The Vault

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 [...]

The Return of GunLab

Yep, I’m very happy to announce that there is some new content coming to GunLab at last! It won’t be from me, but instead from my friend Chuck. He is an SOT, and has a pretty nice shop, with everything from a 4-axis CNC mill to a hydraulic stamping press, and all manner of manual [...]

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

So, I was browsing through the catalog for Rock Island Auction’s upcoming Premier Auction (I’ll have more next week on the various neat things available), and found one item in particular that jumped out at me as so very incongruous:

Sorry for the plain finish; the engraving department has all been killed in the [...]