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The Vault

Winchester Lee Navy Safety?

Exploded 1895 Lee Navy barrel

It appears that a fellow in Pennsylvania had an 1895 Lee Navy rifle explode in his hands this past Sunday while out shooting. This sort of thing happens from time to time with all sorts of different guns, and is typically found to be the result of either an accidental overcharged handload (too much powder [...]

Bergmann 1894 Grip Style

I recently had the opportunity to examine a very early model 1894 Bergmann pistol, and made an interesting discovery (discovery to me, at any rate). The gun has a rather elegant bird’s-head grip, and a trigger that pulls as much down as it does back – the direction of the trigger pull is basically along [...]

Rock Island Regional Auction – July 2014

Yep, it’s time for another Rock Island Regional Auction this coming weekend! These are typically less valuable guns than the Premier auctions, and most of the lots include multiple guns instead of just one. Sometimes a lot will have a bunch of guns you want, and sometimes just one or two…but it’s always fun to [...]

New Orleans Museums: WWII and Confederacy

I recently had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans, and spent some time in two different military museums there (of course!). One was the massive National World War II Museum founded by Stephen Ambrose, and the other was the much smaller and much older Confederate Memorial Hall Museum. They are virtually across the street [...]

BAR Comparison: M1918 vs M1918A2

I was doing some reading up on the BAR, and some shooting with a semiauto Ohio Ordnance Works A3 model BAR recently, in addition to the recent 2-gun match we did with it. I got particularly interested in the improvements made between the original WWI version and the A2 version that was so heavily [...]

Guns in Ukraine

Most of the guns showing up in the Ukrainian hostilities right now are various flavors of AK – but there are some other less common things coming out of the woodwork as well. I did some poking around, and found photos of a wide variety of firearms (although AKs are definitely the vast majority)…

2 Gun: FG42 vs BAR (Video)

By popular request, this month we are doing a head-to-head match of the awesome FG-42 (second model, in 8mm, made by SMG Guns) and the much-revered Browning BAR (M1918A3, in .30-06, made by Ohio Ordnance). Lots of people suggested that this would be a fair match, since both guns were intended to be support-type weapons.

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Gun Deductions

One thing I particularly enjoy doing is taking a firearm and trying to figure out as much about it as I can, based on the appearance, markings, modifications, etc. It’s the details and the stories behind old guns that make them interesting, and so it’s fun to try to tease out those details. It’s best [...]

Johnson Semiauto Rifle Senate Hearing

On May 29th, 1940 the US Senate held a hearing about Senate bill 3983, a measure to adopt the Johnson semiauto rifle as a standard US military arm. Opening the testimony was Melvin Johnson himself, and he was followed by a retinue or industrial experts and military officers attesting to the virtues of the Johnson [...]

GoRuck Light – with a Pack, Field Combat, M-1945

I spent yesterday afternoon doing a GoRuck Light event – because it seemed like an interesting challenge. I do 5k runs regularly, and mud runs have been a lot of fun. This seemed like the next level up, and I was curious. As it turned out, it’s really not the same sort of event at [...]