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The Vault

Type 11 LMG w/ Tripod

IJA soldier in Chine with a Nambu Type 11 LMG and its tripod

Reader Blake sent me a couple very interesting photos recently, and they show a pretty unusual item – a Nambu Type 11 tripod. Blake is an American living with his Japanese wife in Japan, and these photos are of her grandfather, Katsuji Aritsue, who served in the Imperial Japanese Army in China, where he was [...]

Slow Motion Video from the Pattern Room

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 1.11.01 PM

As someone who is very interested in the practical handling of old firearms, the idea of gun museums leaves me a bit conflicted. On the one hand, I am absolutely in favor of guns being preserved for posterity, and there is no better environment for that than a museum. On the other hand, once guns [...]

Slow Motion: Swiss LMG-25

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.11.25 AM

I had a cool Swiss viewer named Bjoern kindly send me this footage of a Swiss LMG25 machine gun firing – thanks, Bjoern! These guns are very rare in the US, and the only one I’ve been able to handle was in Europe. If I can ever get my hands on one myself, I will [...]

Can a Slidefire Effectively Duplicate Full-Auto?

slidefire thumb

The Slidefire (and other similar bump-fire stocks) is basically a toy when used form the shoulder. A genuinely fun toy, to be sure, but still a toy. However, I have reason to suspect that when used on a rifle with a bipod and large ammunition capacity it might actually do a good job of duplicating [...]

Three Videos: Finland, Spain, and Hungary

maxim tokarev still

From Vesamatti, a Finnish gunsmith student who reads the site, we have this neat video of a few older Finnish Army machine guns. The KP-31, KP-44, Sten, KVKK, and DP-27. Not guns we get all that much exposure to here in the US (except for the Sten…) – thanks Vesamatti!

Another video pointed out [...]

Mannlicher 1885 Semiauto Rifle

Mannlicher 1885 semiauto “Handmitrailleuse”

Ferdinand von Mannlicher’s Model 1885 self-loading rifle design as a failure, never seeing anything even resembling mass production. However, it was a failure which in many way set the stage for a huge number of the machine guns that would follow for the next several decades, including the famous Browning [...]

Aberdeen Proving Grounds Tests the Madsen in 7mm and 20mm

madsenaberdeen thumb

In October of 1940, the US proving ground at Aberdeen, Maryland conducted testing of both the Madsen light machine gun (in 7mm caliber) and the Madsen anti-tank/anti-aircraft cannon in 20mm. On November 8th it published a report on the trial (according to its title, the 143rd such report on machine gun testing – I would [...]

Maxim 08/15 Bipod Positions

I got an email from a reader named Philip who is a fan and collector of Maxim guns, who put together an interesting video on the use of the bipod on the MG08/15.

From his email:

The MG08/15 is often considered the blacksheep of the Maxim world. It does tend to rock a bit while [...]

More Stoner Documents

Thanks to reader Steven B, I have a couple additional documents on the Stoner 63 to post, and also a cleaner copy of the Stoner LMG manual. Thanks, Steven!

Stoner: Armament of the Post 70′s Soldier (English)

Stoner Bayonet Manual (English)

Stoner 63 LMG Manual (English)

US Patent 3,198,076 (Stoner LMG)

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Hefah Machine Gun

The Hefah machine gun was a wartime expedient British light machine gun design. It was created by a private company (the Ductile Steel Company) in 1940, in response to a generalized concern that all LMG production in the UK was concentrated at Enfield, and a successful attack on he complex there could create a huge [...]