The Experimental Bullet: The S&W Model 76 Caseless Cartridge Program

The Experimental Bullet: The S&W Model 76 Caseless Cartridge Program

ABOVE: Advantages of caseless ammunition; the rounds are lighter in weight and less expensive to manufacture. Disadvantages include a problem clearing malfunctions and delicate nature…

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RIFLE GRENADES! Immediately Available Artillery

RIFLE GRENADES! Immediately Available Artillery

ABOVE: This launching of even a little grenade from the little FAMAS bullpup features a grinning French soldier enjoying the moment and Canadian Sgt Josh…

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100 YEARS AGO: The U.S. Marines in The Great War

100 YEARS AGO: The U.S. Marines in The Great War

One of the more famous episodes in the history of the USMC occurred with the various Machine Gun Battalions that were deployed to the Great…

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Stens of the World, Part 2: U.S. Stens

Stens of the World, Part 2: U.S. Stens

A Sten MkII “tube gun”—this example was made by Charlie Erb, a Class II manufacturer from Pennsylvania. The original owner paid $150.00 for this Sten….

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GRENADES! Artillery by the Fistful

GRENADES! Artillery by the Fistful

ABOVE: A red hot blizzard of small, uniform-sized steel fragments blasts out from detonation of a single M67 grenade during a training exercise in 2017…

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Milestone: The 100,000th Inglis Automatic Pistol

Milestone: The 100,000th Inglis Automatic Pistol

ABOVE: 100,000 bears only this stamp and not the usual stack of serial numbers. A ceremony was scheduled for August 21, 1943, at the John…

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Stens of the World: Part I

Stens of the World: Part I

ABOVE: The MkIII Sten was designed to speed production and reduce cost. The integral design proved inferior when tested against an MkII, and production was…

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Secret Mission: How the Germans Brought Hollow-Charge Technology to Japan

Secret Mission: How the Germans Brought Hollow-Charge Technology to Japan

ABOVE: The seaman’s book of Colonel Niemöller. He travelled to Yokohama aboard the blockade runner “Tannenfels” and covered as a paymaster. In the course of…

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Rifle Grenades & Launchers in Post-War Germany

Rifle Grenades & Launchers in Post-War Germany

ABOVE: A member of the “BGS” (Bundesgrenzschutz = federal border police) armed with a G 1. Note the early training rifle grenade Modell 1957 with…

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German Late-War Pistols of World War II

German Late-War Pistols of World War II

In the German armed forces pistols have always been in short supply, even though the serial production of the most common pistol, the P38 in…

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Father of Modern Wound Ballistics

Father of Modern Wound Ballistics

The Vietnam War witnessed new weapons and munitions on the battlefield, such as U.S. cluster bombs and its small caliber high-velocity (SCHV) 5.56×45 mm M16…

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Rio de Janeiro’s Military Legacy: Fort Copacabana

Rio de Janeiro’s Military Legacy: Fort Copacabana

ABOVE: Fort Copacabana There is considerable military lineage in this beautiful Brazilian City—invisible to most and yet, clearly present all over. For instance, international flights…

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The Ditsong Museum of Military History

The Ditsong Museum of Military History

ABOVE: Two 37mm “Pom-Pom” guns- large Maxim water-cooled machine guns with brass jackets, grace the entry to the exhibits. This pair of consecutive serial number…

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Sniper Rifles of  World War II

Sniper Rifles of World War II

ABOVE: Two combatants sit at rest. The K98k Mauser is above the Springfield M1903A4. Their army’s helmets lie next to them. One definition of a…

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Tavor Turns 10!

Tavor Turns 10!

One of the most prominent and prolific military bullpup-style rifles in history reaches its 10th anniversary in the field in 2016. SADJ wants to acknowledge…

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Personal Defense Weapons

Personal Defense Weapons

ABOVE: A crude Chinese made copy of the Mauser C96 pistol with detachable buttstock. During World War I, the primary weapon issued was the full-power,…

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Royal Malaysia Police Museum

Royal Malaysia Police Museum

The Royal Malaysian Police Museum Modern Malaysia is a beautiful country, rich in agriculture and history, with a growing industrial base. It was born from…

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Machine Gun Armored Patrol Carriers in Central America

Machine Gun Armored Patrol Carriers in Central America

ABOVE: In El Salvador, the AML-90 was relegated to perform security escort to artillery units, with an UR-416 traveling alongside — not with mechanized infantry,…

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Assault Rifle Development in the 70 Years Since the Sturmgewehr

Assault Rifle Development in the 70 Years Since the Sturmgewehr

ABOVE: April 23, 2006, Staff Sgt. Brad Smith from 3-320th Field Artillery, 101st Airborne Division with his 14.5inch barrel M4, sitting in the middle of…

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The SS Anti-Tank Rifle M.SS.41

The SS Anti-Tank Rifle M.SS.41

ABOVE: Soldiers of the Waffen-SS equipped with an early PzB 38 during exercises. After the annexation of the Sudetenland and the destruction of Czechoslovakia as…

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A Glimpse of Future Combat Small Arms 2045

A Glimpse of Future Combat Small Arms 2045

Introduction At the time of this writing, computers and related information technologies are a part of almost everything we say and do—a situation arguably both…

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The Evolution of the 9mm AR Carbine

The Evolution of the 9mm AR Carbine

The Evolution of the 9mm AR Carbine Christopher R. Bartocci Features, History, Volume 7, V7N6 ABOVE: The Colt 9mm-pattern carbines never achieved the success they…

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Military Museum of Colombia

Military Museum of Colombia

ABOVE: 1939 Lahti 20mm anti-tank cannon, converted to .50 BMG, mounted on FN30 tripod. Note in the inset, how the magazine has been shortened to…

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The Evolution of the Piston Operated M16/M4 Rifles

The Evolution of the Piston Operated M16/M4 Rifles

ABOVE: Third generation model Colt LE1020 successfully passing a mud test in 2008. Although never put into production, the final production LE6940P/APC is a direct…

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U.S. Carbine Caliber .30, M1, M2, and M3

U.S. Carbine Caliber .30, M1, M2, and M3

ABOVE: Circa 1950, an Air Force officer with his modernized version of the M2 carbine featured an in-line stock, raised sights, muzzle brake and bipod….

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The Secret Life of the Dror: Part II

The Secret Life of the Dror: Part II

ABOVE: Where the Dror springs were made. ‘Israel,’ the boss, stands in the doorway. (Carl E. Ekdahl) For reasons never made clear, Slavin took his…

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Less-Lethal Launchers During Protest in Turkey

Less-Lethal Launchers During Protest in Turkey

Crowd control actions executed by Turkish police in 2013 have showcased the employment of several less-lethal launchers. Aside from a range of medium-calibre riot guns…

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The Secret Life of the Dror: Part I

The Secret Life of the Dror: Part I

ABOVE: Carl Ekdahl shoulders a Johnson LMG outside the factory. (John Ekdahl) Niagara Falls, N.Y., Monday afternoon, February 24, 1947. Parked by the wintry highway,…

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FAL-Based Submachine Guns from IMBEL’s Fábrica de Itajubá

FAL-Based Submachine Guns from IMBEL’s Fábrica de Itajubá

ABOVE: Author firing an MD1A1 at Fábrica de Itajubá; the weapon offering a moderate cyclic rate of fire in the region of 550 rounds per…

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Argentina’s Indigenous Rifle Attempts

Argentina’s Indigenous Rifle Attempts

ABOVE: This particular example of a scoped Argentine rifle shown in a publicity photo has the cocking handle on the left side and, barely discernible,…

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Machine Gun Memorabilia: Volume 7, Number 1

Machine Gun Memorabilia: Volume 7, Number 1

ABOVE: British Machine Gun Corps shoulder patches as adopted for the 101st Machine Gun Company. This rare and unique patch features the image of a…

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The Heckler & Koch USP and the Evolution of the H&K .45 Auto Caliber Handguns

The Heckler & Koch USP and the Evolution of the H&K .45 Auto Caliber Handguns

ABOVE: Police Officer and SWAT Sniper Fabian Rivera firing the H&K USP Tactical. Notice the pistol is in full recoil. His SWAT team carried USP45…

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Japanese Taisho Type 11 (Model 1922) Light Machine Gun (Juichinen Shiki Keikikanju)

Japanese Taisho Type 11 (Model 1922) Light Machine Gun (Juichinen Shiki Keikikanju)

ABOVE: Right side view of the Type 11 LMG In preparing research for this article it was found that there was no consistent consensus on…

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Infantry Support and Anti-tank Weapons in  Latin America: 90mm and 105mm Recoilless Rifles

Infantry Support and Anti-tank Weapons in Latin America: 90mm and 105mm Recoilless Rifles

ABOVE: Salvadorian soldiers parade with M67 RCL. The U.S. supplied some 379 M67 RCLs to El Salvador between 1981 and 1992 to arm the soldiers,…

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The Colt LE901 Modular Rifle

The Colt LE901 Modular Rifle

ABOVE: Right side of the Colt LE901 with the Smith Enterprise Vortex flash hider and the folding front sight base. Most of the Black Rifle…

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Machine Gun Memorabilia – Volume 6, Number 4

Machine Gun Memorabilia – Volume 6, Number 4

World War I A.I.F (Australian Imperial Forces) aluminum dog tag. Engraved “92 T. Maxwell, 10 M.G. Coy RC” (Tag #92, T. Maxwell, 10th Machine Gun…

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Machine Gun Memorabilia – Volume 6, Number 3

Machine Gun Memorabilia – Volume 6, Number 3

TOP: German interwar period paperweight or desk ornament. 6-inch long silver German Maxim MG08 with Z.F. 12 optical sight mounted on a prone sled mount…

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Machine Guns of WWI: SADJ Commemorates the 100th Anniversary of World War I

Machine Guns of WWI: SADJ Commemorates the 100th Anniversary of World War I

ABOVE: Germans with Maxim MG08. Judging from their cloth-covered spiked helmets, this apparently posed photo was taken early in the war when quantities of their…

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Honoring Herbie Woodend, Ten Years Later

Honoring Herbie Woodend, Ten Years Later

A large group of friends and family gathered today at the front of the old MOD Pattern Room at Enfield Lock, England, for the dedication of a plaque honoring the life and contributions of Herbert J. “Bertie” Woodend, the former Curator of the famous MOD Pattern Room in England. This is one of the largest collections of military small arms in the world, and starting in 1966 “Herbie” was the driving force at Enfield Lock and later in the 1980s-90s at Royal Ordnance in Nottingham, until the Pattern Room was moved over to the Royal Armouries in Leeds in 2002. The collection is now the core of the National Firearms Centre at the Royal Armouries.

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ROMARM Small Arms Factories

ROMARM Small Arms Factories

During its history, Romania was occupied by Turks, Austrians, Greeks and Russians. The principality of Moldavia and Walachia were acquired in 1861. Romania was an ally of Russia during its war against Turkey in 1877 and became independent one year later. Allied with Greece and Serbia, Romania fought against Bulgaria in 1913. In 1916, it entered in the Great World War beside the Allies. Between the two world wars, Romania was member of several alliances with other Balkan or Central European countries. The king renounced the throne in 1940, after a coup d’état organised by officers favourable to the Axis. So Romania, allied with Germany, entered the war against the Soviet Union in 1941. In 1944, the situation reversed after an insurrection managed by the communists.

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Shooting with spade grip only. Even with this configuration control was not that difficult.

K12 South Korean Light Machine Gun

From 1990 to very recently, the ROK (Republic of Korea; or South Korea) army had a tendency to reduce the presence of 7.62mm NATO light or medium machine guns. From the 1970s to 1990, the South Korea military used M60 GPMGs as their ‘almost universal’ machine gun; first supplied from the U.S. as military support when the ROK military dispatched a considerable number of troops to Vietnam and then manufactured under license by Daewoo Precision Industry, Co. (today’s S&T Motive). It was used everywhere machine guns were used: infantry, vehicle mounted, helicopter mounted, etc. Since the ROK military was heavily influenced under U.S. doctrine, it was quite natural and that influence led to the development of the K3 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon), since the U.S. Army used the M249 SAW from the 1980s. The K3 is the ‘Koreanized’ version of the famous Minimi, and the role of K3 in ROK Army/Marine Corps was initially quite similar to that of the M249 in U.S. military.

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Glock Generations: Detail and Feature Evolution

Glock Generations: Detail and Feature Evolution

According to company literature, the first Glock pistols imported into the U.S. came in January of 1986. These guns had serial numbers beginning with a two letter alpha prefix of “AF” followed by a three digit number. This means for every two letter combination, there were up to 1,000 pistols produced with numbers from 000 to 999. As of this writing, current new production Glock….

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Weapons Lab: Small Arms Development at USALWL

Weapons Lab: Small Arms Development at USALWL

After the end of the Second World War, the United States military, the Army especially, saw its mission as one of countering potential Soviet aggression. If this were to come, the most likely battlefield would be in Northern Europe. With the Soviet Union’s acquisition of nuclear weapons the two world powers settled into the Cold War. Though a major land war between the two in Europe would have been catastrophic, other fronts presented more potential. By supporting insurgencies around the world the Soviet Union….

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German Submachine Gun EMP44

German Submachine Gun EMP44

Much has already been written about German military weapons. But still today some real treasures are left to be discovered. Some of them are re-discovered – like the Erma EMP44 of the Erfurter Maschinenfabrik (in short “Erma”)….

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Indigenous Machine Guns of China: Part Two - Heavy Machine Guns

Indigenous Machine Guns of China: Part Two – Heavy Machine Guns

Up until the 1960s all machine guns manufactured in China were of foreign design. The first heavy machine gun to be produced in China was the 12.7mm Type 54, a straight-up copy of the Soviet DShKM 1938/46, made on Soviet machinery, using Soviet documentation and assistance. This weapon fired the 12.7x108mm round of Soviet origin, which was roughly similar in performance to the American .50 BMG round….

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Emerson Electric's Tactical Armament Turret Line for Aircraft

Emerson Electric’s Tactical Armament Turret Line for Aircraft

The Emerson Electric Company was founded in 1890 in St. Louis, Missouri as the Emerson Electric Manufacturing Company. The company initially produced electric motors and then went on to produce entire electricity powered machines like fans, sewing machines, and power tools. By the time the Second World War broke out, Emerson turned its already half century of experience with electric power….

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The Armalite AR-10: From The Beginning

The Armalite AR-10: From The Beginning

The AR-15/M16/M4 series rifle is undoubtedly the most popular rifle in the United State for all military, law enforcement and commercial markets. It is the most versatile platform of a rifle on the face of the planet. Another rifle has crept up into that popularity; one that was on the scrap heap of the U.S. Army for nearly 40 years. That would be the one that started it all, the AR-10. “Tomorrow’s Rifle Today” in the late 1950s has turned out to be today’s rifle today. The rifle that Ordnance Corp….

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Brazil's Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais

Brazil’s Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais

As Latin America’s largest country and with a population of 200 million souls, Brazil faces massive defense problems. Although it does not have to cope with any imminent threat from overseas or any of the ten bordering nations, properly watching and defending 8.5 million square kilometers of land territory and an unbroken coastline of just about 7,500 kilometers long (corresponding to 3.5 million square kilometers of territorial waters) requires substantial effort from the three independent military services, the Exército Brasileiro (Army)….

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The Vallerand Magazine Identification Guide

The Vallerand Magazine Identification Guide

Alphonse William Vallerand was an American veteran of the Korean War, and a quiet giant in the Class III collector community. He mentored many of us about military weapons. You can read about him in his interview at www.smallarmsoftheworld.com. Bill was one of the founders of Small Arms Review magazine and one of his passions was the study of magazines, belts, links, and other feeding devices. He began studying them in the 1950s and started developing identification systems with Dan Shea in the 1980s. During the 1990s….

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The Original Scorpion/Stinger Pen Gun

The Original Scorpion/Stinger Pen Gun

The speed at which the United States geared up for World War II in the days after Pearl Harbor must be the paramount industrial wonder of the 20th century. Peacetime manufacturing and occupations quickly became part of the war effort with an agility that seems impossible today. Many manufacturers with no experience in small arms were tasked with converting all or part of their operations over to produce them. Singer Manufacturing, Rock-Ola, and several divisions of General Motors are among these well-known to have made the hasty transition….

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The Soviet PPSH 41

The Soviet PPSH 41

In 1939, just a month after the joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland in September, the Soviet Red Army invaded Finland. The primary reason used for the 30 November 1939 attack was to reclaim territory lost during the Russian Civil War of 1917. Soviet leaders wanted to extend their borders primarily as a buffer zone to protect the city of Leningrad from a foreign invasion….

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SOST: A Way Forward in Contemporary Understanding of the 1899 Hague Declaration on Expanding Bullets

SOST: A Way Forward in Contemporary Understanding of the 1899 Hague Declaration on Expanding Bullets

In 2006, the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Special Operations & Technology (SOST) office tasked the Crane Division, Surface Warfare Center, to develop a general combat ball round that would exhibit enhanced internal and external ballistics, and improved consistency in its terminal ballistics. It required a capability to defeat intermediate barriers such as auto glass and doors when fired in a carbine-length weapon system. The ammunition would have to maintain full compatibility with all existing weapon platforms….

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Sturmgewehr: Hitler's Only True Wunderwaffe

Sturmgewehr: Hitler’s Only True Wunderwaffe

Many years before WWII started, small arms designers of the world noted that in the real world the power of the rifle round was seldom used to the full extent. The late 19th Century saw the extraordinary surge in rifle shooting distance capability. The introduction of smokeless cartridges with small caliber jacketed bullets extended the individual effective range of fire far beyond the limitations of the open sights. At 2,000 yards, where these bullets were still lethal, a man-sized target would hide completely behind even the thinnest….

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Machine Gun Memorabilia - Volume 5, Number 2

Machine Gun Memorabilia – Volume 5, Number 2

LEFT: Japanese interwar or early World War II machine gunner commemorative discharge sake pourer featuring the Army star, Japanese battle flag and a Type 11…

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The Way of the Gun

The Way of the Gun

In his 1922 book, Story of the North West Frontier Province, author JM Ewart writes: “That gap in the low hills (south of Peshawar city) marks the Kohat Pass, which really has a better claim to being a historic highway of invasion than the Khyber itself. By it, across a neck of Afridi country, runs the Frontier Road to Kohat and Bannu, to Dera Ismail Khan and Razmak. The villages of the pass are famed for a strange industry — the manufacture entirely by hand of rifles and ammunitions, especially rifles, to the eye so like the products of European arsenals…

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MP38(L): The German Experimental Light-Weight Machine Gun

MP38(L): The German Experimental Light-Weight Machine Gun

At the beginning of 1938, the Erfurter Maschinenfabrik (ERMA) received an official order for the development a new submachine gun from the Heereswaffenamt (office for army weapons). Already a few months later, at the beginning of June 1938, ERMA presented the Maschinenpistole MP38. This achievement is impressive; however the time interval seems to be much too short for developing such a new weapon. This fact must arouse suspicions that a (nearly) ready draft must have slumbered in the drawers of ERMA….

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North Korean Small Arms

North Korean Small Arms

Recently there has been an upswing in interest regarding the weapons of North Korea.  This is due not only to the current saber rattling in the region and the changing of the leadership, but to how difficult it is to obtain accurate information as well as the disinformation campaigns that have been successfully waged by the North Korean propaganda bureaus.  Heebum Hong and Dan Shea have studied the small arms of North Korea for decades….

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The Lewis Gun

The Lewis Gun

Col. Lewis was a United States Military Academy (West Point) graduate (1884) and spent twenty-five years in the United States Army assigned primarily to Coastal Artillery units. He was a keen inventor and received a number of patents for artillery rangefinders and other artillery related equipment. He also studied in Europe for several years learning about the armament industry. It was while in Europe that he discovered that America was at least ten years behind in artillery and small arms manufacturing – particularly machine guns….

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Mexican Drug War Fighters

Mexican Drug War Fighters

One day in November 2010, the battle to get Antonio Ezekiel Cárdenas Guillén, one of the most feared and wanted drug lords in Mexico, had lasted eight-hours.  The Scorpions – the capo’s own army – presented a stiff resistance to hundreds of soldiers and federal policemen while a 660-strong Marine battalion fought its way to his whereabouts in Matamoros.  This is a small city in Tamaulipas, just across the border from Texas.  The government forces…

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USMC Precision Weapons Section

USMC Precision Weapons Section

There’s nothing else like it in any of the other branches of America’s Armed Forces.  Its uniquely lethal products, the work of a small and tightly-knit group, must function flawlessly and consistently 24/7 for the Corps’ Scout Snipers and other hard-chargers in some of the world’s most harsh terrain and weather.  Other weapons and custom loaded ammunition created there must also consistently deliver pinpoint accuracy for world class shooters of the USMC’s Competition In Arms Rifle and Pistol Teams….

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M27, Part Two: From BAR to IAR - How the Marines Finally Got Their Infantry Automatic Rifle

M27, Part Two: From BAR to IAR – How the Marines Finally Got Their Infantry Automatic Rifle

Friends and foes of the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in the U.S. Marine Corps’ infantry fire teams have been engaged in often fierce verbal firefights dating back years before this innovative light machine gun entered Leatherneck service; soon after the Army adopted FN’s MINIMI in 1984. While the reasons for this are many and varied, astute observers often cite two main points of contention: Advocates of belt fed weapons like the M249 admire their relative portability and high volume of fire…

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A Brief History of Russian Heavy Machine Guns

A Brief History of Russian Heavy Machine Guns

This story begins in 1925.  That year the Red Army requested the development of a large caliber machine gun with the intention of using it as an anti-aircraft and anti-armor weapon.  Initial research suggested a caliber of 12.7mm (0.5 inch, or “five lines” in contemporary Russian measuring system, where “one line” was equivalent of 1/10 of an inch), with the earliest work being based on the British .50 Vickers cartridge.  However, it was soon discovered that the British round was not effective enough, so an indigenous round…

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Swedish Medium Machine Guns: Kulspruta M/36 LV DBL

Swedish Medium Machine Guns: Kulspruta M/36 LV DBL

Sweden was not shy in their attempt to modernize their army at the turn of the twentieth century by equipping it with modern machine guns. The m/95 Maxim, the m/99 Nordenfeldt (Konstruction Bergman-Nordenfeldt) and m/00 Hotchkiss all found a home at one time or another in the Swedish army from 1895 to 1914. From 1914 the m/14 Schwarzlose was adopted and widely used. The first 511 Schwarzlose machine guns were imported from Austria but in 1917 Sweden began making them at the Carl Gustafs Stads Gevärsfaktori (GF) in Eskilstuna….

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Dushka: The Soviet Fifty Caliber

Dushka: The Soviet Fifty Caliber

The world’s first real heavy machine gun appeared during World War I, although big-bore machine guns were by no means a novel feature by then – it was rather that the machine gun has retraced its own first uneasy steps. The first ever machine guns, multi-barrel hand-cranked contraptions, were all of at least .45-inch caliber, as high as .58 – because those were the standard infantry rifle calibers of the era. The first automatic machine gun designed by Maxim in 1882, was also chambered in .450. It was only in the 1890s that the first….

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New .50 Cal Machine Guns, No Tanks

New .50 Cal Machine Guns, No Tanks

Four-gun turret undergoing testing. (Springfield Armory National Historical Site Archives) By the summer of 1918 he was nearing his 65th birthday and might have been…

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The French Hotchkiss Model 1914 Heavy Machine Gun

The French Hotchkiss Model 1914 Heavy Machine Gun

Laurence Benét test fires the Hotchkiss Model 1897 mounted on a wheeled carriage. The Hotchkiss Model 1914 was the standard French Army heavy machine gun…

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Identifying & Collecting the 7.62x39 AK-47/AKM Magazine

Identifying & Collecting the 7.62×39 AK-47/AKM Magazine

Russian magazines (from left): Russian Slab-Side, Early Izhmash Spine Stamped, Ishmash Side-Stamped, Aluminum Waffle, Izhmash AG4. Identifying all magazines, for all AK variants, would be…

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Right, Wrong, and What's Still Broken:  Life Goes On in the U.S. Firearms Industry

Right, Wrong, and What’s Still Broken: Life Goes On in the U.S. Firearms Industry

It’s been a wild ride being a part of the U.S. firearms industry over the last forty years. I have worked at more than a few firearms producers, from the largest to the smallest, and from the best to the worst. It has given me a special insight into the business. I’ve seen a lot of great designs evolve and I have been lucky enough to have not only met but spent quality time with all the greats: Chinn, Stoner, Uzi, Knight, Galili, Colby, Marquardt, Kalashnikov, Chiabrandy, Patenaude, Wetzel, Ruger, and Barrett.

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