Military Hardware in Civilian Hands

It appears that H&K, along with certain magazine editors who should know when to keep their mouths shut, are seriously concerned about the repercussions of mere civilians having possession of the fancy new military technology which is the small-bore, high-velocity MP7A1, designed to perforated Soviet body armor at hundreds of yards:

Like we mentioned before, the MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on.

Well, H&K’s attitude shouldn’t be the least bit surprising – they have pretty much built their modern corporate identity on a foundation of sneering at mere civilians. And the magazine is more fluff than substance, so it’s understandable that the editor would pander to H&K.

As a guy who tends to be more into old guns than new ones, this whole situation seems a bit familiar – I think Winchester once developed a specialized high-velocity small-bore weapon and cartridge for military use. It wasn’t a machine gun, but then again it was designed to perforate torpedo boat armor and snipe enemy sailors (or Boxers) at 700 yards, not merely body armor at 200. And do you want to guess what their attitude was on letting this cutting-edge military technology fall into the hands of mere civilians?

Winchester Lee Navy handbook cover

Yeah, they though it would be just fine for you and I to have, and they were obviously pretty proud of it having been adopted by the US Navy. Heck, you could walk into the shop on Broadway in NYC and buy one from them right over the counter. Lest you blow this off as just some other bolt action, let’s recall that when this rifle was available to you or I, the majority of the US Army was still armed with a single-shot, black powder Trapdoor Springfield. The Army had just barely finished adopting the Krag, because they still thought a magazine cutoff was a high priority so the troops wouldn’t waste all their ammo by shooting too fast. And yet, anyone with cash in hand could walk out of a shop with the latest in high-speed low-drag military hardware.

We don’t want to return to the world of 1895, but it would be nice to see its firearms ownership paradigm make a comeback.