Want to buy a gun company?

Friend of mine is looking to get a CNC mill for his shop, so out of curosity I looked for used ones of craigslist and I found this gem.


For a mere quarter million you could own a gun company. As far as I can tell these guys made .50 BMG uppers for the AR lower.

Last year, I was reading that the ATF was going to classify bolt action and other non standard AR uppers as firearms in them selves. That would mean a company making them would need different permitting, taxes, etc. And they would not be able to mail an upper to your door step. I don’t know if this happened or not, and I am reading mixed messages about that. That might be why it is for sale.

It doesn’t seem like a bad setup. If any of you feel like buying me an early Christmas present I’d settle for this.

A Throwback Colt Friday

This old cover of SWAT caught my eye the other day. The gun on the cover is what Colt refers to as the R6400 as their factory model number. The keen eye will notice A2 furniture but an A1 rear sight. That’s because it uses the upper and lower of the older SP-1s but was upgraded with A2 fore arms, grip, buttstock, delta ring and the new A2 government profile barrel. Also a A2 flas hider and a front sight. The barrel of course uses the 1/7 twist t use the then new “SS109”, AKA, M855 green tip. Very new at the time. Cover date shows 1984 so this was even before the Army adopted the M16A2 rifle.

The roll mark on the lower was AR15A2 SP-II. As the older uppers ran out, Colt then sold the R6401 which was the same gun but with the actual A1 upper with a forward assist. Next came the R6500 which was same gun with the C7 upper. That was the A1 upper with forward assist but with a case deflector as used by the Canadian rifle.

Finally Colt would use up all those uppers and sell the R6550 which uses the true A2 upper to go with the rest of the upgrades. The lowers would continue to be the older slick side SP1 no fence A1 profiled lowers for a while before being changed over to the current A2 lowers.

During this time, Colt stilled used the “large hole” upper and lowers for the front pivot pin. Contrary to internet experts this wasn’t done because colt hates you but was something the federal gov ( read ATF) made them do so as to be able to sell semi auto Ar15s to the public. This was foisted on them all the from the start of the SP1 civilian sales. Other changes were the semi auto carrier and a few other things. But that’s an article for another time.

There are offset pins to let you mate a large hole upper or lower to a modern or “small hole” or “milspec” upper and lower and it works pretty nifty even though you will need a screw drive to separate the upper and lower. Eventually the gov relaxed these crazy requirements and the ever law suit adverse Colt stopped all modifications to civilian guns and now sells the with standard pin holes, trigger groups and with M16 BCGs. Just as God intended.

Complacency Kills

Couldn’t think of a more appropriate title, but I suppose the one above is true enough.

All equipment can fail, especially firearms. It is why we do preventive maintenance.

Shot my 5.45 AR a couple of weeks ago, everything was fine then. I set it aside and put off cleaning (I could because I was using non-corrosive ammo). When I went to clean it yesterday I found the barrel nut was now loose.

Now it is likely that just the process of heating and cooling from shooting eventually broke the barrel nut loose, but it is also possible that the nut or the upper has cracked. Possibly even the threads on the upper broke. So, I get to pull it apart and check.

Things can fail, even when we are not looking. Especially when we are not paying attention.

I am reminded of a shooting class I was in. One of the students was having an issue with their pistol. The instructor was CCWing that same model revolver as his second carry gun so he pulled it out to let the student use it. Much to both of their dismay, that second gun wasn’t working either.

Comments on the Army SMG competition.

We had someone here comment on how wrong it was that the Army adopted a foreign weapon for the new SMG contract. So I felt like looking into some of the other submissions.

As far as I can tell, the first list was narrowed down to thirteen options. I got this list from ArmadaInternational.com, the article was written by S.W. Miller. It lists guns I did not see on other sources.

  • Z-5RS, Z-5P and Z-5K Sub Compact Weapons; Zenith Firearms
  • B&T MP9 Machine Guns; Trident Rifles
  • MPX Sub Compact Weapon; Sig Sauer
  • 5.5 CLT and 5.5 QV5 Sub Compact Weapon; Quarter Circle 10
  • PTR 9CS Sub Compact Weapon; PTR Industries
  • MARS-L9 Compact Suppressed Weapon; Lewis Machine & Tool Company
  • CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1 Submachine gun; CZ-USA
  • CMMG Ultra PDW; CMMG
  • Beretta PMX Sub Compact Weapon; USA Corporation
  • Heckler and Koch Defense Inc for HK UMP9 Sub
  • Angstadt Arms Corporation for Angstadt UDP-9 Sub
  • Noveske Corporation for Noveske Sub Compact
  • CM9MM-9H-M5A; Colt’s Manufacturing Company

As I said, this list is different from others I have seen, but lets go through it anyways.

Zenith and PTR submitted guns based on the MP5
Zenith, which sources from MKE (Turkey).
If I understand correctly, PTR is all American production now.

The Quarter Circle 10, LMT, Angstadt, CMMG are AR15 based.
I haven’t found photos, but presumable the Colt and LMT offerings were also.
The Sig MPX is based of the AR15, but they have switched to a piston system.

Trident submitted the B&T MP9, a Steyr design being built by B&T.
Beretta’s PMX is a design that bought from B&T.
And the winner of the competition was the B&T APC9K PRO.

It appears that most of these guns are simple blow back design. The MP5s, the CMMG, Sig offerings are not.

After this first list, that offer was pulled, and the nub submission was:

  • Angstadt
  • B&T
  • Global Ordnance
  • Shield Arms
  • Sig
  • Trident Rifles

B&T and Trident both submitted B&T firearms. I believe that Angstadt and Shield both submitted blow back operated ARs that use Glock mags. Global Ordnance may have submitted the blow back operated Stribog.

From everything I read and saw during the first announcements I was sure the competition was being written for the Sig MPX. Since it has the same manual of arms, some parts compatibility with the AR, I expected it to be a sure win.

The majority of the original submissions were not made in the US or American companies. And almost all of the American submission were AR based. There really hasn’t been much innovation by way of pistol caliber long arms in the US. CMMG came up with a delayed blow back system for the AR, but I read that makes hollow points and various bullet designs unreliable.

B&T really must have done something right. In the recent past, they designed the P26, which was purchased by Beretta and renamed the PMX for use by the Italians. They made a double action/single action SMG called the KH9 that could use B&T or Suomi mags (like the 50 round coffin mag). They produced a model that could take the Suomi drum. This weird gun had a 22 pound first trigger pull, then a 2 pound trigger pull after that. WTF? They are making the MP9 and the USW machine pistols. Along with a lower cost SMG the GHM9. Their high end series, the APC, is available in 9mm, 45ACP, 5.56, .300AAC, and 308. They might have made more unique new designs than anyone else in the past couple of decades.

Anyways, I am curious what the official designation of this new Army SMG. It would be funny for it to be called the M4 Submachinegun. But I bet the Army is going to give it a rather high number.

Random Pictures

Colt ACR, built to fire duplex rounds. It is said it had 40% less recoil than a M16A2. Note the stock which was a predecessor to the SOPMOD stock.

Much to my dismay, some years ago, I saw a near complete set of Colt ACR parts for sale individually. A bunch of different people bought individual parts. I think it is a real shame one person didn’t buy it all to build a semi auto one.

Who wants to play “spot the error” in this clip from an ad for the SEALs.