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North China Type 30

When the Japanese invasion of China intensified in 1937, Imperial reliance on Chinese puppet troops for duties like garrisoning cities. Before long an estimated 500,000-900,000 such men were under the command of the Japanese, in both militia and regular army units. These men had to be armed, and Japanese domestic production of Type 38 (and […]

Vintage Saturday: Life and Death in the Mud

French soldier standing over German dead. Souain, France, ca. 1915.(Bibliotheque Nationale de France Francois-Mitterrand)

A 75mm Maxim-Nordenfelt Cannon and the Type 30 Arisaka

First up, a 75mm Maxim-Nordenfelt cannon that was on display at the Carabinieri Museum in Rome. Guns like this one were pretty widely used by countries all over the world, with a wide variety of details in the carriages. This particular example is (according to its display tag) an 1886 model gun. The action is […]

Vintage Saturday: Folding Transport

French bicycle soldier with an 1892 Berthier carbine

Not just any bicycle, but a folding Gladiator bicycle!

He can also use it as a rifle rest!

 

Or camouflage and cover…?

You can see the entire 13-photo set here. Thanks to Denny for pointing these pictures out!

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Transitional Swiss Sniper K31 Rifles (Video)

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During World War II, the Swiss military experimented with two models of K31 carbine with integral optics (the K31/42 and K31/43). These were found to be not sufficient for military service, and after more experimentation and development, the ZfK-55 rifle was adopted in 1955. What we are looking at today are a pair of […]

Vintage Saturday: Fixed Bayonets

French soldiers attacking in the Argonne in 1915

French Poilu attacking uphill in the Argonne in 1915

RIA – Swiss Model 1893: A Mannlicher Cavalry Carbine

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The Swiss were the first country to adopt a bolt action repeating rifle with their Vetterli, and followed this by changing to a straight-pull design in the 1880s. The straight-pull Schmidt-Rubin system was quite good, but one potential flaw was that it was a quite long action. This became an issue when the Swiss […]

RIA: Winchester Thumb Trigger Rifle

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The Winchester Thumb Trigger rifle was a very inexpensive boy’s rifle developed from the Model 1902. It is a single-shot .22 rimfire bolt action system, on which the trigger was replaced by a thumb-activated sear behind the bolt. In theory, this was to allow greater accuracy by requiring less force acting to disrupt your […]

RIA – Spanish FR-8: the “Cetmeton”

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The FR-8 is a Spanish rifle manufactured in the 1950s as part of Spain’s adoption of the CETME semiautomatic rifles. Spain was not only moving to their first semiauto rifle, but also changing from 8mm Mauser to the new 7.62mm NATO. It was not possible to immediately equip everybody with the new rifles, so […]

RIA: Gewehr 1898 – Germany’s Standard WWI Rifle

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The Gewehr 1898 was the product of a decade of bolt action repeating rifle improvements by the Mauser company, and would be the standard German infantry rifle through both World Wars. Today we are looking at a pre-WWI example (1905 production) that shows all the features of what a German soldier would have taken […]