The sight of a massive bomber gliding into a bridge or ship is terrifying, whether disabled or on a suicide mission. What if you could create a bomber -sized aircraft that was in fact a giant bomb. That is the concept that piqued the interest of Luftwaffe engineers and led to the creation of the Mistel.
War planners looked at the Luftwaffe fleet and found the…Continue
After a century, an automatic rifle that has long remained in the small-arms shadows has reemerged. The Madsen Light Machinegun, fielded in 1902, has battled from the tundra of winter Norway in the 20th century to the steamy ramshackles of Brazil.
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on June 22, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Looking at the "Stinger" of Corporal Tony Stein and it'll seems a piecemeal weapon. Not quite a World War II general purpose machine gun, not quite a rifle. Stein- a pre-war machinist from Dayton, Ohio- turned war hero charged into battle with this Frankenstein of a rifle.
You see, from a small arms point of view it simply appears like a M1 Garand stock mated…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on June 15, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Last week we profiled the strange recoil-cammed "Automatic Revolver" from Webley-Fosbery. Another pistol from the Webley design house was the .455 Self Loading Webley-Scott MK 1. One of the most ergonomically awkward appearing guns, the W&S MK 1 was the arms company's attempt at creating a domestic semi-automatic pistol to compete with the already numerous semi-autos of…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on June 8, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
The Webley break-top revolver is a classic and iconic pistol of Great Britain. A reliable, long lasting and handsome pistol, the Webley served British forces for decades in the first half of the 20th century. However, the company that manufactured the .455 caliber revolver also took a few stabs at semi-automatic pistols- one such handgun a hybrid revolver recoil operated…Continue
The Northover Projector was a classic improvised 'pipe gun' pieced together British weapon of World War II. Facing possible invasion by the forces of Hitler's Germany and no spectrum of anti-tank weapons ready for territorial defense, ingenuity became the weapon's designer's best friend.
With the Northover Projector they turned a simple piece of pipe into an…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on May 25, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
As the British people faced the specter of imminent invasion from the forces of the Third Reich every manner of weapon, old and new was pressed into service.
And when weapons could not be ramped up, they were improvised. One such example of…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on May 18, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Today, anti-material rifles run the gamut from .338 Lapua up to 20mm shoulder fired weapons. Whether they are bolt action or semi-automatic, man portable weapons that take out soft skinned vehicles, equipment and personnel are being produced in every major arms manufacturing nation.
But go back to the eve of the Second World War, thinking still titled larger…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on May 11, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Weapons were needed in massive quantities with unerring reliability. Nations under the British Commonwealth, participants in the war against the Axis,like Australia, India and Canada were expected to produce their share of weapons for the fight. And with the Bren Gun, the premiere light machine-gun of the Commonwealth, production numbers soared through each year of the war.…Continue
During the year of these weekly weapons features, the small arms designers of Czechoslovakia have time and again risen to the top as innovators in the field. And this week, the Bren Gun will be profiled, but this British weapon has its roots in Eastern Europe.
Like the FN MAG, the Bren gun is an automatic weapon considered one of the best in the small arms…Continue
I was watching the news from Libya last month and amid the cruise missiles and precision guided weapons, the rebel forces on the ground wielded any number of small arms, from pistol to large caliber. And amid the crowd, one rebel hoisted a weapon that immediately caught my eye, the Degtyarev machine gun. A weapon first assembled in 1927 and soldiering on in…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on April 20, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
When it comes to the FN MAG, nicknamed 'Gimpy' by the Brits and the Israelis wielding it are known as' Magists,' excellence means longevity on the battlefield. And after decades of vehicle mounting, even the United States got around to adopting the FN MAG for ground troops. When put up against more modern medium machine guns, the FN MAG is about as sleek as a bank valut, and…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on April 13, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Paratroopers possess a cache and collective bond no matter the nation or service. Look at their berets, pretty much every modern airborne force, no matter the nation, don the maroon beret as a sign of distinct and honored duty as airborne infantry.
As grunts who jump from perfectly good airplanes, airborne soldiers have always sought light and effective gear,…Continue
On March 29, 1911 the John Browning-designed pistol went from contender to arguably the greatest service pistol ever fielded. One hundred years ago the Department of the Army officially adopted the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol as the M1911. The .45 ACP caliber gun would serve as the handgun of the United States armed forces until the mid-1980s.
The Stechkin curried favor in the modern age of special operations and counter-terrorism was designed in the late 1940s as a vehicle crew weapon; and for a time was mothballed before returning to the fists…Continue
By the 1980s the word Uzi became synonymous with bullet spewing death. The gangster connotation attached the Uzi submachine gun, was also the chosen weapon of the Israeli Defense Force, as well as dozens of countries, elite miliary and police agencies. The compact weapon went through three generations, each smaller than the last, before recently ending its run. The Uzi…Continue
Stand clear of the backblast area! A shout heard by many soldiers, in many services over the past 60 plus years. The command, commonly made when a man-portable anti-tank weapon is brought to bare, is still being uttered by soldiers who wield the latest generation of the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle.
In 1946 Swedish engineers developed the next generation…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on March 9, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
A stream of flame is morally devastating on the battlefield, and of course, deadly too. Flamethrowers were fielded by the Axis and Allies during the Second World War. And while most were tank and backpack affairs, the need of a portable, disposable flamethrower for German paratroopers resulted in the Einstossflammenwerfer 46.
The throw-away flame thrower was…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on March 2, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
In the pantheon of early 20th century semi-automatic military pistols, the greats are universally agreed upon. The Colt 1911 and Browning Hi Power are considered tops by many. Add in the Walther P-38 and of course the famous Makarov from the former USSR.
Yet, what pistol is missing from those ranks? How about the Sig P210? The Swiss-made pistol, according to…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on February 23, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments
The Thompson submachine gun is a true classic in small arms. It is an icon of gangsters and GIs alike. The standard Thompson went through a series of modfications during its service life. The Tommy Gun, as standard, was chambered in .45 ACP (outside of some British multi-caliber efforts like 9mm and .30 Mauser,) except for an attempt by Thompson engineers to create a light…Continue