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RIA: An Introduction to Early Lever-Action Rifles

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We’ve all seen lever action rifles galore in movies about the old west, and most of us have handled and shot a bunch of them as well. But do you know where they came from?

Today we will take a look at the first American lever-action rifle put into successful (more or less) production, the […]

Smoothbore Spencer: Tracing a Mystery Gun

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Today’s firearm is not a normal gun; it is a conversion of a Spencer into a shotgun. My question is, what path did this weapon travel? What did it begin as, and how did it come to be in its current form?

Let’s see if we can puzzle this out looking at the evidence in […]

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 […]

RIA: Norwegian M1914 Kongsberg Colt (Video)

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After a series of pistol trials, Norway adopted a copy of the Colt 1911 in .45 ACP as its standard service pistol in 1914. A license was purchased from FN (while under German occupation, interestingly) to produce the guns locally at Kongsberg, and production ran slowly and sporadically until German occupation in WWII. At that […]

Stopping Tanks with Rifles?

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Picture the year 1939 – lots of light tanks are out there in various armies, but there isn’t much practical experience on how to stop them in combat. The heavy anti-tank rifles pioneered at the end of WWI are an option, but perhaps it is possible to find a simpler method? An answer occurs to […]

Vintage Saturday: Combined Arms

US troops in the Pacific Theater with 1903 Springfields and a 1919A4 machine gun

US troops in the Pacific Theater with 1903 Springfields and a 1919A4 machine gun

I have seen this image described as being from both Burma and Okinawa – not sure myself which (if either) is correct. The array of armament present is interesting, though – a 1903A3, a 1903A4 sniper, a couple rifle grenades, […]

French Remington Rolling Block in 8mm Lebel (Video)

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The Remington Rolling Block, introduced in 1866, was one of the most prolific single shot military rifles in the world. The combination of aggressive marketing, low cost, and an excellent design led to Remington selling literally millions of Rolling Block rifles to a huge number of military forces for several decades.

By 1914, the era […]

A Note from Rick Smith of SMG Guns

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Just wanted to pass along a cool photo and note I got from Rick Smith (the guy making reproduction FG-42 rifles) this morning:

Hi All,

Can’t say how this came about past it was almost last minute and such but with permission I will say the fine folks at HMG stopped by on their way […]

Vintage Saturday: Average Joe

Union carpenter Joe Olson assists the coal miners during the UMW labor strike against CF&I, in Ludlow, Colorado.

Union carpenter Joe Olson assists the coal miners during the UMW labor strike against CF&I, in Ludlow, Colorado.

Interestingly, Joe here appears to be armed with a sporting version of the Gewehr 88 – which means those cartridges in his belt will do little good without some en bloc clips. Good thing he’s also […]

Grant Hammond .45ACP Trials Pistol

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The Grant Hammond .45 pistol is a gun which was too late to take part in the major 1907 US military pistol trials, and which was instead presented proactively to the military in hopes of supplementing or replacing the current issue pistol (the Remington M53 falls into this same category). Unfortunately for Mr. Hammond, his […]