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Old Trooper Gunsmiths LLC


My Blog


Assault pistols

Posted on February 11, 2016 at 12:56 AM
 Allright kids, buckle up, the old trooper is going to take you into the "way back machine" to a magical time called the 1980's! 

    A time that started before you were forbidden to register any "new" machine guns, a time when you could get new sks rifles right from China along with their clones of m14's and 1911's. A time back when fn/false and hk91's were everywhere and if you wanted an AR15' it had triangular hand guards or only had a 2 position stock. Where "Tacti-cooling" involved a mini mag light and duct tape.  
     Ahh...... For some of us old farts (or so, I have been told I am now classed into)these were the glory days. Back when the now ubiquitous glock. Was something novel and was studied with a certain degree of curiosity. Back when us gi 1911's were being surplused out by the pile and could be had for under $100. You know, back when Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson still carried Bereta "S" models..
So, we will today shed light on the seldome known market known as "assault pistols" 
   I know, some of you follow old timers are groaning at this term. It is right up there with "assault weapons" and other "deamonizing" terms. Sort of a bunk media buzz word.  
   But these paticular guns were lumped into this unwanted classification. An "assault pistol" was a pistol that was to big for a holster and could not be accurately fired with one hand. These guns were named in the infamous "evil looking features" ban of 1994. But back in the 1980's these were all the rage! And brother there were a lot of them! 
   One could say it even started with the famous (infamous?) "enforcer pistol. This little gem was introduced in the late 1970's. It was essentially a M1 carbine action placed into a stock less paratrooper style stock and mated to a 9 inch barrel. They were still in .30 carbine and took all the m1 carbine mags. Handy little guns, but had no real purpose. There were a few versions out there, from what I understand, most had some rather bad function issues... 

    But it was a start! 

    The door opened to all sort of cut down rifle pistols, sub machine gun pistols (semi-auto of course) and some curious open bolt pistols (yeah, try making one of those now). Out came a dizzying array of UZI, STeN, ingram, tc9 and mac 10 pistols. There were even some "tommy gun" Thompson pistols made. It was a fascinating little sub section of the gun collecting culture. 
    Were they practical? No...

     Do they all feel like they need a foregrip or a stock? Yes...

    But were they fun? Oh yes!  

     Just for sheer range plinking enjoyment they could not be beat! They were big and heavy for the most part. And easy (ish) to keep pointed down range. And most of them took large capacity mags. Many taking surplus SMG mags that were plentiful on the pre AWB (assault weapons ban) days.  Jus look at many of the movies of the era. Kirt Russell in "big trouble in little China" carried a pair of full auto dc9 pistols. Heck Chuck Norris alowed himself to be seen with a few in his 80's action movies!  And yes, I will admit, yes have fired many. Even owned a few. And yes, these beat any .22 for sheer enjoyment on the range. One can spend an entire afternoon of enjoyment with a few boxes of (at the time) cheap Chinese ammo or the bulk box from k-mart. Heck even an undetermined quality Baggie of soft lead ammo. They were just plain fun! 

     Alas...... Al, good things come to an end.. With the crackdown of Chinese imports and the crippling blow of the 1994 "evil looking features" ban. Banned the further import or manufacture of many of these big, fun pistols. Many of the company's folded up, were sold or changed production to more "conventional" pattern arms.  The plentiful, surplus SMG mags all but dried up.  And it was just not profitable for many of the makers to make "compliant" models with a 10 round mag. 

  They almost killed the class....


       A few hung on, the tec series is still made to this day. The DC9 series went on into infamy with the columbine shootings. Many are centerpiece a of the so called "thug culture". Sort of gave them a bad name till recently. 
      But now, there is a rebirth in the class. Many Ar-15 style pistols. Even kalishnicopy types. Some are even made from ww2 pattern sub machine guns. Then there are even new "tec-type" pistols out there made by Mastrerpeice arms in a dizzying array of calibers and configurations all made to take an off the shelf pistol mag. And there, if you look hard enough pistol versions of the Thompson, M3, UZI and Mp5 sub machine guns. Make us collectors that can not afford he real NFA items happy. 

  So, if you have never given them a second glance, you may want to give them a look. They are certainly a ball to shoot! 

Old troopers actual.


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Reply Sparrow
9:51 PM on February 19, 2016 
Miss those days! Owned a couple till I sold them, the micro Uzi was nice, the DC9 I found was pretty (Man's torso) accurate and I turned it for half again more than I paid for it, that was the down for my Escort! I always wondered what Reagan got for signing away our full autos in 86. I love your rants Bruce, keep them coming!
Reply Yani
2:14 PM on May 5, 2016 
For some this was their first handgun. For a couple it is all that they can hold up under. The oft melighined Hi point is blemished, yes they are ammo specific. Thanks!
Reply marjcla
8:41 AM on December 23, 2021 
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