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Calico Weapons Systems

Commander A9

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Hello all.


Some of you know me from other communities and will remember that I write Command & Conquer stories. In particular, I write with a style similar to that of the late Tom Clancy, focusing on political and military accuracy.


As part of my research, I have been focusing on the weapons used in the games and describing them as their real-life depictions. At this time, there's one weapon that's been driving me nuts!





The rifle used by the C&C infantry: The Calico; either the M-900, M-951, or the Liberty I.


I have been struggling to get this weapon IDed properly. For the longest time, I thought it was the Calico M-951 Semiautomatic Rifle, but I've been starting to have doubts.


Various arms dealers, research websites, and even Calico themselves all have different labels for this weapon and have contradicted each other. Calico e-mailed me long ago, labeling it the M960, but I'm not convinced.


As far as I have observed:

-the weapon has a telescopic stock, not the solid stock of multiple Liberty variants

-the muzzle compensator is smaller than the compensator which is listed as the identifying feature of the M-951, although there are both 2-inch and 3-inch compensators available

-the foregrip is obviously the M951 Kelly grip

-the magazine is the 50-round helical magazine

-the barrel is too long to be the M960 Submachine Gun

-there appears to be an indentation on the rear of the muzzle compensator


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgyF2wEaXLs = Calico's main webpage video

http://calicolightweaponsystems.com/home/index.php?page=Home = Calico's main webpage

http://www.armslist.com/posts/1347148/little-rock-arkansas-rifles-for-sale--calico-m900-unfired = Arms List sales entry

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2010/05/robert-farago/gun-review-calico-light-weapon-systems-liberty-i-m-900/ = Calico weapons blog entry

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Calico_Series_of_Rifles_and_Pistols#Calico_M100 = Firearms movie listing page

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=399790746 = sales page for an M-951, depicting images which indicate the weapon is an M-951, even though it looks extremely similar to the M-900 and Liberty I...

http://www.gunauction.com/buy/11199525/rifles-for-sale/semi-auto-rifle/early-calico-liberty-i-9mm-100rd-drum-with-box-no-reserve = sales page for a Calico Liberty I, with indication labeling it as such, despite extremely similar design


Before I go deciding on what I'm going to write this weapon off as, I'd like to encourage some discussion, especially if someone sees something I might have missed. I have reached out to Calico once more to ask for exact clarification, but I'd like input from all of you.


I really don't want to get this wrong...


Note: This would be a hell of a lot easier if I knew when these specific models were all manufactured...


Update: I recently came across this document, which lists manufacturing years, but I can't determine the information's exact citation or source...http://www.docstoc.com/docs/35171510/Calico-Firearms-Weapons-List

I can now verify this information as credible, since it has been featured in the Blue Book of Weapon Values, which also lists the manufacturing year: http://bluebookofgunvalues.com/Gun_Values/Manufacturers/CALICO_LIGHT_WEAPONS_SYSTEMS/Categories/CARBINES__SEMI-AUTO?id=CALICO_LIGHT_WEAPONS_SYSTEMS_CARBINES_SEMI_AUTO


Furthermore, it should be recognized that the Calico weaponry fell under the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 due to their high magazine capacity, which explains why many of them weren't mass-produced afterwards until only a few years ago.


Update: Based on this intel, I'm prepared to uphold this weapon's designation as the M-951, although I'd welcome discussion and further analysis (http://bluebookofgunvalues.com/Gun_Values/Manufacturers/CALICO_LIGHT_WEAPONS_SYSTEMS/Categories/CALICO_LIGHT_WEAPONS_SYSTEMS_CARBINES_SEMI_AUTO/Models/CALICO_LIGHT_WEAPONS_SYSTEMS_CARBINES_SEMI_AUTO_M_951_TACTICAL_CARBINE?id=CALICO_LIGHT_WEAPONS_SYSTEMS_CARBINES_SEMI_AUTO_M_951_TACTICAL_CARBINE)

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Well, we'd really need the weapon's context in your story to be of any use. See, we're not weapons specialists and thus are even less qualified to ID the rifle or any such thing. But as a professional writer I can tell you this - I think you're overemphasizing its technical aspects. Write it off as whatever best suits your needs (of the variants you listed) and use the most prominent qualities of such a type of weapon to drive some of your story forward.


What I gather so far is that this, a short barrelled assault rifle, not unlike an Uzi, is suited for both very close quarters (urban, room to room) combat and open range fire, although short barrelled weapons will have lower accuracy with longer ranges. Fully automatic fire will also be harder to control, so bursts. The high point of your analysis of the weapon is probably its very high magazine capacity. Fifty rounds is a LOT! Consider the differences - an M-16 usually has a 30 round magazine and a trained professional will need at least two or three seconds to reload. The Calico has almost double. Also, rounds - you have 9mm vs. .22 of the M-16, which is essentially a 5.6mm. Much more stopping power. So, definately a weapon for very close quarters urban fighting. Also, do some research on all available attachments, the M-16/M-14 can have many modifications - underslung grenade launchers, shotgun pumps, all kinds of sights and of course, the good old bayonet. What can this weapon carry?


I hope I helped and if I think of anything else I will post again.


EDIT: Also, Tom Clancy is boring. Do some Philip K. Dick.

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It's a prop.


Not only is it a prop, it's a prop they probably only got when they made C&C95, since these images weren't used in DOS C&C. The DOS C&C manual's entry for the minigunner shows a shot from the helicopter-vs-bazooka FMV, of a soldier actually firing a helicopter-mounted minigun. The Calico prop in that photo is nothing but Westwood creating image material for the icons in the high-res version of their game... years after the original game design.



Overall, the whole name "minigunner" is obviously wrong. Now, as to which it is... there are two clues:


First of all, the weapon shown at the left side of the actual game cover is an M16. And the cover would obviously depict a soldier involved in the war. Specifically, the pattern on the barrel handle makes it an M16A2.


Secondly, the way the minigunners shoot ingame is in three-round bursts. Tat-tat-tat. As far as I can tell from the wikipedia page, the M16A2 is the only M16 type capable of that.


On top of that, the M16 is an iconic weapon from the vietnam war. So the M16A2 will be the most likely choice for the minigunner weapon.

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On top of that, the M16 is an iconic weapon from the vietnam war. So the M16A2 will be the most likely choice for the minigunner weapon.


Not just the Vietnam War the M16 and weapons derived from it such as the carbine versions (M4, etc) are still the assault rifles of the US military.

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