Slate Horrified to Discover That Guns Can Last a Really Long Time

AR-15 rifles On American Flag

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Slate has discovered that firearms can have useful lives measured in decades, if not hundreds of years. And that the millions of civilian owned AR-15 rifles — to say nothing of the hundreds of millions of firearms of all kinds — in the United States aren’t going anywhere.

Colt has emphasized the economic calculations behind its 2019 decision: Supply, it says, has outpaced demand. Perhaps mindful of how gun rights advocates reacted back in 1989, the company has also emphasized its continuing commitment to upholding the second amendment. This has not prevented advocates for stronger gun control legislation from suggesting Colt is responding to the brand damage created by the AR-15’s deployment in school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in 2017.

Whatever its motivation, Colt’s decision has material as well as moral and political dimensions. It offers impetus to think about history, scale, and the long-term consequences of individual decisions about business and security. American ingenuity and industrial capacity in the 19th century kick-started an arms race among the countries of Europe. Eventually, those arms fell into the hands of individuals in North Africa, the Balkans, and elsewhere, as they decided their governments lacked the will or capacity to defend their citizens. They opted to take on that role by arming themselves with military-grade technology.

At the start of the 21st century, it is American civilians who are up-arming, preparing to fight one another and any government, including their own, that intrudes on their cherished ideas of autonomy. They look to secure themselves against all comers, and in so doing, put themselves and their fellow citizens at greater risk of gun-related injury or death than in any other industrialized nation.

– Keith Brown in What a 150-Year-Old Gun Tells Us About the End of Colt’s AR-15

comments

  1. avatar Leslie says:

    There was an Article in “National Geographic” in the 1990’s of a elder Afghan Tribesman proudly posing with his trusty Pattern 1800 Baker Infantry Rifle that one of his ancestors “somehow” acquired in 1842…

    1. avatar M1Lou says:

      I brought home two Snider-Enfields and a Martini-Henry from Afghanistan on my last trip. (should have bought a P-1853, but ran out of time to inspect them fully, do the paperwork, and ship it home) Two of the three still work and will lob a 500 grain slug down range. The other Snider one needs a bit of work, but will most likely fire when it’s fixed also. Even that harsh environment, with a good caretaker, these guns will last.

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      I have a sporting rifle with a synthetic stock, Leupold scope, heavy target barrel (mostly used in range competition), but it is built on a 1914 Carl-Gustaff M96 receiver.

      I have other rifles dating from the 1930s to 1950s. People not familiar with service rifles cannot believe they are that old and still working perfectly.

      1. avatar Leslie says:

        Same here, but a “Franken-Rifle” 98k Mauser year 1936 with an Arisaka Type 38 Barrel replacement and 25 round Trench Magazine. Also with a Polymer Stock, which gives it a “Steyr Scout” look…

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Mine is nicknamed the “FrankenMauser”. I also have a M48A Yugo Mauser with a Mojo back sight. And a M48 with a Lyman peep sight, but the recoil of the 8mm Mauser has broken the sight so it needs to be replaced.

        2. avatar Leslie says:

          The “FrankenMauser” I had, though made in 1936, sat in a warehouse near the ocean for almost 60 years and which dried out the wood. The seller of the 98k’s used candle wax to give the wood stock a false near new look. Though wound up being extremely bad in quality and in integrity of the operation of the rifle. The Sea Air also damaged the barrel, facilitating a New Barrel. I went for an Arisaka Barrel for the Type 38 which had a higher bore pressure rating then the original barrel specifications and could handle Newer more Modern Propellants. Though from time to time still use Cordite Propellant ammunition…

      2. avatar California Richard says:

        +1 for the “Frankenmauser”. VZ24 garage build in .30-06. $500 1-MOA. Frankenmauser will still be shooting 500 years from now when all my plastic wonderguns turn to crumbly mush.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      yeah,..they’re not exactly “consumables”….like cars or refrigerators…..

  2. avatar No one of consequence says:

    “American ingenuity and industrial capacity in the 19th century kick-started an arms race among the countries of Europe.”

    So are they praising America here or condemning it?

    Either way, the European states had centuries of rivalry and warfare, and the Continental arms makers – personal, large, and supporting industrial trades like chemical companies – were quite adept in their own right. Nobel, for an example.

    1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      Very few people today know that Nobel created his prize to restore his reputation. His contemporaries considered him a merchant of death.

  3. avatar Merle 0 says:

    “American ingenuity and industrial capacity in the 19th century kick-started an arms race among the countries of Europe.”

    Oh what a crock. Excellent attempt at blaming America for literally anything. But the “arms race” in 19th century Europe had everything to do competing European rivals and newly developed means of production. Leftists really don’t understand a damned thing about history.

    1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      +1

        1. avatar Longhaired Redneck says:

          Plus 4+!

    2. avatar DesertDave says:

      And hence they are bound to continually repeat the mistakes history attempts to teach us to avoid. The most basic definition of either stupidity or evil.

    3. avatar Rocketman says:

      Leftists are idiots because they don’t understand the old saying “Those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it”. Either that or they want the United States to become the new Soviet Union 2.0 which makes them traitors.

    4. avatar A. C. says:

      Leftists DO understand history. They understand it quite well enough to expertly substitute their own version of history without Americans really noticing. Howard Zinn’s book of lies about American History, a common resource and textbook in public school classrooms is an example.

      1. avatar Jeff Cantwell says:

        Howard Zinn’s American history book came highly recommended to me. I am always willing to entertain views and opinions contrary to my own. So I bought a used copy off eBay.

        I made it about 4 pages before I tossed it in the recycle bin. Biggest bunch of communist indoctrination clap trap I’ve ever seen.

    5. avatar Keith says:

      It’s not the misunderstanding in the innocent sense, as a child has. It’s willful misrepresentation of history. There is nothing innocent or accidental about it.

      They know full well that the genocide and politicide of the last century largely rests on ideologies very similar to theirs. But it’s a damn tough sell to say, “Follow me, I’ll take you to the gulag!”

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        teachers should teach…not blindly follow the textbook….one of the first things I did every year was ask them to open the book and look at the names of the authors…and explain to them that this text was a compilation of their opinions…and during the course of the year I would be adding my own….

    6. avatar Dwight Hansen says:

      That’s for sure.

      The USA was relatively isolationist during that time. Our military wasn’t at the forefront of firearms development either.

  4. avatar Sunshine says:

    Have there been any lab tests on the shelf life of a Glock?

    1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      After it beheads a 1911 it becomes immortal.

      There can be only one.

      1. avatar DJ says:

        Glock will die before the 1911.

        The 1911 is immortal.

        1. avatar frank speak says:

          in regards to the 1911…when a gun is torn apart and reassembled uncountable times…as well as shot extensively they tend to loosen up….

      2. avatar napresto says:

        There’s some joke in here about using a takedown version…

        (Like the sword! Get it??? I’ll be here all night.)

        1. avatar dph says:

          The Hostess “Twinkie” will outlast them all.

      3. avatar IAmNotTheHulk says:

        Best comment ever!

    2. avatar Wedge259 says:

      I have heard, but can’t verify, that some of the oldest Glocks out there, like original gen 1’s that are over 30 years old at this point, have shown some signs of deterioration and weakening of their polymer frames. I would assume though that the more modern polymer formulations in newer models would last effectively forever though.

      1. avatar Leslie says:

        Glocks are made of Nylon-6, which can break down (decompose) in as little as 25 years or as high as 100 years, depending on ambient air temperature…

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Then you can replace it with a Polymer80 frame in less than two hours.

          FIFY

        2. avatar Leslie says:

          Polymer 80 and Nylon 6 are nearly identical! The only difference is that Polymer 80 has Two Monomers to that of Nylon 6’s one monomer…

        3. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

          Exposure to UV light and heat have the greatest effect on nylon 6.

        4. avatar Rocketman says:

          I have two Remington nylon 66’s, the older of which is so old that it doesn’t even have a serial number on it. The gun as I recall, was a birthday president for me back in ’58 or ’59 when I was about 6 or 7. Haven’t shot them a whole lot, maybe 5,000 rounds each and I haven’t noticed any deterioration on the nylon stock whatsoever. I did have one .22LR cartridge that had a split case which tore off the extractor and that’s the only thing that I’ve ever had to replace or fix on either gun. Very accurate and IMHO a better gun than the Ruger 10-22.

        5. avatar Leslie says:

          I don’t own a Glock! The only Glock I was ever interested in didn’t even exist in physical form, and was only a Artist Rendition made by “DeviantArt” and was also posted in “TFB” (The Firearm Blog)…

          ( https://deviantart.com/eightbyte/art/Glock-21R-Revolver-203905788 )

        6. avatar Arc says:

          @leslie that glock 21R is lit, they should put it into production immediately

        7. avatar Leslie says:

          Yeah, but the “Real” Glock 21R “Isn’t” a Revolver…

          ( https://us.glock.com/en/pistols/g21-gen4 )

        8. avatar Anymouse says:

          Shouldn’t Glock frames have those little recycling triangles so we know which bin to put it in?

        9. avatar Leslie says:

          I don’t own one, so I don’t know! But if the PETE stamps are placed, there most likely on the underside of the Polymer Frame which makes contact with the Steel Frame…

        10. avatar Ed says:

          Compare the picture of the DeviantArt Glock 21R revolver with a picture of a Colt Diamondback revolver. Just sayin’…

        11. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

          so most plastics in landfills will not last the 4-500 years claimed by environmentalists?

        12. avatar Leslie says:

          One of many reasons that most states are banning the sale of “LifeStraw”, because of their usage of Low Density Plastic. And usually discarded by throwing them into or down into Storm Drains which feed into Water Reservoirs and clog the Filtration Systems…

      2. avatar Otto Lode says:

        I bet the life of these polymers will surprise many as long as they aren’t laying out in the open desert they will last thousands of years hell if you wrap and bury at 3 feet it’s like a time capsule ask me how I know lol

        1. avatar Otto Lode again says:

          Take say a 44 mag Desert Eagle the latest model in stainless how many eons will that survive

        2. avatar Leslie says:

          Certainly not a Desert Eagle, unless the Steel Frame is covered in “Glass”! Glass won’t degrade naturally in less than 1-Million years…

        3. avatar frank speak says:

          few know that the nylon 66 was actually smuggled into Cuba for use by the opposition…

      3. avatar EndDangerEd says:

        You can use Toulene to clean a 1911… your Glock will become a puddle, same is true for kerosene. Original 1911’s were packed in cosmolene, and kerosene was the preferred method of getting the preservative off. Do that with a Glock and it’s gone…. so how DO you preserve one “long term”?? Or are you stuck with a 25 year “shelf life”, period? Most of my pistols are metal from the 1911 to the Couger 9mm. My Keltec will melt, I was curious and tested a spot on the grip… Now I know how to put a rough surface on it in a hurry.

        1. avatar Leslie says:

          Slather it liberally in “Cosmoline”! In 2014, the Brazilian Police found a cache of M1 Garands dated for WWII covered in Cosmoline sitting at the bottom of a lake. Be guesstimate was that they sat at the bottom of the lake for more than 70 years. Both the M1 Garands and thousands of rounds of .30-06 were in pristine condition, being protected by the cosmoline…

        2. avatar rosignol says:

          I have a Glock I bough in ’95. It’s holding up just fine.

      4. avatar Mastro says:

        Direct UV will degrade nylon if its in direct sunlight, but reflect on how long a gun is in direct sunlight. A pistol should be held in a holster most of the time. A rifle will probably see a lot more – so UV stabilizers, or simply a coat of paint should probably be used on nylon furniture or magazines.

        Moisture can probably break down nylon, but I think if you buried a Glock in mud or such, the steel parts would degrade more than the nylon.

    3. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Have there been any lab tests on the shelf life of a Glock?”

      That’s actually an excellent question, on several levels. Allow me to explain –

      I’ve noticed something over the last 20 years or so, and that’s how poorly *some* plastics age. Plastics used to be a material that didn’t much change over time. Example, old ‘Tupperware’ plastic in my parent’s kitchen cabinets for the last 60 years or so. Holding up *wonderfully*. On the other hand, I’ve run across some plastics that are literally crumbling after 10 years or so. Case in point – A Motorola consumer UHF walkie-talkie. I went to pick it up one day, and as I opened the battery compartment, the door just snapped in half. I examined the rest of the unit, and as I squeezed it, the plastic case just crumbled in my hand. I squeezed some of the pieces, and they fell apart. (This does *not* apply to the commercial-grade Motorola gear. It’s holding up just fine. Rugged stuff.)

      I wonder if the plastics manufacturers have changed chemical formulas for the polymers the use in injection molding. I *suspect* what has happened is that the plastic-pellet manufacturers are using a (considered) less toxic chemical in the plastic feedstock that feeds the plastic injection molding machines.

      This problem has now hit the vintage Nike (and other brands) tennis-basketball-sports shoes. The old shoes from 30-odd years back are literally falling apart. The urethane foams that provides cushion for the soles are turning into powder. (just slightly exaggerating).

      Check this video out, literally crumbling –

      “Watch a pair of ‘Linen’ Nike Air Force 1s fall apart.”

      https://solecollector.com/news/2016/12/linen-nike-air-force-1-crumbling

      Background on the issue –

      “The Sneakerheads Racing to Save Their Kicks From Decay”

      https://www.wired.com/2015/05/sneakers/

      As for Glocks and other ‘plastic fantastic’ guns, I seriously doubt they will have the same problem, their grades of plastic are likely high quality and will probably age like the vintage tupperware in the kitchen cabinet…

      1. avatar A. C. says:

        Thirty years ago there wasn’t much demand for “biodegradable” plastics. Now there’s a lot more. There’s a lot of pressure from governments AND consumers for more biodegradable end-use products (both guns and plastic straws are end-use products). I suspect that less durable plastics are cheaper. When a purchaser does not specify a minimum lifetime for a plastic, chemical companies may offer a plastic that’s meets the performance spec, but doesn’t last quite as long – not biodegradable in a couple of years, but still degrades over a longer time. And is less expensive.

        On second thought, watch out for antigun legislators who may tumble to this and try to pass a law specifying guns be made with “biodegradable” plastics to force a lifetime of only two to five years. This will be one of those barely noticeable clauses in a bill about something else completely.

        1. avatar frank speak says:

          …..but then there are 3D printers that reproduce anything plastic rather easily…

      2. avatar Medium-Sized Pete says:

        Look at some of the polymers used in former Soviet-bloc nations; formaldehyde-based phenol resin polyamide.

        The Double-Circle 10 bulgarian mags, for example, are made with the polymer component molded around their steel skeleton, and as far as I know is one of the strongest polymers used in firearms. But, apparently it’s extremely hazardous to work with before it’s fully cured. But, when cured, supposedly it lasts a hell of a long time.

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “Bakelite” is an old formaldehyde ‘resin’ used commonly 100 years back.

          I don’t think its “Biodegradability”, to me it smells more like a toxicity issue, and the plastics manufacturing industry abandoning proven chemicals just because there may be a slight health issue. Remember “PBA-Free” being advertised?

        2. avatar Leslie says:

          “Bakelite” is rarely used in the United States anymore, because it also includes “Asbestos” in the formulation of compound used…

        3. avatar Erik Weisz says:

          I have several old (1900-1935) S&W revolvers with Bakelite grip panels – now very brittle and most of them cracked or broken. I also have a Redhawk (1981-ish) that had Pachmyer grips on it, they curled away from the frame after 35 or so years, so I replaced them with Hogue Bantams. I wish I could find the original plain wood grips, I know I’ve seen them around here somewhere…

      3. You are comparing a wide variety of plastics- which is a very wide field.

        Some are effected by ozone, some by UV, some by moisture. Some materials- like teflon or kalrez shrug them off.

        The plastic toys form the ’50’s made from styrene are probably brittle as glass right now- if they aren’t dust.

    4. avatar Hankus says:

      Plastic is forever! I imagine glass filled nylon does too.

  5. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Most firearms if given a modicum of care,will out last their owners and be ready to serve the original owners descendants.

    A recent example would be the Bunker Hill rifle,the famous command given to Revolutionary War soldiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill – “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” – resulted in forever identifying the musket credited with the first shot fired against British troops on that fateful day in June of 1775. John Simpson, a Private in the 1st New Hampshire Regiment.

    https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/10/15/bunker-hill-first-shot/

    The reality versus the civilian disarmament proponents irrational dreams and wishes.

  6. avatar Shire-man says:

    You mean we’re not supposed to toss them in the trash once empty?
    Oh, shit.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      That brings to mind this Leftard brain trust, Commiecrat Rep. Diana DeGette
      Questioned on what’s to be done with the millions of high-capacity magazines already in circulation, DeGette asserted that they’d be discarded once they’re used.”

      “I will tell you these are ammunition — bullets — so the people who have those now they are going to shoot them, and so if you ban — if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available,” she said.

      “Magazines, however, are reusable as they can be filled with more rounds.”

      https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-rep-ridiculed-for-fumbling-facts-on-gun-magazines

      1. avatar DJ says:

        Law makers who no nothing about firearms or the Constitution.

      2. avatar Southern Cross says:

        I remember seeing the video clip and the sheriff sitting beside her is first shaking his head and then does a facepalm. The stupid must have really hurt.

    2. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

      Hey, son, you made me chuckle for the first time today. Thanks!!

  7. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    You know who didn’t ‘up-arm’? European Jews in the 1930s.

    1. avatar 41mag says:

      Not all were defenseless.

      Read “GUN CONTROL & THE THIRD REICH”

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Well yes, there are always exceptions. But the point is that Slate invented the term ‘up-gunning’ as though preparing yourself for your own defense was a bad thing. It doesn’t take much of a history buff to figure out the potential downside of not ‘up-gunning’.

      2. avatar Otto Lode says:

        re the Nazi arrests it has been said that if people didn’t hide in their homes while their neighbors were taken away by SS if instead all the neighbors took up axes and machetes and dismembered the SS police and scattered their body parts in the street as a sign would the SS have been further motivated to continue this job ? It is the same issue with modern confiscation I just don’t think taking Americans guns is going to be possible because gun owners know how much more is really at stake than just guns

        1. avatar anarchyst says:

          “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more, we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

          A. Solzhenitsyn

  8. avatar Dude says:

    “put themselves and their fellow citizens at greater risk of gun-related injury or death than in any other industrialized nation.”

    Yes, my fellow citizen burglar is at greater risk of gun-related injury or death because I own a gun.

  9. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

    My guess is that with a little TLC most guns made throughout the last 600 years around the world could be in working order in a month at most. This includes everything from derringers to battleship guns.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      If any part ages on a gun, I’d wager the old springs may prove problematic.

      A bit of a moot point, since piano wire springs are easy to fabricate and are of much higher grade of steel than the stock 500 year-old springs.

      Perhaps Dyspeptic could chime in on how the barrel steels may age, and if they weaken…

      1. avatar Dan W says:

        Assuming it doesn’t rust the steels should be good well past human time scales.

  10. avatar Cruzo1981 says:

    Let’s not even start on all the millions of hammers floating around, unregistered, that are who knows how old and have been used who knows how many times for treachery…

    1. avatar Carl B. says:

      I have this old knife…..

    2. avatar VicRattlehead says:

      A good 20+oz framing hammer can make one well of an effective weapon. However, hammers were only ever made for good purposes (carpentry) where as guns have only ever been made for evil (murder). /sarc

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        They even have three modes of lethality, dead (head), deader (claw) and less-lethal (grabbing the head and whipping your adversary with the handle – kind of like set phasers on stun).

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          Somebody’s never practiced singlestick… The handle of a hammer isn’t that different from a cudgel or an escrima stick. A bit shorter, sure, but more than long and solid enough.

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Still, probably more pleasurable than getting hacked to death with a handsaw. As carpenter tools go.

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Madea keeps a hammer in her purse, taking it out every now and then to remind people that he/she means business.

      3. avatar Medium-Sized Pete says:

        Few melee weapons can match the simplicity and effectiveness of a good hammer (I recommend a ball-peen).

        You don’t need to sharpen it. You don’t need to keep it oiled. You can hand one to a 12 year old who can effectively defend themselves with it.

        Granted, still, don’t bring a hammer to a gunfight.

        1. avatar SkorpionFan says:

          “… don’t bring a hammer to a gunfight” Unless it’s a Death Stick Hammer.

          It’s got a scary black handle, skull and cross bones logo, and huge letters “Death Stick.” I’ve had one for 20 years, but the only blood it has drawn is from my left thumb.

          I just checked for pics on Google and it looks like the manufacturer, Dead On Tools, no longer puts the name “Death Stick” on the handle. Must have triggered some lawyers or something.

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          ‘Dead On Tools, no longer puts the name “Death Stick” on the handle.’

          That’s because all the carpenters would laugh at the newbie who showed up with a brand new $39 tool belt and a ‘Death Stick’.

  11. avatar enuf says:

    The fundamental error that Slate is making is the same old tired narrative that the gun did it, the gun is the cause, the gun is responsible. The person is ignored, the human thought and deed and ability to act for good or evil is lost in the hoplophobia of the moment.

    Guns do nothing, there is no mind there, no character, no intent, no decision making and no willpower.

    As for the longevity of guns, this is true of a great many human invented and constructed things. It is not insightful of Slate to have suddenly discovered that guns last longer than their makers and owners anymore than saying that Jay Leno’s garage has automobiles older than any living human.

    Slate has made a bunch of salient points that are meaningless and common knowledge. With all of it coming from the same tired old narrative that the violence only exists because the gun made it happen.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Because violence didn’t exist before the invention of gun powder. They even called it the ‘Pax Romana’ because the Roman Empire was so benevolent and peaceful. And look at all the peace and love spread by Genghis Khan. Unfortunately we can’t un-invent the gun so that peaceful utopia is forever lost.

      1. avatar Obuma says:

        Remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ (without guns).

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Very true. But remember that simply doing something in the name of Jesus doesn’t make someone a Christian. Much like we have many churchgoers in America today who go through the motions but don’t genuinely believe in Him as their Savior, so they’re not Christians either.

          History is replete with hypocrites of all stripes.

        2. avatar Dude says:

          Muslim apologist, fake Christian Obama wouldn’t know anything about that.

        3. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

          Wasn’t it the news media,that was for ever trying to tell us that former pResident Obowelmovement was the smartest man in the world.

  12. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    The Author in the article talks as if european civilians had ready access to firearms. They never have. Europeans have always been restricted to the number of guns. The type of gun and the caliber of the gun.

    This is the best part of the article where he reveals himself to be uncomfortable with civilian gun ownership.

    “In North Africa, Peabody-Martinis found their way into Bedouin hands, who would revolt during World War I. In Albania, proud freedom fighters highly valued the American-made rifles for their ease of maintenance and stopping power. And in the 1903 Ilinden Uprising against Ottoman rule, Macedonian insurgents deployed Peabody-Martinis against the regime that they had been commissioned, a quarter-century earlier, to preserve.”

    I’ve studied the North African Bedouin Rif War. Tribesmen with bolt action rifles on horseback destroyed a 10,000 man european army with tanks, aircraft and other armored vehicles. The Spanish and French used poison gas supplied by the germans to finally defeat the bedouin.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rif_War

    If anyone finds mention of the use of poison gas against non white civilians before WW2 in the jewish holocaust museum, I would be very surprised. We have already discussed on TTAG how the museum doesn’t discuss civilian ownership regarding the nazi take over of germany.

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      So you believe no white European civilian’s died pf poison gas on the Western Front circa 1915-1918?!?😄I’d bet $ the Huns gassed civilians…oh and my hanguns won’t last forever. My AR15? Long enough!

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Yes, chemical agents were not used directly against civilians in Europe during WWI. That is to say, surely civilians were in the line of fire (so to speak) of these agents, but they weren’t the target. In contrast, they were not used directly against military personnel in WWII.

        1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          to jwtaylor
          Thank you sir.
          I don’t remember the name of the french village, but a gas cloud did drift over the civilian population from a battle zone. I remember the german leader, the Kaiser, issuing a public apology for the deaths. I don’t remember the date during WW1.

        2. avatar enuf says:

          I don’t recall an entire village being decimated by poison gas in WW1 but there were many civilian casualities and deaths from clouds of gas traveling on the winds. Some numbers here, not small but for the entire war:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_weapons_in_World_War_I#Civilian_casualties

          On the other hand the entire population of Oradour-sur-Glane was murdered by Waffen-SS troops in WW2, right down to the last man, woman, child and infant. To this day France maintains the town as a memorial:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradour-sur-Glane_massacre

      2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        to former water walker
        White european civilians were never targeted by the military for poison gas attack prior to WW2. There is some evidence that Russians in Asia used the gas against pro czar forces. But that’s it.

        1. avatar DaveP says:

          I have seen mention of poison gas being used against their own people by the Soviets, both in Georgia and during the dekulakization programs. Of course this was after the First World War was over, but still might have been prior to the Endlosung. .

        2. avatar former water walker says:

          You still don’t have a clue. Fog of war(😏). If you weren’t there it’s mighty unclear no matter what taylor sez. Just some weird obsession about “white” Europeans…the Huns were equal opportunity murderers. Oh and my 2 white uncles were on the Western Front in 1918…both victims of Influenza.

        3. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          to former water walker
          No one group or individual owns history. For example the jews don’t “own” the holocaust. The Nisei don’t “own” the history of the internment (concentration) camps. Blacks don’t “own” slave history.

          Now let me try and upset as many people as possible.
          More non jews were gassed than jews during WW2. The family relatives of the nisei in Japan ran their own death camps in Asia. And they experimented on live human subjects and later dissected them while they were still alive. In Africa blacks are still making slaves of other blacks. This happens in Haiti as well.

          But history is distorted and lied about to deny 2A civil rights in this country.

          On TTAG we have already discussed the history of the european powers who were terrified of modern firearms falling into the hands of the native populations who necks they were stepping on.

          I suggest everyone read books by Joyce Lee Malcolm. You will learn why the Founders wrote the Bill of Rights and the First Ten Amendments. And why they included the right to keep and bear Arms for everyone.

          “Colin Greenwood and Joyce Lee Malcolm are the two foremost scholars on the history of firearms controls in England and Wales. From A Study of Armed Crime and Firearms Control in England and Wales by Colin Greenwood”

          English Gun Law: a Colonial Import
          https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/english-gun-law-a-colonial-import/

        4. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          FYI to anyone
          You can read the history of poison gas used against military and civilian. Or you can watch a movie about it happening in North africa in the early 1930s. Before WW2.

          Lion of the Desert 1981 starring Oliver Reed and Anthony Quinn.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_of_the_Desert

  13. avatar DaveL says:

    Eventually, those arms fell into the hands of individuals in North Africa, the Balkans, and elsewhere, as they decided their governments lacked the will or capacity to defend their citizens. They opted to take on that role by arming themselves with military-grade technology.

    Wow, way to gloss over the massacres perpetrated by repressive governments against those they had previously disarmed.

    1. avatar MouseGun says:

      If my interactions with various nu-males and keyboard commies is anything to go by, repressive governments aren’t really an issue for the Left anymore. Hell, the only issue they have with them is that it’s not happening here (yet).

  14. avatar Mad Max says:

    “At the start of the 21st century, it is American civilians who are up-arming, preparing to fight one another and any government, including their own, that intrudes on their cherished ideas of autonomy. They look to secure themselves against all comers, and in so doing, put themselves and their fellow citizens at greater risk of gun-related injury or death than in any other industrialized nation.”

    The risk of gun-related injury or death is small relative to the threat of tyranny as the 20th Century proved.

    Which would you prefer: around 30,000 deaths per year in a nation of 330,000,000 (0.1%) or the risk of another “Great Leap Forward” or Bolshevik Revolution with 100,000,000 dead?

    1. avatar enuf says:

      Plus, Americans have been “up-arming” since the earliest days of the colonies. Nothing new about it, Americans have always been an inventive, forward thinking people with a strong interest in both self defense and collective defense. Plus the ability to more efficiently put meat on the table, back when you had to hunt for it or buy it from someone who did.

      For all the reasons that people own guns, Americans have always sought better ones. Current 21st century “trends” are not new, merely newly taken notice of by the hoplophobes tapping out their collective brilliance.

  15. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    “Any other industrialized nation?” Really? Mexico is an industrialized nation and it is a sh*t hole. The cartels and the government are basically one in the same. I bet there’s huge amounts of people down there that wish every able bodied citizen in town had an AR-15, handgun and an ample supply of ammunition plus the ability to legally use and carry them for self defense.

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      Venezuela was the wealthiest country in S. America and was industrialized before their government blew all the money. Same deal. Lots of people down there who wish they had an AR-15 and ample supply of ammunition.

      1. avatar enuf says:

        True.

        The tragedy of that country is that its people should be living joyfully upon massive oil wealth. Every Venezuelan should be able to enjoy profit sharing checks like our state of Alaska pays out. Their health care system should be cheap and exemplary. Their schools and universities should be first rate. With all the money they had, no citizen should have had to worry about getting by and sure as hell not about starving.

        The attempt to create a Marxist-Socialist State destroyed a thriving industry that poured billions into their economy. It is a great tragedy.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          “The attempt to create a Marxist-Socialist State destroyed a thriving industry that poured billions into their economy. It is a great tragedy.”

          Warren and Bernie’s (and to a lesser extent, most current democrats) plan for America.

    2. avatar enuf says:

      ^^^_ 100% SPOT ON TARGET!!! _^^^

    3. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Slate never considers brown people as “people”, so they don’t count.

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        The white Liberals at Slate are part of the Racist Gun Control Industrial Complex.

  16. avatar Bone spur survivor says:

    “they’ve still got a lot of death left in them.”

    Hey, agree with the article or not that’s a clever turn of phrase. Good writer, I like him.

  17. avatar HEGEMON says:

    Slate is leftist garbage.

  18. avatar Rubiconcrossed says:

    How long a gun will last depends on how well and how often you clean and properly lube it and the amount of ammo shot out of it. The only guns that last a long time (decades) are guns that are not shot a lot in competition. Ask any professional competitor about longevity and if he is honest he will give you a long list of parts that he personally had to replace after shooting large amounts of ammo out of it even if it was properly lubed and cleaned often. I used to be a competitor and some guns do last longer than others but none last forever if heavily shot.

    1. avatar KenW says:

      They will replace parts for a extremely slight increase in accuracy.
      A worn barrel to them will still group fine for me.
      I’ve been given some parts that did not meet a shooters specs before and damned if I can find anything wrong with them. The trigger for instance is way better than the one that came with mine.

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      I know many serious target rifle shooters replace barrels every other year.

      For me, when the gun no longer shoots better than I can is the mark to replace a barrel. Typically 4000-5000 rounds in a .223, but I’ve had one I was supposed to replace 10 years ago. I keep using it because it shoots really well with light (55-62g) projectiles. A friend who is a gunsmith thinks it shouldn’t group in the same postcode when he looks up the barrel.

  19. avatar Sean G./The Rookie says:

    “They opted to take on that role by arming themselves with military-grade technology.”

    Few anti-2A catchphrases irritate me as much as “military-grade.”

    1. avatar Keith says:

      How about “military-grade bullshit”, “military-grade stupid”…? (Not you. Slate.)

  20. avatar Stuck in NJ says:

    The article ignorantly claims about the AR-15, “This civilian variant became popular for its military look, ease of use, high rate of fire, and its durability.”

    High rate of fire? It fires one shot per pull of the trigger, the same as every other semiautomatic rifle.

    Then it says, “We don’t know for sure how many [of today’s selective-fire M16 and M4 rifles] will get into civilian hands [after they’re retired from military service] or how they may be used.”

    Yes we do. The answer is exactly zero. Machine guns made after 1986 cannot be owned by civilians or transferred to civilians.

    Then it says, “Whatever its motivation, Colt’s decision has material as well as moral and political dimensions.” And then, of course, they say that guns are immoral and say that America’s guns (inanimate objects) put gun owners “and their fellow citizens at greater risk of gun-related injury or death than in any other industrialized nation.”

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      Wasn’t there a lot of M-16s made before 1986?

      I wonder how many of them the Pentagon has in storage?

      1. avatar Leslie says:

        “Hand Me Downs”! Most M16 produced have already been passed to Foreign Nations through Good Will Transfers, approved by the US Senate…

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          I remember the new Croation Army formed after the Yugoslav Civil War was supplied M16A1s, and one of the Baltic nations was issuing M14s.

  21. avatar Keyword Spam says:

    This is why the Left has gone from pretending they don’t want to take our guns to openly stating they want to take our guns. They’ve realized they’re a durable good and won’t just go away on their own. If they want the populace disarmed, they are going to have to get their hands dirty. They can’t just ban sales and wait a while.

    Good luck with that.

  22. avatar Bobsuruncle says:

    I have a 1906 savage pump 22 s-l-lr. Was past down from great grandpa. I learned on this gun. Still shoots minute of squirrel within 100 yards. It will be past down the generational line in time. If the barrel gets shot out within my lifetime, it will get put on the lathe for a rifling insert. If not, my crotch goblin (son) will be taught how to do such things as he gets older.

  23. avatar MarkPA says:

    Worthwhile to read the whole article. It brought to mind the futility of gun-control.

    On the one hand, governments strive to implement gun-control so that their subjects remain disarmed.

    On the other hand, governments buy guns in volume to arm their own soldiers and police. This is to say nothing of arming their paramilitary forces (Brown Shirts) and the subjects of other governments that they wish to overthrow. All of these government demands bring forth a supply. And, that supply eventually trickles out of the control of the governments which paid list price. Gun-control is a struggle of bailing water from a leaky boat. It can’t ever succeed.

    Governments committed to gun-control must – increasingly – rely upon people-control to achieve their goal. I say “increasingly” because the facility of hand-crafting, low-scale manufacturing, theft and smuggling are continually-developing phenomena. Today it’s so much easier to hand-craft a gun, or smuggle a container of guns, than it was in 1776.

    So, if governments can’t succeed in controlling the guns themselves they must control their subjects. More vigorous enforcement of laws prohibiting possession, longer prison terms. Now, let’s turn to the impact of such people-control measures.

    On the law-abiding citizen, they are effective. Those who just want to raise their families will eschew gun ownership because it is too tedious and the penalty for an infraction is too onerous.

    On the criminal, they are only marginally effective. The criminal won’t give-up his tool-of-the-trade easily. He will only shift tools according to penalty. The NFA`34 made machine guns, and short-barreled long-guns, prohibitive to possess, and a handgun was very nearly as effective (if not more so) for the purpose at hand. If gun-control is effectively imposed on criminals they will use knives.

    On the politically minded (i.e., those few who would effect regime change), neither gun-control nor subject-control is effective. Those determined to achieve regime change can acquire any desired gun in quantity. Impoverishment is the only prophylactic. (You have to have enough money to buy guns.) These people are committed; they will not be dissuaded by any enforcement.

    So, in a relatively democratic regime, the wishes of the majority become vulnerable to the determination of a few – who are well armed – committed to effect regime-change. A dis-armed general militia of the body of the people can’t stop regime-change with pitchforks.

    These few politically determined insurgents won’t have to defeat government forces in head-on battles. They will win using tactics of insurgents. Undermining the government’s security efforts and the will of the voters to support its government of choice. Eventually, voters and government will cave to the pressure of terrorism and insurgency.

    The law-abiding, peaceable man who just wants to raise his family – who is unable to respond to the threat of force – will be unwilling to hold-out support for his government at the ballot box. He will surrender to restore peace.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      MG’s “prohibitive to possess”?….not in the eighties…ergo: the Hughes amendment!…..

  24. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    “responding to the brand damage created by the AR-15’s deployment in school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in 2017” – Brand damage isn’t from the use, it’s from the media constantly harping endlessly on those mass shootings where AR-15s were used and forgetting the others.

  25. avatar Matthew the Oilman says:

    When I saw this, I thought this has got to be the Onion 😆

  26. avatar squirrelhunter says:

    “A few of these military rifles are already in museums […] Many more are not. We don’t know for sure how many will get into civilian hands or how they may be used.”
    I found this part funny. I don’t think any select-fire gun could be surplused. What free-acting criminals do with government property is…well, already illegal.
    Somewhere else in the article it was stated that perfectly functioning rifles are still replaced every few years, suggesting that there are warehouses full of grade-A guns the military doesn’t want to use anymore. Does that sound right to you? Haha.

    1. avatar Nanashi says:

      “Somewhere else in the article it was stated that perfectly functioning rifles are still replaced every few years, suggesting that there are warehouses full of grade-A guns the military doesn’t want to use anymore. Does that sound right to you? Haha.”

      Well we know handguns are looking at all the police trade ins out there…

  27. avatar sound awake says:

    -it doesnt matter if he really said it or not-
    its true:
    if somebody invaded america…
    there *would be*
    A RIFLE
    behind every blade of grass
    >with 10 standard capacity mags to feed it
    thats the way it is
    and thats the way it ought to be

  28. avatar MyName says:

    “…and in so doing, put themselves and their fellow citizens at greater risk of gun-related injury or death than in any other industrialized nation.”

    This is simply not true. I submit, for example, Brazil. A country with a higher firearms related death rate even when including suicide as these folks are wont to do. Brazil is sufficiently industrialized that many Americans own guns made there.

    The gun control advocates continue to believe (or at least to claim) that the number of guns in the U.S. is a determining factor in the homicide and/or suicide rates when, if this were the case, we should have an order of magnitude or more greater count of firearms related death than we have. Further, given that the number of guns in private hands has been increasing steadily for decades on end, we should be seeing some sort of proportional increase in firearms related deaths when, in fact, such deaths are on the decline. Given the huge number of guns in this country and the relatively middling firearms death rate, if we calculate the firearms death rate as a function of the number of firearms, not the number of people, a given firearm in the U.S. is actually dramatically less likely to be an instrument of death than in many of the supposedly utopian societies often cited by these folks.

    For instance:
    U.S. 120500 guns per 100,000, 12.21 firearms deaths (suicide + homicide) per 100,000
    120500/12.21 = 9869 guns per death.

    Denmark 9900 guns per 100,000, 1.47 firearms deaths per 100,000
    9900/1.47 = 6735 guns per death

    (data source: Wikipedia. I know, I know. It was fast and is close enough)

    A given gun in Denmark is nearly 50% more likely to be used to kill someone than a given gun in the U.S. In fact, the rate of firearms deaths PER GUN in the U.S. is approximately equal to …

    Wait for it …

    Japan
    (600/0.06=10000 guns per death)

    Brazil, by the way – 393 guns per death – A gun in Brazil is 25 times more likely to be a killing machine than a gun in the U.S.

    1. avatar SkorpionFan says:

      My name, Excellent points. I have never seen a discussion on the rate of firearm deaths vs number of (nonmilitary) firearms. Eye-opening, but I don’t expect any Democrat politician or liberal media company to ever discuss this.

      1. avatar SkorpionFan says:

        TTAG,
        can you write an article on MyNames concept of comparing the US to other nations based on the firearms death rate as a function of the number of firearms, not the number of people?

  29. avatar Dani in WA says:

    “The history of weapons technology suggests that arms often escape the control of their makers.” (Subtitle of the article)

    Uh, that’s close to 100% of production because they sell them…
    F150s often escape the control of Ford Motor Company!
    Stratocasters often escape the control of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation!

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      All I know is… I still have my granddaddy’s shotgun…and now i’m a granddaddy myself!…..

  30. avatar Arizona Free says:

    It would be nice if someone made an after market replacement for polymer grips made of metal. It would be heavier but would also be given a new lease on life.

    1. avatar Leslie says:

      As I recall, not long ago on the “Truth About Guns” blog, a Chinese Company was offering Titanium Grips for the 1911A1. Maybe “Dan” or someone else remembers their name…

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