Video Tour Of AIM Surplus

When I got started collecting curios and relics in the 1990s, there were a few places that you always checked out. These included Century International, Southern Ohio Guns (SOG), Samco Global Arms, and AIM Surplus. There were other places, of course, but these are the ones I remember the most. The golden days of Conex boxes full of WW2 surplus arms and ammo arriving on our shores constantly have come to an end. Samco and SOG are now gone. Century International is more Caniks and AKs than anything else. That leaves AIM Surplus which, while it still sells some curios and relics, seems to have made the transition to more modern arms and parts earlier than the others.

I came across this video tour of AIM Surplus while cruising Arfcom this afternoon. Having purchased everything from Schmidt-Rubin K31s to PMags from them over the years, I found this guided tour of their operations very interesting.

Ken Hackathorn On The M1 Carbine

Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons just published an interview with the legendary Ken Hackathorn. It is a quite interesting interview dealing with the myth versus the reality of the firearm. Ken said the WWII and Korean War veterans who actually used the M1 Carbine in combat generally liked it. They did acknowledge that the magazines were flimsy and they made a conscious effort to replace them on a regular basis.

I have an IBM-made M1 Carbine and love it. It is light and accurate. However, Hackathorn notes that many of the manufacturers had quality control problems in making these firearms. While the most common, the Inland Division of GM made carbines tended to be the most reliable. That somewhat surprised me.

The interview runs about 19 minutes and is really interesting especially if you like old US military firearms like I do. Now if I could only find a RockOla-made M1 Carbine with an Elmer Keith inspected cartouche like the one Hackathorn has, I’d be set.

Interesting Japanese Conversion Of A M1 Garand

Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons Blog always comes up with the most interesting old guns. In the video below, he discusses the Japanese Type 4 Garand.

Garand? Japanese Garand? Yep!

Partway through 1944, the Japanese Imperial Navy began a program to provide their infantry units with better firepower than was afforded by the bolt action Arisaka rifles. The initial experimentation was based on rechambering captured US M1 Garand rifles for the 7.7 Japanese cartridge, but an incompatibility of American en bloc clips with the Japanese cartridge hamstrung the project. In response, the M1 was reverse engineered, and the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal began to manufacture a copy of the rifle which would use a 10-round fixed magazine fed by two standard stripper clips.

This rifle was designated the Type 4 (2604/1944), although it is often referred to today as the Type 5. In total, parts for 200 rifles were manufactured, but only about 125 had been actually assembled into functional guns by the time the war ended.

A Really Cool View

Thanks to The Firearm Blog, I came across a really interesting website today. It is dedicated to Curios and Relics. The website is called C&Rsenal and they are out of Charleston, SC.

They have a project going in which they take photos from the point of view of a shooter looking through the sights. The photos are of both common and rather rare firearms. They have everything from a Springfield 1903A3 to a Danish Madsen (Portuguese Contract) to a French Chauchat Mle.1915.

You can see some of them in the photo below:

C&Rsenal also has a number of prints of various firearms stripped down to the individual component level. These are also really cool.

If you have an interest in old firearms, I’d suggest checking them out. You won’t be disappointed.

Obama’s Proposals Attack Crufflers Directly

The Obama Adminstration’s blueprint for gun control, Now Is The Time, directly targets those of us affectionately known as Crufflers. Crufflers are those of use who hold Curios and Relics Federal Firearms Licenses for the purpose of collecting older firearms. Many who collect these firearms do so out of an interest in military history.

Our ability to collect weapons from overseas that have a military connection such as the M-1 Garands and M-1 carbines in South Korea are directly impacted by Obama’s proposals.

From page 7 of Now Is The Time:

Eliminate restrictions that force the ATF to authorize importation of dangerous
weapons simply because of their age:

ATF is required to authorize the importation of
certain “curio or relic” firearms, and outdated regulations include all firearms manufactured more
than 50 years ago in the definition of “curio or relic.” But today, firearms manufactured more than
50 years ago include large numbers of semiautomatic military-surplus rifles, some of which are
easily convertible into machine guns or otherwise appealing for use in crime. Congress should
get rid of restrictions that prevent ATF from changing this definition, enabling ATF to ensure
that firearms imported as curios or relics are actually of interest as collectibles, rather than letting
these rules be used as a way to acquire fully functional and powerful military weapons.

So if you have a collection of SKS carbines with examples from the Soviet Union, China, Yugoslavia, and other Eastern European countries and need just to get the Albanian variant to complete your collection, Obama says no unless it is in the country already.

Say your tastes are a bit more esoteric and expensive and you want either a FN-49 in 7mm from Venezuela or a AG-42 Ljungmann from Sweden, you can forget it because they both are semi-automatic military-surplus rifles.

I wonder if someone in the Administration can explain just how screwing collectors is going to stop crime in the streets. For some reason, I don’t think so.

I Prefer To Think Of It As Cruffler Heaven

SayUncle linked to the Forgotten Weapons Blog this morning. He said you could lose a whole morning there. He is absolutely correct!

However, given the number of old and odd weapons that they examine in detail, I think they should rename the site – Cruffler Heaven. It is that good. I mean where else are you likely to find a video disassembly guide to the Bergmann-Bayard M1910 as well as articles on the manufacturing process for the P.08 Luger. They even have manuals for the French MAS 49/56 which was one of my early C&R purchases. Now if I could only read French.

At Least One Thing At ATF Works The Way It Should

I have held a Curios and Relics FFL since the 1990s and was due to renew it for another 3-year period. I sent in my renewal application on October 17th and received my new license on November 2nd. To be quite frank, I was amazed that ATF’s Federal Firearms Licensing Center turned this renewal around so quickly.

I have criticized the ATF strongly over Project Gunwalker and the agency’s management. However, I believe in giving kudos where they are due and the Federal Firearms Licensing Center turned my renewal application around in record time.

On a side note, if you have an interest in older military firearms or in historic firearms, you really should investigate getting a Curios and Relics FFL. It costs $30 for a 3-year period and allows you to receive eligible firearms directly. The golden days of being a cruffler may be fading but there are still some good deals to be had. Moreover, companies like Midway USA and Brownells will give you a dealer discount on purchases which pays for the C&R FFL if you order just a few things. It is something to think about.

HR 615 – Collectible Firearms Protection Act

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) has introduced HR 615 – the Collectible Firearms Protection Act. It is a mirror of the bill that Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) will be introducing into the Senate.

The bill has been referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee for hearings.

Currently, this bill has eight co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle.

Rep Bishop, Rob [UT-1] – 2/10/2011
Rep Broun, Paul C. [GA-10] – 2/10/2011
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] – 2/10/2011
Rep Donnelly, Joe [IN-2] – 2/10/2011
Rep King, Steve [IA-5] – 2/10/2011
Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] – 2/10/2011
Rep Rehberg, Denny [MT] – 2/10/2011
Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4] – 2/10/2011

If your own Congressman is gun-friendly, you should ask him (or her) to sign on as a co-sponsor of this bill. As a “cruffler”, if this bill passes it could mean more firearms imported or re-imported to the U.S. for collectors. I still remember the 3-fers that Century International used to offer. I got three Finnish Moisin-Nagant M-39s for $88 plus shipping.

Tester To Introduce Collectible Firearms Protection Act

The problem of importing those Korean Garands and M-1 carbines could be resolved if a bill that will be introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) is passed. The bipartisan bill already has six co-sponsors.

Below is the text of the bill that Sen. Tester plans to introduce to the Senate:


To amend the Arms Export Control Act to provide that certain firearms
listed as curios or relics may be imported into the United States by
a licensed importer without obtaining authorization from the Department
of State or the Department of Defense, and for other purposes.


Mr. TESTER (for himself, Mr. CRAPO, Mr. WICKER, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. ENZI,
Mr. BEGICH, and Ms. MURKOWSKI) introduced the following bill


To amend the Arms Export Control Act to provide that certain firearms listed as curios or relics may be imported into the United States by a licensed importer without obtaining authorization from the Department of State or the Department of Defense, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Collectible Firearms Protection Act’’.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 38(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778(b)(1)) is amended—

(1) by redesignating the first subparagraph (B)(as added by section 8142(a) of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1988 (as enacted into law by Public Law 100–202; 101 Stat. 1329–88)) as subparagraph (C);

(2) in subparagraph (C) (as redesignated byparagraph (1) of this subsection)—
(A) in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking ‘‘subparagraph (A)’’ and inserting‘‘subparagraph (A)(i)’’;
(B) in clause (i), by striking ‘‘Secretary of the Treasury’’ and inserting ‘‘Attorney General’’; and
(C) by striking clause (ii) and inserting the
‘‘(ii) the person seeking to export such firearms
to the United States certifies to the Attorney General that the firearms are lawfully possessed under the laws of the exporting country.’’; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:
‘‘(D) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, regulation, or executive order, any such firearms described in subparagraph (C) may be imported into the United
States by an importer licensed under the provisions of chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, without the importer or the person described in subparagraph
‘‘(i) obtaining authorization from the Department of State or the Department of Defense for the transfer of such firearms by the person to the importer; or
‘‘(ii) providing payment to the Department of State or the Department of Defense of any of the proceeds of the transfer of such firearms by the person to the importer.’’.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by subsection (a) apply to the importation of firearms described in section 38(b)(1)(C) of the Arms Export Control Act (as amended by subsection (a) of this section) on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.