By Dan Shea
We hope you enjoy this issue; it’s been a fun one to put together. From the cool review of the SIONICS Corporation and its colorful leader, Mitch Werbell, to the excellent series on West Hurley Thompson parts, the 1909 Benet-Mercie machine gun balanced by the 1909 Maxim Silencer, the Charlton revisited, and the Browning Belt series starting article, it’s been a great issue for the collector community. There’s a lot more in this issue, plus our expanded Class III directory.
Readers sometimes mention that this issue or that might not have that much that interest them, but others really “hit the spot.” This has a lot to do with where we anticipate handing out copies of SAR. Since this is a Knob Creek issue, we’re heavy on the collector stuff.
Some of the most fascinating firearms designs of all came from pre-World War II era Japan. This has long been an interest for me, from the Baby Nambu pistols to the hopper fed Type 11 LMG. Most of my collecting time has had the Japanese machine guns involved in one way or another; and once most of the handguns, rifles, and machine guns are collected, the accessories and the memorabilia come in - machine gunner’s sake bottles, cups, trays, medals, etc. can be a fascinating study. We generally think of the Japanese WWII era submachine guns as being confined to two variations of the Type 100 in 8mm Nambu. Not true - there were a variety of SMGs used that were made in other countries and adapted over, as well as an intriguing variety of submachine gun designs that border on Bullpup or third generation manufacture - all in the 1920s-30s. SAR has previously told the story of several of these that were brought to the U.S. early on and registered in the 1968 Amnesty. Now, much more of the story is available. William M. P. Easterly, one of our community’s National Treasures, has put all of his research on the Japanese submachine guns into print. Admittedly, it’s not a polished book form presentation, it’s a self-published set of documents and photos, but he covers the subject thoroughly and adds so much information to the knowledge base that it’s incredible. I received this as we were going to press and wanted very much to get this information out to the Knob Creek crowd, thus the “Blatant Plug” in Sitrep. If you have an interest in Japanese weaponry of that era, you need this book. It’s available for $36- USD Post Paid in the U.S. from:
William M. P. Easterly
PO Box 2814
San Juan TX 78589-2814
Or, check it out on the website at www.dragonsoffire.com
Lastly, if you’re at Knob Creek, this may be the first one I’ve missed since sometime in 1983. With our other commitments around the world, it’s tough to drive the van and trailer out from Nevada, and shipping pallets out hasn’t worked too well in the past, but the reason is that at this point I have AUSA that week, then meetings in DC, then over to Milipol in Paris. I’m trying to get to the ‘Creek, but in case I don’t, I’ll see y’all at another ‘Creek, and I hope you have a fun, safe time.
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