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Are you proficient with all firearm types?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by TangoFoxtrot, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot Oregon Member

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    I'm thinking of this from a "Top Shot" perspective. If you found yourself anywhere within the last 200 years in America or on an American battlefield on foreign soil, could you pick up any rifle or handgun and immediately and expertly use it?

    To accomplish this you would have to be thoroughly familiar and proficient with at least a minimum of firearm models and types. So I put together a list of ultimate top firearms of each type that I think you might run into and that would have transferable proficiency to most others of the era.

    These are what I would pick to practice with today if I was going anywhere into the past 200 years and had to be proficient with any firearm I might encounter.


    Rifles:
    Kentucky Rifle (flintlock)
    Zouave Rifle (percussion)
    Springfield Model 1873 (.45-70)
    Winchester 1873 (.44-40)
    Springfield M1903
    M1 Garand
    AR15

    Pistols:
    Harper Ferry's Model 1806
    Deringer
    Colt 1847 Walker
    Colt 1873 Single Action Army
    Mauser M1896 "Broomhandle"
    Luger P-08
    Colt 1911
    Smith & Wesson Model 29 (.44 Magnum)
    CZ-75 (9mm)

    Shotguns:
    Double Barrel Coach Gun (of any manufacture)
    Winchester 1897
    Saiga-12


    What I learned putting this list together is just seven rifle types easily covers 200 years. Flintlock and percussion covers muzzleloaders, the Springfield .45-70 covers the single shot rifles of the era, and one great lever-action rifle, the 1873, covers the basics of them all. The Springfield M1903 represents the best bolt-action learning tool ever built, and the Garand covers semi-auto battlerifles so well that further M14 training is not needed. The AR15 blankets the last 50 years of rifles with nothing superior or that very different in sight.

    The Pistol list was more complicated because there are so many types to become familiar with. But the funny thing is, since the CZ came out 1975, no further specialized familiarity with other types is absolutely required, so it still was only nine in total. Glock, XD, Beretta, etc., are all functionally about the same with only minor differences. It would be far more important to spend your time learning the intricacies of a "Broomhandle" Mauser, a Luger, a Deringer, or a Smith & Wesson revolver than on the minor differences of modern semi-auto pistols. I chose an 1847 Walker not only because it was the first of it's great type, but because it is both similar too and harder to master than the Colt 1860 Army, so a better learning tool, even though the 1860 Army is a better overall pistol.

    Shotguns are easy with few major changes over two centuries. The Saiga-12 is box fed so is more representative of "modern" semi-auto design rather than old tube fed designs that more closely resemble the 1897 pump in operation. So three shotguns will cover it.

    I think training with these 19 models would cover my firearms proficiency for the past 200 years.

    Did I leave anything out or would you choose anything different for training purposes?
     
  2. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    AK-47 needs to be on the list since its the most prolific assault rifle in the world today. Submachine guns are not as prevalent today but they were quite the rage 70 years ago so Sten gun, MP-40, Thompson, PPSH and later on the Uzi would have been encountered back in their day.
    Also, if you are talking battlefield weapons, you better include some belt fed machine guns or at least the BAR if you want to stick to individual weapons.
     
  3. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    The C96 broomhandle is a odd ball, learning to operate it well not prepare you for a 1911. All the new bottom feeders on the market require you to know how decockers work, safety location and function.

    A revolver is a revolver, cartridge or cap and ball, different loading techniques, SA or DA, latch location, all have the same basic operation.

    Long rifles can be very different, bolt, pump, auto, mag or tube feed.

    Bottom line, fire arms are simple machines with few moving parts, it's not rocket surgery.;)
     
  4. toobigtofail

    toobigtofail PDX Member

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    I agree with the fellow above. No list of rifles is complete without the AK type weapon. They are the most prevalent firearm in the world. Nothing else even comes close.
     
  5. Phonelesscord

    Phonelesscord Portland, Oregon Member

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    He does have a Saiga 12 on there....
     
  6. Wenis

    Wenis Tri-Cities, WA Member

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    Like the rest said, I'd add an AK-variant, plus the Remington 870/mossberg
     
  7. doobee8

    doobee8 Salem, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    While similar to the M1 Garand. It truly deserves a place on the proficiency list!
     
  8. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot Oregon Member

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    What about the AK47 design makes it different enough to deserve its own training spot?

    I think training with a Garand would prepare you for its basic operation and the Springfield M1903 for the sights. All that's different is the location of the safety lever and magazine lever, so an American WWII era soldier could pick one up and be using it within seconds with no additional training.

    I did overlook the sub-machinegun category. Is there one model that would cross train you for the majority of the others? Perhaps the little of everything UZI?

    Many machineguns are crew served so I did ignore them and frankly, I don't know much about them. It would probably be another large list to operationally know them all from the Gatling, the Maxim, and so on.

    I included the "Broomhandle" because it's not only an oddball, but so many of them were made, they went to every corner of the world, and were encountered for at least 50 years of warfare. They were the first reliable and mass produced semi-automatic pistol.

    The vast array of modern pistols with strange decockers and safety locations are minor oddballs. It might add half a dozen designs to the mix, but the basic operational design is not much different than the CZ-75. Is there any modern pistol design since 1975 that operates that much differently in the hands of the user that it deserves it's own spot?

    Perhaps instead of being an expert as you pick up any firearm, the criteria should be you have 60 seconds to figure out minor eccentricities that differ from the basic designs they are based on.

    It may not be rocket science, but I saw an IPSC Grand Master stumble last week because the grip angle of a Beretta 92 is slightly different than a Glock.
     
  9. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot Oregon Member

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    I included three because I don't think they share basic operation.

    The Colt 1847 cap-and-ball requires a vastly different loading technique than anything else on the list.

    The Colt 1873 only adds a different loading system, so perhaps you're right there, but it is still a huge difference.

    The S&W M29 is one of the best examples of a double-action revolver and I think it is a significant enough leap from the 1847 and 1873 to deserve it's own spot. I did almost pick a Webley Mark IV, but I think the Smith would be a better cross trainer.
     
  10. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Well, I imagine I would have minor issue with the older blackpowder stuff, but I could hold my own with the rest of the gear. I'm not sure it's possible to be an "expert" on a range of firearms that extreme unless that's all you did. You could be familiar with and competent with, but expert is asking an awful lot...
     
  11. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot Oregon Member

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    I guess it's all in how you define expert. I define it as completely competent with and nothing more.

    I think it's a range of firearms anyone here could own and be completely competent with. It would be far more interesting a battery to take to the range then Glocks and XDs week after week.


    Here are some of what I like to bring for an interesting experience:
    IMG_0821Small.jpg
     
  12. shoggoth80

    shoggoth80 Greater Seattle Area Member

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    That's a tough task. I would like to think that I know enough about shooting to be able to hit a man-sized target with any of them. Hitting a precision target would be a different matter all together though. What kinds of scenarios? What types of targets. What constitutes reasonable accuracy/range?

    Fun concept. Would be neat to put together a "gauntlet" type of course, and have a go. Would have to be a concerted effort among many members. This is all theoretical of course.
     
  13. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    Nothing special about loading the Walker, all open top colts load the same except the ones with out a loading lever. Then you use a mushroom or the end of the arbor.
    mycolts0709.jpg
     
  14. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If its just shooting then basic marksmanship principles remain the same for all firearms. Sight alignment, sight picture, breathing, trigger manipulation. I thought the blaming the Beretta versus Glock was kind of lame because if you line up your sights, grip angle doesn't matter. I've shot Broomhandle Mauser and Luger and as long as you line up your sights, they hit pretty close to point of aim. The original title is proficiency with all firearms, I define proficiency to include immediate action, field stripping, maintenance, as well as shooting. The AK-47 therefore is not similar to any other weapon in those respects especially the Garand. It is a cool concept for a competition though. Watching the unexperienced try to reassemble a Broomhandle Mauser would be funny if it wasn't for the fact that its possible to reassemble it wrong and ruin the pistol...:(
     
  15. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Madcratebuilder was there when Lee surrendered and took all the Officers' pistols... :)
     
  16. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    Come on man, I'm at least twenty years to young to have been their! My Daddy was.
     
  17. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot Oregon Member

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  18. Martini_Up

    Martini_Up NW USA Well-Known Member

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    HK P7/13 series?
     
  19. Weathermaker

    Weathermaker Washington Member

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    Yep...and 105 Howitzer also.
     
  20. Ding

    Ding Lighter Side of Oz Active Member

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    of course