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The Vault

Canada’s WWII Self-Loading Rifle Experiments

(The material for this post came primarily from a post made by Roger V. Lucy at the MilArt blog, which also has information on a couple other WWII Canadian experimental projects)

When we see rifles, typically No4 Lee Enfield rifles, marked with the name “Long Branch“, we are actually seeing the production of Small Arms [...]

The Lee Enfield Finally Leaves Canadian Ranger Service

Ranger Leo McKay with his Lee Enfield (not the non-standard belt with extra mags). Photo source: Torstar News Service

As far as I have been able to tell, the Canadian Rangers are the last formal, first-world military organization still using a WWII-era bolt action rifle as a standard-issue weapon (correction – the Danish Slædepatruljen Sirius, a similar type of unit in Greenland, still uses the M1917 Enfield in .30-06). Well, until now anyway.

Who [...]

Three Videos: Finland, Spain, and Hungary

maxim tokarev still

From Vesamatti, a Finnish gunsmith student who reads the site, we have this neat video of a few older Finnish Army machine guns. The KP-31, KP-44, Sten, KVKK, and DP-27. Not guns we get all that much exposure to here in the US (except for the Sten…) – thanks Vesamatti!

Another video pointed out [...]

Vintage Saturday: Commando, Eh?

Is that a Lanchester mag in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Canadian Commando with a Lanchester SMG. It wasn’t only the Japanese who put huge bayonets on subguns!

I do wonder how awkward it would get to use Lanchester mags, with their 50-round capacity. Notice the front pouches this [...]

Biography: James Paris Lee

James Paris Lee

James Paris Lee was a firearms designer whose inventions had a far greater historical significance than even most firearms enthusiasts realize. Where Lee is recognized at all, it is generally for the rifles that bear his name – the Remington-Lee, the 1895 Lee Navy, the Lee-Metford, and (of course) the Lee-Enfield. [...]

“Ross” Semiauto Prototype Rifle

This rifle came to light prior to the Rock Island Premier Auction in September of 2013, and sparked some interesting discussion amongst Ross collectors…

Prototype semiauto rifle with Ross parts

I had the chance to take a look at the gun firsthand at RIA, and filmed a brief bit of video of it:

[...]

Vintage Saturday: Maritime Gunnery

Will a jaunty helmet make up for not having AA sights or a buttstock?

Sailor mounting an antiaircraft Hotchkiss Portative machine gun on the Canadian corvette Trillium.

Vintage Saturday: Premature Anti-Fascists

When the choice is Fascists or Communists, Astra machine pistol is a pretty good answer.

Canadian volunteers of the Mackenzie–Papineau Battalion in the Spanish Civil War, armed with with grenades and Mauser Schnellfeuer machine pistols or (more likely) Spanish-made copies thereof.

[...]

2-Gun Match: Chinese 7.62x39mm Bren

Thanks to the folks at SMG Guns in Texas, I just got my completed semiauto Bren gun in 7.62x39mm. What the best way to break it in? Take it to a run-n-gun match, of course!

First off, the front grip is a repro experimental piece made by IMA – it would not originally have [...]

M1 Garand Clip Development

The design for the M1 Garand underwent a whole slew of changes large and small before finally reaching the form ultimately adopted by the US military. Well, the clips that it fed from were no different – they also underwent a design evolution. We would expect a need to refine the clip design for good [...]