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The Vault

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 [...]

Prototype Dieckmann P66 Pistol at RIA

The P66 was a prototype .22LR semiauto pistol designed by a German immigrant to the United States by the name of Rolf Dieckmann. It never went into production, but had a number of interesting features, including a removable firing mechanism and a combination extractor and firing pin. In addition to Dieckmann pistol number X3, this [...]

Krummlauf Curved Barrel StG44 at RIA

Today’s Rock Island Auction item is a very cool piece – a German Sturmgewehr with a “krummlauf”, or curved barrel attachment. This is the 30 degree type, intended (as goofy as this sounds) for firing around corners and over barricades in urban combat. A 90-degree version was also made for use in armored vehicles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSsFiS2Voxg

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Transferable MKb-42(H) Assault Rifle at RIA

The MKb-42(H), or Maschinenkarabiner-42 (Haenel), was the first production iteration of the German Sturmgewehr. It was chambered for the then-new 8x33mm kurz cartridge, and fired both semiauto and full-auto from an open bolt. Approximately 11,000 of these were made before production changed to the closed-bolt MP43. This particular MKb-42(H) is fully transferable, and up for [...]

Vintage Saturday: Mounts

German troops posing with a sampling of Maxim machine guns (photo courtesy Beryl Barnett)

From left to right, an MG08 on its sled mount, a captured Russian 1910 on a Vickers J tripod modified with wheels (and an MG08 blank adapter), a dummy MG08, and a blank-adapter MG08 on a German MG01 sled mount.

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2.7mm Kolibri Semiauto at RIA

Today’s item at the September Rock Island auction is an example of the smallest centerfire pistol ever made – a 2.7mm Kolibri semiauto. About a thousand of these were made between 1910 and 1914, firing a 3-grain projectile at about 650 fps (for a total of 3 ftlb of muzzle energy). It may be insanely [...]

Nazi Belt Buckle Pistol at RIA

One of the items at RIA in this upcoming Premier Auction is a Nazi belt-buckle pistol. There is a fair amount of debate as to whether these are authentic WWII German artifacts, as opposed to post-war creations to feed the market for Nazi memorabilia. Authentic or not, they are a very neat mechanism to take [...]

Transferable FG-42 at RIA

The undisputed star of the upcoming Rock Island Premier auction is this transferable full-auto German FG-42 paratrooper’s rifle. Only a few dozen of these are in private hands in the US, and they are an extremely advanced design for WWII.

For more information on the FG42, check out the FG-42 page in the Vault, [...]