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The Vault

Three Videos: Finland, Spain, and Hungary

maxim tokarev still

From Vesamatti, a Finnish gunsmith student who reads the site, we have this neat video of a few older Finnish Army machine guns. The KP-31, KP-44, Sten, KVKK, and DP-27. Not guns we get all that much exposure to here in the US (except for the Sten…) – thanks Vesamatti!

Another video pointed out [...]

Vintage Saturday: Trench Armor

German dugout w grabenpanzer armor

This dugout has a particularly high mustache and bayonet density (photo from Drake Goodman)

Interestingly, one of the German troops in the front row is wearing grabenpanzer steel armor. This was reportedly used primarily for machine gun crews and sharpshooters – soldiers whose jobs were particularly heavy on staying in one place and being [...]

Winchester-Hotchkiss 1883: History and Initial Impressions

Winchester-Hotchkiss Model 1883

History

The Winchester-Hotchkiss rifle was first conceived by Benjamin Hotchkiss in 1875, and by 1877 he had four US patents on the design (numbers 99898, 169641, 184285, and 186566) which he sold to the Winchester company in early 1877. Winchester was able to have three sample rifles constructed in time to [...]

Japanese Type 97 Sniper Rifle (Video)

The most common Japanese sniper rifle of World War II was the Type 97, essentially a Type 38 Arisaka rifle with a 2.5x telescopic sight mounted to the side of the receiver. About 22,000 of them were made in total (a smaller number of Type 99 sniper rifles were also made). The scope on [...]

Blake Bolt Action Rifle at RIA

blake thumb

The Blake was one of many rifle designs submitted to the US Army trials that would ultimately result in the adoption of the Krag-Jorgensen as the US Army’s standard rifle. The main innovation of Blake’s design was a unique ammunition “packet” system which held 7 cartridges. The rifle would be loaded from the bottom with [...]

Mondragon 1894 Straight-Pull at RIA

mondragon 1894 thumb

Most people who recognize the name Mondragon know it from Manuel Mondragon’s model 1908 semiauto rifle, the first such rifle to be adopted on a large scale by a military (the Mexican Army, in this case). Well, Mondragon was designing arms for many years before that particular rifle. For example, in 1894 he produced a [...]

Vintage Saturday: More Anti-Aircraft

Mass recoil sensitivity!

Soviet snipers train at ranging aircraft with 91/30 PU rifles.

M1895 Lee Navy Salvaged from the USS Maine at James D Julia

The M1895 Lee Navy was a rifle well ahead of it’s time – a smallbore (6mm) straight-pull bolt action adopted by the US Navy at the same time that the US Army was adopting the Krag-Jorgenson. The Lee Navy was designed by James Paris Lee (the same man who designed the Lee Enfield action), and [...]

A Rifle of Many Travels

I was visiting a friend recently (James, who runs Tombstone Territorial Firearms, which you should definitely visit if you are ever in Tombstone – it’s a remarkably well-stocked shop), and he had pulled out a particular beat-up old rifle that he though I would find interesting. I definitely did – and grabbed some photos to [...]

Enfield No5 “Jungle Carbine” Video

The No.5 MkI Enfield, commonly called the “jungle carbine” is nearly the shortest-lived rifle in British military service (second to the Rifle No.9, aka EM-2). Introduced in 1944, they were declared obsolete in 1947 as the result of insoluble accuracy problems. The guns were originally developed from regular No4 Enfield rifles with the goal of [...]