The s w design is not forgiving of spotty quality control. As such, for this proposal, the guns in question would be required to have real steel internal components, and samples from each lot would be inspected before acceptance by the air Force. Such guns would be expensive if purchased individually, but if the usaf bought twenty-five thousand of them, the unit cost could be brought down considerably. S w model 67 revolver,.38 Special, 4 barrel. The k-frame, with a 4 barrel, chambered for.38 Special p, would be the base gun. Some modifications to the design would be incorporated to improve usability.
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Longevity is a good quality for a military weapon; they may be issued to one serviceman after another for years, or spend decades in storage only to be drug out when the need arises (like the 1950s-vintage M14s I saw in service in Afghanistan. Its also a commercial-off-the-shelf solution. While you could design a more modern revolver, this would add time and resume money to the project, and the militarys acquisition process language is enough of a boondoggle. The ruger GP100 is a more modern design, easy to disassemble and durable, but its a purpose-designed.357. Chambering.38 just gives you extra weight and bulk you dont need. The taurus is little more than a low-quality copy of the Smith wesson. The Charter revolver doesnt have the proven track record of the k-frame, even if its simplified design allows for lighter weight for a given frame size and barrel length. The gun would have to be made correctly, though. As a cost-saving measure, smith wesson has gone to metal-injection-molded internal parts, and the fit and finish arent quite what they used. My.44 Magnums had to go back to the factory no less than three times; one gun went twice, the third couldnt be fixed and was replaced.
I would start with the Smith wesson k-frame. This medium-sized revolver has been in production, in one form or another, for over a hundred years, and continues to be used today. It was issued to us and Allied armed forces in World War 2, korea, and vietnam. It was used by military and civilian police alike for decades and was to mid-20th-Century law enforcement what the Glock is to le today. I would go with the Smith wesson k-frame precisely because its proven. An all-steel gun with a four-inch barrel weighs about 36 ounces, only a bit heavier than an empty. If built correctly, it can withstand decades of service, especially considering that even.38 degenerative Special p is relatively mild, pressure-wise.
Note the jaunty ascot and stag-handled revolver in a crossdraw holster. A serviceman inspects.38-caliber revolver circa 1990, judging from house the chocolate chip desert camouflage and jungle boots. In other words, the issuance of revolvers to military personnel is hardly unprecedented. Revolvers served alongside the venerable M1911 from the time it was adopted until it was officially replaced by the. I think a modernized version of such a gun could serve airmen admirably, even in the 21st century. So what would the modernized Service revolver look like? How can you modernize something so archaic? Bearing in mind that the.50 cal resumes has been in service for almost ninety years, there are ways you can improve on an old design to get some impressive longevity out.
Note the revolver hanging from his hip. Also note the out-of-regs mustache, worn as a symbol of defiance, which spawned the tradition of Mustache march. This gentlemen, is how you swagger. June 1957: General Curtis lemay, commander of Strategic Air Command, practices with a revolver. Note the cigar, hawaiian shirt, and the complete lack of fucks given. If six shots werent enough, there were always hydrogen bombs. Sac elite guard Air Policeman, early 1960s.
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There is no forgetting to eject the round in the chamber, or forgetting to chamber a about round, or not seating the magazine all the way with the revolver. As long as it is in sound working order, its simple to operate. Again, i understand this is a training issue, but lets be real: the air Force is struggling to fund its current missions, and hundreds of writer its aircraft are older than the men and women who fly them. Nobody is going to funnel the time, effort, and money into making guys whose mission is turning wrenches or making id cards into professional gunslingers. As ive said, the revolver is more challenging to shoot well. The manual of arms is simple (open, put cartridges in, close but the reloading procedure is easy to fumble without practice, especially under stress.
I think, though, that these issues are rather overstated these days, often by people who have never actually used a revolver. Remember there was a time when nearly every police officer in the nation carried revolvers, used them on the street, and this was before the modern renaissance in private-sector handgun training. The air Force, too, issued.38 caliber revolvers from Colt, Smith wesson, and Ruger from its inception in 1947 until about the time of the first Gulf War. They were used by pilots, security policemen, and countless others for decades. Col robin Olds, usaf, paints a victory star on his F-4 Phantom after downing a mig over vietnam.
Personnel are ordered to carry the M9 with an empty chamber. Hell, at Kandahar Airfield circa early 2012, the rule was you had to have a weapon on you, but couldnt have a magazine in it; you carried an unloaded gun. This is all, of course, a training issue, but its the reality of the situation. The air Force teaches that the way to carry the M9 is with a round in the chamber, hammer down, safety off, but thats pretty progressive for rank and file military. The marine instructors I trained with were adamant that it had to be carried with the safety. The Army, as often as not, mandated empty-chamber carry.
In any case, putting 50-100 rounds through a handgun you may or may not have shot before isnt enough to attain real proficiency, and nobody pretends. But, as unfortunate as it is that the most advanced and capable military in the world lags behind the average city police department in handgun training, thats the reality. Its getting better, but slowly, and the garrison mentality will threaten to discard some of the lessons learned in Americas longest war. Buy your blasters, blaster parts, and ammunition at dealer cost. 9.95/mo., no additional fees; sumthin to think about if you spend more than a couple hundred bucks on this stuff! The biggest hindrance to shooting a double-action revolver well is the long trigger pull, but this is also a safety feature. It provides mechanical interference to novices with careless fingers. The loading and unloading procedure, while slower and clunkier than a semi-auto, provides positive feedback of the condition of the weapon (so long as the cylinder is correctly opened all the way).
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While the combat Arms Training and maintenance (catm) course is, to be honest, a with lot better than military handgun classes in the past, its still a basic course. Its designed to teach someone who may or may not be familiar with a handgun the basics of handling and shooting. Personnel who carry a weapon more regularly, like afsoc, security forces, and my own eod, were issued weapons and trained/qualified with them regularly. The usaf also issues handguns to a lot of personnel who serve in a support capacity and only get rudimentary training. It is for these people that I propose a modern Service revolver. My reasoning is that a double-action revolver, while being more challenging for a novice to shoot well, is simpler and I daresay safer for a novice to handle and carry loaded. If youve been in the service, youre probably well aware of the way the military enforces weapons safety. Clearing barrels are everywhere.
To understand my reasoning on learning this, though, you need to understand how the air Force goes about issuing weapons. Bear in mind that the vast majority of usaf personnel do not have a combat-oriented mission. The vast majority also dont fly. The bulk of the force is dedicated to either keeping the aircraft (the usafs primary weapon system) operational, logistics, or miscellaneous force support. At the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, roughly half the usaf was deploying to southwest Asia, but most stayed at the large air bases. Their mission isnt door-kicking or wrecking faces like it is for the grunt or others going outside the wire. The air Force decided long ago that the civilized way to fight a war is to sit back, sip coffee, and throw officers at the enemy. Most usaf personnel arent issued an individual weapon and dont qualify with it unless theyre slated to deploy.
snub to the.44 Magnum (a 3 Smith wesson Model 29 was my everyday carry gun for several years.). Before anyone gets too upset, Im well aware of the limitations of the revolver. At the same time, i think these limitations are often over-stated, to the point where i have (on the internet) been told Im not serious and am going to get myself killed for choosing the revolver over, say, a glock. Despite the questioning of both my intelligence and my sanity, a good.357 is still my gun of choice. That said, Im not here to rehash the decades-old revolver. Mk trivia: I think the ruger GP100 is functionally a better revolver than the python, but damn the python is beautiful — the lines, the iconic look, the bluingall perfect. So why the revolver for the air Force, whats wrong with the M9? Nothing is really wrong with the M9; people love it or hate it, but mine was nothing but reliable.
Long guns, handguns, optics, bullets at what the big retailers pay its like a blaster buyers club. Im going to house propose something that many in the current gun culture will find laughable or even stupid: one branch of the military, specifically the United States Air Force, should adopt a modernized.38 caliber revolver as its standard-issue sidearm. Now, before everyone gets all up in arms (see what I did there? or gets a case of the tactical vapors, allow me to explain my reasoning. Before i do that, it may help if I point out that I served a total of twelve years in the Armed Forces: six in the Army national guard as a combat engineer, and six in the air Force as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, to a small Army patrol base called Sperwan Ghar. We worked closely with infantry and cavalry units, doing everything from ied response to training to mentoring an Afghan eod team to going on fly-away conops. In both military and private-sector shooting courses, i put a lot of rounds through. Im also an unapologetic revolver shooter.
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