19 November 2010


A few around the blogosphere have commented on their "Grail Guns": guns that are hard to find, usually expensive, but what you desperately "must have" in your personal collection.

Sad thing is, my list of "grails" has gotten awfully thin: two of what *I* considered grails, I've already gotten. One of which I've already written about. The other will be in an upcoming installment of Humpday Hardware.

But there are still a couple guns that, given the chance, I'd sell a brother for (ok... I'd sell Rev. That counts, right?).


First off would be "the other Mack Bolan gun": the Beretta 93-R

This is the subgun/machine pistol Mack used to put the hurt on the bad guys in SO many different "men's action/adventure" books. We actually lost count of how large the man's body-count was.

The 93-R is a select-fire subgun built on the frame of the 92 series pistol. From World Guns:

Beretta 93R automatic (or machine) pistol has been in development during the second half of the 1970s, and first appeared circa 1977. The index 93 stands for "9mm, 3rd model", and the suffix "R" means "Raffica" - burst[-firing] in Italian language. This special purpose sidearm was intended for police and military forces who may require improved firepower in compact weapon during the close-quarter combat, such as room-to-room search or VIP protection. Because the compact size and relatively powerful 9mm Parabellum ammunition necessary resulted in high cyclic rate of fire, Beretta designers decided do limit the practical rate of fire by introducing a burst limiter, which allowed only for three shot bursts, in addition to the standard semi-automatic fire. To further improve the control during the burst fire, the pistol was fitted with folding forward grip, and the detachable folding shoulder stock. Early production pistols also featured a ported barrel to decrease barrel climb, but later this feature was dropped. The Beretta 93R is no longer listed in Beretta military & law enforcement catalogs, but it is used by some Italian police and anti-terrorist forces, such as Carabineri's GIS and NOCS, and by some other paramilitary forces. The burs fire mode is of dubious value for anybody but the most professional shooters, who need the improved effectiveness at very short to short ranges; the folding shoulder stock probably can help for long range single shot accuracy.

The basic design of the Beretta 93R machine pistol is based on the famous Beretta 92 pistol; The 93R uses the same short recoil operated, locked breech system with vertically cammed lock. The slide retains typical Beretta-style open-top design. The trigger mechanism, however, is somewhat different from Beretta 92, as it is a single action only, with non-ambidextrous frame mounted safety and additional fire mode selector (both mounted on the same axis, with the selector lever pointing forward and safety lever pointing backward). The mechanism which controls the length of the bursts is located behind the right grip panel. Beretta 93R pistol is supplied with proprietary 20-rounds magazines but also can use standard Beretta 92 type magazines.

Yes... burst firing, but can use standard 92 mags. What's NOT to love?

Oh yeah... the price tag. Last time I heard of one selling at auction, it went for $30K. At the same time, a suppressed MP5 ran $15K... :(

Sad to say, I doubt I'll ever own one. But if the possibility ever manifest, I would be hand-delivering the form 4.

I DID have an airsoft version (back when I did costuming for cons). From an Eagle shoulder rig to ready to fire (including flipping out the shoulder stock) was roughly 3 seconds...


Another that MAY qualify as a grail would be the Le Mat. Although I'm not sure it quals, as reproductions are available (and at a relatively reasonable price).

From Wikipedia:

The LeMat revolver was a .42 or .36 caliber cap & ball black powder revolver invented by Dr. Jean Alexandre LeMat of New Orleans, which featured a rather unusual secondary 16 gauge smoothbore barrel capable of firing buckshot, and saw service with the armed forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War of 1861–1865.

Basically, it consisted of a shotgun barrel surrounded by the cylinder of a nine-shot revolver. Oddly though, it points rather well: I've handled several examples, and am always surprised at how well it points.

The hammer is hinged in the center: you cock it, then pivot the front portion down so it will engage the shot barrel's cap. Making your first shot, well, shot... followed by 9 shots of .42 or .36 caliber lead goodness (or badness, if you're on the other end)...


Odd as it may seem, that's it for my "Grails". There's a LONG list of other guns I WANT to have in my collection... but they're all fairly possible, if not easy (being nothing more than a matter of financing)...

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