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The Vault

Bethlehem Steel 37mm Cannon – Looking for Data

I recently got an email from a young man named Paul who is working on restoring a Bethlehem Steel 37mm cannon as an Eagle Scout project. The gun is sitting outside an American Legion post, where I expect it has been for many, many decades. It appears to be mostly complete with the major exception [...]

Chicago Palm Protector Pistols at RIA

“The Protector” was a very discreet palm pistol developed in the late 1800s by a French inventor, produced in bulk by the Ames Sword Company, and sold by the Chicago Firearms Company. They are mechanically double-action turret revolvers with a unique grip design meant to be to be fired by squeezing. The first few were [...]

2-Gun Action Challenge with a MAS 49/56

This month I chose to shoot the 2-Gun Action Challenge Match with a French MAS 49/56, in the original 7.5×54 caliber. I really like the handling of the rifle, and I was curious to see how the sights (rear aperture and a large front post) would work in a practical setting like this competition. As [...]

Vintage Saturday: Captured Carbine

German soldier with R35 Lebel Mle 1892 Berthier carbine – these were still being issued to support-type troops when WWII broke out. As you see here, some of them found their way into German service in occupied France.

Slow Motion: MAS 49/56

The MAS 49/56 is a much under-rated rifle here in the US – it is extremely simple, durable, and reliable, while being shorter and lighter than it’s US contemporary, the M14.

 

Two Pinfire Harmonica Pistols at RIA

Harmonica guns were a short-lived type of firearm that was developed in an effort to have reliable repeating weapons prior to the the modern centerfire cartridge. They were made in both muzzleloading and cartridge varieties, and one notable (and reknowned) American maker of such guns was Jonathan Browning, father of John Moses Browning. These two [...]

Hagen Rifle

hagen02

One of the very first things I posted here on Forgotten Weapons was an article on a French rifle called the Hagen (it was designed by a Norwegian). I posted an article on it written in French by Jean Huon, but wasn’t able to read it. Now, thanks to reader Thibaud, we have an English [...]

37mm Gun, Bethlehem, Semi-Automatic (Video)

The 37mm gun was found in many guises during World War One – that caliber was the smallest allowed to use exploding projectiles by the 1899 Hague accords. Every nation in the world, it seems, used 37mm guns of one type or another. Well, one particular version I had the chance to look at was [...]

Book Review: The Yanks Are Coming!

Most of the books I look at are primarily text-based, and today I figured we should do something a little bit different. Armor Plate Press, run by Tom Laemlein, specializes in photographic studies of various weapons (and vehicular) topics. Today’s book is The Yanks Are Coming! Firepower of the American Doughboy in World War One [...]

Chain Mail for Machine Gunners

Chain mail appeared in a couple different forms during World War I – the most well-known is probably the mail facemasks developed for tank crews. These were intended to protect crew members from steel shards that would fragment off the interior of the tank’s armor plate when taking machine gun fire. There were also metal-lined [...]