The Vault

Vintage Saturday: Is It Us, Or Did Gravity Get Stronger?

British troops with an early Colt 1895 Digger (click to enlarge)

At first glance you wonder, “Why are those British sailors crawling around with their ship’s anchor?” Then you realize that they’re not sailors, and it’s actually a Colt 1895. The distinction may be lost on the guy carrying it, though. Rumor has it [...]

Book Review: The Colt Model 1905

Today we’re looking at John Potocki’s excellent reference work, The Colt 1905 Automatic Pistol. Not much doubt what the subject is, right? The development of John Browning’s iconic 1911 pistol is generally not much discussed, and Potocki’s book is a good way to learn all the ins and outs of the pistol’s evolution and early [...]

ABC’s of Machine Guns

Here’s another neat manual – A.B.C du Mitrailleu – the ABCs of Machine Guns. This was published in 1917 (the fifth edition, anyway) in French, and does a nice job showing all the most useful information on each of the major mounted machine guns being used at the time. It includes the MG08 Maxim, 1909 [...]

Model 1917 Machine Gun Cart

Are you looking for a good gift for the gun nut in your life who already has everything? Or perhaps you are the gun nut with everything, and you need a new project to undertake? Well, we have just the thing. It’s cool, useful (assuming you have a water-cooled HMG and a horse), historically interesting, [...]

Book Review: A Rifleman Went to War

Herbert McBride was a American who grew up learning to shoot from Civil War veterans and some of the big names of the American West, like Bat Masterson. He had a taste for adventure, and spent time scouting for railroads and searching for gold in Alaska. He had tried to ship out to South [...]

Vintage Saturday: Downing Panes with a Potato Digger

Belgian Antiaircraft gunners with a M1895/14 Colt Potato Digger

Well, it’s more effective than trying to hit ‘em with a Hotchkiss Portative…but I bet they wish they had a proper anti-aircraft mount!

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How to Shoot a Sistema 1927 (or Colt 1911)

We have an old manual and a new(ish) one today. The older is a 1914 version of an official US Army 1911 manual. Not the 1911A1, but the original first variant. Need a ballistics chart for .45ACP out to 250 yards? It’s in there.

White pine: the 20th century ballistics gelatin

And in case [...]

1907 US Pistol & Revolver Trials

When the US began its engagement in the Philippines at the close of the 19th century, the standard service sidearm was a .38 caliber double-action revolver. This was found to be insufficient for serious combat use, and a program was instituted to find a .45 caliber replacement handgun.

A small group of officers convened [...]