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RIA: Soviet SVT-38 Self-Loading Rifle

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A lot of people think that the US was the only country in World War II to mass-issue a semiautomatic infantry rifle, but that isn’t true. While the US was the only country to issue *everyone* a semi auto, both the Soviet Union and Germany produced large numbers of them. The Soviet rifle in particular […]

RIA: Polish Ng30 Nagant Revolver

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The Model 1895 Nagant revolver is pretty common in the US thanks to large imports of Russian revolvers, but we rarely see Polish Nagants. These were adopted as a sidearms for police organizations under the designation Ng30, and manufactured at FB Radom through the 1930s. Typical of FB Radom production, the quality is superb.

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RIA: Predecessor to the Mosin – the Russian Berdan II

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Before adopting the M1891 Mosin-Nagant, the Russian Empire (like most major militaries) used a large-bore single-shot rifle as its standard infantry rifle. In this case, a .42-caliber rifle designed by American General Hiram Berdan (yes, the same guy who invented the Berdan primer). As with other Russian small arms of foreign design, the initial batch […]

RIA: Russian Winchester 1895 in 7.62x54R

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The Winchester 1895 was the last of Winchester’s lever-action rifles, and has an interesting place in a couple different parts of world history. On the one hand, the 1895 in .405 Winchester caliber is known as Theodore Roosevelt’s “Big Medicine” for safari hunting. On another, it was the object of the largest military lever-action purchase […]

A Soviet Look at Cold War Small Arms Development

Military Thought (USSR): Some Points on the Status and Development of Small Arms (1965, English translation)

I have covered various elements of small arms development during the Cold War more than a few times – usually involving the contentious process that led to the 7.62mm NATO cartridge being adopted, and the various rifles that failed to make the cut in the process. What I have not posted before, though, is a […]

StG-45 Horn Prototypes

Horn prototype sturmgewehr

Herr Horn (I have seen his name given as both N.V. Horn and V.G. Horn; not sure which is correct) was an engineer working in the R&D department of Mauser at the end of WWII, and he designed one of the many different experimental last-ditch rifles that was conceived in the last years of the […]

Vintage Saturday: Seeds of an Idea

Ilya Amelin with Panzerfaust, 15th Guards Rifle Division, Germany, 1945

Ilya Amelin with Panzerfaust, 15th Guards Rifle Division, Germany, 1945

Point at Panzer, press button…

The Ubiquitous RPG-7 (Video)

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The RPG-7 is pretty far from being a forgotten weapon, but I was not going to pass up an opportunity to take a closer look at a live one. This example is one of the few live and registered RPGs in the US, and it belongs to Movie Gun Services (if you saw Black Hawk […]

Belgian 1886 Rifle Trials Report (Translated to English)

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Our friend Thibaud has spent some time translating a report from the Belgian 1886 rifle trials into English – thank you, Thibaud!

He notes that the text has a lot of specifically Belgian terminology and phraseology from that period which is not in common use anymore, and has included explanatory details in [square brackets] when […]

RIA: Stocked FN Model 1903

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The FN Model 1903 was a Belgian-made scaled-up version of John Browning’s model 1903 pocket hammerless pistol. The pocket hammerless was made in .32 ACP and .380 calibers for (primarily) the civilian market in the US by Colt, and the FN model was chambered for the more powerful 9x20mm Browning Long cartridge, with military and […]