The Remington Nylon 66 Was the First Plastic Gun
This story originally appeared on Nov. 21, 2016. In the late 1950s, Remington took advantage of its parent company DuPont’s expertise in industrial chemistry and developed a revolutionary new firearm. The Nylon 66 was the first mass-produced, widely-marketed polymer firearm. Remington designers requested a synthetic material that had a high tensile-impact... Read more
Converted Prop Guns Are Assassins’ Weapon of Choice
This story originally appeared on Feb. 25, 2015. Blank-firing guns make for fun movie props and nice showpieces. But with the right tweaks, they can be just as deadly as the real thing. According to a new report by Small Arms Survey, a non-governmental research project based in Switzerland,... Read more
In 1964, the U.S. Treasury Seized a Virtual Museum of Machine Guns
In June 1964, agents of the U.S. Treasury Department staged a seven-day sting targeting what news reports described as a “mysterious warehouse” in Ridgefield, New Jersey. What they discovered was startling. 517 guns. A few quite interesting. And some … illegal. A photograph in the New York Journal-American newspaper... Read more
France’s FAMAS Rifle Is Simple and Compact
In 1967 the French army requested a new infantry weapon to replace both the MAS 49/56 rifle and MAT-49 submachine gun. Three years later, the French military standardized on the new 5.56-by-45-millimeter cartridge. With requirement and cartridge in hand, Paul Tellie, Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Étienne — MAS — began... Read more
The Soviet DP-28 Was a Brute-Simple Machine Gun
In the mid-1920s the Soviet military realized it needed a new, locally-produced light machine gun. Vasily Degtyaryov had anticipated the demand. He began developing the DP-27 light machine gun in the early 1920s. Following trials and some modifications, the Soviet army adopted Degtyaryov’s gun in 1928 as the DP-28.... Read more
The French Army Has a Passion for Rifle Grenades
More than four years ago, French troops dropped into Mali to fight back Islamic militants. While in combat, the French soldiers with their bullpup FAMAS rifles lobbed rifle grenades — a relatively rare weapon in the 21st century and distinguished from modern grenade launchers by being launched from a rifle’s... Read more
With the MP-57, Mauser Valiantly Tried to Best the Israeli Uzi
In November 1955, West Germany stood up its new, postwar military — in the process, creating the Bundeswehr. Almost immediately, the new ground-combat branch began looking for new small arms. Between 1956 and 1959, the Bundeswehr organized trials of nine-by-19-millimeter submachine guns. The trials spurred wide-ranging submachine-gun development in... Read more
La Edad de Oro de los Supresores para Armas de Fuego nació en 1909
Los primeros supresores viables para armas de fuego aparecieron a principios del siglo XX. Entre 1909 y 1920 se patentaron una amplia variedad de dispositivos de supresión de sonido. Hiram Percy Maxim, hijo de Sir Hiram Maxim, inventor de la ametralladora, fue uno de los primeros ingenieros en entrar... Read more
The Beretta Machine-Pistol Spits 1,000 Rounds per Minute
The machine-pistol was hardly a new concept when, in the 1970s, Italian gun-maker Beretta began developing the 93R, a sleek little weapon that practically spews bullets. Machine-pistols first appeared during World War I. In the 1920s and ’30s Spanish manufacturers Astra and Star produced fully automatic versions of the... Read more
The Golden Age of Firearm-Suppressors Dawned in 1909
The first viable firearm suppressors appeared at the turn of the 20th century. Between 1909 and 1920, designers patented a wide range of suppression devices Hiram Percy Maxim, the son of Sir Hiram Maxim — the inventor of the machine gun — was among the first engineers to get... Read more
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