Air Force Guns

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Mike Franklin, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Mike Franklin

    Mike Franklin G&G Newbie

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    Over the years, the USAF has ordered and used all kinds of guns that you don't equate with the military.
    .38 Snub nose and Airweights
    .357, mostly 4" that I know of
    9 mm S&W Revolver
    All kinds of survival rifles, the original AR-7 was one, I remember a .22/ .410 over under
    The original AR-15, select fire. The Select fire became the M-16
    and the semi-auto is now the AR-15.

    Anyone who was in the AF during the SE Asia War likely remembers more.
  2. Capt'n Mil Coll

    Capt'n Mil Coll G&G Enthusiast

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    Right behind you. -NRA Member-
    I always think of the Singer Sewing Machine WWII 1911. An uncommon 1911 and very collectable. Made for the Army Air Corps.
  3. Pope130

    Pope130 G&G Regular

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    Add also the Armalite AR-5, direct ancestor of the AR-7, it was similar (take it apart and put it in the buttstock) but a bolt action in 22 Swift centerfire. Wish I could get one.

    And the XM-177, GAU-5 and Colt Carbine, ancestors of the M-4.
  4. TheWanderingMind

    TheWanderingMind G&G Newbie

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    I wish I knew then what I know now... I'd have been a thief!

    Back in the late 1960's, I was working in the "Information Office" - now Public Affairs - at Hurlburt Field, Florida. I used to go over and visit my fellow IO types at nearby Eglin AFB at the Air Force Armament Lab's Information Office. While in the building, I was told to go visit Dale Davis upstairs. He was working on an aircrew survival weapon using the same .221 Fireball cartridge fired by the bolt-action Remington XP-100 pistol.

    Mr. Davis and I discussed his weapons project, which was attracting some attention from the gun media. He let me handle a prototype of his weapon, a semi-automatic design which later was copied as the Bushmaster "arm pistol," which was produced in .223 caliber. He also let me handle a rechambered version in what was known as ".17 Javelina" - a .221 Fireball necked to .17 caliber. He also had a couple of others in his office that were rechambered to a .30 caliber custom round which, combined with a threaded suppressor, reduced the weapon noise to virtually nil - which would have helped downed aircrew not only protect themselves, but do so silently...

    If I'da knew then, I'd have knocked him out, stolen the guns and be a rich man today! The few notes on the weapon available on the net refer to the .221 version and the .30 version - but nobody seems to know that he had a .17 Javelina version!

    Mr. Davis was a conventional munitions guy, specializing in 20mm and 30mm cannon rounds. He just came up with the aircrew defense weapon idea on his own, and his superiors gave him the money and latitude to develop it.

    Here's a note on it from The Gun Zone -- A 5.56 X 45mm "Timeline" 1968-1969:
    December 1968:
    The USAF awards a contract to Colt for the construction of four Individual Multi-Purpose Weapons (IMP), as a proposed air crew survival weapon. The original goals for the weapon are a "lethal" range of 100 meters, a weight of less than 1.5 pounds, a maximum length under 13," and a minimum magazine capacity of 7 rounds. Dale M. Davis of the USAF's Armament Laboratory (Elgin AFB) is responsible the stockless bullpup design which others dub an "arm gun." The best known examples of the Colt IMP, later designated the GUU-4/P, are the technology demonstrators chambered in .221 Remington Fireball. However, at least one of these prototypes is subsequently rebarreled for a trio of .30 caliber wildcats intended for suppressed use. One of these cartridges is based upon a slightly shortened .30 Carbine case while the other two are based upon shortened 5.56mm cases (sort of a stubby forerunner to J.D. Jones' later Whisper experiments). There was also discussion of building different models in Frankford Arsenal's 4.32x45mm micro-caliber cartridge (similar, but not the same as the .17 Remington), 7.62x51mm, and 5.56x45mm. (The latter idea is developed and marketed commercially years later by Mack Gwinn Sr. and Mack Gwinn Jr. as the Bushmaster pistol.)

    Here's also a couple of photos. First is a Colt IMP (Improved MultiPurpose weapon), a Bushmaster .223 and the M-4 in .22 Hornet

    Attached Files:

  5. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

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    Wasn't the arm pistol the one that you held the receiver against your arm with your nonfiring hand ?
  6. TheWanderingMind

    TheWanderingMind G&G Newbie

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    Exactly! It actually had three sets of sights - one each for firing left and right hand, and another straight-up for firing in an upright position.

    Boy, oh boy... I'd forgotten I knew so much about this thing...
  7. Moss500Bantam

    Moss500Bantam G&G Newbie

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    The air force is currently taking the lead again. I don't feel that branch is completely qualified to set an arms standard. That said, it seems the red tape in the army is so bad, they can't get it done.
  8. TheWanderingMind

    TheWanderingMind G&G Newbie

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    Since it refreshed my memory...

    Got to looking around a little more and came up with the following images:

    Here's that bolt-action .22 Hornet survival "rifle;" the AR-7 survival rifle; the M-6 (I think!) over/under .22LR/.410 survival weapon, and the Russians' space TP-82 survival gun, which includes side-by-side 12.5mm shotgun barrels and a .5.45mm tube centered below and between them. They say the removable carbine stock can be used as a machete. There is a side note that they weren't going to carry it anymore because they were out of ammo!

    Looking at that bolt-action, sure got me to thinkin'.... Barreled Mauser action....Get friend to bend thick wires for stock....Cut down to 16 1/2"....Sheetmetal box welded around action....

    Hmmmmmm......
    :Thinkingof_:

    Attached Files:

  9. Mike Franklin

    Mike Franklin G&G Newbie

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    I had the chance to buy a couple of .357 S&W (if I remember right) revolvers marked US Air Force. I wished I'd have bought'm. I understand that they're danged near impossible to get now.
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