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The Vault

Francotte .22LR Borchardt Lookalike (Video)

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It’s fairly common today to see .22 caliber versions of larger firearms, marketed to folks who don’t want to spend as much for either the gun or its ammunition. For example, the ATI Sturmgewehrs, the Beretta ARX-160, and the GSG AK and MP5 lookalikes in .22 rimfire. Well, it’s not a new trend – very [...]

Slow Motion: Luger Snail Drum

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The 32-round snail drum (or as it was properly known, the trommelmagazin 08) was developed in 1916 to give increased firepower to units armed with the LangePistole 08, or artillery Luger. These pistols were also used by stormtroopers prior to the introduction of the first submachine guns (which, incidentally, were also developed to use these [...]

2-Gun Action Challenge Match: SMLE vs Kar 98AZ (Video)

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In this month’s 2-Gun Action Challenge Match, we decided to both run World War I rifles – Karl with a 1914/1920 Kar 98AZ and I had a 1918 no1 MkIII* SMLE. In the previous enfield/Mauser matchup the outcome was a bit indistinct, because the match did not involve much repeat fire and the Enfield had [...]

Slow Motion Video from the Pattern Room

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As someone who is very interested in the practical handling of old firearms, the idea of gun museums leaves me a bit conflicted. On the one hand, I am absolutely in favor of guns being preserved for posterity, and there is no better environment for that than a museum. On the other hand, once guns [...]

HMG’s US-Made Sturmgewehr

Rendering of an HMG Sturmgewehr

In all the time I have been able to look at MP-43/MP-44/StG-44 rifles, one of the comments that comes up over and over is the desire for someone to make a semiauto reproduction of the gun using a caliber other than 8×33. For those of us deep into shooting these sorts of guns, 8×33 isn’t [...]

Walther MPL (Video)

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The Walther MP was an all-stamped submachine gun developed in the late 1950s, and available in long (MPL) and short (MPK) versions. It is an open-bolt, blowback design, but uses a somewhat innovative bolt in which most of the mass is located above and in front of the chamber, to reduce bolt travel and receiver [...]

Papasan Chair as Antiaircraft Mount

German Maxim in antiaircraft mounting

All he’s missing is a cupholder

German MG08 Maxim in antiaircraft mounting, at some point during WWI. Note the spider sights mounted halfway down the jacket, and the belt reel. Those reels allowed the guns to reliably feed at all manner of odd angles – much better than having a long belt hanging down [...]

Slow Motion: Mauser Schnellfeuer (Video)

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Today’s slow motion video is a Mauser Schnellfeuer; the full-auto version of the C96 pistol made in the 1930s. Just over 100,000 of these were made, with the great majority being sold in China. It is chambered for 7.63mm Mauser, firing at 1120rpm (using Prvi Partisan ammo) from 10- and 20-round detachable magazines.

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BSW Prototype Gas-Operated Pistol (Video)

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In 1936 or 1937, the BSW company (Berlin-Suhler Waffenwerk) produced a small number of prototype pistols for German Army trials. These trials were eventually won by the Walther P38, and for good reason in this case. The pistol BSW submitted was a gas-accellerated blowback design, with an aluminum frame, stamped slide, 13-round magazine (in 9×19), [...]

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 [...]