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The Vault

The Lee Enfield Finally Leaves Canadian Ranger Service

Ranger Leo McKay with his Lee Enfield (not the non-standard belt with extra mags). Photo source: Torstar News Service

As far as I have been able to tell, the Canadian Rangers are the last formal, first-world military organization still using a WWII-era bolt action rifle as a standard-issue weapon (correction – the Danish Slædepatruljen Sirius, a similar type of unit in Greenland, still uses the M1917 Enfield in .30-06). Well, until now anyway.

Who [...]

Vintage Saturday: Fusil d’Assaut

Very pleased with his captured rifle!

Very pleased with his captured rifle! Source: Histoire de Couleurs

A Chasseur à pied of the 19e Battalion on the road between Breteuil and Flers, Somme. 10th of April 1918. This Battalion had been on foot after heavy fighting in order to occupy the village of Grivesnes, South of Moreuil in France. The rifle [...]

Japanese Type 30 “Hook Safety” Arisaka at RIA

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Most people are familiar with the Type 38 Arisaka, which was one of the two very distinctive Japanese rifles of World War II (along with the Type 99). The Type 38 was an outstanding rifle in large part because it was the result of several years of experience and development which began in 1897 with [...]

Palmer Carbine at RIA

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The Palmer carbine was the first bolt action firearm adopted by the US military – it was a single shot rimfire carbine patented in 1863 and sold to the US cavalry in 1865. The guns were ordered during the Civil War, but were not delivered until just after the end of fighting, and thus never [...]

Nazi-Occupation “Stomperud” Krag Rifle at RIA

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When the Germans occupied Norway, they took advantage of the arms production facilities at the Kongsberg Arsenal to make a number of Krag rifles to their own specifications. They were made with a mixture of new parts and existing rifles, and all retained the Norwegian 6.5x55mm chambering. The German features were elements like sights, sight [...]

(A Few of) The Many Faces of the Dutch M95 Carbine

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When the Dutch military adopted the M95 Mannlicher rifle, they made a rifle for standard infantry, and a variety of carbines for specialist troops. these included artillery, cavalry, bicycle, engineers, and colonial service carbines. During World War I they attempted to standardize these and reduce the number of different designs, but met with only limited [...]

Japanese Type 18 Murata at RIA

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The Murata was Japan’s first domestic manufactured military rifle. In its first iteration, it was an 11mm, single shot, black powder weapon and was adopted in 1880 (the Type 13). Before long, some problems in the design were discovered, and the Winchester company helped to resolve them. Winchester tooling was purchased by the Japanese government, [...]

Hungarian WWII Rifles at RIA (35M, 43M, G98/40)

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After the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Hungarian army was armed primarily with Steyr M95 straight-pull rifles and carbines, chambered in the 8x56mm rimmed cartridge. In 1935 they adopted a new Mannlicher turnbolt rifle, the 35M, which used the same 8x56R ammunition and en bloc clips. The rifle was modified in 1940 for production [...]

Chassepot Needle Rifle at RIA (Video)

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The Chassepot was the French answer to the Dreyse needle rifle, and also the only other needlefire rifle to see major military service. It was adopted in 1866 and served as a primary French infantry rifle until being replaced by the 1874 Gras rifle, which was basically a conversion of the Chassepot to use self-contained [...]

Dreyse M1860 Needle Rifle at RIA (Video)

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The Dreyse needle rifle (or zundnadelgewehr, which translates to needle firing rifle) was a major step forward in military rifle technology, although it did not remain at the forefront for very long (much like the Spencer repeating rifle in that regard). It used a paper cartridge with an integrated percussion cap primer, allowing the shooter [...]