Thursday, October 20, 2016

Common Weapons in Sierra Leone by Miranda

In the book A Long Way Gone, Beah writes about the war and the weapons that were used. He was pretty vague on what exactly the weapons were and what they looked like. There were several different types of weapons used, including guns. Two types of main guns used in the Sierra Leone Civil War, involving the G3, and the AK47. There was also RPG’s used, best known as Rocket-Propelled Grenades.
The G3 was created after World War II by the Germans. The G3 design was based closely on the AK47. While the AK47 itself was based on the StG44, the West Germans had no way to make more of that classic weapon.  This left them looking for a new main rifle in the 1950s. Named the G3 by the German military, the weapon was modular and the buttstock, forearm furniture, and trigger pack could all be removed and swapped out to change or upgrade the weapon in the field. The gun was cheap to make and did not require excessive machining. It proved accurate enough for use as a designated marksman’s rifle out to 800-meters, but still simple enough for a new soldier to be trained on in a short amount of time.
This is the G3 at the very basic model. 
The AK47 design work began in the last year of World War II (1945). In 1946, the AK-47 was presented for official military trials, and in 1948, it was introduced into active service with selected units of the Soviet Army. The AK47 was designed to be a simple and reliable semiautomatic rifle. Some versions of this rifle even included a bayonet that would extend out past the barrel. The most common magazine holds 30 rounds, but can hold, 10, 20, and even 75.  Unfortunately the AK-47 has a poor ergonomics and is badly balanced.  The AK-47 has made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the most widely spread weapon in the world, with 100 million Kalashnikov rifles currently in use. It is believed that AK47s have caused more deaths than artillery fire, airstrikes and rocket attacks combined. An estimated quarter of a million people are gunned down by bullets from Kalashnikovs every year.
This is an example of the AK47 with the bayonet at the end of the barrel. This particular one holds 30 rounds.
Rocket-Propelled Grenades, or RPG. The weapon was developed by the Russians. It was designed to be fired from a longer distance and be accurate. It is an explosive weapon that can be launched from a safe distance therefore allowing a successful ambush, without losing multiple lives from being close to the gunfire. The average length one of these can launch to is almost 1,000 feet. It weighs roughly 18 pounds, while most are single use there are some that are reusable, or refillable. The ones that can be reused can be fired on average four times per minute.
On the left end is the grenade. You sit the brown stock on your shoulder to support the heavy weapon. 

Although these are not all of the weapons that were used in the war of Sierra Leone, they are the most common. From German designs to the Soviet Union of Russia, most if not all of the weapons were imported into Sierra Leone. There was no manufacturer of such weapons that were close to this country of Africa.
This is the link that I found to be most useful. It is all about weapons used in the military, both old and new designs. It ranges from small guns, to even land systems. It has credibility because it is a military based site, with good facts and specifications.

1 comment:

  1. You acquired a lot of information, seeing as how you had three topics to research, haha. Anyways, I thought you did awesome with your research. I learned a few things from this. I never knew the actual name of an AK, but now I do.


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