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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 […]

WWI Trench Hand Weapons

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Karl and I recently did some work with a wide selection of hand weapons from WWI (some original, some reproductions) for a video in collaboration with the excellent YouTube channel The Great War. Have a look:

RIA: An Overview of the Pinfire Revolver System

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The pinfire system was an early cartridge type which saw widespread use in Europe, but was not widely adopted in the United States. First invented by a French designer named Pauly, it was made commercially feasible by Casimir Lefaucheaux. It was Casimir’s son Eugene, however, who took the pinfire cartridge to its full potential, garnering […]

Spoils of War: A 1907 St Etienne Full of Bullet Holes

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The 1907 St Etienne heavy machine gun is a really neat gun mechanically, but I can’t shot you that today because this one is jammed together from the 7 bullet impacts that rendered it unusable a hundred years ago…

Le Français .32ACP Pistol (Video)

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The Le Français was a staple of Manufrance production, being first designed in 1912 and produced until the late 1960s. This example is in .32ACP caliber, which was only made for the commercial market in the 1950s and 60s (after the cartridge was out of service with the French military and thus civilian-legal). It has […]