Al-Anbar Iraq: Range Report (w/ link to pics)


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MatthewVanitas
September 20, 2004, 11:00 AM
Greetings. A few weeks back, went on an outing to the range with the neighboring unit. They've amassed quite a collection of confiscated Iraqi weapons, for training purposes and historical value. Just thought I'd share some of my impressions from the outing.

There's quite an odd variety of weapons floating about Iraq: a full century's worth of everything has wandered here. Items fired on this trip detailed as follows. Accompanying pics to the report are up at photos.yahoo.com/signpostmk (http://photos.yahoo.com/signpostmk)

G3 7.62mmNATO MBR: this piece was an alleged "authorized copy" made in Persia. Overall poor fit and finish, but has been inspected and fired extensively with no problems. The collapsible stock looked most uncomfortable, with a recoil pad resembling a rubber meat-tenderizer. Surprisingly, under recoil it worked quite well: only slightly uncomfortable cheek weld, and recoil pad was very stable and cozy. Rifle cycled well (despite shoddy Iranian mags and ammo of suspicious origin), and was surprisingly controllable firing short bursts full-auto. This rifle was much beloved by its Marine owner, who had only been issued a 9mm. It also makes a delightful bell-like "chime" sound when fired, which is most refreshing compared to "sproing".

SVD (Dragunov) ripoff 7.62x54Rmm DM rifle: this was some form of ripoff of a SVD, the differences are visible when laid side-by-side with the genuine article. But balanced very similarly (very long but light rifle). Recoil was harsher than expected but not bad. Had no scope, and was firing at a sand berm, so hard to judge accuracy. Genuine Drag mags fit this copy poorly, thus the need to support the rifle w/ hand under mag.


AKM 7.62x39mm assault rifle: nice little underfolder, believe Bulgarian. I've fired these a few times, and found it comfortable, but more muzzle rise than expected. I'm horrible firing these on full-auto, but one sergeant present had mastered the technique over a dozen range trips. He would somehow lock parts of his arm, muzzle the weapon at certain points, etc. and could somehow keep 15-20 round bursts on a human-sized target at 100m. Thankfully, the average muj has not learned that (or any other) skill. In the words of the senior NCO present: "Hey, Sgt X! Getcher *** over here and watch Sgt Y shoot! That's how a real man shoots! He gets right up in that **** and shows it who's boss! That's why he's tearing the ***** up and you can't hit ****!"

AKM w/ sawed barrel: despite best intentions with hacksaw and file, said neighboring unit learned that cutting the barrel down to the gas port does indeed mess up the gas system. Fortunately, there is no shortage of AKs to experiment with. Lesson learned. Back to sawing-off single-shot shotguns.

AK Trainer .22LR: apparently German-made (based on synthetic pebbled furniture). Tragically, constantly FTF. Really wanted to fire it full-auto, but between the shoddy mag and horrendously bad .22LR we dug up from the bottom of a feed-sack full of loose mixed ammo (lead could be deformed with your thumbnail), it just wasn't in the cards.

PK 7.62x54Rmm MMG: I'd heard this piece is the Soviet equal of the MAG-58 (M240). Don't know about that, but the Iraqi security forces love them to death. Great piece to fire, very ergonomic and stable. Uses non-disintegrating links, which is kind of odd to an American. Very manageable under recoil from the prone. Imagine it would be very accurate in the field.

RPK 7.62x39mm LMG: Believe Yugoslav model (has ribbed barrel portion below gas-tube). Somewhat long for an LMG, but very easy to use. Good sights with (luminescent?) white dots. I took this pic of another Marine firing; shortly before he began I thought "maybe I shouldn't stand in the path of ejection". This was followed shortly by "dang, getting hit by four pieces of hot brass per second doesn't feel good". Lesson learned.

PPSh-41 7.62x25mm subgun: great little 1stGen open-bolt subgun of Russian origin (believe 1943 on this particular piece, no photo posted). Extremely light recoil, seems quite accurate. Safety rather akwardly placed on charging handle, semi/full switch akwardly placed inside of triggerguard. Akward to hold with the 71 round drum preventing a grip by the stock. But despite akwardness, very fun indeed.

Beretta 9x19mm Parabellum subgun "Mosch. Pistole" (Mdl 1935?): not sure as to the exact designation of this piece, and can't find it referenced on the Net. 1stGen open-bolt with nice maple stock. Crossbolt safety in middle of body, double triggers (one full, one semi). Had the apparently common ergonomic/space inefficiencies that 1stGen subguns appear to have. But easy to control on FA. Ejects to the left, which is odd. Though this was perfect for showering my support hand with brass shards when a casing blew out (also lodging a slug just forward of the chamber). This is exactly why I wear glasses when shooting.

That about covers that day.

Shot on previous days: M48 Mauser, Baikal single-shot shotgun, Sterling Brit 9mm subgun, SKS, Tokarev, Tariq 9mm (ripoff of Helwan, which is ripoff of 1951 Beretta), Glock 19 (Iraqi Police issue).

Handled but not shot: Para FAL, Uzi, VZ52-57, MP5, MG-42, Enfield (No1, No4, P-14), Steyr 1895 straight-pull, Martini shotgun, Rashid (ripoff of Hakim, which is Ripoff of Helwan), S&W Sigma, Makarov, Llama 7.65Browning, mini-Tariq 7.65Browning, Miroku o/u 12ga, Browning GP-35 "Highpower".

Hope folks find this enjoyable. Encourage any other folks participating in Iraq fam-fires to share their stories and pics. Take care, -MV

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Jmurman
September 20, 2004, 11:37 AM
Looks like a FUN Day!

crucible
September 20, 2004, 12:15 PM
Thanks for that. I remember doing some of the same things back in the 1st Great Sandbox War-loads of fun:)

Stay safe Marine!

Semper Fi

Cruc

MrMurphy
September 20, 2004, 01:57 PM
The Beretta SMG was either a Model 38 or Model 38/42 most likely.

MatthewVanitas
September 20, 2004, 03:08 PM
I googled up "1938 Beretta", and up popped a picture of our boy.

Apparently, it's a 1938A Moschetto Automatico Beretta. Good to get that one solved. I've run across four firearms in Iraq which I did not automatically know the name of, and that was one of them. Kudos. -MV

MrMurphy
September 20, 2004, 08:33 PM
Check it for Nazi Waffenamts, the Germans liked using them (especially the SS) as a secondary weapon when they didn't have enough MP40s.

jefnvk
September 20, 2004, 10:06 PM
AKM 7.62x39mm assault rifle: nice little underfolder, believe Bulgarian. I've fired these a few times, and found it comfortable, but more muzzle rise than expected. I'm horrible firing these on full-auto, but one sergeant present had mastered the technique over a dozen range trips. He would somehow lock parts of his arm, muzzle the weapon at certain points, etc. and could somehow keep 15-20 round bursts on a human-sized target at 100m. Thankfully, the average muj has not learned that (or any other) skill. In the words of the senior NCO present: "Hey, Sgt X! Getcher *** over here and watch Sgt Y shoot! That's how a real man shoots! He gets right up in that **** and shows it who's boss! That's why he's tearing the ***** up and you can't hit ****!"

There is a guy around home that would bring Class III things to a local range every once in a while, and let people shoot. After about two or three people putting holes in the cieling on full auto, he steps up and sumps a full mag into a target 25 yards down. Simply amazing, I don't think the muzzle rose the entire time :what:

Dave Markowitz
September 21, 2004, 07:48 PM
Matthew,

That Beretta subgun is a M1938/42. The M1938 had a perforated jacket surrounding the barrel. It's one of the best subguns of WW2. You are lucky to get the chance to shoot one!

Thanks for your service BTW.

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