I have to say that, yes, I did rather take your last post a bit personaly in that the way I read it you seemed to be saying that anyone who disagreed with the necesity of flashguards and hamerstalls was, ipso facto, irresponsible. As I have always considered them worse than useless I did rather take it that implication as aplying to me, particularly as you were replying to one of my posts.
As you say we can agree to disagree in a gentlemanly fasion, but I do dislike?the fact that these things sometimes seem to be thought to?cure all ills. The last incident of that type I had in this line was at Mississinewa several years ago when I banned 3 muskets from the field, 2 with very bad locks and one with a completely unservicable half cock. The chaps with them were quite indignant because they had flashguards and hammerstalls so were obviously 'safe'!
I have seen many pure accidents on the field and it is my unshakeable belief that nothing that prevents someone from operating a weapon in the correct?manner can, by definition, be a safety feature.
I have never heard of nor seen any serious?incident involving a firearm that was not caused by either failure to maintain the weapon or bad practice and for this reason I will always trust the period instuction manuals implicitly.
BTW if I may observe on your statement:
You might consider why all modern small arms, from the No. 4 Mk 1 Lee-Enfield through the 7.62 FN/FAL to the AK-47, the M-1 Garand, the M-14, the M-1 Carbine, and the current M-16(USA), C7 (Canada) or SA-80 (UK) all have a 'safety'---and why weapons that had no safety devices, like the 9MM Sten Gun, were viewed with such dislike by instructor and recruit alike. Training sometimes just isn't enough....
These safety devices are not flicked on and off while one is operating the weapon and were actualy designed as part of the weapon from its inception (like the flashguard on the Prusiian self priming musket). As for the Sten Gun having had the dubious prvilage of firing one of these beasts while in the Sea Cadets I would say a safety is the least of its problems. I rather thought it would be more efective as a club, certainly it struck me that it would be at least as dangerous to the operator and his immediate companions as it was to the enemy. The AK-47 though now there's a combat weapon.
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