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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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Vintage Saturday: Finn Capture

Why make our own guns when the Russians keep dropping perfectly good ones? (photo source: SA-Kuva)

Note the Mosin Nagant PE sniper on the wall, and the AVS-36 machine rifle peeking out from behind the man on the right in addition to the DP-28 LMG on the table.

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Vintage Saturday: Salvage

Plane’s broken, but the Maxim guns will still work! (photo from SA-Kuva)

Finnish troops salvaging Maxim guns from a downed Russian Polikarpov R5 bomber shot down near Suistamo, Finland.

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Russian RG-6 Grenade Launcher and German Repair Depot Footage

RG-6 40mm grenade launcher

Something new and something old today…

RG-6 40mm grenade launcher

From long-time contributor Hrachya, we have a Russian manual for the RG-6 grenade launcher. This is a pretty recent design, having gone into production in the 1990s. It fires the same 40mm caseless grenades used by the older GP-25 underbarrel unit found mounted on [...]

PPS-43 Development Memo

Today, I’m swiping another document from the cool-but-stagnant Soviet Gun Archives. This time, it’s a memo requesting the development of what would become the PPS-43:

As I haven’t had time to learn Russian yet, I will defer to Soviet Gun Archives for the translation:

To the deputy commander of the Red Army GAU, Major-General of [...]

Mosin-Nagant 91/30 PU Sniper (Video)

The Soviet Union produced more sniper rifles during WWII than any other country, and was one of very few to have a well-developed sniper program in place before the war began. Starting in the early 1930s, they developed a sniper variant of the standard M91/30 infantry rifle, with technical assistance from Germany (of all [...]

AVT-40 Testing Report

While poking around at Soviet Gun Archives (a very cool site which I wish was updated more often), I noticed this two-page memo reporting the results of an experiment modifying SVT-40 rifles to full-auto capability.

Page 1 – click to enlarge

Page 2 – click to enlarge

To put this into context, the [...]

Mayn Experimental Carbine

mayn

To the left there is a Soviet memo on the subject of the experimental carbine designed by a Colonel P.I. Mayn. The memo reads:

To the chief of the Red Army GAU, General-Lieutenant-Colonel comrade Yakovlev

The faculty of aviational armament in the Zhukovskiy Military Air Academy, under the supervision of a lecturer from the department [...]

Margolin Target Pistols (Video)

Video

Manuals

Margolin semiauto pistol manual (Russian, 1952)

Margolin semiauto pistol technical manual (Russian, 1959)

Margolin semiauto pistol technical description and user manual (Russian, 1976)

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Gun Deductions

One thing I particularly enjoy doing is taking a firearm and trying to figure out as much about it as I can, based on the appearance, markings, modifications, etc. It’s the details and the stories behind old guns that make them interesting, and so it’s fun to try to tease out those details. It’s best [...]