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The Vault

Bergmann 1894 Grip Style

I recently had the opportunity to examine a very early model 1894 Bergmann pistol, and made an interesting discovery (discovery to me, at any rate). The gun has a rather elegant bird’s-head grip, and a trigger that pulls as much down as it does back – the direction of the trigger pull is basically along [...]

Tactical and Technical Trends #50: September 1944

Today I have another issue of Tactical and Technical Trends – this time #50, from September 1944.

Tactical and Technical Trends #50 – September 1944

As usual, most of the material herein will be of interest to folks who like to study WWII, but only a little bit pertains to small arms. Specifically, a [...]

Tactical and Technical Trends #49: August 1944

A little while back, I got my hands on a number of copies of Tactical and Technical Trends booklets – this was a bulletin published by the US Military Intelligence Service during WWII to keep soldiers apprised of new developments in equipment and tactics among the different combatants. A quick Google search will reveal that [...]

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.

Dreyse 1907 Slow Motion Video

The 1907 Dreyse is an early automatic pistol whose design is attributed to Louis Schmeisser. It saw fairly extensive use by the German military during World War I, and was also used by various German police organizations into the early 1930s. Overall, nearly a quarter million were manufactured.

It is a simple blowback action chambered [...]

Mauser C96 with Chinese Hand-Made Frame

After posting my video of the oddball Chinese pistol in the recent RIA auction, I received a number of emails from folks with similar sorts of guns. One was from a fellow named Leonardo, who ended up with an interesting Chinese creation courtesy of Fed Ord. About 20 years ago, they were selling really junky [...]

Nazi Belt Buckle Pistol Background

Sometimes when I write a post of make a video on a particularly unusual firearm, it will result in my being contacted by someone who has a surprising amount of experience with that gun, and provides me with new information I didn’t previously have. Well, exactly that happened with the Nazi belt buckle pistol sold [...]

Vintage Saturday: A Rifle for Cold Weather

When in Russia, do as the Russians do.

German sentry in Russia with a captured Mosin-Nagant M91 rifle, WWI. Note the sling swivel on the front of the magazine, and the lack of sling slots in the stock – this is a pre-1908 rifle.

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German Mauser Obrez Pistol

From the collection of the Deutsches Historisches Museum, a reader named James found an example of an Obrez pistol made on a Mauser K98 rifle action. This apparently was made by Czech partisans during World War II, using the grip from an MG42 machine gun.

Obrez made by Czech partisans with a Mauser rifle [...]

Survival Rifles at RIA: Luftwaffe Drilling and USAF M6

Today we’re looking at a pair of military survival rifles at the Rock Island September auction. One is a Luftwaffe M30 drilling – the most finely finished and luxurious survival rifle ever issued by a military force (a Luftwaffe case for an M30 is being sold separately). The other is a US Air Force M6 [...]