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The Vault

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 [...]

M1918 BAR – First Variant Photos

The Browning Automatic Rifle, or BAR, was a staple of American infantry forces through WWII and the Korean War, and has an outstanding reputation today. The gun was originally developed in 1917 and first fielded in the closing days of World War I, in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. In fact, per an agreement made with John [...]

Vintage Saturday: Desert Watch

Back when pom-poms on hats were cool.

British soldiers manning a post somewhere in Palestine. The Lewis gunner is adjusting his sights, while his A-gunner is ready with a new magazine. Three men in the background looking at something else, and using SMLE rifles. Thoughtful of them to top the rock walls of the [...]

John Inglis and Bren Production

If I say “John Inglis”, the first two things that probably come to mind for a gunnie are High Powers and Bren guns. Inglis was a Canadian company that made a huge proportion of the Bren guns used during WWII, as well as other munitions. At its peak, Inglis employed 17,800 workers…and yet in 1937 [...]

Book Review: Honour Bound – The Chauchat Machine Rifle

I’ve discussed the much-maligned CSRG machine rifle (the Chauchat) previously – it was not the utter disaster that common knowledge would lead you to believe. You won’t find much literature on the Chauchat, but fortunately what has been written is of top-notch quality: Gerard Demaison’s and Yves Buffetaut’s Honour Bound: The Chauchat Machine Rifle. Published [...]