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The Vault

Japanese Type 97 Tank Machine Gun

While in Las Vegas last week, I stopped into Battlefield Vegas to check out some interesting machine guns (and join Tim from Military Arms Channel for a video). While there, the owner took the time to pull this Type 97 Japanese tank machine gun out of his personal collection for me to take a look [...]

Slow Motion: M1912 Steyr Hahn

The Steyr M1912, or Steyr Hahn (meaning “hammer”, to distinguish it from the striker-fired Steyr 1907) has a number of features that make it unusual among pistols today. It uses a fixed internal magazine fed via stripper clips, and a short recoil, rotating barrel locking system. Only a handful of other pistols have been made [...]

Mud testing: M1A, MAS 49/56, AR

I’m at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas today (and the rest of the week), and when you read this I will probably be desperately trying to wade through the sea of AR15s in search of something interesting. At any rate, I figured you might get a kick out of the most recent video Karl [...]

Enfield No5 “Jungle Carbine” Video

The No.5 MkI Enfield, commonly called the “jungle carbine” is nearly the shortest-lived rifle in British military service (second to the Rifle No.9, aka EM-2). Introduced in 1944, they were declared obsolete in 1947 as the result of insoluble accuracy problems. The guns were originally developed from regular No4 Enfield rifles with the goal of [...]

Slow Motion: StG-45(M)

The StG-45(M) was developed by engineers at Mauser right at the end of WWII, and its designers went on to form Heckler & Koch and this rifle was their basis for the H&K roller-delayed blowback series of weapons (HK91, HK33, HK53, HK21, MP5, etc). Twenty sets of parts for the StG-45(M) were produced at [...]

Slow Motion: Remington Model 11 Shotgun

Sporting shotguns are not normally something to catch my eye, but the Remington Model 11 is a bit different. It’s the first mass-produced semiauto shotgun in the world, it’s a John Browning design, and it’s a long-recoil action – all things that make it much more interesting than your average 870. So, let’s take a [...]

US M3 37mm Antitank Gun (Video)

The M3 was the first real anti-tank gun adopted by the US military, and it was not formally adopted until 1940 – and was thoroughly obsolete in Europe by 1942. The initial design was based on a pair of German PAK-36 guns, but in its production guise the M3 was a much simpler gun. It [...]

Slow Motion: .303 Lewis Gun

A Lewis Gun, in .303 British, at 2000 frames per second:

The Lewis Gun was developed by American Isaac Newton Lewis shortly before WWI, but the US military was not interested in it (in part because of a bitter dislike between Lewis and the Chief of Army Ordnance Crozier). Lewis instead licensed production to [...]

Assessment of a ZF-41 Optic

The ZF-41 was a tiny 1.5x optic made in large numbers by Germany during WWII. It is a long eye relief design, mounting over the rear sight of a K98k, and allowing unimpeded up for stripper clips for reloading. These scopes are generally though to have been complete failures, and a huge disappointment to German [...]

Martini-Henry I.C.1 Carbine (Video)

Formally adopted in 1877, the I.C.1 Martini Henry was formally designated the “Arms Interchangeable, Carbine Breech loading Rifled, with clearing rod Martini Henry Mk1″. The word “interchangeable” refers to its use for both the artillery and cavalry services, instead of needing a separate design for each, as was typical of military forces at the time. [...]