Journal Entry #9: Tools of Resistance

Happy Treason Day, Renegades! Celebrating our Independence Day today, we remember a time where common folk revolted against an empire. Farmers, tradespeople, shopkeepers, and professionals all played a part in forming the foundation of a nation. However, when rebelling against a much larger and better-equipped army, how does one go about equipping a revolution? Resistance groups throughout history have either stolen or improvised their tools of resistance to fight for their ideas and freedoms. These tools, if not taken, were often made in underground workshops and out of parts that you could find in a hardware store. Today we celebrate the impressive improvisation of freedom fighters throughout history and their methods of fighting for freedom.

Photo courtesy of Abe’s General Store.

Photo courtesy of Abe’s General Store.

1) The Kentucky Flintlocks:

Starting with an American favorite, the Kentucky flintlock rifle and pistol were muzzleloaders used by American revolutionaries. Back in the day, firearms were products by the town’s local gunsmith, and the American colonists used such guns in their battle against the British. Loaded with one lead bullet at a time, and black powder used as the propellant, these firearms were lethal from 50-100 yards. However, the barrels were smoothbore, so accuracy was questionable. Yet, in the hands of lifelong users, the American revolutionaries were able to hit their targets and used these firearms to overthrow the British. The rifle was the idea of German gunsmiths who immigrated to the colonies, and the design found its way across the land. Thanks to the Kentucky flintlocks, we are able to celebrate this wonderful holiday.

Photo courtesy of Zib-militaria.

Photo courtesy of Zib-militaria.

2) The Sten Gun:

Kind of an oxymoron to include a British invention, but the Sten gun is a golden product of garage ingenuity. After the retreat of Dunkirk, the British needed a firearm that can be manufactured quickly and with little resources. Also, it needed to be able to be constructed of common hardware parts. Well, a man named Harold Turpin took one look at a pipe, and the rest is history. The Sten gun is a fully-automatic machine gun chambered in the standard 9x19mm cartridge. The magazine is fed from the side and the action is open-bolt. Easy to make, easy to operate, and highly modular. Throughout the war, the Sten gun design was not only in the hands-on British commandos, but it also made its way to the French resistance, the Polish resistance, the Norwegian commandos, and so forth. Sten guns were found with unique modifications like wooden stocks and oversized suppressors, in order to suit the needs of various resistance groups. Overall, the Sten will always have a place in the hands of revolutionaries as long as there are pipes.

Photo from Forgotten Weapons on Youtube.

Photo from Forgotten Weapons on Youtube.

3) The FP-45 Liberator:

Another design from the second world war, the Liberator is a single-shot pistol made from common hardware parts. Also, an American model, the United States military designed this pistol as a means for the people to arm themselves in occupied territories. Along with airdropping supplies, they airdropped the plans for this pistol design so that resistance groups could manufacture them in their secret workshops. The FP-45 was designed to be a “throw-away” handgun, meaning that it was meant to take out sentries so that the resistance members could acquire their better firearms and toss the pistol they used. Made with even less parts than the Sten, the FP-45 allowed several resistance groups to better arms themselves and give them a fighting chance.

Photo courtesy of guns.com.

Photo courtesy of guns.com.

4) The Obrez Pistol:

Leave it to a Russian with a bottle of vodka to cut down a large, powerful rifle to a smaller and concealable package. If liquid courage were to be a firearm, it would be the Obrez pistol. The Obrez, to put in simple text, is a cut-down Mosin Nagant. A Russian bolt-action rifle chambered in the high-powered 7.62x54r cartridge. The Russians needed a concealable firearm for their revolution during WWI and pistols were not readily available. Therefore, they took the Mosin and a hacksaw and cut the barrel down and as well as the stock. However, did they change the cartridge? No. As a result, the Obrez is a high-powered handgun that releases a fireball with every shot. Fantastika.

When it comes to the tools of resistance, the sky is the limit. There are hundreds of insane products of improvisation out there that are still used today in war-torn countries and nations with strict firearm regulation. Today we celebrate the day where our forefathers also utilized whatever means to fight for their freedom.