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Howard Francis 7.63mm SMLE


The Howard Francis carbine was a design submitted to the British Ordnance Board for consideration in 1943 – one of many weapons proposed to help meet wartime requirements. Specifically, the Howard Francis carbine was a conversion of a bolt action SMLE into a semiautomatic pistol caliber carbine.

Chambered for the 7.63mm Mauser cartridge (the same […]

Q&A Video #1: H&K G11, Owen, F1, Worst Gun Ever, and More!

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As part of my new fundraising system on Patreon, I am starting a monthly Q&A video series, answering questions from Patreon contributors. The support from you folks is a tremendous help to me in running the site, and I really appreciate it! This month I am addressing:

H&K G11 (and caseless rifles in general) Origins […]

Mannlicher 1901/04 Carbine at James D Julia

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Ferdinand von Mannlicher was a brilliant and prolific European gun designer with more than a few widely-adopted military arms to his name. One of his very last guns was this carbine, which was also one of the first intermediate cartridge carbines developed. It was a mostly experimental gun, and never saw large-scale production.

Mechanically, […]

Mauser 1902 Prototype Long Recoil Rifle at James D Julia

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Paul Mauser was very persistent – if ultimately unsuccessful – in his long-tim goal to create a practical semiautomatic rifle using a full-power cartridge. In total he tried some 17 different designs, including one in 1901 which suffered a burst casing during test firing and cost him an eye.

This particular rifle came just […]

Holek Automat at James D Julia

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The Holek Automat was a semiautomatic sporting rifle designed by Emmanuel Holek. Emmanuel was also the designer of the ZH-29 rifle, and brother of Vaclav and Franticek Holek, who developed the ZB-26 and ZB-53 machine guns. Emmanuel left the Brno factory to run his own gun shop, where he offered (among other things) the Holek […]

RIA: Pedersen PA Carbine

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We have done a number of videos recently on various different Pedersen long guns (the PA rifle, the Japanese copy, shooting the PB rifle, etc), but there was one version that I have not covered yet (aside from the US trials rifles). That’s the Vickers factory PA carbine. Only a small number of these were […]

RIA: M14E2 Semiauto Clone

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The M14E2, later redesignated the M14A1, was the replacement for the ill-fated heavy barrel M15 rifle. Both were intended to fill the role of the BAR in providing automatic fire in support of M14 rifles. The M15 program was cancelled before any rifles were built, and the M14E2 that replaced it was simply an M14 […]

RIA: Gyrojet Carbine

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The Gyrojet was one of the more creative and one of the most futuristic firearms innovations of the last few decades – unfortunately it wasn’t able to prove sustainable on the market.

The idea was to use burning rocket fuel to launch projectiles, instead of pressurized gas. The advantage was that without the huge pressure […]

RIA: German Gewehr 41(M)

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When the German military started looking for a self-loading rifle in the late 1930s, they had a pretty strict set of requirements. Most significantly, the rifles could not have gas ports or recoiling barrels, could not have moving parts on top of the action, and had to be capable of being operated manually with a […]

Dutch M1 with AR-10 Magazines

Garand converted to use AR10 magazines by Artillerie Inrichtingen

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Dutch government was looking to adopt a new rifle for its Army, and considered both the AR-10 (which was being produced domestically by Artillerie Inrichtingen) and the FAL. The FAL won out, but it was not immediately clear if that rifle would replace everything in Dutch service, […]