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The Vault

Vintage Saturday: Rank Hath its Privileges

So, ah, my hands are full with these ammo cans, Private…so you need to carry the other thing.

A Soviet M1910 Maxim (early version, without the snow cap) on the Mannerheim Line, 1940.

Vintage Saturday: Indirect Fire

British troops in the Netherlands (Overloon, specifically) using a Vickers for indirect fire. In addition to the copious empty brass, belts, ammo boxes, and spare condensing can, note the angle of the dial sight relative to the gun…


Book Review: The Devil’s Paintbrush

One of my favorite books to just flip through at random is Dolf Goldsmith’s The Devil’s Paintbrush: Sir Hiram Maxim’s Gun. Every time I open it, I find another detail of information that I had overlooked or under-appreciated before – it is a wealth of information on the Maxim gun in all its forms. Better [...]

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 [...]

Vintage Saturday: Parade Gear

“But Sarge, how do I reload this thing?”“Eh, we’ll stick Garcia on the back of the bike to do it”

Motorcycle of the Guanabara Police Department, sporting a Hotchkiss 1914 heavy machine gun. Rio de Janeiro, 1960. Thanks to Ronaldo Olive for the photo!


Book Review: The Grand Old Lady of No Man’s Land

I got an email from a fellow a few days ago asking if there is a good book out there on the Vickers gun, so I figured it would be a good time to do a review of Dolf Goldsmith’s gold standard work, The Grand Old Lady of No Man’s Land. The good news is [...]

So Many Machine Guns!

Not too long ago, a pretty serious machine gun collector named Richard Wray passed away, and his estate is auctioning off his collection, which includes 80-odd transferable machine guns – nearly all of them very interesting historical pieces.

I won’t get into my personal thoughts on the merits of leaving one’s collection to the auction [...]

DShK Video

We’re still working on an extended write-up on the DShK heavy machine gun, but thanks to our friend Leszek in Poland, we have some nice HD video of one firing:

The Russian counterpart to to Browning M2, the DShK uses the same flapper-locking system as the DP and RPD machine guns, and is chambered [...]

Vintage Saturday: Naval Maxim

I bet a lot of modern day ship captains wouldn’t mind bolting a few of these to their decks before embarking into today’s pirate-rich shipping lanes… (photo courtesy Beryl Barnett)

MG-08 Maxim in German naval service, complete with shoulder stock, AA sights, ammo can, and brass-catching bag.


Paean to the Vickers Gun

The Magnificent Vickers Gun (American 1915 model)

I may be a bit biased here by my ownership of one, but I believe that the Vickers gun is one of the best all-around firearms ever made. It was designed during an era of experimentation and craftsmanship, with a quality and care that would make it [...]