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The Vault

Slow Motion: Star Model B Super

Today’s high speed video analysis is the first Browning-style pistol that was at hand when I took out the camera: a Star Model B Super. Manufactured in Spain for many years, this basic pistol was made in both 9mm Luger and 9mm Largo variations as well as full-size and shortened varieties. This particular one is [...]

Vintage Saturday: (The World is) Worth Fighting For

Loading them without clips was a pain in 1938, just like today.

Ernest Hemingway on the lines with a Mosin-Nagant during the Spanish Civil War. Photo by Hemingway’s companion Robert Capa, dated November 5th, 1938. What better way to research a book than to actually join the war you are going to write about?

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Calzada Bayo CB-51

Thanks to reader Barton and some connections in Spain, we have some outstanding photos of a couple experimental rifles from the post-WWII era before Spain adopted the CETME rifle. After the war, virtually every major nation was trying to expend upon German small arms technology, and Spain was no exception. They had an advantage in [...]

Charola-Anitua Photos

Recently a 7mm Charola-Anitua pistol showed up on GunBroker, with some pretty decent photos. I can’t afford to buy it, but I can afford to share the photos!

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¡No Pasarán!

I’ve been doing some reading a researching on the Spanish Civil War in preparation for an upcoming month that will be dedicated to that conflict and the arms involved in it (which include virtually everything in military use in the first half of the 20th century). One particularly interesting item just arrived last night:

Vintage Saturday: Militiawoman

I wonder what’s going on behind that knowing smile?

Spanish militiawoman during the Civil War, with a Mauser rifle and what appears to be an early Star pistol (model 1919 possibly?)

JoLoAr at the Range

I had the chance to take a .380 caliber JoLoAr pistol out to the range recently, and took the video camera along:

The JoLoAr pistol was a combination of a poor-selling and unremarkable Spanish blowback semiauto pistol called the Sharpshooter and an idea by a man named Jose Lopez Arnaiz (whose name is the [...]

Vintage Saturday: Captured

Note the distinctive palanca of the JoLoAr pistol being held on the captured Nationalist officer. Identity of the officer unknown, photo taken July 1938.

Antifascists holding a captured officer at gunpoint with a JoLoAr pistol during the Spanish Civil War.

Check back Monday for a video on the JoLoAr!

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Spanish Fusil M32 Sistema MR Manual

Thanks to reader Carlos in Spain, we have a manual on a very obscure Spanish self-loading rifle, the Sistema MR M1932, to share today. The only other information I have been able to find on this experimental design was a brief two-page document in an archive, and this manual sheds a lot more light on [...]

Bergmann-Mars 1903/1908 Pistol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmTtLyXf6Q4

The military breakthrough for Bergmann finally came in 1903 with a new locking system for the pistol, designed by Louis Schmeisser (who had also designed the previous Bergmann handguns). In 1901, Schmeisser developed the new lock, and it was patented by Bergmann (his employer) primarily for use on heavy machine guns. It was used [...]