Through the history of modern small-arms development the concept of ultra-high velocity ammunition has risen to the top of designers in both East and West. An example of the ultra-high velocity ammunition is the flechette.
A metal dart, the flechette is often sabotted in single rounds to be fired out of individual rifles. More beastly variants are container rounds-…Continue
The annals of small arms designs are filled with near perfect, odd and/or unsuccessful weapons. The Czech tradition of innovative small arms designs began in the early 20th century and continues to this day. In the 1920s, however, there was a semi-automatic rifle that should have received more attention, the ZH-29.
A well-made rifle, the ZH-29 came…Continue
The Japanese Nambu Type 90 flare gun is one odd looking pistol. Weighing in at almost four pounds, the Nambu flare gun was designed for the Japanese Imperial Navy. Called the Type 90 (for the Japanese calendar year it was created) it was a 28mm flare gun.
There are four different levers and controls on this simple…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on February 27, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments
The Manville is one heck of an angry looking gun. If you've seen the Christopher Walken classic, Dogs of War, you've seen this gun's cousin. But in the 1930s a machinist had an idea for a large capacity gas gun for use by police during riots.
The Manville essentially is a large revolver, that was born in 1936 as a 12 gauge riot gun. designed to arm police and…Continue
When a Czech immigrant arrived in Great Britain his claim to fame would not be a successful entry to the firearms canon, but rather an intriguing footnote that showed ingenuity could be matched with reliability.
The never ending search for larger capacity firearms, whether they were pistols or rifles, drove weapons designers during the first four decades of the 20th…Continue
Allied airmen had to face every manner of threat when penetrating the skies over the Reich. From Focke Wulf fighters to deadly German "88s" the air over Europe was filled with threats a plenty. But as the Reich crumbled and the Allied moved deeper in the lands of Germany, a series of last ditch weapons were fielded, including the Hs 297 Fohn.
As low tech a weapon as…Continue
The compact and easy to use semi-automatic pistol has sat on the hip of officers and enlisted men for over a century. But the pistol was always a weapon of last resort, something for when the enemy was close and death imminent. And so, from time to time, there was a notion to turn handguns into minute machine pistols. Today, Glock successfully markets their G-18C. But in the…Continue
In the throws of defeat, flailing helplessly against the advancing Allied tide and executing their leader, Il Duce, Italy rose from the ashes of World War II needing to rebuild its military from the ground up.
What is the underpinning of a standing army, but its rifle of choice? Instead of turning to domestically designed weapons, the Italian military chose the M1…Continue
Late last year I wrote about the what's old is new again craze of mounting illumination to weapons. Nearly a year later I am diving back into the idea of weapon's accesories, but this time the idea of mounting a camera to a handgun.
In 1934 a New Yorker…Continue
In Weapons of War I've profiled a number of different methods of operation for pistols, from locking toggles to Browning actions. The Campo-Giro Model 1913 was simple in how it operated. The slim semi-automatic pistol relied on the rearward forces of the…Continue
Sometimes a great rifle comes along and doesn't quite get its due. Sometimes its mischambered in an under-powered ammunition. Other times it falls victim to bad timing. That is the legacy of the stout and much overlooked Fabrique Nationale Model 1949.
Born in the years before the outbreak of World War II, the FN Model 49 was improved and refined by the Belgian weapons…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on October 17, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Light machine guns have for the past 40 years been primarily belt-fed. While in the first half of the last century magazines were just as common, if not more, in light machine gun designs. Every nation seemed to come up with its own indigenous light machine gun design. From Sweden we have a magazine fed light machine gun that was a cleanly design and rather attractive dealer…Continue
A simple backwoods gun, something that has two calibers that can handle anything you throw at it. A true American style firearms coveted by woodsmen that roved the continent for hundreds of years. In Europe 'Drilling" guns are well known. Here in the US they're a bit more a niche, something you carry as a backwoods back-up, than a primary hunting tool. One such light and…Continue
Some time ago I wrote about the stylized and long lived MAT-49 SMG from France. But it wasn't the only collapsing weapon to come from the minds of Gallic engineers.
The Hotchkiss Universal Type submachine gun wasn't anything special in how it operated, a standard…Continue
Magazines come in two basic types, single or double stack, meaning rounds are stacked in a single row or slightly staggered, doubling capacity and creating wider magazine. This is model has been standared for pistols, submachine guns and rifles for 70+ years, with the occasional "stick magazine" aberration.
In 1938 however, Argentina decided 20 rounds of pistol…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on May 23, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Despite have a long distinguished firearms heritage, Italian smallarms makers during World War II seemed to have floundered in attempts to make the next great advance in weapons designs. They came close quite often, but inevitably fell short when finding that right next generation weapon. And while other weapons makers were utilizing standard methods of operation for their…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on May 16, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
If you're a gun geek like me, something small, the littlest thing about a weapon can excite you. Sometimes its the method of operation, other times its the inventive way they solve weight or size issues.
For me the Argentinian Halcon M-1943 has a great stock. Yes, you heard me right, this pretty mundane SMG has a slight edge because of its design. But mundanity does…Continue
Added by Jake Holman Jr. on May 9, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Since starting Weapons of War I've profiled a number of World War II anti-tank or anti-material rifles, usually beasts of weight, size and power. Not truly anti-tank calibers by the late war, more effective against soft-skinned vehicles or lightly, these weapons were essentially oversized shoulder fired weapons. Germany fielded one such anti-tank rifle, the Panzerbuchse…Continue
The pocket pistol to some evokes images of cheap, dangerous handguns that often are more deadly to their handlers than opponents. However, well made pocket pistols was one of the strong suits of the firearms giant Mauser during the first decades of the 20th century.
Mauser produced a series of pocket pistols the Model 1910, 1914 and 1934 designed to be slipped into a…Continue
In the world of pistols the .45 ACP still hold sway over all other semi-automatic handgun calibers. Sure there is .357 Desert Eagle. And 10mm from Glock burned a few hundred pages of gun magazines in the 1990s. But outlasting them all is the .45 ACP. Designed in the first decade of the 20th century, the .45 ACP round is still loved by gun enthusiasts everywhere, including…Continue