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The Vault

Book Review: Social History of the Machine Gun

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I opened up John Ellis’ The Social History of the Machine Gun – machine guns and social histories of anything don’t really tend to go together. Ellis has a fairly extensive list of books to his name, but the jacket describes him as a former member of [...]

Wacky Propaganda

It’s always interesting to look at the propaganda that military organizations put out regarding their opponents – it can often reveal what was particularly worrisome to men in the field at the time. A good example is the WWII US training film grasping at straws to convince GIs that the MG42 had major flaws. “It’s [...]

Hythe Gun Camera

Training aircraft gunners has always been a task requiring some creativity, as it requires a lot more than just a paper target for an infantryman to blast away at. In the very early years of aerial combat in WWI, a wide variety of ideas were considered, and one of the better ones was building a [...]

Vickers-Berthier LMG Video

The Vickers-Berthier was a light machine gun that competed with the Bren unsuccessfully for British military use but was adopted by the Indian Army. We had the opportunity to handle a pair of them (an early MkI and a later Mk3) at Cornet & Co in Belgium. I will write a more detailed post (or [...]

Photos of 1950s Light Rifle Prototypes

In the aftermath of World War II, there was a significant amount of effort put into deciding what rifles would be used by the post-war Allied armies. The UK and US wanted commonality, but couldn’t agree on a rifle design. The main contenders were the American M14 (and its experimental predecessors), the British EM-2, and [...]

Vesely V-42 Submachine Gun

The Vesely Machine Carbine (aka V-41, V-42, and V-43) was a submachine gun designed in Britain by a Czech refugee named Josek Vesely. In most respects, the Vesely was a typical subgun, firing 9mm Parabellem cartridges and using a simple blowback mechanism. It offered a selector for semi and full automatic modes, a manual safety, [...]

EM2 Video

I offer our Facebook fans the choice of which video they would like to see today, and the result was overwhelmingly the British EM2 rifle. These were made in both .280/30 and 7.62 NATO calibers, and the one we had the chance to play with was in 7.62. I apologize in advance for the brief [...]

Book Review: Guns of the Ghurkas / Treasure is Where You Find it

Today we’re looking at two books on the subject of Nepalese firearms. The video goes a bit longer than usual, but the story behind these books is a really cool one – a lost time capsule of thousands of firearms showcasing 150 years of arms development.

The Gahendra rifle we got from IMA to [...]

Hotchkiss Portative video

The Hotchkiss Portative was the British variation of a light machine gun used widely in World War I. It was also used by the French, Belgian, and American armies (In the US, it was adopted as the M1909 Benet-Mercier). This British example is chambered in .303 and in very good shape for its age. Shall [...]