The Vault

Prototype Clausius Model 1905?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about a series of pistols designed by a German inventor named Claus Claudius, which began with a long-recoil design in 1895. He then progressed to a floating chamber design in 1900, and finally a fairly conventional short-recoil design in 1905. We found a book with photos of [...]

Recent Developments in Auto-Loaders (1922)

Today’s guest author is none other than Julian Hatcher – although he didn’t give me permission to use his article on account of having passed away 20 years before I was born. I was looking through some old copies of Arms and the Man (the NRA’s magazine – thanks to Google’s work to digitize everything [...]

George Wilson’s Prototype .45 Autopistol

George A. Wilson was a designer for the High Standard company, and also a competitive bullseye pistol shooter. Formal bullseye shooting requires the use of a .45 caliber pistol, and the 1911 really isn’t an ideal design for that sort of shooting – so Wilson decided to make his own pistol. Patented in 1961, the [...]

Prototype vz.52 Machine Pistol

In light of our recent video on the HK P9 (and comparison to the Czech vz.52 pistol), I though it would be interesting to take a look at an interesting prototype machine pistol. This was commissioned by a man named Henk Visser during the 1980s (when machine pistols had a brief flare of popularity) although [...]

Swedish FM59 Ljungman

In the midst of World War II, the Swedish government adopted the AG-42 Ljungman self-loading rifle, which was chambered for their standard 6.5x55mm cartridge. It was issued to supplement squad firepower, and proved to be an accurate and reliable weapon. In 1965, it and the M96 Swedish Mausers were replaced by the AK4 rifle (an [...]

Experimental MP38(L)

Michael Heidler has again come up with a one-of-a-kind German firearm, and sent us this writeup. This time, it is an experimental variation on the MP38 submachine gun. Thanks, Michael!

The German experimental light-weight submachine gun MP38(L)

by Michael Heidler One would imagine that everything about German submachine guns of World War Two has already [...]

8mm Kurz FAL Photos

As you may be aware, one of the very first prototype FAL designs was build for the German 8x33mm cartridge. The FAL was originally intended to be an intermediate-cartridge assault rifle along the same lines as the StG44, and it was only US stubbornness on keeping .30-06 ballistics that led to the FAL being scaled [...]

Brøndby Rifle Photos

We have previously mentioned Fridtjof Brøndby, a Norwegian arms designer who created a number of self-loading rifle designs in the 1930s. Last time we were looking at his model 1933 maskinpistole (submachine gun), and today we have a bunch of photos of his full-size self-loading rifle prototype. We still have very little information on the [...]

Mannlicher 1905 Experimental Self-Loading Rifle

Mannlicher 1905 prototype military rifle. This is a composite photo, so the muzzle end looks a bit “off”. Photo courtesy NFC, Leeds, UK.

Before we can really take a close look at today’s rifle, some background is necessary. Ferdinand von Mannlicher was a very successful Austrian gun designer, with patents on several major ideas, [...]

The Walther Volkspistole

Michael Heidler is a German author who has written a couple very well-researched books on German weaponry, including a massively comprehensive catalog of manufacturing codes which we reviewed a little while back. Mr. Heidler is working on a book on German Volkssturm weapons, and has sent us a sample in the form of an article [...]