USCGC Bramble (Public domain)

A 76- year-old former U.S. Coast Guard ship that was one of the first vessels to pass through the indomitable Northwest Passage and circumnavigate the entire North American continent, will be auctioned off on the steps of the U.S. District Courthouse in Mobile at Noon on Dec. 4.

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The Army says it's settled on three defense contractors to battle it out to become the service's M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacements, but at least one other company is hoping that a bit of consumer approval could help upset the competition.

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The Colt Model 1911 .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol that John Browning dreamed up more than a century ago remains on of the most beloved sidearms in U.S. military history. Hell, there's a reason why Army Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, still rocks an M1911A1 on his hip despite the fact that the Army no longer issues them to soldiers.

But if scoring one of the Army's remaining M1911s through the Civilian Marksmanship Program isn't enough to satisfy your adoration for the classic sidearm, then Colt has something right up your alley: the Colt Model 1911 'Black Army' pistol.

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Four gamers concentrate as they battle it out during a "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" tournament held on the GameTruck at the Clear Creek Post Exchange, Nov. 4, 2013. These were the last four competitors of the midnight release of "Call of Duty: Ghosts." (U.S. Army / Sgt. Cody Barber)

Love video games but hate paying for them? If you're a U.S. service member, a veteran, or a family member of one, then a new program has just the thing for you.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on The Conversation

When the Colt gun manufacturing corporation announced in September that it would stop producing its AR-15 semiautomatic rifle for sale to the general public — to focus on handguns and military production —some gun-control advocates declared victory, saying the move would help limit the availability of assault weapons in the U.S.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence counted the news among “recent victories." Celebrity gun-control activists Michael Moore and Debra Messing also trumpeted Colt's move as progress toward eliminating the weapons from public circulation.

In fact, the evidence indicates their celebrations are probably premature.

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Legendary gunmaker Winchester is offering up the specialized ammo designed for the Army's new handgun for consumer purchase, the company announced on Monday.

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