The Vault

Vintage Saturday: What Would Roosevelt Shoot?

Not the cool Roosevelt – we know he liked his .405-caliber Big Medicine. I’m talking about the other one:


Leszek found this on eBay (you can buy it if you want; I have no connection to the seller). Reportedly it’s a press photo from 1920 (during his V-P bid), before he contracted Polio. [...]

Soviet AT Rifle Performance

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday, guys. My day job has gotten a bit hectic in the last week, and it’s really cutting into the time I have available to work on the site. Between that and another project, there will probably be some more quiet days over the next couple months. That said, [...]

Russian Winchester 1895 (Video)

By the 1890s, Winchester had established an extremely successful business in lever-action rifles. John Browning’s designs for the 1886, 1892, and 1894 models had proven very popular, and so Winchester (seeing the potential of the new smokeless powder developments) requested that he design a new lever action rifle specifically for the new high-pressure cartridges. This [...]

Vintage Saturday: Strange Bedfellows

In Soviet Russia…you use whatever is at hand.

Soviet troops with M38 Mosin carbines and Breda Model 37 heavy machine guns (presumably captured from the ill-fated Italian ARMIR expedition in 1942/43). Thanks to Leszek for finding the photo at!


Book Review: Allied Rifle Contracts in America

One of the characteristics that often leads me to be particularly interested in a given gun is a long and convoluted history. I really enjoy finding firearms that have found their way across the world and back. One entire category of rifles that did just that were the hundreds of thousands of rifles made in [...]

Book Review: The Bear Went Over the Mountain

I’ve been aware of Lester Grau’s The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan for a long time – I borrowed a copy many years ago – but only recently purchased a copy for myself. Not surprisingly, it was reprinted in 2010 and again in 2013, making it much more readily available [...]

2-Gun Action Challenge Match: SVT40 vs M1 Garand

So, after the hype about setting the FG-42 up against the M1 at a practical action match, I unfortunately have to let you down. We had a bit of a mishap right before the match started, which rendered the FG unable to be used. It’s disappointing, but we’re going to get it fixed up and [...]

Warsaw Uprising

I normally have a book review on Thursday, but this week I’m pushing it to Friday. I meant to post this yesterday, but lost track of the date – which, 69 years ago, was the day when the final Polish forces in Warsaw surrendered to the German occupiers, thus ending the Warsaw Uprising.

The Uprising [...]

Russian Followup

Two followups for you today, courtesy of readers who ferreted out some addition material for me – thanks guys!

First, my vintage photo of the Soviet marine snipers generated a bunch of discussion of the Soviet marine troops, and Ruy sent me this photo of a Marine landing party wearing the rare “land” uniform (you [...]

Vintage Saturday: Join the Army, See the World

Odd, the recruiting officer must have forgotten to mention this part of the job…

German soldier carrying a captured DS-39 machine gun and tripod over a pretty bleak steppe.