Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Royal Armouries, Leeds, England--Part the Guns and Cannons

A continuation from yesterday's post about the blades and armor at the Armouries.
As we walked into the Royal Armories at Leeds, we saw many cannons and mortars outside. J and L admired the displays and even had a little fun. Happily, the weapons are all non-functioning.

J being snuck up on by some heavy artillery

L looks cute

J in the firing line

A big mortar

Inside, we saw how big the shot were for the mortars.

J and L mistake mortar balls for bowling balls

 Another display dramatically recreates tiger hunting in the subcontinent.

Tiger hunting in India

Other historical displays include a hunting lodge circa the late 1800s and guns from the American western frontier (mid to late 1800s).

J chills in a faux hunting lodge

Standard equipment for deer hunting

Typical rifles, guns, and the famous Bowie knife from the American West

A large exhibit talks about guns as they are seen in movies and television. Many popular types are shown. Kalashnikov rifles are popular in movies like the Rambo series and Red Dawn. This particular weapon is the Kalashnikov 56 AKM assault rifle made in China around 1960.

Kalashnikov rifle

A perennial favorite of James Bond is the Walther PPK, a sleek German pistol.
Walther PPK

Dirty Harry carried his own iconic weapon, the Smith and Wesson 44 magnum revolver, "the most powerful handgun in the world."

S&W 44 Magnum

A standard issue for the American military (especially in movies) is the Colt 45 pistol. Bogart used one in Casablanca.

WWII-era Colt 45

The Colt 45 revolver is standard issue in American Westerns and is instantly recognizable as a "six-shooter," referring to its six chambers for bullets.

Colt 45 Revolver

For gangster of the Prohibition era, the gun of choice was the Thompson sub-machine gun, referred to as a "tommy gun."

Thompson sub-machine gun

Real world criminals in modern-day England don't have access to guns like their American counterparts. DIY weapons become the default, as are seen in this display showing a sawed-off shotgun, converted revolvers and blank-firers.

Illegal DIY weapons

Guns that have limited legality in the EU include the Uzi sub-machine gun (legal only in Switzerland and Finland for their militaries) and the 357 Smith and Wesson revolver (legal everywhere except Russia and the UK).

Uzi and 357 Magnum

As we were leaving, we saw the funniest sign ever.

"Congrats on the Loo of the Year Award" is not something you see every day

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