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Latest update 21.07.2001

G.O.W. Kickback:

Questions and Answer, Part 13

Answered by: P. T. Kekkonen

ATCHISSONIN RYNTOHAULIKKO/ Atchisson's Assault Shotgun

haatcaim.jpg (21612 bytes)I ran across this article   on the Atchisson Assault Shotgun. I was wondering if you have this article on-line in English?

Thank you: Gary.

answer.GIF (573 bytes): Sorry; there is not an article on the AASG in English on the web, but there is a book "WORLD'S FIGHTING SHOTGUNS" by Thomas F. Swearengen, (C) 1978, distributed by T.B.N. ENTERPRISES (P.O. BOX 55 Alexandria, Virginia, USA), containing the whole story of many assault shotguns, including the blowback prototype design of Maxwell G. Atchisson. I don't know, however, whether these books are still available or whether the distributor of it is still in business.

I received the permission to use material of this book (including reproductions of illustration) from it's author 20 years ago (1981), but for articles publisheable in Finnish only.

1107 MMI; PT

Subsonics for .243

Hi PT, I've enjoyed your information on the gunwriters web, now I have a question for you. I would like to load some subsonic rounds for my .243. I have access to the Hodgon or Winchester brand of powders, which powder to you recommend and starting grains for a 55 grain & 95 grain projectile? Is a packer of dacron required to hold the powder in place? Your advice is much appreciated.

Regards; Luke, New Zealand

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  I know that .243 Winchester is among those cartridges inherently prone to S.E.E. (Secondary Explosion Effect), also known as the Reduced Charge Detonation (R.C.D.). Please, do not try to design subsonic loads for .243 with ANY jacketed bullet. In theory it is possible to develope a subsonic load with 83 grains cast lead-alloy bullet and the most quickly burning (easiest-to-ignite) available handgun powder, but I cannot tell the exact charges for subsonic .243 loads. Just some tip for Starting Load. All the rifles are individuals and charges for "daily use" are exclusive. The gun-owner must design them by test-shootings.


Neither Australian powder manufacturer, ADI, nor distributor of ADI AS 30N (a.k.a. original CLAYS powder) is willing to give us any information about contents of their products and especially handloading data for subsonic rifle loads with the powders they're producing or distributing - even for the .308 Winchester cartridge, which is presumably a most popular and among the least "tricky" one for subsonic loading, even with the jacketed bullets. (Now talks FULL TWENTY YEARS of personal experience!). You may try a combination as follows:


Cast bullet LYMAN N:r 245 496 (nominal weight 83 grains) with a gas check, of almost pure lead, lubricated and sized to the groove diameter of your rifle or just slightly bigger. First try, whether you can use bullets of soft alloy "as cast", without resizing at all, seated into the cases having slightly flared mouths. DON'T make too wide flare! Active life of the case shall become shortened by repeated OVERDONE flaring and crimping.

Seat the bullet and adjust cartridge overall length to 63.0 millimeters (2.48") or slightly longer: Bullet's point must touch upon leade/throat ahead of a chamber (show visible rifling marks on the bullet when cartridge is extracted from the chamber without shooting).


Try first five (5.0) grains/ 0.33 gram charge of Australian powder AS 30N (Original Hodgdon's CLAYS! NOT Universal or International, which MAY be less easy to ignite). Use of Dacron filling is not essential, but turn the muzzle of your rifle upwards before each shot and then let it slowly towards the target. It is easiest way to keep the powder charge in rearmost end of the cartridge case. (A trick of Finnish target rifle marksmen a century or more ago. Nowadays generally forgotten).


Start the test-shootings with a clean bore (jacket metal or lead fouling removed), lubricated with very thin oil film. Preferable lube is an oil with added Teflon or Molybdenium Bisulphide. "Break-Free" oil is tried and found suitable for pre-test lubrication of a bore. During the shooting keeps bullet lubricant a "bore condition" uniform enough. That's why just LYMAN No. 245 496 cast bullet is recommended: There are five grooves around it's shank. All of them should be filled with lubrication wax. Dip also bullet point into some lubricant (grease or oil) just before chambering of cartridge.


You may increase the powder charge with 0.1 - 0.2 grain "steps" for search of best accuracy, until the bullet velocity is "transsonic", giving a whiplash-like noise, audible from direction of a target and no more from the rifle muzzle. Bullet velocity is transsonic when some shots are dull "booms" and some others are more high-pitched "cracks". When you are reached this velocity level (Mach 1.00, slightly plus or minus. One Mach is the sonic velocity in ambient air in ambient temperature) you must reduce your charge a couple of "steps", and here is your subsonic load for daily use. Adopt the charge which shot the smallest group during "stepping up" of test-loads, at least three shots with each charge.


Keep always your powder charge in head-end of the cartridge, close to the primer's flash hole or vent. Develope an instinctive habit to lift the rifle muzzle upwards before steady aim. If you are unable to learn this simple trick, you must use a rumpled Dacron wadding on your powder charge. Please Note: It is unnecessary to fill ALL the available empty powder space with Dacron fibres. Use them just enough to keep the powder charge in the reach of a priming flame: A fingertip-sized "carded" swab. When melted by the powder flame and again solidified, the droplet of Dacron is not much bigger than a corn of boiled rice.


As a citizen of New Zealand you have presumably a suppressor mounted on your rifle. You may use carefully rationed doses of Dacron even in the subsonic cartridges loaded for a suppressed rifle, since the drop of melted Dacron fibres shall pass easily the bullet passages of suppressor baffles and end-cap of the "silencer", which is truly a SILENCER when the loads are subsonics, but just a suppressor or sound moderator, if the bullet velocity is sonic or supersonic.

The very same device may be either a suppressor (sound moderator) or a true silencer, if it is large enough and well-designed. Construction of a device may be very simple, if the subsonic loads are used ONLY and they are loaded with correct brand of powder, generating as low muzzle pressure as practicable and safe in use.

1507 MMI; PT

How long does an e-mail take!

Hello, I just received this e-mail at 22.40 on the sixth of July 2001. It is a reply to an e-mail that I sent a month ago. Is this due to:
1) That you are a late replier?
2) That the e-mails take forever to get delivered to you, or me?

Please be so kind as to reply to this e-mail immediately so that we can find out what is causing the delays?

Sincerely Lars

Ps: and i have gotten your snail mail and sent a reply by e-mail already!

answer.GIF (573 bytes) 1) Yes. Works are jammed! (Just 24 hours per a day and seven days per a week). Sometimes I'll also take some absurd stints, like translation of Mauser C-96 instruction booklet to archaic Finnish from almost as archaic German. (All this extra toil, because I want to up-keep difference in kind of GOW/Finnish well ahead of the Finnish printed periodical guns/ammo/hunting magazines).

2) Sometimes yes. I have not (and I cannot ever afford) the direct Internet connection to my home. I'll be also unable to catch the messages or answer by the Web, because I'm lacking even the elementary knowledge on the modern computer technology. "But you may learn it from the books!" No, dear friend! It is impossible to learn anything from the books, since I am able to comprehend less than every tenth word from some "advanced MS Windows 95" user's handbooks. (Try to read my Finnish translation from  Mauser C96 käsikirja. Concratulations, if You can comprehend 10% from it's text! Those lousy MS Windows handbooks are published nominally in Finnish, but actually in text which I am unable to understand).


WANTED: Gun parts

FRIENDS IN ARMS: I have been searching, so far unsuccessfully, for a front sight hood and rear leaf sight for a Mannlicher Schoenauer Rifle (model 1952); and a rear peep sight (part Nr. 7198, no longer made), for a Thompson Center, blackpowder Scout Carbine. Do you have an idea where I might find these items?

Thanks & best regards, Jim

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  FRIENDS IN ARMS. If you have these sought-after items for sale, please, tell by us. Give your email address. Please Note: We must publish it on GOW/ Universal site. Your permission for publishment of email address is ESSENTIAL! On your request, WITH YOUR PERMISSION we may also publish your name and "snail mail" address.

1507 MMI; PT


Hello Gunwriters,

Further to Yugoslav rifles and ammunition, a lot of Yugoslav ammunition was imported to Australia at one time, mainly .303 British, 8 x 57mm German, 7.62 x 39mm and .223 (5.56mm). (We used to have a huge number of .303 No.1 MkIII SMLE rifles here before our restrictive gun laws -- We still have a large number of them but you don't see them in public any more. There were several problems with this beautiful, shiny Yugoslav ammo:

The .303 British:

This ammunition was marked PPU or PPYU MKVIIZ & MKVIIIZ. It lived up to it's marking. (Late WWII British MKVIIIZ was a high powered round using nitrocellulose powder, not cordite and it was designed for machine gun use in Vickers and .303 Brownings, not rifles.) The Yugoslav projectile was heavier than a standard .303 British, 190 or 198 grains boat-tail (I think) instead of 174 grains and the powder load was VERY hot.

I think the problem may have been twofold, the powder was developed and tested in a cold climate, and my guess is the load was higher because it was originally intended for military export use and the probably wanted it to drive tired old .303 Browning Machineguns, Vickers and BRENs in their export markets in third world Africa.

In a .303 SMLE No1 MKIII it would stretch the action if used too often. It was OK in a good .303 No.4 action, but I have seen it blow an extractor out of a .303 No.4 which was a bit worn and loose.

The 7.92 x 57 mm ammo seemed OK, but most K98 actions are very strong anyway.

The .223 was a REAL problem, it was not made to standard US SAAMI specifications and it had an extremely hot load. It was OK in some bolt actions but it destroyed automatics. One problem was the primer cups were too brittle and they'd perforate when used in a Ruger Mini-14 or an M16. Bulged heads, split cases, loose primers and bulged barrels all happened. I have seen a full-auto 5.56 mm SMG disintegrate while using this ammo.

A problem which you probably wouldn't get too often where you are is that ammunition is very temperature dependant. In Australia if you leave ammunition in the sun on a hot day, breech pressures can go off the scale and accuracy will suffer markedly.

Similarly, ammunition designed for the tropics may not cycle a weapon in the arctic or may not ignite powder correctly under extreme cold, causing low powered rounds and short feeds, particularly in 9mm.

Anyway, that's all on Yugo ammo. Stay away from them. Their rifles are good. (Their Simonov variant, AK variants, their K 98s and their 'Dragunov') but stay away from their ammo, it's far, far too hot.

As for the Serbs releasing weapons, I think that's unlikely, unfortunately they're all far to busy using them on each other and with the promiscuous way they fire them there won't be an unworn barrel left in the area.

Truth is the 7.62mm Nagant is a very good long range sniping calibre with good ammunition. (Some of the old Soviet Bloc ammunition is terrible!)

I've done very good shooting with a Russian 7.62mm Nagant Sniper despite the terrible stock and single stage trigger. Mine was mint new condition and it had a lapped and air-gauged barrel courtesy of the Soviets.

If you reload with care and use .303 British projectiles (They're the perfect size, .311") it will shoot one MOA all day.


Sherro. (Australia).

Bullets shot backwards

Hi PT, Hope this finds you well. I believe at one time you mentioned that some military users of subsonic ammunition would convert their ammunition by loading the bullets in backwards, with a reduced powder charge, for greater "punch" and accuracy. Do you have any more details on this method? Did they lubricate the bullets as we do with the "suputin" rounds? Thanks for your help.


answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Military users of reversed bullets were Germans during the 1st World War! Soon after the arrival of British tanks in Cambrai, France, 15th September 1916, they were found an Armor Piercing projectiles available for each rifleman in the trenches. (The real AP bullets were issued to the snipers only). Quotation from the booklet "KNOW YOUR ANTITANK RIFLES" by E.J. Hoffschmidt, published by Blacksmith Corporation:

"Like most secret weapons, the tank had its bugs. They were mechanically unreliable and several were soon captured by the Germans. After some hurried testing, they found that by simply reversing the direction of the standard infantry rifle bullet in the cartridge case, it would penetrate thru the British tank armor".

This German "standard infantry rifle bullet" was a flat-based, pointed FMJ projectile for 8 x 57 mm Mauser rifles and machine guns with mild steel (I prefer the term "iron") jacket, weighing ten grams/ 154 grains. Nominal muzzle velocity of it was ca. 2920 feet per second (890 m/s), but when reversed, it might be 900+ meters per second, because the powder charge was not reduced. Nominal maximum chamber pressure was 3100 atmospheres, but because of the compressed powder charge, it was presumably about 4000 atm, when those improvized "anti-tank loads" with reversed bullets (seated almost the base flush with case mouth) were shot. Fortunately to Germans, action of Mauser Model 1898 kurz rifle is able to stand occasionally 5000 atmospheres of chamber pressure if the cartridge case is able to seal it without split of it's head.

It was rather a rule than an exception that the rifle bolt was stuck tightly. It was needed to beat open with a boot sole or fire-wood. Germans cursed the actions of Mauser rifles when they fed the blunt-pointed cartridges into chamber (essentially from the magazine), but they blessed the sturdy and broad extractors which enabled removal of stuck case without extractor-hook breakages or case rim broke-offs.

Use of reversed bullet to perforate 8.2 mm thick armor plate of earliest tanks was based on an elementary fact: You need considerably less energy to punch/ "die cut" the hole through a plate than to puncture it with a pointed drift, especially that of rather soft material like German Spitzer bullet, which must make a hole with diameter 17 to 20 mm through armor plate when struck point-on, demanding 1000+ m/s STRIKING velocity, but mere 8.5 to 9.0 mm when struck base-on and therefore acted as a wadcutter. Plates were of face-hardened mild steel, riveted on the angle iron skeleton frame. There were 2 - 3 millimeters wide slits between the plates, and each rivet was an "Achillean heel" of the first tanks. British tankers learned very soon to wear wire-mesh "tanker's mask" with goggles, when some colleagues of them were lost their eyesight by the spray of molten lead droplets and fragments of hot iron.

Finnish gunwriter VELI NIEMINEN (passed away in 1936), a contemporary secretary of Finnish Shooting Association (Suomen Ampujainliitto r.y.), wrote on his "AMPUJAN KASIKIRJA/ Handbook to the Shooter" published in 1926 about the boat-tail FMJ military rifle bullets: "They are about as accurate when shot reversed as when shot point forwards". Author V. Nieminen mentioned also some loads with reduced charges in this book, and the special powders like DuPONT de Nemours IMR 15˝ and 17˝ (with added powdered tin) were also familiar to him, but he became goofed when using them and wrote: "After few shots, the bore of my rifle was sooty; tarnished from the throat to muzzle. It was very difficult to remove those dull grey remains of incompletely burned powder."

In 1989, when some Finnish bench-rest shooters loaded and shot cartridges with Hodgdon's H-870 spherical powder, they lamented that: "The perkeleen*) Yankee powder corroded my rifle bore after a couple of shots loaded with it!". I had a chemical analysis of H-870 in my possession. So I could console those benchresters: "Don't worry! Your rifle bore is not corroded or eroded, but just lined with a very thin coating of metallic tin. Powder H-870 contains a small percentage of Cassiterite (stannic oxide), which is reduced by the loss of it's oxygen.

Don't remove this dull grey coating from the bore, although it may look displeasing: Just polish it with a fine steel-wool! It prevents corrosion and copper-alloy fouling, just like the pewter anti-fouling rotation rings of heavy artillery shells. Powder H-870 is designed for the cartridges of rapid-firing Vulcan machine cannons. Therefore this anti-fouling material (Black Cassiterite) is essential in it's composition".

*) "Perkeleen" = "Satanic; Diabolic". PERKELE was originally PERKUNAS, a Lithuanian deity of the thunder. This abused name was adopted to the Holy Bible, when it was translated to Finnish: We got a very strong new swear-word to our language in 16th century.

Some benchresters, who were done their military service in the Coastal Artillery or other heavy artillery, did believe in my scientific explanation. Some others trusted in "Gothic stories" of VihtaVuori's salesmen and dummies: Several barrels of bench-rest rifles were renovated unnecessarily. "O Sancta Simplicitas!". VihtaVuori yields today N500-series of powders, with nitro-glycerol surface coating, which was "cause of corrosion and erosion" according to the horror-stories told a decade ago. I don't know, whether N500 powders contains Cassiterite or not: We have no friends amongst the producers or dealers of firearms, ammo or propellants anywhere on the Globe, and we can no more get information about the compositions of the new propellants directly from manufacturers or distributors of them.

There were some Finnish moose-poachers in the late 1930s, who knew the trick of reversed bullet. Moose population was, however, very small and moose poaching was not profitable trade in Finland, except in the regions close to the contemporary Russian border in Carelia (robbed by the Russian communists in 1940 and another time in 1944. This pillage was applaused also by the allies of Red Russia in 1947, when the so-called "Peace Treaty" - risum teneatis, amici? - was signed in a city of Paris between Finland and the "Allies"). Most Carelian professional poachers shot mooses with sawed-off shotguns, loaded with coarse black powder and spherical lead bullet - or a cylindrical cast (solid!) lead "slug". Dull report of a shotgun attracted less notice than "cracky" blast of rifle, and the poacher should not arouse attention.

I have no information about military use of reversed bullets during our wars 1939 - 44. (Captured Russian cartridges with explosive/incendiary ZR bullets were plentily available: No need for "Dum-Dumming"!). I re-discovered this reversed bullet trick twenty years ago, now especially for subsonic loads and boat-tail bullets Lapua D-46 with a stepped boat-tail. (I could publish the trick in 1982 by a most popular Finnish outdoors hobby magazine! It was an era of miracles: Handloading of subsonic rifle cartridges is today a "TABOO" on the printed matters in Finland). Idea was found from book of Veli Nieminen, who was, however, never tried this trick for subsonics. (He didn't actually test-shot "supu-loads" in 1920s and 30s, but just somewhat reduced charges with rifle powders and cotton-filled cases).

Today we have very good .30 caliber bullets for reversed loading, Lapua FMJ "Lock-Bases" with almost hemispherical base and a sharp point. Our test-shooter Markus (MPP) has observed that the Ballistic Coefficient of Lock-Base bullet is higher and trajectory is more straight when it is shot reversed at subsonic velocity. Accuracy is also sometimes improved and at least as good as that of point-forwards propelled bullets. The shape of reversed Lock-Base projectile is almost ideal for conquer of air resistance at subsonic velocity. A sharp bullet point has no remarkable superiority to ogival or hemispherical point, but stream-lined bullet's base shall reduce the "suction air resistance" considerably and so add the Ballistic Coefficient of a bullet at the subsonic velocity level.

This observation is actually almost 160 years old: Improved "Lang Blei" (= "long lead") bullets for Prussian bolt-action Dreyse rifles were "bird-shaped", with a shorter point than the streamlined boat-tail base and no cylindrical "shank" at all. Designer Johann Nicolaus von DREYSE was adopted his idea from the body shape of a pigeon or some other bird.

Those Finns who knows the trick of reversed bullets know also beneficial effect of bullet/bore lubrication. Molybdenium bisulphide coating of bullets is a popular procedure here, but use of pure copper as a jacket material and electroplating or "electroless" chemical plating of bullets with a thin coating of nickel may become a standard treatment in the near future. It is also an old German invention: Nickel-plated pure copper was found to be an ideal jacket material in tests of SPANDAUer ARSENAL (1886 -87) but refined copper was too expensive stuff in those days for use as the bullet "envelope" metal.

Observation of Germans fell into oblivion, but it is just a "Sleeping Beauty", I think so! Today are .30 caliber Sako 145A bullets jacketed with refined copper and it is easy to electroplate shanks of them in a drinking glass with a 1.5 Volt dry battery. It takes mere three seconds of time to plate a bullet with a proper nickel coating. (Experience talks..!). Alloy of copper and nickel was also adopted in many countries, but it was less succesful jacket material - especially when the velocities of military rifle bullets exceeded velocity ca. 750 meters per second: Metal fouling became a scourge. Germans adopted iron jackets, plated with cupro-nickel, copper or the Gilding Metal. They also re-dimensioned bores of Mauser rifle, shawing the rifling grooves 1˝ times as deep as the grooves of previous Model 1888 Commission Rifle.

Non-metallic jacket materials (polymers) are also promising option, when ammunition industry shall sometimes start to produce special projectiles for handloading of subsonic rifle cartridges. "Polymer Nr. 66" (trade-mark Nylon) is a most suitable material for this purpose, as far as I know. It is already tried as the jacket material of revolver bullets ("Nyclad") and in the "cages" of high-velocity compressed-air rifle projectiles ("Prometheus"). Shape of the bullets for subsonic rifle loads may become also uncommon, but they shall have usually patterns on the pages of firearms history, which is always the inexhaustible source of "revolutionary new inventions and innovations".

2706 MMI; PT

Velo-Dog revolvers

1: If you have any information about old revolvers (or sites about it), popular named "Velodogs", because was used by bikers to protect himselfs ot the dog attaks, please answer me in your page.

2: Also I want any information about websites refered to old test banks for guns and his typical marks for each gun or type of guns. Here, in Argentine Patagonia, it is not so easy find this kind of information. Thanks so much.


answer.GIF (573 bytes) 1: In general, I must confess once again that I have not a direct contact to the Web sites, and no skill to search any sites. Also: I have not enough income to acquire a Web contact, and I'll never get it. On the other hand, I'm lacking enthusiasm or even the lukewarm attachment to Information Technology and the expensive electrical devices or the computer programmes, whose generation lasts just six months. (My "typewriter" computer is about fourteen years old. It's word processing program is ca. 28 years/ 56 generations old Finnish TEKO Original. And I'll never learn more about electrical information processing than just those essentials I need. Please; never more ask from me the web sites!).

Re Velo-Dog revolvers and cartridges I have a lot of information. Several years ago I suggested a Brazilian firm CBC to re-enter upon production of 5.75 mm Velo-Dog cartridges for ca. a million of "hungry" Velo-Dog revolvers (usually of very high quality and in very good shootable condition), possessed in Continental Europe. Million of them? Yess! I found from a book "ASE-ATLAS" by Russian Alexandr B. Zhuk almost 90 drawings of V-D revolvers. This book is publisheded in Finland. Text is in Finnish. Book is available from book sales of ASE-lehti. It contains thousands clear drawings of handguns and shoulder arms, being a "Number One firearms identification book in the world". E-mail address of world-wide distribution is: . List price equals US $ 38:60 in Finland (plus postage).
velodog.gif (6787 bytes)
In our country the Velo-Dog revolvers were and are still rarities even in the public or private collections, while those cheap 7 mm LeFaucheux pinfire revolvers are common and they were still more commonplace guns about a century ago, when here were pinfire cartridges plentily available and no kind of "gun control" precluding possession of handguns until November 1918. Finnish ex-emigrants, returning from USA, brought also cheap centerfire pocket-sized revolvers to the "old country", but these handguns were chambered for "American cartridges".

No American manufacturer produced revolvers chambered for Velo-Dog cartridge, because it was a French innovation (of Galand; 1894). "N.I.H. syndrome" is an universal scourge: "Not Invented Here = Worthless for any use here". Three American ammunition companies loaded, however, V-D cartridges presumably for the European export.

The 5.75 mm V-D cartridge is interesting, not only as a revolver ammo, but also - and especially - a cartridge for chamber adapters of existing centerfire weapons and those equipped with a rifled barrel liner. Why? Because the case diameter is small, about like that of .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, but the cartridge is still a CENTERFIRE one, using standard-sized Boxer primer, and it is therefore RELOADIBLE. CBC has not received my letter, or they are suffering from "the SAKO Syndrome"? (The most arrogant Finnish firms have never sent answers to my letters, even the most friendly messages).

I must correct the usual delusion about name "Velo-Dog": Revolvers and cartridges were not designed for shooting of dogs, but all the unjustified attackers, including the robbers, rapists, burglars and muggers. For the protection against dogs were already available very clever loads for pin-fire (5 mm, 7 mm and 9 mm LeFaucheux) cartridges: Paper capsules filled with "dust-sized" lead shots, diameter less than one millimeter and powdered CAPSICUM ANNUUM pepper. Oleoresin of Capsicum, "OC", is recently found to be more efficient than any synthetic chemical tear-gas. In Finland and Sweden this spice is known as a "Cayenne Pepper" and in America as a "Hot Chili"; a most acrid spice available from all supermarkets.

Velo-Dog cartridges had Full Metal Jacketed bullets with a risk of over-penetration through a dog, but not an immediate effect. A dog, blinded and lost it's skeenest scent by the dust-shot & pepper load didn't continue it's attack, but especially a rabid dog didn't even note a hit or even several fatal hits of tiny 5.7 mm full-metal jacketed bullets, unless they were hit into it's central nerve system. A dog was usually able to bite the defender before it's detained death and infect the biker with rabies, if it was itself infected with hydrophobia. For chase-away of dogs those V-D revolvers were actually about the LEAST suitable contemporary firearms..! So, why the name?

Velo-Dog revolvers were variants of earlier Bulldog revolvers. Ending "-dog" of a compound word derived from it. These guns were recommended to velocipedists (bikers), because of the always existing double-action mechanism (sometimes double-action only) and a mild recoil which didn't kick the biker down from the saddle, but those guns were also fit for home-protection and self-defence in general. That word "Velo-" may also be a derivation from the Latin word "velox", as the jacketed bullet could be shot with higher muzzle velocity than a lead bullet of usual contemporary snub-nosed Bulldog revolvers or (especially) the pin-fire handguns. Arrival of smokeless powder was also topical in 1894. Most French V-D cartridges were charged with "Poudre Blanc"; it's variations "Poudre J" (= "Jaune"; i.e. "yellow powder") or "Poudre S" (irregular flakes, looking like tiny silver chips), from the very start of their production in France.

These powders were designed in 1892 by inventor of smokeless powder, Paul Vieille, for 8 mm "Lebel" revolver cartridges. "Silvery powder" is still made in Czechian Republic and sold as an American powder "AA No. 2" distributed by a firm Accurate Arms, made by a French licence in Prague Powder Manufacture since 1919. Nominal muzzle velocity of V-D cartridge bullet was mere 198 meters per second (British Kynoch load) or 230 m/s (U.S. Remington & Peters loads). Actual velocities are impossible to estimate, because barrel lengths of revolvers varied. Weight of round-nosed bullet was 45 grains/ 2.92 grams in British and American loads, but 3.0 grams in original French loads, which were slightly more efficient than British or American ones. Bullet and cartridge was designed to penetrate even the robust attacker (human being; not a DOG) deeply enough to incapacitate or kill, even if the bullet perforated a thin bone, sternum or a rib.

Some earlier or contemporary revolvers (especially 5 mm and 7 mm pin-fire guns) were unable to push their bullets even to the subcunateous tissue through heavy clothing. Jacketed roundnosed bullet of Velo-Dog made a narrow but straight and deep wound channel. Despite of it's slow muzzle velocity from revolvers with a barrel sometimes shorter than a cylinder, the bullets shot to ventral side (chest or stomach) of an attacker were sometimes found from subcutaneous tissue on a dorsal (back) side (unless they were perforated a body entirely). These traumatologic observations were got usually from the post-mortem examinations of FELONS; never from the autopsies of DOGS.

5.75 mm Velo-Dog cartridge had an extra-long case and considerably large powder space compared with .22 Long Rifle rimfire or even .22 WMR cartridge. Charge of smokeless powder was about par with .22 LR High Velocity load. Bore friction of jacketed bullet was compensated by the reduced charge (compared with available powder space). Maximum allowed chamber pressure of V-D cartridge was mere 750 atmospheres. Maximum pressure of .22 LR cartridge is 1800 atm and that of .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire is 2000 atmospheres.

Case rim of V-D cartridge is, however, solid and thick enough to withstand easily at least as high pressure as that of .22 WMR case - or many reloads to the "specific" V-D's pressure level. Majority of Velo-Dog revolvers were built strong enough to allow safe shooting with a muzzle pushed to contact on the body of an attacker. Muzzle blast completed effect of a projectile: It tore a scorched entrance hole just like an explosive bullet, but with a deep penetration of full-jacketed projectile. The solid combustion residues of "Poudre J" contained also toxic water-soluble barium salt. That's why the chamber/muzzle pressure was kept on the "lower than necessary" level.

webleric.jpg (11899 bytes)Traditional explosive revolver bullets in 1890s were also able to tear large scorched wounds, but they lacked penetration and failed many times to detonate because of their low striking velocity. Caliber of explosive revolver bullets was usually about 12 millimeters (.455 Webley or .476 Enfield) and the guns shooting them were not pocket-sized handguns like Velo-Dog revolvers but the big military "belt pistols". Police revolvers like Webley & Scott "R.I.C." had too short barrel to generate high enough velocity for regular detonation of bullet's fuze. (Tested by us? Of course..!).

Photo: Caliber .455 Webley & Scott "R.I.C."

Maximum dimensions of 5.75 mm Velo-Dog cartridge are:

Case length...................29.60 millimeters
Cartridge overall length......34.30 mm
Case mouth outer diameter......6.30 mm
Case rim diameter..............7.80 mm
Case diameter ahead of rim.....6.42 mm
Bullet diameter................5.74 mm

(Source of information: West-German Firearms Act, 1.3. Anlage III zur 3. Verordnung zum Waffengesetz, attested in September 13th 1976. Table is based on the European C.I.P. standards). V-D cartridge is not standardized by American S.A.A.M.I. specifications. American firms Remington, Peters and Winchester loaded it until the Second World War, but no more later.

2. I am unable to comprehend your term "test bank". Is it a "proof house"? Stamps on the officially proof-shot firearms are known as "proof marks". It may take a year (or years) to list all of them! Example given: Germany had/has many proof houses and the proof marks were varying from time to time. Too much bustle to search proof marks of all (or even most) proof houses on the world.

PS: Are the Argentinian "gauchos" still carrying the old 12 mm and 15 mm LeFaucheux pin-fire revolvers? If so: Where the cartridges for them are loaded nowadays?

2406 MMI; PT

Lost "snail mail" letter?

Hello, PT I would just like to know if you have received my payment?? If it is not too much trouble for you I would really like a reply to this e-mail.

Sincerely, Lars; Norway

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Your letter, stamped in V:gli, Norway 24.4.01 arrived to our P.O.Box in 26.04.01. Many thanks! "Snail Mail" is considerably more swift and (especially) more sure than E-mail. We have tried to send a message to your E-mail address at least three times since April 2001, but you have presumably not get any of them?! Anyway: Welcome to the "Club" of Privileged Visitors!

For those visitors willing to support our activity I must tell bad news, but also good news. Bad ones first: We tried registration to "Paypal" currency transfer system, but registration is impossible in Finland if a company or private person has not an International Credit Card (like VISA). And just the solvent companies or persons with an abundant regular income are entitled to get a Credit Card.

Good news: Exchance of cash money (bills/ banknotes) is less expensive in Finnish banks than I have feared. Banking charges for honouring of international cheques or money orders are, however, more dear than is our annual fee. It is also possible to exchance many foreign currencies; not US dollars only, but also paper money of most European countries (with some exceptions like Russian roubles). Canadian or Australian dollars are also easy to chance here to Finnish Marks - or to Euros after 1st January 2002 when the Euro shall become an official monetary unit in Finland.

2406 MMI; PT

Yugoslavian 7.92 mm Dragunovs

There is a very serviceable version of the Dragunov made in the German 7.92mm (8mm) Mauser calibre by what was originally Yugoslavia. They also made and repaired MG42 Machine guns and 7.92mm Mauser rifles. The Yugoslavian version uses a telescopic sight very similar to the original Russian version.

As a bit of historical information: I'm reliably told that the CIA paid a very large sum of money for their first Dragunov sample which came out of what was then Rhodesia, via Zambia. (About $25,000!). Now they're down to reasonable prices.

Sherro (Australia).

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Editor's comment: Many thanks for information. Yugoslavian sporting rifles manufactured by Crvena Zastava plant were known in Finland, but not too many of them weren't imported before start of Yugoslavian civil war. Cartridges loaded mainly by Prvi Partizan, Titovo, Uzice, (headstamp "PPU" with Cyrillic letters), were well-known here. Disintegration of Yugoslavian Federal Republic and a civil war ended import (export? production?) of Zastava bolt-action rifles, but at least a part of Zastava's pistol production seems to be re-established in Greece. I have no idea, whether import of PPU cartridges is started again here.

Dragunov rifles were presumably produced "for official use only", but let's hope that ex-Yugoslavians shall start the export of at least surplus Dragunovs. In the Western World that 7.9 x 57 mm JS (Mauser) cartridge is presumably slightly more common than the 7.62 x 54R Mosin-Nagant, but Dragunovs chambered for .308 Winchester may become to production for export in some sunny day? There isn't too big physical difference between .308 Win and 7.9 x 57 mm cartridges. Once again: Thanks for the information.

0706 MMI; PT

Gun Shows and other "Cat's Christenings" in Finland

Please excuse my ignorance, but I am a visitor in Finland. I wonder where I could find a list or program of gunshows and militaria markets scheduled to take place in Finland in 2001? Will appreciate any suggestions.

Sincerely: Tom

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Please, excuse our ignorance, but we are presumably the least "commercially tended" media in the Western World! But you may ask the schedule list of gun shows & militaria markets from the Editorial Office of "ASE" magazine. E-mail address is: . I presume that they have a list of those shows/ markets and other "Cat's Christenings" until the end of this year 2001 in Finland and Scandinavian countries.

0806 MMI; PT

US Rifle Krag & Joergensen .30-40

I restocked a Krag and upon glass bedding the action found that the guide studs would not enter, so I layed the action in the stock and screwed the studs in place and clamped it down. The guide studs on a Krag are not straight and parellel as in most other rifles, the studs get closer as you come to the ends. The action can't bend so they had to be made that way. What was they're intention, which one should be pulled in first? I'm at a loss. Can you give me some advise?

Thank you; John from Idaho, USA

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  I have never disassembled .30 caliber Krag rifle (or it's Scandinavian variations). From "The Gun Digest Book of Exploded Firearms Drawings, 3rd Edition" by Harold A. Murtz I found illustrated parts list of Krag action, but there were no parts known as "studs". I presume, you're meaning trigger guard screws, if not a lug below the tail of receiver tang. It's rear end seems to be somewhat askew on the drawing. From the book "Firearms Assembly/Disassembly, Part IV: Centerfire Rifles" by J.B. Wood I found an advise, you'll presumably asking for: (Disassembly) "Remove the vertical screws on the underside at the front and rear of the trigger guard. Take off the guard downwards, and separate the action from stock. Take care to move the action straight upwards during removal."

There are no special "tips" or "tricks" mentioned on this book for reassembly of Krag rifle, other than those for reassembly of magazine and the bolt. So you may put the stock and barreled action together in reversed order STRAIGHT DOWNWARDS, reassemble the trigger guard, and turn the vertical screws to proper tightness, presumably the rearmost screw first.

The rear end of a magazine seems to act as a recoil lug of Krag, and the barrel bands seems to keep barrel and fore-end of a stock together. No other screws but those fixing the trigger guard are found from the list of parts. They squeeze, of course, also the action on the stock.

2805 MMI; PT

Villar Perosa and FIAT machine gun(s)

Dear Pete

I've seen your answer in Part 4. Questions & Answers Until 05-12-1999 about "Origin of AK assault rifle and 7.62 x 39 cartridge" by John W. I found You are not correct about Villar Perosa Mod. 1915 sub-machine gun. For sure it's not a scaled-down version of Fiat (Revelli) Mod. 1914 machine-gun as you can see in the pictures I'm sending you. More the Villar Perosa fires 9 mm Glisenti pistol cartridges, while Fiat fires 6.5 mm Carcano rifle ones.Also the chargers, as you can see, are completely different. The V. P. submachine gun fires 2500 - 3000 rounds per minute, the Fiat only 400 - 450 ones.

Regards, Ferrante, Italy

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Your comment is correct! FIAT/Revelli machine gun is entirely different from Villar Perosa Mod. 1915. But I hadn't FIAT/Revelli gun Mod. 1914 in my mind, although Abiel Bethel Revelli-Beaumont could be a co-designer of another (less-known) Italian machine gun. Action of Revelli Mod. 1914 is a combination of short recoil and delayed blowback, very similar to action of Glisenti Mod. 1910 pistol; discovery of two Swiss mechanics, Paul Haensler and Pierre Roch in 1905. Design of pistol Mod. 10 was, however, "completed" (read: spoilt) by A.B. Revelli-Beaumont. Siderugica Glisenti was just a manufacturing company of these pistols.
fiatm14b.jpg (19651 bytes)
Barrel moves a short distance back. The breech-block moves backwards and so away from breech-end of the barrel without positive locking by a swinging lock-lever, before the chamber pressure is low enough for easy case extraction. Charger of Fiat/Revelli was a cluster of box magazines, fixed together side-by-side.

The gun was water-cooled, usually mounted on a heavy tripod. Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili, Torino (FIAT) produced, however, also other machine guns - including Villar-Perosas; but not ONLY designs of Abiel B. Revelli.

Example given: Subsequent manager of FIAT company, Giovanni Agnelli, designed a machine gun with a simple construction and a "too much too early" improvement: Fluted chamber (or powder gas lubrication of chambered cartridge), already BEFORE the First World War and several years before introduction of Villar Perosa. Chambers of many Italian machine guns with delayed blowback actions were lubricated with oil for prevention of case breaks. (Idea of lubed chamber was invention of German Andreas Wilhelm Schwarzlose, who designed a first practical machine gun with delayed blowback action in about 1900. Cartridges of earlier Austrian Karl Salvator & Dormus "Skoda" machine gun were also dipped in oil before they were dropped into a gravitation-feed charger of the gun, which was not yet a practical weapon).

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"Pater Noster in Exelsis: Dona nobis Maxim sclopetum!" (Latin: "Our Father which art in Heaven: Give us a Maxim gun!"). This was a morning and evening prayer of religious Italian warriors during the First World War, according to the contemporary anecdote. Revelli Mod. 1914 was never a popular machine gun among it's users: Too many jams and broken shells! The rear end of a breech-bolt horrified also the most timid machine gunners, although the recoil buffer between "spade handles" stopped positively it's movement rearwards.

"A grown-up elder brother" of Villar Perosa Mod. 1915 was NOT the best-known design of A.B. Revelli, but S.I.A. machine gun. According to Ian V. Hogg: "Designer G. Agnelli was responsible for the design of SIA machine gun. The initials are derived from the (former?) manufacturer, Societa Anonima Italiana G. Ansaldo, Armstrong & Company. SIA was a retarded blowback gun in which the bolt was locked by the forward movement of the firing pin, which rotated the bolt as it struck the cartridge cap. Like all retarded blowback guns, the SIA suffered from difficult extraction.

Agnelli solved this problem by cutting longitudinal grooves or flutes in the gun chamber so that a small amount of gas leaked past the case mouth and 'floated' the case to prevent it sticking. He patented this idea, which has been widely used in subsequent weapon designs. Agnelli's designs and patents were taken over by the Ansaldo company *shortly before the First World War*, but the gun was not developed into a practical weapon until the 1920s, by which time there were several other and better designs available. A small number were bought by the Italian Army for training". (Quote from "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of FIREARMS" by Ian V. Hogg, 1978. Straight quotes are permitted in early 1980s by copyright holder, Quarto Ltd.).

If A.B. Revelli was not a co-designer of pre-WW I SIA gun, his Villar Perosa Mod. 1915 was not only a scaled-down variation of Agnelli's gun, but a plagiarism of SIA. Unfortunately the later history of firm A.A. & Co. is unknown to me, but as far as I can recall, it was merged to a company known as SAFAT (Société Anonyme FIAT Armamente, Torino), which was later sold to Ernesto Breda company, when FIAT withdrew from firearms business. Those SIA guns sold to Italian army were presumably made by SAFAT, when it was still an armament division of FIAT.

Delayed blowback action of Agnelli's gun was copied by Pietro Beretta company (licensed copies of V-P; single guns with buttstocks, production models 1918 and 18-30), in Soviet-Russia (Degtaryev submachine gun model 1930; some prototypes were made) and in Finland (prototypes of AL-43 assault rifle).

I have seen pictures (including most interesting sectional drawings) of SIA machine gun only on the rare and expensive book "The Machine Gun" by Chinn, (USA). I found a section drawing of Villar Perosa's action from the "Textbook of Automatic Pistols" by R.K. Wilson (England). About six years ago I could borrow two volumes of "The Machine Gun" and compare actions of SIA vs. Villar Perosa: They are similar in MOST respects! For example, the SIA gun had a top-mounted magazine similar to that of V.P. or Beretta Mod. 1918. Barrel was air-cooled and fixed to the receiver like barrel of Villar Perosa.

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Action and functioning of Villar Perosa Mod. 1915 were faithfully copied from S.I.A. machine gun, designed before the First World War. Villar Perosa was designed for use in aeroplanes as a flexible observer's gun (that's why the high rate of fire), but 9 mm Glisenti cartridge was not powerful enough for intended purpose. Aeroplanes were no more frail "hand-looms" in the later part of First World War. They shot also back with synchronized machine guns, loaded with explosive, incendiary and armor-penetrating bullets. Especially Austrians preferred explosive projectiles in dog-fights against Italian planes. V Ps were issued for ground use with bipods, but they were not as comfortable in use as the later conventional or "real" submachine guns with a butt-stock.

There was a cam slot on the side of tubular receiver. It's sloped rear surface twisted the breech-bolt upwards during bolt's preliminary movement rearwards after a shot. Rear end of the breech-bolt delayed opening by it's curved surface leaning on the cam of a striker head, which was loaded by a recoil spring. (Delay cam arrangement between moving parts was similar to the cocking curve in bolt-action rifles of Mauser-origin). The striker head reciprocated in the receiver without twisting movement, of course. Delay of the breech-bolt based partially on the friction ("Blish Effect") but mainly on the velocity difference of moving parts and inertia of a rather heavy striker head.

Breech-bolt was still heavier, acting as a bolt of the conventional submachine gun. Torsional inertia of rotating breech-bolt was, as such, presumably more important retarding element than the friction between cam surfaces. I don't agree with Ian V. Hogg that "there were several other and better designs available in 1920s". Agnelli's SIA machine gun was an ingenious innovation despite of it's simple construction or, actually, BECAUSE of it's plain design and absence of too many frail tiny parts. "Simplicity is beauty for the eyes of a simple-minded spectator" (like me).

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Action of Villar Perosa: Breech-bolt's delay lug (11) reciprocated in the slot (12) of receiver. Slanted edge (13) of the cam slot twisted the breech-bolt (10) downwards before a shot. Firing pin (14) could now hit on cartridge's primer. After ignition of cartridge and a phase of peak pressure, the lug (11) was forced to climb upwards/backwards from the cam slot, twisting the breech-bolt. Lug (15) of the firing pin's rear end reciprocated in slot (12) without twist. Cam surface of breech-bolt's rear end and slanted front edge of lug (15, pushed forwards by the recoil spring) resisted twisting movement of a bolt (10) and delayed it's admission to the narrow receiver slot (12) until the chamber pressure was dropped to safe level.

Residual pressure of powder gas pushed now the empty cartridge case and breech-bolt backwards, compressing the recoil spring (16). Nail-like resilient spring steel ejector (21) turned the spent case away from grip of the extractor hook (23) and tossed it downwards out from receiver. When the next cartridge was fed into chamber from a top-mounted magazine, the slanted cam surface of a lug (15, leaning on the curved surface of breech-bolt's rear end) prevented strike of the firing pin to the primer of a cartridge, until the breech-bolt was rotated 15 degrees of angle to clock-wise direction. Bolt was still moving forwards, producing a "floating fire" just like a bolt of submachine gun with a fixed firing pin.

(Source of drawing: Robert Kenneth Wilson, 1934. Captive written by P.T.K.).

It is often claimed that excessive cyclic firing rate of V P (up to 2000 rpm from single gun) was caused by too light weight of a breech-bolt and insufficient design of retardation. This theory is "hugaa" (= "bullshit")! Reason of high firing rate was a very short reciprocating travel of breech-bolt (40 mm or slightly more). Almost any selfloading pistol with blowback action is able to shoot 1500 - 2000 rounds per minute if the firing mechanism is modified to give reliable burst-fire. Bolt travel of SUOMI KP/-31 submachine gun is 80 mm (twice as long as that of V P). It's firing rate is 800 - 1000 rpm (depends on function, condition or absence of a vacuum valve in the receiver end-cap). Some submachine guns with 120 - 150 mm bolt travel are able to generate cyclic rate mere 350 - 500 rounds per minute, depending on bolt weight and stiffness of a recoil spring. A rule of thumb is that doubled bolt travel shall divide the cyclic rate in half.

I presume that You can find information about S.I.A. machine gun from Italy easier than I can get it in remote Finland. SIA gun is, however, almost unknown everywhere nowadays. Pictures and technical data are welcome to us if You are able to find some information with a new consciousness about this subject of research. Sectional drawings are especially wanted to our archives.

APPENDIX: Adoptment of the fluted chamber until 1960's.

Pre-1914: Giovanni Agnelli, Italy. S.I.A. machine gun.

Ca. 1930: Boris G. Shpitalniy & Komarichky, Soviet-Russia.
ShKAS rapid-firing aircraft machine gun.

Ca. 1939: Fyodor V. Tokarev, Soviet-Russia. Self-loading rifle SVT 40. (Just the case-neck space of chamber is fluted).

1944 -45: Illenberger, Jungermann, Staehle & Vorgrimler, Germany. Last assault rifle prototypes Mauser "Geraet 06 H" (without a gas-piston action) and assault rifle "StG 45 (M)".

Ca. 1948: Ludwig Vorgrimler, Spain. (Formerly in France since 1945 until ca. 1947). CETME assault rifle.

Ca. 1950: Ludwig Vorgrimler, France. AAT 52 machine gun. (Delayed blowback action was a pre-WW II design of Hungarian Pál Kiraly. Also adopted to FAMAS assault rifle).

Ca. 1956: Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft/ Neuhausen, Switzerland. S.I.G. - SG 57 assault rifle.

Ca. 1958: Heckler & Koch GmbH, West-Germany. Modification of CETME rifle (G3). Since 1959 until today: Many pistols, rifles, machine guns, submachine guns and machine cannon.

Nota Bene: List may be incomplete since 1950. All the years of adoptment are approximate, as just G. Agnelli patented a fluted chamber. Ansaldo, Armstrong & Co. was presumably a "nominal patentee", which let the patent to drop in early 1920s or discontinued it's business entirely.

2305 MMI; PT

Swedish import of Bergmann and Suomi submachine guns

In The Q & A Section below you wrote: "For international sales were sub-variations of BMK 32 chambered for cartridges 7.63 x 25 mm Mauser, 7.65 x 21 mm Luger, 9 x 25 mm Mauser Export and 9 x 23 mm Bergmann-Bayard (a.k.a. 9 mm Largo in Spain). Sweden bought in 1939 unknown quantity of Bergmann MP 35s, chambered for 9 x 19 mm Luger cartridge, which was already a contemporary standard caliber of MP 35".

The quantity of Bergmann SMG/ MP 35 (Kpist m/39) in Swedish use was 1 800. One of these sources is: . I have seen the same number twice in print so I think it is accurate.

I also have one question regarding Tikkakoskis export to Sweden. Do you have information regarding delivieries per month or per Year? I have quite firm evidence that 800 m/37 where delivered before 31/12 1939. Thereafter Finland exported 900 m/37 and 350 m/37-39. See .

Cheers; John, Stockholm, Sweden

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Many thanks for the information! Export/import statistics of German and Finnish submachine guns seems to be correct, because Sweden could product licensed copies of SUOMI KP/-31 and became soon self-supporting. Most (if not all) those 1800 "MP 35 Bgm"/ "Kpist m/39" submachine guns exported to Sweden were made by the Waffenfabrik Carl Walther in Zella Mehlis or Zella St. Blazil, Germany. Records of Walther's Zella plants became lost in the last phase of Second World War, but they may still exist in some Russian archives, if not destructed.

I haven't literature about delivery of Suomi submachine guns to Sweden in my possession or easily available.

1505 MMI; PT

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Please wait, Honey! Gunwriters updated!    (c) Feliks

Dragunov rifle

I'm very impressioned about your weaponry's knowledge. Well, I want to buy a Dragunov Sniper Rifle, but I wonder if I'll have a trouble with calibers and cartridges. Is it possible to get this rifle in other caliber different to 7,62 x 54R? Where? Prefereably, I wish some information about Scandinavian or Eastern European countries wich made it.

Many thanks, Pablo; Spain

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  I have not up-to-dated knowledge about availability of Dragunovs chambered for other calibers than 7.62 x 54R Mosin-Nagant. There was a civilian version with a rigid machined action about similar to that of Dragunov SVD, known as Medved (Russ. "The Bear") hunting rifle, chambered for 9.3 x 53R Russian cartridge, rarely met outside contemporary Soviet Union. As far as I know, Finnish 9.3 x 53R Sako cartridge was impossible to shoot from a Medved rifle, because of excessive overall length of Finnish 9.3 mm cartridge. 9.3 mm Russian had a bullet considerably shorter than that of 9.3 mm Finnish ammo.

In Finland we have no problems with Dragunovs (bought from Russia and ex-DDR for Finnish army), because 7.62 mm Mosin-Nagant is a standard Finnish military caliber. Two manufacturers are loading cartridges with a choice of bullets. The special sniping cartridges (especially designed for SVD) are also bought from Russia for army. Years ago there were imported Russian ammo with old-fashioned bullets, presumably pointed balls with a weight 9.6 grams. They gave a poor accuracy from Dragunov, which was almost doomed as "praised to the skies, but actually unfit for sniping".

Error was corrected later, when Russians told that SVD needs a high-quality projectile if the best accuracy is needed. Some Finnish projectiles are also able to give a good sniping accuracy. I don't know, whether Finnish 7.62 mm Mosin ("long rimmed Russian") cartridges are exported to Spain. Those made by Lapua, with bullet D-47, weight 11 grams, are good for SVD.

I have not knowledge about production of original Dragunov elsewhere but in Russia, even in Eastern Europe. In Scandinavian countries they are never built. Finnish Valmet M83 LB was not a copy of SVD, but a civilian variation of a light machine gun. A notorious "Romanian Dragunov" (so called by a Finnish importer) looks like SVD, but it is just with a narrow margin suitable for moose hunting to ranges less than 100 meters. Dispersion of the groups may be more than 150 mm at a hundred meters range. Definitely it is NOT a sniping rifle, because of it's flexible (flabby!) sheet-steel receiver.

You must try to acquire an original Soviet or Russian Dragunov rifle and 7.62 mm Mosin cartridges for it. If the rifles or cartridges are unavailable in Spain, you must be satisfied with some .308 Winchester bolt-action sniping rifle. ("Save Errors & Omissions": I am mainly a firearms historician with always out-dated knowledge about availability of modern COMMERCIAL weaponry).

1605 MMI; PT

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SWOS - Silent Without Silencer.   (c) Feliks

Pistol suppressor

Hi Pete. I've found the information you have provided on Gunwriters to be most invaluable. You truly know what you are talking about which is a welcome change. I've noticed that you have some information on suppressors, mainly for long arms and for .22 rim fire. I was wondering if you could please let me know if there was a way to suppress a .38 with a 2 inch barrel. I know that this is probably a near impossible task but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,


answer.GIF (573 bytes)  If the .38 is a revolver, there is no easy way to suppress it. I don't think that it is sensible to acquire a suppressor for a wheelgun. The blast of powder gasses leaking through a gap between barrel and cylinder is about as noisy as the muzzle blast. Snub-nosed revolver needs also long or thick suppressor. During the Second World War the Britons designed an improvized method for suppression of revolver's gap blast, so called Churchill's Mitten, a piece of car tyre's inner tube wrapped around the revolver (usually Enfield with caliber .38/ 200) and hand & wrist of the shooter.

There was not a suppressor mounted on revolver muzzle but this rubber "mitten" was able to suppress the muzzle blast too. Hand of the shooter became sooty and slightly charred. Shots were not aimed but just pointed. Hits were possible to shoot at very short range. "Churhill's Mittens" were never popular among the British warriors or agents. They were issued until design of Welrod Hand Firing Devices and suppressed Sleeve Guns. Not many books about WW II agent weaponry and special devices have mentioned these makeshift revolver suppressors.

Finnish rangers knew also similar method for suppression of their .25 ACP caliber back-up pistols, when they were sleeping during their trips behind Russian fighting lines. They kept their pistols in shooting hand, covered with leather mitten. Beneath it was a wool glove with two finger-stalls, one for a thumb and another for index/trigger finger. Suppression of blast was not, however, a principal reason to keep a little pocket-pistol in the hand covered with mitten, but need to open the fire immediately after moving the safety to "fire" position. Hidden handguns were presumably never shot in anger, but the rangers were trained to use them. Blasts of them were "somewhat muffled" but shooting was unpleasant experience, because hot cases could drop into sleeve and burn the wrist of shooter.

Swiss (?) suppressor expert Siegfried Huebner designed (or at least introduced) a suppressed revolver with a sheet metal suppressor which covered barrel and cylinder of the wheelgun. There is not a cut-away drawing of this .38 Special Smith & Wesson revolver published, but S. Huebner told that "this revolver silencer really works". Suppressor looks like a snug-fitting metal holster on the revolver, with rear and front sights mounted on the suppressor. Aim is possible, but it is necessary to remove the revolver from it's "holster" for swinging the cylinder open, removing the cases and loading the chambers. As far as I know, this kind of revolver suppressor was unique sample, too difficult to mass-produce.

If your .38 caliber gun is not a revolver but truly a pistol, give the more detailed information about it, please!

1305 MMI; PT

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Gunwriters - Fastest of it's kind!     (c) Feliks

Factory-loads vs. handloads

Dear Pete, I cannot seem to duplicate Remington Express Rifle Ammunition ballistics with handloads. The 140 grain PSP Core-Lokt average 3517 across chronograph. The best I can do with any powder is 3156. My rifle is a Remington 700 Sendero 26 inch stainless steel fluted barrel. I have tried almost every powder listed in my manuals.

Thanks, Eric

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Powder of factory-loaded ammo may be unavailable to handloaders or your bullets may be different from those produced for factory-loads. 3156 feet per second for 140-grains 7 mm Pointed Soft Point bullet is a sufficient velocity. Do not try to duplicate ballistics of factory load with excessive powder charges. They'll shorten the life of your rifle barrel and especially the cartridge cases.

On the manuals are Maximum Loads usually somewhat less than the charges of factory loads, because cartridge manufacturers does not like the idea that the case of once-shot cartridge is able to stand too many reloads and shots. Reloading data on manuals is published by "better safe than sorry"-principle, considering also active life of gun barrels and cartridge cases.

My old Hodgdon Data Manual No. 26 (compiled in 1987) give just one 7 mm Remington Express load generating 3000+ fps velocity for bullets with weight 139-140 grains: 55 grains of powder IMR 4831, generating velocity 3009 fps and 51 000 C.U. Pressure (Maximum Load!). Test-barrel length has been 24 inches. Your stainless 26" barrel is able to generate about 150 fps extra velocity with this 55 grs charge of IMR 4831, but definitely not 3517 feet per second. I don't know, whether Remington loads their cartridges with Finnish VihtaVuori N550 or N560 powder, because there is no loading data for 7 mm Rem. Express published in Finland at all.

1305 MMI; PT

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Gunwriters - Danger! Informative!     (c) Feliks


Box still open for contributions?

Greetings, wonderful job you are doing out there in Finland! I am inquiring if you still maintain the PO Box for CA$H contributions, and if so I would like to donate a picture of dead president to you. Please let me know how to go about doing this?

"Gun Control means you can hit your target!"


answer.GIF (573 bytes)  Lease contract of our PO Box is still valid until 1st June 2001 and I'm planning to renew it since day of expiring until 1st June 2002. CA$H contributions are easy and sure way to keep GOW/Universal alive. PO Box is also essential for receipt of letters, drawings, diskettes, ROM-CDs, catalogues, books and other mail. (My street address is horribly long with two Scandinavian letters "ae"). I have not direct contact to the Web, presumably needed for contact with currency transfer system "Pay-Pal" mentioned on some messages from our US visitors. It is not yet known to me, whether Pay-Pal system extends to Finland. Therefore the pictures of late US presidents or finance minister Andrew Hamilton are welcome donations.

An usual letter is safe and sure way to send them over here. Our address shall remain unaltered:


Many thanks in advance, 0505 MMI; PT

PS. Finnish submachine gun KP-44 is among the easiest guns to control... (By the gunner, of course!).











answer.GIF (573 bytes) Don't worry about your English which was not too bad. I'll always do some editing if needed.

1- There were or are two different .375 caliber cartridges for variations of Winchester 1894 rifles, namely old .38-55 Winchester & Ballard and .375 Winchester (Big Bore) for 1894 Angle Eject rifle. Last rifles chambered for old .38-55 cartridges were made in 1940. Your rifle is so an Angle Eject 94 variation and caliber is .375 Winchester. Case of old cartridge .38-55 is too long and fat for .375 Win. chamber. Don't use it for reloading. Save the cases with headstamps .375 W. for your reloads. Our problem is ignorance of powders easily available in Spain. One of our Spanish visitor has told that there are no powders available for reloaders but he is fortunate enough to live close to French border. He is therefore able to acquire powders from France where a large choice of them is for sale.

2- Winchester Angle Eject 1894 rifle has considerably stronger action than original model 1894 and although the case of .375 Win Big Bore cartridge is shorter and slimmer than the shell of old .38-55 W & B and it's volume is considerably reduced because of increased wall and head thickness, the .375 Win. cartridge is able to generate considerably higher bullet energy than .38-55 ammo, but of course with accordingly higher chamber pressure.

3- For African big game is needed a deeply penetrating bullet. Suitable projectiles have a round or sharp point, strong full-metal jacket construction, unless the bullet is not a solid projectile of some copper alloy or pure copper. Preferable weight is 300 grains or more. I afraid, there are no bullets available for .375 Winchester cartridge suitable for elephant or African buffalo hunting. Easily expanding flat-nosed soft point bullets are good for deer, elk and marginally for moose hunting. Especially the pointed FMJ bullet is risky in a rifle with a tubular magazine unless the cartridges (or at least first one) are fed manually to the chamber.

4- When the cartridge is loaded with Winchester 748 powder, the suggested starting loads are 42 grains for 200 gr bullet, 40 grs for 220-grainer bullet and 38 grs for 250 gr projectile. Maximum load of W 748 powder for 250-grainer bullet is 40 grains, generating muzzle velocity 555 meters per second and for 200 gr bullet the maximum charge is 44 grains, generating muzzle velocity 611 meters per second. You may load cartridges with 200 grains bullet with ca. 10 % heavier powder charges, when compared to 250 grains bullet and gain accordingly higher bullet velocity at moderate ranges. For extended ranges the heavier bullet is preferable, because the air resistance shall reduce velocity of 200-grainer projectile sooner than velocity of heavier bullet. Rifling twist of your rifle is able to stabilize also flatpointed 255 gr bullets.

Please Note: Before you'll start reloading, tell to us producers, names or numbers of the powders and bullets available in Spain. We are able to calculate safe reloading combination for your rifle.

5- The .375 Winchester 1894 Big Bore/ Angle Eject rifle is an obsolete model. Curtailed choice of factory-loaded cartridges is sign of a "flop". Nine years after introduction of .375 Winchester rifle and cartridge there were comments published on HODGDON DATA MANUAL No. 26: "As this is written in late 1987, no rifle is available in .375 Winchester, and Winchester has discontinued the 250-grain factory load".

It is advisable to buy all the cartridges you can get and save the cases. You can get very soon cartridges by reloading only! Fortunately enough, the .375 caliber flat-nosed bullets are still available, but my philosophy has always been: "Avoid all firearms with non-military centerfire caliber! Civilian cartridges are coming and going while many old military cartridges (like 7.62 mm Mosin-Nagant and still older .45-70 Government) are strongly alive and brisk".

1005 MMI; PT

Mysterious "TIKKA" stamp on Bergmann MP 34.I

Thank you very much for your detailed reply to my question. As I look at what I sent to you, it looks as if I failed to attach the photo of the marking. If you get time, would you please look at the picture I am sending and verify that it is a Tikka mark? Is the T inside the triangle oriented correctly? Soviet Tula arsenal may have used a similar stamp.

Again, thanks very much,

Byron, New Mexico, USA

answer.GIF (573 bytes)  During 1930s the stamp of Tulskiy Orucheiniy Zavod was "T" in a five-pointed star or cyrillic letters "TO3". Stamp of Ischyevskiy Orucheiniy Zavod was a triangle with a fledged and barbed arrow, pointing upwards inside the triangle. Apex of "Tikka" triangle is downwards; that of Ischevskiy stamp shows upwards. Stamp on your submachine gun is definitely a "Tikka" stamp.

0905 MMI; PT

IMPORTANT SUPPLEMENT: Predecessors of Bergmann-MP 35

I have found some additional information about early variations of "MP 35 Bmg" submachine guns from a reliable German source. The first model was known as "BMK 32". Guns were made by a famous sporting/hunting rifle manufacture SCHULZ & LARSEN in Otterup, Denmark. Transitional variations were known as "MP 34 Bgm" and "MP 34.1 Bgm". They were made in Denmark and Germany. Germans were bold enough to use abbreviation MP already in 1934, a year after fall of the degenerated Weimar Republic's administration. Model "MP 34.1" existed but "MP 35.1" didn't.

Supplementary information about making of pre-MP 35 in Denmark is giving support to my view that there is at least one sample gun made in Finland by TIKKAKOSKI Oy, which had experience on manufacturing of submachine guns. "BMK 32" and "MP 34 Bgm" guns made by Schulz & Larsen were presumably made with tool-shop machinery, being expensive. It was, however, possible to produce unlimited quantities of submachine guns again in Germany, which was separated from League of Nations in 14th October 1933 and started re-armament. Production of "MP 34.1 Bgm" returned from exile back to it's roots, to the rising Deutsches Reich. It was no more needed to search foreign manufacturers.

General conscription was declared in 1935, but "MP 35 Bgm" became never a standard submachine gun of German Wehrmacht. Those guns produced were issued to SS and some other special troops. They were not very popular, because of old-fashioned horizontal magazine extended to right side of the receiver. Empty cases were ejected to left side of a gun. When shot from prone position, the hot shells could bounce towards face of the gunner. Left-handed gunners were happy: It is said that designer of BMK 32 (Hugo Schmeisser) was a "southpaw", just like Samuel Colt.

All the variations altogether, no more than 40 000 guns were made, most of them in Germany, small batches in Denmark and presumably just one gun in Finland. Unfortunately this last assumption seems to be impossible to confirm from available literature or information from Tikkakoski Oy, which has been out from firearms business since mid-1980s. Many records of Tikkakoski were destructed before the firm became property of Soviet Union after our 3rd Independence Struggle.

For international sales were sub-variations of BMK 32 chambered for cartridges 7.63 x 25 mm Mauser, 7.65 x 21 mm Luger, 9 x 25 mm Mauser Export and 9 x 23 mm Bergmann-Bayard (a.k.a. 9 mm Largo in Spain). Sweden bought in 1939 unknown quantity of Bergmann MP 35s, chambered for 9 x 19 mm Luger cartridge, which was already a contemporary standard caliber of MP 35.

0605 MMI; PT


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