Browning HP, Sig Sauer, Glock.

Red-faced defence chiefs squandered millions of pounds on 6,000 pistols that were scrapped after just five years. A damning example of waste by the Ministry of Defence top brass, who bought the Sig Sauer handguns before ditching them in favour of Austrian-made Glock. The embarrassing fiasco came at a time when the cash-strapped department was axing 30,000 troops, fighter jets, warships and tanks in a desperate bid to save money. The MoD ordered the consignment of Sig semi-automatic pistols in 2008 as an Urgent Operational Requirement to enable British soldiers to protect themselves better in Afghanistan. UPDATED:  out of pure interest  1.Welcome to Ex-MOD.com    2.MOD Sales, Military Vehicles & Used Ex MOD Land Rovers for Sale   3.Direct Sales – MOD Sales, Military Vehicles & Used Ex MOD Land … Change the £ for $ to appreciate valuearticle-0-005FEA2200000258-191_634x401But in January last year the Army announced that after extensive tests it was replacing the ageing standard-issue Cold War-era Browning pistol – introduced nearly 50 years ago – with the Glock 17 Gen 4 handgun. The Treasury has spent £6 billion on Urgent Operations Requirements, or UORs, which has involved rushing new kit into service in Iraq and Afghanistan when existing equipment proves to be dangerously inadequate MORE HERE:  Ministry of Defence spent millions of pounds on 6000 pistols which it ditched after just five years

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It is my own humble opinion that you cannot judge a decision made in 2008, by the standard of today. In addition to this, the decision to purchase the 6,000 Sig Sauer pistols was part of an ‘Urgent Operational Requirement’ for troops engaged in hostile operations. As such it would have been placed as a bulk emergency order, with the criteria to over match the Browning, at the cheapest price. Its use as a secondary weapon would have been against targets up close and very personal. It was well-known that the 9mm Browning High Power pistols were at the very end of their life in 2000! 

As far as kit and weapons were concerned when I served as a RM; we fortunately had the best, as well as specialist kit unseen in the Army/RAF at the time. I had only one complaint, and that was against the first issue of the RM high leg combat boots. The procurement officer within the Corps should have been reamed out with an old Christmas tree for signing off on them. Typical of such a trial the main issue went to Staff officers, clerks, cooks, and bottle washers. Only a small handful of Commando Unit Marines received a pair for evaluation, of which all complained of their total unsuitability; no one listened. It took five years before some genius rectified the fault, which resulted in a far superior boot. Drip session now over…       Yours Aye.

Go Chow at the Gun Feed

The Gun FeedIf you have some extra time on your hands and you are pre-disposed towards weapons and news about them, you really should go to the Gun Feed. It’s a site set up like the Drudge Report, but it is entirely based on guns. The top story, on the Tavor X95, is fascinating. And they have all the right advertisers: Glock, the NRA, Wilson Combat, Ruger. Somewhere, buried deep within its exalted pages, is a link to this blog. I have no idea which blogpost is generating the traffic, I just hope it is not this one.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Malala Yousafzai trails Bradley Manning, 22% to 70%, in the Guardian’s POY ’12?

You like to make your morning eggs with a Glock?

Al-Masry Al-Youm (via Al-Monitor) Reports on Muslim Brotherhood Torture Chambers?

The Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot & Trade Show (OFASTS) is full auto? (Hand Salute: ASM)

What big Texas eyes you have?

We have Pentagon Peacocks? (Hand Salute: Kris, thanks!)

That differing Chanukah stories are still argued? (Happy Chanukah to all who celebrate it!)

Someone defaced Quantico’s Iwo Jima Memorial?

Shooting 45s

I am not a gun gun guy, but I am a gun guy, and I like to amble, mosey over to the local firing line from time to time. I feel at home there, the range. And the little visit I’ma ’bout to describe, sticks in my mind as a good one.

First up to the line, the Sig Sauer 45. I forget the exact model, only that it was perfect. If you are gun enthusiast, and have more guns in your house than televisions, you comprende my drift. It sat in my hand as if built it for my paw. I have long fingers like spider legs and sometimes weapons don’t feel right.

Which brings me to my second pistola: the Glock, chambered also in 45. (All of the hand-cannons I shot that day were 45s. That range let you pop any caliber, calibre. As long as you stayed within the grouping, extra charges were minimal.) For some reason, the Glock did not feel right. The barrel had an odd slant to it. I won’t say anything more ‘cuz I know there are Glock-a-maniacs out there and my goal is to gain readers not to lose ‘em.

Next up, the S&W in, you guessed it, 45. It was metallic (is that called nickel-plated?) and whereas the Siggy was perfection in feel, like a BMW 635, the Smith & Wesson was a four year-old Cadillac. Not quite a hoopty, but not a showcar either. Like a Caddy with the seat gangsa’ leaned and some Billy on the radio. (Billy Joel or Billy Ocean, either.)

The last handgun to the line was an Norinco 1911. I understand it probably costs a great deal less and probably has had a lot more rounds through it than the others. Probably. But still, it pinched, it pulled. A poor sportsman blames his equipment. Unless he shoots the Norinco and then he blames that. Don’t waste your time. If you really need a car analogy, think ’78 Pinto. In primer grey. And primer red. With wicker, rattan seats. Broken windows all around and no tail-lights, which is a ticketable offense. Capiche? I refuse to post of a picture of the offensive piece. Use your imagination or Google should you insist on viewing.

Curiously enough, it is the S&W which beckons me. You ever have a pistol do that to you? Minding my ownsome, my mind will flick to guns, and I can hear it whispering: NavyOne, come hither. Trigger-pull. Now. Put some lead down-range. My response: Sir, yes Sir! (Or Ma’am, yes Ma’am! Or Senator, yes Senator!)

PS Gun gun guys (or gun gun gals), advanced apologies for any blunder-headed greenfoot/tenderfoot/shoot-foot mistakes. If I misidentified any guns or posted the wrong picture, you can take it out on this blog. Go ahead and load up yer favorite weapon and aim it at the screen of your laptop, desktop, or tablet. Breathe, relax, aim, squeeze, shoot. Ahhhh, feel better?