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 Cartridges stuck in chamber

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free1954



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PostSubject: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:19 am

were there any reports from Roarkes Drift of empty foil cartridges being stuck in the chamber and rendering the rifles temporarily useless?
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:06 pm

Hiya free1954, yeah mate it was a draw back of
the Martini..the cartridges were made of a very
thin rolled brass..the weapon was prone to over-
heating after sustained fire.there are incidences
where jammed rounds could ' cook off ' in the
chamber,but their is a chap round here who could
give you chapter and verse. hope your enjoying
the forum, stick with it, you will get use to our
ways, humour ect. cheers xhosa2000
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90th

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PostSubject: Cartridges stuck in chamber    Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:45 am

Hi free1954 .
I read at least six accounts , including Chard's , of those involved in the action at R.D , none of them mention jamming in any of their reports . I suppose you could possibly say there may have been a couple here and there , but no mention of any instances in the 6 reports that I read .
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo 
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Ulundi

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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:45 am

Pte Hook, is the only who mentioned have problems with his rifles.
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90th

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PostSubject: Cartridges stuck in chamber    Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:09 am

Hi Ulundi .
Hook's report was on of the six or so that I read earlier today and he didnt mention anything about guns jamming , and I've just re read it again to check in case I missed something , but , no mention in his report of cartridges getting stuck , this report I read from Hook is in Ian Knight's ' The Zulu War , Then And Now ' , Hooks report is on pages 52 - 55 .
90th. You need to study mo 
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:10 am

Interesting thing about the fight is that even in close proximity they ran out of ammo and had to use cold steel
...............................Not a lot of people know that..............................................
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:19 am

90th,

Hook left a number of accounts; once I get things organised here I sort them out, but I recall in at least one of the accounts he mentions having to remove a fouled cartridge.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:22 am

Henry Hook
" I need hardlt say that we were using Martinis, and fine rifles they were. But we did so much firing that they became hot, and the brass of the cartridges softened, the result being that the barrels got very foul and the cartridge-chamber jammed. My own rifle jammed several times, and I had to work away with the ramrod till I cleared it."
90th
Page 55, left hand column beteen the last para and one above it Ian has left out two paragraphs, one dealing with the water cart and the above.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Cartridges stuck in chamber    Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:28 am

Hi Springy .
That'll be right , that was the only book that I checked ! . You need to study mo 
Cheers 90th You need to study mo 
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free1954



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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:52 pm

thank you gentlemen for the replies. I had read that this was one of the problems of most early breachloaders.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:24 pm

Xhosa
There is absolutely no evidence that Martini's would "cook off", I don't know where on earth this comes from and there is no official report to substantiate it. At Enfield the test Martini was fired with such rapidity the solder melted on the sight ladder bed and it fell loose,but no premature discharge of the cartridge was reported.

After the Zulu war the only contemporary report regarding cartridges was Redvers Buller, 11.6.1880, and at no point does he mention jamming. It happened, no doubt, but was at that time a minor inconvenience, likewise at Maiwand the following year, the large scale reports of it only appear during the 1882-1885 period in the Sudan, with wholly different climatic and ground conditions.

The Jamming section of my upcoming book contains 8728 words on the subject so I'll say no more.



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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:37 pm

Maiwand


Was there not a Sgt, who had a rant about the MH Rifle? 
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:53 pm

I have spend countless hours tring to dig out anything, that refers to MH rifles Jamming, cooking, blocking, the only reference is the one from Pte Hook. 

If it was a problem, the rifles would have been more than useless to the Zulus that aquired them from Isandlwana, they would not have had a clue what to do if any of the above had happen while in thier hands. The same as they didnt know how to adjust the sights.

If anyone finds anything other than Pte Hooks account, I would be most impressed!
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free1954



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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:00 pm

Neil Aspinshaw wrote:
.

The Jamming section of my upcoming book contains 8728 words on the subject so I'll say no more.




I have been following this conversation on another forum. looking forward sir to reading your book.
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90th

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PostSubject: Cartridges stuck in chamber    Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:00 pm

Hi Littlehand .
As I said earlier today I read at least 6 accounts from those who fought at RD including Hook's in which no-one claims to have had trouble with jamming . As JY pointed out Hook had left several accounts , but I only checked the one book .
Tomorrow I'll have a look through ' Rorke's Drift By Those Who Were There ' .
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo 
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:17 pm

Guys, we've done this subject before, so, where does one come by the correct historical information and cut out the chaff?
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90th

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PostSubject: Cartridges stuck in chamber    Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:23 pm

Hi Neil.
When will your book be released is it getting close ? . I for one am certainly looking forward to it . You need to study mo 
Cheers 90th. Salute 
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:21 pm

Neil, is that dated 1885 !!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:34 pm

Impi
Yes, it was not even considered an issue worthy of any serious nature until then, although it was briefly discussed in the 1881 Committee report, although the reports collated and quoted within go back to 1877.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:28 pm

Neil, fair enoughi obviously
bow to your superior know-
ledge.Jamming..a minor in-
conveniance.with men who
want to kill you advancing?
Durnford in the donga.
cheers xhosa
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:37 pm

xhosa, Durnfords men had Snider Carbines, different animal altogether, with its own extraction issues, and a two part ram rod, hidden in the butt trap, so the bash on the block face is the only way to do things.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:06 pm

Neil,Carbineers, carbines yes.but what a bout the
other mounted men and the nnc, i reckon there
would have been a few martini's about.

Re, the rocket battery.." The mules stampeded,
those of the native contingent fired a few shots
but were unable to reload...empty cartridge cases
jamming in the breech.they turned and fled with
their fellows, black and white,who were already
streaming back to the camp."
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:09 pm

Les, is there a primary source to this.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:44 pm

Hiya littlehand. yes.
wo 32/7726/079/1588:
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Ray63

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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:46 pm

I thought, the NNC were only issued 1 rifle to 10 men?
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:35 am

Hi ray63 but they were martini's in actual
battle conditions, not forgetting the moun-
ted elements,carbines or whatever.
cheers xhosa2000
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:52 pm

Ray63 wrote:
I thought, the NNC were only issued 1 rifle to 10 men?
Yeah, and what that phrase really means is that (for lack of a better term) the noncoms were issues rifles and the rank and file were not...so I wouldn't take the ratio at face value.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:32 pm

6pd
Your very wrong, I can if you would like refer you to photographs that prove you wrong, in fact one in particular shows a company of NNC with the rifles. John Young is a member and if Im not mistaken owns that photo.
I would in addition point you to Staffords statement on him issuing extra ammunition, on orders from Durnford.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:16 pm

springbok9 wrote:
6pd
Your very wrong...
OK, well then, happy to be corrected as they say...but I'm not sure exactly what you're saying. Is it one company out of ten that was armed with rifles? And was the photo taken for a specific purpose? Company profile? Because it was typical or exceptional...or neither?

springbok9 wrote:
I would in addition point you to Staffords statement on him issuing extra ammunition, on orders from Durnford.
Off the top of my head I don't think I know who Stafford is or what he said. Can you give me a more specific pointer?
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:45 pm

[quote="6pdrI don't think I know who Stafford is or what he said.  Can you give me a more specific pointer?
[/quote]
Bonsoir,
Lt Walter Stafford, 1/NNC, a survivor of the battle of Isandhlwana.
Cheers

Frédéric
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:01 pm

He wrote his account in 1934, many years after the event?
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:10 am

Think i would have recalled that to mind
if ones mind is still fit.why not.but its not
admissible.hearsay.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:01 am

6pd
There are a number of accounts that relate to the NNC and firearms, Walter Stafford is one, Essex is a second, the quoted account from xhosa re the rocket battery escort is another. Im pretty sure the issue was on the basis of a firearm for 1 in 10 persons not 1 in 10 companies. The reasoning from Chelmsford on that ratio was simply that the NNC were to be used as primarily a follow force to chase and destroy a defeated enemy. That wasnt the way it worked out really. Oh I forgot, read Malindi and Brikhill as well, many many references that can be sewn together.
In Ian Knights books he quite often uses photos of the NNC, as a recall I can think of three that show that probable ratio.

Cheers

PS Stafford wrote two statements.
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PostSubject: Cartridges stuck in chamber    Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:43 pm

Hi Springbok / 6pdr
There seems to be conflicting reports on the available firearms that were given to the Natal Native Contingent ( NNC ).
In ' Zulu War - Volunteers , Irregulars & Auxiliaries ' by Ian Castle he states , '' Firearms were issued only to the ten African NCO'S in each company ; these were largely outdated Enfield percussion muskets , although according to one account the 1st Batt / 3rd Regt NNC received 50 Martini - Henry's and 50 muskets for their NCO'S '' .

Ian Knight's ' British Forces In Zuluand 1879 ' states , '' Only one in ten was issued with a firearm , often of obsolete
pattern , and ammunition was limited to a few rounds to prevent wastage ''.

' Uniforms And Weapons Of The Zulu War ' by Christopher Wilkinson - Latham states , Natal Native Contingent
Formed under the auspices of Lord Chelmesford , the General Officer Commanding , especially for the zulu war ,
this unit was manned by Natal Natives under white officers and NCO's . Only 10 per cent of the force carried rifles .

' Black Soldiers Of The Queen - The Natal Native Contingent In The Anglo Zulu War ' by Paul Thompson also states ,
The 3rd Regt - No 3 Column , One in ten received rifles ; about 300 Martini - Henrys and 205 Enfields , old but still servicable muzzle loaders . The latter were divided equally between battalions , but the 2nd Btn seems to have received
most of the Martini - Henrys . There seems to have been little if any practice . Ignorance of the weapons led a Capt
in the 1st Btn to speculate that the M-H's in the hands of his men were more dangerous to friend than foe . He did not worry about the muzzle - loading Enfields - the men usually forgot to tear off the end of the paper cartridge or put the cartridge ball into the muzzle first , so the rifle would not fire .

There you have it , who knows , like all AZW questions , there are always it seems, a couple of answers !
Cheers 90th
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:08 pm

90th,

Let the picture tell the story.

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John Young Collection

Natal Native Contingent soldiers from one of the re-formed battalions, photographed circa April/May 1879.  Given the numbers it appears by that period that their proficiency with Martini-Henrys had improved.

John Y.
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90th

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PostSubject: Cartridges stuck in chamber    Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:33 pm

Hi John .
As they say '' every picture tells a story '' ! . Not sure if their proficiency had improved , but , the number of rifles seems higher than the ' one in ten or 10 per cent ' that was mentioned . Then again the '' one in ten '' I think was referring to the numbers leading up to the first invasion , as you say this photo is later , so it seems the regulations may have been somewhat relaxed after the earlier scares to the settler population of Natal , in the opening stanza of the war .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:46 pm

The sources I quoted all have something to say about the NNC fire power, Stafford that extra ammunition was issued. And as it was issued before Durnfords wagons arrived it could only have come from the regimental reserves, ergo MH. Essex speaks of the NNC blazing away at an absurd rate. Brickhill talks of them hunkering down amongst the rocks ( Im exploring that avenue at the moment ), Malindi talks of being re suplied during the fight, again a pointer toward MH. There are a few more but its the weekend and Im just to damn lazy to dig them out.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:49 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Essex speaks of the NNC blazing away at an absurd rate.
Wasn't Essex a gunnery instructor? I may have the wrong man, but if it was him, his standards might have been more stringent than others. I'm just say'in...
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:54 pm

John Young wrote:
90th,

Let the picture tell the story.

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John Young Collection

Natal Native Contingent soldiers from one of the re-formed battalions, photographed circa April/May 1879.  Given the numbers it appears by that period that their proficiency with Martini-Henrys had improved.

John Y.
Excellent Photo! 

Is it poosible, they were only issued MH rifles for the benefit of the photograph?
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:58 pm

What would the benefit be ? scratch 
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:59 pm

No
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:08 pm

6pdr.,

In 1883 following his return from South Africa Edward Essex was appointed an Instructor of Military Topography at the Royal Military College.

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Ensign Edward Essex, 1867, John Young Collection.

So you may well have him confused with someone else.

Impi,

No I would say not there another group taken at the same time, which try to scan next week when my study is up and running again.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Cartridges stuck in chamber    Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:21 pm

Hi John .
Good Pic of Essex . Salute 
90th.
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90th

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PostSubject: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:47 pm

John
I've found a picture in Michael Barthorp's ' The Zulu War A Pictorial History ' page 123 , the caption reads '' The reorganized Natal Native Contingent with the First Division . Most of the men now have uniforms and rifles '' .
Sorry , I have no clue how to scan photo's etc . They do appear to be shouldering arms I think the term is , but its a very dark photo and its difficult to see the detail . There are some other pics of the NNC which show a lack of firearms , then another on page 78 , in which it appears to possibly be a company or similar number , and about 15 or so appear to pointing what looks like to be rifles . The caption says the photo was taken at RD after the battle .
90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:34 pm

DrummerBoy 16 wrote:
What would the benefit be ? scratch 
The same benefit that accrues to any "model example." To show it in the best light possible. Does it not seem to you that these men are rather more physically imposing and posed than in the typical photos of the day? I think so. But we don't even need to go there. If the date is correct this photo is irrelevant to Isandlwana, or indeed anything during the campaign before that battle was lost.

I do not pretend to have any idea what the real ratio of gun carriers was, but that photo, however interesting, cannot bear the onus of proof that it is different from 10:1 when so much verbal/written testimony (admittedly, perhaps derived from one same incorrect source,) says otherwise.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:47 pm

90th wrote:
John
I've found a picture in Michael Barthorp's  ' The Zulu War A Pictorial History ' page 123...then another on page 78...
90th.
I would scan in the one on p.81 as well if I thought it would do any good, but they are simply too distant and dark. You would need a magnifying glass and the original to determine anything much.
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:23 pm

Best I could do?

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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:48 pm

I hope that this answers some of the questions:

Regulations for Field Forces in South Africa.
1879.

Equipment for Natives.

165. Each native officer and N.C. officer will receive 1 rifle and belt, 1 scarlet puggaree [sic.]; and M.H. rifles, with belts, bullet pouches, and cap pockets, will be issued in the proportion of ten of each per company, for the best marksmen.

This is from a pre-invasion version of the Regulations..., rather the revised edition.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:41 pm

I would have thought, the NNC would have been more comfortable with their own weapons, rather than an unfamilar one? Just a thought!
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PostSubject: Re: Cartridges stuck in chamber   Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:34 am

ray63,as apposed to a state of the art, death
dealing 12 shots pm.apache helicopter v a
knive on a stick. cheers xhosa
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