Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gun show purchases: Web gear for newbies, black ops ammo and a Panzerfaust book.


Sold a couple of First Edition Civil War books I had and turned the money into:

Chinese SKS Gunner's Aprons (aka "bras")

Bought 3 of these, average price $3.50 each. These will be modified for American sized bodies with the addition of longer shoulder straps and belly bands (with Fastex buckles) and the wooden fasteners removed and replaced with either Fastex buckles or snaps.

Roumanian magazine pouch (with two 30-rd mag pockets and two accessory pockets) for AK-47 or -74.

Bought 24 of these at average price of slightly over two bucks apiece. These will be fitted with D-rings on the backside belt loops so they can be worn on the belt or over the shoulder as a mag bandoleer.

Universal Strap, Type 1, General Purpose.

Bought 20 of these, average price $1.50 each. Can be used to sling buttpacks, musette bags, 2-guart USGI canteens, TA-1 & TA-312 field telephones, and, of course, Roumanian AK pouches.

Paid twenty dollars for one 64 round box (unmarked) of what the owner said was Canadian "Armor piercing" 9 mm ball. Headstamp indicated it was 1940 production (?!?). Intrigued, I went and bought a five dollar combination bore light/laser pointer/magnet and this is definitely steel core stuff. The story, however, gets more interesting from there.

Regarding the Canadian-made 7.92 x 57 ammunition with anonymous headstamps (caliber and date only), there are 9mm counterparts that were not made during WWII, although dated like the 7.9s - 40 thru 45. There is no reason to believe that these 7.9s were made during WWII either. . . It is too long a story to retell here, but it will suffice to say that this was a covert deal involving U.S. agencies. The ammunition went to various places. These were made in the late 40s and early 50s for a US Agency and along with the 9mm version were issued with captured German weapons. As John said, made in Canada. . . Dominion Arsenal made this ammunition. . . The '51 and '56 (headstamps) tend to supoport the "clandestine" theory of the MM headstamped 9mm and 7.92 rounds. . . I know that it is felt some were made as early as 1944, but I don't really agree with that. Everything physical about the rounds - sequence of magnetic bullets and black PA points to 1950s manufacture for all of them. . . There is however some controversy because this ammo also turned up in the 1960s as clandestine supplies to CIA backed insurgents in Central and South America. . . Further in 9mm the sequence of magnetic bullets is correct if you add about 10 years to the dates, and the black primer seal becomes correct, as in the 50s, Canadian 9mm had a black seal and not the purple seal they had in the 1940s.

The ammo I purchased has a black primer seal. Now ammunition that is made of mild steel cores is not, strictly speaking, "armor piercing," especially in the relatively puny 9mm. The decision by "The Company" to procure steel-core for guerrilla use is, however, understandable. Steel core, even mild steel core, will tear up steel car doors and thick auto glass better than lead core. The French Maquis found this out during their guerrilla war with the Germans and Vichy, and would prefer captured steel core ammo to air-dropped lead core. As the classic guerrilla tactic is the road ambush of enemy vehicles, it is perfectly understandable that the CIA would procure steel core in both 8mm and 9mm Luger with deliberately confusing head stamps.

So I have a piece of history, but I rather guess I will pack this up for Hannah's FEG Browning Hi-Power clone, just in case she has to deal with road-bound Nazis.


PS: Almost forgot. Also indulged my fascination with an easily-improvised anti-tank weapon:

I got a copy of Panzerfaust: And Other German Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons by Wolfgang Fleischer. Paid five bucks for it. ;-)


Scott J said...

Good to see you again. I almost picked up one of those "bras" but decided a spare mag for the new toy I showed you was a better purchase.

$39.95+ tax stung a bit but it was $35.99+ shipping from Midway and I want those extra rounds in my left pocket when I carry it right now.

Ran into our mutual friend who introduced us in the first place. He tickled my soft spot for S&W revolvers to a degree that's going to have me in beg mode with SWMBO for the rest of the year.

Moe Death said...

God bless you, Mike, for your efforts to enlighten those of us who need it (and I do believe the Lord knows I do).

So finish the freakin' book already!


P.S. Took a buddy and his son out for his first time with a combat rifle on the range. Made him carry the bandos, mags and reloader. the wide eyed look at the first shot was worth it...

Fezziwig Poindexter II said...

Sorry I missed the show, but another time -
as a little note, if you or any readers have not tried Sellier & Bellot rifle ammo - I like the stuff, the price is very reasonable AND - no guarantees but, several of the boxes I obtained a while back and which do not have any English print on them, all have steel cores. I like steel cores! Now, some of the later ammo from them, in boxes which are bilingually marked, have only the standard lead core FMJ, but if you get any, give it the magnet test. I do prefer either Sierra Match King bullets or Hornady red ballistic tip for,mm, hunting... but steel cores are always a nice option ;o)
- j -

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't happen to know where one could purchase that ammo in 45 acp would you?

MadDawg308 said...

+1 on the steel core 9mm, and its history with the CIA. I have some .30-06 around here somewhere with a definitely-not-US-looking headstamp style on it, that was made for the CIA for use during the Bay of Pigs invasion. I'm sure it's good-shooting stuff, but I hesitate to shoot it because of its historical interest.

Good haul, Mike. Glad to see some quality gear is still available at good prices at the gun shows.

jon said...

it'd be interesting to know the weight of a steel core 9mm round and what kind of powder charge it's got behind it. i suppose you'd have to try it on some stuff to see what it really does.

Dr.D said...

I am aware of Steel Core ammo
(ss109) but I never heard the term "magnetic" bullet till this post. I did a quick web search but was unsatisfied with the results. Can any one enlighten me that the usage of "magnetic bullets"?


Anonymous said...

Mike, before you start shooting that 1940s ammo, I strongly suggest you find out what kind of powder they loaded it with. It could be very corrosive.

Make sure your gun is cleaned as regularily as a black powder gun, fouling will turn a gun barrel into a Pollock painting in no time.

Dutchman6 said...

Dr.D said: I am aware of Steel Core ammo (ss109) but I never heard the term 'magnetic' bullet till this post. I did a quick web search but was unsatisfied with the results. Can any one enlighten me that the usage of 'magnetic bullets'?"

It is 'magnetic' in the sense that it can only be determined to be steel core without destructive testing by means of a magnet. Go to a guy's table at the show when he tells you ammo is "armor piercing," whip out a smaill vise and a hacksaw and he will likely run you off. A magnet is much more polite.

Bert said...

Ah, the CIA ammo. After my dad died I was in charge of policeing up the guns, loading supplies and any other hazardous items. There were some bandos of .30-06 in 5 round strippers for '03 Springfield with a non US style headstamp:

I assumed they were corrosive 1940's ammo, but when I took one down I found modern ball powder, standard M2 bullet and a non corrosive primer with the same sealers as Lake City ammo. Which is where it came from, around 1952.

A bit of web crawling showed a whole range of "plausible deniability" ammo, both ours AND theirs. I really liked the .30 carbine made in China with Berdan prime and LC headstamps. Bet more than one primer punch met it's end from that stuff!

Dr.D said...

Mike thanks for the clarification,
Doh! in retrospect it should have been obvious!


Ivanovich Petrovsky Skovar said...

Doctor Dee -
I WAS gonna reveal that the 'magnetic bullet' was part of a failed OSS / CIA plot in which US moles would infiltrate enemy supply offices and give top officers custom made body armor... with magnetic plates which would attract steel core bullets even if the bullets were only in the near vicinity.
But I thought that would be silly rather than funny.

patrick henry said...

as I've posted before, two of the ten-pocket chinese "bras" filled with 200 rounds on strippers fit perfectly in 50-cal can with just enough room for a couple dessi-paks and some cleaning supplies.

Hand a recruit an SKS and a can and he's ready to go!

I tell you - I wish I could go to YOUR gunshows. Around here they're trying to sell M44 Mosins for $200+ and asking 15-20 for the "Bras." I laugh and walk on.

Can't remember the last time I saw a weapon at a decent price - but stll I go and drop my $8 at the door....