Category: Small Arms & Light Weapons (SALW)

Variations in Early AR-15/M16 Rifle Buttstocks

Chuck Madurski A surprising—albeit subtle—variety of fixed polymer buttstocks were used on early AR-15/M16-series rifles. There are five basic types, although it does not appear that these ever received unique manufacturer’s designations. Collectors today know them as the Type A through Type E. These stocks were fitted to the Colt Models 601 through 604, and

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Military use of Ballistic Shields: Part 1, ca. 1500–1918

Patrick Senft Editor’s note: This is the first instalment of a two-part series from ARES Research Assistant Patrick Senft, examining the history of ballistic shields in warfare. The second part of Mr. Senft’s research will be published in the near future, and will bring the story from the interbellum period up to present day, as

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NATO Fragment Simulating Projectiles (FSPs)

With the continuous development of artillery and as fragmenting artillery projectiles became the norm, fragments propelled by an explosive detonation became the most common cause of injury on the battlefield. During the asymmetric conflicts of the last decades, the widespread use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs)—frequently designed with primary fragmentation in mind and typically generating

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PKC Glock with 3D-printed frame seized in Sydney, Australia

G. Hays & N.R. Jenzen-Jones The New South Wales Police force have charged a 32-year-old man in Sydney, Australia with firearms offences following a raid on a Newtown home on 22 September 2020. During the raid, a Glock-type self-loading pistol assembled using some 3D-printed components was seized along with a 3D printer, additional 3D-printed firearm

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Firearms Seized from Venezuelan Smugglers in Florida

Matthew Moss On 15 August 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers took two Venezuelan nationals into custody at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. The two men were about to depart aboard a private jet loaded with a cache of firearms and ammunition. As a recent ARES report into the illicit online

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Firearm with 3D-printed frame recovered following police shooting in California

G. Hays & N.R. Jenzen-Jones On 18 June 2020, at approximately 1752 local time, 18-year-old Andres Guardado was fatally shot by a deputy from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) after allegedly drawing a firearm. The shooting took place in the 400 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard, in the unincorporated Gardena area, outside Los

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Multiple 3D-printed Firearms Seized in Sydney, Australia

G. Hays On Tuesday 11 August 2020, police in New South Wales, Australia executed a search warrant on a home in the Sydney suburb of St Marys following a yearlong investigation into the manufacture and supply of 3D-printed firearms to criminals across Sydney’s west. At the home, investigators arrested a 29-year-old man who was charged

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ARES releases Research Report 10: Black & Grey

Armament Research Services (ARES) is delighted to announce the release of Research Report No. 10, Black & Grey: The Illicit Online Trade of Small Arms in Venezuela. The culmination of a long-running investigation, Research Report 10 examines a new and thriving segment within Venezuela’s black-market arms trade, which has proliferated primarily through social media and

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Early Colt SP1 self-loading rifle in Venezuela

Pedro Pérez & Jonathan Ferguson An early Colt SP1 (Sporting Purpose model 1) rifle was recovered from a criminal group in Venezuela in the early hours of 21 November 2019.  A task force composed of personnel from Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas Penales y Criminalísticas (‘Scientific Penal and Criminal Investigations Corps’; CICPC) and Comando Nacional Antiextorsión

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Recoilless Weapons in Confined Spaces

Ryan Scheiblein Recoilless weapons are direct-fire guns distinguished by a system of operation in which propellant gases (or another counter-mass such as a powder or liquid) are expelled from the rear of the barrel in order to offset the recoil generated by forward momentum of the projectile. Many recoilless weapons have smoothbore barrels; however, several

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