Thousands of young boys have dreamed of being a fighter pilot.
Some of them make it, but the rest of us ground-dwelling people have to make due with artifacts of the air.
Children collect plane models, read books with over-sized photographs of military fighter jets, and look for chances to daydream about being pilot of a dangerous sortie over enemy land. That patriotic dreamer inside of us should never die.
So when I first heard about the 30 mm shot glasses from Patriot Depot, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited all the same. I was only told is that they were once fired from an actual A-10 Warthog.
As an Army veteran, I’ve seen A-10 planes during training runs. They’re loud, powerful, and over in a flash. The plane is purpose-built around a cannon designed for one purpose: devastation of ground targets. Almost every system has a redundancy. In fact, an A-10 cockpit is one of the safest places to be in a battle. The pilot sits in a titanium basin called “the tub” that is able to absorb or deflect almost any small arms fire.
The cannon itself, a GAU-8 Avenger, is a monster. It weighs 16,000 pounds, has seven barrels and fires 3,900 rounds per minute. The sheer size of the gun had to be worked around in the engineering room. Outside of the aircraft, the true size of the GAU-8 becomes apparent when a Volkswagen Beetle is parked next to it.
The ammunition for the A-10 weapon is equally impressive. With a shell longer than your forearm, the rounds were purpose-built for shredding enemy armor. And it does not disappoint. The footage below of an A-10 in action should get the blood pumping inside of any freedom-loving patriot.
And my blood was pumping when I saw my 30mm shot glass for the first time.
Although these are cut from full-size cannon shells, the first thing I noticed about the glass was its weight. These aren’t your father’s empty 30-06 shells. To contain the massive power of the 30x173mm round, the walls of the shell are thick and heavy. It makes for a shot glass that has the same weight as one actually made from glass, yet exponentially more durable.
The anodized coating also fares against abuse with flying colors. I chose the black “Come and Take It” style. After almost a year, the only scratch on my shot glass is on the bottom and only after I purposely took a pocket knife to an inconspicuous place to see how hardy the anodizing really was.
Although these epic shells are actually taken after an A-10 makes a real life, gun run in training or other areas, the shot glasses contain no gunpowder, residue, primers, fuses or payloads.
If you haven’t had the privilege of seeing an A-10 work in real life, there’s no substitute. Videos can only show you what it looks like, not the thundering “BRRRRR” and immediate rattle of explosions.
The A-10 is one of the most famous American aircraft thanks to its unique design and reputation as a reliable close air support tool. It’s not difficult to find military personnel who thank the A-10 for helping them return to their families and loved ones.
It’s not often a piece of this aircraft makes it to the civilian side of things. With the arrival of the 30 mm shot glasses, this is a piece of American superiority you can proudly display.
The only thing better than these shot glasses is knowing the fear that they once struck in the hearts of America’s enemies… and that is something I am happy to drink to.
The shells can be found through this link, or online at Patriot Depot.
This article was written by Jared Harris.
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