By Dan Shea
Bob Faris was born in 1930 in Chicago, Illinois, but spent most of his youth in the Germantown, Pennsylvania area. He is an Ordnance veteran of the Korean War, and participated in testing many of the modern small arms used by today's military at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and Yuma Proving Grounds. Bob is a lifelong collector of military small arms, their ammunition, belts, magazines, and accessories, the paraphernalia that accompanies them, and the uniforms and militaria. He shoots, makes parts, and generally has mentored several generations of firearms designers, testers, users and civilian shooting enthusiasts.
SAR: Bob, you've always been a "gun guy." During that period, in the '50s and '60s when you were at Aberdeen, did you expand your gun collecting?
Bob Faris: Every time I got a raise, I'd go down and buy another bundle of guns. Most of my shopping was at Interarmco, then InterArms. I knew Dick Winter, and I got to know them all pretty well. Of course, I met Sam Cummings and I got to be one of their information resources. They were getting so much stuff in they couldn't identify, I was helping them out, so I got a discount on guns and things. They'd call me up as soon as a ship was offloaded, and as soon as I could get off from work, I'd come down there and help them out. Start sorting and going through piles and find out what things were. Sam had his own little warehouse floor in the office building. Anything new that came in there, they would immediately pick out the best of whatever got there, and put it in Sam's storage, which is logical.
SAR: Of course it is. It's one of the perks of being a gun guy. Anyone in particular that sticks out?
Bob Faris: I forget what year, but Tom Nelson got out of the Army, and I introduced him to Winter, and later he came back down and got a job with them. It was the early '60s. Tom came out and was working for them. They had finally hired someone who knew weapons.
SAR: Any interesting guns that come to mind that you found there? Any weird stuff?
Bob Faris: Sure, all of it. (Laughs) Very few automatics. They did get a few in, as did Val Forgett. Val and Sam, they kind of worked together. I wasn't buying machine guns in those days. I had a couple of them, Dewats, but it wasn't until '65 that I got my first live machine guns. I got a Thompson 28A1 and a MK II Bren gun. Paid 100 bucks apiece.
SAR: That was a lot of money.
Bob Faris: I know. I had to pay the $200 transfer tax as well.
SAR: Do you still have those two pieces?
Bob Faris: Yeah. I'm pretty dedicated to collecting and not getting rid of the items I buy. I'm very careful what I buy most of the time. Hardly ever have any trading stock. Every one that I do get rid of, I have regretted it later. Those first two guns were imported guns, from Interarmco. There wasn't a big shipment; it was a pretty select shipment. I had my choice of some fairly worn 1921A1s, and I picked a 1928A1. I wished I'd gotten the Colt 1921A1 now. I could've dip blued them and they'd look like new. The Bren was a Canadian MKII - that one over there (Bob points at his collection). That was in pretty good shape when I got it and I still enjoy shooting it today, especially since I traded for the Mark I that I also have, which is also a Long Branch gun. I converted it to 7.62, sold it and got it back in trade again. Technically an "L4 Bren." The next gun I got was either a Dutch FAL or a Lewis.
SAR: How about dealing with Val Forgett?
Bob Faris: I was working at Aberdeen, and Colonel Jarret called me up one day. He said, "I got an Army GI over here, just new, just come in, and he's assigned to help me out. He's a real gun nut. Come on over and meet him," so I did. I knew Val ever since, because he was working for Colonel Jarrett who had started and run the Aberdeen Museum. I also met Don Bady. Colonel Jarrett's assistant took over when he retired in the 1950s. Val always knew the interesting guns, and I bought quite a few from him as well.
SAR: Did you register any guns in the amnesty?
Bob Faris: Yes, the Dutch FAL and then the 25mm Puteaux had to be registered as a Destructive Device, and a Dewat Chatellerault 1924/29 and I registered that. I registered maybe ten guns in the 1968 Amnesty.
SAR: Did you know anybody else that was registering guns in the Amnesty?
Bob Faris: Everybody I knew that was interested in machine guns. Some guys held some back, which they regretted later. They held them back because they felt uncomfortable with registering them, they didn't trust the government. They thought the government was going to come and take the guns that they registered. It is good sound reasoning you know, not to trust a government when it comes to gun control. This may happen yet.
SAR: Were you going to gun shows?
Bob Faris: I was going to the Ohio Gun Collector Association (OGCA) gun shows from '59 on. Tom Nelson introduced me to them. There I met Allan Coors. He's big into tanks as well and he's getting more into machine guns now. He's got a great military rifle collection too. Remember, there weren't many gun shows back then, it was a big deal. The three of us, Tom and Allan and I, and maybe two more guys would meet and then drive up to Ohio, taking turns driving. All of the collectors would meet a few times a year at these shows, and buy and sell. When I moved to Yuma there was nothing out west like that OGCA show; except for that big one in Pomona, California, The Great Western. It was a pretty good substitute for OGCA. It was the biggest show I'd ever been to. You did a lot of walking, but you could see the stuff and buy it.
SAR: That's where I first met you, way back, because my family was always there twice a year. Tom Nelson was there, the whole old crew. A big gathering in the sunshine in Southern California. Everybody'd come out from the East Coast and get in the sunshine and come down to Pomona and go to the Great Western twice a year. I miss that show.
Bob Faris: Absolutely, I never missed one. It was great getting together with everyone there, finding all the parts, manuals, old guns. Too bad the local politicians killed it.
SAR: I understand the name was sold, and they run "The Great Western" in Texas now. At Yuma, most of the testing you were doing there was on aircraft guns?
Bob Faris: It started out as aircraft guns. XM-140 was what originally was tested extensively for a new aircraft, and I was up to my neck in that. The aircraft Lockheed Cheyenne pooped out and they dropped it, started over again. That eventually was replaced by the Blackhawk. They had this completely electronically run, mechanically operated gun, the XM-140 30-millimeter. It was about the same as the NATO 30mm round. It had a different semi-rimmed head, instead of adopting the one that they had standardized in the NATO group. They had to make this new thing, and eventually they did make the change, to NATO standard, mid-length ADEN round. The XM230 Chain Gun replaced the XM140.
SAR: They didn't standardize with the British ADEN system?
Bob Faris: Not the guns, but they eventually modified the XM140 round to interchange with the ADEN ammunition. The HEDP project had a lot of work going into it. Ballistically, they're almost identical, but were not interchangeable. They were firing mostly from the air for these ammunition tests. There was a lot of fuze testing on the ground, because they had problems, and eventually wound up with a pretty good fuze. It was an all-purpose projectile. It had blast effect, some fragmentation, that's a shaped charge in the projectile for anti-tank effect.
SAR: You worked on the 25mm Bushmaster program at Yuma.
Bob Faris: That started with the TRW 6425 weapon system, which was sent to Aberdeen for test, for military potential evaluation. The government officially didn't have a need for that system, but the military really did. I was pulled off another program of grenade launchers. This first design was by TRW, a combination of designs between Oerlikon and TRW. The ammunition had shown success against light armor, and you could stop any tank going with a burst. The gun was recoil operated to start with, and then gas operation was an alternative. It had right and left hand feed that was quick change, electrically fired, and could be worked by hand. You could put your armor piercing ammunition on one side and your anti-personnel on the other. This was a very important design feature. I ran the military potential test on it, and it had some problems but many good features. It needed a balance between adequate and excessive powering, and between maximum depression and maximum elevation, which was a problem. You don't do all the adverse conditions in the initial military test. You do certain ones that you feel may be important, or may show a problem but it had potential. This project was put on the shelf for a while. In the meantime, the infantry was working out what they really wanted from this kind of system, what kind of ranges, what kind of speeds, what kind of capacities and so forth for their new Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) concept. They needed more space for a bigger turret because they wanted to put a bigger gun in it. At Aberdeen primarily, they tested an interim rapid fire weapon system. They spent a lot of time and money on the German interim M139 20 millimeter. It was supposed to be an off-the-shelf item just to give the Seventh Army something to put on their scout vehicle and the predecessor of the IFV, MICV (Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle), having a one-man turret with the M139 20mm gun.
Now, since it was to be replaced with the IFV having a two-man turret with a 25mm gun, they needed someone to run the tests at YPG (Yuma Proving Ground), and here I was at YPG. So, I was picked for the project. The Army had to choose between the recoil/gas operated XM241 and the motor driven XM242. Both used the same ammunition and link belt. APG (Aberdeen Proving Ground) conducted the engineering tests from test stands. The XM242 performance was better than that of the XM241 in almost every test. However, there had been incidents of the XM242 firing out of battery (unlocked) at other test installations (at least one at a Hughes test range). The Army convened a Source Selection Board to summarize and analyze all of the test results and decide which gun should be chosen. In December of 1978 I was appointed to review all of the results for safety because of my experience as I had either conducted or observed many of the tests. All of the testers including the contractors and other Army agencies were represented.
SAR: Identical ammunition in 25 millimeter?
Bob Faris: Same ammo. The TRW gun had no significant safety problems. Hughes knew their Chain Gun was in trouble. They had to make a design decision. They said; "We have a fix on the way, so wait a bit." Everybody knew how it was going to go on the decision if they had no fix; they were dead in the water. I was noncommittal. But the team chief, who was at the Tank Automotive Command where this meeting was, took me aside to say, "Hughes is here with high-speed movies, an explanation and a fix for the safety problem. Come with me." Dan, you've seen how the chain gun works. The bolt goes back and forth on the chain that's going around the receiver bottom, and it gives a fixed delay between rounds, guarantees a minimum unlocking time and a maximum travel time. In their fix, the chance of a round going off when you're unlocked is nil because it's set up so that it will not unlock unless there's a recoil impulse from the previous round. The chain stops unless there's a recoil impulse. I watched the high-speed movies and I thought it through, trying to figure out a way to make it fail. I couldn't come up with a reasonable way. In other words, this thing had to be failsafe now. The meeting broke up; I hadn't asked too many questions because they were pretty clear in their explanation. We were riding back and the chief wanted to know what I thought. I said, "I gotta chew on it a little overnight, but I think they got it fixed." I couldn't check it by tests, there's no time for testing. The decision was due the next day.
SAR: So you had to make a call on it right then.
Bob Faris: I had to make a call on it. "Go with the XM242 Chain Gun." My chief had agreed with it, and all the rest of the team disagreed. We were right down to the wire. I stuck to my guns because I had been doing a lot of sand and dust testing, with only minor problems with the XM242, and their fix worked to keep the out of battery occurrences. So, the M242 was accepted. I had my fingers crossed for many moons.
SAR: The first M240 Coax guns, the Americanized MAG58s were used on that project as well.
Bob Faris: I know, because I ran into belt pull problems. I immediately ran a test on those guns by testing belt pull capability. I established that it had plenty of belt pull capability and the problem was in the feed chute and ammo box. It was fixed and no further feed problems occurred.
SAR: While you were doing these tests, you were involved in the shooting community around Arizona. When did you first correspond with Herbie over in England? (The late H.J. "Herbie" Woodend, former Custodian of the MOD Pattern Room at Nottingham) I know you shared a common passion with him on belts, links and feeding devices.
Bob Faris: I started contact with him sometime after John Cross started coming over here. John came over here with a cartridge collector, and I don't remember the year there either. The cartridge collector never came back, but I would see John practically every year. Still do. He introduced me to Herbie by mail. The students of belts and links and that type of thing are few and far between, it's a small fraternity of serious collectors. I corresponded with Herbie, but I never made it over to the Pattern Room. Every time he came over here, he visited me, and Bill Woodin, and the others back East.
SAR: You have a passion for collecting a lot of different things to do with military. Is there a direction you're going to go into?
Bob Faris: My collecting would be called "International," and it is military based. There are different emphases in investment. Guns are the most expensive part of it, the most important part. No matter what, I still want to have a certain amount of each country's military insignia, the accessories to go with all the guns, and of course the ammunition. If I had the money and the years, I'd collect tanks, armored vehicles, planes and helicopters. The trial and testing information and manuals are every bit as important as the weapons themselves to collecting. It's part of the whole thing for doing research. The user can't really learn how to use it without some basic material to go with it. My personal collecting parallels the job I had. I still understand that information is important. That was one of my responsibilities as test director, more so than when I started. Today that is a separate function. I remember on the M39 they'd send a few guys down, writers, technical writers, and they'd have me go through assembly, disassembly, technical issues, with them, particularly with the M39. They combined that with the testing. They had provisional ordnance manuals and we had to review those along with the guns as they approached acceptability in testing. This was to make sure the manual matched up with the real information you were finding. Originally, they would write it and we would critique it and see that it serves its purpose adequately. As time went on, it became the test director's responsibility.
SAR: You're always at the Wikieup shoot, The Big Sandy, and before that at S-P Crater shoots. You seem to have a heck of a great time there.
Bob Faris: Oh, yes. My favorite shooting activities bounce back and forth between the aerial targets and the on-the-ground, reactive targets: things that explode. On the aerial targets, I developed different weapon mounts to use over the years. Whatever it was, it usually would have high cyclic rate and large sights. It's not a really realistic situation. You have a target that's this big (3 feet) going by you, gyrating all around, and it's at 250+- yards. If you can hit that, it's luck. At the first, I used Vickers, Brens, whatever. Then I made a twin mount for the Vickers, and changed the cradle to make a twin Bren gun with drums. As the model plane guys got better, we got better guns.
SAR: A microcosmic arms race.
Bob Faris: (Laughs) Yeah, our own arms race. The guys flying the planes are allowed to do anything they can to keep from getting hit. In other words, they're not flying at scale speed. And if they were, they'd lose a lot more airplanes and it'd cost more.
SAR: There's at least one guy who brings an M134 Minigun so that he can try and take down the planes.
Bob Faris: It's still hard to do it with anything because of the scale/speed ratio. Heck of a lot of fun though! My twin Vickers were inspired by that. Doesn't necessarily do as well as the single Vickers because it's bulky and you traverse the twins with your feet. It's heavy. It's really a lot like normal World War Two Radial and Motley mounts. These target planes are flying relatively much faster than that design could cope with.
SAR: Have you run into many unusual machine guns in private ownership?
Bob Faris: Sure, lots of them, I own some unusual guns. I also see FG-42s out there, and there's plenty of MG-3s and MG42s as well. I seem to buy enough of most of the really odd machine guns. Weird Italian, French, other designs will always catch my interest. Most of the guys out there are more shooters than collectors, and they'll buy a machine gun that they know is tried and true, they can get parts and ammo for. I lean towards the odd, strange machine guns as a collector, but I shoot them too.
SAR: You've done a lot of work on Vickers guns to change the calibers around. How many calibers can a Vickers gun be changed into?
Bob Faris: They can do 13 rifle calibers, and I shoot nine of them. They produced 13 different calibers of Vickers. I've done some of them different ways, but all of the calibers I shoot, I have the barrels and the belts and the locks, all the parts. I do manufacture my own parts when I need them. I have a shop with a lathe and drill press and grinders and all that stuff. I like the 11mm Gras, which was the balloon gun. I made the cases from the 11mm Austrian round; the case is slightly shorter, but it works with cast bullets. I also shoot 8mm Siamese Type 66, because I happened to have a couple new barrels for it. I got components that Kynoch had disposed of. John Cross helped me with these deals.
SAR: You bought some other things from England at one point, didn't you?
Bob Faris: I bought rifles there, too. Also a lot of Vickers rusty gauges, 900 pounds worth. They came from the scrap yard adjacent to the old Enfield Locks. I wish I'd gotten them sooner before they got so rusty. That was in the late '70s. These were the gages used in manufacturing the Vickers guns. I got 90% of them and lots of parts. If it involved a major receiver component, it was not shipped. There were some Lewis parts and original factory production gages in there, too. There was a small box of .50-caliber Vickers parts and locks and stuff.
SAR: From the Vickers light .50 low velocity or the heavy .50 high velocity?
Bob Faris: Both. I have a new barrel for the high-velocity Vickers. (Laughs) All the others were the low velocity model.
SAR: Have you seen a transferable Vickers .50 in the US?
Bob Faris: No. Only the parts, some were just thrown into a pile. I bought the whole lot, which was in England.
SAR: Always the best thing to do. Do you have a favorite machine gun?
Bob Faris: Probably my Vickers 1912 MK 1. That's the first one, the very first production gun. Favorite rifle? A Number 4(T). I like shooting it, and I like its accuracy, versatility and form.
SAR: (Dan eyes Bob's rifle wall) When did you get that Mondragon? How much did you pay?
Bob Faris: 1950 and I paid $35. (Laughter) It's in 7mm and it came from Mexico. I've got the drum for it, I got it from another collector, Steve Fuller. The leather case and drums over there is for the Farquar-Hill rifle. They only made 100 of those. These are the early 20th century prototypes of the modern semiautomatic rifles like the Mondragon, the Farquar Hill, the ZH-29 and the St. Etienne.
SAR: Do you believe that collecting firearms has enriched you? Aside from doing the opposite and spending your money for you.
Bob Faris: I couldn't think of a better way to spend money. I'd just like to do more. You get a feel for history through the weapons. I can appreciate the history books that I read. Probably wouldn't need nearly as much research with a certain rifle in front of you. Lately I've been trying to track the history of the machine gun during the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War. It's very hard because most of the publications talk about the same machine gun.
SAR: There was a British officer who went there to observe from the Japanese side. He wrote a book...
Bob Faris: That's mentioned in the book I am reading now; Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear: Russia's War with Japan by Richard Connaughton, printed in England. I have different books in different parts of the house that I read whenever I can. When I see something interesting about a firearm in the book, I make notes on the back inside page, what guns, what units, so I can research further.
SAR: Favorite handgun?
Bob Faris: Currently, the CZ-75. I like it. It handles well, it shoots well, it's reliable, and it fits my hand perfectly. I like that Enfield Number 4 or the Number 5 for a rifle, I like them both. Number 4 has a good reputation. Number 5 kicks like hell.
SAR: When LMO was doing the Stembridge Gun Rental analysis and sale, I brought in J.R. LaRue's company as the specialists on the Title I firearms. There was a particular Enfield that caught a lot of interest from people and J.R. made sure that went to you. Herbie Woodend just about killed me for that; the Pattern Room didn't even have that model. He never forgave me and would make me sit through a night of bad English Karaoke every time the subject came up.
Bob Faris: That's too bad. (Bob grins) That was a pre-Short Rifle made about 1900. They made two patterns, Pattern A and Pattern B, and I had the Pattern A already, which is the one the UK adopted with modification. I got that from Cholly Steen, along with some other early short rifles that had all come out of a military school in Nairobi. That was a Sarco deal - I've bought a lot from Cholly over the years, known him since the late '50s. Most of those Nairobi guns weren't even pictured in the good gun books. The one I got from J.R. and you out of Stembridge was the only known Pattern B. There's a saddle lug on it. There is a chart that Skennie (Ian Skennerton) re-drew to put in his book, because they had no guns nor photos in England of Pattern A or Pattern B. There's been a lot of conjecture, why are there only two of them left, one Pattern A and one Pattern B? I'm sure there's some more out there, but we just don't know where. They were never photographed for the record, either one. If you see an old SMLE with a white band around the butt, check it out because there were others in that same time frame, plus about six years, I have them hanging on the wall too. They came from the same lot. The British Army didn't want these anymore when they adopted the SMLE No I MK III in 1907. They just dropped them all off in Nairobi, and most are marked "DP", usually meaning "Drill Purpose." Not suitable for service use.
SAR: All the readers should be running to their gun rooms about now, looking through their Enfields. Bob, you had the opportunity to work with some of the young engineers and designers on many of the new small arms systems over the last 30 or 40 years. Are there any particular messages you have for the young designers out there?
Bob Faris: As a tester, I have heard everything from, "You're doing everything wrong, the test is too severe, you're being unfair," to, "We know how to fix this," and they often did, and everything in between. If you've got modifications or a new design and you think you might have problems, you will have. Try to avoid that at the test facility. Try to get all the things done you can afford to, or can do before you bring it to the test range, because it can get a bad name if you have a lot of problems in the beginning. Do real thorough testing before you even come out to do the testing in front of anyone else. Your methodology should be considered as well - by you that is. I don't know what was in their minds when they started on many projects, and why they chose the design they settled on, but sometimes it seems like it was something they just pulled out of the air. A lot of careful study and analysis should go into the design, and you should test as much as you can before you try to go in front of the users/buyers. Most of the designers and developers of the M85 and M73 simply designed themselves into a dead end; could not get out of it. What a debacle. Don't do that to yourself, before you present or try to get it into service, work it all the way through.
SAR: Weren't they restricted by the physical length of the receiver that they could use?
Bob Faris: Dan, there are always restrictions, but that was the main reason for the new design requirements. There are solutions. It gets back to more testing. The testers are under attack all the time for holding up production, holding up getting the guns out there, keeping the developer, the producer, from getting their money. Sometimes even we testers don't do enough testing. As I've indicated here on the M73 and the M85, they don't properly analyze the results. The user is just as guilty of that as the producers are. The user would usually take an optimistic view of problems, because after they're through the engineering tests, they go to the user tests, and they're supposed to, in a haphazard way, pick up what we don't get, or do dumb things that we wouldn't do except by accident. That's important to the process of finding and curing the problems - making things soldier-proof. However, you want to find the problems BEFORE these go to combat.
SAR: Do you see a value for working reference collections of firearms to the country and the industry?
Bob Faris: Absolutely. Take a look at the history of firearms from the beginning to today. It's a series of incremental improvements. You have to know what has been going on before, how they arrived at those conclusions, and what kind of a lifestyle they had while they were working on it. Take Browning for example, a most original designer, however, he had to know what was done before him. For Browning to change the design of machine guns, there were only one or two other designs that were even known, and he probably didn't know much about them, because Maxim and other contemporaries were not showing their designs to each other. Everything since then has been incremental in development, and you have to know what's failed or works and why they did certain things in their designs to avoid that.
SAR: As a tester you saw a lot of people repeating mistakes?
Bob Faris: Sure, or not accomplishing the objectives at all. They can get carried away with their little "improvements," that are not really improvements. These modern multiple weapons, a veritable walking arsenal, barrels and calibers and bayonets and lights and lasers pointing in one direction. It doesn't work out too well when you get out in the field. Nearly every one of these multi-guns they proposed for the Army has fallen by the wayside so far.
SAR: Do you have a principle in mind when you think about design?
Bob Faris: Ruggedness, simplicity, accuracy and portable. Those have to be satisfied first. After that you can expand the system. I think we have a problem with these Objective-whatever guns. There's something wrong with their objectives. With some of them, it's like playing an accordion. They make them so bulky and heavy, a shooter can't get a hold of it for any kind of natural pointing capability. I think someday the dual guns are going to be at a point where they're going to be better, but so far they haven't been good enough. Having the full and semiautomatic capability of the rifle, and at least a fast repeater for the grenade is good. I'm sure they've got improved projectiles, leading to smaller rounds and smaller weapons. In the grenade category, they're working on 30mm, they're working on 25 mm. I am not so sure they can maintain those design objectives I just stated.
SAR: They need to do the initial designs to get smaller.
Bob Faris: In my opinion they should persevere in what they're working on, but they've got to remember those four basic principles and keep it rugged, simple, and accurate, as well as reliable.
SAR: What do you think is the best operational General Purpose Machine Gun in the world today?
Bob Faris: What caliber? In rifle caliber, it would be the PK series. The PKM is nice and light and easy to carry around, and very forgiving to use. Very reliable. The M240 is a bit too heavy for optimum dismount use. Did you know they had spade grips for the M73 to dismount with? They dropped the off-vehicle requirement because they found that it wouldn't work on a tripod, or the M85 either. They found out early on that the M73 would only work at all from a rigid mount, and the M85 was too light. In heavier calibers? The best we have is still the M2HB. It beats the DShK; I don't know the NSV. I hear good things about it. They apparently made a working short receiver gun.
SAR: It's a good gun. I've shot the NSV in a number of places, and in Serbia with the Zastava infantry stock on it; it's pretty interesting. Weird little side-shuttle vibrations, some lateral dispersion from that, but the designers say that's conquered. How about for an infantry rifle? If you were looking between the FAL and the SA-80 and the M16 and all those different ones that are in different uses, the Famas, the G3, what would you think was best?
Bob Faris: You haven't even mentioned my choice: the AK. I like Kalashnikovs. I like the Finnish variants the best, the Valmet series. It's the most accurate. I like the 7.62 x39 but I'm doing a lot of shooting these days with the 5.45. I haven't made up my mind yet. Kalashnikov's designs show up in a lot of different weapons. It's very robust, it's simple, and it works.
SAR: Thanks for talking with us today, Bob.
Bob Faris: My pleasure, Dan, but there's still some things I'd like to say to the readers of SAR, whether they're collectors, designers, or military. Please, be diligent, make sure you keep your Right to own firearms alive, and don't let the government take them away. Quit electing liars. Know who you're voting for, then let all the people you know, understand what you think of who the candidates are. Don't go by what the politician says, go by what he does. That's the most important thing I can think of. I have very strong feelings about firearms ownership and firearms rights. This comes from experience, you betcha. I lost a lot of my Rights in 1968, when they banned so called "surplus." Through good luck and Bob Dole, we got a lot of it back when they allowed importation again of Curios and Relics. Lost them again in 1986 i.e.; the Machine Gun Ban. We need those Rights back.
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