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The Vault

4-Shot Bär Pistol at RIA

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The Bär pistol was designed as a compact gentleman’s defensive arm with a number of interesting features. These include twin barrels and a “cylinder” or chamber block, which held 4 cartridges in a single column, thus giving the pistol a smooth-sided shape easy to conceal while also giving it double the capacity of a typical [...]

WWI German Trench Armor at RIA

During WWI, the German army issued about a half million sets of trench armor, often called grabenpanzer or sappenpanzer. Despite common belief, this armor was not intended for trench raiding – in fact, German orders regarding it specifically prohibited this use because of the amount of mobility lost when wearing it. Instead, the armor was [...]

Looking for Ideas, and Selling Two Rifles. Also, Trench Armor.

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First up, I am selling two rifles. One is a Yugoslav M72 RPK (semiauto), which I am replacing with a Romanian RPK for Slidefire experimentation. Second is a gorgeous 1891 Argentine Mauser – too nice for me to keep in my collection; I’ll just wind up beating it up. If you’re interested in either one, [...]

Two More Nazi Belt Buckle Pistols

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Every since the first time I was able to get my hands on an alleged Nazi belt buckle pistol, I have had a hankering to collect photos of as many of them as I can, and start a catalog of the different examples. The vast majority are undoubtedly post-war fakes (I have a background post [...]

Schwarzlose 1898 Pistol (Video)

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The model 1898 Schwarzlose was a self loading pistol definitely ahead of its time. It was simple, powerful (for the period; it was chambered for 7.63mm Mauser), and remarkably ergonomic. It used a short recoil, rotating bolt mechanism to operate, and very cleverly had one single spring which did the duties of primary recoil spring, [...]

A Selection of Chinese Mystery Pistols at RIA

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During the 1920s and 1930s, a combination of civil wars and international arms embargoes led to a lot of domestic firearms production in China. The size and quality of manufacturing facilities varied widely – everything from massive factories established with European technical assistance to one-man shops only a step or two above being blacksmiths. The [...]

Film Review: Generation War (Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter)

Generation War originally came out two years ago as a three-part German television miniseries, and I only found out about it recently. It has been described as a German Band of Brothers, but that misses some of the nuance. The story follows a group of five childhood friends from 1941 until the defeat of Germany [...]

SHOT Show Followup: Forgotten Weapons Edition

I took most of last week to head to Vegas for the annual SHOT Show, and while it is mostly a giant sea of AR15s, there were a few things there that might be of interest to folks here…

First and most exciting, I got confirmation that EL BE Tac will be importing German-made reproductions [...]

Want to Win $100 Credit at International Military Antiques?

International Military Antiques has generously offered to sponsor a contest we’re running to encourage folks to create an account (it’s free) at Full30.com and subscribe to InRange TV there. On January 29th, we will pick one subscriber at random and they will get $100 of credit to spend on anything they like out of IMA’s [...]

Vintage Saturday: War Photographer

The parka is probably his most valuable possession.

Waffen-SS soldier in Russia with a camera, hand grenade, and captured Russian PPSh submachine gun.