I love warbirds in general, but I feel that there are certain things that go against all rationality in peacetimes, or at least now that we are talking about "pieces of museum" of about 70 years of age that are used just for filming or (more frequently) at air-shows.
My first reaction when I realized that they installed REAL and working machine guns on a Curtiss P-40 in Australia and on a P-51 Mustang in the US was of amazement, and when I saw those guns in YouTube firing blanks, I was yet more surprised.
Here you are a firing test of that P-40 at a hangar- luckily, apart from the fire and rounds under wing that the guns spit, IT SEEMS that they are firing at nothing (just fire): youtu.be/Qmln5aChX0s And here you are the same aircraft at an air-show in Australia (note the tilting lights on the wings -the guns firing- and the fart-like noise of such guns firing): youtu.be/oO3gE7VA0Hs
Shooting blank bullets and dropping rounds is to the very limits of what I personally consider passable and acceptable at an air-show, and with these old flying machines. But what I consider UNDENIABLY UNACCEPTABLE is using REAL bullets, as in this firing test with the P-51 Mustang (note the dust on the cliff, behind the target, as the aircraft guns fire): youtu.be/niJ82YCiuYU
The thing is that you don´t test the aim or balance of those guns and real bullets "for nothing". In other words, if you shoot REAL BULLETS, you have to make sure that they go where you want them to go; otherwise it would be chaos. But chaos is inevitably there from the very moment that you use real bullets, and I see no point at all of testing the correct aim of those guns AND using REAL ROUNDS with them on these aircraft. Pointlessly reckless, unless they are planning on using Mustangs (and P-40s) in Afghanistan, which makes no sense at all nowadays, of course. This might sound tough, and even shocking, but unless I missed something, checking the balance of those guns using a real target and real bullet on an old plane makes no sense at all unless you are planning on shooting for real at something... or someone.
And then will they come with apologies and "lamenting what happened" if something is destroyed (or someone is killed) "unwillingly" or "by accident"? I hope that they don´t, because that would be the most cynical or unconscious childish thing that they could ever say. We all know about the fondness for weapons in the US, but excited as some might get about this, they better try and keep calm and rational, if they can. No Hollywoodish action in real life, please...
THERE IS NO POINT AT ALL OF TESTING REAL BULLETS ON OLD "USELESS" PLANES; IT´S POINTLESSLY RISKY (not to say if a crazy guy gets his hands on one of those planes loaded with real armament). that´s my statement.
What do you think?...