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The Vault

Vintage Saturday: Testing

This rifle is too light and svelte. Let’s wait 50 years until it gets popular again with a couple pounds more rail.

West German soldier test firing a Dutch-made Armalite AR-10 (designated G4) during trial at Meppen in 1957. It lost out to the G1 FAL, which in turn was replaced by the H&K [...]

Book Review: United States Martial Pistols and Revolvers

Pre-WWI American handguns are an area that I am pretty weak in, and I’m working to remedy that. One of the initial resources I picked up was Arcadi Gluckman’s United States Martial Pistols and Revolvers. Originally printed in 1939, it is a pretty good reference for the title subject – especially considering the price.

Arcadi [...]

Rock Island Regional Auction – July 2014

Yep, it’s time for another Rock Island Regional Auction this coming weekend! These are typically less valuable guns than the Premier auctions, and most of the lots include multiple guns instead of just one. Sometimes a lot will have a bunch of guns you want, and sometimes just one or two…but it’s always fun to [...]

37mm Gun, Bethlehem, Semi-Automatic (Video)

The 37mm gun was found in many guises during World War One – that caliber was the smallest allowed to use exploding projectiles by the 1899 Hague accords. Every nation in the world, it seems, used 37mm guns of one type or another. Well, one particular version I had the chance to look at was [...]

Vietnam’s Overburdened M16

by Tom Laemlein

I’ve been working with Dale Dye of Warriors Inc. to put together a photo study on the infantry weapons of the Vietnam War. The conflict in Vietnam is particularly interesting for students of small arms as all of Southeast Asia became both a proving grounds for the [...]

Ithaca Auto & Burglar – 12ga

The Ithaca Gun Company introduced their “Auto & Burglar” model of side-by-side shotgun in 1922. This was not the only gun of its type made for the commercial market, but it was one of the better ones, and is probably the best remembered type today. The premise was simple: take a standard SxS shotgun, cut [...]

Book Review: The Yanks Are Coming!

Most of the books I look at are primarily text-based, and today I figured we should do something a little bit different. Armor Plate Press, run by Tom Laemlein, specializes in photographic studies of various weapons (and vehicular) topics. Today’s book is The Yanks Are Coming! Firepower of the American Doughboy in World War One [...]

Battle of the Greasy Grass

On this day 138 years ago, the combined forces of the Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho tribes delivered a staggering defeat to the US Army’s 7th Cavalry under the command of General George Armstrong Custer. The battle was glorified in the East for largely political reasons in its immediate aftermath (and there were no white survivors [...]

XM-2 Personnel Detector

XM-2 Personnel Detector

by Tom Laemlein

In the rather deadly game of “hide & seek” played by the US Army and the Viet Cong led to a rather bizarre technical innovation during the Vietnam War: the people sniffer. The detection technology was developed by General Electric for the US Army’s Chemical Corps. “People Sniffer” [...]

Sedgley Glove Gun

The Sedgley Glove Gun was one of the goofiest projects actually funded by the US military during WWII. Designed for the Navy, it was basically a leather gardening glove with a single shot .38 S&W pistol attached to the back (the original patent calls for a .410 shotshell, but this was changed for unknown reasons). [...]