The Vault

Belt-Fed Johnson LMGs

Since we just took a look at the final American iteration of the magazine-fed Johnson LMG (the system would live on briefly in Israeli service as the Dror), we should also take this time to consider the belt-fed variants of the Johnson as well.

While the final round of testing was still being done on [...]

Johnson M1944E1 LMG

In addition to his work on designing a basic infantry shoulder rifle, Melvin Maynard Johnson and put a lot of effort into creating a light machine gun for US military forces to use. In terms of US military usage, he was actually more successful with the LMG than the rifle – the Johnson M1941 LMG [...]

Vintage Saturday: Spare a Rifle?

Chauchats are better than nothing when Stalin is your neighbor

Lots of Mosin-Nagant rifles, and we’re guessing also Swedish Mausers. Plus, of course, the two Chauchats and a Maxim 1910. Thanks to Dave for the photo!

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: Kiwi Rambo

Sure, YOU go tell him it’s a bad idea (photo from WarAlbum.ru; click to enlarge)

Since we were just looking at Bren drums yesterday, here’s a New Zealand trooper in the desert somewhere with a pair of them…

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Shooting a Bren 100-Round Drum

A friend of mine went to a local machine gun shoot recently, and came back with some footage of a pair of Bren guns being fired with a 100-round drum magazine. These drums were designed for anti-aircraft use, and are quite rare today, so it was cool to see one actually in use. You can [...]

Dutch Bren Manual

Dutch forces during and well after World War II used the excellent Bren LMG (and the Dutch Artillerie-Inrichtingen factory at Hembrug made Bren parts as well). So, it should come as no surprise that they would have written a Dutch-language manual for the weapon. Which is slightly more surprising is that I happen to [...]

Vintage Saturday: Maritime Gunnery

Will a jaunty helmet make up for not having AA sights or a buttstock?

Sailor mounting an antiaircraft Hotchkiss Portative machine gun on the Canadian corvette Trillium.

Book Review: Testing the War Weapons

I was pretty excited to dig into Tim Mullin’s Testing The War Weapons when I first got a copy of it, having already read his book on SMGs, shotguns, and machine pistols cover to cover. I quite enjoyed that volume, and I figured that this one would be better still, being twice the length [...]

2-Gun Match: Chinese 7.62x39mm Bren

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 [...]