Looking for Ideas, and Selling Two Rifles. Also, Trench Armor.

First up, I am selling two rifles. One is a Yugoslav M72 RPK (semiauto), which I am replacing with a Romanian RPK for Slidefire experimentation. Second is a gorgeous 1891 Argentine Mauser – too nice for me to keep in my collection; I’ll just wind up beating it up. If you’re interested in either one, scroll down to the bottom of the post for photos and details, and then send me an email.

Now, on to ideas.

I didn’t really get into this in my recent match video with the Slidefire RPK, but something I have gotten interested in is trying to become somewhat proficient in use of a light machine gun. As I suspect many combat vets understand, light machine guns can be used in ways that just aren’t feasible with semiauto rifles – machine-gun-specific tactics like grazing and plunging fire become available when you have full-auto and a bipod. A question that arises, though, is how to quantify these sorts of machine gun skills in a competitive setting.

With normal rifles, one can pretty well use speed and accuracy to score shooters. Here’s a target or set of targets; how fast can you hit it/them? But machine guns are often used to suppress an enemy rather than engage specific individual targets. Not that single targets are a bad thing to be good at hitting, but they leave a lot out of the equation.

So let’s say we were trying to set up some stages for a light machine gun match. What would be good courses of fire to use, and how would we judge them? How can we simulate things like covering fire and score different shooters’ efforts? I would be interested to hear thoughts anyone has on the subject!

On an unrelated note, I would like to make a quick shout out to International Military Antiques for being so kind as to send me a set of reproduction WWI German trench armor to shoot to pieces. I found what seems to be an original set of this sort of armor at RIA on a recent trip there, and it got me interested in just how effective the stuff was. Thanks to some of you guys, I have some excellent sources detailing the original testing done after WWI, but I wanted to conduct my own trial anyway. IMA has reproduction armor in stock ($225 for the set), and they thought that sort of testing would be cool to see as well.

German WWI reproduction trench armor from IMA
German WWI reproduction trench armor from IMA

I am working on getting some hardness and composition testing of the reproduction armor done so we can have some context for the testing, and then Karl and I are going to shoot it up with a bunch of different guns from both short and long ranges.


Yugoslav M72 RPK

This is a parts kit I built on a NoDak receiver (an NDS-9; the proper receiver model for the M72). The barrel is original to the kit, and has a dark bore with strong rifling. It has a small bit of trench art in the form of a cross cut into the rubber buttplate. Includes all the relevant Yugo details, including a top cover with cutout for the M70 spring loaded retainer and a windage-adjustable rear sight. In my opinion, the M72 is the best variant of RPK – I really like it’s grip and stock. However, because it uses a non-standard rear trunnion I can’t fit a Slidefire to it. So I’m selling it to finance a Romanian RPK for my Slidefire experiments. Asking $875 shipped to the lower 48 states (no international sales; no sales to places where it is not legal to own). The drum is not included. Must ship to an 01 FFL (not C&R). Sold, pending funds.

1891 Argentine Mauser

I picked this up along with another rifle recently, and it is just way too gorgeous to be subjected to ownership by me. It’s all matching, has an outstanding bore, and original cleaning rod. Judging by the depth and crispness of the serial number in the stock, the wood has not been refinished. Chambered for 7.65mm Mauser. The only non-standard feature is the front sight blade, which has been replaced by a taller one to allow easy shooting at 100m (the original blade would have been zeroed for 300m minimum). It does have a small crack in the wrist behind the action – I’ve included a photo of this below. In addition, this is a Loewe-manufactured example, meaning it’s a pre-1898 antique and can ship directly to you without need of an FFL. I’m asking $500 shipped in the lower 48 (no international sales). Sold, pending funds.