Minuteman Sm G


When the subject of American-type homemade weapons is discussed it is only natural to think in toims of "back alley" zip guns, clubs, knives, etc. More sophisticated devices are usually associated with foreign countries and, more specifically, partisan or underground activity.

In the last few years, a lot of "how to" books and plans have emerged to an eagerly awaiting market whose motivation seems more educational than political. However, none of these weapons has ever equalled the Minuteman submachine gun.

The term "Minutemen" — relevant to the American Revolution — lay dormant between the covers of history books until the early 1950's when author Taylor Caldwell fictionalized a patriotic American underground group called the "Minute-men". It can only be speculated whether or not Caldwell's book spawned the "for real" Minute-men organization in the late 1950's.

This militant anti-communist underground organization operated, largely, as a "mail order" type distribution network for printed material consisting of training lessons and membership bulletins which contained a lot of how-to information. Probably the apex of their how-to efforts came in the form of a set of plans for a home constructed submachine gun.

Inspired by the thought that Americans might one day have to fight a "last ditch battle" and the fact that if the gun grabbers have their way. this fight might have to be conducted with improvised weapons, the Minuteman submachine gun was born in a basement in suburban Kansas City, Missouri in the mid-1960's. Touted by some as a weapon that could be constucted by anyone with simple hand tools for an expenditure of under $7.00, it raised the eyebrows of accomplished gunsmiths and engineers.

It was a simple design resembling the Sten in outward appearance. With open bolt slam firing, blowback action, full auto only and no safety, it used M3 Grease Gun magazines since it fired the .45 ACP cartridge. Yes, boys and girls, in those pre-MAC 10 days .45 ACP ammo and Grease Gun magazines were both plentiful and inexpensive.

Such a submachine gun design, surprising to many, is usually easier to "homebuild" than any semi-automatic weapon. The sear mechanism, typically, is no more complicated then the catch on your kitchen cupboard!

The curiosity and nostalgia attached to this particular weapon could no longer be ignored, so we assigned the task of actually building one to FIREPOWER staffer Gary Hill, who besides being a Master Machinist is, also, a Class II manufacturer, j The result was most interesting. With only a few j modifications, Gary produced a classic SMG with .j quality exceeding that of most factory made, "out * of the box" weapons. It will even chamber and fire j primed empty cases and will spit out anything in 1 the way of live ammo that you care to stuff in the j magazine to the tune of 1100 rounds per minute!

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