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The Vault

Vintage Saturday: Fusil d’Assaut

Very pleased with his captured rifle!

Very pleased with his captured rifle! Source: Histoire de Couleurs

A Chasseur à pied of the 19e Battalion on the road between Breteuil and Flers, Somme. 10th of April 1918. This Battalion had been on foot after heavy fighting in order to occupy the village of Grivesnes, South of Moreuil in France. The rifle [...]

Hatchet-Stock for a C96 Mauser

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How’s this for something different…and maybe clever? I don’t have a source for these photos, and I can’t say if they date from 75 years ago or 75 days ago (although I would suspect newer rather than older). Allow me to present the C96 Hatchet-Stock!

If you’re going to carry a hatchet and a [...]

Testing Reproduction WWI German Trench Armor

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You may recall that a week or two back I posted a video on some German trench armor at RIA. Reading up on that set of armor led me to International Military Antiques, who sells reproduction sets of the armor. I contacted them about getting a set to try some ballistic testing with Karl, and [...]

Nazi-Occupation “Stomperud” Krag Rifle at RIA

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When the Germans occupied Norway, they took advantage of the arms production facilities at the Kongsberg Arsenal to make a number of Krag rifles to their own specifications. They were made with a mixture of new parts and existing rifles, and all retained the Norwegian 6.5x55mm chambering. The German features were elements like sights, sight [...]

Hungarian WWII Rifles at RIA (35M, 43M, G98/40)

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After the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Hungarian army was armed primarily with Steyr M95 straight-pull rifles and carbines, chambered in the 8x56mm rimmed cartridge. In 1935 they adopted a new Mannlicher turnbolt rifle, the 35M, which used the same 8x56R ammunition and en bloc clips. The rifle was modified in 1940 for production [...]

Model 1883 Reichsrevolvers at RIA

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It did not take long for some of the handling problems of the model 1879 Reichsrevolver to become apparent, and the result was a redesign to the model of 1883. These new guns retained the exact same lockwork was the 1879 pattern, but with a shorter barrel and redesigned frame and grip. The 1883 model [...]

Model 1879 Reichsrevolver at RIA

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We are used to German small arms being highly efficient and modern for their times, but the Reichsrevolver is an exception to that trend. The first centerfire adopted by the newly formed German empire, the model 1879 Reichsrevolver had traits we would typically associate with Russian arms rather than German. It was simple (too simple [...]

4-Shot Bär Pistol at RIA

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The Bär pistol was designed as a compact gentleman’s defensive arm with a number of interesting features. These include twin barrels and a “cylinder” or chamber block, which held 4 cartridges in a single column, thus giving the pistol a smooth-sided shape easy to conceal while also giving it double the capacity of a typical [...]

Dreyse M1860 Needle Rifle at RIA (Video)

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The Dreyse needle rifle (or zundnadelgewehr, which translates to needle firing rifle) was a major step forward in military rifle technology, although it did not remain at the forefront for very long (much like the Spencer repeating rifle in that regard). It used a paper cartridge with an integrated percussion cap primer, allowing the shooter [...]

Vintage Saturday: Cover

German soldier with a PPSh-41 submachine gun

German soldier with a PPSh-41 submachine gun somewhere in Russia. Gotta be careful with those as a German; the drum magazine was a distinctively Russian feature and could lead to friendly fire incidents.