Small Arms Anatomy: Eight WWII Rifles

The crew at C&Rsenal has been lugging tools and cameras around for months getting the ground work in place for a collection of disassembled small arms from WWII.  Well, we’ve set the scope of the project for the eight major powers and hope to eventually include pistols, SMGs, LMGs, and maybe more.  In the meantime we whipped up a set based on the basic rifle of each country.

More about these rifles and the project can be found at C&Rsenal.


Othais is practically useless with modern firearms. That’s OK though, because he specializes in Curio and Relic military pieces and has agreed to decorate The Firearm Blog with a little history. He maintains his own site, C&Rsenal, with the help of his friends and the collector community.


  • Leonard

    While I had no problems examining human corpses like this (don’t worry, it was part of my medical education and not some crazy killing spree…) I would never dare to do this to my good old K98 or K31 carbines…

    • wetcorps

      Guns don’t kill people, people kill guns?

      • M.M.D.C.

        Not MY kind of people! 🙂

    • Othais

      If it sets you at ease, each gun is reassembled. “one way” parts that are fiercely press set are either sourced from inferior spare parts or built up in Photoshop. We do not damage the pieces.

      On that note, does anyone have a spare slide release for an mle.1935a? They ground the serrations into the pin!

      • Leonard

        Thanks for the information, and I do find the pictures very beautiful and informative nevertheless. As a “normal” shooter I normally only take out the bolt and the magazine to clean my old bolt-action rifles, so for me the rest of the gun often feels like it’s just one piece. The photos show very clearly that this is not the case and that WWII-era bolt-action rifles consist of almost as many parts as modern semi-automatic rifles do.

    • dan citizen

      Yes, these pictures make me want to buy an old mauser or arisaka and mount a tapco folding stock, quad picatinny, and a vertical forward grip….

  • Lance

    Awesome pics thanks Othais.

  • Clint Notestine

    cool ive got 4 C&R rifles on the list so it will be fun to explore them some more.

  • dan citizen

    Another great article. Well done.

  • schizuki

    You fellows are doing the Lord’s work. Damned impressive. Kudos and huzzahs.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    A comprehensive and real “exploded view” of each rifle in question — absolutely terrific. Thanks very much, Othais!

  • Nicholas Mew

    You can tell which part is German by the presence of a Serial and Approval Stamping.

  • So?

    So who can boast the simplest design, lowest parts count?

  • Northor

    needs a krag-jørgensen in there as well.

  • CavTrooper153

    Did anyone happen to see that the Lee Enfield is not what it’s labled as? It is however a No 1 Mk III