Historical cache of firearms seized in Britain

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I don’t usually read The Daily Mail for its authentic and informative stories about the world, but some pretty interesting stuff does sometimes come out of it. Such as this story about a British parish council chairman in Suffolk who amassed over five hundred firearms in his house. We a story earlier back about an American in California who had thousands of firearms confiscated from him when he died, and in a similar case, this British gentleman passed away before any legal ramifications could be had for him. Comparing gun ownership in Britain to the U.S., that’s alot of firearms! Apparently most of them were illegally owned, but I’ve got a hunch that there might be more to the story than this. This might be a long stretch, but I’m willing to hedge a small bet, that the overwhelming majority of these “firearms” were actually deactivated. Although the problem is that I can’t see any evidence to support this in the pictures, and it doesn’t say so throughout the article. What makes me say this, is that the guy has over five hundred firearms, but apparently not a single round of live ammunition. The report claims that there were “200,000” rounds of ammunition also found, but in all the pictures of this “ammunition”, they either show just bullets without shells, or shells without bullets/powder/primers. Knowing English gun laws are extremely strict, I wouldn’t put it past the police to simply say these were firearms, because maybe they had been deactivated in the 1990s or so, but hadn’t followed any of the additional deactivation laws. For more information on this, see my article on the London Proof House. But essentially, Britain has passed a number of deactivated firearms laws, and with each law, the deactivated firearm has to be brought up to standard, by filling the barrel with lead, or slotting the chamber, or any other such method. Maybe this guy had all these deactivated guns, and just got tired of following each new law, and thus simply didn’t. Because I can’t see how even illegally, one has a huge amount of firearm315D936500000578-3454380-image-a-30_1455880301045s, but without a single round of live ammunition. I mean, the guy had a M76 LAW, that doesn’t look like it had been touched by the British EOD, unless it was deactivated, the police woman probably wouldn’t even be holding it up for the camera, because it would have been a live rocket stored in a police armory where you can’t store rockets!

 

Either way, his collection is extremely impressive! From a historical point of view, I hope most of these “firearms” don’t get torched, and instead go out to museums, or the Pattern Room in Leeds. Early 1928 Thompsons, early RPKs, revolvers, M16A1s, even an STG44!

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Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • 2hotel9

    Nice collection, and that box full of random bullets, including what look like cast lead minnies, is only dangerous if you drop it.

    • Tassiebush

      Picking it up could be dangerous too #sciaticamatters #prolapseawareness 😉

      • 2hotel9

        There is that! Wonder which officer is filing for “injury leave” after hauling it out of there. 😉

        • zippiest

          Or writing up the police reports. We all know brevity is not an Englishman’s virtue.

  • Petto

    Damn – i would sell these and get lotsa cash

    also that early RPK must have a high value

    • Tritro29

      Not an EARLY RPK, it’s a ZAstava model 72, milled receiver. Grip, buttstock and barrel are dead giveaways. Also it’s probably a year 1975 production.

      • Tritro29

        On second thoughts, this can be described as an early run Zastava M72, just not an “RPK”.

  • iksnilol

    I don’t think they were deactivated, if they were the bolt would be messed up (and those bolts that were outside the rifles looked fine to me).

    • Jonathan Ferguson

      Correct. That SLR bolt is intact. Even if some might be deacs, at least several are prohibited weapons; JUST AS prohibited (I.e. “machine guns”) I might add for the benefit of some commenters, for most in the US.

      • iksnilol

        Yup.

        I was considering the bolts of the bolt action rifles that were separated. Deacting usually requires torching the bolt so that it won’t work anymore (though you can still charge the gun, it’s just that it would blow up if fired and the bolt face wouldn’t support the case).

        • Jonathan Ferguson

          A UK spec deac would prevent chambering of a round. But then this guy may have held his bolt guns legally, so they may not be relevant. That FAL bolt & those SA80s scream ‘prohibited’ though

          • iksnilol

            Mhm.

            You can still “charge” the gun (do the operations and all) but can’t chamber a round.

  • Ron Last

    Smells like Freedom.

  • Iggy

    I don’t know why, but something about the angle the pics have been taken at means all the guns looks just slight smaller than they should. So it basically looks like someone’s toy gun collection, or ‘I got big hands’:

    • thedonn007

      Maybe it is a large airsoft collection?

    • Rock or Something

      Barry: “What’s with the gun?”
      Waj: “Proper replica man.”
      Barry: “It’s too small man!”
      Waj: “Not too small, brother. Big hands!”

      -Four Lions

  • Some Dude

    He died a free man even though he lived in a socialist welfare state.

    • Tritro29

      A free man doesn’t hide his attributes…

      • Phillip Cooper

        He does if the State would rather make him a prisoner for having them.

        • Tritro29

          Then he’s not free. It’s as easy as that. Freedom deals in absolutes; like a Sith. Haven’t you read 1984?

    • Garry Taylor

      i think he died in prison waiting trial

  • Major Tom

    They really need to donate the older stuff to a museum. A lot of that stuff is irreplaceable vintage! They’d get 10 times in return whatever the cost of scrapping it down by going that route.

    Except for the Calico 9mm. Chuck that one into the recycler, that’s fair do’s.

    • zippiest

      They’ll “destroy” them by donating them to Isis.

  • zippiest

    Looks like he was stockpiling for the day when guns are legalized again, so he could be the first to market.

  • Evan

    I desperately need a Bren gun. Not that CZ thing that calls itself a Bren either, the old British machine gun. That’s about the top gun on my list.

    Also, what could possibly be the point of that vertical foregrip on the butt of the L85?

    • Dave

      Its the trigger mechanism housing from the light support weapon variant – where the vertical grip is supposed to be used to steady the weapon when firing from the bipod. Some muppet has swapped them over as the pic of the light support weapon is missing one. Also missing are the cheek-rest, most of the butt-pad, change lever and trigger guard

      • Evan

        Is the vertical grip supposed to be THERE on the LSW though? Seems an incredibly awkward place to put a grip on a bullpup.

        • Dave

          It’s supposed to be there

          • Phillip Cooper

            So, what on earth for?

          • Ben

            Supporting the weapon during full auto fire, to pull the stock into your shoulder in the same way you’d hold the stock on a conventionally laid out rifle/machine gun.

    • iksnilol

      Grip on rear of the gun is common for MGs and precision rifles.

      You hold onto it for better stability when shooting with a bipod.

      • Evan

        But on a bullpup?

        • iksnilol

          Why not?

          Same device, same purpose.

          • Evan

            Because it’s in a position that would be incredibly awkward to hold comfortably.

          • iksnilol

            Not really.

            I honestly don’t see why the mag would interfere. Just as awkward as usual.

            EDIT: Here’s a vid proving my point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFi1G0Gt6C8

            Even with a drum mag it wouldn’t be awkward.

          • Evan

            Eh, maybe you’re right. I was thinking of it from more of a rifle perspective. From a prone position with a bipod, it doesn’t seem as bad.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, ain’t intended to be used without the bipod.

            I agree completely with you, without the bipod rested on something it would be extremely awkward to use the vertical grip.

          • Windy

            It isn’t awkward at all. You don’t even notice the magazine.

    • Ben

      It’s not. There is also an L86 in the pics. Someone has put the L86 lower onto the L85 upper and vice versa.

      Frankly, it’s concerning that he had either weapon. For him to get hold of them they would have to be either one of the ones sold outside of Britain to foreign militaries (Jamaica, Romanian Navy, that disbanded Colombian(?) paramilitary group),

      or

      they were stolen from a military barracks (most probable)

      or

      they’re battlefield pick-ups. (most concerningly)

      • Evan

        Or they could be non-working replicas, or copies made by someone with a machine shop and the right specs, or the famous rumored (we all know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy) ordered bit by bit from a military armory and assembled into a full weapon. Either way, it’s a shame you can’t own them (or at least even a semiauto version, which would be close).

        • Jonathan Ferguson

          Nope, they are the real deal.

          • Micki

            Any chance the Royal Armouries can get a look at the haul, Jonathan? Be interesting to get an educated opinion on it, if nothing else.

          • Jonathan Ferguson

            There’s a chance, but so far we haven’t been asked.

      • Garry Taylor

        sure they must be deactiviated, they were prity easy to buy as deactiviaed…maybe the reason he swaped the upper and lower of the diffrent rifles was to get one more compleat rifle

  • De Facto

    I’m liking the looks of that double barrel short barreled shotgun. I’ve thought about getting one for ages, it’s likely the only reason I’d bother with an NFA item.

  • HKmaster

    How about instead of imprisoning harmless collectors like him, shouldn’t the police take on the REAL sources of crime? Oh wait of course not, that’d make too much sense -_-

    • Jwedel1231

      The criminals are hard to go after, and they rarely cooperate like they are supposed to. Law abiding citizens (or subjects, in this case) tend to just stay where they are and hand over their guns. It’s SOOO much easier, you ought to try it!

      • Meaunkey Snaut

        Low-hanging fruit, etc.

    • phuzz

      He wasn’t imprisoned, he died, and then the police found his collection.

      • Tom

        As I recall seeing it in the local news the Police arrested another man for supplying weapons which lead them to this chap who passed away whilst before his trial could start.

        Its a shame most of the guns will probable be destroyed or at best transferred to the national ballistics centre. when they belong in a museum. Even though this is one of the more gun friendly parts of the UK I am sure that the police will not want to miss an opportunity to parade in front of the media and explain how these lethal weapons have been destroyed.

    • JSIII

      That is what they do though, was a collector here in Illinois a few years back. Ex wife claimed he had illegal machine guns, cannons, all kinds of crap. Cops busted him, confiscated his over 300 firearm collection and at the end only had one charge because one of his older firearms had a long defaced serial number.

  • Stuart Dodman

    That is an impressive collection by any measure. Being able to collect so many firearms in Great Britain is even more impressive! Keep the Bren, ditch the SA80 (pile of crap-I have used both). Where did he get the sawn off shotguns? ‘Friends’ in low places-or corrupt Police?

    • Evan

      Or owning a shotgun and a hacksaw. Sawing off a shotgun isn’t exactly brain surgery. The Bren is the really impressive thing here though. I need one of those.

  • Stuart Dodman

    It looks to me like some of the weapons have been put together from different models. The cocking handle on the SLR (FN FAL) is not British issue (ours folded away). That would explain why the SA80 has a LSW TMH (trigger mechanism housing).

  • Wolfgar

    O my God, a pile of inanimate objects. Oh the horror, never mind the millions of muslims taking over with sharia law, focus on this gun collection that hurt no one. Hoplophobia at it’s worse. England is lost.

    • Wolfgar

      Worst not worse.

    • iksnilol

      Oh look, another doomsayer.

      • Wolfgar

        Thank you, your so kind 🙂

        • iksnilol

          🙂

        • ChierDuChien

          You’re, not your.

          Sadly, Britain IS lost. It’s DOA but the signals have’t reached it’s brain yet.

          • Wolfgar

            I think the key word was brain, the signal has to have a brain to go to before it can register.

      • Phillip Cooper

        You misspelled “truthsayer”.

        • iksnilol

          No, I meant doomsayer.

          “Waah, welfare”

          “Oh noes, moslims”

          “blah blah”

          It gets old quickly.

          • Phillip Cooper

            It’s a shame you can’t realize the Western way of life is quite literally under attack.

            Have fun voting Democrat.

          • iksnilol

            No, I realize threats… Mainly because my physical being is several of those “threats”.

            I don’t vote democrat, I don’t do anything in the US considering I’ve got nothing to do with the country. I don’t live there, I don’t work there, I’ve got no ties there.

    • mosinman

      this isn’t exactly the average Englishman’s fault though , it’s more to do with his government

    • Mark

      Do you really want to have a comparative religion discussion??? Not here!

      • 2hotel9

        “comparative”? Not really possible. Only one “major” world “religion” is the direct codification of evil(yes, I have read the qu’ran, have studied it since the 1970s), so, there is no “comparative religion discussion” possible.

        • Mark

          A demonstrably false claim.

          • 2hotel9

            Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sianmink

    This is the UK, so ammunition components like brass and bullets are probably as illegal as completed ammunition unless they’ve got a hole drilled through them or something.

    I think we need to get those M1 Carbines back here where they belong before something terrible happens to them.

    how about that rough-looking calico and early 90’s aimpoint though.

    • Ben

      Casings and projectiles are legal, it’s the propellant and primers that are restricted.

      You can blame Guy Fawkes for that one, probably 😀

  • A.WChuck

    Hero!

  • Edeco

    Sea mine!

    • Paul White

      It’s been deactivated!

  • Spencerhut

    The stainless S&W has something wrong with the hammer. There is an odd black blob on the top of the hammer. Is this a clue to the gun being deactivated?

    • Phillip Cooper

      It’s probably not a Smith. Probably a Taurus copy, and that’s the “safety lock”.

  • Don Ward

    The bayonet on that Uzi is optimistic…

    • The Sten Mk V and Sterling L2-series had bayonet lugs too.

    • ChierDuChien

      Well, that was my first thought too, but, hey, in a true dog eat dog fight, it might be a lifesaver.

    • Simcha M.

      A very rare accoutrement which I don’t recall ever seeing in any military museums in my time in Israel.

      I could see where it would be useful in room clearing where an SMG is most useful, if your gun runs out of ammo at the most inopportune time.

    • DIR911911 .

      that and all the sawed offs made me start thinking “movie props”

    • 2hotel9

      In my wide and varied reading of small unit tactics and engagements I have read accounts of IDF troops and civilians having to fight hand to hand quite a few times. Wingate was a very strong proponent of bayonet and knife training, as well as the use of night attacks and infiltration. And never underestimate the intimidation factor of a razor sharp piece of steel on the end of a weapon.

  • ChierDuChien

    The “Parish Council Chairman” might have acquired most of the weapons from the local police evidence storeroom. Even before the bans, registration would have been required and would have raised flags.

    Maybe he is kin to the Clintons and exempt from following the law.

  • Renegade

    Why the “health hazard” labels?

    • Phillip Cooper

      Uh, lead?

  • Ikhlas Bima

    OMG.. it’s beautiful (his collection) , I agree hope these firearms are at least being sent to museum

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    That bullpup…that’s the first “vertical aft grip” I’ve ever seen

    • Darren Hruska

      British people like doing that, I guess. They did it with the Boys anti-tank rifle and the L86. It’s to help raise and hold the gun to the shoulder while firing from the prone, I believe.

      • Michael R. Zupcak

        Brits hold their guns all kinds of weird! This former SAS guy on the BBC was showing he carried an MP5-K: he would simply have his left hand on the VFG and push forward with both arms against the sling, creating isometric tension. He carried it on his right side in a holster with a 15-round mag and extra 30’s on his belt. His P226 was in a cross-draw holster.

        Then you have the British pistol shooters that stand sideways and stretch their shooting arm out so far it looks like they’re trying to poke the target with the barrel instead of shoot it.

        • Jeff NME

          That sort of pistol shooter stance is the very old “dueler” or “parlour shooting” type stance and predates the modern tactical ones out of the USA.
          Have a look at European style pistol matches, like the Olympic style matches which only allow a single hand to touch the pistol and you’ll see something very similar.
          Basically all the “non tactical” international comps do something similar.

      • Holdfast_II

        We had something like that on some of our SAWs.

  • Phillip Cooper

    I wonder how many of the Bobbies are wringing their hands awaiting the guns to randomly jump up and start mowing them down?

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Owner.

  • Lance

    Pity the anti-gun Nazis who run the UK will destroy them. Its awesome he got a L-85, how he got one is a mystery, since they where banned before they made a civi version.

  • TheSmellofNapalm

    Can’t tell which one I like more, the UZI with a damn bayonet, or the L85 with a foregrip BEHIND the magazine. LOL

  • Swarf

    “We a story earlier back”

    The whole thing?

  • Rickey Cook

    hey i would buy everything he has for his defense fund

  • The_All_Knowing

    I urge the British people to rise up and overthrow their unlawful government’s rules and regulations and reinstate the common rights that a free people should have…..

  • Bal256

    Interesting that the Daily Mail found enough time to write about something other than the police and government officials overlooking child rapes committed by immigrants.

  • PaulG

    I have to wonder how many of these things are actual firearms. The UK has/had a huge industry with replica firearms some of which fired blank type ammunition full auto. Several years ago I saw an Uzi similar to the one pictured here being fired and the only thing coming out of it were sparks from whatever ammunition was being used.

  • RICH

    The one Thompson (M1 or M1A1) near the end appears to have a ‘dummy’ receiver on it. I still wish I had it for parts. There doesn’t appear to be ANY LIVE AMMUNITION, just a shitload of loose/mixed bullets and a lot of empty brass (even linked empty brass ???)!
    I really love how the Brits have the yellow ‘HEALTH HAZZARD’ stickers for evidence ! ! ! WOW…. talk about a PARANOID government ! ! ! Just sayin’ …..!

  • Giolli Joker

    The Daily Mail calls the Calico “Calcio” several times… it hurts me.

  • Garry Taylor

    so ive done a bit of reserch on this , so if you want the skinny , keep reading….and sorry beforhand of the spelling…
    so the owner was sitting at home and the cops came around to tell him he was having his fire arms licence removed, as here were aligations of assualt ( possibly his wife) he actualy had a licence for 17 firearms….when they came around they found the livingroom with lots of other guns liying around, and smelt a rat…they did a serch and found a seareat compartment with a bunch of other guns…..

    some of the guns were licenced but there were at least 2 live firearms that were not register in his name….but were registerd to a diffrent guy…looks like the local firearms dealer had actualy regursted a few guns in fictisuse names and sold them to this guy….the firearms dealer is currently doing 6 years in prison for this and also for the more intreasting other ilegal act….which was

    the firearms dealer had been converting full autos to straight pull rifles ( eg pull the trigger and then pull the bolt after to chamber the next round)……the dealer belived he was doing this legaly……but in court it was argued that it was not legal…he had been selling these guns for a while in the UK and Europe…..but the prosicution belived that it was only legal for him to sell them in Europe and no the UK….even thought straight pull rifles are legal…….so that would explane why there are funcahaning looking bolts in the photos.

    o and they guy they busted origanal….died of cancer waiting for trial….not sure…but very very good chance he was in jail at the time.

    on a note about deactivated guns, there are tons and tons of them in the UK , you used to be able to by almost anything for a few hundred quid, you could strip them and dry fire them…..mostly the had the barrel pluged, and bolt cut a little…but rest intact…but over the years the goverment made them more and more welded up…i thought it was still legal to buy and sell old spec deact without upgreading them , but im not sure on that….but they are making them even more restrivtive in a month or so time and possibley they will ban old spec deacts aswell..

    I lived many years in England and know a bit about firearms there….basicly, if you have a gun or even just like guns…people think your a nutter…and almost everyone wants all types of firearm band

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    Looks like a nice collection…

  • Bobd06

    What’s the ruckus about?

  • jeff

    The sad thing is that all these will be destroyed.

  • Realist

    Nice gun porn…