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Xiolablu3
07-20-2010, 05:25 AM
Yep. I'm back again with another question. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

When the Germans sent out a request for a semi auto rifle, one of the conditions was that it 'must not siphon off gas from the barrel to work the action'

Can anyone tell me why not? What are the disadvantages of using htis system? Why were the Germans so against it?

The most famous assault rifle in the world uses this system as far as I can tell.

Apparantly the winners of the rifle competition got around this by completely ignoring the order.

LEBillfish
07-20-2010, 07:19 AM
Though only guessing.....

German equipment as far as I know was always rather delicate as to fit and finish which translates into not being very robust when it comes to dirt...a gas operated system can foul up rather quickly, even an AK-47 using clean/non-ball ammunition will still plug up and stop working....Make the gun even more complex and a closer fit then that, and you have a firearm that risks ceasing working as the internal parts become dirty from the mechanics of the action.

All just guessing as we don't have one of these, yet I've had our AK-47's grind to a halt though they're very easy to clean.

K2

Xiolablu3
07-20-2010, 07:34 AM
Ah, so like a shotgun barrel has all 'bits' in after shooting, there is a danger that all that dirt will foul up the gas system.

I see, thanks.

That order always puzzled me because many of the most succesful semi auto firearms are gas operated.

Messaschnitzel
07-20-2010, 12:20 PM
Judging from the army's Request For Proposal specs, they wanted a rifle that was relatively simple to produce quickly, simple to use and disassemble, and with no moving surface parts to bind or get damaged.(keep in mind that the army request was made circa 1940) Using these specs, I'm surprised that the contractors didn't base their design on the Remington models 8 and 81, which are both recoil operated, and the 81 used the .300 Savage cartidge.

http://www.imfdb.org/images/7/78/Remrifle.jpg

It could be that the contractors thought that it was too complex to produce on a wartime manufacturing timetable. OTOH, they were messing around with equally, if not a more complex and finicky mechanism with the submitted G41 designs. On a side note, the Germans did come up with some great time saving manufacturing methods such as forged barrels, to wit: had a rifled arbor inserted into a drilled and reamed barrel blank which was then placed between the dies and rotated as the hammer did the work. One schmo (like me, for instance) could load the blank into the dies, do the work, and then have the quality control inspector check every tenth barrel for tolerances and defects. This procedure saved a lot of time because it eliminated the steps of cutting rifling using a universal rifling machine.

ElAurens
07-20-2010, 04:49 PM
With the exception of the too little, too late STG 44, no European combatant had a satisfactory auto loading infantry shoulder weapon in WW2.

This has always puzzled me. All the major European powers, Britain, Germany, Russia, came up with satisfactory sub machine guns, and many nations produced good heavy machine guns, but only the US had a good general issue auto loading rifle, the M1 Garand.

Xiolablu3
07-21-2010, 06:04 AM
Yeah, the garand was certainly the best general issue rifle in WW2.

In the case of Germany I think they placed much more importancew on the machine gun, and it was the centre of the squad. Whereas the US the rifle was the primary weapon.

The Russians tried with the expensive SVT40.

As for the others, God knows why they didnt try and get a decent self loading rifle into action.

Art-J
07-21-2010, 09:27 AM
Ha! We Poles tried, we tried indeed. Just before the war, we started production of a handsome-lookin' semi-auto rifle (for 7.92x57 Mauser round, which was our standard ammo at that time). It was intended to be a successor for our good old bolt action Mausers.

http://i32.tinypic.com/21l60zq.jpg

Wz. 1938M rifle was typical gas-operated weapon, with length of about 1.3m, about 4.5kg of weight, 10 rounds in a mag, quite simple construction and good reliability (at least during extensive proving ground tests).

Unfortunately, it was destined to become one of "extremely-too-little, too late" toys in our arsenal - about 150 were completed before the outbreak od the war. Today, we've got only one example of it - preserved in a museum in Warsaw. There are also 2 (some say 4?) in private collector's hands in US.

Cheers - Art

jarink
07-21-2010, 07:44 PM
I'm not certain, but my first guess would be they wanted to avoid fouling problems caused by the powder they were using.

Many of the issues with the original M-16 in Vietnam were fouling problems caused by a switch from stick to ball powder of a different formulation.

Xiolablu3
07-22-2010, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by Art-J:
Ha! We Poles tried, we tried indeed. Just before the war, we started production of a handsome-lookin' semi-auto rifle (for 7.92x57 Mauser round, which was our standard ammo at that time). It was intended to be a successor for our good old bolt action Mausers.

http://i32.tinypic.com/21l60zq.jpg

Wz. 1938M rifle was typical gas-operated weapon, with length of about 1.3m, about 4.5kg of weight, 10 rounds in a mag, quite simple construction and good reliability (at least during extensive proving ground tests).

Unfortunately, it was destined to become one of "extremely-too-little, too late" toys in our arsenal - about 150 were completed before the outbreak od the war. Today, we've got only one example of it - preserved in a museum in Warsaw. There are also 2 (some say 4?) in private collector's hands in US.

Cheers - Art

Thats really impressive, remember that the Poles were in the war long before anyone else even got going. Had they had as much time to prepare as the others, it seems they would have had a decent semi auto rifle in their inventory!

PanzerAce
07-25-2010, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
With the exception of the too little, too late STG 44, no European combatant had a satisfactory auto loading infantry shoulder weapon in WW2.

This has always puzzled me. All the major European powers, Britain, Germany, Russia, came up with satisfactory sub machine guns, and many nations produced good heavy machine guns, but only the US had a good general issue auto loading rifle, the M1 Garand.

Why do you consider the SVT-40 to not be satisfactory? It was certainly better than the STG-44 in build and material quality.

Worf101
07-26-2010, 08:05 AM
Originally posted by PanzerAce:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ElAurens:
With the exception of the too little, too late STG 44, no European combatant had a satisfactory auto loading infantry shoulder weapon in WW2.

This has always puzzled me. All the major European powers, Britain, Germany, Russia, came up with satisfactory sub machine guns, and many nations produced good heavy machine guns, but only the US had a good general issue auto loading rifle, the M1 Garand.

Why do you consider the SVT-40 to not be satisfactory? It was certainly better than the STG-44 in build and material quality. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The SVT-40 is my fave semi-auto in CoD2. It accurate, 10-round clip and has the stopping power of an elephant gun. I read somewhere that Wermacht troops loved em as well as they considered them "trophy weapons" when captured. I pick one whenever I can during the game.

Worf

Friendly_flyer
07-26-2010, 08:35 AM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
This has always puzzled me. All the major European powers, Britain, Germany, Russia, came up with satisfactory sub machine guns, and many nations produced good heavy machine guns, but only the US had a good general issue auto loading rifle, the M1 Garand.

US entered late. When in a war, you do not generally change guns mid course. Back when the war was looming, European powers were expecting a round two of The Great War, and armed themselves accordingly with bolt rifles, machingunns and submashinguns.

ElAurens
07-26-2010, 10:32 AM
When we entered the war has nothing to do with it, the Garand was officially accepted in 1936.

The same thinking that kept Britain from developing an auto loading rifle was apparent when the British made the transision from single shot Martini-Henry to the Lee-Metford. "The troops will waste ammunition". Hence the early versions of all Lee action rifles up to the SMLE all had magazine cut-offs so they could be operated as single shot rifles.

As to the SVT, do not confuse it's portrayal in a video game with real life. They were very finicky about being dirty, unlike most other Russian arms. Jams due to fouling because of dirty ammo were also a problem. They were far more maintenance intensive than a Garand.

Daiichidoku
07-26-2010, 12:43 PM
semi-ironic, that one of the rifles in contention with sucessful M1 design, by Kanadian John Garand, the M1941 Johnson rifle, shared parts and operation with the M1941 Johnson LMG, which was used by only a few oufits, but notable the "First Special Service Force", or "The Black Devils", a unit half comprised of Kanadians

Xiolablu3
07-26-2010, 02:47 PM
Just as a matter of interest, the ANZACS actually converted quite a few Lee Enfields into a cross betwwen a semi auto Rifle and a machine gun :

The Charlton Automatic Rifle :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlton_Automatic_Rifle


What a genius idea. SHame Britian didnt take on the design..

Friendly_flyer
07-26-2010, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
When we entered the war has nothing to do with it, the Garand was officially accepted in 1936.


Ouch, you got me!

You could turn the question around: Why did the US go for full re-armament with a new auto-loader, when everyone else did not? I'd say it was a combination of several factors:

- Huge stockpiles of fully functional Great War arms in European arsenals (and much less so in the US)

- European nations expecting to fight an European "Grat War style" war (the US having other possible scenarios on their mind too)

- Many European states lacking the economy and resources to rearm it's army with a new gun in the 1930ies (the US apparently did not, virtue of Keyneanism perhaps?)

ElAurens
07-26-2010, 04:19 PM
The US experimented with an automatic conversion of the 1903 Springfield. It consisted of a run of rifles with an ejector hole cut in the receiver, and a mechanism, known as the Pederson Device, which was interchangable with the standard bolt. The device worked well, but was unfortunately chambered in .30 Pederson, little more than a pistol round, which was a far cry from the original .30-06 Springfield chambering.

IN the end Pederson Devices were put in storage, and the rifles were issued only with standard bolts. Less than a handful of the Devices are known to exist and when they change hands they sell for very high prices indeed.

I used to own one of the Pederson modified Springfield rifles, but sold it for a tidy profit.

Frindly_flyer, Even though the US Army accepted the Garand in 1936, very few were in the hands of troops on Dec. 7, 1941. We were still in the late stages of the Great Depression and had little money for a total re-equip before hostilities broke out.

All US troops in the Pacific were armed with 1903 Springfields or Pattern 1917 "American" Enfields. Our shortage of long arms was so extensive that many early recruits to the US forces were trained with all wood dummy guns. I have one of those. When my father went into the Air Corps in late 1942 he did his basic training with a 1917 American Enfield, then transitioned to the 1903 Springfield, and finally qualified Expert with the M1 Carbine.

Friendly_flyer
07-27-2010, 02:19 PM
Neat!

I didn't know the lack of longarms was that bad. Wasn't the old M1903 plagued with some production problems? I have never seen it mentioned as one of the truly great bolt rifles (Mauser and SMLE), perhaps that was a factor in the US decision to rearm?

My dad was issued with a Garand when he served in the Norwegian Army in the early 1950ies. He had nothing but good to say about it (unlike the M1 carbine ha was issued with later as a lorry driver).

Xiolablu3
07-27-2010, 03:14 PM
I think the M1 carbine gets a lot of unfair press.

True it could have fired a better more powerful round, but it did its job admirably and more.

it was never supposed to be a front line rifle. it was basically supposed to be 'something better than a pistol' for officeers and troops in the rear.

And it was so much more than 'just a better pistol'.

Just making it fire the 7.92 kurz, .280 British or 7mm Pederson would have made it even better. But of course the US Army Generlas were so against and intemerdiate round.

I would love to own one, looks such a neat, fun little gun. Not sure about this but I would imagine the .30 ammo is quite cheap too. At least not the £1 a round that other spitzer rifles can be. A guy showed me his rifle the other day, I think its was something like .228 or .253 (dont remember right now, some hunting calibre), £1 a shot. eeeeek. Thats a very military looking cartridge, not a 'round top' pistol style round like the .30 carbine.

I am thinkg that .30 ammo is cheap becasue its so much like .22 Long Rifle ammo which is dirt cheap. I may be completely wrong, however. Maybe someone could tell us the cost of .30 carbine ammo?

ElAurens
07-27-2010, 04:46 PM
Currently in the US, good quality .30 Carbine can be had for about 38 cents US, a round.

As to the 1903 Springfield. Only very early production versions had troubles with metallurgy. They were poorly heat treated and the receivers were brittle. Later versions were quite good weapons, and very accurate, if not as robust as the SMLE or 98 Mauser.

In American collecting circles there is an old saying about the bolt rifles of WW1...

The Germans had the best hunting rifle. (Mauser 98)

The Americans had the best target rifle. (1903 Springfield)

The British had the best battle rifle. (SMLE)

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

I too have nothing but good to say about the Garand. I used to be a competitive shooter, back when my eyes were far better than they are now. I had the good fortune to be able to purchase a late production M1 Garand from the Civilian Marksmanship Program here in the US. At 600 yards, with standard issue military sights I shot it better than any other service rifle I have shot or own. That includes M14s, AR-15s Swedish 1896 Mausers, CETME C3s, you name it.

I suspect my remaining 1903 A3 Springfield would out shoot it, but I have never fired it at that distance. But if I was going into combat and had to choose between the 1903/SMLE/Mauser, or the Garand, I'd take the M1.

Xiolablu3
07-27-2010, 05:14 PM
Could you guys post some pics of your guns please?

ElAurens
07-27-2010, 05:26 PM
http://a.imageshack.us/img192/8946/moarmartinis.jpg

Just a quick shot of my collection of Martini action rifles.

Messaschnitzel
07-27-2010, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
Currently in the US, good quality .30 Carbine can be had for about 38 cents US, a round.

I currently reload my M1 carbine ammo, but sometimes I will get the Prvi Partizan stuff because it's really good quality for a low price. (Yuk! I just checked the Midway website and it is currently about .51 cents per round. It used to be the cheapest of all.) http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

stugumby
07-27-2010, 06:51 PM
remember that there are 2 basic types of gas operation.
1 is gas piston where operating rod/bolt carrier is driven rearwards by a puff of diverted gas. ak-47/m-1 garand.

m1 carbine had a unique mini piston that was forced backwards hitting the opertaing rod to shove it back, rugers mini 14 uses a hollow ended block on the operating rod to cover a fixed tube that fills the tube shoving it back. Quite novel.

2 is gas impingment or think of the puff of gas being diverted/shot down a long tube into/onto a recoiling part that will move to unlock the bolt. ar-15/ hakim etc.

Interesting how some of the Nato countries have adopted a bull pup 5.45mm to equip truck drivers, rear echelon types. The FN PDW.

Then there is my all time favorite the HK 90 series, uses a fluted chamber to allow gas past the cartridge head to act against a roller locked bolt, no tube no rod just sheer force and it always works, gotta be the toughest rifle on the planet. Comes in .308 .223 and 9mm.

Skoshi Tiger
07-28-2010, 03:31 AM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
Just a quick shot of my collection of Martini action rifles.

Nice collection, ElAurens. Thoses Martini's have so much character. It looks like you have the whole range from the .577 down to the Cadet rife.

Unfortunately my wife won't let me have a "Collection", so I have to make do with my SMLE

http://i1042.photobucket.com/albums/b423/Skoshi_Tiger/Flight%20Sim/P7280012.jpg

Its a 1924 Lithgow SMLE No1 Mk3*, It has the slot for the Magazine cut-off which was re-introduced after WWI (Peace time soldiers use to much ammo apparently!) and dropped as soon as WWII started! The cut-off plate had been removed.

The 18 Inch Bayonet has a matching '24 stamp. "They don't like it up 'em, the cold steel. They…Do…Not… Like …It…Up…'Em!" (Corporal Jones)

Colt apparently won the tender for supplying plant and machinery for the Lithgow factory, so there's a bit of an American link for our SMLE too!

I'm just waiting for my son to grow up a bit and then I might be able to get him a .22cal Training Rifle version!!!

Cheers!

Xiolablu3
07-28-2010, 05:38 AM
Its quite amazing that you guys are allowed to keep these guns. You need a firearms certificate to own a hunting rifle over here.

Its not too hard to get one if you live in the country and have somewhere to shoot into a moor. My cousin next door has one and 3 rifles. But we are the exception rather than the rule as we live on a farm. Someone in a city would have much more trouble getting one.

Handguns are completely banned. I guess cos they are so concealable.

I am now wondering if I could own a lee enfield or KAR98 with a UK firearms certificate. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Skoshi Tiger
07-28-2010, 06:06 AM
In Australia each state has slightly different laws, but where I live you need a bonifidae reason for owning a firearm. All gun and ammunition must be stored in an approved gun safe (no problems with this rule).

Club shooting is a valid reason. If you are a member of a gun club you can only use the firearm at club shoots. Depending upon what diciplines you shoot determines what firearms your allowed to own.

Hunting and pest control is also a valid reason. In that case restrictions are placed where you can shoot. You need letters from land owners and there are restrictions on what calibres are allowed depending upon the size of the blocks of land.

[RANT=ON]
At the moment 'they' are trying to pass a law that will make gun owners re-apply for their licences every 5 years and supply evidence on their need to own a firearm.

Basically 'they' are progressivly making it harder and harder for law abiding folk to own a fire arm.

I personally wish that 'they' would give us a break and start focusing on the the criminals that seem to be able to buy unlicenced firearms on the streets for less than they cost in a gun shop!!!!

[RANT=OFF]

Personally, I chose my rifle to own a little piece of history. If at all possible I'ld like to see it remain intact but ifit comes down to it as a last resort, I'ld get it deactivated rather than see it get melted down.

Cheers! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Messaschnitzel
07-28-2010, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by Skoshi Tiger:
Colt apparently won the tender for supplying plant and machinery for the Lithgow factory, so there's a bit of an American link for our SMLE too!

It was Pratt & Whitney, not Colt. Here's some trivia on it:

"In 1909 Pratt & Whitney secured a contract for the Australian arsenal at Lithgow, Australia. Bids were called for in London, for a plant having a production capacity of fifty Lee-Enfield rifles per day. When Pratt & Whitney Company sought permission to bid, it was thought impossible to build the plant outside of England, as there would be no access to British Gages, and the Australian and British gun parts must interchange.

Pratt & Whitney Company declared they could produce a plant to duplicate the British weapon by using the interchangeable system of manufacturing. The best English bid and the Pratt & Whitney bid were almost identical, but the English firm required 700 machines to do the work against the Pratt & Whitney estimate of 300. The question of working hours to produce a gun also came up, and Pratt & Whitney Company guaranteed twenty-three hours per gun against the English seventy-two hours.

Commander Clarkson was sent to the United States to investigate, and the contract was awarded to Pratt & Whitney Company, as he found their equipment far in advance of anything he had seen previously. The machinery was tested before shipment from the United States and the time per gun actually was lessened. Experts from Hartford were sent to Australia to set up the plant and train the operators. In 1912 the plant was in full operation, and one of the Hartford men was retained as manager of it."

Skoshi Tiger
07-28-2010, 05:15 PM
Hi Messaschnitzel,

That's interesting,

http://www.prattandwhitney.com...ey_history_book2.pdf (http://www.prattandwhitney.com/pdfs/pratt_whitney_history_book2.pdf)

I'll try to find where where I heard about Colt, though it may take a while trawling through .303 pages!


Found it!

http://www.enfield-stuff.com/o...makers_Australia.htm (http://www.enfield-stuff.com/oilers/makers_marks/oiler_makers_Australia.htm)

"Small Arms Factory - Lithgow, New South Wales. In 1907 the decision was made to establish the first Australian small arms production facility. A 123 acre site was purchased about 140km west of Sydney and bids were solicited from both British and US manufacturers. Pratt & Whitney Co., of Hartford, Connecticut, USA was the controversial low bidder. (As the winning bid was barely £800 lower than a British competitor, there was some speculation that Pratt & Whitney had 'inside information' and had adjusted their bid accordingly.) The Pratt & Whitney bid promised modern mass production techniques such as a production line setup and closer machined tolerances, resulting in total interchangeability of components. It was claimed that it took 72 man hours to build a rifle at RSAF Enfield and 48 man hours at BSA's Small Heath plant. Pratt & Whitney promised 28 man hours per rifle with an annual output of 15,000 units.
Prior to shipment the machinery was set up and tested at Colt's Manufacturing plant in Hartford, Connecticut; a few Australian pre-production rifles and bayonets were actually manufactured at the Colt plant in the US; these very few rifles and bayonets were marked with a special stamp.
"

So Colt tested the machinery set up and production.

Cheers!




Originally posted by Messaschnitzel:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Skoshi Tiger:
Colt apparently won the tender for supplying plant and machinery for the Lithgow factory, so there's a bit of an American link for our SMLE too!

It was Pratt & Whitney, not Colt. Here's some trivia on it:

"In 1909 Pratt & Whitney secured a contract for the Australian arsenal at Lithgow, Australia. Bids were called for in London, for a plant having a production capacity of fifty Lee-Enfield rifles per day. When Pratt & Whitney Company sought permission to bid, it was thought impossible to build the plant outside of England, as there would be no access to British Gages, and the Australian and British gun parts must interchange.

Pratt & Whitney Company declared they could produce a plant to duplicate the British weapon by using the interchangeable system of manufacturing. The best English bid and the Pratt & Whitney bid were almost identical, but the English firm required 700 machines to do the work against the Pratt & Whitney estimate of 300. The question of working hours to produce a gun also came up, and Pratt & Whitney Company guaranteed twenty-three hours per gun against the English seventy-two hours.

Commander Clarkson was sent to the United States to investigate, and the contract was awarded to Pratt & Whitney Company, as he found their equipment far in advance of anything he had seen previously. The machinery was tested before shipment from the United States and the time per gun actually was lessened. Experts from Hartford were sent to Australia to set up the plant and train the operators. In 1912 the plant was in full operation, and one of the Hartford men was retained as manager of it." </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Messaschnitzel
07-28-2010, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by Skoshi Tiger:
Hi Messaschnitzel,

That's interesting,

http://www.prattandwhitney.com...ey_history_book2.pdf (http://www.prattandwhitney.com/pdfs/pratt_whitney_history_book2.pdf)

I'll try to find where where I heard about Colt, though it may take a while trawling through .303 pages!

[edit]
Found it!

http://www.enfield-stuff.com/o...makers_Australia.htm (http://www.enfield-stuff.com/oilers/makers_marks/oiler_makers_Australia.htm)

"Small Arms Factory - Lithgow, New South Wales. In 1907 the decision was made to establish the first Australian small arms production facility. A 123 acre site was purchased about 140km west of Sydney and bids were solicited from both British and US manufacturers. Pratt & Whitney Co., of Hartford, Connecticut, USA was the controversial low bidder. (As the winning bid was barely £800 lower than a British competitor, there was some speculation that Pratt & Whitney had 'inside information' and had adjusted their bid accordingly.) The Pratt & Whitney bid promised modern mass production techniques such as a production line setup and closer machined tolerances, resulting in total interchangeability of components. It was claimed that it took 72 man hours to build a rifle at RSAF Enfield and 48 man hours at BSA's Small Heath plant. Pratt & Whitney promised 28 man hours per rifle with an annual output of 15,000 units.
Prior to shipment the machinery was set up and tested at Colt's Manufacturing plant in Hartford, Connecticut; a few Australian pre-production rifles and bayonets were actually manufactured at the Colt plant in the US; these very few rifles and bayonets were marked with a special stamp."

So Colt tested the machinery set up and production.

Good, you found the PDF links to the P&W site that I forgot to post. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

It makes sense that they used Colt's plant since they were both in Hartford. Keep in mind that setting up a factory back then wasn't just about running air lines and three phase to a bunch of equipment that got plugged into a socket. They had to hang main line shafting on both sides of the room to be able to run belts to operate the various machines, etc. It could also be that the machines were also used as a preliminary production test rehearsal for Colt to purchase the very same type of machines and tooling for they own factory. If so, they would go in like Flynn into the same locations the same as the test machinery did that was destined for Australia.

It wouldn't surprise me if P&W did manufacture the tooling and machines for Colt though. I say this because my father-in-law worked at P&W as an electronics engineer designing, building and testing components for their CNC machines back in the 70's. He told me that they manufactured all of the tooling for Remington Arms back then. Also, P&W made a lot of manufacturer specific custom machines, so again they very well could've provided Colt's equipment.

Thanks for the Enfield website link and the info above! I love reading stuff like that. It just goes to show that questionable business dealings like utilizing insider info as an advantage isn't something new. Heh, maybe somebody at the UK Ministry of Defence got a nice little house in Connecticut merely for the price of a few words muttered at a pub in London. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif