by Roger L. Papke, Handfuls of History
At the end of the American Civil War, the Union had well over a million surplus muzzle-loading rifle-muskets, all of which were obsolete since it was clear that in the future all military rifles would be breech-loaders and most likely use metal cartridges. The U.S. was not alone [...]
We have often touched on the series of US magazine rifle trials that took place through the late 1800s – those trials brought out a slew of interesting new ideas and clever (or not so clever) designs. However, the trials were also responsible for an experimental version of the old standby Allin conversion Trapdoor Springfield.
During the latter half of the 1930s, the US Cavalry decided to experiment with adapting the .50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine gun into a bipod-mounted, shoulder-fired configuration. The goal was to devise a variant of the gun that would be more portable and flexible than the standard model with it’s separate tripod. Here is [...]
The AKU-94 was a bullpup conversion kit made for standard AK rifles by K-Var a while back. They were never particularly popular, probably because in stock form they weren’t particularly good. The sights are wobbly and mediocre, the triggers were awful, the magazine was a very tight fit, and the furniture seemed pretty cheesy. Here’s [...]
Thanks to a Pakistani reader named Adi who happens to own a 44-Bore rifle (an AK with the chamber reamed to accept 8×33 Kurz cartridges), we have some a bit more information on this interesting variation of the AK. Adi reports that his rifle uses standard 7.62×39 AK magazines, and he can load 28 rounds [...]
Today’s rifle is an curious example of forgotten weapons going full-circle and being reinvented. What we’re looking at is the “44 Bore”, a colloquial name given to AK-pattern rifles rechambered for the German 7.92×33 Kurz cartridge in Pakistan. How his cartridge came to be popular in the tribal areas of Pakistan seems to be unknown [...]
I was looking at a particularly nice FN Israeli Mauser the other day; one of their rifles converted to 7.62mm NATO:
Israeli FN Mauser in 7.62mm NATO
I was admiring the condition (much better than the one of these I have in my own collection), when the owner suggested that I take a closer [...]
Thanks to the folks at SMG Guns in Texas, I just got my completed semiauto Bren gun in 7.62x39mm. What the best way to break it in? Take it to a run-n-gun match, of course!
First off, the front grip is a repro experimental piece made by IMA – it would not originally have [...]
The first serious automatic weapon considered for military service in Canada was the brainchild of Joseph Alphonse Huot, a machinist and blacksmith from Quebec. Born in 1878, Huot was a large and strong man (not surprising for a blacksmith), standing 6’1″ tall and weighing in at a muscular 210 pounds. His personality included a great [...]
In the midst of World War II, the Swedish government adopted the AG-42 Ljungman self-loading rifle, which was chambered for their standard 6.5x55mm cartridge. It was issued to supplement squad firepower, and proved to be an accurate and reliable weapon. In 1965, it and the M96 Swedish Mausers were replaced by the AK4 rifle (an [...]