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Default Privately owned weapons in Europe?

weswood 12-19-2005, 06:22 PM How prevalent are private arms in Europe? Warsaw Pact countries? I always had the idea that private ownership of firearms ( hunting rifles, shotguns & pistols) was a rare thing, but in the different adventures, There's always a sprinkling of .30-30s & shotguns. And why .30-30 & .30-06s? I was under the impression those are mainly U.S. calibers.



graebardeII 12-19-2005, 08:50 PM From experience in Germany during the Cold War, as I recall it, it is VERY difficult for a private citizen to own a fire arm, at least the getting of the weapon. It takes considerable time and expense to aquire the weapon what with police investigations. TO get a hunting lisence is also difficult as you have to take a series of classes on such things as the biology of the game animal, habitat, laws, etc. The cost is well over $1000 for EACH permit/lisence. I would expect a very small percent of Germans (not sure of other countries, and probably will be corrected on the German info as well which is good if Im wrong) hold 'legal' weapons, and a smaller percent hold 'illegal' weapons (firearms). IF the number is 10% if the population I would be astonished, though Germans are avid shooters and hunters given the chance.

As for calibers, the .30-30 and .30-06 are NOT European weapons and would be very very rare. I thing the most common calibers are in the 6-8mm range in a variety of calibers (don't have my bullet book at hand). 7.92 comes to mind. In variably the high-power rifles used in Germany would be in these calibers, and bolt actions. Pumps and semiauto are 'not sporting'. Shotguns are the 20-12 gauge, double barrel, with over/under very popular. They also have 'drillings' which are double barrel shotguns with a third barrel in a rifle caliber, or perhaps a double barrel rifle.

I agree the availability of civilian weapons in the T2K war is over-rated by GDW, but it is a 'war game' with hack/slash with firearms, so there fore the necessity to arm everyone with some sort of firearm.



ReHerakhte 12-20-2005, 02:12 AM G'Day All,

To add to Grae's comments, some countries aren't so strict as the Germans on firearms ownership but they still have restrictions. For example, I think it is Italy that allows private ownership of firearms as long as they are not in military/police calibres (which means no civilian 9mmP, 5.56mm/.223 or 7.62mmN/.308 etc.)

Pistol shooting clubs are quite popular from what I read a few years back and the popularity of some American calibres was partially due to the restrictions on 9mmP in some nations (so instead the civvy shooters got .38, .45, .357 & .40 calibres instead!)

I also vaguely recall that .22LR calibre rifles and shotguns were seen as reasonably safe and more than enough firearm for civilian ownership in Europe.

There were still a lot of firearms left over from WW2 in circulation on the blackmarket in Europe during the 1970s-1980s and any European terrorist gang of the period was easily able to get WarPac weapons so there may be a few of those in circulation as well. Rumours are that many farmers in Western Europe had an old 7.92mm Mauser K98 in the "back shed" and although Eastern Europe should have handed in any weapons (because good communist citizens don't need firearms), there may have been a few German or Russian rifles and SMGs hidden away there as well - during the Soviet invasions of both Hungary and Czechoslovakia, a number of the Hungarian and Czechoslovak resisters had WW2 Soviet weapons that had been stashed after the war including SMGs and light MGs.

Switzerland... this is a special case because the Swiss up until quite recently felt a lot of national pride in the military and saw it as an honourable duty to serve their period of conscription. They have been called a nation of riflemen and it's no surprise when you see that the Swiss rank rifle shooting as a national pastime (and it's not just the men who compete on a near weekly basis!)

Up till the early 1990s, the Swiss government did not require firearms owners to be restricted to specific types of firearms or be licensed IIRC and a Swiss citizen could legally own such items as select-fire rifles and sub-machineguns. Since 2001 I have no idea if this situation persists but at the time, their was a saying that summed up the Swiss attitude towards firearms ownership, "If the government won't trust the people, why should the people trust the government"

But before any Players decide to storm the country to build up their collection of weapons, the vast majority of the Swiss men have military training and even reservists were required to store their military equipment and weapons/ammo at their homes (including anti-armour weapons, handgrenades etc.) because they believed that in wartime, they would not get the chance to mobilize properly, so they trained to work with the other soldiers from their neighbourhoods and operate as guerrillas until they could link up with a unit - is it any wonder that home invasion crimes in Switzerland were exceedingly rare!?

So in a Twilight setting, the Swiss might have plenty of weapons and ammo (and they make their own ammo), but they have plenty of decent marksmen (and women), many of whom are trained for guerrilla warfare to defend their country. Trade and barter is a whole different matter however...




Rainbow Six 12-21-2005, 01:18 PM Speaking only for the UK, private ownership of weapons is extremely rare, but not completely non existent. I myself know two people who have shotgun licences, but they have both had to undergo quite rigourous vetting from the police to obtain their licences. Additionally, they both live in rural areas. I am not aware of anyone who lives in an urban area who owns a private firearm of any sort.

There is a place about fifteen miles from my home where you can go clay pigeon shooting which has a considerable number of shotguns, which you can hire for the day (you need to show photo ID and something with your address, and on your first visit you will be accompanied by an instructor - only when you've proven your competence are you allowed out on your own). I'm no expert on the types of shotguns that they have, other than the fact that they are all straightforward double barrelled guns.

Private gun ownership has always been tightly controlled in this country (as most of you will be aware, even our police are not routinely armed, except in Northern Ireland - I'm not even sure if that's still the case - maybe Tigger could confirm that one?) and I'm certainly no expert on the subject, but as far as I know shotguns are pretty much all that you're legally allowed to own; automatic rifles, submachine guns, etc, have always been a no no, and pistols were barred around ten years ago after a lunatic went on the rampage at a primary school in Dunblane.

As a side note, when the police do carry weapons, their submachine gun of choice has generally been variants of the MP5; more recently I've seen news coverage where they've been carrying G36 carbines, but in the T2K World, there would likely be police MP5s in various hands.


weston617 12-22-2005, 06:29 AM On the subject of British police weapons, the majority, if not all, of the MP5s and G36 Carbines used by the various police forces will only fine in semi-automatic, and lack the ability to fire in automatic.

As for civilian weapons, there are quite a few shotguns floating around, especially in rural areas such as Norfolk. The family of a friend of mine, who own a reasonably sized farm, own about twelve shotguns of various kinds, including one pump action one, though the rest are double-barreled. Your best bet for weapons might be museums, or cadet forces. While the majority of cadets tend to have their weapons in the armoury of the local TA centre, and would thus probably go straight to the TA if they were th desperate, some private schools and a couple of state schools (including mine) have their own cadet forces with their own armouries. UK Cadet weapons are not particularly impressive, being the L98A1 GP Cadet Rifle, which is effectively a bolt action of the L85A1, but even less reliable, and the much more fun No 8 Target Rifle, a Lee Enfield rechambered to fire .22 ammunition and without the magazine. Some cadet forces may have L86A1 Light Support Weapons, typically only one or two, used for advanced weapons training, but these may have been taken by the Regular forces when it becomes apparent they need every weapon they can get their hands on (this is what happened to the LSWs we used to have at my school, they got taken by the Army for Operation Telic)


TiggerCCW UK 12-23-2005, 06:49 AM Private gun ownership has always been tightly controlled in this country (as most of you will be aware, even our police are not routinely armed, except in Northern Ireland - I'm not even sure if that's still the case - maybe Tigger could confirm that one?)

Yes, the PSNI are still armed over here. Standard sidearm is still in the process of changing from .357 Ruger Speed Six to 9mm Glock 17. Most full time officers have made the swap already, although there are still a few reservists using the Ruger. Some part time reserves still carry the Walther PP - its issued as their personal protection weapon for when off duty, but some use it as their duty weapon as well. As far as long arms go they use the MP5 and HK33 primarily. I would imagine that none of the weapons are capable of full auto fire, but they may be set up with burst fire capabilities. Some of the specialised units (DMSU, HQMSU etc) may hold fully automatic weapons. I would imagine that there are still stocks held of the previous service weapons, both the Speed Six as a side arm and the Sterling smg and Mini 14/Ac556 carbine. The carbine was definitely capable of burst fire, but not full auto IIRC, the Sterling was capable of full auto, but rarely used in this manner. Prior to that the .30 M1 carbine was also issued, so there may still be a few of them floating around as well. In the early years of the torubles the police used Shorland armoured cars mounting .30 Browning machine guns, but these were all retired in the early '70s, AFAIK.

Over the years some of the specialised units here have used a wider range of weponry, including G3's and G3K's, SLR's (along the border), Browning pistols, assorted baton guns including the Federal Riot and even Ingram M10 pistols. Most commonly used now would be the MP5 series.

As far as privately owened weaponry goes in NI, there is very little - I don't know anyone who isn't a serving or ex member of the forces who has a privately held weapon. In more rural areas there are some shotguns, but even fewer than in England, and the vetting process is much tighter. The flipside of this is that there are a large number of legally held personal weapons (PW) issued to police men, soldiers, prison officers, some politicians and recently retired members of all of thse categories. For soldiers and prison officers I think it is still most likely to be the Walther PP, but there is some small amount of lee way. For police officers there is the choice (usually) between their duty weapon or a Walther.

As far as the other side goes all sorts of weapons have turned up in terrorist caches, and attacks. Probably the most common weapons are AKM's and AK variants, mostly supplied by Gaddafi, followed by M16/AR15/AR18's. There have also been G3's, FNC's etc captured. .50 sniper rifles have also been used in Northern Ireland, primarily along the border, near Crossmaglen. I'm unsure which type they were as they have been described as both Barratts and Mac Millens. Basically if you want to fit any weapon into a game in NI its a possibility. Large numbers of submachine guns have been used over the years, ranging from M1928's, through homemade weapons to Uzi's and MP5's, likewise the range of handguns is very wide. Heavy weapons have always been a major source of concern to the SF here, and there have been a wide mix of them in use as well. RPG 7 and 16's are probably the most common, although grenade launchers have been used in the past as well. The terrorists have also been known to use a variety of homemade heavy weapons, mostly mortars. There have been several machine guns used as well - M60's, RPD's and even Dshka's have turned up here. The IRA also have had SAM's for a number of years. Obviously there have been fairly huge amounts of explosives in circulation here for years as well both commercial (C4 semtex etc) and homemade. The terrorists have never been overly shy about using large amounts explosives either - in 1992 there was an approximately 3000lb car bomb outside the forensic labs, about ten minutes from my house. Although this is the largest bomb I can think of off hand, ther have been numerous 500 - 1000lb bombs over the years.

Hopefully this gives players and referees a bit of scope for any games that make it to Northern Ireland, and I'm including a couple of links about IRA weaponry just to flesh your options out a little. The first is an article about what was believed to have been decommisioned this year, the second is a time line of some of the major arms shipments made over the years. Hope this is of some use to you all.




graebardeII 12-23-2005, 09:34 AM An 'interesting' event from my first tour in Germany occured at the Rod & Gun Club in Kaiserslautern. The R&G was a militarty owned special-services recreational activity in many of the the larger military communities. They were set up for shooting high-power rifles and pistols, as well as having skeet and trap. Some of the clubs even had small fishing ponds/lakes. The club house had a resturant (usually seving American and German cuisine popular in hunting areas), a pub/gasthause style bar, dance area, and of course the sales room. They sold 'sporting' firearms at less than you could get them in the US, and some very fine European weapons (such as a silver inlaid Browning o/u shotgun with four barrels in velvet lined walnut case.. for about $2500 in 1975). They kept a fair amount of ammo in popular calibers, especially shotgun ammo for the trap/sleet folks. Membership was limited to uniformed service members and GS-civilians.

Since it was required of a non-member to be hosted to shoot, it was not uncommon for a German to approach a GI on the range to sponsor them to shoot for the day. This particular rainy wintery day I was alone on the firing line busting caps. A 'young' German about 30 came up and asked me if he could shoot... sure why not, I had just gotten there and would be there for a few hours. He went back to his car, and returned with a metal lock case, about the size of a large brief case or small suit case. It definately did not look like a gun case in the normal sense.

He placed the case on the shooting bench next to me. I was still shooting, but stopped and was 'dumbfounded' as he takes out a peagreen plastic stock, then the barrell assembly, snaps them together, then takes out a hell of a big scope, which he quckly attaches. This process took him all of two minutes. HE places a small five round magazine in the rifle, assumes a braced position and fires three rounds into the 50-meter target. You could cover the hole from the three rounds with a thumb nail. I watched in awe as he made a minor adjustment, fired three more rounds which were center on the bull, still in the tight pattern.. what was this rifle and who the hell was this guy.. This was no ordinary hunting rifle for sure.

That was my introduction to the Steyr-Mannlicher (sp) SSG69, with a Zeiss 4x-12x scope. Double set triggers, and ugly as sin, but talk about accurate. This guy was a 'train driver' who 'usually shot at the police range' which was closed that day. I always wondered what he 'really' was, at least when he wasn't driving a train for the DB.

But it got more interesting, as we finished shooting he invited me to his apartment. There in a 'spare room' (long and narrow, about 2m x 5m+) behind a heavy wood locked door was his 'armory'. Along one wall was a double stacked rifle case, such as you'd find in an arms room, that ran the lenght of the room. My eyes bugged out and mouth fell open. He had a collection of Mauser bolt-actions, that was complete except for about three or four models. He had over FIFTY bolt action mausers in OPERATIONAL condition. He also had a sizeable collection of Modern weapons in addition to the SSG69. He said he had a special collectors lisence, though I suspect he might have also had a inside with the police.

A very impressive find. Now could you imagine scrounging an apartment complex and coming across a locked door such as this. Have to open it and WOW!!!


weswood 12-23-2005, 09:59 AM Wow, very informative! Thanks for the info. It almost makes me feel guilty, with firearms being so available here in the U.S. It's even relatively easy to get a concealed carry liscense in some states. I'll give you my spin on Texas, for those planning on running the Red Star/Lone Star module.

Everybody I know has a pile of weapons, ranging from pistols to hunting rifles & shotguns. There's fewer semi auto assault rifles out there, but they're definatley there. Standard household armament include at least one pistol, mainly 9mm or .357 mag, one shotgun and two rifles, probably .22 long rifle and .270, a very popular deer rifle caliber. If there's a boy in the family over 13, double everything. Then there's the collector's and paranoid types, I think I fall into both of those somewhat....What I've bought myself and what I inherited when my father died, I'm a little better armed than most of my friends. Pistols- .380 auto, .45 acp, .22lr revolver, .45 long colt derringer, .357 mag, .221 target/hunting pistol, 2 shotguns (1 pump & 1 semiauto), 2 deer rifles (.270 & .243), .22 rifle, .22-250 rifle. Both my father & I were into black powder guns, so 2 rifles (.54 Hawken & .45 Kentucky, my very first rifle), 3 revolvers .31, .36 & .44. I have 4 military surplus ammo cans in the garage- one for shotgun ammo, rifle ammo, pistol ammo & balck powder stuff. Plus tons of cleaning gear. I'm also into swords, so there's 3 at the house with good steel blades, one with a crappy but possibly useable blade, and one that's just junk. Also count in hunting & camp knives galore.

Hmmm...Maybe I'm the reason Texans have such a bad rep...



thefusilier 12-25-2005, 04:32 AM Tigger or Rainbow 6 you guys are probably the best to answer this one... I understand that private gun ownership is pretty limited IRL as you mentioned, so how do you figure in Twilight 2000 marauders and warlord/independent citystate armies would be armed? A handful of shotguns?


TiggerCCW UK 12-25-2005, 07:10 AM Shotguns, small calibre sporting rifles (.22 mostly), air rifles and 'liberated' weapons (police and military) would probably be the most prevalent, although there would also be a sprinkling of pre war illeagly held weapons. They would also be backed up by homemade weapons and archery equipment.

I think its in James Herberts 'Domain', when the survivors venture to the surface after the nuclear attack they run into the books equivalent of marauders, armed with air rifles.


thefusilier 12-25-2005, 08:53 AM Ok thanks. I knew the UK didn't have alot of firearms lying around like in the States so it was always hard to picture the marauder bands and warlord armies mentioned in Survivor's Guide.


ReHerakhte 12-25-2005, 04:25 PM G'Day All

Some other ideas for marauders in this part of the world.

The UK does have a small number of armouries producing armour and weapons for pre-gunpowder historical re-enactment groups. Some items are purely for display purposes but others are made for mock combat and could be made lethal with a bit of effort.

Couple that to the large numbers of museums holding weapons and armour from the pre-gunpowder era and marauders and even those just trying to protect themselves may be armed with anything from an axe, mace, pike, sword, modern bow & crossbow, air rifle or shotgun while wearing metal chest, neck, leg & arm pieces for protection from exactly those weapons (well, it won't do much against a crossbow but you can't expect to have everything go your way after a nuclear war!)

For one of these armouries, check out the following: -


And for an example of one of the museums, take a look at the Royal Armoury at Leeds


It's worth noting that a similar situation also applies to North America and although the museums wouldn't hold the same number of medieval arms & armour, the Frazier Historical Arms Museum in Louisville, Kentucky is a a good source (and is now linked with the Royal Armouries museums of the UK).


For a Canadian company doing medieval reproductions, take a look at





firewalker 12-25-2005, 04:41 PM it kind of sound's like stuff like a school's supply of archery equipment would be a lot more useful in the UK. so what's the situation like for alternative projectile weapons in the UK (or Europe in gernal)? like for archery is it manly simple recerve or self bow's used for target shooting or are there a lot of the fancy compound and/or crossbows (like the bad a** hunting models), how hard is it to get say black powder gun's (reproduction or modern equivalent, like the inline fire) or stuff like blow guns or spear guns (like I've said there's a movement in VA to set up a hunting season for atl, spear through ring stakes). .

as far as air guns bb guns any ideas on stats?

going back to gun's in the US the more i think about it the more it seams like you should almost have a gun for every hand. at the vary lest stuff like .22 (bolt, simauto, ect) and .410 shotguns are going to be insanely common. out side the cities large urban areas (the rural/urban split is going to be more important than the north/south or east/west in this. even in the stereotypical liberal north east once you get out in the country side gun owner ship is going to go way up.) many if not most house holds will have several of these low powered gun's it might be all thay have true but thay will be there. most boy's (and many girls) might get there first BB guns (in a lot of cases also a light boy's compound bow as well) any ware from 5 to 7 years old. and say any ware from a year to 2 years latter get there first .22 and/or .410. now you might also have a .12 or .20 almost as likely to be simauto as double barrel at the same time but it will be strictly an adult supervision gun. in other words you take that when you go hunting or target shooting with your dad and the hunt club, the .22/,410 is your first walking around on your own gun.


graebardeII 12-25-2005, 05:30 PM as far as air guns bb guns any ideas on stats?

The .177 pellet rifle I bought in Germany has a MV of over 850 fps. From about 50' it punched a hole in the wall of galvenized metal in the pole barn. (so much for son using it for a while for target practice).

Good for small critters, and personally I would not want to be hit at close range with it. It might not kill me outright, but it sure would get my attention.


weswood 12-25-2005, 08:17 PM I just finished reading a book ( S.M. Sterling, "Dies The Fire") dealing with technology higher than a steam engine quits working. The survivors armed themselves with medievel weapons such as found in museums. The two main groups in the book ended up styling themselves after a medievel Lord & his knights, and a Scottish clan. Interesting read, for those into alternative timelines.

I've got a .22 pellet rifle, I'm not sure of the fps, but I believe it's around 850 at the muzzle. I use it to kill racoons and possums that get into the garage, and my grandfather had one he used for 'coon hunting. Not quite as loud or powerful as a .22 long rifle, but would be valuable in a T2K setting.



Last edited by kato13; 02-17-2010 at 06:37 AM.
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