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The Vault

Vintage Saturday: A Rifle for Cold Weather

German sentry with a Mosin Nagant rifle, WWI

When in Russia, do as the Russians do.

German sentry in Russia with a captured Mosin-Nagant M91 rifle, WWI. Note the sling swivel on the front of the magazine, and the lack of sling slots in the stock – this is a pre-1908 rifle.

German Mauser Obrez Pistol

From the collection of the Deutsches Historisches Museum, a reader named James found an example of an Obrez pistol made on a Mauser K98 rifle action. This apparently was made by Czech partisans during World War II, using the grip from an MG42 machine gun.

Mauser obrez

Obrez made by Czech partisans with a Mauser rifle and MG42 grip (photo from DHM)

Thanks for the link, James – looks like a fun project for a home gunsmith with a bit too much free time!

Introducing InRange TV

I am very excited to introduce a new project today – InRange TV!

InRange is intended to be everything that cable TV gun programs have utterly failed to be: intelligent and educational, while still being fun to watch. Each episode will have 3-5 different segments on a variety of topics, including reviews and range reports on firearms (both old and new), practical experiments with guns and gear in the field, competitions, interviews with knowledgeable folks in the gun community, studies and recreations of historic gunfights, and much more. Unlike Forgotten Weapons, InRange will not be limited to unusual and exotic firearms, but will rather cover everything that we find interesting. It will, however, keep the same standards of quality content that you get here. Shows will be an hour long, and publish monthly.

The other big difference between InRange and my other work is that InRange is a pay-to-watch program. Karl and I have big ambitions for what we will be able to provide with the show and they require and actual working budget, and enough income to support us without keeping other full-time jobs. I realize this will require us to overcome a major internet prejudice against paying for content, but that is the only way we can make this show a reality and bring it to its full potential (short of a contract with the History Channel, which will not be forthcoming because the History Channel doesn’t do real programs anymore). We hope you will consider supporting the effort by watching our first episode! The asking price, after all, is less that a cup of coffee per month.

I should also point out that this is in no way a replacement for Forgotten Weapons – I will continue to publish the same type of material and at the same frequency as always. InRange is an additional project involving additional people, and if it takes off, it will actually be a benefit to Forgotten Weapons, by allowing me to travel more. For example, we recently filmed an interview with Jim Sullivan (one of the original AR15 designers) for an upcoming InRange episode, and while there I also filmed a video on a prototype .22 rifle he designed for John Wayne, which will be appearing here on Forgotten Weapons.

Hall Breechloading Carbine at RIA

The M1819 Hall rifle was the first breechloader adopted on a wide scale by a military force (the British Ferguson predated it, but was only made in small numbers). The Hall stayed in production on and off for several decades, being made in many configurations. This particular one is an 1836 pattern smoothbore Hall carbine, with a retracting spike bayonet.


This is the last of the videos I had the chance to make at Rock Island, and they are all going to be up for sale at the Premier auction this coming weekend – along with a couple thousand other guns. I hope you enjoyed these videos, and hopefully I will have the opportunity to do this again at another future auction!

Survival Rifles at RIA: Luftwaffe Drilling and USAF M6

Today we’re looking at a pair of military survival rifles at the Rock Island September auction. One is a Luftwaffe M30 drilling – the most finely finished and luxurious survival rifle ever issued by a military force (a Luftwaffe case for an M30 is being sold separately). The other is a US Air Force M6 survival gun, spartan and utilitarian – the polar opposite of the M30.

Gyrojet Pistol at RIA

The 13mm Gyrojet pistol was the closest thing to a commercially successful rocket pistol, although not many were sold before the company went out of business. This pistol version (the most common type of Gyrojet) fires a 180 grain rocket projectile. It is for sale – with 15 rounds of live ammunition – at the upcoming Rock Island Premier Auction in September.

Prototype Dieckmann P66 Pistol at RIA

The P66 was a prototype .22LR semiauto pistol designed by a German immigrant to the United States by the name of Rolf Dieckmann. It never went into production, but had a number of interesting features, including a removable firing mechanism and a combination extractor and firing pin. In addition to Dieckmann pistol number X3, this auction lot also includes number X4, a cutaway model.


Vintage Saturday: Finn Capture

Finnish officers examining a captured Russian DP-28 LMG

Why make our own guns when the Russians keep dropping perfectly good ones? (photo source: SA-Kuva)

Note the Mosin Nagant PE sniper on the wall, and the AVS-36 machine rifle peeking out from behind the man on the right in addition to the DP-28 LMG on the table.

Krummlauf Curved Barrel StG44 at RIA

Today’s Rock Island Auction item is a very cool piece – a German Sturmgewehr with a “krummlauf”, or curved barrel attachment. This is the 30 degree type, intended (as goofy as this sounds) for firing around corners and over barricades in urban combat. A 90-degree version was also made for use in armored vehicles.


Chinese Mystery Pistol at RIA

Many unique and interesting pistols were made in China in the 1920s and 1930s, and this pistol is a good example of them. It is not a copy of any specific Western handgun, although mechanically it works like a Mauser 1914 pocket pistol. It is chambered for .32ACP (the other common caliber for these handguns is 7.63mm Mauser). This one is coming up for sale in the September Premier Auction at Rock Island on Saturday, September 13th.

I would very much like to put together a better reference on these non-standard Chinese pistols – if you have one I would love to get detailed photos of it! Please contact me at admin@forgottenweapons.com if you can help…