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RSC 1917: France’s WW1 Semiauto Rifle at RIA

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Did you know that the French Army issued more than 80,000 semiautomatic rifles during WWI? They had been experimenting with a great many semiauto designs before the war, and in 1916 finalized a design for a rotating bolt, long stroke gas piston rifle (with more than few similarities to the M1 Garand, actually) which would […]

White Prototype Open-Bolt LMG at RIA

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Along with his two semiauto rifle prototypes, when White went to England for rifle testing he took along a work-in-progress light machine gun. The weapon was trsted by British officials, but found wanting – largely because it was really not a weapon ready for testing. The “LMG” White built was actually semiautomatic only, although it […]

White Toggle-Locked .30-06 Prototype Rifle

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This toggle-locking rifle chambered for the .30-06 cartridge is the second of two rifles submitted by White for the 1930 US military trials. It was not actually tested by the US, but White did take it to the UK where it was tested in the early 1930s. British officials liked that it was a positively […]

White Gas-Operated .276 Prototype at RIA

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One of the competitors against the Garand and Pedersen rifles in the 1929 and 1930 US Army trials was the White rifle. White actually submitted two rifles, but only this gas-operated design was actually tested – and it failed to make enough of an impression to move on for further testing. However, White’s gas system […]

M1 Thumb in Slow Motion (Ouch!)

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(Note: not for the mildly squeamish)

A blog reader on Reddit named Oelund sent me this footage, of him deliberately inflicting M1 Thumb on himself at 1200 fps (twice!). I figured that ought to be reposted…I certainly have no intention of redoing the footage with my Edgertronic!


Slow Motion: .276 Pedersen Rifle (Video)


I have assembled all the slow motion footage from my Pedersen shooting session into its own standalone video, for the folks who are interested. This does also include a malfunction that we caught on camera that was not in the full-length video.

(You can see my full video on this rifle here)


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 […]