By Dan Shea

As a collector, I think this issue might be one of my favorites. We were all talking at the editor’s meeting and wanted to do something a bit special for the issue being handed out at the SAR West gun show (Our 11th SAR West, by the way). This issue is the result. We’ve been going more towards commercialized covers and just decided to do a simple one - a Dad and his two daughters, competing with their original historic Thompsons in a shoot. The story on that shoot is truly an American story, one that all collectors and shooters should be paying attention to - 20 years of competing with Thompsons and gathering with like-minded friends.

We’re also very happy to bring the story of the UC-9 submachine gun of RoboCop II fame to the readers, along with the news that there is actually another cache of transferable machine guns that has been unearthed. Personally, I thought it was great to just see a pic of the late Utah Conner in print, along with the elusive Marty Pearl. Marty made many of the fully transferable machine guns in the collections of our readers.

The Max Atchisson profile is a great one, digging into the source of many of our NFA toys as well. I corresponded with Max for many, many years, and finally met him when Kevin Brittingham invited me to his shop in Georgia and we went out to talk with Max. That was a roller-coaster ride for sure. Max was brilliant but tended to go off on tangents, and shooting fully automatic Reising .22 LR machine guns with AM180 drums on them in Max’s basement is something I’ll always remember fondly. Brilliant guy, of the sort that built the NFA community.

Of course, the finale of the Colonel Jarrett articles from Blake Stevens is the one that ties that series of four together. I never met Col. Jarrett, but it’s possible that he mentored almost every one of the people who mentored me into this business. In this issue, Blake lays out the whole smorgasbord of writers who influenced the small arms community starting in the 1940s, along with their books. At LMO we have a large pile of Col. Jarrett’s photography in the library, and many times we look over the photos of the “Farm Day” shoots that they had in the 1930s. They were working through the Great Depression, and dressing up and shooting machine guns, driving tanks, and using their biplanes... very inspirational, and I think instructional to those who are thinking we’re having an “end of days” event. Keep going to the shoots: that’s what keeps this community going.

Let’s see, WWII Browning belts - near and dear to my heart as an old 1919A4 fan... Vickers .50 calibers? Got to love it... I’ve been trying to find one in the U.S. for years. I’ve got a lock for the .50 Vickers Low Velocity gun, and occasionally can be seen toying with it, wishing the rest of the gun would magically appear. We’ve been able to work on them in the UK over the years; it’s just that none seem to be in the NFRTR.... Debunking the Repro 1929 Thompson Catalogs? Well, that’s one we need in the collector community because most of us will pay silly money for an original. Not to say that the ones they just turned up aren’t collectable as well... Hot vs Cold bullets - now that’s the kind of tech article we love to bring to the readers, it’s bound to start a thousand conversations... and the LWRCI PSD Rifle- a great modern rifle to get us all out to the range.

We’re all very pleased to bring you this issue, which we’re handing out at SAR West. We’ll also be handing out the KCR issue that didn’t make it on time. We only found out on Thursday night that the pallet was still 1,000 miles away and would be delivered on Monday - after the Creek. No other magazines made it to the Creek this time either, we’re not alone. I wasn’t sure I could get there due to AUSA, the Vegas Show, and Milipol Paris, but I did get to see people on Friday, buy some stuff, sell some stuff, and hit Mark’s Feed Store on the way back to Vegas.

On another note, like most print media, we’re fine-tuning things. Starting this month we’ve reduced the amount of magazines sent to outlets that aren’t selling at a high rate, and dropped some others. If your friend’s favorite bookstore doesn’t have the issue, instead of just laughing at him and not lending your copy to him, send him to www.smallarmsreview.com to subscribe. Or, let him read your copy, but we know how unlikely it is that you’ll let him keep it.


This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V15N4 (January 2012)
and was posted online on February 10, 2012


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