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RIA: Predecessor to the Mosin – the Russian Berdan II

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Before adopting the M1891 Mosin-Nagant, the Russian Empire (like most major militaries) used a large-bore single-shot rifle as its standard infantry rifle. In this case, a .42-caliber rifle designed by American General Hiram Berdan (yes, the same guy who invented the Berdan primer). As with other Russian small arms of foreign design, the initial batch […]

RIA: Gewehr 29/40 Mauser

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Over the next couple weeks we will be looking at several Polish firearms, and the first one is today: the G29/40. When German forces overran the arms factory in Radom, Poland, they captured in nearly completely intact. One of the guns being produced there had been the wz. 29; a Polish version of the K98k […]

Prototype Italian MBT 1925 Straight-Pull Rifle (Video)

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Note: This video was filmed over a year ago, but I have been holding it in anticipation of the rifle going to auction. That doesn’t seem to be happening, so I’m posting the video now.

Only three example of this 1925 prototype rifle from MBT (Metallurgica Brescia gia Tempini) were ever made, and were […]

Vintage Saturday: Combined Arms

US troops in the Pacific Theater with 1903 Springfields and a 1919A4 machine gun

US troops in the Pacific Theater with 1903 Springfields and a 1919A4 machine gun

I have seen this image described as being from both Burma and Okinawa – not sure myself which (if either) is correct. The array of armament present is interesting, though – a 1903A3, a 1903A4 sniper, a couple rifle grenades, […]

Vintage Saturday: Average Joe

Union carpenter Joe Olson assists the coal miners during the UMW labor strike against CF&I, in Ludlow, Colorado.

Union carpenter Joe Olson assists the coal miners during the UMW labor strike against CF&I, in Ludlow, Colorado.

Interestingly, Joe here appears to be armed with a sporting version of the Gewehr 88 – which means those cartridges in his belt will do little good without some en bloc clips. Good thing he’s also […]

Video Q&A #3: What-Ifs and How-Comes

MG 81 Bild 2

I initially figured these Q&A video would be a fun little side note, and I have been a bit taken aback by how popular they became…and so they keep getting longer. This one clocks in at nearly 50 minutes, and I think I got some particularly good questions. Let me know what you think!

Would […]

Perspectives on French Rifle Sight Design

French Berthier sights

Holy moley, is that the most dense and snooty post title ever? I think it might be. However, I think it’s a much more interesting subject than most folks might anticipate, and it’s something that came to my attention largely as a result of shooting 2-gun matches with a couple different French rifles. So, bear […]

Vintage Saturday: Harried

German soldier cleaning his rifle

German soldier working on his rifle

This guy has clearly been through a lot.

Note the G41(W) or G43 in the background.

Mondragon 1894 Bolt Action Rifle (Video)

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Manuel Mondragon was a talented lifelong gun designer born in Mexico. He worked extensively at the Swiss SIG factory, and was the man behind the first military-issue semiautomatic rifle. Before that, though, he designed this series of unique straight-pull bolt action rifles that featured a 3-position safety and “automatic” setting.

Today I’m taking a look […]

Vintage Saturday: Rifle Grenade

2nd Lieutenant L. J. Barley of the 1st Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), watching as a rifle grenade is prepared for firing from trenches at Grande Flamengrie Farm on the Bois Grenier sector of the line during February 1915.

Image from the Imperial War Museum

2nd Lieutenant L. J. Barley of the 1st Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), watching as a rifle grenade is prepared for firing from trenches at Grande Flamengrie Farm on the Bois Grenier sector of the line during February 1915.

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