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The Vault

ABC’s of Machine Guns

Here’s another neat manual – A.B.C du Mitrailleu – the ABCs of Machine Guns. This was published in 1917 (the fifth edition, anyway) in French, and does a nice job showing all the most useful information on each of the major mounted machine guns being used at the time. It includes the MG08 Maxim, 1909 [...]

Bayonet Bipod

So last Friday, we posted a copy of an old World War I French machine gun booklet. Not anything particularly exotic – it was only talking about the main machine guns that were in common use at the time. But you never know what neat tidbits you’ll find in 100-year-old pamphlets, and so I always [...]

Vintage Saturday: French AA Gunners with a 1907 St Etienne

Stretch, Francois!

I don’t think that’s a standard-issue tripod – more like something built for an 8-foot-tall surveyor. Also, note the feed strip box on the ground below the gunner.

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French 1923 LMG Trials Report

In 1923, the French military held a light machine gun trial to choose a weapon to replace the CSRG Chauchat. The trials involved weapons evaluations both by an expert committee and by 9 regiments testing the guns in field conditions. The guns submitted for testing were:

Browning BAR St Etienne (we are not sure which [...]

Book Review: Proud Promise, by Jean Huon

We’ve all heard the jokes about French guns – never fired and only dropped once. It’s a shame that they developed that type of stereotypical reputation here in the US, because the French were actually prolific front-runners in arms design. In the 10-15 years prior to World War I, French arms factories produced literally dozens [...]

Vintage Saturday: A St Etienne in the Argonne