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Cool Webley stuff on Ebay 11-5-11

Webley day on Ebay!  Halftone print of Webley Mk. IV's inner workings.  Made in 1948, almost 9X6 inches, it's for sale from Vintage Art and Ads, starting at 50 bucks....

Webley Print


A Webley WG full size resin prop kit, comes with extra parts and is said to be easy to finish up to look like the real thing.  Starting at 75 bucks but still pretty interesting.

Webley WG prop gun


Also for sale on Ebay is a Webley Pritchard bayonet for the Webley Mk. IV.  Who can live without one of these.  This is a newly made item and is for sale by IMA. And if you haven't checked them out yet, their website is chock full of interesting stuff.

Webley Pritchard Bayonet


Lastly, a for real Royal Flying Corps Officer holster rig for the Webley.  Can be worn around the waist or over the shoulder, with loops to fill er up with .455.  Gotta have item.

RFC Webley holster

Print your own M-16

Rapid prototyping is making strides so fast that some things not possible last year are already old hat.  Machines that used to cost a quarter of a million dollars are now the price of a family car, and machines that prototype in ABS plastic, for instance are breaking the thousand dollar barrier.

3D printing is a type of rapid protoyping where very small layers are laid down by a nozzle and slowly built up into the shape desired.  This can be accomplished by cheap computers and free software and the sky is the limit.  The whole idea of printing your own parts threatens a paradigm shift in the way we think of things.  Are we a consumer or creator?  I guess we'll be both.

Thingiverse is a repository of designs enthusiasts have made and uploaded to be shared by the community of primarily MakerBot 3D printer guys.  These designs are mainly made in different grades of plastic, however the same files can be uploaded to companies, such as Solid Concepts, to be made by metal printing machines, if that output was desired.  And it doesn't cost huge  amounts of money like these operations used to.

M-16 lower receiver

King Ludd, a Thingiverse contributor, is working on a M-16 lower receiver.  Another guy whose handle is crank built a magazine for an M-16 that did work, however it still has some teething problems.  These are early days.  This magazine can be built on a MakerBot, about the cheapest way to get into 3D printing there is so far.... and prices keep dropping.

M-16 magazine

This whole gun making thing is led to a lot of handwringing over at Thingiverse, They don't know if they want their technology to be used to produce weapons.  There are also serious legal implications, as explored by Keith Lee and David Daw.  However, guns were let out of Pandora's box about 500 years ago, and they are not likely to get put away.  And like everything on earth, they can be used for good or ill.  I think the whole idea of making your own parts is exhilarating,  Anything to empower the little guy.



Enfields or machine guns?

The first battle of Ypres in 1914 marked the end of the "Old Contemptibles", the well experienced and trained British Army.    The Brit's had taken so many casualties that quickly trained men were the new army.  Gone were the days the Brits had time to dote over teaching rifle fire.  But one of the features of that battle were the results of an army trained tediously to use their rifles.  At the Battle of Gheluvelt on 29-30 October, 1914, the Germans made one last try to break the Brit line, but was clobbered so badly by British rifle fire the Germans thought they faced a line of hidden machine guns.  The Germans refer to the battle as "The Massacre of the Innocents".  By not breaching the line, World War One devolved into a line of trenches that cut all the way across Europe.  This video, by Stan the Gun Man,  illustrates the type of fire that pushed back the Germans, but multiply it by hundreds and include bullets that didn't miss their mark.

Steampunk Gear, Gadgets and Gizmos...

Halloween is just around the corner, and nothing says Old British Guns like a steampunk outfit.    In the book, Thomas Willeford takes you through many steps to create your own steampunk outfit, including rayguns and and arm attachment that is also a gatling gun.  You'll be the best dressed kid (or adult) in the neighborhood. Should be a lot of fun. The writer also runs Brute Force Studios, which sells everything steampunk. There is a good review on Geek Dad.  And if you can't afford his book on Brute Force's website, you can get it on Amazon.

Warrior: The Legend Of Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen

Warrior: The Legend Of Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen is a trip into 19th Century Britain's African Colonies and a deep look at a man in the center of it all.  Peter Capstick is an old Africa hand as it is and is uniquely qualified to tell his story.  A man who didn't seem to fit in back home, he came into his own commanding his own unit of the King's African Rifles.  He arrived in Africa in 1902, and was astonished to find the Martini-Henry rifles of his new outfit were so rusted up as to be unusable.  After shortly putting everything in order, he immediately went into the peace keeping business as unruly tribes kept him hopping. 

From a modern perspective, this man looks to be somewhat  bloodthirsty, and easily gets into killing mode when dealing with hostile tribes.  Capstick defends the man, saying we are too far removed in time and culture to understand what Meinertzhagen had to do to keep the peace.  Another thing that seems odd is Britain expected their officers to look after themselves, and Meinertzhagen had to hunt to keep his larder stocked.  Not that hunting bothered him, and he was excited at all the animals he had to shoot at, and shoot he did.  Bagging lion, rhino and hippo was right up his alley, and he took to it with relish. 

In fact, in one thrilling battle he fought with the Irryeni Kikuyus, he got what is referred to in the shooting sports as a "mixed double".  He was backed into a thicket of reeds, when a Kikuyu warrior and a wounded lion broke into his opening.  He bagged them both.

Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen was probably the only soldier on the western front in WW1 that used an African war club in the trenches.  The book is a thrilling read and you can get it on Amazon.

Warrior book cover