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The Vault

Ole Krag’s Experimental Pistol: Made By Norinco

In 1908, Ole Krag (the same man associated with the Krag-Jorgensen rifle) applied for a US patent on an automatic pistol design. This design, along with many others, would be submitted to the Norwegian military pistol trials taking place around that time, and would fail to in them (the winner was the Norwegian copy of [...]

North China Type 19

North China Type 19

Many years prior to the attack on the US Navy that marks the beginning of World War II for the United States, the Empire of Japan had invaded China. This war of occupation was a massive effort on the part of Japan’s military, involving more than 2 million troops at its height. When the war [...]

Book Review: China’s Small Arms of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War

I picked up a copy of this book a couple years ago when Bin Shih first published it, but by the time I got around to doing a review it had sold out – so I didn’t bother. Well, a seconds printing run has been made, so it seems that now would be a good [...]

Small Arms of China – Update

Several years ago I had the opportunity to interview Bin Shih, who had just published a book in both English and Chinese on Chinese small arms – China’s Small Arms of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). It was basically self-published, and sold out very quickly. Well, I have been informed by Bin that a second [...]

What I Didn’t Buy Last Weekend

So this past weekend was a Regional auction at the Rock Island Auction house, which I neglected to post about beforehand. The Regional auctions are the ones with typically lots of less valuable guns packaged up into lots of 4, 5, 6, or more. I put in bids on a bunch of lots, but unfortunately [...]

Movie Review: Assembly (2007)

The past year’s lineup of blockbusters from Hollywood has been pretty light on war movies, so here’s one you may not have seen to fill the gap. Produced in China by director Feng Xiaogang, it is Assembly – and it’s a very impressive production.

In many ways, Assembly is a Chinese version of Saving Private [...]

Vintage Saturday: Mausers on the Silk Road

Original caption: Masib, Ahmad, Haji, Abdullah, Kara-khoja outlaws at Panopa shelter huts, Panopa, Xinjiang, China [c1915] MA Stein

Commentary from the photographer:

Full-length portrait of the four men, standing in a line with rifles. ‘While halting for the night I had an interesting opportunity of becoming acquainted with a small party of well-armed outlaws from [...]

Book Review: The Early Arisakas

Are you interested in Japanese weapons and militaria? There is a group you should be aware of – Banzai. Formed in 1982, Banzai has been publishing a newsletter full of Japanese-weaponry-related articles for more than 30 years now, and bringing together like-minded collectors for as long. For decades Japanese military arms like the Arisakas and [...]

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 [...]

Another Unusual Chinese Pistol

When you see a pistol with markings from multiple different manufacturers, it means one of two things: collaborative project, or Chinese workshop manufacture (or Khyber Pass workshop manufacture). Well, this one is definitely Chinese:

Check out all the different markings! We have Brownings (three of ‘em!), Mauser, and a Belgian proof stamp all nestled [...]