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The Vault

Vintage Saturday: Why They Make Tripods Like That

He’s exhausted from carrying that gun. It’s just about the heaviest MMG ever conceived, and the tripod’s no lightweight either.

Waffen-SS soldier manning a Czech ZB-37 machine gun on its tripod. Note that the articulated tripod legs have been put to good use mounting the gun up on a large rock that offers some [...]

Vintage Saturday: War Photographer

The parka is probably his most valuable possession.

Waffen-SS soldier in Russia with a camera, hand grenade, and captured Russian PPSh submachine gun.

Modern Take on the Sturmgewehr, and a Mile Long Shot to Kill

Two things today…

First up, I recently had a chance to tinker with a rifle made by Brethren Arms, which is in many ways the modern evolution of the StG-45 that we looked at in slow motion yesterday. They call it the BA-300, and it’s a basically an MP5 or HK53 in .300 Blackout. A [...]

Slow Motion: StG-45(M)

The StG-45(M) was developed by engineers at Mauser right at the end of WWII, and its designers went on to form Heckler & Koch and this rifle was their basis for the H&K roller-delayed blowback series of weapons (HK91, HK33, HK53, HK21, MP5, etc). Twenty sets of parts for the StG-45(M) were produced at [...]

Book Review: The K98k Rifle (Propaganda Photo Series Vol. I)

There is an excellent series of books on German WWII small arms being written and published out of the Netherlands – the Propaganda Photo Series. Today I am specifically looking at Volume I, which covers the K98k rifle, but there are 8 other volumes covering everything from the Luger to German antitank weapons.

The format [...]

Vintage Saturday: Mitrailleuses

Trigger discipline in WWI wasn’t the treated the way it is today.

From left to right, a 1914 Hotchkiss, a captured German MG08, and a 1907 St. Etienne.

Assessment of a ZF-41 Optic

The ZF-41 was a tiny 1.5x optic made in large numbers by Germany during WWII. It is a long eye relief design, mounting over the rear sight of a K98k, and allowing unimpeded up for stripper clips for reloading. These scopes are generally though to have been complete failures, and a huge disappointment to German [...]

Vintage Saturday: Yer Doin’ It Rong

None of you has loaded one of these before, have you?

Waffen SS soldiers investigating a captured (and disassembled) DP-28 LMG pan magazine.

Luftgekühltes Maschinen Gewehr 08/15 (Video)

I recently had a chance to do some shooting with a friend’s luftgekühltes maschinen gewehr 08/15 – the air cooled, lightened version of the German MG08 Maxim gun. These were one of the standard armaments for German aircraft in WWI (mounted in fixed positions on the fuselage or cowling and fitted with synchronizer gears), and [...]

Vintage Saturday: Second-Rate Spoils

After the war is over these will become pretty valuable, right?

German troops with captured Mosin Nagant rifles (and one SVT-40).