The Vault

The Most Elegant Pistol Ever

Most of the time, guns intended to be fancy and particularly fancy leave me rather cold. I can recognize the mind-blowing skill that goes into really high-end hand engraving, but engraved guns just aren’t really my style. Same with precious metal inlays…it’s just not for me. Even if I one day become wealthy enough to [...]

“I Found This Old Maxim Silencer…”

Since I posted my brief article on the original Maxim silencers, I’ve had more than a few people contact me saying that they have found one among the possessions of a deceased parent or grandparent. These folks are curious what the value of a Maxim silencer is, and are looking to sell it or learn [...]

Gun Nation Podcast

Sorry guys – I don’t have a book review ready today. I’ve got a bunch of books in hand, but I’m still working my way through them. Instead, I do have the episode of Gun Nation from last night for you to listen to if you missed catching it live:

In the meantime, here [...]

Cavalry Use of Pistols?

Here’s a subject I don’t know much about, and I’m hoping some of the folks reading this can help educate me: cavalry use of handguns. How many groups actually experimented with handguns as a primary armament for cavalry troops? Were they just backup weapons? Were mounted soldiers expected to be able to fire carbines accurately [...]

US Army Rifle and Carbine Adoption 1865-1900

Courtesy of reader Mike, we have today a copy of a Master’s thesis written by Major John Davis in 2007, as a part of a Staff College degree. The title of the paper is “U.S. Army Rifle and Carbine Adoption Between 1865 and 1900″, and the first two thirds of it comprise a pretty good [...]

The New York Times, on Smokeless Powder

I ran across this brief article from the September 17, 1896 edition of the New York Times. They seem to have gotten things pretty well figured out…


Change of Tactics Made Necessary to the Army – Effect on Artillery and Cavalry

From The Baltimore Sun


2-Gun Action Challenge Match: SVT40 vs M1 Garand

So, after the hype about setting the FG-42 up against the M1 at a practical action match, I unfortunately have to let you down. We had a bit of a mishap right before the match started, which rendered the FG unable to be used. It’s disappointing, but we’re going to get it fixed up and [...]

Small Arms Influence on Warfare

I’m giving a lecture on the history of firearms technology for a class at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in a couple weeks, and the course instructor asked me to include some discussion of how changes to small arms have changed warfare. On top of that, I’m getting ready to shoot the 2-Gun Action Challenge [...]

Competition Skills Class with Russell Phagan

I had the opportunity recently to take a Competition Skills training class with Russell Phagan. Russell is a very accomplished multi-gun competitor and professional firearms trainer. He is a regular attendee at the 2-Gun Action Challenge Match in Tucson that I enjoy, as well as one of the founders of the “Trooper” class in this [...]

Behr’s Cartridge for Dogs

While I was tracking down the patents on the Bar pistol for Peter Rasmussen’s article last week, I ran across something interesting (well, I think it’s interesting). On the same day that Behr applied for his British patent on the pistol (May 26th, 1898), he also applied for another patent, and they were both granted [...]