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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 […]

RIA: Darne 1892 Rotary Shotgun

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The most popular shotgun made by the French Darne company was their 1897 sliding breech side-by-side, which saw sales and use worldwide. Before that, however, Darne invented a rotating breechblock system – first a series of external hammer varieties in the 1880s and then this hammerless Model 1892. It is a great example of […]

French Marine Commandos with CETME Rifles

Wolfgang Riess, one of the Commandos who used these CETMEs, later to work as an H&K weapons technician

Wolfgang Riess, one of the Commandos who used these CETMEs – later to work as an H&K weapons technician. This story comes from his notes.

I was doing some reading up on the early roller-delayed rifles (in Blake Stevens’ exquisitely technical and detailed book Full Circle: A Treatise on Roller Locking) and came across […]

French M14 Conversion – the Gras in 8mm Lebel (Video)

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The French adopted the Gras as their first mass-issued metallic cartridge rifle in 1874, replacing the needlefire 1866 Chassepot. Quite a lot of Gras rifles were manufactured, and they became a second-line rifle when the 1886 Lebel was introduced with brand-new smokeless powder and its smallbore 8mm projectile. When it became clear that the […]

Vintage Saturday: Liberators

An old  French couple, M. and Mme. Baloux of Brieulles-sur-Bar, France, under German occupation for four years, greeting soldiers of the 308th and 166th Infantries upon their arrival during the American advance.  November 6, 1918.

An old French couple, M. and Mme. Baloux of Brieulles-sur-Bar, France, under German occupation for four years, greeting soldiers of the 308th and 166th Infantries upon their arrival during the American advance. November 6, 1918. (click to enlarge)

This is a pretty widely-published photo, but it sure is a good one. It also shows […]

RIA: Brun Latrige Model 1900

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Patented in 1896, this is one of several models of unique pocket pistols designed by Paul Brun-Latrige. He was a manager of the Manufrance company located in St. Etienne France, a large mail-order catalog company that produced a wide variety of products. Early versions of this pistol used a ring trigger mechanism and a […]

RIA: 11mm Devisme Cartridge Revolver

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Devisme of Paris was one of the early manufacturers of a true centerfire cartridge revolver, with production of this model beginning in 1858 or 1859. This is a bottom-break 11mm, 6-shot revolver, made to a very high standard of quality. Devisme also made a variety of other guns, including indoor parlor pistols, percussion guns, […]

Yugoslav 8mm Chauchat M1915/26 Photos

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Reader Mihajlo sent me a couple cool photos of Yugoslav troops with Chauchats converted to 8x57mm. Here’s his commentary:

Here’s a picture from WW2 Yugoslavia I’d like to share with you. The guy on the right is holding a Dutch M.20 6,5 mm Lewis gun and the other guy is holding a Yugoslav Chauchat CSRG […]

Hand-Fitted Parts Firsthand: French Modele 1874

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We often hear the phrase “hand-fitted” in regards to either really finely made guns, or ones made before the the advent of truly interchangeable parts. Well, I recently had a firsthand experience with hand-fitted parts, and thought it would make an interesting video. i suspect a lot of people today don’t really think about just […]