Sunday, 17 May 2015

Artificer's Almanac Episode 4: Trigun

Once more into the breach good friends.

Another Episode, and this time focusing on the firearms again. However as in the last episode we went west, this time we look east. Well to eastern media.

Yep you've guessed it, we are going into the wonderful and weird world of anime, where the term 'over the top' doesn't exist and the mood can go from Kawaii, to Blooshed and atrocity in a nano second.
I love Anime. I am not the biggest fan but there are a few which I hold dear to my heart in particular, One specific Anime: 


If you are not familiar with this (quite frankly epic) anime, here is a quick synopsis.
Trigun revolves around a man known as "Vash the Stampede" and two Bernardelli Insurance Society employees, Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, who follow him around in order to minimize the damages inevitably caused by his appearance. Most of the damage attributed to Vash is actually caused by bounty hunters in pursuit of the sixty billion double dollars bounty on Vash's head for the destruction of the city of July. However, he cannot remember the incident due to retrograde amnesia, being able to recall only fragments of the destroyed city and memories of his childhood past. Throughout his travels, Vash tries to save lives using non-lethal force. He is occasionally joined by a priest, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, who, like Vash, is a superb gunfighter with a mysterious past. As the series progresses, more about Vash's past and the history of human civilization on the planet Gunsmoke is revealed.
So following the same layout as the previous episode, we are going to focus on the main weapons wielded by the characters. I will also provide special mention to any weird and wonderful bits of kit.


Vash the Stampede

AGL Arms Factory .45 Long Colt (EF Auto Ejecting, Double Action).
This is the gun of Trigun, the fans know and love this firearm, and it belongs to the main character Vash the Stampede. According to its description it is chambered for .45 Long Colt which limits it to rifle or revolver territory, as indicated by the picture it is a full size revolver.
It is chambered in the 6’oclock position and has a break action operation. The design of this gun appears to be based on a hybrid of a Mateba Autorevolver and a Schofield Model 3 with a touch of future dust mixed in.


The Mateba revolver is Italian in design and is a very unconventional firearm. The Mateba
uses the recoil of the round firing to rotate and cock the hammer, in conventional revolvers this occurs by the user depressing the trigger each time or them manually pulling back on the hammer to cock the firearm. Also the barrel alignment of Mateba’s is different, most revolvers have barrels aligned with the 12 o’clock position, Mateba’s have barrels aligned at 6 o’clock. The reasoning behind this is by lowering the bore axis, the large majority of the recoil is directed into the shooters hand, lowering the amount of muzzle rise and thus making the firearm more accurate and easier to handle.
The U.S. Army adopted the .44 S&W American calibre Smith & Wesson Model 3 revolver in 1870, making the Model 3 revolver the first standard-issue cartridge-firing revolver in US service. Most military pistols until that point were black powder cap and ball revolvers, which were (by comparison) slow, complicated, and susceptible to the effects of wet weather.

The revolver’s internal mechanism is odd and it is actually unclear on how it functions, like the Mateba Vash’s AGL has a 6 o’clock barrel alignment but however the hammer is positioned at 12 o’clock, this indicates that there must be some mechanism where the energy is directed to the lower chamber to actuate the round, possible through an internal striker. As also mentioned this firearm has an auto ejector and a very large thumb release for the cylinder thus making it extremely fast and simple to reload. Perfect for your gunslinger.

Later in the series as Vash is engaging in combat with Monev the Gale, he reveals his secret weapon. His left arm is actually a cybernetic prosthesis and within that resides a semiauto 9mm. Later in the series Vash’s armgun is upgraded to a 10mm fully auto submachine gun, known as the Gale M101

Meryl Stryfe

High Standard Derringer

Meryl Stryfe of the Bernadelli Insurance company is rarely seen engaging in firefights but when she has too she comes fully, equipped, hidden within her cloak is approximately 50 .22 Magnum High-standard Derringers.
These Derringers are a Double Action, over and under derringer. Derringer’s (for those in the dark) are a generic term for any small pocket pistol, the older versions from the 1800’s were normally single barrelled or double barrelled, however modern derringers such as the COP 357 has four barrels.

The term Derringer is a generic term and comes from the misspelling of Henry Deringer who

was a popular artisan, who manufactured a wide range of pocket pistols. In fact when John Wilkes Booth Assassinated Abraham Lincoln he utilised a percussion ‘Philadelphia’ Derringer.
Anyway back to Miss Stryfe’s choice firearm. The High Standard was only produced for five years between 1962 and 1967, it was originally chambered in .22 LR and then was recalibered for .22 Magnum. After production ceased in 1984, the design was adapted by Benjamin Johnson Technologies into the .38 Special DA38 Derringer. A copy of the High Standard Derringer has been produce by American Derringer as the DA22 Derringer Standard since 1990.

Also as Vash the Stampede is also known as Vash the humanoid typhoon, Meryl Stryfe is also known as: Derringer Meryl.

Milly Thompson

Milly's Concussion Rifle
Insurance agent Milly Thompson carries with her a large Gatling-style concussion gun, usually concealed under her coat. It fires long projectiles which unfold into 4-armed crosses which have enough force to incapacitate people, or flip over trucks. Despite its design and resemblance to a typical Gatling gun, Milly's Stun-Gun is semi-automatic.
So Milly’s gun is based on the worlds earliest rapid fire weapon, Designed by Richard Gatling, The Gatling gun's operation centred on a cyclic multi-barrel design which facilitated cooling and synchronised the firing-reloading sequence. Each barrel fired a single shot when it reached a certain point in the cycle, after which it ejected the spent cartridge, loaded a new round and, in the process,

allowed the barrel to cool somewhat. This configuration allowed higher rates of fire to be achieved without the barrel overheating. The Ammunition is utilises a similar mechanism to fin stabilised discarding sabot rounds, however they have no sabot, as they accelerate the resultant drag over the projectile opens up the four fins attached to the projectile, thus slowing it down enough to concuss the target but not be deemed as lethal. Like Meryl, Milly has a nickname, Stun Gun Milly.

Nicholas D Wolfwood

The Punisher
Nicholas D Wolfwood is a wandering priest of Gunsmoke. However him being a man of the cloth does not restrict him with getting involved in the firefight. So what would a man of a cloth use, the finesse and grace of a single pistol, the flamboyance of a hunting rifle or the smite of a blunderbuss. The Answer????? None of these, this man of the cloth carries a large crucifix covered in cloaks and leather straps; these straps and cloaks hide the weapon.

The Crucifix. Known as the punisher, the long end houses the barrel of a heavy machine gun, the right spur houses the ammunition for the machinegun, the left spur actually houses a rack that contains 5 pistols for those close quarter encounters and finally the top houses a missile launcher of some description. Think of the Mariachi but as a priest.
Wolfwood’s Mentor; Chapel the Evergreen, also carries a Punisher, however his deploys into two separate machine guns.

Special Mentions 

Ruth’s RifleBounty hunter Ruth Loose (aka "The Constance Rifle") uses a fictional double--barrelled lever-action rifle. The weapon feeds from two separate stick magazines, each one connected to a separate barrel. Operating the lever causes the barrels and magazines to rotate counter-clockwise, ejecting the spent round from the previously-fired barrel and chambering a round in the top-aligned barrel.

Frank Marlon Special
A large portion of episode 3 centres around the history of a small town where gunsmith Frank Marlon had previously armed the population with custom-built revolvers referred to as "Frank Marlon Specials". All of these weapons are identical save for their finishes and some ornately engraved models. However what makes them interesting is that they appear to be a bullpup revolver. For those who are unaware when a firearm is bullpup it means that the action (so the bolt, firing pin, chamber etc.) are to the rear of the weapon, behind the trigger. Think SA80 or Famas. It is a very common occurrence in rifles, not so much in pistols.

So there you have it pard'ner's a brief glimpse into the world of Gunsmoke.....caught your fancy? WELL GO WATCH THE DARN ANIME!

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