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The Vault

Walther HP at RIA

The Walther HP was the immediate predecessor to the P38 pistol that was adopted into widespread German service. The HP (Heeres Pistole, or Army Pistol) was offered for commercial sale and export by Walther. It was formally adopted by the Swedish army in 1939, but only a small number were shipped before the outbreak of [...]

Walther KPK Pistol at RIA

The Walther KPK was a modified version of the PPK automatic pistol made in very small numbers by Walther in hopes of winning a new military contract. Mechanically identical to the PPK, the KPK has a lengthened slide to effectively shroud the hammer, preventing it from catching or snagging on clothing or obstacles in the [...]

Vintage Saturday: Crew-Served

Once the photo session is over, someone’s going to have to go find a booster for the gun (photo from Drake Goodman – click to enlarge)

German WWI Landwehr unit posing with an MG08.

Interview with Nicole Wiley: German .22 Training Rifles

While I was visiting the Simpson Ltd shop in Galesburg, I had the pleasure of meeting Nicole Wiley. She is working on organizing a massive reference book on German .22 training rifles (like the Sportmodell and KKW), and was kind enough to give me a tour of Robert Simpson’s collection of these guns. Between his [...]

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 [...]