The General Liu rifle (named for its designer – it never received an official designation that we know of) was China’s closest approach to an indigenous self-loading infantry rifle before World War II. Mechanically it […]
The C96 Mauser was a very popular handgun in China in the 1920s and 30s, which naturally led to a substantial number of domestically-produced copies of it. These ran the full range of quality, from […]
The Astra 900 was a pistol developed to take advantage of a large Chinese demand for semiauto pistols with shoulder stocks, following on the massive sales of the Mauser C96 “Broomhandle” in that country. In […]
When the Japanese invasion of China intensified in 1937, Imperial reliance on Chinese puppet troops for duties like garrisoning cities. Before long an estimated 500,000-900,000 such men were under the command of the Japanese, in […]
Note: I’m slipping! I initially identified this as one of the mystery Chinese pistols, having not recognized it as a Bernardon-Martin. A bunch of folks in the comments did, though, and I have corrected the […]
The Schnellfeuer, or Model 712, was Mauser’s answer to the Spanish production of selective fire C96 lookalikes. Just over 100,000 of these pistols were made by Mauser in the 1930s, mostly going to China (although […]
Note the bandoliers of individual cartridges – these Lee-Metfords predate the adoption of charger clips, and would have been reloading one round at a time.
Photo taken by John Brunner outside OSS headquarters in Kunming, 1945.