The SKS .50 caliber muzzleloader,
In the early 90’s the Chinese arms company Norinco wanted to get into the muzzleloading market.  This was highly unusual as Norico was famous for making modern firearms, especially copies of various Soviet military designs.  However, the muzzleloader they created was one of the strangest muzzleloaders in muzzleloading history.
Made in .50 caliber, the Norinco muzzleloader was based off the the SKS semi automatic rifle.  On the outside the muzzleloader looked just like the SKS, including a faux gas tube and magazine.  The only thing that seemed weird about it was the ramrod located below the barrel and unusually large bore.  In reality it was essentially an inline muzzleloader.  Black powder, a patch, and a bullet were loaded by hand into the bore, and rammed home with the ramrod.  To ignite the charge the action was opened, and a percussion cap was placed on a nipple inside the chamber.
In 1993 President Bill Clinton banned the importation of all “non-sporting” firearms from China. Even though the new “SKS” was nothing more than a dressed up single shot musket, it too was banned.  Then in 2003 President G.W. Bush embargoed all Chinese firearms.  As a result, the SKS muzzleloader never got off the ground, with only 10 being produced.
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The men gather for a funeral. Walter put just about all the photos of dead men on this spread. A monk and a priest are present to perform the burial, and they’ve found a nice spot on a hill for the grave. Other soldiers were not so lucky and have been buried in their trench, covered in sheets and left with notes or personal effects.


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Young German POWs captured by Guard’s Armoured Division, 6 April 1945.
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Right-wing Israelis rioting in Jerusalem earlier this month.

All eyes are on Gaza, where the death toll from Israel’s merciless bombing campaign has topped 1,000.

But back in Jerusalem, where sixteen-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudair was burned…

Thanks for the amazing show, Laramie. We should do that again someday. Hopefully my drumsticks won’t tear a bunch of skin off my finger next time.
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Canvas  by  andbamnan