17, Beretta 92, Smith & Wesson 5906, or the Ruger P90.

The Colt Double Eagle has a reputation for the trigger breaking, which they certainly would do on earlier production models, though later production ones were less fragile, people weren't interested in buying it, and they eventually gave up on it.
If you look at the right side of the pistol, you will see an odd extension on the grip panel, under there is where the trigger mechanics are, with no kind of cover plate or anything, they're just straight under there, and a common experience when disassembling these pistols and taking off the grip was for springs to come sproinging out of there, so hope you saw where they landed, and that you know how to put it back together.
Here's an engraved one (which is the physical embodiment of putting lipstick on a pig), showing you the awkward protrusion covering the guts of the trigger on the side here.
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What the Colt Double Eagle reminds me a lot about is these double-action conversions of 1911s which Seecamp made, where a hinging trigger piece is added inside the trigger-guard (which was usually altered to be larger), and then a section was milled out on the right side of the frame, where among other things a connecting bar would let the new trigger cock the hammer (essentially being a cocking lever), and if the new trigger was pulled back further, it would hit the normal single-action trigger (which is still there) and the hammer would drop.

In practice, this creates a double-action/single-action pistol out of a 1911, as a kind of clever bit of hacking. I don't know if Colt ever saw these conversions, and I don't know when Seecamp made them, but it feels like they could have seen these, and figured they could make pistols like these themselves at their factory, only taking some shortcuts.
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Here's one of these Seecamp conversions with the right hand grip removed, as well as the cover plate which they would put on these (which Colt opted not to do). It really is a pretty nifty idea, and I think the concept of a 1911 slide on a new DA/SA frame has merit.

This also reminds me of some certain early double-action revolvers, such as some commercial examples of the German Reichsrevolver, or the Starr revolver (as seen in the American Civil War), the front trigger acting as a cocking lever, and also being able to hit the single-action trigger in the rear at the end of its travel.
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Here is a Colt Trooper Mk. III, a double-action/single-action hand-ejector revolver, in .357 Magnum
This one is built for a laser sight setup that was absolute top of the line for the time period, customized to accommodate it as best as it can. In the year 1980, this was probably the most compact laser sighting setup available.

The grip is shortened down, and the battery pack for the laser is fitted under there as an extension (noticeably, slightly longer than the normal grip), the laser unit sits on top, with backup iron sights on it, notice the hammer which has its spur widened to allow you a better grip purchase from the sides, as the laser is in the way from above.
I don't remember much of the specifics of their specs, but these kinds of old lasers actually used gasses like helium and neon, and generally required something 10,000 volt to light up. Most laser sights these days are done differently, using a much more compact and energy efficient setup with a diode.
Here's a normal Colt Trooper Mk.III, with wood grips and a shiny nickel finish.

The Colt Trooper has a lot in common with the fabled Colt Python, a similar lockwork, but more robust and hardened, thus it's not as prone to timing issues. These were intended more as service revolvers than deluxe target revolvers.
These have a reputation for some fragile internal parts, due to some of the early Colt Troopers having them made out of sintered steel, something Colt didn't stick with for long as I've heard.

I take things like that with a grain of salt, because often this can come from old fudd types who also hear about the dreaded 'Metal Injection Molding' manufacturing process, which they're certain is really bad, but somehow can't really explain why, the same with Investment Castings.
In all likelihood, these Colt Trooper revolvers are perfectly fine, I certainly don't hear a lot about them breaking.
Colt also made a limited run (only about 500 made) of special hunter versions of the Trooper, called the Whitetailer, with an 8" vent-ribbed barrel, and coming with a what's presumably a long eye-relief scope from the factory.
These would be quite suitable for hunting deer, for the person inclined for handgun hunting.

A cute touch on the Whitetailer is that the scope rings actually have built in ironsights as backup.
Here's a Colt Whitetailer missing its factory optic, though it still has the normal sights which a Colt Trooper would feature.

Nothing would stop you from getting a new scope or other optic and putting it on there, presumably a modern red dot would be the most practical choice. Of course, you wouldn't have those scope rings with built in iron sights. Don't know if those are commonly available, I've never seen this on other scoped revolvers, and don't know if something like this is even an available product otherwise.

Or you could just do like The Joker, as portrayed by Jack Nicholson, carrying this long revolver inside your waistband.
As a change of pace, here is some Doom related art. Authors names should be in the filenames here.
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This is the manual for the retail release of the original Doom, sold as Ultimate Doom, containing a new episode.

I find myself wondering just about the nature of this cover art, because it doesn't really look like any of the concept art Adrian Carmack drew for Doom, and it doesn't look like any of the clay models he sculpted, nor like any of the steel-latex models which Gregor Punchatz made for iD Sofwatre to digitize.
The lighting of it makes it look rather realistic though, like it was a real life sculpt or other model of some sort.
This is the cover art used for the Playstation release of Final Doom.
The PSX version wasn't quite Final Doom in all ways, using mostly TNT Evilution levels, just a few Plutonia Experiment Levels, and then some Master Levels.
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The PC release cover.

I figure they just had no choice but making sacrifices though, the Playstation really could only handle so much, most of Plutonia really couldn't be done justice on that machine.
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Incidentally, someone did actually find what was used to make the cover art for Final Doom.
This is a storage box for 25mm cannon shells, inert training rounds on a linked belt.

I'm not 100% sure what weapon these would have been used for, but probably a Bushmaster M242 Chaingun Cannon
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This is the cover art for the first Playstation release of Doom.
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The initial cover art intended for Doom 64.
You can see here they intended for Doomguy to look the same as on the cover for the Playstation game, you also see the Cyberdemon having two rocket launchers, which was a variant monster they had intended to add, but cut out.
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This is the cover for one of the old novelizations of Doom, the third in the series, Infernal Sky.

Kind of a cool cover, but doesn't actually correspond to anything in the book that I remember, and I wonder if it was even related to Doom at all, or perhaps if it was just some piece which the painter (Romas Kukalis) had lying around, which happened to fit, or which was adapted to fit.
The monster with the arm cannons does look a good bit like the Mancubus though (in spite of his arm cannons seeming to be biological, rather than the mechanical implant/attachments they are supposed to be), and the flaming skulls would be Lost Souls.
The only version I could find of this art without the text and logo is very low res.

You could say it doesn't match the game much either, but that's also where the novels were going by this point, the first one did Doom, the second one did Doom 2, and then the third one rapidly runs out of Doom, and the authors (old Star-Trek novel writers), kind of just invents shit as they go along, going in a lot of existential places actually.
It's not terrible, but it's pretty weird.
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This is artwork of Bloodstain (bstain.wad), one of my very favorite usermade mapsets for Doom.
Very aesthetically pleasing and atmospheric, and the gameplay is very nicely challenging and suited for my tastes.

Painted by Alice88: https://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=5143909
She's in a small minority of Japanese people who really like classic Doom, and draws some art of it every now and then.
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Another painting by the same artist, this time of Doom 2's Map 16 : Suburbs.

In this map, the exit is blocked by a bar which requires a red skull key to open, however, if you position yourself between the bar and the wall, and just push forward for a while, you can squeeze yourself through between them and exit the level without grabbing the red skull key to begin with.
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Advertisement for Final Doom. I always liked this graphic.
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The Enfield No. 2, a typical British revolver of the late 19th and early 20th era. Double-Action/Single-Action, top-break, when you break it open, it eventually trips the ejector star to lift all the chambered cartridges/spent casings out of the cylinder in one motion, this kind of design is pretty conducive to fast reloading, and though it wouldn't typically have the strength for higher powered Magnum cartridges or anything (not without some structural and mechanical changes), for service cartridges of the time, it's fine.
They're not cannons by any means, but they are fast and handy.

Those familiar with British revolvers might say this looks like a Webley, which it isn't, yet also totally is. The British Army was figuring around WW2 that the .455 Webley was larger than necessary, and that a lighter caliber would be easier to shoot in double-action, and thus held some trials. Webley & Scott submitted one of their designs, basically their .455 caliber one scaled down for .38/200, a specific load of .38 Smith & Wesson, and this design won.

The government then took Webley & Scott's design, and went over to Enfield and had them make it for cheaper, which had Webley & Scott go "Uh, excuse us, but what the fuck m8?!" and filed a lawsuit, because they had the audacity to just steal their design in front of their face.
The British government basically treated it as "Original character, donut steel!", claiming it was totally a unique design by Enfield, and initially refused to pay any royalties, though eventually gave in and paid them a token fine, hoping it would go away.
Later, the need for revolvers would become so large that they had no choice but to eventually start buying Webley & Scott's .38/200 revolvers anyway.
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The pattern of the Enfield No. 2 revolver would eventually be altered, with the new designation Enfield No. 2*, because adding an asterisk onto a designation to denote a change was an obtuse thing which the British were doing at this time.

This change was simple, omit the spur on the hammer (so you could only really shoot it in double-action), and make the grips out of plastic. The official stated reason for this change was that tankers had complained about the spur of the hammer was snagging on things inside their tanks, but they probably didn't complain, likely the reason was because it was just a little cheaper.
The armed forces actually went through quite a lot of effort to also have as many No. 2 revolvers 'upgraded' like this as they could, and as a result, original unmodified No. 2 revolvers are pretty hard to find.
The change wasn't entirely popular with everyone, and some would put effort in and try to avoid having this modification done to their gun, others would have their armorers add a new spur onto the hammer so it could be manually cocked again.

The previous example I posted I'm fairly certain is a specific one which was issued to an RAF pilot. He thought he didn't need to bring a revolver with him on flights, and thus left it in its holster in his locker for the entire war, eventually he took it home, then eventually moved to the United States, where it still sat doing nothing, until he passed and it turned up in an estate sale.
Not only is this a rare unmodified No. 2 revolver, it also has its original canvas holster, which is incredibly difficult to find, and all in mint condition.
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.38/200, also called .380 Mk.II or .380 Mk.IIz, (depending on if the British felt like they were afraid of the Hague convention or not), is a somewhat peculiar load of .38 S&W, putting out a 200gr bullet at like ~630fps, so pretty heavy in relation to its velocity.
The oblong length and heavy weight vs. the low speed would actually make it tumble upon penetrating flesh, so it actually wasn't too bad for its modest joules, typically expending its energy on tumbling around in the wound, rarely ever overpenetrating.
Aside from the Enfield and Webley revolvers, Britain would also buy Smith & Wesson revolvers chambered in .38-200, shipped from overseas.

The semi-conical projectile shape of the .38-200 reminds me a lot of the typical bullet used in .455 Webley
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As the US entered WW2, there was a lot of things they lacked in equipment, this included submachineguns, and the only available domestic option at the time was the Thompson, which works, was in .45 Auto, and existed in quantity, but is slightly heavy, and more importantly was rather *expensive*.

As soon as it was adopted, it was realized that the Thompson was taking too much time to make, and was costing way too much money, and good effort was put into making it more economical.
Among the things to get rid of was the 'Blish-Lock' setup, which was based on a false premise on the physics of metals and friction, which in actuality just worked as a shitty delayed-blowback mechanism, with an angled brass block riding in the steel bolt of the gun. This mechanic would really just barely delay opening of the action, and break rather often, and was eventually deleted from the guns, turning the bolt into just a solid lump of steel instead, which worked MUCH better.
Other things included the sights, John Thompson had originally wanted expensive and fully adjustable target sights, which are nice in recreational sense, but pointless for a military subgun, these were axed from the spec and it got a simple shielded peep sight, the gorgeous rustbluing was another needless expenditure and was binned as well, along with the cooling fins on the barrel, the vertical foregrip, the drums and their cutout, etc, etc.

The eventual M1A1 spec had taken the 1928 Thompson, which in every sense was a first generation subgun, and made it as economical and practical as possible, cutting production cost in half, made production time faster, and manufacture was also contracted out to additional firms such as Savage Arms and others.
Still, they needed more subguns than this, and faster, and the gun is still pretty expensive.
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Enter the M3 'Greasegun', designed by George Hyde. This gun is a marvel of economization.

The Thompson had its receiver body machined out of steel billets, which was a ludicrous expense for this kind of weapon. The body of the Greasegun was made by stamping out a left side half, and a right side half from a sheet of steel, along with just a few other things, the left and right halves are spotwelded together, and the rest is bolted and riveted on. The bolt is easily made on a lathe, and it rides on two guiderods with two recoil springs inside the receiver, the bolt and the barrel are then held in place with a large knurled nut which screws onto the receiver. The stock is thick gauge steel wire.
Everything about this gun is fast, cheap, and efficient. The dustcover is your safety, when closed, it either holds the bolt in the rear or forward position.

Initially it had a crank on the side of the receiver which you would pull back to cock the bolt with, but it turns out this was just bothersome and didn't always work like it should, so they figured "Fuck it!" and deleted that, instead just widening the ejection port and cutting a notch in the bolt, just grab that with your thumb and pull it back, it'll never get hot enough to burn and the gun gets even cheaper to make, as the M3A1. This also included sturdier sights and a tab on the stock which would assist in loading cartridges into magazines.

It's like they looked at the British Sten, thought "We like the idea of this a lot, but we also think we can do this a lot better and a lot more consistent." and they were right, whilst the Sten was no stranger fragile magazines causing problems, the Greasegun, which used a similar design, but just better built, had nearly no such problems. It's a cheap and crude looking gun, but very reliable, very dependable, and it could quickly be put out to arm everyone who needed a subgun. The slow rate of fire also made training recruits much faster
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A pair of Simcity 2000 ones because I love immature shit like this.
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This here is a Volcanic repeating pistol, a particularly fancy example.

The Volcanic was one of the earliest forerunners to the lever-action rifle, these used a special kind of caseless cartridge, the .41 Rocketball, where there's the lead bullet, a hollow out in the back of it, which is filled with black powder and has a primer and sealant cap added on.
The idea is simple, the hammer hits the primer, the primer ignites the black powder, and the gas pressure sends the bullet going, burning up the sealant cap, the hollow back of the bullet expanding to seal against the rifling, then you work the lever to load the next cartridge.

Problem is, this didn't work out too well. For one, the sealant cap would often actually stay in the chamber, or stick to the bullet partially and then stay in the bore, etc, and worse is that you actually can not fit very much blackpowder in the cavity made in the ass of a conical lead bullet. The .41 Rocketball is a slow bullet, very slow, for comparison the full length Volcanic rifles could produce ballistics which are dwarfed by a 1900's pocket pistol in .25ACP, which is comparable to .22LR in energy, assuming a pistol barrel, though probably with much worse sectional density. There is at least one story of a man failing to commit suicide with a Volcanic pistol, shooting himself multiple times in the head.
If you had a dud cartridge, there also wasn't really any easy way to clear the chamber, because the Volcanic had no facilities for ejecting, as the entire cartridge was expected to go out the barrel.

The concept of cycling a manually repeating action with a lever sitting alongside the grip or stock is pretty solid, and the mechanical concepts would live on in the Henry and Winchester rifles, to this day even, but the Volcanic itself failed horribly, and Rocketball cartridges are remembered only as a weird and useless curiosity from before the age of self-contained metallic rimfire and centerfire cartridges.
Examining the .41 Rocketball's paltry ballistics in further detail, we'll consider these details;
>blackpowder is inherently very dependent on a good volume of powder as well as a decent length of barrel to give a projectile any speed
>now imagine a blackpowder cartridge with a tiny charge, that from a rifle can at best match the velocity of .22LR from a pistol, fired out of a much shorter pistol barrel
>consider the sectional density difference of the almost twice as large projectile
The notion that someone shooting themselves in the temple with a Volcanic pistol and only managing to injure themselves after a magazine, it actually seems fairly plausible to me.

Fun fact too, Horace Smith and Dan Wesson got their start in firearms founding the Volcanic Repeating Arms company, getting together with a few other guys setting out to develop a magazine fed repeater based around the Rocketball patent (which they actually improved on), but as the Volcanic Repeater was an absolute failure, they gave up on this, then went on to start a new company, Smith & Wesson, which made a massive name on their revolvers (particularly for licensing the exclusive rights to the Rollin White patent), and remain in business to this day.

One of the investors of the Volcanic Repeating Arms company was a man named Oliver Winchester, who had built considerable wealth on the industrial production of clothes. In spite of the Volcanic failing, he still thought there was value in the concept, and started a new business, hiring a man named Benjamin Tyler Henry, who redesigned the Volcanic to make a rifle using a new type of metallic cased ammunition, rimfire.
In a few years, the company changed again, and Henry's rifle was improved even further with a better magazine and loading system, creating Winchester Repeating Arms, which to this day are still in business and are inextricably linked to the lever-action repeater.
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Looking at the design Henry came up with, there's some dramatic improvements; first is the ammunition, .41 Rocketball is just a shit cartridge, the .44 Henry is a self-contained metallic cartridge with rimfire ignition, meaning the rim of the cartridge is hollow and filled with priming ignition, the firing-pin crushes the rim and sets off the blackpowder. This isn't as reliable as centerfire ammunition, and there's a practical upper limit to how powerful this style of cartridge can be (as it has to be strong enough to contain enough pressure, yet also be able to be reliably crushed by a hammer spring, which the user and action has to compress), it is however much cheaper to make.

Compared to the Volcanic, the opening stroke of the action always clears the chamber, if there's a live cartridge in there, it'll extract and eject it, if there's a spent cartridge case, it'll extract and eject it, if there's a dud cartridge in there, it's extracted and ejected. The Volcanic does no such thing, if the Rocketball cartridge is chambered, it better fire and be out of there, if it's not, you're not getting it out of there soon.
Henry's design offered far better ballistics; the 1860 Henry is somewhat comparable in ballistics to a modern pistol in .45ACP, so it's no cannon, but it's leagues ahead of the Volcanic, while being far more mechanically reliable. The speed and power of this rifle was at the time practically unparalleled.
Winchester eventually makes further improvements on the rifle in 1866, the awkward magazine which is loaded at the front is altered, rather than rotating the front assembly (which was somewhat difficult to forge) and fiddling with the follower, the magazine is now whole tube with a closed end, and instead there's a slot cut out on the side of the receiver, where a spring-loaded door keeps it closed. You just push a cartridge in through this gate nose first, and it goes into the magazine, and you keep doing this until it is full.

This change would allow the magazine to be far better enclosed and protected from dirt, it made loading the magazine much more convenient and fast (and safer), it let you put a proper fore-end on the rifle for grip (making for better comfort and protecting better from a hot barrel), and you wouldn't have to have an exposed follower tab which your supporting grip might interfere with.
These upgrades made the rifle cheaper to make and better to use, and these initial characteristics REALLY made the Winchester rifle take off, being a userfriendly rifle which offers speed, power, and convenience.
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No gun today, just some adorable drug addict.
I don't know a lot about this character, it's Japanese, and her shtick is that she engages in a lot of substance abuse, which might be the entire joke, as substance abuse is a fairly taboo subject in Japanese culture to my understanding, to the point that making jokes about it is seen as incredibly edgy.
I sorta dig the aesthetic and slightly erotic angle of a cute and sexy maid selling herself for drugs, though.
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The Finnish Kp/31, is by all means a very first generation subgun, a lot like the American Thompson; it's heavy, expensive to make, uses a heavy and expensive drum, and has a lot of bulk.
That said, like the Thompson, the Kp/31 was a pretty good performer once you had one in your hands, being heavier than a battle rifle is a drawback in terms of having to carry the fucking thing, but given that it's in 9mm Luger, it's *extremely* easy to control this little monster as it spews out bullets at +900rpm (it's an amazingly easy gun to keep on target), and the 72rd drum magazine, while expensive and heavy also, it's an excellent magazine, probably one of the most robust and reliable drums of the 20th century.

The Kp/31 was famously used by ski troopers in hit and run tactics against Communist invaders; a squad of angry Finns come zipping out of the treeline on the right, blasting a swarm of .36 caliber FMJ on a platoon of Russian conscripts, and then disappears in the left treeline before the survivors can get to their feet and get a bearing on what just happened.
White Death famously used a Kp/31 to kill 200+ Communists over his tour in the field.
The drum itself. These have been successfully converted to other guns by modifying them with extension towers for fitting in magwells, working in the IMI Uzi, the H&K MP5, the British Sten, and more.
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Here is a (low resolution) photo of one converted for a Smith & Wesson M76
Here is a transferable Uzi, probably a converted Model A carbine (featuring the original wooden stock), using a converted Kp/31 drum.
The Zastava M70A is a clone of the old Soviet TT33 Tokarev pistol, with the addition of a manual safety, a slightly longer grip fitting a slightly longer magazine (by one round), and being chambered in 9mm Luger. This one has a set of pretty wood grips, as opposed to the more mundane looking plastic grip panels they come with from the factory.

To me these are improvements across the board, as the original Tokarev pistols had no safeties and were outright not safe to carry with a loaded chamber. Soviet doctrine with these pistols was to simply carry it with a loaded magazine and an empty chamber, and then to cock on the draw, like the Israelis do, but before modern Israel existed. They also have a half-cock notch, which some figure is safe enough for a loaded chamber, but I wouldn't trust it.

This comes to some curiosa with original Tokarev pistols imported to the United States; import laws demanded a couple of things to allow them in, that they had the importer's name stamped on the gun, that they had the caliber stamped on the barrel (most guns already do), and that it had a safety, which obviously was an issue. What follows is that importers would simply modify the pistols themselves to add manual safeties to them, allowing them to be imported.

These importer safeties are a crazy gamble, some companies did a decent job with these, others very much did not, and it doesn't get around the fact that the pistol still isn't going to be any more drop-safe, most of these safeties just blocked the trigger from moving.
The M70A, being redesigned at a factory to feature a manual safety, and being a pistol currently made and sold in the west, is actually drop-safe.
I hear a lot of mixed opinions about how functional these pistols are, but generally they're quite cheap.
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Related to the Zastava, is this Norinco Model 213, which just the same is a Tokarev clone with a manual safety and chambered in 9mm Luger, made for commercial export.
In the US these aren't super common, because Norinco got themselves v& and b& in the 90s, but I think you can still get them in Canada, and they were pretty popular with black gun owners in South Africa, as they were a good and affordable pistol, which was commonly available in a package deal.

You'd fill out the basic paperwork for a firearms license, the gunshop owner would walk you through the qualification process, and you'd get a kit with a safe and a bag of cement so you could satisfy South African legal storage requirements.
Since a lot of poor people in South Africa lived (and probably still live in) houses with dirt floors, if outright not mud huts, this package deal would allow these people to lay down a small concrete foundation in their house and to bolt down the safe to it, to legally store their firearm (they don't allow you to just keep a gun in a drawer or a loose free-standing safe).
Given how dangerous South Africa was, and still is, these package deals must have been a blessing.
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This stupid mutt chewed up my power cable.
The Krag J├Ârgensen was adopted by the US military as its new military rifle around 1892, and about 10 years later they decided it wasn't really cutting it, and it was surplussed.
Initially, it was though .30-40 Krag could be loaded hotter, but the single lug lockup of the Krag wasn't really strong enough for the increased pressures they wanted, so new trials were held.

Once the new rifle had been adopted (the Springfield 1903), the Krag rifles, all the spare parts, and the .30-40 ammunition stockpiles, were all surplussed.
Suddenly, there's this bolt-action repeating rifle on market, made for smokeless powder centerfire cartridges, and it's all quite affordable, far cheaper than brand new commercial bolt-action sporters, thus a cottage industry springs up.
Gunsmiths would buy surplus Krag rifles (or just actions, if even barreled) for cheap, then build sporters out of them, sporters which were usually pretty good, and still far cheaper than brand new commercial ones. Some companies would settle for chopping down the front of the stock and calling it a day (pic related), selling them like that, but a lot of individual smiths and small outfits would put in proper effort, even Springfield themselves, who previously were making them for the army, would use spare parts and rifles to build into sporters to get rid of their old stock.

To me, the Krag's history on the US civilian market is much more interesting and rich than its history as US military rifle. It was very affordable, and was a very good rifle for hunting all sorts of medium and medium-large game, .30-40 Krag may not have been comparable to 7.92x57mm Mauser or .30-06 Springfield in terms of sheer power, but it's no slouch either, the action is quite easy to work rapidly, and reloading it isn't too slow either, where you can plain just drop loose cartridges in through the magazine door and close it, and you're good to go. Very appealing for casual shooting if anything, even if not quite soldier proof.
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Consider that in the early 1900s, lots of people were still rocking blackpowder, just because that's what they had been using for all this time, and it could be pretty cheap.

Now comes this bolt action rifle, it's not brand new but it's still somewhat modern, not used too hard, the rifle is cheap to buy, and the smokeless ammunition is as well, hell, it doesn't require nearly as much cleaning, and makes far less smoke, while putting out a (at the time) small .30 caliber projectile at some pretty high speeds, with light recoil.
It's a near unbeatable deal.
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To explain this difference further, there's some inherent practical limitations on blackpowder which really limits what it's suitable for.

First of all, blackpowder burns quite dirty, it leaves quite a lot of carbon residue with every shot, for a musket this is ok, for a revolver or manual repeater this is acceptable, but for a self-loading action, this is an absolute dead end, it fouls so fast that you'd be lucky to get through a few dozen shots without a malfunction, and assuming that you do, you still inevitably reach the point where it gets so dirty that it just won't cycle by its own power anymore.

Second is that blackpowder is just blackpowder, there really isn't a stronger blackpowder or a weaker blackpowder, it's one kind of substance, if you want more power, you need more volume.
For example, the .45-70 Government was the rifle cartridge of choice for the US military once upon a time, .45 is the caliber, 70 is the number of grains of black powder.
If you wanted to put more power behind a .45 caliber projectile, you would need a larger case to fit a larger volume of blackpowder, thus the .45-90, and the .45-120, for 90gr and 120gr of blackpowder respectively.

Third, there's just an upper limit to how much velocity you can get from blackpowder, even if you use a small and lightweight projectile, adding more and more powder really isn't going to make it go much faster, your returns diminish, thus, to really get good power, you would need a larger and heavier projectile backed with a large enough load of blackpowder to send it flying at a good speed.
This is why military muskets were usually of bore diameters of like .68 caliber, .75 caliber, and even larger, just shooting a lead bullet the size of a pinball, you had one shot and you had to make it count, because reloading is a project, but even with repeating cartridge rifles, people were still going with .40 caliber, .45 caliber, .50 caliber, .57 caliber, etc, because it just had to be big.
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Someone's alternate cover for the 1985 movie Return Of The Living Dead

This is I think my favorite movie ever. It's such a perfect mix of horror and comedy, a formula which is actually rather difficult to make work.
The characters are great, they're interesting, fun, quirky, cool, there's great jokes and just absurd and hilarious character interactions, it manages to feel low brow and schlocky, but in a way that's not stupid, like it's intentional and knows exactly what kind of movie it is, and it has a strong punk aesthetic permeating the entirety of the film.
Beneath the humor, there's a lot of incredibly disturbing and nihilistic elements, and it's so *perfectly* juxtaposed.
Combine this with some practical effects which are absolutely stunning (including what's probably the most impressive zombie ever put on film), and an excellent licensed punk rock soundtrack, rounded off with some great original melodies.

This movie was directed by Dan O'Bannon, a guy who mostly wrote screenplays (such as most of Alien), this was his directorial debut, and he knocks it out of the goddamn park.
The initial production pretense is that this is an adaption of the novel Return Of The Living Dead, by John Russo, who worked together with George Romero on his original Night Of The Living Dead, they had a falling out and Russo manages to retain some brand rights. The novel is a supposed sequel to Romero's film, and it's just fucking garbage, because John Russo is a hack, O'Bannon looks at the novel, thinks "Oh God, this is shit!" and writes a completely new script from the ground up under the RTOTLD title.
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This is I think is the base art used for the movie's poster and the home video covers. The headstone is left blank, with plenty of empty space on the bottom, to fit the logo and the associated texts for such things, and it can easily be set up differently for different language releases.

Speaking of which, Return Of The Living Dead and home video is a dicey subject, the original VHS release has a song or two switched out, and some of the DVD and BluRay releases remove a lot of the cool licensed music and alters a lot of the original audio (changing the voices on zombies and what not). I fucking hate this, and this was in part licensing issues, and it was either Dan O'Bannon having a George Lucas moment, or John Russo being a hack fraud like usual. The original sound design is really perfect, and the music for this movie is very much part of its character.

There is however a Blu-Ray release available which is 99% intact, with the original audio and the original music (the one change being that one song is switched for a version without vocals in one scene, for who knows what reason).
The version I'm talking about is the UK Special Edition Blu-Ray, it also comes with a lot of behind the scenes material, and interviews with cast and crew, as well as some of the musicians. For guys like me who love to see 'how the sausage is made' with effects heavy horror films, this stuff is great.
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Party Time (Zombie Version) - 45 Grave

This is the leitmotif of Return Of The Living Dead, featuring prominently in the movie once or twice. The special edition material features interviews with 45 Grave and their lead singer as well.

Trioxin Theme - Francis Haines

This is pretty much the second leitmotif, an absolutely perfect tension theme, THIS is one of the best ways to score a horror movie, with a memorable and ominous melody.
This is a production still, showing a nude Linnea Quigley in the background, as Trash, and Mark Venturini (RIP) in the foreground, as Suicide.

Suicide is my favorite character in the movie, because:
A), he looks incredibly badass, decked out in full black leather with studs, boots, a buzzed head with an X motif shaved into it, the X motif repeated in some of his clothing, topped with a big chain piercing linking from his ear to this mouth.
B), He's got a real fucking attitude to him, in a badass and careless way, and also in a way that makes him a pretentious dickhead. He even calls himself Suicide.
C), The way he's pretentious makes him hilarious, but I can't think of any other movie where I look at a character and think "Wow, what a pretentious asshole, but also what a cool motherfucker!"

Here's a clip of him driving.
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I'd post some more clips or .gifs, but frankly, I think the movie is just so fun to watch, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone, I'd rather people check it out.
Remember, get the one with the original audio.
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This is the poster/cover art for Return Of The Living Dead 2, it's a pretty gorgeous piece of art in my opinion.

Return Of The Living Dead 2 is not as good as the first movie, not at all, the script isn't as strong and is somewhat derivative of the first, the actors aren't as good (the returning actors generally don't do as good a job, and them being there is used for a very odd meta joke), the characters aren't as good, the jokes aren't as good, it doesn't have as an outrageous as an attitude, the effects aren't as good, and it doesn't add up with the ending of the original; it's overall a lesser movie.

However, I don't think that it's a *bad* movie, in spite of paling to the original, I think it's a decent 80s schlock film, it's pretty much the 'kid friendly' version of Return Of The Living Dead, and when I say this, I mean that in the best possible way, because it's still a pretty violent and gory adventure film for kids, it tries to be fun (playing far more at humor) and I think it does an ok job, even if slightly cheesy and unbearable at parts.
It has some kid actors in it, being a somewhat more kid friendly movie, but they do an ok job too. One of them acted only in this one movie, and he's in the commentary track, as an adult, not actually afraid to take jabs at the movie here and there (pointing out that the music was changed for the home video release and so on), which I found entertaining.

It also has some pretty good music associated to it, though regrettably this music is absent in the home video releases that I'm aware of, most of the licensed music was replaced with new ambient tunes (though Doctor Doctor is still in there), it even replaces the Trioxin Theme remix, though I can't say I hate the new synth tune they put there in its place.
The New Vaquero is yet one more of Ruger's lines of Colt 1873 style single-action revolvers, less built and bulky than the Blackhawks, and not the same kind of glutton for high pressure loads, but in return more affordable, and fits smaller hands better.
Generally available in .45 Colt, and .357 Magnum, the latter making them somewhat popular for newbies at Cowboy Action Shooting, .357 Magnum, particularly 'cowboy' target loads, are far cheaper to shoot than any off the shelf .45 Colt load.

These ones have 'Kirinite' grips, which are some manner of robust and very colorful synthetic, it's machined and polished into shape rather than molded, a bit like G10, if you're familiar with that. These ones are teal ones in particular, which with the very shiny stainless finish, and particularly the lightly engraved cylinder and barrel on the one gun, gives a nice and bright look.
They offer a lot of colors and patterns, for really quite a lot of different guns (even old AMC Auto Mag pistols), some look quite nice and pretty, others I feel aren't very pretty.
So here's a fun artifact of gun control. George Bush Sr. banned the importation of 'assault weapons' in 1989, in the law was a number of features which were listed for semi-automatic rifles, pistolgrips separate from stocks, folding stocks, threaded muzzles, flash hiders, grenade launchers (as in the muzzle kind), bayonet lugs, barrel shrouds, and detachable magazines. If it had two or more of these features, it could not be imported.
Naturally this meant that people just changed existing rifles so they could be imported; take an AKM, G3, or FAL, remove the bayonet lug, replace the flash hider with a permanently fixed muzzlebrake or just leave it bare, and replace the pistolgrip and stock with a 'thumbhole' stock, which in a sense meant that the stock extended down somehow and formed a loop at the bottom of the pistolgrip, the definition of a thumbhole stock wasn't particularly strict.

Here is the Steyr USR; Universal Sporting Rifle, it's outright a semi-auto only Steyr AUGA2 with no muzzle device, and with a flimsy flap behind the pistolgrip which fulfills the legal requirement to make it not a pistolgrip.
The thing here is that this was only a ban on *importation*, meaning once these were in the US, you could put on whatever grip and stock you wanted, put on whatever muzzle device you felt like, add a bayonet lug somehow, etc, so that's not uncommon.
You could buy this USR back then and just grind and polish away this flap, then have the muzzle threaded for a device of your choice, and this was all good.
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This is a Norinco MAK90 from China, it's just the semi-auto version of the Type-56 assault rifle (China's unlicensed and reverse engineered clone of the AK), with a plain muzzle, no bayonet lug, and with the stock and pistolgrip replaced for a thumbhole stock, making it legal to import.

The MAK90 came in a number of configurations, some receivers were machined from billets, some were stamped like later AKMs, some had a completely straight rear on the receiver (which made converting these for normal stocks a breeze), some had a typical Chinese slant on the rear (still doable, just need to get the right stock), while some had an aggressive slant on it, which makes conversions less simple. Doable, but usually involves an adapter (unless you want to have a bunch of gunsmithing done), which doesn't look great.

Aside from the classic 7.62x39mm, these were also available in 5.56x45mm, which is fine, they work like they should, but while the 7.62mm one takes any normal AK magazine, the 5.56mm one takes Norinco's own magazine, which today are uncommon and usually fetch $100 each.
There was never any Warsaw Pact 5.56x45mm AK (rather, these usually were from NATO countries or post-Soviet states), so there was no international standardization like with 7.62x39mm and 5.45x39mm AKs, thus there's quite a few different standards of 5.56mm AK magazines, which generally do not interchange.

Usually MAK90s go for about $800, which isn't terrible when you consider that far less well made WASR AKs via Century International Arms have been hiked up to these levels by now.
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Here's a Norinco MAK90 with its thumbhole stock replaced with a normal stock and pistolgrip, as well as a muzzlebrake.
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Yugoslavia was not buddies for long with the Soviet Union, (they had a somewhat less disastrous idea for socialism), as a result, they didn't really get much support after that, and wasn't offered the technical package for the Kalashnikov.

So what do they do when they want it? Simple, an undercover agent in Russia simply steals an AK and smuggles it home in a suitcase, and Zastava reverse engineers it. The result is their own AK, mostly the same as the Russian in the ways that matter, though with some changes to suit Yugoslavia's preferences and manufacturing, furniture will not interchange, for instance.

This one has a bakelite magazine inserted, Yugoslavia only ever made steel magazines, but it does look nice, doesn't it?
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Early Yugoslavian AKs would have machined steel receivers, just like early Russian AKs, but with time they devised their own stamped receivers.
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Here we have the Zastava M70AB2, and it exhibits some typical features which Yugoslavia was very fond of in their Kalashnikov clones.

Yugoslavian doctrine was big on grenade launchers, specifically the kind which is part of the muzzle of a rifle; a grenade is fitted over the muzzle and a high powered blank cartridge is used to launch it.
Their AKs would generally be built very particularly for this, a lever fits over the gas-block, flipping this up shuts of gas from the piston, it is usable as a sight for ranging and aiming the grenade as well.
A single blank cartridge is loaded in the chamber (possibly a special small magazine of just blanks is used for launching many grenades in succession), and when fired it will propel the grenade at what you're aiming it at.

Since grenades have FAR higher mass than the typical 123gr .311 caliber bullet, this means massively more recoil coming back, and it also means more force on the rifle.
The gas being shut off by the lever makes sure all gas is used to launch the grenade, but it's also to make sure that vastly increased pressure coming back doesn't cycle the action, which at greatly accelerated speeds can cause *incredible* wear and damage the gun in short order (the American M1 Garand rifle has a similar concept with its grenade launcher attachment shutting off the gas).
Still, as launching grenades is an important part of Yugoslavian doctrine, the rifles are typically built with a stronger receiver to handle this, using a slightly thicker gauge of sheet steel, and using a thicker trunnion (bulging visibly beneath the ejection port), the added strength is to ensure you can shoot lots of grenades without worry.

The enlarged trunnion is emulated from the Russian RPK, the squad automatic weapon variant of the AK, where the receiver and trunnion is reinforced in a similar manner (among other changes), to ensure it can be used for high volumes of suppressive fire.
Here's a Zastava M64, along with a homemade chestrig for magazines, made out of an old apron. Probably from the massive war which erupted as Yugoslavia ceased to be a nation in the 90s. Notice also the single rib magazine bearing the fleur-de-lis, a mysterious oddity from said war, now highly collectible.

A common feature on Yugoslavian AKs is the underfolding stock, seen initially on the Russian AKS and on the AKMS, this design originates with the German MP40 submachinegun.
It compacts incredibly nicely, and though not too comfortable, with a 9x19mm gun it's bearable. In 7.62x39mm, however, these are less pleasant, resting your cheek against the metal bar as you aim, you really feel every shot vibrate through your mouth and teeth, and the higher recoil will actually loosen these stocks up with use, so though they may be tight and somewhat steady straight from the factory, they do eventually get a little wobbly with use.

Firing grenades with these stocks must absolutely suck.
One of the previously mentioned fleur-de-lis magazines. It's not entirely clear what the exact circumstances of these mags were (Why are they made this way? Who made them? Where? When?), but they absolutely saw use in the wars in the Balkans.

Rather than the typical three thin strengthening ribs running along the sides of the magazines, it features just a large single one, and rather than a typical squared coil spring, it's a long zigzag leafspring.
They of course also bear the fleur-de-lis, or the "Bosnian Lily"

These showed up in the US in the 2000s, as surplus from after the war made its way over, piles of AK magazines were being sold all willy nilly, no sorting or anything, and real cheap, so you could buy a large batch of 100 magazines, and it was likely that you would get some unusual kinds, including one of these.
Some guys would order a batch of 100 like this, keep the cool magazines, and then send the other ones back for a refund, and then buy another batch of 100 like that. Retailers wised up to this though.

These days, a magazine like this can easily go for $200 or even $300
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So the M1917 is a neat little detour of US Army sidearms.
WW1 is going on, and there's this need for sidearms, only production of procurement of the new and top of the M1911 pistol isn't going as fast as it needs to, a stopgap is needed.

So Smith & Wesson, and also Colt, are asked to use their large frame commercial revolvers as a base and to adapt it for the standard .45ACP cartridge. Dan B. Wesson comes up with and patents the idea of a half-moon clip, a half-circle metal disc which holds three cartridges, .45ACP being rimless, the typical hand-ejector star won't be able to grab onto and extract it from the chamber, the half-moon clip solves this, while also allowing fairly fast reloading, as well as allowing half reloading if needed.
As part of the agreements, Colt gets to use the patent without having to pay for it, to simplify them fulfilling their part of the contract.

As a result, the M1917 entails two technically different revolvers (the pictured one is a Smith & Wesson), though which exhibits the same base characteristics. In practice, these are alright service handguns, DA/SA, .45ACP is a little bit hotter than the .45 Colt/.45 Schofield/M1887 Ball cartridge, and doesn't require introducing a new cartridge into logistics, you can just use the regular .45 Auto cartridge.
They're mostly supplied to rear echelon units.
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Aside from early model Colts, you could fire .45ACP without the clips if you needed to, but to extract the cases you would then have to poke them out with a pencil or something.

A funny thing happens when these revolvers are surplused and sold on the commercial market later on, by the way.
A lot of people don't wanna bother with the half-moon (or full-moon) clips, finding them fiddly, so someone gets the idea of making a cartridge which duplicates the load of the .45ACP, but with a prominent rim, so you can drop these onto the extractor star of these revolvers, and it can lift them out without the aid of clips.

The .45 Auto Rim case can further be used for making .455 Webley ammunition, without having to use clips in those.
Many .455 Webley revolvers imported to the US had their cylinders "shaved" down so that .45ACP in clips could be used with them, but in hindsight this was a horrible idea, given that all factory loadings of this cartridge is a good few thousand PSI higher in pressure than .455 Webley
The only available .455 Webley ammo these days is from Fiocchi, and they make these cases with a small primer pocket and primer, which doesn't give enough of a oomph to set off all the powder, leading to a dirty and incomplete burn (so a bunch of fucking soot and unburnt powder in your revolver), and shitty ballistics, and the casings can't really be reloaded properly afterwards due to this situation. With .45 Auto Rim casings, you won't have this problem.
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The Galil is a cool gun, this one I think is an original IMI, the Galil was sold or licensed out to a few different countries, like South Africa and Guatemala, as well as Estonia, so it got around some.

Israel had found that the FAL variant they had adopted wasn't quite so excellent for desert warfare, and in fact found that their enemies (which they had made many of), were having far better luck with their Kalashnikov rifles, and Israeli troops who used captured Kalashnikovs reported them to be far more practical, and far less bothered by sand (and far easier to fix when it was). The Uzi wasn't 100% excellent either, better for real close CQB than an FAL, but being dramatically outranged by the AK.

Looking at various different alternatives, one was considered to outright just adopt AKs they captured, another just a barely modified AK, but didn't settle for that, they knew they wanted a Kalashnikov rifle, but there were improvements to be made, and they couldn't hope to reliably source AKs and 7.62x39mm ammunition reliably.
In trials, one of the submissions was a prototype outright based on a Finnish Rk.62, and this was the direction they went with. In my opinion, this is about the best choices, as the further developed and improved AK designs from Finland, made by Sako and Valmet, are absolutely excellent.

It would ultimately take a backseat to the mountains of free M16A1s donated by the United States (many soldiers preferring the lighter weight and better inherent precision), I think that still the Galil is a rock solid weapon, it has great improvements, and the 5.56x45mm cartridge is very close to the 5.45x39mm in ballistics, going the route of the AK74 many years before the Soviets did.
I like the improved sights, the flash hider, the turned up charging handle, the added thumb safety lever, the protected and extended magazine release, the far more comfortable folding stock, and the bottle opener. Further, it's a very aesthetically pleasing rifle.
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On the Israeli FAL, they're not bad, they're about as good as any other FAL, a solid battle rifle, but a battle rifle nonetheless, and perhaps not perfectly suited to the double impact of conscripted army service and recurring desert combat. The Galil being an assault rifle would just make it far more practical overall, and being a Kalashnikov, very well suited to the rigors of conscript armies, and deal better with filthy conditions in the long run.

Something they did with the FAL was to have a regular rifle variant for the typical infantry man, and then a special variant which was supposed to be a light support weapon, with a heavier barrel and a bipod.
That shit doesn't fly, and other countries committed the same mistake, Australia and Canada both had their go at trying to adapt the FAL as such, and it just doesn't work out, the gun just isn't built for lots of rapid fire and sustained fire; it's a rifle, not a machinegun.

It looks pretty neat though, and if you employ it like you would a normal battle rifle, it'll not be so bad for what it is.
Sweden also looked at the Galil and/or Valmet Rk rifle during their AK5 trials, but ultimately chose a modified license built FN FNC, which has some similar characteristics.

This one is a 'Micro' Galil SAR. Being an AK in 5.56mm with a folding stock and a short barrel, this would be very closely analogous in performance and handling to the Russian AKs-74u, with equally short effective range and limited terminal ballistics, and both being equally obnoxiously loud as they belch fire.
From what I can tell, these carbines don't seem to have any kind of boosting device on the muzzle, which is commonly seen on really short AKs like these, the aforementioned AKs-74u as well as the Yugoslavian/Serbian Zastava M92 or Bulgarian Arsenal SAM7K, all three which have a muzzle device which redirects some pressure back to ensure reliable cycling.

Perhaps IMI solved the issue by opening up the gasport more, perhaps they found some other workaround, perhaps this flashhider actually has some means to add more backpressure.
It's really cool though, just like an AKs-74u, and extended 50rd magazines exist, which can give you a similar combo as when using the 45rd extended magazine for the RPK-74 for the AKs-74u.
Optionally, maybe the Micro Galil is meant to be used with a silencer, which would add more backpressure, and would certainly help with the giant earsplitting fireballs.

Looking around, apparently some company called JAXX Industries were building Micro Galils in .300BLK (which would be far better with a silencer than 5.56mm) from parts kits, though they're quite expensive, at $3000, and rather than the cool original upturned charging handle, it features the newer left-side one like on the Galil ACE, which I don't think is as awesome.

The Galil was made in .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO, not really for domestic use (aside from the Galatz 'sniper's rifle'), mostly for commercial export. Standard magazine capacity with these are 15 and 25. These are pretty cool as well.
This rifle in particular was actually put together by Magnum Research, interestingly enough, probably sometime after import bans, MR building these from parts kit or converting them from compliant variants. There's not a lot of these, so one figures this wasn't a profitable venture.
MR of course had a contract with IMI once upon a time, they contracted them to manufacture the Desert Eagle semi-automatic Magnum pistol, as MR lacked the tooling and facilities back in those days to do it themselves.
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A Ruger Redhawk in .454 Casull shown having its brass ejected. From I don't know what fucking anime, but it's rather detailed, so it's probably some old studio's vanity project OVA or something.
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This is some thing I can just barely remember being described to me, it's an old prototype Soviet machinegun, with the name Slostin attached to it.

It's in 7.62x54mmR, naturally, and it has multiple barrels in a rotating, cycling assembly, and multiple gas pistons for each barrel, and as I recall as the assembly rotates, the barrels chamber and then fire, the gas piston drives the assembly to rotate further, and as it goes it unlocks, extracts, ejects, then takes a new round from the belt and chambers and locks, doing this in sequence, going faster and faster with each fired shot.
In principle, it's a lot like an American Gatling, only instead of being handcranked, or driven by an electrical motor, it's powered by the gas of the cartridges, the assembly also isn't solid, rather they are linked together and go back and forth as it goes through its cycle.

It was very complex, and as it fired it would eventually build a top cyclic rate of 3000rpm.
Evidently, they didn't do much with it, probably because it would be ridiculously expensive and difficult to build, and there likely wasn't a practical application for that rate of fire at the time.
Much much later, a different multiple barrel gas operated machinegun was devised for Soviet aircraft.
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Auto Mag Corporation Model 180, starting as one man's quest to win a bet that he could make a working .44 Magnum automatic pistol.
Doesn't quite make that, instead invents a new cartridge, the .44 Auto Mag Pistol, in every sense a rimless .44 Magnum, the parent case being the .308 Winchester, but the resulting pistol does work, and exhibits the right ballistics.

These pistols operate on short-recoil, and use a rotating bolt to lock the breech, rather than a typical slide. Proprietary ammunition is always a challenge in the market though, and finances didn't quite work out, though the pistol was revived again and again, resulting in a couple of thousand guns produced each time.
Not perfect though, these pistols do batter themselves kinda roughly at a few thousand rounds, which is something that's apparently being addressed with the new 21st century revival of the Auto Mag, it will be available in .44AMP, as well as .45 Winchester Magnum, which in my opinion is a far better choice, as it's far easier to come by.
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This is a chart of Magnum handgun cartridges. I may references this image directly in later posts, as it's good for showing scale.

The .44AMP was the biggest hindrance of the Auto Mag Pistol by far, not just from the standpoint of introducing a new cartridge on the market, one which duplicates the performance of an existing one, but more that it was just troublesome.
.308 Winchester cases were used as a parent case, they fit perfectly, just cut off the top to the right length and you can use it. Problem is, this was just not done with a lot of precision in a lot of cases (pardon the pun), and if you take a caliber to each cartridge from an old box of commercial .44AMP and measure them, you'll find that a lot of them will vary by a fair bit, which isn't good for reliability.
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This brings me variants, as .44AMP was born, some time later, .357 Auto Mag Pistol was born, and this wasn't simply just a clone of the .357 Magnum but rimless, no no, this was the .44AMP cartridge necked down to .357 caliber, creating a *very* spicy .357 caliber cartridge.
Less projectile mass, less sectional density, which means rather different ballistics, but BOY does it go screaming out, the speed makes up for it.
Reiterating an old anecdote I heard, a man in Texas has a Wildey pistol chambered for .357AMP, with an 8" barrel and a red dot sight, with it, he demonstrated 6 hogs killed, with 7 shots, in 8 seconds.

Like the .44AMP, the .357AMP is very much the kind of cartridge which you'll just have to handload for, though it seems to me that the exact specs of it are not 100% clear.
Here's a rare example of the Auto Mag, this is one that is custom built from the ground up for the .440 Cor-Bon cartridge, see it here: >>94281
This is probably the only AMC Auto Mag pistol chambered for this cartridge, and I imagine that it's a monster to shoot. It has no iron sights, only a red dot, presumably a rather robust one.

.50 Action Express is a powerful cartridge designed for the Desert Eagle pistol, it has a rebated rim (meaning it's smaller than the rest of the case), so that it can fit on the bolt-face of a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle, requiring only a new magazine and barrel.
A rather potent cartridge.
.440 Cor-Bon is based on the .50 Action Express, necking that cartridge down to .44 caliber, the concept being to drive that .44 caliber projectile to speeds that .44 Magnum could only hope to dream of, some loadings can be comparable to the mighty .454 Casull revolver cartridge, very impressive for an automatic pistol.

.50AE has remained in some popularity, in part for being a .50 caliber Magnum cartridge in an automatic pistol, which is about as big as is commonly available.
.440 never really took off though, Cor-Bon had problems with producing casings properly, and demand was just never high, Magnum Research and Israeli Military Industries (who were their manufacturer back in those days) would see some demand when they had no guns or conversion kits in stock, and then almost none when they actually did. Eventually it was discontinued altogether.
It's difficult to find these days.
As Auto Mag Corporation bit the dust the last time, another company picked up the reigns, with new designs, Arcadia Machine & Tool.

AMT would launch their own line of Magnum automatics, written as one word Automag, and these were available in different sizes and calibers, Automag II in .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, Automag III in .30 Carbine and 9mm Winchester Magnum, Automag IV in .45 Winchester Magnum, .44 Auto Mag Pistol, and 10mm Magnum, and Automag V, in .50 Action express.
These were all pretty typical Browning style pistols, same tilting-barrel short-recoil, same slide setup, etc, only the safety was a lever on the slide.

Mostly these were long barreled and had long slides, though the Automag II was available in some different lengths.
As AMT was actually somewhat sloppy in production, and generally used the exact same grade of stainless steel for all their frames, slides, barrels, and bolts, their pistols are not rarely troubled out of the box.
The steel issue can lead to galling (friction welding) at high roundcounts, though this can be ameliorated by applying a suitable grease.
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The Automag II .22WMR and Automag III in .30 Carbine are the most sought after, as these are the most common cartridges, and are the least painful to shoot.
The .22 Magnum is pretty gentle, but makes a nice bang and fireball, and the .30 Carbine is generally milder to shoot than your typical .357 Magnum revolver, owing to its large size and substantial amounts of powder not getting the opportunity to accelerate the bullet, rather just blowing out the muzzle as a rather larger and loud fireball.
The Automag III in fact delivers pretty piddly ballistics on that account (.30 Carbine is just made for much longer barrels), and would pale in performance next to its 9mm Winchester version or any typical .357 Magnum

The Automag II was not short-recoil like the others, instead straight blowback, and the slides all have cutouts on them, presumably as they would be too heavy to cycle otherwise. Their Automag II also has a set of little pits in their chambers, where the brass will expand slightly into as it fires, which the action has to force to straighten out during extraction, presumably to make sure that the pistol doesn't extract too fast. Looking at fired casings from these pistols, you'll notice these marks on them.
Here's good pictures of a nicer than usual Automag IV in .45 Winchester Magnum, with a gorgeous polished finish and custom wood grips. This one belongs to a man in France, and I know of at least one Automag III chambered for .30 Carbine in Norway, so these did get overseas at least a little bit.
Aside from needing a replacement screw for his adjustable sight (which he got arranged), apparently this pistol worked out very well for him.

.45 Winchester Magnum is occasionally available off the shelf or online, but it's the kind of cartridge that if you want to shoot it, you really ought to handload it. To me, it would be the best caliber for one of these. To give a description of .45WinMag, imagine .45ACP, but 30% longer, with a much a much stronger case web, and loaded on average for twice the velocity, your typical 230gr projectile going at 1600fps, possibly more depending on what you like to load.
This isn't far from .44 Magnum, in fact this stated load would be slightly more powerful than the average .44 Magnum load, while being rimless, which makes it better suitable for automatics.

The Automag IV was also available in .44AMP, which can be loaded for and done today if you want, but was more troublesome in past decades, requiring proper converting of .308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield casings. These days you can order ready made .44AMP casings from companies like Starline Brass.
10mm Magnum is a cartridge I've really not heard a lot about, but I'll hazard a guess that it's roughly comparable to .44AMP and .45WinMag, I assume you could get this kind of brass made for yourself by companies like Starline and you can use typical .40 caliber projectiles, so it shouldn't be much worse.
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The AMT Automag V, in .50 Action Express.
This is a monster of a pistol, the Desert Eagle chambered for .50AE can at best be described as harsh in recoil, being a very heavy and gas operated locked breech gun. This is all short-recoil, and with a narrower grip, you WILL feel this against your palm.

To my knowledge, all Automag Vs have ported slides and muzzles, to help counteract the no doubt stern muzzle flip.
These are some good pictures of the pistol in general, and shows what the AMT Automags have in common with the classic 1911 (such as the slidestop and barrel bushing), and where it differs, like the slide mounted safety, but also the absence of a grip safety. The bore on this pistol looks very crisp, likely this has been fired little, if at all.
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A special one. There was a small outfitter back in the day who bought and converted five Automag V pistols to the .440 Cor-Bon cartridge, offering custom finishes and grips. They built only five of these pistols, and can imagine why, as you see through the ports of these slides, the pistols pictured here at the least do NOT have ported muzzles, meaning the recoil of this monster is worse still.
In terms of size and ballistics, this is about the closest you'll get to the .454 Casull automatic pistol as used by Alucard in Hellsing.

I'm equal parts impressed with these, as I am dumbfounded.
A customized Freedom Arms Model 83, featuring an octagonal cut barrel and a red dot sight.
.454 Casull is a hefty cartridge, an example load is a 300gr .45 caliber JHP going at 1650fps
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Of the RPG Castlevanias, Aria Of Sorrow is clearly the best.
The castle is laid out the best way, the gameplay is the most fun and well controlling, there's a death of varying equipment for all kinds of approaches, the bestiary is varied and posits some decent challenge (particularly on hard mode) the music and sound is exquisite, and the graphics are some of the best ever put on the Gameboy Advance.

Everything about this game looks, sounds, and feels good.
I'm gonna have to take some screenshots of my current run of Aria Of Sorrow. Did a new game starting on hard mode, and it's actually a lot more fun, the game gets more challenging and you can't just brainlessly bruteforce your way through quite like you can in normal mode, bosses like Death actually gets pretty hard, even coming in with Mystletain, the Lightning Doll soul, lots of souls to power the Headhunter soul, and a dozen potions.
ily guy
A few shots from the other day or so.
I'd recommend Aria Of Sorrow to anyone who liked Symphony Of The Night, though not quite as vast in space and content, it's much more focused and tight in its design.

If I were to describe how SoTN feels, it's like they didn't have entirely clear design goals and just made up a lot as they went. You go to an upside down version of the castle, which the game makes no insinuation about at any point, just throws at you for exploring every area and finding all needed items and events of the first castle, otherwise the game ends early and you can easily miss out on 50% of the game without realizing. In a way, this is great, because they actually put the effort into adding lots of content knowing that some people would actually miss it (many modern devs are terrified at the thought that you might miss something they did), in another, the upside down castle feels kind of underdeveloped at parts, there's some new music tracks, but a lot of the upside down areas share many of them, and as you would already have all the movement abilities by this point, traversing the upside down castle is generally not difficult, outside of some new monsters being more aggressive and difficult.
If I were to speculate, it feels like they started work on the upside down castle late in development, possibly even came up with it late in development, and didn't quite have the time to do everything they wanted to. Still it comes out pretty good overall.

AoS doesn't have a second castle, however it feels like from the start of development they had a very good idea about what they wanted the game to be, it doesn't have the somewhat haphazard quality to it that SoTN has. It also feels somewhat more original, compared to the the previous Harmony Of Dissonance, which felt a lot like it wanted to be SoTN.

Nice to know that someone else enjoys this posting, even if it's just blabbering about stuff I like and think is cool.
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Just found an angled picture of one of these.
It shows the widened hammer spur at a different angle, giving you a better idea of its shape.
My hat's off to OP, I wish I had as much free time to informpost as you do.
Second set of screens, New Game +. I guess these two screenshot sets are kinda in opposite order, in terms of progression and locations.
I think I'm gonna try to emulate Dawn Of Sorrow after this, because it's been ages since I played it, and my DS is destroyed, the game just doesn't feel proper on the 3DS somehow (and it can't read any GBA carts).

Dawn Of Sorrow does a lot of the same things as Aria Of Sorrow, though more advanced. I don't want to say that it's better, because in many ways it isn't, but it's still good.
One of the things which Dawn Of Sorrow did was to require you to scribble out a seal to defeat bosses, if you don't do it fast enough the boss gets some health back and you need to beat him down again to get another try. On higher difficulties this can get really buttclenching, and to a point that adds excitement, but on another point it also is fucking tedious because the DS touchscreen is a fidgety bitch and you REALLY gotta hurry at higher difficulties because your window of time is so fucking tiny.
Doing this with a mouse would be even worse, hence I really hope there's a gameshark code or something I can do to disable having to do the seals.

Might take a crack at Julius Mode first though, I've never really played through that.

I actually have had a lot less free time over spring and summer, with this dummy puppy >>94058 to take care of, and moving places, but I had suddenly much more free time the last month, yet feeling burned out, I still don't feel like going back to my project.
I'm thinking once I feel more drive again, I was actually going to make another thread here on /vip/ and use it as a devblog of sorts, because I like the 4chan posting format and nobody else is really using this board for anything, I can reference it easily when needed, in relevant discussion of course.
Julius Mode is somewhat brief and almost insubstantial in Aria Of Sorrow.
There's no inventory, no items to pick up, you only have your whip and four subweapons to cycle through, and you have all movement abilities you need to get around, what this means is that you have zero incentive to explore and thoroughly look around each area, you only go and kill the bosses (which boost your stats with each orb), to fight your final boss (which isn't really the final boss when playing normally as Soma Cruz), then it ends.

I breezed through it in about an hour or so, Julius moves fast (and strikes fast) on top of having all movement abilities, and I just beelined from boss to boss, there's not a lot of reason to stay and fight a lot of the monsters you encounter either since you gain nothing and can easily outmaneuver them.
Outright didn't go to two of the areas in the game, just because there's no bosses there for me to fight.
I'll hope to get a DS emulator working so I can play Dawn Of Sorrow again, where I'll also try Julius Mode as well (where it's much more substantial, to my understanding).
I also really love Ayami Kojima's art, she's drawn portraits and art and what not for the series for a huge chunk of it, you see her work since Symphony Of The Night and Chronicles, and then for a lot of the other games, Harmony Of Dissonance and Aria Of Sorrow as well.
They did NOT use her art for Dawn Of Sorrow, which I think was a huge mistake, instead using a much more generic anime style for art and portraits, her style was perfect for Aria and it should have continued to Dawn.
Her style is very bishounen, which is very suitable for the overall rather gothic aesthetic that Castlevania as a series exhibits overall.
The women AND men are gorgeously beautiful, and they generally wear elaborate and grandiose clothes and costumes.
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Traveled some, so no image for a few days.

This is Ruger's Match Champion, a special model of their known .357 Magnum GP100 revolver. It features a 4" barrel with a special profile, and rather than the full lugs of the normal GP100, it features a half length one, reducing weight and bulk (and making it visually distinct), the cylinder as well has been turned down slightly at the front for a subtle weight reduction. The grips are a nicely contoured wood kind, as opposed to the regular plastic ones with finger grooves, and the sights include the two options of a fixed Novak style combat sight, and an adjustable kind, along with a fiber optic inlay for the front sight bead, ensuring high visibility.
Together with a shimmed and nicely polished trigger, all for just an additional $100 over the regular GP100, I think these are excellent revolvers and a pretty good deal.
Here's one with synthetic Hogue grips, this picture shows better the subtle machining on the front of the cylinder. A very utilitarian revolver overall.
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Some cute things for a change of pace.
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A tiny lady with a battle rifle is cute.
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This is a Norinco Hunter, it's the Kalashnikov action and receiver built for something to look more like a sporter or hunting rifle.
Everything is pretty much the same, only the rear trunnion is altered for a more traditional looking stock, the trigger assembly is moved back to match it, and the front of the receiver has a 'slant' to it, to match the slimmer and longer handguard on the rifle, and it comes with a short low capacity magazine, to appear more civilian and to allow for bench shooting and shooting from the prone position.

It's still in 7.62x39mm, and still takes normal AK magazines, so nothing stops you from inserting a 30 round magazine, a longer 40 round RPK magazine, a 75 round drum, or an even larger 90 round drum.
So the Norinco Hunter has that slant on the front of the receiver, and some of them have a special top cover which anchors securely onto the receiver, fitting the rear sights on top of there, this get some people thinking that, gee, it's almost a little bit like a Galil, isn't it? >>94179

So a few people with some talent for gunsmithing have bought Norinco Hunters, and had them modified and rebuilt with Galil parts kits, cut the rear of the receiver and reweld it with the proper trunnion, modify the trigger group to move it forward, fit the pistol grip, and then it comes down to the other accoutrements.
Some of these are rebuilt in a fairly plain manner, just a stock, pistolgrip, and handguard, but some go the extra mile with complete parts kits, adding the shielded extended mag release, the proper gasblock and sight, the turned up charging handle, a suitable muzzle device, the whole thing.

This rifle here is one such example, closely imitating the South African Vektor R5 carbine, a licensed clone of the Galil, and it's even a 'Short Barreled Rifle'. The person who built this Galil clone has apparently done numerous, in various styles.
7.62x39mm is a rather suitable caliber for a shorter carbine such as this, as its heavier projectile doesn't give away as much performance with barrel length as 5.56x45mm and 5.45x39mm do, relying on lightweight bullets at very high speeds.

The magazine it's shown with is a Russian aluminum magazine (sometimes called 'paratrooper magazines'), which is a less common type, recognizable for it's waffle style strengthening ribs and somewhat weak, frequently worn finish. Soviets didn't stick too long with them, they were lightweight and resistant rust and corrosion (an issue with steel magazines in humid conditions, which could cause the follower to bind with the body of the magazine), but they found they weren't quite as durable as hoped, the lug for the release would wear quickly, and so would the feed lips.
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This is another such build, notable here is that the receiver is modified for the left-hand lever for the safety mechanism, another point for the authenticity and utility of some of these conversions.
One more, this one has a quad-rail fore-end, which usually I don't care much for, but it actually doesn't look that bad here, with a light and angled foregrip it would probably be pretty nice.
With a nice camo paint scheme, a red dot, and some suitable plastic mags, that carbine with the quadrails would hold its own with many "high speed, low drag" tacticool carbines popular these days.

Yet one more picture, this rifle has a so called 'quad-stack' magazine inserted, a lot of people were interested in these when they came out, packing two double stacks of 7.62x39mm, converging together into one two position feed, for a total of 60 rounds. Compact in nature, and wouldn't require winding like a drum, they seemed rather attractive, though I hear quite mixed opinions on them.

Quad-stack magazines, by the virtue of having two followers which each have to feed their own double stacks, converging into the neck of the magazine, while staying in sync, are pretty difficult to design to pull off, so they aren't the most common type, even rather normal and simple magazines can be rather challenging to design.
Found the other two pictures of this set, photographed by Oleg Volk, who does a lot of gun pictures.
I don't have the slightest idea if Ted Nugent's ammo is good, or if it's anything special (some celebs will put their name and face on anything, so you never know at a glance), had never heard of it until now, but I mean I guess it makes sense.

I really love the look of a 4" or 5" single-action revolver with a full length ejector-rod housing, it's a little bit like the full length underlugs on some more modern 'hand-ejector' designs, except these actually fill a more functional purpose beyond just aesthetics and weight.
This kind of cast pewter grip set exists for a number of different single-action revolvers, and similar ones exist for 1911 pistols. Curiously I haven't seen any for any double-action revolvers, which is a shame, since I think they could probably look rather good on a blued Colt Diamondback, or a really polished up Smith & Wesson Model 29
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The third photo, showing the ejector in action, and demonstrating .45ACP casings being ejected just fine. Some people do a double take upon hearing about this kind of gun, forgetting that moon clips and half moon clips are only necessary if a revolver extracts by lifting under the rim of a cartridge, aside from certain more complex styles of extractor stars which grab onto the groove of rimless cartridges (these designs can be somewhat delicate and brittle, as I hear). As it's a literal rod poking the bottom of the case, it shouldn't ever struggle.

You also see quite a lot of fingerprints smudged all over the cylinder, from when he swapped it from the regular .45 Colt cylinder. With traditional high end blued finishes, you'll want to maybe carefully wipe a gun a little bit after handling it a lot, if you're very concerned about it looking clean and pristine, as the oils secreted by your skin can actually wear on this type of finish (this will depend on you as a person, some people's skin oils can be harsher on bluing than others).
Ruger on the other hand isn't exactly a high end custom shop or anything, and they do their finishes at a more typical consumer grade, which is fine, but also not deluxe enough that you'll feel the need to worry.

Also having fucking syringes jammed into your mouth for anesthetics hurts like a cunt, I'll never get used to that.
On the subject of special extractor stars, there's the Philips & Rodgers M47 'Medusa', which is quite an unusual revolver.

On the surface, it looks like any other hand ejector double-action revolver you've ever seen (it's straight up based on a Smith & Wesson), it has such a previously mentioned extractor star assembly, an unusual kind where there's a springloaded tab/finger for each chamber, which can grab onto the rim of a rimless cartridge and hold it in place, without needing clips or anything.

The purpose of this here is to allow you to chamber and fire literally whatever cartridge which can fit and which fires a bullet which is .357 caliber or smaller in diameter, you can drop typical .38 Special and .357 Magnum cartridges into the chambers and they'll sit on top, but if you were to load 9mm Luger, 7.62mm Tokarev, or 9mm Steyr in there, they can be held onto by the extractor assembly, and they will be fired.
A double tapered forcing cone is intended for trying to solve issues of accuracy, but it seems to not work out all that well for shooting just normal .38 Special or .357 Magnum, while for much smaller caliber cartridges like 7.62mm Tokarev or even .32 Auto, it will obviously do nothing, the bullet will just glance, bounce and skid down the bore, and likely at pretty modest velocities compared to normal guns in those calibers, as the cases aren't properly enclosed and will generally rupture, allowing a lot of pressure to escape prematurely.

The company advertised that it was capable of chambering and firing a few dozen different cartridges, but it can actually shoot well over a hundred kinds.
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There's a legend that Smith & Wesson or Colt bought out Philips & Rodgers because they were afraid that this supposed super revolver would put them out of business, but in reality, these things just failed to sell, not actually being that good, and the actual niche of being able to fire all kinds of random ammunition you might be able to find, is just so incredibly unlikely to be necessary in any manner of scenario, even many extreme and outlandish ones.

The extractor assembly is a pretty flimsy affair which you have to be very careful with, and general accuracy is poor with most cartridges. It seems the chambers (which will be quite unusually long for any cartridge which isn't .357 Magnum), in combination with the double-tapered forcing cone, makes for pretty mediocre inherent precision in most calibers and with most ammo. The cylinder is also made out of vanadium steel, which will explain why the gun wasn't just expensive, it was quite heavy.

It was some interesting thinking outside of the box, but execution wasn't great, and the concept is of dubious merit to begin with.
A set of magazines, three for 7.62x39mm Kalashnikov rifles, and one for SVD (Dragunova) rifles, 7.62x54mmR. For the Kalashnikov mags, you can see the three general standards Russia went through with the AK in 7.62x39mm, until moving to the AK-74 in 5.45x39mm.

The first pattern, commonly nicknamed 'slabside' magazines, are ridiculously robust and stamped from 1mm thick steel, which works and is damn near impossible to wear out, but it didn't take all that long to realize that they're needlessly heavy and expensive. Eventually a new pattern was devised, using thinner sheet steel, with stamped into the magazine for reinforcing strength, these were much more practical, and would see by far the most widespread use, to this day, this pattern is the stereotypical "AK-47 magazine", and in many countries who still uses AKs, these magazines remain in common use, some in spite of having moved on from the AK itself, yet still using the same 7.62x39mm cartridge.

A particular issue had been showing itself with these steel magazines however, in that during spring and fall season (and generally any reliably cold and humid environment), it was found that frost and/or condensation could form inside the magazine bodies, and over periods of frost and thaw cycles this could cause surface rust to gradually develop in the magazine, which if left unattended to could lead to the follower to struggle to move smoothly, or in the worst case, at all, which obviously can lead to reliability problems.
Initially aluminum was considered as an alternative, original prototypes were just the same 'ribbed' style, then a 'waffle' pattern style was devised (seen here >>94477), and put into minor use, but they quickly found them unsatisfactory.

Synthetics would instead be pursued, a material called phenolic resin, sometimes nicknamed Bakelite (which it strictly isn't), the body of the magazine would be made of this material, with embedded steel reinforcements for the locking lug and feed lips.
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'Bakelite' turned out to be an incredible success, not only would it render rust issues and follower binding problems null, it was also lighter in weight. It was such a good material that they would elect to make AK pistol grips out of it as well, on top AK bayonet grips.

When it was time to move to the new 5.45x39mm cartridge and the AK-74, Russia didn't waste any time with steel magazines, they jumped straight to 'Bakelite'.
Originally made as a rather orange-red-brownish material, this looked pretty, but also could be somewhat more visible than desired in some situations, and eventually a darker color of the material was developed, commonly referred to as 'plum'.
This picture is of the later Russian 'Bakelite' magazines, with the darker color, notice also the little reinforcement ribs added along the body.
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A later AK-74, with furniture made out of the same plum colored phenolic resin material as the magazine.
The AK-74 series of rifles were noted for a very efficient recoil compensator, which with the high pressure of the 5.45x39mm cartridge really helps the gun stay level in rapid and automatic fire, in this regard, compared with the very similar cartridge characteristics, it's quite comparable to the M16A1 rifle and M4 carbine with their 5.56x45mm cartridge.
In the UK, the ownership of handguns is extremely restricted.
The only way to kind of own one is to have one with a very long barrel, and if it's centerfire, it may not be a semi-automatic, this means that of cartridge firing handguns, this is what you can own with a common license:
>a .22LR revolver or semi-automatic with a long-ass fucking barrel
>a centerfire revolver with a long-ass barrel
>either of these with a "counterweight" extension coming out of the rear of the grip, basically a long bar with a steel bulb on it, this allows the gun to have a not quite so stupidly long barrel by meeting overall length requirements

There's one more option though; cap & ball revolvers. Intended for antique style blackpowder competition, it's the kind of revolver where you load each chamber in the cylinder like an old musket; pour in the blackpowder charge, seat a bullet, add a wad or grease, then add a percussion cap on the chamber's "nipple" on the back, and that's one loaded shot, then you do that for the rest of the chambers.
There is nothing in the law to say that a cap & ball revolver must be of an antique design, however, so someone had a rather clever idea of just making what would be a typical modern double-action revolver, but instead of a cylinder taking normal centerfire cartridges or rimfire cartridges, the cylinder is like a cap & ball one, you pour the powder, seat a .357 caliber projectile, and then seat a shotgun primer on the rear of the chamber.
One company's idea was to simply import regular Rossi double-action .38 hand-ejector revolvers, then convert them to this modernized cap & ball setup, which would make them legal to own on a blackpowder license. To my knowledge, this is still legal to do in Britain's otherwise oppressive climate.
Here's more pictures of this revolver. This is actually a Taurus revolver, though Rossi is part of the same conglomerate as Taurus, so that was almost correct, but Rossi revolvers are available like this in the UK.
Cylinders themselves are part of your license, so if you wanted another cylinder to be able to have a fast reload, that wasn't easily possible for a while, but with some development in sport shootings, it's now possible to motivate that on a license, so reloading can actually be pretty fast with one of these if you loaded the cylinders in advance.

Funny thing is also that you aren't restricted to using only blackpowder on a blackpowder license, you can use smokeless powder as well, which could give you pretty much a .38 Special or .357 Magnum load. I don't know if this cylinder in particular is rated for smokeless powder, but I know that it exists as an option.
This is a seven shot 'six-shooter', as you may notice as well.
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Here's two pistols, a Colt 1911A1, and a FB Wz.35 'Vis', nicknamed 'Radom' by people outside of Poland, after its town of origin, and designated P35 when adopted as a substitute standard by the German Wehrmacht after they invaded Poland.

In terms of design, it's a fair bit like a cross between the Colt 1911 and Browning Hi-Power designs, sharing many mechanical principles and design features between both.
What you have here is a hammer-fired short-recoil pistol in 9mm Luger, and a pretty well designed one. It doesn't feature the larger capacity double-stacked magazine as the Hi-Power pistol does (at 13+1 rounds at the time, its big selling point), but at 8+1 it's still decent, and it's a light and slim pistol for the time, particularly for its caliber.
One of the best service pistols of the Second World War, and one of the better of the early 20th century, I think that this design is even better than the DWM Luger P08 and Walther P38, and at least as good as the Colt 1911A1

A fair number of these Vis pistols were smuggled out of the FB factory in Radom, and saw use in the Polish underground, where they'd feature a lot in the Warsaw Uprising
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As margins ran thinner and thinner for Germany in the war (because they had really not planned everything that well, let's be real), they would look to economize various weapons, made in their own arsenals, and captured ones.

For the Wz.35, the finish was made cheaper, the plastic grips were replaced with unfinished wood ones with a ribbed pattern pressed into them, and pins in the frame were replaced with rivets, along with deleting the disassembly lever (situated where the safety would be on a 1911, you technically don't need it). The early captured Wz.35 pistols, initial occupied spec pistols, as well as the later economized versions, all bear the Nazi eagle marking, the Waffenamt, for pistols accepted and adopted by the Heer. These were the third most common pistol in the German armed forces next to the P08 and the P38.

The cheaper Wz.35 pistols are not as nice in quality, but are still pretty good, certainly better than the 7.62mm Tokarev pistols which Poland was forced to adopt after being conquered by the Soviet Empire (which they did after Germany was done slapping them around). The Tokarev isn't terrible, but one would prefer a pistol such as the Wz.35, which is safe to carry with a loaded chamber.
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Looking a lot like a 1911, FB in Radom did actually make a few pistols in .45 Auto, which were likely intended to try to get contracts with Argentina, but Germany quashed that.

This pistol pictured here is a much later (actually fairly recent) limited commercial production pistol in .45 Auto
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Another one in .45 Auto, from the same production run I think.
I heard that there were recently talks about starting full production of Wz.35 pistols again for commercial export, which would be nice, but I don't think that has materialized yet, if it's still planned.
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The Wz.35 was in early production actually slotted in the rear of the grip to accept a detachable stock, probably Mauser style, to double as a holster, however this likely didn't see much production or use. The Polish Army didn't use stocks, the Germans didn't use them with stocks (and I believe they stopped having the slots cut to save money and resources), possibly the hope was that the Argentinians or other interested parties would perhaps want to buy some, but that never happened.

Reproductions have been made, though there aren't many of them. The stock pictured in this collage appeared in a listing some years ago, claimed to be an original FB Radom stock, which doesn't seem likely. This stock is in ridiculously good condition, like it was made recently, which would suggest that it's *probably* not that old.
At any rate, even if this is a replica, it's a pretty good one.

I do not believe the Wz.35 is exempt from SBR status in the US with one of these stocks, like the Mauser C96 pistol famously is, so one who's interested in one of these would probably want to file some NFA paperwork for that.
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Merry Christmas, to anyone who may be reading.
This is Trantorian Dream, by Michael Whelan, it was the cover on one of Isaac Asimov's novels.

I love the sense of scale and the colors in this painting.
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Gonna start the year by just posting some cute/pretty girls.
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Really wished this show got more seasons. It was comfy, I found it funny, and the animation was nothing short of marvelous, supremely consistent, clean, and fluid.

It's a real atrocity what that man did to Kyoto Animation, though that wasn't really related to this.
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A couple of loaded magazines for a German Gewehr 3, 7.62x51mm NATO. Funny thing about these magazines is that they were made out of aluminum, to be lighter than steel, and the thought the Bundeswehr had was that you would abandon these in the field, treat them as just disposable.

This was an idea that the US tried to apply to the M16 when first adopting it, an aluminum magazine loaded with 20 rounds at the factory, and built to only have to last 20 rounds ever, then being disposed of in the field, similar to a stripper clip.
This had some pretty disastrous consequences, as it turns out that this plan doesn't work out in reality, your chain of logistics will not be able to keep up, so what you get is soldiers who have ammunition but not magazines, or ammunition along with magazines which were just thoroughly worn out. These disposable magazines were one of the big contributors to the M16s infamous problems early in its service, because you'd use them once and then when you reloaded the magazine you'd find it wouldn't want to behave.

There were some crude field fixes to this, one was to download your capacity, loading 18 rounds on the first reload, and 16 on the next one, which wasn't ideal, but beats having 20 rounds that don't want to feed. Another was to disassemble the magazine and then stretch out the spring some, which could make at least the spring last a little longer (doesn't solve anything if the feed lips are deformed, mind).
France attempted disposable magazines too, with the FAMAS rifle, but found just as well that it wasn't working out.
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Why the G3 magazines are funny, is because in spite of West Germany intending for them to be disposable, they were in fact built perfectly fine it be reused again and again and again, just like a normal magazine. It feels so hilariously German to intend for something to be disposable, but then building it to last anyway.

As the Bundeswehr came to that realization, they sent out personnel on training grounds to go and collect magazines, which, since they were aluminum, were still in perfectly good shape and barely affected by the elements. As they had this policy of abandoning magazines for quite a lot of years, they ended up with quite a large surplus of magazines, so large that you can still to this day actually get these old magazines in large quantity for very cheap, as they sold off quite a lot of them.
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This is a Colt SP-1 rifle, this was one of Colt's earliest commercial production AR15 rifles after acquiring the rights to the design from ArmaLite. The AR15 was developed by Jim Sullivan and Bob Fremont, basing it around Eugene Stoner's AR10, which was designed around the larger 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge, the AR15 being scaled down to the smaller .223 Remington, later becoming the 5.56x45mm NATO.

This was quite a revolutionary rifle for the times, the receiver is all aluminum, which is doable because of how the bolt locks into a steel collar extension of the barrel, rather than locking into the receiver body itself. This would allow the rifle to be very lightweight, yet also rather sturdy, aluminum is also rather resistant against corrosion and oxidation.
The furniture is all plastic, and the way the gun is laid out has the stock be completely straight and have the cycling of the action 100% inline with the bore and your shoulder, ensuring what little recoil there is comes pretty much completely straight back, basically completely eliminating horizontal rising, something which people hadn't really been doing until then, not in any wide scale.
This allows for the rifle to be very easy to control in rapid fire and on full-auto, in spite of being so lightweight, and it's conducive to good inherent precision.

As the stock is completely straight, the sights must be raised up to your eye level, the rear sight sitting shielded in a 'trough' running on top of the carry handle, the front sight making up a tall and shielded post, the body of the front-sight housing also being the gasblock.
The rear sight is adjustable for windage, it has a large and small 'ghost ring' aperture for short and long ranges respectively, and the front sight is adjustable for range.

The ejection port is protected by a dustcover, as soon as the bolt starts moving back, the spring-loaded door swings open, staying in place until you close it manually.
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Here's a cool production still from The Matrix, showing Keanu Reeves being operator with an M16 rifle (or an SP-1 with a full-auto conversion). I remember growing really tired of this as a film series, I didn't really like the sequels, but the first one is actually really good.
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Here's an SP1 rifle with the later style of birdcage flash hider.

The M16 would turn out to have a couple of complications when adopted and issued during the Vietnam War, and by complications I would mean enforced user error.
Mainly, after the rifle was adopted, the loading of the 5.56mm cartridge was changed, using a different powder (to save money), this powder would actually up pressure by a good bit, which would increase muzzle velocity, but also increased the cyclic rate of the action by about 200rpm more than normal, which would lead to a number of catastrophic problems.

With the action running too fast, issues you could look forward to happening would be the hammer following the bolt into battery, meaning it wasn't cocked after the last shot and pulling the trigger did nothing.
The bolt could slam into battery before it had a chance to pick up a cartridge from the magazine, leaving you with nothing at all in the chamber, meaning pulling the trigger would do nothing.
What else could happen would be that the action would open up slightly too early, which could lead to delightful things like the extractor slipping off the rim of the cartridge and not pulling the case out of the chamber, then trying to feed the next live cartridge into the ass of the spent casing, or worse, it doesn't slip off and instead tears off a chunk of the casing (which won't come out because pressure in the chamber is still too high), which still leaves the rest of the case in there and makes it bothersome to try to get it out.

Worst is that the extractor claw gets a good solid grasp on the rim of the cartridge, and extracts only the ass of the cartridge (as in it tears of the entire head of the fucking case), leaving most of it still in the chamber, then spitting out the stump of what was once a 5.56mm casing. Now you're REALLY up shit creek because you need a special armorer's tool to get that shit out, and nothing is gonna happen when you pull the trigger until you do.
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I've been told the story of the M16's initially single use magazines before, and I've heard it repeated from people I would consider reliable and knowledgeable on the subject, but with some cursory searching online, I've been unable to actually find anything to corroborate it. I've always taken it for granted that it's true, but I suppose the possibility is good that it actually isn't.
There are some myths about the M16 which don't quite die, such as the idea that the gun was made by Mattel (it wasn't), that Mattel made the original plastic furniture (they didn't).

What I could find which would argue against it would be that the original magazines issued in US service didn't tend to behave quite right out of the box, and would consistently be used loaded with just 18 rounds. These magazines had followers made out of aluminum, which you wouldn't see with later designs. This magazine was phased out eventually for a better one with a follower made out of plastic.
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Enter the M16A1, quite a lot of changes were done to it, and the end result was a very dependable and reliable rifle.
First and foremost, the recoil buffer is made heavier, what this does is it slows down the cyclic rate resulting from the overpressure ammo, it's now normalized and timing problems are eliminated, no longer will the hammer follow the bolt into battery, no longer will the action try to extract too early, no more will the action outrun the magazine, and premature wear is a thing of the past.

Another change is that the chamber and bore of the barrel is plated with chrome, this was an excellent improvement, as not only did it protect the barrel from corrosion, it extended the lifespan of the barrel, made extraction under harsh conditions much more reliable, and it made the barrel very easy to clean.

That's another thing, by the way, though the M16 had been touted by the Army as being self-cleaning, and no cleaning kits thus being issued, this was realized as a terrible error, and thus the M16A1 has a compartment in the stock where you would find an included cleaning kit.
There's this idea that the M16 had this problem of constantly needing to be cleaned, but in reality this is not true, the lack of being able to clean your rifle in the field is obviously a bad thing, but you can actually ignore cleaning the AR15 for tens of thousands of rounds.
What would likely be an issue over time would be the dirtier nature of the new gunpowder combined with the high humidity of Vietnam causing corrosion in the chamber and thus risk possibly very difficult extraction problems (sometimes referred to as 'cartridge swelling' in some sources).
With a protected barrel and a cleaning kit, this was no longer a problem, and with a normalized cyclic rate, it would be extremely unlikely get horrible problems like case head separation.
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Further improvements with the M16A1 from the M16 include things like the forward assist, situated behind the ejection port.

The forward assist is a springloaded plunger which you can use to press forward on the bolt-carrier with, there's a series of serrations cut in the A1 bolt-carrier to allow for the plunger to interact with it. The idea with the forward assist is that since the regular charging handle on the M16 isn't directly connected to the bolt and only lets you pull it rearward, there's no simple way to push the bolt forward aside from letting the spring do its job and push on it, which in some circumstances aren't enough.

The forward assist is actually a rather controversial feature, some will argue that it will only make malfunctions worse, and this isn't untrue, if used at incorrect times, the forward assist will be of no help and can make *some* things worse, it's however my opinion that there are situations where the forward assist will be the right choice of action. A common criticism is that if the bolt is just a nudge from going into battery, there's something in the way and you need to take the gun apart and address that, but fact is that there's more reasons than foreign bodies obstructing the chamber to cause the bolt to shy just out of going into battery, such as dirt and worn springs, or even a damaged magazine.
In some situations, disassembling the gun to inspect the bore isn't something you have the time or opportunity to do, and being able to force the bolt into battery so you can fire right now is more important than the risk of damage to the rifle or further malfunctions (malfunctions which may temporarily be continuously solved by the use of the forward assist).

This makes the forward assist a very contextual feature, but I would very much rather have the ability to manipulate the bolt forward than not being able to at all.
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Here's an old M16A1 with a modern day MagPul plastic magazine inserted, these magazines are good, and this rifle as pictured would likely perform flawlessly.

Yet more improvements the M16A1 features over the M16 would be for the outside of the magazine well to be machined in such a way as to provide a raised 'fence' around the magazine release, as it wasn't entirely unknown for someone to accidentally bump it and drop their magazine on the ground, protecting it on the sides like this leaves it just as accessible for the operator as before while minimizing the chances of hitting it accidentally.
Further, the flash hider was replaced, the M16A1 actually did use the three-pronged open flash hider as you saw on the M16 and SP1, but this thing could be inconvenient, as in the Vietnamese jungle it wasn't unknown for the prongs to snag on vegetation and other things, if at enough speed potentially deforming or breaking the prongs off. Eventually they were replaced by a closed front slotted 'birdcage' design, as you still see today.

An interesting note is that the original bolt-carrier group on the M16 was actually chrome plated, presumably to combat corrosion, more is that the A1 does not have a chrome plated BCG, and once the A1 was rolled out, they would actually go back to any M16 currently in the field (as soon as it came back to whatever armory it ended up in) and replace their BCGs with the A1 style, hence you will sometimes also see forward assist serrations on these rifles in spite of them not having a forward assist plunger.
I don't know if M16s in inventory would be given M16A1 recoil buffers, but assuming they would stay in inventory and have changes like the BCG swapped out, presumably they would go through the effort and expense to make the rifle function with issued ammunition, even if these rifles would probably be issued to rear echelon units, sold off to police departments domestically, or given away as foreign military aid.
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The Colt M16A2, a later step of the M16, was adopted in the 1980s, it has some improvements, and some "improvements".

Most visibly is the change in furniture, the original triangular handguards were made of a left and right half, they were somewhat brittle, and as it turns out, it was very common for just the left side to break. This was somewhat of a logistic annoyance, as it means you would end up with a lot of right side spares and have to get left side spares.
The new handguards are two halves and are identical, you just turn it around.
The pistolgrip now has a fingerstep on it, some people really hate this fingerstep because it doesn't fit their hands, I'm one of those people. It wasn't entirely unheard of for someone to grind and polish off the nub (which was probably against regulation).
The stock is the same style, but the manufacturing is slightly changed.

The rear sight is changed too, still a fixed carry handle, but now having a detachable sight unit fitting onto it, this rear sight is adjustable for windage but also elevation. Never cared for this sight, maybe good for target shooting, but I think the A1 style was enough for a combat rifle. I've heard it's very easy to accidentally 'un-zero' these sights by bumping them against something, and I've also heard that it's not true.
The lower receiver is reinforced with thicker material right behind the forward assist, where the stock/buffer begins. This was probably not necessary to do, because I've never heard of or seen an aluminum A1 lower just break at that spot. The A2 style lower receiver is one of the details most frequently missed by novices putting together an A1 clone build.
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The profile of the barrel is altered, first of all by making it thicker, the main idea being that it would heat up slower from firing, though this doesn't seem to have made much difference, the second is that there's a step in the barrel, which is for mounting an M203 grenade launcher.
Likely one of the additional intents was that it would make mounting the launcher more secure, but I've never heard of it being a problem on the thinner barrels of earlier rifles and carbines.

Other rationales includes that it would improve accuracy (but it doesn't seem the A2 barrel profile actually does), one that I've been told is the main reason is the simple fact that some soldiers had been known to sometimes use the barrels of their M16A1 rifles as pry-bars, which had in some cases lead to the barrel bending. It seems this could be easily solved by just slapping them in the back of the head and making them do pushups, but to some official somewhere this stupidity needed to be addressed with design changes.

An addition I actually like a lot is that there's a wedge behind the ejection port, this is a brass deflector, ejected (potentially pretty hot) casings would bounce against it and not come directly back against either you if you're left handed or have to fire it left handed, or possibly at the guy standing right next to you.
The thicker barrel profile, and the additional material on the receiver bodies (brass deflector and reinforced buffer housing), together make the rifle weigh a good bit more, while the M16A1 was quite lightweight and handy at 7.9lbs, the M16A2 is almost a pound heavier at 8.8lbs, which matters.
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A small detail change I also like is that the Delta Ring, the springloaded circular piece which holds the handguards in place, is made in a tapered shape for the M16A2, which makes it much easier to handle, taking off the handguards on the M16A1 with its straight Delta Ring isn't as easy.
Another minor change is that the forward assist plunger is altered in shape to be circular, rather than the extended teardrop shape, probably to make it less obtrusive.

The worst change by far on the M16A2 is that rifle is no longer straight full-auto, instead it has a burst mechanism which limits you three shots at a time. The theory is that soldiers won't waste ammunition, but there's a lot of consequences to it.
First of all, the burst mechanism affects the trigger in semi-auto as well, making the triggerpull pretty stiff and awkward, which makes accurate shots harder actually, and secondly is that the way the burst mechanism work is somewhat idiosyncratic.
What it does is that it operates on a cam which turns and then resets after 3 shots, but never otherwise, meaning if you're set on burst and pull the trigger for only 2 shots, you still have one step left on the cam, and pulling the trigger the next time, you will only get the 1 shot, as the cam resets and interrupts your firing cycle, likewise for firing only 1 shot, then you only get a 2 shot burst next time.

Once you get this, you can account for it, but it's easy to forget about in a fight, many soldiers just were never told about it and didn't get it (and often responded to as some sort of cycling malfunction and reported as such), and it still comes at the expense of a pretty bad triggerpull. This burst feature would remain on the M16A4, where it's basically never used in favor of just sticking to semi-automatic fire, where you still get that awful trigger in the way.
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Colt decided to bring back their fabled Python revolver. There's a couple of things to account for here, however.
First is that the original Colt Pyhon was a 20th century kind of revolver being manufactured in a pretty 19th century way, a lot of it essentially by knowhow which they just had in the company back in the day, ergo tribal knowledge. A lot of the manufacturing procedures which they had no simple way to do, due to the old timers who made these revolvers retiring and passing away. These days, we wouldn't make revolvers like they did.

They had finely polished deluxe finishes, a barrel with a special progressive twist rifling (which I understand was considered fancy and unusual at the time, supposedly lending itself to a little bit better precision), as well as a double-action trigger which was not just light, but very smooth, making this a fairly easy revolver to shoot in double-action.
The Python was hardly flawless, however, the lockwork which provided the nice trigger was a pretty olden design, and quite flimsy and sensitive, shooting a lot of .357 Magnum with it will eventually take its toll, and the lockwork will struggle to keep up, leading to timing issues. You can actually fix this, there are manuals for maintaining and fixing Colt revolvers of this era, but it'll keep coming back with very frequent Magnum loads.

The Colt Trooper >>93838 had a very similar design (frame and lockwork particularly), but was made much more robust, and could handle Magnum loads just fine, though the trigger couldn't be made as nice and smooth. Fact is that the Python was probably designed with .38 Special in mind, just as a deluxe target shooting revolver, but then it was decided late in development that it should be in .357 Magnum, and either time wasn't put in to make it adequately hardened for this, or Colt couldn't figure out a way how to do that without sacrificing the really good trigger.
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Someone on /k/ described the issues of the Colt Python in a concise yet detailed way, so I'll just post this screencap for reference.

The Colt Anaconda was a more modernized take on the Python, done with much more modernized way of manufacture. It's not perfect either, but overall it's actually a very well put together gun, probably one of the last truly good Colt revolvers.
Though the surface heat treated internals can be an issue for replacing worn out parts, and they're not freely interchangeable or easily swapped between guns, what the Colt Anaconda actually has going for it is that the frame, cylinder, lockup, and forcing cone, are all VERY robust.

The Anaconda was available in two cartridges, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt, the latter which with modern brass you could hotrod to make loads comparable to off the shelf .44 Magnum loads, and even beyond that, almost approaching the output of .454 Casull, not to talk about particularly high pressure loads of .44 Magnum
Buffalo Bore is a company which makes very powerful ammunition for various cartridges, and for their extra hot loads of .44 Magnum and .45 Colt, they specify among others, the Colt Anaconda as one of the revolvers which are suitable for this sort of power, and warn against loading their ammunition in guns which they don't specifically list by name.
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So Colt does their new take on the Python, they use CNC machining and other modern techniques, and they change some things on the design.

The lockwork is the big part, infamously weak, they completely redesign it, the frame is altered to be stronger to prevent stretching.
I see other changes, though I'm not 100% certain about the reasons for them, I'll note them; the locking recesses on the cylinder are elongated (possibly related to the triggerpull), the extractor star has a distinct triangular shape (which looks pretty cool actually), and the exact shape and spacing of the ventrib on the barrel is altered.
The 2020 Python doesn't look that bad, the fit and finish isn't as deluxe and fine, but it's alright. The triggerpull is pretty decent, precision isn't bad.
It's not as good as the original Python in some ways, but in others it's actually better, and for $1400 it's a hell of a lot cheaper than buying an original Python.

HOWEVER, there are some problems.

First is that some people have received their gun and taken it out of the box and noticed that the muzzle is damaged, dinged like someone dropped it on a concrete floor or something. Doesn't seem like it would affect accuracy, but it's not acceptable for $1400 gun.
The other is the lockwork, turns out what happens after you shoot it for a bit is that the cylinder hand stops indexing, you can pull the trigger repeatedly and the hammer will cock and drop over and over, but the cylinder won't index the next chamber. The culprit for this turns out to be one of the springs, it stops properly driving the cylinder hand like it should, eventually it starts to again but it'll keep happening. This would actually be a pretty simple problem to solve, just replace the spring and the gun should work just fine, and then be a pretty nice revolver (assuming you don't have a dinged muzzle), issue is that A), this seems to be a common problem, suggesting that the manufacture of this spring was done incorrectly, and B), is still unacceptable for a $1400 gun.

You're not getting a lazy spring or a dinged muzzle for guns at half or less of the price from Ruger or Smith & Wesson, but that's not even that surprising. Colt is what it is these days.
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Some eye candy.
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This is a Zastava M84, a licensed clone of the Czechoslovakian Vz.61 machinepistol.
Quite simple, .32 Auto (often called 7.65mm Browning in Europe), straight blowback, fires from a closed bolt, and feeds from 10rd and 20rd detachable magazines. It's a very compact automatic weapon, meant to be the size of about a large service pistol.
It's easy to carry on your hip and is unobtrusive.

.32 Auto isn't the most potent pistol cartridge, but together with the Skorpion's rate of fire reducer, it makes this a very easy weapon to control, even with the stock folded up and shooting with one hand, this gun barely rises on you, it's easy to put a good and solid salvo on target at close range, and even easier with the stock and a two hand grip. With armor piercing ammunition (however little armor this might pierce), it would probably be decent.

Mainly this kind of gun was intended as a defensive weapon for armored vehicle crew, say your tank or armored carrier took a bad hit and you need to bail to not be cooked alive, this kind of weapon would offer better defensive capabilities than just a normal pistol.
It would be carried with a 10rd magazine so it's easy to fit and pull from the holster, then your spare magazines are 20rd.
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A loaded 20rd magazine for a Skorpion. It's a good design, curved to let the semi-rimmed .32 Auto cartridge stack comfortably, and two position feed. Compact.

In one way it's a shame that there's no larger capacity magazines, given how easy it is to rattle rounds onto target with these guns, but on the other hand they're a defensive weapon you use while retreating, and designed to be unobtrusive.
Drums exist for soft airgun imitations, so clearly someone else had the idea. Would be fun for recreational uses at least.
Dissasembled M84
Colt Delta Elite, a Series 80 1911 in 10x25mm Auto, a fairly powerful cartridge, more powerful than .45 Auto, and pretty much the upper limit of what you can do with the 1911 without having to redesign the frame and stuff. Some people like to handload and push 10mm Auto to higher pressure territories, which the Delta Elite isn't particularly suitable for, normal factory ammo is the safer choice, someone who wants to load up much hotter would best be looking for another pistol in the caliber.

This is a new model with Novak sights.
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Original model Delta Elite pistol, notice the wraparound grips.
I never was too fond of 'combat', or 'ring' style hammers, not even on 1911s, but on the Delta Elite I think it looks just right.
I definitely prefer Novak style sights to these, however.
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This is a PTR91, it's an American clone of the German H&K G3 or HK91 (which in turn was licensed from the Spanish CETME Modelo B).
This one is outfitted with wooden furniture and a lower receiver with a separate pistolgrip, looking much like Spanish CETME rifles and early service G3 rifles.

Precision Target Rifles have been making G3/HK91 clones for many years now, and they've grown quite good at it, they're available in many configurations and with many options, and the basic models are quite affordable, usually going for a bit below $1000, sometimes below $900, which is a great deal for a full sized 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Winchester battle rifle.
Seen in this photo is also a huge stack of magazines, exemplar of how cheap and abundant the standard German aluminum 20rd magazines are.
5 star thread so far
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I always thought Crimson Skies was a really goddamn cool game for its alternate history dieselpunk setting. It's a ridiculous game with ridiculous planes doing ridiculous things, you even get to steal the Spruce Goose from Howard Hughes.

In real life, Zeppelins are notoriously fragile and completely unfit for any kind of combat role, they're very easy to cripple and will eat absolute shit in some stormy weather. In Crimson Skies, they're more like airborne hangar ships, loaded down with flak guns and turrets, letting off fighter planes to attack you, rather than your bullets just penetrating the hydrogen envelopes and leaking gas, and/or setting them on fire, these big blimps are bulletproof and near missile proof, the only way to destroy them is to fire rockets into their broadside cannons when they open their hatches.

It's a completely ridiculous game which takes a lot of liberties with aviation and action, and I love it.

Thanks I suppose.
Some gameplay footage of the first mission of the first part of the game, you fight the British Empire and steal Spanish gold from under their nose, later on you get to raid and capture a Zeppelin bay from them:
I said earlier how Zeppelins are flying fortresses, and generally they are, but the one you face in the first mission is a cargo liner which is carrying a load of propane tanks.
I got this game for free with a family computer way back in the early 2000s, couldn't have been more satisfied with a freebie.

There's a focus on doing daring aerial stunts, with a lot of unrealistic maneuverability and agility, so you have a lot of license to do crazy daredevil shit, the game encourages you to and takes snapshots of it, and sometimes they're even mission objectives.
The game has some pretty top notch voice acting too.
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The C96 Mauser was one of the earliest commercially successful automatic pistols, doing the right thing by using a short-recoil action with a tilting locking block.

The 7.63x25mm Mauser cartridge (that's 7.63, not 7.62) is fairly similar to the later Russian 7.62x25mm Tokarev cartridge, to the point that you can actually load and fire the 7.63mm Mauser ammunition in a 7.62mm Tokarev pistol (though you're advised to not do the opposite). Performance is pretty good, with a 58gr projectile going at +1200fps, this was a pretty powerful pistol for the time, and the 10rd magazine was pretty generous in an era of 6 to 8 shot revolvers.

It's a very elegant looking pistol.
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I have some criticisms of the C96 as a pistol, the gun is rather tall, the barrel far up on the gun, the grip far down and to the rear, this makes for a very tall bore axis and makes the pistol somewhat flippy in recoil. It overall has the form factor of a revolver.

The magazine in most of the Mauser made ones is fixed to the gun, detachable magazine models would come a lot later, and first on unlicensed clones of the C96. The magazine is loaded with stripper clips, like infantry bolt-action rifles of the day, in fact the C96 uses the same magazine design as the Mauser 98 rifles, just scaled down for the pistol cartridge, which Paul Mauser would brag about a little.
For the time, it makes sense, as it's far cheaper and easier to stamp a stripperclip out of brass than to build numerous magazines, and you're still looking at a huge speed advantage over any revolver, with some practice.

The sights are adjustable, and ranged out to 1000 meters, a range which is honestly optimistic for the average rifle. It's already rather challenging to shoot at a target at half that distance, if you even spot them. The 7.63mm Mauser cartridge has a pretty flat trajectory, but you're still looking at angling the pistol like an artillery piece at ranges like those. Leave it sighted in at a low setting for best results.
The C96 isn't just a pistol though. At the end of the 1800s and for the first couple of decades of the 1900s, there was this popular idea of having an optional stock you could attach to a pistol, to let you aim it from the shoulder, making rapid fire and shooting at longer distances easier.

The C96 was one of the earliest automatic pistols to toy with this idea, and had the idea of having its stock double as its holster, thereby you could attach it to your belt and have the stock ready for grabbing and attaching if you felt using the pistol as a carbine was necessary.
The 1000m sights are still pretty silly at these ranges, but with the stock tight against your shoulder, and grabbing the front of the magwell to support the gun, you could definitely make some good shots at 50m, no sweat.

As a light carbine, I think the C96 is actually pretty radical. It compacts well for storage, fitting in its own stock, and rapid fire is quite easy when fully deployed. It's also a bit easier to hold onto the gun for stripping the clip into the magazine.
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So an extended magazine of 20 rounds sounds like a great idea, and Mauser thought so too, thus one of the demonstration models they came up with was a C96 with just that.

Issue is, this is a fixed 20rd magazine. These were frequently sent in packages with other variants of the C96, just to see if anyone would like it, as it turns out, no, not really. What happens when you strip a 10rd clip into the C96s magazine is that the bolt slams shut once you remove the clip, which for the normal pistol is fine, but for the extended one gets in the way of its gimmick, you need to manually hold the bolt back and try to fit and strip the second clip in there, and the spring is actually rather stiff once 10rds are already loaded.
You could put in the effort to load the extra 20 rounds in advance, but on the battlefield or any combat situation, you're probably not going to want to struggle with that.

These models were not liked by anyone, and thus saw basically no sales, Mauser had made a few of these pistols and they just lingered in their catalogue for years. They're rare now, extra collectible.
Companies making unlicensed clones of the C96 later one-ups Mauser with detachable magazine models, of 10rd capacity but also 20rd capacity, considerably easier to load in advance and then reload with as necessary.
Whew, stocking up on goods for Corona sure makes you busy.

Anyway, this is a C96 pistol, in basically every way, it's the same as the normal one, except that this one is chambered not for the regular 7.63x25mm Mauser cartridge, but for the 9x25mm Mauser cartridge, essentially the 7.63mm cartridge necked up to a straightwalled 9mm cartridge.
Ballistics for the 9mm Mauser cartridge would in a typical commercial loading be a 128gr bullet going 1350fps from such a pistol as this, which isn't all too far off from the .38 Super cartridge, as designed for the American 1911 pistol. From the longer barrel of a subgun (which there were some of), supposedly it could achieve 1500fps.

These pistols were intended for export markets, hence the cartridge is sometimes nicknamed 9mm Mauser Export. Mainly these pistols were intended for distant foreign markets away from Europe and North America, aimed for Africa, South America, and Asia.
They're quite rare today.
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And for something briefly different, here's a small cut from the Michael Mann movie Heat, showing Val Kilmer operating operationally with a Colt M733, he's got pretty good shooting form here, the reload is great.

Very entertaining movie, has some great shootouts in it. What I like especially is that Michael Mann is a bit of a gun guy, and intentionally left in the recorded noise of the blank firing guns, rather than having stock archive noises applied, the result is that the gunfights actually come across as appropriately loud. Supposedly some of the actors volunteered to not wear earplugs (which would have to be digitally removed in post), Val Kilmer being among these, and he lost some hearing from a scene where he fires this 5.56mm carbine from inside of a car.

I also am very fond of the exaggerated star-like muzzleflash you get with flashy movie blanks and birdcage flash-hiders.
The COP Derringer is a four shot double-action pistol in .357 Magnum, you break it open and load four cartridges, close it, then it's ready to fire four times. It's very compact, and with smooth lines to it, at a glance, it seems like a pretty cool idea, four powerful shots, right?

The reality is less amazing. To start with, this is actually a pretty heavy pistol, it's all steel, small sure, but very dense. An old police officer told of how he bought one back when it came out, thinking it would be a great backup gun to strap on an ankle holster, only he would soon notice that this heavy lump of steel on his ankle was affecting how he walked, he noticed he gained a strange gait from it, and it was uncomfortable. He eventually traded it for a much smaller and lighter pistol, a little pocket pistol in .25 Auto, which had no affect on his walk.

It's not a particularly 'good' pistol for what it is, the trigger is quite long and stiff, making it hard to fire rapidly and with precision, though precision goes out the window when you learn that each of the four barrels hit at four distinct points, they aren't actually 'regulated' together worth a damn, and hitting anything at near any range is quite difficult, the sights are practically for show. .357 Magnum is also incredibly loud and makes a lot of flash from a short barrel like this, and has kind of a painful recoil with this thing, shooting it with .38 Special would be nicer, but it doesn't improve the other things.
This would be a difficult gun to put to use past a couple of feet from the muzzle, and it was relegated to film and fiction, where its good looks was what mattered.

Here's a 1 minute video demonstrating it loaded and fired: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKu0RXCB6G4
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I've been neglecting this.

The CZ82 is a Czech derivative of the Walther PP pistol, same blowback action with the recoil spring around the barrel, same double-action/single-action trigger, same disassembly procedure by pulling down the trigger guard. The significant difference here is that the CZ82 uses a double-stack magazine, allowing for higher capacity, making for a capacity of 12+1 vs the PP's 7+1 in a comparable caliber.

The CZ83 is a commercial variant, chambered for .380 Auto, versus the Czech Military/Warsaw Pact 9mm Makarov cartridge of the regular model. The cartridges are very similar, so the design change was trivial.
A Makarov pistol with aftermarket wood grips, as opposed to the brown plastic ones which is standard to them.
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A Walther PP in 7.65mm Browning, ergo .32 Auto, made under license by Manurhin in France. This is one of the nicer made examples, as typical for Manurhin's manufacturing standards.
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PPK in .380 Auto, with some custom wood grips.
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Hungarian FEG PA-63, these are even closer clones of the Walther PP than the Russian Makarov pistol, emulating much of the lines.
This one is in 9x18mm Makarov, I don't know if they made a commercial export model in .380 Auto, but it wouldn't surprise me, given how little effort would be required.

This one has some custom grips featuring Tenryuu from that Kantai Collection thing. I don't know anything about her except that she's cute and has some nice big titties. Presumably the owner of this pistol is rather fond of her, and said titties.
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That crazy bitch from BNHA.
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An engraved Astra Cub pistol in .25 Auto, sporting fake pearl grips, these are simple guns, blowback, hammer fired, single-stack magazine. Colt imported these into the US at some point, rebranding them as the Colt Junior.
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A chapter spread from the manga Gunsmith Cats, showing Rally Vincent pointing an AR7 rifle towards the viewer.
The AR7 rifle seems unremarkable at a glance, it's in .22 Long Rifle, it's a blowback semi-automatic, and it uses a single-stack magazine.

So what makes it remarkable and interesting?
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Well, the AR7 can have its barrel removed by unscrewing the nut on the front of the receiver, and it can have its stock removed by unscrewing a big bolt inside the grip. What you can do then is to take off the buttcap on the stock, and then slide in the barrel in a long compartment, and the action inside of another compartment; the AR7 can be easily disassembled and then stored inside of its own stock for storage.

The gimmick of the AR7 is to be a very lightweight rifle which stores easily, it doesn't get in the way or add too much weight on for instance a plane or helicopter, and the idea is if you get stranded in the wilderness somewhere, you can take the rifle out and assemble it, and then you have a small caliber rifle with which you can forage for food to survive.
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The AR7 was originally designed by Eugene Stoner, of AR10, AR15, AR18, and Stoner 63 fame, and sold by ArmaLite, as the AR7, 'ArmaLite Rifle 7'
The rifle is famously seen in some of the early James Bond movies, where Sean Connery is at one point shown shooting down a helicopter with one, amazingly. Presumably the rifle was chosen because of how neat and 'gadgety' it was.

The rights to the design changed hands a few times over the years, at one point Charter Arms made them, these are generally regarded as the lowest quality. They were later made by Survival Arms, and eventually as the patents expired, Henry Arms started making their own, which I understand are mostly nicer. The AR7 was supposed to float in water, so it could be more easily located/retrieved in disaster situations, but generally they never floated very well, the Henry made ones actually float for a while, but eventually they will apparently sink.
Henry also tweaked the compartment design some so that you could store the receiver with a magazine inserted, rather than having to remove it, like on the older variants, thus allowing you to store the gun in its stock with one magazine loaded, and then two spares.
So here's the pistol variant which Charter Arms made of the AR7. Kinda looks like a C96 pistol if you squint or take off your glasses, and that was their idea.
Charter Arms also made some long and curved higher capacity magazines for the AR7, these are supposedly pretty poor quality, which is unsurprising.
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The cover to some Sega Saturn game called Mass Destruction. I've never played it, and know nothing at all about it, but I just like it at a glance (apparently it's not bad, but went kind of unnoticed).
You've got this ridiculous battle tank with two coaxial machineguns blasting away, you've got soldiers being caught up in the threads of the tank, one coming out flattened in a completely cartoonish manner, a big fiery mushroom cloud in the background, and then the main gun on the tank, having fired so much that it's glowing hot, and starting to melt.

Skimming some footage on YouTube, it strikes me as having that very particular 90s cavalier attitude towards violence in a cartoonish fashion, akin to Re-Loaded, Twisted Metal, Worms, Grand Theft Auto, etc. We have violent videogames today, some of those franchises still exist, but there's something about the style, aesthetics, and attitude. It's not quite the same.
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Goddamn, noting that the Mass Destruction cover reminded me of Re-Loaded had me go down a memory trip about that game.

>"Hey, that game maybe has some neat sprites and textures, wonder if I can find those ripped somewhere?"
The answer to that has so far been a resounding NO, but what I did find was some gameplay footage of the Playstation version, and the same for the original game Loaded, which made me track down the soundtrack.
Some Googling turned up an entire website dedicated to developer Gremlin Graphics, which I simply didn't expect; it's an entire archive about basically everything they did, with scans and everything, even old office ID cards from back when the company existed, which struck me as surreal at first, because how would someone even find shit like that, that company went poof 20+ years ago, you'd be lucky if someone still had shit like that lying around in some old drawer, and that it wasn't at the bottom of some landfill.

Turns out they're writing some sort of history book about the company (1984 - 1999), so I assume he would actually be interviewing people who worked there, and that they probably had all kinds of old crap in some box in their respective attic/basement which he could dig through.
I'll post some of the cool art and stuff he scanned, because I like a lot of the aesthetics and the style, but there's far more on the website, which is https://www.gremlinarchive.com/

This is the cover for the 'bigbox' version of the game, which is apparently pretty rare. I actually have this box somewhere, but it's not exactly in very nice shape, being that it's some game a kid picked up for a fistfull of change from some bargain shelf in like, maybe 1998 or 1999, god it was long ago, I was not old at all. It was probably in ok shape when I bought it, but it's seen better days, missing all the content except the game itself, and being held together around the edges by tape.
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The back of the box, showing some more of the character art.
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I think this is the cover for the included comicbook for the first game. As you see, there's some big names attached to it.
Art of Cap'n Hands (a pun on his appearance, obviously), I think he was some sort of undead robot space pirate. Vaguely reminds me of Caleb from Blood, probably because of the red eyes and having a hat and all.
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This may or may not be F.U.B or C.H.E.B, the antagonist of the games, and I have no fucking idea if it is because I kind of struggle to find much information about the game, and much more art. I guess it has to be, because the description I read was that 'Fat Ugly Boy' amputated his legs and served them as food, which somehow set off this insane story. He later becomes 'Charming Handsome Erudite Bastard' in the sequel.
My favorite character to play I remember was Bounca, in the second game wearing a pink suit and sporting a huge shotgun, which was quite helpful for fighting off groups or mobile targets. I can't for the life of me find the concept art for him, only a very murky promotional render. It's a shame, because the art is really cool.

In truth, I can't really remember if the game was even particularly good, because I was a kid and had no real good barometer for shit like that. It has some cool aesthetics and some cool music though. The first game also has some cool music.
Here's the introduction cinematics for each of the playable characters in Re-Loaded:
A final thing on Loaded and Re-Loaded, the music for these games is actually pretty sick, especially for the first game:

I think this is supposed to be the more common cover for Re-Loaded.
You can actually get Re-Loaded on Steam, but DON'T BUY IT, it's like $6.99 and not only is it seriously just the Playstation version running on ePSXe (which has to be the laziest solution I've ever seen in my life considering you could just as easily have DosBox'd the PC version), it has always online DRM, in spite of being a single player game with local multiplayer and no online.

If you want to play these games, just pirate them instead, the people who developed the game sure aren't seeing a dime from that shitty excuse for an offer.
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Art depicting one of the boss battles in Metroid Fusion.

Metroid Fusion takes place after Super Metroid, and has a lot of similarities, though it's more advanced in movement options and maneuvering (in spite of having two less buttons to work with), the progression is also more linear (which some people dislike). In spite of being more linear, I think it's a pretty cool game, and there's still a lot of exploration to do.
The graphics, visual design, and the sound design, are all great, the bosses look great, and the environments too, it's top tier 32-bit pixel art.
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Posting some more cute girls.
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This might be official art for Metroid Fusion. Incidentally, Metroid Fusion shares its game engine with Wario Land 4. Never played WL4, but I seriously love Wario Land and Wario Land 2.
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So I played Return To Castle Wolfenstein, and in my opinion still the peak of the series, in some ways the later games have slightly tighter shooting mechanics, but the enemies and level design is better, also it has much stronger atmosphere.
As you escape from Castle Wolfenstein and go through the nearby village, you then make your way to a crypt excavation, immediately you're faced with all this occult shit with undead monsters and these poor doomed Wehrmacht soldiers desperately fighting to survive as they get torn limb to limb and eaten alive, which you get to see and hear some of.

There's the shambling corpses who sometimes look mummified, empty eye sockets, they throw seeking ghost projectiles at you and then when closing the distance, they'll try stick to you to take bites out of you. Then there's the knights, glowing eyes, geared with helmets, battle axes, and shields which are fully capable of deflecting even 7.92x57mm Mauser bullets or saboted high-velocity 12.7mm bullets, right back at you if you're unlucky (presumably these shields are enchanted, because otherwise the projectiles wouldn't retain their velocity or deflect like they do), they'll raise the shields as they move in towards you, forcing you to back off and try to circle them, kicking them in the shin/sides/back as you try to angle your shots around their defense, or try to time a grenade right at their feet.
Another that you see less often is the guy who's on fire, breathing a long jet of flames towards you (or some German), he's got more range than you'd think, and obviously is the one zombie the flamethrower does nothing to.

Aside from the knights, all these guys will actually get back up again after you gun them down, so you'll really want to keep shooting and kicking until their body shatters and they can't reanimate anymore.
I love how cool the monsters are in this game. I must also say that the undead levels make fantastic use out of lighting, ambient sound, and music.
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Besides the undead, Return To Castle Wolfenstein also has some great monsters built by science. The Loper is some ridiculous monstrosity with no legs, walking on its arms, blasting arcs of lightning at you (and everyone else) with its tesla coil device.

These guys are complete dicks, they jump around and lunge at you, and their thunderbolts have ridiculous range, they can kill you pretty quick and are kind of good at dodging. The upside is that they are completely feral and will zap whatever Nazi troopers or scientists it finds just as well as it'll zap you. I find the weapon that works the best on them is the Flamethrower, mostly because you can douse them with a charge of flaming fuel, and then run and hide so they can't zap you, as they burn away and perish. Trying to face them in a regular gunfight I feel is not worth it as they'll almost certainly take more than half your health in exchange, they're too fast for grenades, and blasting them with a Panzerfaust I feel is wasteful.

I really like how these guys look mean as hell, and definitely live up to it. Great monster, and it's almost a shame you only get to face them in one level.
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As you delve into the X-Labs, aside from bumping into more of the fucking horrible Lopers, you'll also see the Prototype Super Soldiers.

These guys aren't trivial, they'll tank lots of damage, and are well armed. Unlike the Lopers, they're also loyal and in control, and won't just senselessly gun down everything in sight, rather they will focus on blowing you into smithereens, or hunting down and destroying escaped Lopers (which they usually accomplish well). Unlike the Lopers, you will also see these a few times after the X-Labs.
They have pretty good aim with their machine guns, and also sometimes have rocket munitions, they will also try to avoid grenades and explosives, on top of completely shrugging off the flamethrower, so you really can't be as cheap with them as you can with Lopers.
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There's the Prototype Super Soldiers, then there's the finally realized ones.

These guys are absolutely tedious cunts, not only do they have the same machineguns and rockets as the prototypes, not only do they tank MUCH more damage, but they also have a fully functional Tesla weapon. Unlike the Lopers, where they have to get relatively close to you to connect their arcs of lightning, giving you some room to maneuver, these guys have LONG fucking range and can connect those thunderbolts with great accuracy from a far distance, you absolutely HAVE to hide from them if you don't want to be cooked like a hotdog in a microwave oven, cover is mandatory. They're very rare in the game, but at one point you have to fight two at the same time, and they're merciless.

The design is cool as fuck though, this Frankenstein's monster sort of thing, full of cybernetic parts and decked out in heavy armor, armor which you gradually blast off as you do damage to them. Of all the bosses in the Wolfenstein series, these are one of my favorite, both for the challenge, and for the design.
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Complete change of gear for a moment. This is a male to male extension cord, called by electricians a Suicide Cord. The reason why is very simple, unlike other extension cords, this gives you two completely exposed contact surfaces which are 100% live and connected to the wall outlet, if you so much as touch the prongs, you will fucking die.

Don't make one of these, there's a reason you cannot go and buy them in stores, and these cords are almost always hand made by someone who doesn't know better, and/or should know better. The way these are usually made will preclude them from tripping your circuit breaker or fusebox, meaning once the zapping starts it will not stop until you break contact, which may be very difficult to do when being electrified.

I find the entire notion of these existing to be somehow hilarious, because of what a ridiculously dangerous and irresponsible item they are.
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More pretty girls for a bit. I've never played Darkstalkers/Vampire Savior, but I think Lilith is cute as hell, and Morrigan isn't bad either.
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I've been a bit absent lately, as I've been heavily invested in a project. >>>/vr/'s Doom/FPS General is doing a mapping project for Doom, the rules are to make it in Boom format, and the level has to fit within a 2048x2048 square (generally). The deadline was first on the 18th of July, and was then extended to the 26th, and I've been very busy building ever since.

Started out with one map, one which doesn't strictly fit the 2048x2048 criteria like it should (thus assigning it to the 'reject pile', which will be included as a side thing), and I spent all time until the 18th just building that thing. When the deadline was extended, I figured I'd do another map, then actually sticking to the 2048 limitation, and I found that it was actually a lot quicker and more straightforward.

To expand on the limitation, a kind of speedmapping project which used to be popular on places like Doomworld was a 1024 project, which would be a map where the playable space fits inside a 1024x1024 square (anything outside of the playable area can be as big as you want), this would be a pretty small map, and the challenge was to make something that was good which fit inside that constraint. These projects were done often enough that people got sick of making them, and people got sick of playing them.
2048x2048 would thus be double the space, and what I've found as I'm mapping is that it's actually a very comfortable limit, it lets you do quite a lot more than the rather tiny 1024, but it's not so big as to let you get completely carried away, because sooner or later you will start to run out of space and you force yourself to make the map end.
Bump with a screenshot of one of my contributions to the project. I ended up contributing multiple maps, as well as a bunch of other things.
It ended up being a great learning experience, I got some harsh, but very fair and accurate criticism to my maps, and I took that to heart and adapted my work as best as I could based on that, and it seems the results have been very good. I feel I learned a lot about making maps for Doom (Boom format).

My submissions are Map 07, Map 28, and Map 30 for the main megawad. As there were more than 32 map submissions (which I wasn't expecting, the output ended up being quite great), extra ones are packed in a second .wad file, where I have two additional maps, which didn't make the cut because they didn't fit the 2048 size constraint (the first one based on a misunderstanding, the second one based on me pretty much just winging it and figuring "Eh, it'll probably fit." and then it didn't.
Alright, 2048 Units Of /vr/ is approaching a final version, so I'll post a few screenshots I've taken.
Then I figure I'll want to write some things.

The maps I submitted are
>Map 07 : Forsaken Stockades (pictured)
>Map 28 : Bleak Cinders
>Map 30 : Tyrant's Starless Realms
>Extra Map 01: Vehement Onslaught
>Extra Map 02: The Dark Below
I also did some tweaks on Map 14 : Shipwreck Cavern, and did a number of graphics, like Sky 2 and 3, Intermission Pic, and the new Final Boss graphic in Map 30.
I also did the Brightmaps for the new textures.

Included with the levelset is an optional weapon replacement pack one can run in GzDoom, for the most part, functional weapon behavior is mostly the same as vanilla Doom, and it's mostly a cosmetic thing. There is also a stripped down version of that set by hackfraud, which runs in DeHacked, meaning it would run in typical vanilla and Boom derived ports.

Link to download here: https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/116497-2048-units-of-vr-boom-megawad-for-doom-ii/
During beta testing, some maps were looking rough and were not that fun to play, and I had a slight panic inside, that all the early maps would be weak, and people would just lose patience/interest and drop the entire levelset before getting to any of my entries. I feel I was kind of shitty about how I expressed that.

However, over time, the maps would see a lot of improvements, levels which I thought were just kind of ok would bloom into excellent ones after their authors would revision them in response to criticism (I really can't overstate how important the critics were to our development). The order of levels would also be rearranged, and I think that new order was stronger and more 'even'.

Overall, I think that the final set of levels (now just having the last polish/bugfixing done) is actually quite good, and I'm not just proud for my own efforts, I'm also proud for the efforts of everyone else, I think that /doom/ really made something very good over the summer of 2020.
Alright, 2048 Units Of /vr/ has been updated to version 1.2, fixing some bugs and potential softlocks. The weapon set now has a BFG replacement as well.
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