An Interview With Author Bin Shih

Today, we’re joined by author Bin Shih, an expert on Chinese firearms of the second Sino-Japanese War (aka World War 2). We discuss the state of Chinese weapons manufacture in the 1930s and 40s, as well as several specific weapons including Mauser-type bolt action rifles, grenade launchers, and the Broomhandle Mauser pistol. If you aren’t sure what weapons the Chinese Nationalist forces were using and why, then you’ll learn a lot!

Mr. Shih published an excellent overview of Chinese firearms of this period, which is available for purchase at his web site, If you are interested in the subject, I highly recommend a getting a copy – and there are only a small number available, as it was a small printing. The books has sections on handguns, long guns, machine guns, arsenal history, Japanese weapons of the period, and is worth the price just for the explanation of Chinese nomenclature and markings.


  1. Great video!!! Mr. Bin Shih has done a lot of historical research on Chinese small arms !
    When I look at Chinese firearms of WW2 era (not modern)… I don’t see much interesting things to study or learn. All these guns are just copies of European or US guns, except more simplified and made in awful quality … so there is nothing new or unique:(
    Also if they had ability to copy firearms, that means they already had proper materials and technology, but they still didn’t design their own firearms … seems they just “liked” to copy (why to develop a new gun when there are a lot of good ones to copy).

  2. excellent interview and a great book. I have a copy and the amount of information is terrific. I was able to identify some of the weapons in my collection that puzzled me.

  3. This has been my favorite video to date. Mr. Shih is amazing to listen to. I think I will watch that again!

  4. A little outside of the era, but General Liu did design a good semi-auto rifle in the WW1 era. The US military tested it(see “Hathcer’s Notebook”). The NRA museum has serial number 7 on display. General Liu studied in Japan, Germany and the US.

    The Chinese government bought the equipment to mass produce it from P&W. One version of what happened is the ship carrying the equipment sunk on the way to China. Another version is about the time that the equipment arrived in China at the Hanyang Arsenal, General Liu had a stroke and no one else took the project over. And this equipment was then used to produce bolt action rifles. There are a few more version of it’s history.

    Hopefully one day this rifle will be be included in this sites Vault of early semi-automatic rifles.

    • I’ll do one better, Martin. 🙂 Bin owns an original General Liu rifle, and her brought it over to show us. I’ll be editing that video footage together this weekend and posting it next week.

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