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The LA times has an article about a homeless man who was found in possession of two submachine guns, two magazines, two pistols and an improvised suppressor. From the picture above it appears the two submachine guns are a reactivated/remanufactured Sten in 9mm and a reactivated/remanufactured vz.26 (normally chambered in 7.62×25 caliber), the common East block pistol and submachine gun round that is nearly identical to the 7.65×25 Mauser cartridge . . .

Deactivated submachine gun vz.26 cal.7.62x25 (courtesy

This ad shows the deactivated vz.26 for sale in the European Union for 95 Euros. Parts kits have been available in the United States, but do not included an intact receiver, only stubs from the receiver tube, for $62. Here is a link to a person who hoped to rebuild one of the parts kits into a legal semi-auto pistol. He expected to spend about $600 on it in 2013.

The vz.26 has a large oil filter attached to the muzzle. These are reported to make effective improvised suppressors. The first round fired creates a hole for the rounds to follow. It is questionable how effective it would be on the 7.62×25 round, which has a supersonic velocity of nearly 1500 feet per second.

The LA Sheriff’s Department, which took the picture, reported that the Sten and the vz.26 were fully functional. You can see two loaded magazines for the vz.26 loaded with the 7.62×25 bottleneck rounds in the magazines. I can only see three handguns, a Ruger MK1 that has an AR-15 flash suppressor attached to the barrel, an Rohm RG-10 .22 revolver or close facsimile, and Cobray model DD .410/.45 Colt Derringer.  The Cobray was offered in kit form about 20 years ago.

The department reported that there were two improvised suppressors; perhaps they included the AR-15 flash suppressor as an improvised sound suppressor. I do not see a fourth mentioned handgun; it may well be outside the picture frame.

These reactivated/re-manufactured subguns should really count as homemade guns. They almost certainly have no serial numbers. Very likely the Cobray derringer has no serial number either.  Because the firearms were found in the possession of a convicted felon, a prohibited possessor, the firearms were likely created specifically for the black market.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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  1. Ive lived in that neighborhood and live near it now. It’s industrial space near the harbor and back water from the swamps they drained in the 50s.

    My guess was that someone dumped the guns. The police themselves maybe. It’s happened before. It’s a good place to dispose of things

  2. On one hand, he is a convicted felon and under the law has no right to personal defense.

    On the other hand, he is homeless and at higher risk of harm to person and theft of property (exacerbated by the proportional impact such loss would have on the total value of his owned assets and the likely need and utility of such assets to survival).

    On the third hand, if he is so dangerous that he can’t have a gun, why isn’t he in jail or on probation?

    On the fourth hand, the law is the law and you’ve got to obey it or violate it and go to jail or civilly disobey and still accept the jail while fighting it.

    And on the fifth hand, those seem to be impractical choices for homeless personal defense. Esoteric rounds and sizing seem impractical. A small .22 semi or revolver would have spooked off most threat and remained concealed on his person tucked among whatever stuff he had while still being affordable. It leads me to suspect he was the fall guy for a black market dealer, accepting a little food or booze money in exchange for the only work he could get.

        • And one of the few lifestyles LA is a comparatively good place for, is that of the homeless. The other is for the “famous” crowd. For everyone else, the place kind of sucks. Guy’s a hero, if for no other reason, then for dampening any enthusiasm aspiring ISISites may have had about shooting up his fellow homeless….

    • So only a gun is considered “self defense”? Many have noted how a baseball bay, knife, sword can be considered just as deadly as a handgun. I guess we need to know what his conviction was for before we feel bad for him.

      • A sword, and possibly the knife (depending on local law), will get you in similar trouble. A baseball bat might not. Of course, a bat is not easily concealed or kept on the person. Even with his minimal personal possessions, I’d rather a homeless guy be able to focus on protecting self than protecting things.

        Is a gun the only option? Not at all. But for high risk targets, I’d suggest it is the strongest force equalizer.

    • “And on the fifth hand,…”

      Er, how many hands do you have, anyways? Being a mom, we know you have eyes in the back of your head… 🙂

      In all seriousness, a tiny NAA mini in .22lr in a dogtag neck chain holster would be ideal for a street person, the mini’s are about $200 new…

  3. Where in the constitution does it say you only have rights if you have a permanent mailing address? Where does it say your rights can be suspended because of your zip code? We can argue about his felony conviction, but simply being homeless is no reason to deny him his road warrior looking junk.

    • I don’t think anyone who is pro-gun has anything against a non-PP homeless person being armed. I think they’re more intrigued by the fact that someone without any access to a workshop or a lot of money has access to guns that are made from parts kits.

  4. I’d be very curious to see the lineage of these weapons. It’s gonna be real hard for a person without a home to build something like these.

    Maybe he’s a hero of some kind looking to propose change in the streets:


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