The Vault

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 [...]

Vickers Cal .30 Parts List

Presented for general reference: An illustrated parts list for the .30-06 caliber Vickers machine gun and accessories. Complete with translations between English and American!

Vickers cal .30-06 Parts List

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 [...]

Swiss ZfK-55: Manuals and More

Thanks to several readers, I have some more material on the Swiss ZfK-55 sniper rifle today. To start off, Beryl sent this vintage photo of a group of Swiss troops with a ZfK-55 (and a big ol’ rifle grenade as well):

click to enlarge

Next up, we have a couple manuals for the rifle. [...]

Borchardt C93 Manual

The C93 Borchardt was the first truly commercially successful self-loading pistol, and it was the basis for the P08 Luger which would become one of the most iconic pistols in history.

For some reason, they put the cheekpiece on the wrong side…

I had the opportunity to handle a couple Borchardts a while back, [...]

Finnish M1932 Maxim Manual

Allow me to put on my Tikkakoski Company Sales Rep hat for a moment, and explain to you why as a modern military force (in 1933) the obvious choice in support machine guns is the Tikkakoski Model 1932 Maxim. I’ll try to put this in terms that will resonate with today’s tactical advertising…

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FIAT Model 1924 Manual

My knowledge of Italian machine guns is rather lacking, so I was pretty excited when I received a copy of a FIAt Model 1924 manual from our friend Hrachya. However, it has really created more questions than it answered…as best I can tell, the Model 1924 was never accepted by any military service, but did [...]

Russian Followup

Two followups for you today, courtesy of readers who ferreted out some addition material for me – thanks guys!

First, my vintage photo of the Soviet marine snipers generated a bunch of discussion of the Soviet marine troops, and Ruy sent me this photo of a Marine landing party wearing the rare “land” uniform (you [...]

US Army Tokarev Rifle Manual

One problem I have consistently found with Russian weapons manuals is that they are all written in Russian, which I can’t read. The illustrations are still interesting and useful, but it does make some of the technical details difficult to figure out. However, the US Ordnance Corps happily had a habit of translating manuals for [...]

Swedish Army Documents

Thanks to Carolus L., we have a batch of Swedish military manuals for you today. We always enjoy getting international mail, and the package from Carolus was no exception. The most interesting piece of material was a 1951 general manual covering all type of material from bicycles and gas masks to flame throwers and machine [...]