You probably saw one of my recent topics where I talked about the top five guns to buy before a ban. If you did, then you should have a pretty good idea what types of guns anti-gunners love to hate, but if you don’t, I can sum it up as follows: they hate all guns that are semi-automatic, use a detachable magazine, and allow for a pistol grip attachment.
It doesn’t matter to anti-gunners what cartridge the gun is chambered in, what particular ammo it’s loaded with, or whether it has fiber optic, red dot sights or anything that would help with aiming. In a nutshell, guns that look mean or scary are much more deadly than any other firearm. No gun store should be allowed to sell such guns, and no civilian should be allowed to purchase such guns.
Heck, you can build yourself an AR-15 chambered in some measly rimfire cartridge like the .22 Long Rifle, and if the Biden administration signs the recently proposed 2021 Assault Weapons Bill into law, all semi-automatic AR-15 rifles chambered in .22 Long Rifle will be banned. If that sounds absurd to you, it’s because it is. But it gets even more absurd, as the government wants to ban some guns that you don’t even want in the first place.
In this topic, we’ll talk about the five most impractical and impossible firearms for anyone to own — but the government doesn’t want you to have them anyway.
1. The Barrett M82
Introduced in 1982, the Barrett M82 was originally marketed toward civilians before the US Marine Corps commissioned the gun manufacturer in 1990 to produce more than a hundred for them to use in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq. It wasn’t until 2002, two decades after it was released, when the US Military formally adopted it.
Chambered for the highly destructive .50 Browning Machine Gun cartridge or. 50 BMG for short, there was nothing quite like the Barrett M82 before it was conceived by its creator, Ronnie Barrett. In fact, when he went to his local machine shops to try and sell the idea of a rifle chambered in such a big. 50 caliber cartridge, he was turned down on more than a few occasions before he met the one guy who decided to take the risk and give his idea a shot, Bob Mitchell.
It didn’t seem like anyone needed a rifle chambered in such a powerful cartridge, but shortly after their first 30 rifles were sold out, orders came in non-stop. The CIA procured 125 of these rifles to arm the Mujahideen rebels in the Soviet-Afghan War, then the Swedish placed an order for a hundred for their military, then the US Marine Corps commissioned Ronnie to build several batches worth for use in the Gulf War. Finally, the US Military officially adopted it, giving it the military designation M107A1 Special Applications Scoped Rifle and ordering an undisclosed number estimated to be in the thousands.
Today, any firearms expert worth his salt recognizes that the most powerful rifle available to any civilian is the Barrett M82. But it is so prohibitively priced that for the price of one, you could buy twenty or so AR-15s, which is enough to arm a small militia. The barrier to entry is so high with the M82 that it’s practically impossible to purchase one, which begs the question, why doesn’t the current administration want you to have one?
Well, they argue that terrorists could get their hands on an M82 and use it to take down an airliner, which is just absurd. The FBI already conducts background checks on people who fill out Form 4473 which is a requirement for anyone to legally purchase a firearm so there’s no way that could happen, not to mention terrorists have done it with simple box cutters before. So why didn’t the government ban box cutters?
2. The Calico Liberty
Designed and developed by two gentlemen named Michael Miller and Warren Stockton in the mid-1980s, the Calico Liberty line of firearms is one of a kind. It has quite a list of appearances in video games, anime, and Hollywood movies, some of the most popular ones include “Total Recall” from 1990, “RoboCop 2 & 3” from the years 1990 and 1993 respectively, and “Tomorrow Never Dies” from 1997.
The Calico is superior to most other pistol-caliber pistols and carbines in the ammo capacity department as it uses magazines with a helical design far exceeding conventional high-capacity box magazines, even ones that have room for a maximum of 30 rounds of 9mm. It has other notable features such as its slim profile and its near-ambidextrous controls, but what makes it a real standout is the fact it’s the only gun available to civilians from the factory with a stock magazine that has a 100-round capacity out of the box.
Unfortunately, this ultra high capacity helical magazine is also the reason why the manufacturer of the Calico guns went out of business in 1994 as the Clinton administration signed the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban into law which banned all magazines with an ammo capacity greater than 10 rounds from the civilian market.
The ban expired in 2004 and sales to civilians have resumed since, but the company never recovered. And for some reason, these Calico guns are specifically included in Senator Feinstein’s proposed 2021 Assault Weapons Ban bill, which makes no sense as no one wants these guns.
The thing about these Calico guns is, it’s not only them anti-gunners who have problems with the magazines but enthusiasts as well. The magazines are notorious for their feeding issues due to the helical design, which is beyond the scope of this topic so we’re not getting into it in detail. Suffice to say there’s just too much mechanical complexity in the design that the military and law enforcement to which the Calico guns were initially marketed before the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban never bothered with them.
Also, as the company went out of business in 1994, it was reportedly sold to a new owner in 2006. The new company has set up a website for these Calico guns, but they don’t seem capable of doing anything beyond selling all the units the original company manufactured before 1994. Because of this, the new company is practically dead, and sales of these guns aren’t likely going to increase in the foreseeable future, which makes banning them pointless. But you know how it is with anti-gunners.
3. The Street Sweeper
Considered by many to be one of the most popular shotguns ever built, the Street Sweeper is known by many names. Some people refer to it as Striker-12 or simply Striker while others call it Protecta Bulldog or Protecta, but what it is is a shotgun with a revolving cylinder that holds 12 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun shells.
The original model called the Armsel Striker was designed by a Zimbabwean named Hilton R. Walker back in 1983. After initial production, it gained fame and notoriety as it was the only shotgun of its time that could hold 12 rounds in its non-detachable drum magazine. It was a huge success despite all the drawbacks associated with its design.
The Armsel Striker’s action is similar to a revolver as it uses a rotating cylinder. As it used a double action only trigger that needed to rotate a very large and heavy cylinder before it releases the hammer, Walker designed it with a pre-wound clockwork spring to rotate the magazine. This made the double action trigger pull short and light at the expense of a painfully slow reloading process.
The weapon had to undergo a major redesign some time in the late 1980s to address this slow reload problem. Walker added a cocking lever to the right side of the barrel. He also corrected the slow firing mechanism by taking out the clockwork spring and adding an automatic ejection system which replaced the ejector rod. The newly redesigned version was renamed the Protecta.
The version built in the US was marketed as the Street Sweeper and used a simpler and cheaper design. It had a winding key in front of its drum, and before it could be reloaded, spent casing had to be manually ejected from each of the magazine’s 12 chambers one at a time using an integrated ejector rod similar to ones used by single-action revolvers. Like the original Striker, it used a double action trigger which rotated the cylinder before releasing the hammer.
As impractical as it sounds, what’s great about the Street Sweeper is, its action does not require recoil to cycle. But that’s really the only good thing about it. As far as ammo capacity, it’s long been eclipsed by today’s semi-automatic shotguns that can use a detachable drum mag with a higher magazine capacity of up to 30 rounds.
And since 1994 when the Street Sweeper and all its variants were declared destructive devices by the Treasury Department, purchasing one requires a $200 tax stamp under the National Firearms Act transfer process which doesn’t make sense so these days, no one wants them. Still, it boggles the mind why the government wants to ban a shotgun they wrongfully classified as a grenade launcher but the M79 isn’t included in their 2021 Assault Weapons Bill.
4. The Tommy Gun
Designed by General John Thompson and marketed by his company Auto Ordnance as the first submachine gun, The Tommy Gun was a lightweight, fully automatic submachine gun chambered in .45 ACP purpose-built for American soldiers to break the stalemate of trench warfare, which reached its peak of development on the Western Front in World War I. But it was too late for mass distribution as the war was over when the design was completed.
Because of the high-quality wood furniture and finely machined parts called for by the original design, and because the action used the Blish Lock, a patented breech locking mechanism which had major physical flaws, the early Thompson submachine guns were expensive to manufacture. Auto Ordnance only had half a dozen employees and it would take them months to build a single gun so they decided to leverage economies of scale by commissioning a much bigger firearms company to build the guns for them. Enter Colt.
In 1921, Colt agreed to build 15,000 Thompson submachine guns for Auto Ordnance at the price of $44.56 apiece, which is equivalent to $640.38 today factoring in inflation. To turn a profit for their significant investment, the guns had to be sold to distributors for up to $157 apiece, which translates to $2,256.28 today. Final retail prices would then go up to $200 apiece, which works out to $2,874.24 today.
Auto Ordnance had trouble selling the Thompson submachine gun. A few were sold to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and some were procured by the Marines for use in the Banana Wars, but the guns never became popular due to their prohibitively high prices. They instead gained notoriety as they became one of the most preferred weapons by gangsters from the Prohibition and Great Depression eras and subsequently, by the law enforcement personnel who had to go after them. Early Hollywood movies that featured the Thompson submachine gun only made the guns even more notorious.
The company would have gone bankrupt if World War II didn’t happen but it did, so the U.S. Military adopted the Tommy Gun in 1938. It was proven to have accuracy and reliability issues in the field even after the military commissioned Savage Arms to simplify the original’s complicated design. But despite those issues, the Tommy Gun saw extensive military use in World War II and several other wars and skirmishes all over the world, the most notable ones include the Chinese Civil War, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Greek Civil War, the Borneo Confrontation, the Korean War, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and the Yugoslav Wars.
Today, Auto Ordnance offers several semi-automatic variants of the original Thompson submachine gun to civilians, but even with the guns’ full auto firing capability completely disabled, they’re still some of the most expensive guns on the market especially considering the prevalence of pistol-caliber rifles and carbines.
The lowest priced model, the M1 Lightweight Carbine chambered in 9mm, costs a little under $1,300 while the most affordable model in .45 ACP $1,500. Sadly, there’s nothing about these new Thompson semi-auto guns that modern pistol caliber rifles and carbines don’t offer at lower price points so if you’re not a collector, there’s no reason for you to want one.
And even then, Senator Feinstein endeavored to include 14 different Thompson models on her list of rifles she wants to ban. This just shows how much the government doesn’t want you to have a Tommy Gun.
5. The TNW Semi-Auto M2HB
And finally, we get to what I think is the most absurdly impractical and impossible firearm for any civilian to own, so much so there is absolutely no reason for the government to ban it: the Semi-Auto M2HB chambered in .50 BMG, which is essentially the same heavy machine gun as the Browning M2 with a heavy-barrel designed by John Moses Browning for the U.S. Military toward the end of World War I. But the semi-auto M2HB, as the name states, has its full auto firing capability disabled.
On TNW Firearms’ website, this gun is being touted as a remanufactured version of Browning’s original heavy machine gun using the same military parts but modified for civilian purchase. The intended customer? Target shooters, collectors, movie companies, re-enactors or military vehicle enthusiasts.
First off, let me just say I have nothing against TNW Firearms and I don’t care what guns they sell. But no target shooter I know would have the money to buy such a monstrosity of a gun, not to mention the muscle to lug it around in populated areas where people would be sure to notice. To say this thing is huge is an understatement. If you’re a terrorist, you’d need to mount it on a tank if you intend to move around town and shoot random people with it.
The government is so scared of you owning a Semi-Auto M2HB that they included it in their proposed 2021 Assault Weapons Bill without even checking to see if there’s any still in circulation. If they so much as even checked TNW Firearms’ website, they would have seen that these guns aren’t even in stock anymore and the manufacturer has long discontinued production. But again, as with all the other guns I’ve talked about so far, this just shows how much they don’t want you to have this gun.