During World War II, Australia Was Desperate for Submachine Guns
At the beginning of the World War II the Australian Army, much like the British Army, lacked a standard-issue submachine gun. Following Britain’s lead, in early 1941 Australia ordered a small number of Thompson submachine guns for trials purposes. The Australian military purchased 18,382 Thompson M1928A1s before deciding it... Read more
Maxwell Atchisson Invented a Disposable Grenade-Launcher
Maxwell Atchisson was a prolific inventor who experimented with everything from rifles and shotguns to sound suppressors and light machine guns. He was best known for his AA-12 automatic shotgun. One of Atchisson’s most interesting designs was a disposable, 40-millimeter grenade launcher. The launcher is arguably more like a... Read more
Nadie quería el fusil súper corto M-16K
La empresa La France Specialties, propiedad de Tim La France, desarrolló el M-16K a principios de los años ochenta. Esta carabina tenía un cañón de 21 centímetros de largo y una longitud total de 60 centímetros con la culata retraída. La France diseñó el sumamente compacto M16K “para situaciones... Read more
Some Guy Named Andrews Invented a Very Odd Submachine Gun
The Andrews Machine Carbine is something of a mystery. Little information is available on the World War II-vintage submachine gun, although some relatively good black and white photographs do exist. The boxy weapon was developed in 1942 and ’43 by an Australian designer with the last name Andrews —... Read more
You Had to Be Pretty Brave to Attack a German Tank With a PIAT
In 1941, Britain developed the Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank, better known as the PIAT. The PIAT would become Britain’s primary anti-tank weapon during World War II. The British had struggled to field an effective anti-tank weapon for infantry. In 1940, the British Army had introduced the No. 68 anti-tank... Read more
The U.S. Army Wants a More Powerful Rifle
On May 30, 2017, the U.S. Army officially asked industry for information on a new 7.62-by-51-millimeter rifle. The request signals the Army’s intention to begin moving away from the 5.56-by-45-millimeter M-16 and M-4 that have been the ground-combat branch’s main firearms for generations. The Army’s RFI comes hot on... Read more
La pistola que empezó la Primera Guerra Mundial
Posiblemente sea la muerte del archiduque austrohúngaro Franz Ferdinand a manos de Gavrilo Princip uno de los asesinatos más conocidos de la historia. Catalizó las disputas marciales, burocráticas y políticas que condujeron a la Primera Guerra Mundial. Por lo tanto, la pistola que Princip utilizó para matar a Ferdinand,... Read more
The DOE Colt Was for Nuke-Plant Guards
Often described as the “DOE Colt,” after a 1980s U.S. Department of Energy contract for submachine guns, the R0633 is a nine-by-19-millimeter submachine gun based on the M-16. Colt employees referred to the R0633 as a “briefcase gun.” The DOE Colt is select-fire, with a three-position selector switch. It’s... Read more
Nobody Wanted the Super-Short M-16K
Tim La France’s company La France Specialties developed the M-16K in the early 1980s. This carbine had a 21-centimeter-long barrel and an overall length of 60 centimeters with its stock collapsed. La France meant the extremely compact M16K “for situations where a full-power rifle is desirable, but a smaller... Read more
Savage Couldn’t Beat Colt’s M1911
Even though it lost out to Colt’s M1911, the Savage Model 1907 was undoubtedly one of the finest commercial pistols of its day — well-designed, finely-manufactured and revolutionary in many respects. In the early 1900s, Elbert Searle of Philadelphia began working on a series of semi-automatic pistol designs. He... Read more
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