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 used the same principles as the Danish Bang rifle – a muzzle cup captured some of the gases from […]
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 dangerous to excellent. This particular example falls into the middle, appearing to be a pretty fair mechanical copy of […]
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 the 1920s and 30s, civil war in China drove a huge market in arms, but international treaty had prohibited […]
One of the most common types of AK rifle in existence today is the Chinese Type 56 in its several variations, although very few of those rifles are in the United States in authentic full-auto form. This particular one was captured by a US soldier in the Vietnam War, who brought it back and […]
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 both militia and regular army units. These men had to be armed, and Japanese domestic production of Type 38 (and […]
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 post.
A reader named Liliang sent me these photos of a pistol from a Chinese museum (the specific museum or […]
Every few years, there is a special 2-Gun match at my local club, using shotgun and pistol instead of rifle and pistol. The rules of this match are a bit different than most multigun competition that uses shotgun, in an attempt to make the competition more practical and realistic, and less of simple a speedloading […]
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 some did see use in other countries, and also with the SS). They use 10- and 20-round detachable magazines, […]
British Marines from the HMS Alacrity in China with Lee-Metford rifles (1900)
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.
Chinese man with a Liberator pistol. Source: The Liberator Pistol by Ralph Hagan
Photo taken by John Brunner outside OSS headquarters in Kunming, 1945.