In the early 1930s, France adopted a new standard pistol and a new cartridge to go with it – the MAS 1935 and the 7.65x20mm, closely patterned on the us M1918 Pedersen Device cartridge. They were well acquainted with the 9×19, but as always the French military marched to the slightly offbeat tempo of it’s [...]
I ran across a mention of this book while trying to find some information on this 37mm Hotchkiss machine gun – and this book was the only reference I could find any mention of it in. Robert Mellichamp has taken on a pretty daunting task; documenting the history of the 37mm gun and ammunition from [...]
So, the auction of the late Richard Wray’s machine gun collection (see previous post) was yesterday, with the non-NFA guns being auctioned today. The final prices are interesting to look at, with some wallet-wrenchingly high and some great deals – at least for folks who are into the unusual.
Basically, the key was to be [...]
In 1915, the French Darne company – best known for sporting shotguns – entered the military market with a contract to manufacture Lewis guns for the French Army. Apparently some of the folks at Darne thought they could do better than the Lewis, and the company developed its own machine gun design during the war.
Today’s book we have courtesy of Luc (thanks, Luc!) – French Military Weapons 1717-1938, by Major James Hicks. Originally written in 1938, it was reprinted by Flayderman’s in 1964. It’s tough to find today, but offers one of the few comprehensive overviews of French military arms from bayonets to field artillery.
As I mention [...]
A scene right out of Tolkien’s Mordor…but real
US soldiers of the 23rd Infantry with a 37mm M1916 Infantry Gun in France, circa 1918.
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Not too long ago, a pretty serious machine gun collector named Richard Wray passed away, and his estate is auctioning off his collection, which includes 80-odd transferable machine guns – nearly all of them very interesting historical pieces.
I won’t get into my personal thoughts on the merits of leaving one’s collection to the auction [...]
The French M1886 Lebel was the first smallbore smokeless powder rifle adopted by a major military, and was a game changer in the European arms race in the 1880s. It wasn’t an outstanding design in many ways (like the slow-loading tube magazine and requirement to use a screwdriver to remove the bolt), but its 8mm [...]
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I opened up John Ellis’ The Social History of the Machine Gun – machine guns and social histories of anything don’t really tend to go together. Ellis has a fairly extensive list of books to his name, but the jacket describes him as a former member of [...]
The FAMAS was one of the first mass-produced bullpup rifles, and as a forerunner in the area, it shows a number of interesting features, both good and bad.
FAMAS F1 rifle
The FAMAS spent 9 years in development, beginning in the late 1960s and finally being adopted as the standard French Army service rifle [...]