Monday, November 28, 2011

Gun Nut Roundup Nov. 2011

Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Bill Passes House

H.R. 822, the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011” a bill being championed by the National Rifle Association, recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.  According to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, “This legislation requires states that currently allow people to carry concealed firearms to recognize other states’ valid concealed carry permits, much like states recognize driver’s licenses issued by other states."  Several anti-gun amendments to the bill were defeated.

The bill may now be voted on by the Senate and if it passes there would have to be signed into law by the president.

Operation Iraqi Subjugation

After America spent God knows how much blood and treasure on "Operation Iraqi Freedom," the new Iraqi government seeks to strip the Iraqi people of the freedom to own firearms, according to a recent Radio Free Europe (RFE) report

According to the article, the proposed bill would lay down "strict requirements for licensing the possession of arms to ensure that the state and its respective security organs have a monopoly on the use of weapons."  Never mind that in these third-world shitholes "the state and its respective security organs" are the ones often committing violence and the ones that the people need arms to defend themselves from.

RFE says that Abbas al-Bayati, the deputy chairman of the parliament's Security and Defense Committee, said that "the army, police, and security agencies alone will be responsible for protecting the people, whose sole duty is to cooperate with those forces and report any suspicious activity to the authorities."  Glad we got rid of that pesky dictatorship and replaced it with parliamentary democracy!  Let us remember the 1992 words of Marvin Simkin: "Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote."  (No, Benjamin Franklin never said that.)

Survey Says: Guns Are Awesome

The latest annual Gallup Crime poll showed continued declines in support for restrictions on gun ownership among Americans.  Key findings in the poll:
  1. "A record-low 26% of Americans favor a legal ban on the possession of handguns in the United States other than by police and other authorized people. When Gallup first asked Americans this question in 1959, 60% favored banning handguns. But since 1975, the majority of Americans have opposed such a measure, with opposition around 70% in recent years."
  2. "For the first time, Gallup finds greater opposition to than support for a ban on semiautomatic guns or assault rifles, 53% to 43%. In the initial asking of this question in 1996, the numbers were nearly reversed, with 57% for and 42% against an assault rifle ban. Congress passed such a ban in 1994, but the law expired when Congress did not act to renew it in 2004. Around the time the law expired, Americans were about evenly divided in their views." 
  3. "Additionally, support for the broader concept of making gun laws "more strict" is at its lowest by one percentage point (43%). Forty-four percent prefer that gun laws be kept as they are now, while 11% favor less strict laws."
So to Sarah Brady, Carolyn McCarthy, Michael Bloomberg, Josh Sugarmann, et al: Eat my shorts!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vet Kicked From Class On Vets Day

On Veterans Day, a day we typically honor veterans, an Iowa two-time Iraq war vet was being kicked to the curb by Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) staff.  The veteran was turned away from class at the Ankeny campus because he had a service dog assisting him and the teacher felt it may be a distraction to other students.  By law service animals must be admitted unless they are behaving inappropriately.

DMACC Professor:
"Screw you, baby killer, and
your little dog too!"

The dog helps the veteran with his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Nicole Shumate, the executive director of a local nonprofit that trains service dogs explains:  "A lot of times what the dog will do, is sometimes they will stand right in front of you so no one can approach too closely. They will watch behind you so if someone approaches behind you they will wag their tail, so the recipient will only see the tail wagging and it's just awareness that someone is close behind you.”

Although the instructor has since apologized, local veteran's groups remain livid.  Harry Goldsmith, president of the local VFW post told us, "I can't believe my generation fought the Japs, Krauts, and both Italian soldiers for some fascist shenanigans like this to... Zzzzzzzzzz."  The commander of the Des Moines chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Association, Huey Smith said, "I'd like to frag that teacher's commie ass!"  The Des Moines chapter of the Fraternal Veterans of the Great War did not return our calls.

Mr. Snuggikins:
Dreaded scourge of academia
 However some were supportive of the teacher's decision.  Richard Johnson, spokesman for the DMACC Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, or Attracted to Sock Puppets Alliance (GLBTASPA) told Ben and Bawb's Blog that the teacher made the right call.  "Our group was sponsoring our second annual Carmen Miranda dress-up week.  One of our members was in that class and had adorned his shoulder with a colorful live macaw, which would have been frightened by that big brute's dog."

Check back here often for fair and objective reporting on this and other issues.

[Proffesor's quote based upon actual words he has probably spoken in the course of his life, though probably not all once.]

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Here's a pretty cool little video I found on youtube full of all the little gaffes, lies, and sheer stupidity of the Obamassiah the MSM gave him a pass on. Looks like the guy who made it must be some kind of genius. I'll bet he makes a sequel.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


In roving about, I happened to find a few quotes from the Obamessiah on how he thinks about and interprets the U.S. Constitution that are, to me, truly chilling. But first, one of his many, many unreported gaffes:

The Constitution was, "...put to paper nearly 20 centuries ago.”

Can you imagine the hullabaloo if Sarah Palin had said that? Instead, you never heard of it.

Anyway, with the Constitution apparently being some 2,000 years old, it's no wonder Barack finds it so "flawed". Here are some quotes direct from the horse's a..., uh mouth, some from a radio interview and some from a college thesis, before Mr. Transparency was able to use the office of President to seal all of his own records by Executive Order. Not that he has anything to hide, mind you.

"But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH wealth, and of more basic issues such as POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE in society."

"It [the Warren Court] didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution...the CONSTITUTION IS A CHARTER OF NEGATIVE LIBERTIES."

"Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state GOVERNMENT MUST DO ON YOUR BEHALF."

"While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH is not even mentioned. "

"While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy."

Yeah, I've often wondered why the Founding Fathers never invoked Karl Marx myself. At any rate, the quotes above certainly explain this:

Sunday, November 13, 2011



As if the Cow Cops and Goat Gestapo weren't bad enough, now we have the Picnic Police. If anyone still thinks the government is not insanely out of control raise your hand. You, the Monsanto guy, you don't count.

Authorities Raid Picnic in Nevada--Force Chef to Pour Bleach on Good Food.

Once State authoritarians learned that the farm was hosting a picnic without their permission, they descended like flies upon a dying carcass. The authoritarians demanded the farm purchase permission from them to host the event or face an enormous fine; which the farm agreed to do. But clearly, this just wasn’t good enough for the authoritarians.

After purchasing permission to host the event from the Nevada Health District, the farm was told that the permit would be delivered by a health inspector on the day of the event. So the farm went about preparing for the event as it normally would, fully expecting to be issued a permit on the day of the picnic. Well it turns out that Mary G. Oakes, the health inspector for the event, didn’t show up until their guests were arriving!

By the time the inspector showed up, the farm had already begun preparation of the food for the event. This threw the inspector into an authoritarian rage, who began yelling “NOTHING TAKES PLACE UNTIL YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION!” When the farmers asked why they couldn’t continue preparing food as the inspection was underway, the inspector simply stamped her feet and said “because I said so.” – no valid reason was ever provided.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

VETERAN'S DAY CHUCKLE: The Corpseman Cometh

For the benefit of those who get their information from the MSM, one of Barack's s many, many, many "overlooked" gaffes was to refer to a Navy Corpsman as a "Corpseman" (more than once) during a speech. Some days he can't even deliver coherent speech when reading from the TOTUS.

What? You didn't hear about that little gaffe? But I'll bet you heard all about how Dubya pronounces "nuclear", didn't you?

I wonder if the most cerebral president can say "potato" without a teleprompter.

Thursday, November 03, 2011


So, there's no real reason for this post other than my wife got me an i-pod and dragged me kicking and screaming into the present century. Searching about for songs to fill my i-pod, I came up with a playlist entitled "Kick ass and March". Here are a few of the strange variety of tunes on that list that'll make you want to kick ass and/or march.

12. Long-Haired Redneck. A bizarre choice for most people, no doubt. David Alan Coe could be filthy and offensive or he could write beautiful lyrics, probably dependent on the amount of whiskey consumed. This one is a favorite of mine from my beer-swilling rough and rowdy days which, thank God, are now long gone. Still, it reminds me of a few places I’ve been:

“Country DJs knows that I’m an outlaw

And they’d never come to see me in this dive

Where bikers stare at cowboys

Who are laughing at the hippies

Who are prayin’ they’ll get out of here alive.”

This song just makes me want to confront some obnoxious bastard and “knock him off his chair”.

11. Big Iron. Marty Robbins. Like watching a classic old Western, with the silent, gallant Ranger facing down the notorious gun-fighter Texas Red on the dusty Mainstreet of the town of Auga Fria. Back when the good guys wore white hats and triumphed over the bad guys in the end. Not the reason I carry a “Big Iron” on my hip, but it makes me feel really good about it.

Too bad we can no longer settle things with pistols on Mainstreet or challenge dishonorable men (such as both Houses of Congress) to duels. As Robert Heinlein once noted, “An armed society is a polite society.”

Twenty men had hated this song, twenty men had made a slip. Twenty one will be the poster who gives this choice some lip.

10. The Ballad of the Alamo. Marty Robbins again. A stirring ballad of the Texians at the Battle of the Alamo, back when it was acceptable to be patriotic and speak English in the Southwest, and part of the reason the former Republic of Texas can (and probably should in this day and age) secede from the Union. In one of the world's greatest last stands, 185 poorly-equipped American rebels such as Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Colonel William Travis. holed up in an old mission near San Antonio, TX and successfully held off 5,000 Mexicans (they only had three cars) under General Santa Anna from February 23rd to March 6th of 1836 before finally being overwhelmed.

9. Garry Owen: Originally an Irish drinking song adopted, appropriately, by the United States 7th Cavalry, General George Armstrong “Oh shit!” Custer’s old unit. Also an official Regimental March for some British and Canadian units long before Custer, but most commonly associated with the Cav here in the ‘States.

Heard in numerous good ol’ Westerns like They Died With Their Boots On, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and Fort Apache. More recently used in Son of the Morning Star and John Milius’ The Rough Riders. Makes you want to grab your .45-70 Springfield and saddle up.

8. Ballad of the Green Berets. Tribute to the U.S. Army Special Forces in the Vietnam War. Singer/songwriter Barry Sadler had been there, done that, got the T-shirt. In his later writing career some of his “tools of the trade” supposedly included a cocked and locked Colt 1911A1 and a bottle of Jack Daniels on his writing desk.

7. Great Escape March. Composed by Elmer Bernstein. The movie, based on the true story, of Allied airmen escaping from the toughest POW camp in all of Germany (no, it was not Stalag 13). Manliness quotient? Steve McQueen and James Garner. ‘Nuff said.

6. Marine Corps Hymn. Manly? It’s the U.S. Marines! You know, the guys at Belleau Wood, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Chosin, Khe Sahn, Fallujah. Every Marine is still a rifleman first. Quote attributed to a Marine aviator in Korea, “I’m a rifleman, but they’ve got me flying a jet right now.”

5. Scotland the Brave: Ah, the pipes and the Scots. You have to be manly to wear a kilt. There’s a good reason why the Germans called them the “Ladies From Hell” during the First World War. This is one march that makes you want to by-God march.

There’s a good version of the Canadian Contingent marching to the pipes the movie The Devil’s Brigade, the story of the joint American-Canadian 1st Special Service Force of WWII, fore-runner of the Special Forces. Marching at the head of the Canadians is Cliff Robertson as Major Alan Crown. In real life, Robertson weathered the torpedoes and U-Boats as a merchant mariner in WWII, has long held a private pilot’s license, and owns and Messerschmitt and a Spitfire. Manly.

4. Men of Harlech: Welsh, commemorating the 7-year siege of Harlech Castle in 1461. Used as an official march for units such as the Royal Welsh Regiment, Royal Canadian Hussars, and Aussie Royal Victorian Regiment.

The song is most commonly associated with the movie Zulu, one of the greatest war movies of all times, although they changed the lyrics some. Zulu commemorates the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, January 1879, where 150 men of the 2nd Warwickshire Regiment of Foot fought off some 3,000-4,000 Zulu warriors with their single-shot Martini-Henry rifles (and bayonets). Best character: Neil McCarthy as the unflappable mutton-chop wearing Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne. “Steady, lads.”

3. Flight of the Valkryies. Classical music from an opera, yes an opera, composed by Richard Wagner. Few people can hear it now without thinking of helicopters, again associated with a movie, Apocalypse Now. The best part of the whole weird, incoherent movie is the Air Cav Hueys attacking the VC village with rockets and gunships.

Ah, Robert Duvall in a blue cavalry Stetson and yellow ascot, and the two best lines in the movie. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” and “If I say it’s safe to surf the beach, it’s safe to surf the beach.” Robert Duvall by himself is pretty manly; (like Eastwood, he was in the Army during the Korean War but did not see action). Best manly movie roles include outlaw “Lucky” Ned Pepper (True Grit), LTC Bull Meechum (The Great Santini), Gus McRae (Lonesome Dove), Boss Spearman (Open Range) and, manliest of all, General Robert E. Lee in Gods & Generals. My all-time favorite Duvall movie ever? Secondhand Lions. Watch it and you’ll see why.

Duvall's Apocalypse co-star Martin Sheen also tried to play Robert E. Lee but couldn't pull it off because he's a Leftist pussy.

2. Onward, Christian Soldiers. Now most likely now considered militant, politically incorrect, and islamo-phobic. This bacon-eating infidel will probably be on yet another “domestic terrorist” watch list for even mentioning it.

Sir Winston Churchill chose the hymn for a service when he met with President Franklin Roosevelt on the HMS Price of Wales to hash out the Atlantic Charter.

We sang "Onward, Christian Soldiers" indeed, and I felt that this was no vain presumption, but that we had the right to feel that we serving a cause for the sake of which a trumpet has sounded from on high. When I looked upon that densely packed congregation of fighting men of the same language, of the same faith, of the same fundamental laws, of the same ideals ... it swept across me that here was the only hope, but also the sure hope, of saving the world from measureless degradation.

1. America, Why I love Her: John Wayne. No, the Duke doesn’t sing, but speaks the lyrics in his famous gruff, gravelly voice with background music. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like Shatner’s “dramatic readings”. Once again from a long-gone age when patriotism was still in style, and one had reason to be proud of the country before it slid completely into a Socialist Nanny/Police State. This one will make you feel proud of what we once were.

There they are, boys. Now's your turn to tell me why your choices are better and why mine suck.

Don't make me knock you off your chair.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011



I rarely buy factory ammunition. For plinking, it’s military surplus ball. For hunting, I roll my own. On the rare occasions I did buy factory ammunition for hunting it was the “good stuff”, Hornady and Federal. I’ve always glanced at the attractively priced Sellier & Bellot ammunition in Shotgun News and on Gunbroker, but never really could justify buying more ammo when reloading filled most of my needs.

Like a bolt from the blue, Caleb at Ammo For Sale.Com contacted me and wanted to know if I would write a review on one of his products. So, I asked for some S&B in .308 so I could finally put it through the wringer and see how it stacked up to other ammunition. Two days later, Caleb emailed me, “The Czech’s in the mail.”

I was hoping for a good product. Sellier & Bellot’s been in business since 1825 so they must be doing something right. For us history buffs, one of the big reasons the Nazis wanted Czechoslovakia was to get their grubby little mitts on the renowned Czech armament industries, which had a world-wide reputation for building quality products especially, at the time, artillery. The Western Powers, British Prime Minister Neville “Peace in our time” Chamberlain in particular, met with the Nazis at Munich and, without even consulting the Czechs, basically just handed Hitler the country on a silver platter if he promised to be good. As Sir Winston Churchill said, "Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war.” Not much later, the Allies found themselves on the receiving end of many tanks, artillery pieces, and rifles of Czech manufacture. During WWII itself at the Yalta Conference, again over Churchill’s protests, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a “Chamberlain moment” and basically gave all of Eastern Europe to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin after the war, so the Czechs were forced to manufacture weapons for the Commies too, with a reputation for being the best built of the Warsaw Pact nations.

The Czechs decided they’d finally had enough of the corrupt Communist regime that ran the country without input from or concern for its citizens in the spring of 1968 and tried to “throw the bums out.” The result was Soviet tanks quickly rumbling across the border to show them the error of their ways. Warsaw Pact troops remained stationed in Czechoslovakia until 1989 when the Communist regime collapsed. In 1993, Czechoslovakia as a nation voluntarily and peacefully split into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Let’s hope they can finally live in peace. And sell American gun nuts some quality shooting stuff.

History lesson over. The point is the Czechs have made good stuff for a long time, from the famous Bren Gun to the Hetzer.

So I found myself in the possession of a single box of Sellier & Bellot .308 Winchester 180-grain round nose soft points. Caleb had said two boxes, but I guess wires got crossed somewhere. But free ammo is free ammo.

A few days later I made it out to my “range”, a full section of state-owned land with a nice mountain for a safe backstop, where I put up portable targets. With my rifles sighted in for 147-grain ball surplus, I restricted my shooting to only 100 yards due to the difference in trajectory.

No two rifles are the same, which is what makes them so much fun and fascinating, finding out all their little quirks. For instance, my wife’s 03A3 Springfield sporter spits out 125-grain and 150-grain bullets with disgust and sprays them all over dinner-plate sized groups. Feed it 180’s or even 220’s (my wife drew a moose tag once) and the Springfield will put five shots cloverleafed into tight sub-MOA groups. So I brought two rifles, in case one didn’t particularly like the 180’s.

The first was an Ishapore Lee-Enfield that I turned into a scout rifle with a 17-inch barrel and wearing a Burris 2.75x forward mounted scope. Rifle number two was my FAL with the free-float Entreprise handguards and the German Hensoldt 4x ZF24 military scope. Neither rifle is anything you would take to win a high-power match and there's no bench rest at my informal range; I shoot prone from sandbags. My shooting is a gray area between benchresting and field shooting.

The S&B’s competition was some Australian military surplus 147-grain ball which I have always found to be "good shooters". Since I found to my chagrin that I was out of white box Winchester 147-grain ball, I also shot my "ersatz 7.62 NATO", stuff I loaded to 7.62 specs with the flatbase 152-grain FMJ bullets from the old .30-06 military loads instead of 147-grain boattails. Alas, I did not have anything else loaded with 180-grain bullets to compare directly to the S&B.

Range was 100 meters, not yards, and the bullets fired over my rather elderly F1 Shooting Chrony approximately ten feet from the muzzle. Temperature was about 62 degrees, with only a slight breeze (when I started), and we were at 5,300 feet elevation.

The first thing that jumped right out at me is S&B’s sheer consistency. Average velocity was 2,247 feet per second (remember it’s a 17-inch barrel and 180-grain round nose) but the individual numbers were amazingly consistent; only sixteen fps difference from the highest to lowest velocity. Just look at these numbers:

2,248 fps

2,236 fps

2,252 fps

2,251 fps

2,252 fps

Consistency is the key to accurate shooting. My reloads had a spread of 39 fps from highest to lowest and the Aussie ball, to my surprise and disappointment, had a variation of well over 200 fps. I'm still not sure what the hell went on with that. The S&B shot a group size equal to that of the Aussie ball, 3-1/2 inches, but with one flier called. The reloads didn’t do too bad at 2-1/2 inches. This performance might seem mediocre, but then my Enfield truck/brush rifle is a mediocre shooter.

100-meter 5-shot groups from the Lee-Enfield scout. One flier called right on the S&B group no doubt opened it up a bit.

Next up at bat was Queenie the FAL, a Century FrankenFAL on an Imbel receiver, with the standard 21-inch barrel. Like my other Century FAL, I’ve never had so much as a hiccup out of it in several hundred rounds. Many folks consider a Century FAL a crapshoot, varying from horrible to pristine. I am not one to have good luck; I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to draw a moose, goat, or sheep tag, building up bonus points every year, since 1992 with no luck. So I figure if I can draw two beauties from Century in a row, perhaps they aren’t as bad as the keyboard commandos say they are.

Velocities varied a bit more in the gas-operated semiautomatic, but were still pretty darn good with a high to low spread of 32 fps, compared to 50 fps for the Aussie and 24 fps for my reloads. The FAL found the S&B to be quite delicious and wanted more; a five-shot group went inside of two inches. FALcohalics know that’s pretty good for a FrankenFAL. The Aussie had about a 3-inch group and my reloads a 5-inch group, which was pretty pathetic even with one flier called.

The FAL obviously liked the S&B. I see they also make a 147-grain ball load that would be just right for military 7.62x51mm rifles.

By this point in the shooting, the wind was building fast as a snow/rain squalls moved in from out of the mountains. I was going to shoot some groups at 300 meters, the range at which I like to “confirm” and “tweak” things, but by then the wind had come up high enough that tumbleweeds, pets, and small children were blowing around. So I called it a day.

I would use the 180-grain round nose most certainly for elk, especially in the timber where ranges are pretty limited. Depending on bullet performance, it would do on moose, which are generally shot at closer ranges, always assuming the shooter puts the bullet where he' supposed to. With a 210 yard zero, it would shoot flat to 250 yards, which is just about ideal for a scout rifle in the woods.

If I had more rounds I would do some more testing and perhaps carry them for elk hunting in the black timber to see how they would perform in action. S&B says the round is: "A semi-jacketed bullet consisting of a metallic jacket and a lead core. The lead core is bare in front. When hitting the target, it gets deformed and produces a mushroom-like shape, which enhances the lethal effect. It is used for most types of rifle cartridges and, depending on caliber weight, it is used for cloven-hoofed game hunting in particular." I would like to see how the S&B bullet holds together, as I don't know much about the jacket thickness or material, so if I shoot something with one I'll do a post mortum.

In addition to their own bullets, I see that S&B is now also offering hunting loads with the "brand name" bullets...Sierra GameKing soft points and boattail hollowpoints, Barnes Triple Shock X-Bullets, and Nosler Partitions.

For two years I hunted with the Nosler green-tip BT's and while my interpretation of performance is strictly anecdotal, I was underwhelmed with the performance on deer. They did massive tissue damage to the critters' boiler room, but more often than not the deer stayed on its feet and kept going. I have since gone back to good old-fashioned Sierra and Hornady 165-grain boat tail softpoints.

Thus far, I am very pleased with the S&B ammo. I can recommend it and wouldn’t be afraid to buy some on the next rare occasion I have to resort to commercial hunting loads. I would like to see what the ammunition could do with a good accurate bolt gun, but unfortunately my good accurate bolt gun is in .30-06. I suspect the S&B ammo could be MOA shooters out of an accurate bolt action sporter.

I’ll be testing the remaining ten cartridges the next chance I get. I suspect I will be happy with them at longer ranges too.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


During the writing of the last post on Czech ammunition, I strayed slightly into blithering about the history of the Czechs' armament industries over the years. So, sure, now you can get some good stuff in the American shooting market…ammo, Cz pistols, VZ24 Mausers, etc.

But what about the really good stuff? The stuff I think we should see on the American shooter and surplus market. Stuff that should be readily and legally available to the ordinary citizen, not just given to Mexican drug lords by the ATF on the taxpayers’ dime. Just a few more of these things would provide hours of fun and a good source of income for the Czech Republic. So, in order of preference, here are Bawb’s Top 5 Czech shooting products which should be on the American market for the benefit of mankind, as well as to entertain the hell out of me and kooks like myself.

Then we wouldn’t have so much time to bitch about Obama and the government destroying the nation. (Hint, hint!)

#1 The Bren Gun

Okay, while the Bren Gun itself as we know it was not made in Czechoslovakia, it was designed there and originally manufactured as the Zb vz. 26. The British Army conducted trials for a new light machine gun and the Zb vz. 26 won. With a couple of modifications to the barrel and magazine to take the standard .303 British rimmed service cartridge, the Brits started manufacturing the Bren under license (fortunately for them before they gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler at Munich). The name Bren came from Brno, the city where it was first designed and built, and Enfield, the British small arms factory.

The Bren was an air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine fed machine gun weighing 23 pounds in its original form. It had a cyclic rate of around 500 rounds per minute and fed from 30-round magazines. It had a bipod as well as a tripod and was also used to arm the open-topped, fully tracked Universal Carrier, which quickly became known as “Bren Gun Carriers”. Adopted in 1938, the Bren was a staple of British & Commonwealth forces throughout WWII and Korea. It was later converted to 7.62x51mm NATO and continued in active British service through the 1982 Falklands Conflict.

A version is still being manufactured by the Ordnance factories in India, hopefully with better quality control than their 7.62x51mm ammunition.

Soldiers and Marines who served with the Bren Gun loved it. And, as much as I am a fan of John Moses Browning, it was probably a much better choice than the Browning Automatic Rifle used by American forces at the same time. Even the Gunny thinks so.

There’s absolutely no reason, IMHO, why every gun owner shouldn’t be allowed to have one or two.

#2 vz. 61 Skorpion

Cool & Sexy

I’m not a big fan of shoulder-fired full-auto, even in poodle shooting calibers, but I have to admit that the vz. 61 Skorpion machine pistol is awful sexy and cool. With a telescopic bolt and folding wire shoulder stock, the thing is only 10-1/2 inches when folded. With 10 or 20-round magazines, you can fire either semi-automatically like a regular pistol or flip the safety one more notch and hose ‘em out at 850-900 rounds per minute.

Name your flavor. Since its introduction in caliber .32 ACP in 1961, they have since been made in .380 ACP, 9x19mm Parabellum, and 9x18mm Makarov. I’m not too sold on the stopping power of any of those cartridges, but with their low recoil and ability to put fifteen rounds out in a second multiple hits would probably make up for it.

Did I mention it’s just so cool and sexy?

#3 The Hetzer

Let's go hunting the ultimate big game...panzers!

The Skoda LT vz 38 tank was, at the time of its adoption, considered a medium tank and a dandy example of tank technology of the late 1930’s. It was being built for both a lucrative export market as well as for the Czech military. Then came Munich, and the LT vz 38 became the German Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t), and was used in Poland, France, and the early days of Barbarossa, the invasion of Soviet Russia. The Panzer 38 (t) was actually superior to the two most widely-used German-made tanks at the time of its adoption/theft; the Panzer Mk I, which had only twin machine guns, and the Panzer II with its 20-mm cannon. The 38 had a 37-mm main gun, the standard anti-weapon of the day, and boasted great mechanical reliability and maneuverability.

Eventually, the little tank was obsolete against the newer Soviet tanks, but the reliable chassis was adapted to a variety of other roles. My favorite was the Jagdpanzer 38(t) tank destroyer. With a solid frontal hull with 60mm of armor sloped at a good 60-degrees, the little hunter had the equivalent of 4-3/4 of armor protection. It’s 75-mm Panzerjagerkanone 39 (L/38) main gun, while not as impressive as the dreaded “88”, was good against most Allied tanks with the exception of the Soviet monsters like the JS-1 Stalin, firing a hard-cored AP round at 2,500 fps which could penetrate 82mm of armor (sloped at 30-degrees) at a thousand meters. Other rounds included HE for those pesky infantrymen, as well as a roof-mounted MG34 7.92mm machine gun on top, which was fired via remote-control from inside the vehicle. As a big bonus, the Hetzer was barely seven feet tall and just over eight feet wide, making it easy to hide while lying in wait in ambush and providing a small target to hit as well.

After WWII, the Swiss decided the Hetzer was custom-made for the defensive military strategy and purchased 185 of them, while the Czech Army kept 180 in service, both armies using the weapons up to the early 1970s. I see no good reason why you or I can’t own one of these things to go tooling around in. It would make a helluva great elk hunting rig.


8x8 = twice the fun as 4x4

What’s that you say? Your elk is out of range of the little Hetzer’s 75mm gun? No problem! You've got a date with DANA. DANA's a Delo Automobilni Nabijene Automaticky (self-propelled auto-loading gun). No matter how reliable, tracked vehicles are a bit of a pain in the ass in the maintenance department, especially if relying on a government re-supply system such as the Army Quartermaster Corps. Wheeled vehicles, on the other hand, are relatively cheap, easier to maintain (with civilian truck parts in the case of the DANA), and can really move on down the road at 50 mph. Mercy sakes, looks like we got us a convoy.

The DANA was built in the early 80s on the chassis of the Tatra 815 military truck, a HEMMITT-looking 8x8 rig, which was then the best off-road military truck around. Eight-wheel-drive, tire pressure regulation for cross-country travel, a 350-horse V-12 diesel engine, power assist on the front two steer axles, air-conditioning (I shit you not) in both cab and turret, and the ability to cross a 5-foot vertical obstacle or ford 4-1/2 feet of water. What’s not to like?

But wait, we haven’t even gotten to the good part yet; a handy-dandy 152-mm gun/howitzer in an armored air-conditioned turret with a traverse of 45-degrees, elevation of 70-degrees, and a 20 km range. Say you spot a coyote on a distant mountain top. No problemo. Just start lobbing 96-pound high explosive projectiles at him at the rate or 3 rounds per minute until you whack him, or rearrange the terrain features enough that he gets hopelessly lost. For those little pests at short range, you also have the good old DShK 12.7mm machine gun, aka the “Russian Ma Duece”.

Uh-oh. You can’t find enough 152-mm and 12.7mm ammunition at the local sporting goods store on the Mexican border? Not to worry. There are also export versions fitted with the popular 155-mm cannon and a 7.62x51mm NATO machine gun.
So there's no reason not to rush out and buy one today!

#5 M53/59 Praga

Without the option for a jumping front axle, the M53/59 has not been popular with Mexican drug cartels so I think the ATF should sell them surplus to American citizens.

Let’s say you’re also a duck hunter, and an increase in gas prices has you looking for something a little more economical in the mileage department. The Czechs have you covered there as well with the M53/59 Praga self-propelled anti-aircraft gun.

Based on the ”indestructible” V3S Praga 6x6 truck chassis, aluminum armor helps keep the weight down and the Tatra 6-cylinder 110-horse diesel gets you 500 klicks on a single tank of fuel, roughly 9.8 miles per gallon, or the equivalent of my old F350 work truck. Just don’t let the DOT catch you using red dyed agricultural use only diesel fuel.

In back of the cab, you’ve got one hellva gun rack, mounting twin M53 30x210mm auto-cannon in an open-topped turret. Each gun carries only a 50-round magazine but don’t worry, you’ve got 800 more spare rounds stored. With High Explosive rounds you can pick off ducks and geese at up to 3,000 meters. With Armor Piercing Incendiary you can take out prairie dogs using light armored vehicles to 2,000 meters.

No legitimate sporting purpose my ass.

WARNING: Ben just emailed and said this column isn’t up to our usual obnoxious and irreverent standards, so I'll close with an insensitive ethnic joke.

Czech guy goes to the optometrist to see if he needs glasses.

The doctor points to the eye chart, the lowest line of which reads Z-B-R-O-K-Y-X, and asks the patient if he can read it.

“Read it!” The Czech exclaims. “Hell, I know the guy.”