The ZH-05 OICW is pattered on the original XM-29 design. The Chinese gun combines a 5.8-millimeter rifle and a 20-millimeter smart grenade launcher in an over-under configuration. The new weapon weighs just 10 pounds fully loaded—its low weight likely due to the launcher’s antiquated, but still effective, manual bolt action.
A 19th-century-style bolt action on a modern grenade launcher might seem like a technical weakness, but it’s actually a strength. The action is dead simple to use and has fewer parts that could break. Any loading system designed to be faster would also be heavier.
“China’s Got a Supergun“, Medium, March 2014.
Of those soldiers who reported jams in firefights, 82 percent said they were able to quickly clear the jam. More than half said their M-4s never jammed in combat.
The troops like the M-4 and trust it. And yet Wanat clearly demonstrates that under certain conditions, the weapon can fail—and catastrophically.
“The Army’s Main Carbine Failed During a Deadly Battle“, Medium, February 2014.
In other words, there are lots of ways the system can break down. And when a gun breaks down, people can get killed.
There’s another issue unique to the smart gun. It’s practically begging for hackers to attack it. Armatrix claims its system is encrypted. That doesn’t mean that someone can’t hack your firearm—it just means it won’t be easy.
“This ‘Smart’ Handgun is a Dumb Idea“, Medium, February 2014.
Spanning four volumes, The Poor Man’s James Bond newsletter totaled nearly 2,000 pages. It was almost entirely devoted to building and maintaining tools of violence. It was MAKE magazine for people interested in weapons. The newsletter featured instructions on silencers, zip guns, concealable rocket launchers, fire-ball spitting cannons and much, much more.
“How One Man Tried to Teach Everyday People How to Make Anti-Tank Missiles“, Medium, 1/15/2013.
This week at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, firearms manufacturer TrackingPoint announced an AR-15 version of its computer-controlled precision rifles. The company claims that the rifles can hit moving targets “out to five football fields away.” And anyone can use it.
“With This New Rifle, Anyone Can Hit a Moving Target at 500 Yards“, War is Boring, 1/9/2013.
“This Pistol Has Fought in Every American War For a Century“, Medium, 8/19/2013.
The response of some weapons designers might have been to develop a fully automatic gun. If one bullet wouldn’t stop the enemy, three might. That would be the argument of a disposable, consumerist culture of overabundance, but we weren’t there yet. The 1911 was frugal with the bullets, but the ones it dished out really did the job.
“This Handheld Rocket Gun Peaked with a James Bond Cameo“, Medium, 8/13/2013
With a stock made of a blonde wood and what appeared to be an aluminum barrel, the gun was an odd blend of the organic and futuristic. It would not have looked out of place resting next to a sofa in a Scandinavian furniture catalog.
“I Turned My Desk Into an Arms Factory, and You Can Too!“, Medium, 8/2/2013.
If you want to build something American-made — and I mean out of parts 100-percent manufactured in the USA and not merely assembled here — build an AR-15. My rifle is entirely American, from the cold hammer forged steel barrel to the machined aluminum hand guard to the smallest pins holding it together, all made in places like Wisconsin, North and South Carolina and Colorado. I didn’t even have to try to make it all-American, it just happened that way. China doesn’t even enter the picture, due to laws limiting the use of imported parts. I have a hard time thinking of anything else you can build entirely out of American parts.
Yeah, so…I ended up with your Browning Buckmark. And it didn’t work.
I took it to Markley’s last month. Hoofed it two miles through Watsonville on a nice winter day. Brought with me that box of .22 LR you had opened and shot.
I rented a lane, put on my eye and ear protection, loaded the gun…and nothing happened. The trigger was frozen. It wouldn’t budge. I was confounded. I had no idea how to field strip it, so I rented a Glock 19 and shot that instead. (Actually liked that one *a lot*, more on that some other time.)
This evening I had nothing to do so I thought I’d field strip the Buckmark. I didn’t think I could fix it, but maybe I could figure out what was going wrong. I went to YouTube and clicked on the first video that I found. It’s probably the same video that you watched when you broke it.
At some point, you took it apart and broke it. I remember you told me you couldn’t bring the Buckmark to the range because it was “on your bed, in pieces.” Not exactly where I disassemble my guns, but I guess that’s a perogative of retirement.
So I watched the video and followed the steps—you did like allen screws tight. Well done on that. I got the gun broken down into the barrel, slide and receiver and was flummoxed when the trigger was still stuck.
I took off the left grip panel and nothing important was behind it. I took off the right panel and there was the entire trigger assembly. It was actually pretty easy to follow how it worked. I looked to see if the assembly was getting smashed by the grips. There seemed to be something to that theory, but what it was I couldn’t pin it down.
There was one v-shaped length of metal that was sitting loose in a slot. It seemed to not actually be doing anything. It looked like if I pushed it back it would be captured, under tension, by another piece of metal. I did exactly that and the trigger worked! It was springy and everything. Apparently that piece had sprung out on you (like it did to me — you were probably lucky to find it, what with being on the bed and everything) and you hadn’t put it back in properly.
So there, I fixed your gun. It’s still yours. It’ll always be yours.