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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!

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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 […]