In 1897, John Browning patented four different types of automatic pistol – a blowback type that would become the FN/Browning 1900, a gas-operated type similar in concept to his 1895 machine gun, a rotating-barrel type, and a swinging-barrel type. It is this swinging barrel design that would have the most lasting impression. In 1898 a [...]
I have been procrastinating the addition of a good book on the M1 Garand rifle into my own library, reading the various published material off of friends’ shelves. Now I’m glad that I have put off the purchase, because hot off the presses is a new tome by Bruce Canfield, a 900-page encyclopedia on the [...]
By the 1890s, Winchester had established an extremely successful business in lever-action rifles. John Browning’s designs for the 1886, 1892, and 1894 models had proven very popular, and so Winchester (seeing the potential of the new smokeless powder developments) requested that he design a new lever action rifle specifically for the new high-pressure cartridges. This [...]
Melvin Johnson was a gun designer who felt that the M1 Garand rifle had several significant flaws – so he developed his own semiauto .30-06 rifle to supplement the M1. His thought was that if problems arose with the M1 in combat, production of his rifle could provide a continuing supply of arms while problems [...]
The Model 1871 Ward-Burton was one of the early experimental rifles trialled by the US military in its search for a new breechloading rifle to replace the theoretically-interim Allin conversion that made muzzle-loading rifles into Trapdoor Springfields. Four breechloading cartridge rifles were selected for field trials in the early 1870s: the Sharps, the Trapdoor Springfield [...]
Some archived footage here, of the Manchester Regiment showing us how to properly set up a Vickers gun…and how not to!
The clip comes from the Museum of the Manchester Regisment, in Ashton-under-Lyne east of Manchester.
One of the characteristics that often leads me to be particularly interested in a given gun is a long and convoluted history. I really enjoy finding firearms that have found their way across the world and back. One entire category of rifles that did just that were the hundreds of thousands of rifles made in [...]
Thanks to a Pakistani reader named Adi who happens to own a 44-Bore rifle (an AK with the chamber reamed to accept 8×33 Kurz cartridges), we have some a bit more information on this interesting variation of the AK. Adi reports that his rifle uses standard 7.62×39 AK magazines, and he can load 28 rounds [...]
This past weekend was another 2-Gun Action Challenge Match, and this time I decided to shoot my Hakim in it. The Hakim is an Egyptian license-built copy of the Swedish AG-42 Ljungman (you can find more info on the Hakim and other Egyptian rifles here), chambered in the standard 8×57 Mauser cartridge. The Hakim has [...]
Shotguns are a subject I don’t cover much, and I’ll admit that’s because of a prejudice on my part. I just don’t find most of them to be particularly interesting…but then I had the chance to take a look at a collection that included a bunch of mechanically unusual and pretty fascinating shotguns. The owner [...]