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The Vault

PPS-43 Development Memo

Today, I’m swiping another document from the cool-but-stagnant Soviet Gun Archives. This time, it’s a memo requesting the development of what would become the PPS-43:

As I haven’t had time to learn Russian yet, I will defer to Soviet Gun Archives for the translation:

To the deputy commander of the Red Army GAU, Major-General of [...]

Shooting the MG-34 and MG-42

The MG-34 and MG-42 machine guns were the mainstay of German infantry (and vehicle) firepower during World War II, and it will take several videos to properly cover them. For now, we are shooting them both, and explaining how to load, unload, and operate them (including changing barrels on the MG42). Enjoy!

German Machine Gun Nomenclature

One would think that Germany, of all places, would have a logical and consistent system for identifying service machine guns. Any yet we see things like the WWI MG08/15 and the WWII MG15. What gives?

The answer is that Germany didn’t have one logical naming system – they had several in sequence. So in order [...]

Vintage Saturday: Night Vision

Stealthy night vision is somewhat compromised by the sound of a halftrack roaming around.

German SdKfz 251 “Falke” with an MG42 machine gun and IR scope and spotlight.

TRW’s Proposed Caseless Machine Gun

TRW was a large engineering corporation which had decided to diversify into the arms business in the 1950s. Its first major contract was production of the M14, and its success in that endeavor led the company to really dive into armament R&D. They hired on a team of quite notable arms designers, and got into [...]

Richard Wray Machine Gun Auction Followup

So, the auction of the late Richard Wray’s machine gun collection (see previous post) was yesterday, with the non-NFA guns being auctioned today. The final prices are interesting to look at, with some wallet-wrenchingly high and some great deals – at least for folks who are into the unusual.

Basically, the key was to be [...]

Pulemet Kalashnikova

Shortly after the stamped-receiver AKM rifles went into mass production, Mikhail Kalashnikov and his bureau of technicians and engineers produced what is arguably best general-purpose machine gun in use today. It was adopted into service in 1961 after a surprising upset of a GPMG design by Nikitin. Mechanically, the PK is basically an AK action [...]

“Enemy Weapons” of Germany – Part V

Don’t forget, there are still several days to enter our DVD giveaway – we’re giving away two copies of our recent Machine Gun Manuals DVD (worth forty bucks each!) – and you can get one!. To have your chance at winning, just post a mention of the giveaway and a link to the DVD page [...]

Greg from Allegheny Arsenal on the Lafette Mount

We met up with Greg – who runs Allegheny Arsenal – at a gun show a couple weeks ago, and this is the first of a couple interviews we did with him on the MG34 and its mount. I realize the audio is bad – I apologize, and I promise we’re getting some better [...]

Madsen-Saetter manual

Unfortunately, the Danish firm Madsen had a hard time getting many of its firearms to be widely accepted. The most successful was the early LMG, and also the M50 submachine gun. But many Madsen designs were just too late to catch the market. The Madsen-Saetter GMPG is one such design. It was a quite functional [...]