The Vault

Smith & Wesson Light Rifle (Video)

The Smith & Wesson 1940 Light Rifle is one of the spectacular failures of arms design, on several levels. It was too expensive, too heavy, too fragile (ironically, given the weight), too difficult to manipulate, and just all-in-all bad. To put the bad-ness in perspective, the British cancelled their order of these guns and rejected [...]

Remington Model 8 (Video)

The Remington Model 8 (and the 81, which is mechanically identical) was an early self-loading rifle design by John Browning, and was produced from 1906 into the 1950s. It was available in 4 calibers initially, all of them being rimless, bottlenecked proprietary jobs – the .25, .30, .32, and .35 Remington. The .35 was the [...]

Vintage Saturday: What Would Roosevelt Shoot?

Not the cool Roosevelt – we know he liked his .405-caliber Big Medicine. I’m talking about the other one:

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Leszek found this on eBay (you can buy it if you want; I have no connection to the seller). Reportedly it’s a press photo from 1920 (during his V-P bid), before he contracted Polio. [...]

The 1986 FBI Gunfight and Adoption of the 10mm Auto

Back in 1986 in Miami, a team of 8 FBI agents decided to execute a felony car stop on a pair of armed and volatile bank robbers named Platt and Matix. The ensuing gunfight has become a classic case study of a law enforcement gunfight, with more than 140 rounds fired leaving 4 men dead [...]

Browning M2 “Anti-Mechanization Weapon”

During the latter half of the 1930s, the US Cavalry decided to experiment with adapting the .50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine gun into a bipod-mounted, shoulder-fired configuration. The goal was to devise a variant of the gun that would be more portable and flexible than the standard model with it’s separate tripod. Here is [...]

On the Way to Being Forgotten: AKU-94 Bullpup AK Conversion

The AKU-94 was a bullpup conversion kit made for standard AK rifles by K-Var a while back. They were never particularly popular, probably because in stock form they weren’t particularly good. The sights are wobbly and mediocre, the triggers were awful, the magazine was a very tight fit, and the furniture seemed pretty cheesy. Here’s [...]

Book Review: Winchester Model 07 Self-Loading .351 Caliber

The full title of this recently-published monograph by Leonard Speckin is actually Winchester Model 07 Self-Loading .351 Caliber: Its Past and Its Future with Modern Brass, Bullets and Powders. There is very little modern published information on the Winchester Self-Loaders (the 1905 in .35 cal, the 1907 in .351 cal, and the 1910 in .401 [...]

Followup w/ Pictures – Smoothbore Trapdoor

The owner of this interesting firearm (who is a regular reader of the site) sent me this information about it:

Here are the things I do know about this weapon, which is one if six in my collection. I am satisfied that it is was; a Springfield Model 1873 45-70, and I know [...]

Winchester-Hotchkiss Rifles (Video)

The US military experimented almost continuously with new repeating rifles between the end of the US Civil War and the beginning of the 20th century, and the rifles submitted for testing are a fascinating spectrum of ideas. Many were purchased in relatively small quantities for military field testing, and many also saw at least some [...]

Book Review: Bullets by the Billion

Bullets by the Billion is a short book (77 small pages of large print) written by one Wesley Stout and published by the Chrysler Corporation on 1946. It was a company project to commemorate the feat of ammunition production performed by Chrysler during World War II. And an impressive feat it was – between June [...]