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Vintage Saturday: Snipers in Shorts

French soldiers in Chad in 1971

French soldiers in Chad in 1971

The man in the front has an FR-F1, a French-issue sniper’s rifle roughly based on the MAS-36. The man others appear to have MAS 49/56 semiauto rifles. And of course, it wouldn’t be a desert deployment in the 70s without short-shorts!


Vietnamese Guns for Algeria

Vietnamese soldier in French service working on his MAT-49 SMG.

Vietnamese soldier in French service working on his MAT-49 SMG.

I was pointed to this interesting snippet of a document about one particular shipment of arms to the Algerian rebels fighting French colonial occupation in the 1950s – from Vietnam. Can’t say I would have thought about the Vietnamese trying export supply military aid […]

Vintage Saturday: Lined up on the Somme

French and British troops on the Somme, 1918

French and British troops on the Somme, 1918

Actions of the Somme Crossings. Men of the 20th British Division and the 22nd French Division in hastily dug rifle pits covering a road, Nesle sector, 25th March 1918.


the Frenchman in the foreground has a Modele 1892 Mosqueton, and the British man behind him […]

RIA: Russian M1870 Galand Revolver (Video)

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The Galand was an innovative revolver design created by Frenchman Charles Francois Galand and patented in 1868. It is most notable for using a long lever system to eject cartridges by throwing the cylinder and a separate cartridge retention plate forward. It was also one of the early adopters of centerfire ammunition (a .45 […]

RIA: Semiauto FAMAS

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The French FAMAS was one of the first bullpup rifles to be adopted and built in large numbers by a military power. It was adopted by France in 1978 at right about the same time as the Steyr AUG was being adopted by the Austrian military. Bullpup rifles offered a short overall length without sacrificing […]

Vintage Saturday: Life and Death in the Mud

French soldier standing over German dead. Souain, France, ca. 1915.(Bibliotheque Nationale de France Francois-Mitterrand)

World War One Soldiers’ Loadouts

The kit of a French Private Soldier in the Battle of Verdun, 1916

A reader sent me a link to a pretty cool image gallery showing the basic clothing and equipment of five different major combatant powers from mid-WWI. I have re-uploaded the individual photos in case the original links go dead (click to enlarge each photo).

The kit of a French Private Soldier in the Battle […]

Vintage Saturday: Folding Transport

French bicycle soldier with an 1892 Berthier carbine

Not just any bicycle, but a folding Gladiator bicycle!

He can also use it as a rifle rest!


Or camouflage and cover…?

You can see the entire 13-photo set here. Thanks to Denny for pointing these pictures out!


Vintage Saturday: Fixed Bayonets

French soldiers attacking in the Argonne in 1915

French Poilu attacking uphill in the Argonne in 1915

RIA: Cripple Stock Shotgun

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Okay, so the name may not be considered very PC today – you could also call this a cross-dominant stock. The concept was to allow a shooter to mount the gun in one shoulder but sight with their opposite eye. This was useful for cross-dominant shooters (ie, right handed but left eyed) or shooters […]