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Vintage Saturday: Flammenwerfer

German troops demonstrating use of a WWI flamethrower

German troops demonstrating use of a WWI flamethrower

Note how this, like many early flamethrowers, was a two-man affair. One carried the tanks and the other aimed and fired the projector.

RIA: Walther/Heinemann Toggle Lock Sporting Rifle

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In 1928 and 1929, the Swiss Rheinmetall company produced about 50 examples of a toggle-locked rifle designed by Karl Heinemann. It was tested by the United States among other countries, but never found military acceptance. This particular example is a Heinemann rifle in sporting pattern, made by the Walther company. I do not know […]

RIA: 1929 Simson Prototype 9mm

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In the late 1920s, German Ordnance hinted at an interest in replacing the P.08 Luger pistols with a less expensive handgun design. This prompted a number of submissions from hopeful companies, including this design from the Simson company of Suhl. It is chambered for the 9×19 Parabellum cartridge (as requested by Ordnance) but is […]

RIA: Saxon Double Barreled Wheel Lock

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Wheel locks are one of the less common types of early firearm ignition systems, as the were much more expensive as the contemporary flintlocks. The wheel lock had a major advantage in reliability, though. Many surviving wheel locks are quite ornate guns, as they were valuable enough to be kept away from much field […]

RIA: Spreewerke VG-2

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Five different companies in Germany produced designs for the last-ditch Volkssturm bolt action rifles, and they were designated VG-1 through VG-5. The VG-2 was developed by the Spreewerke company, and differed from the others in its use of a sheet metal stamped receiver (and consequently a pretty distinctive look).

In total, somewhere between 16 […]

RIA: Walther P38 Development

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The Walther P38 was adopted by Germany in 1938 as a replacement for the P08 Luger – not really because the Luger was a bad pistol, but because it was an expensive pistol. Walther began development of its replacement in 1932 with two different development tracks – one was a scaled-up Model PP blowback […]

RIA: Walther A115 Prototype Rifle

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The Walther A115 was one of the semiauto rifles developed in pre-WWII Germany. Apparently only three were made, and it uses a neat combination of sheet metal construction with a rotating bolt and annular gas pistol like the later G41 rifles. This particular example was examined by Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1955 (you can […]

James D. Julia: Experimental Muzzle Cover 1893 Mauser

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(Note: this rifle was removed from the auction, so I have no link to provide for it)

I have been unable to find any history on this particular rifle, which is an experimental mixture of parts, including a bayonet lug and a sporter-style rear sight on a 7x57mm 1893 model Mauser action. What is interesting […]

James D. Julia: The Very First H&K G3 Import (3/62)

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We have all seen plenty of sporter CETME rifles and civilian HK-91s, but when the G3 was new to the Germany military, there was already na interest in bringing semiauto versions into the US. The Golden State Arms Corporation was the first to do so, with three batches of imports in 1962 (just 3 years […]

James D. Julia: WWI German Gewehr 98 Sniper

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Germany was one of the first nations to really get into the sniping business during World War I, and this is an example of their sniper rifle of the period. The base rifle is a standard Gewehr 98 in 8mm Mauser. Optics form a multitude of different commercial manufacturers were used, mostly 3x and 4x […]