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RIA: Pattern 1913 Enfield Trials Rifle

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One of the lessons learned by the British military in the aftermath of the Boer War was that modern Mauser rifles were superior to their Lee-action rifles and carbines. In response, British ordnance began experimenting with a Mauser-pattern rifle, ultimately finalized as the Pattern 1913. This rifle would also leave behind the obsolescent .303 […]

RIA: Spreewerke VG-2

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Five different companies in Germany produced designs for the last-ditch Volkssturm bolt action rifles, and they were designated VG-1 through VG-5. The VG-2 was developed by the Spreewerke company, and differed from the others in its use of a sheet metal stamped receiver (and consequently a pretty distinctive look).

In total, somewhere between 16 […]

RIA: Japanese Type 100 Paratrooper

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The Type 100 (sometimes called the Type 0) was one of the initial Japanese experiments in paratroop rifles. Manufactured from standard Nagoya Arsenal Type 99 rifles, the Type 100 used a set of interrupted lugs at the chamber to allow the rifle to be broken into two short sections. Only a few hundred of […]

Vintage Saturday: Finnish Militia

Finnish red guard militia members posing for the camera some time during the civil war.

Finnish red guard militia members posing for the camera some time during the civil war (click to enlarge).

The woman at the front right has a Winchester 1895, almost certainly of Russian contract origin in 7.62x54R. The others appear to have Type 30 Arisaka rifles, which would have been sold to Russia by Japan […]

A Few Historical Weapons in Libya

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Armament Research Services (ARES) has a database of Conflict Material (CONMAT), logging arms and munitions documented within the illicit sphere in conflict and post-conflict zones. I have been working on co-athoring a report with N.R. Jenzen-Jones covering Libyan arms trading conducted via social media platforms between November 2014 and November 2015 for Small Arms Survey. […]

James D. Julia: Experimental Muzzle Cover 1893 Mauser

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(Note: this rifle was removed from the auction, so I have no link to provide for it)

I have been unable to find any history on this particular rifle, which is an experimental mixture of parts, including a bayonet lug and a sporter-style rear sight on a 7x57mm 1893 model Mauser action. What is interesting […]

James D. Julia: Orvill Robinson’s Innovative Rifles

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Orvill Robinson was a gunsmith and gun designer in upstate New York who developed two rather interesting rifle designs in the 1870s. They are both pistol-caliber actions, with tubular magazines. The first (the 1870 model) used a tilting wedge very similar in concept to the 1886 Mannlicher straight-pull action. This Robinson design had a pair […]

James D. Julia: WWI German Gewehr 98 Sniper

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Germany was one of the first nations to really get into the sniping business during World War I, and this is an example of their sniper rifle of the period. The base rifle is a standard Gewehr 98 in 8mm Mauser. Optics form a multitude of different commercial manufacturers were used, mostly 3x and 4x […]

RIA: Danish 1889 Krag-Jorgensen Rifle

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The Danes were the first military to adopt the Krag-Jorgensen rifle, with this infantry variant in 1889. It is chambered for the Danish 8x58R cartridge, which was also used in Remington Rolling Block rifles (although the Krag loading is more powerful than that of the Rolling Block). Unlike the Norwegian ad American Krags, the Danish […]

RIA: G33/40 Gebirgstruppen Carbine

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The G33/40 carbine was made by the excellent Czech factory at Brno under German occupation (between 1940 and 1942). It was essentially a copy of the Czech vz.33 carbine, and was specifically issued to the Gebirgstruppen (mountain troops). It is easily distinguished from a typical Mauser by a couple characteristics: a shorter barrel (19.4″ compared […]