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Swiss ZfK-55 Sniper at RIA

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The Swiss military began experimenting with scoped sniper rifle during WWII, with the K31/42 and K31/43. These use periscopic optics permanently mounted to the side of the receiver, and were both found less than ideal. Experiments continued after WWII, and the periscopes were replaced with tradition style scopes on quick-release mountings.

Eventually the idea of […]

Gewehr 71 with Experimental Magazine at RIA


The Model 1871 Mauser was adopted as the newly united Germany’s first standard rifle, and it was a good design. However, it was a single shot rifle and soon it became apparent that the additional firepower of a magazine rifle was necessary to maintain military parity. A number of different conversion methods were tested by […]

2-Gun WWI Extravaganza: BEF vs German Landser (Video)

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This is the second of our two videos from the most recent 2-Gun match, which was designed with an explicit World War One theme. This one is a head to head match between me, kitted out as a BEF rifleman, and Karl, portraying a rear-line German reservist with a Gewehr 88.

The fact that […]

2-Gun WW1 Extravaganza: 1918 German Sturmtruppen vs German Landser (Video)

This month’s 2-gun match was a special WWI themed event, with three long stages instead of the usual four shorter ones. The design included bayonetting, climbing ladders, crawling under wire, and throwing grenades. I shot as a British soldier, and Karl actually ran the course twice – once as a 1918 elite Sturmtruppen and ones […]

Differentiating Models of the 1894 Mondragon

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I recently had a chance to examine 4 different examples of the 1894 Mondragon straight-pull bolt action rifle. These rifles were the predecessor to the self-loading Mondragon design which would be adopted by Mexico in 1908 as the first such rifle adopted as a standard arm by a national military. The 1894 also has a […]

Vintage Saturday: Mr. Lee Goes to China

British Marines from the HMS Alacrity in China with Lee-Metford rifles (1900)

Note the bandoliers of individual cartridges – these Lee-Metfords predate the adoption of charger clips, and would have been reloading one round at a time.


System Luger 1892/6 Bolt Action


Georg Luger is known today for just one firearm: the Luger pistol. However, he actually spent significantly more time during his career working on rifles than he did on that iconic handgun. One project in particular that he tackled for the DWM concern was a series of improvements to the Gewehr 88 rifle.

The G88 […]

Belgian 1886 Rifle Trials Report (Translated to English)

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Our friend Thibaud has spent some time translating a report from the Belgian 1886 rifle trials into English – thank you, Thibaud!

He notes that the text has a lot of specifically Belgian terminology and phraseology from that period which is not in common use anymore, and has included explanatory details in [square brackets] when […]

WWI Trench Mauser at James D Julia


As World War One stagnated into trench warfare, snipers and machine guns quickly proliferated, and exposure above the parapet of one’s trench could be extremely hazardous. This leaves one with the question of, how to shoot back without risking a bullet?

One answer that was devised was to mount a rifle to a periscope. That […]

Steyr VG5/VK98 at James D Julia

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By the beginning of 1945, the Nazi government in Germany was looking to find cheaper ways to equip the Volksturm, and solicited bids and designs from several major arms manufacturers. The Steyr company created a crude but effective version of the Mauser 98 which was dubbed the VK-98 or VG-5. Mechanically it is identical […]