Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This is my rifle, this is my gUUUUUUUn!!

Where art thou, CTone?

Sorry about the lack of posting lately, I've been running at full tilt. I've got some goodies for you to show for it though.

I've been on travel to Rock Island Arsenal, Il: a beautiful island in the middle of the Mississippi River that has been building weapons to slay our enemies for almost one hundred and thirty years. And let me tell you, they've got stuff here that I've never seen before, and some of it is flat out amazing.

The island was built in the early 1800s as a Fort, but was converted into an arsenal to house the US' war machine. The terrain is very flat, and most of the buildings are massive structures built with what looks like huge stone block dredged from the depths of the Mississippi. One has the feeling that this installation was built to withstand years of bombardment and siege warfare. All around the arsenal are guns of every sort that bristle out towards the surrounding Illinois and Iowa.

Now, we gunnies always talk about guns, but in reality we are talking about firearms, or small arms. The two terms are nowadays generally considered interchangeable, but there are major differences that military folk are quick to point out. Firearms are weapons that are carried by the individual. Guns are big crew served weapon systems that fire special purpose projectiles.

I got the chance today to go to the Rock Island Arsenal Museum, and I have some gun porn to show you that might shed some light on what I'm talking about. Here we have an example of a firearm:


That is a gorgeous example of a Nambu pistol, if you don't mind me using 'gorgeous' and 'Nambu' in the same sentence.

Here is a gun, taken outside the museum:


See what I mean?

Some more guns:






Here are some mortars:


There was about a hundred feet of wall in the museum that was covered with firearms of every imaginable type. I suspect that even the most knowledgeable gunnies would scratch their heads at some of the stuff I saw there. Keep in mind that these weapons are behind six inches of glass, and so the picture quality might not be the best:





Obviously I'm not going to try to identify them as there are so many, and there are plenty that I've never seen before. The good thing is that there are numbered tags on all of them, and there are binders every ten feet or so for you to find out the type of weapon and history behid them. I'm not going to post all of the pictures that I took - you'll have to go to the museum yourself and check it out, but her are some of the more strange looking weapons:





You don't want to be hit with those last ones!

Think you can ID any of em'? I've got news for you, that's only the begining! What do you think about this:


Or this death ray looking thing:


Confused yet? So am I. It reminds me of the movie Demolition Man, when Wesley Snipes says "wait a minute. . .this is the future. . . where are all the phazer guns?"

I have no idea what these are:


I did look some of them up, like this M16 looking pellet gun manufactured by Daisy as part of the "Quick Kill Project," whatever the hell that was:


Or how about number 5895:


Would you have ever guessed that it's a High Standard Model 10 Police modified in a bullpup configuration with a flashlight built into the handle? Nope, me neither.

How about these Gwinn Firearms Bushmaster pistols:


That's just a taste though. There are walls and walls and walls of Broomhandle Mausers, M1911s, Sigs, Berettas, Brownings, revolvers of every shape and form, machine guns, submachine guns, rocket launchers, muskets, trade guns, wall guns, howitzers, sabers, you name it.

Keep in mind that all of these deadly things were at one point designed by some intrepid and thoughtful individual who believed that somewhere, someplace, a Soldier or Marine might perhaps be interested in hunting down and killing someone with one. I love America!!

If you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend it. And the best part is that it's free!!
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