Larry Vickers Takes On Arsenal’s Functional Miniatures

2015-02-28 01_18_07-Miniature Guns that Actually Shoot - YouTube

As part of his trip to Moscow, Russia, Larry Vickers was able to fire, for the first time, some of Arsenal Firearms’ scale miniature firearms. While miniature firearms are nothing new, Arsenal’s really are different in that they not only look like the full-size guns they replicate, they actually are the weapons, with everything from mechanisms to chambers replicated to scale. Unlike some other miniature firearms that replicate the look or even function of famous guns such as the M1919 or M2 while firing common calibers like .22 or .38 Special, the Arsenal reproductions fire scaled down ammunition; one can even see the belt of half-scale 8mm ammunition hanging from the miniature MG-34 in the second video.

The first three videos talk about Arsenal and their manufacture of miniature firearms, and in my opinion are an essential part of the whole. However, for those who just want to see the little guns shoot, head straight to Part 4. I have to say, however, watching them all in order really impressed me; collectively these are the coolest YouTube gun videos I’ve seen in a while:

Arsenal does sell their half-scale guns, but those who’ve already watched the videos before reading on will know they aren’t cheap; their half-scale AKM (Larry’s favorite, and complete with underbarrel firing miniature GP-30M in 9mm Luger) goes for around $60,000.

Miniaturizing firearms and having them work is no mean feat at all. Firearms do not scale well, a fact which the designers at Armalite, Cadillac Gage, Heckler and Koch, and other firms found out to their annoyance when trying to scale down 7.62mm weapons to 5.56mm.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Paladin

    At 2:42 on the fourth vid you can see the projectile tumbling, they may want to look at their rifling.

    That said, these are pretty amazing, a very impressive feat of engineering and technical skill.

    • I did notice that. It’s possible they don’t have rifling; wouldn’t shock me.

      • Paladin

        That does seem plausible, it’d take some pretty precise tooling to be able to cut rifling on bores that small.

  • skusmc

    Does anyone else feel weird when you loudly say “wow” watching something and no one else is there with you?

  • Bob Jones

    20 mins of video and maybe 2 devoted to actual shooting. What a waste of a trip to Russia :

  • Graham2

    These works of art are incredible!

    However, Putin’s super secret miniature soldiers will screw with the heads of any of our soldiers who come up against them. How will you tell if you’re facing a full size soldier at range A, or a half scale soldier at range B?

    • Don Ward

      But we have Ant Man.

  • Tassiebush

    I recall reading about one of the Tzars, probably the last one, having a scaled down mosin nagant custom made for him as a boy. Sort of a modern version of the boy swords aristocrats had.

  • Nicholas Mew

    As impressive as these miniatures are, my attention is going more toward the rare firearms in the place that deserve to be known. That PN machine gun being one of them.

  • MPWS

    Here we go…. sure way how to reduce weight of rifles. I want them under 1 pound!

  • mechamaster

    guns for the Hobbit Operator. lol.

    • noob

      *survivors rally and begin to cheer*

      “Half-Man! Half-Man! Half-Man!”

  • J.V.Stalin

    IN SOVIET RUSSIA GUN SCALES DOWN YOU!

    • Y-man

      IN SOVIET RUSSIA, SCALES GUN YOU DOWN

  • john huscio

    That AK would be great for woods carry….bet it would do a number on copperheads/timber rattlers

  • Rogier Velting

    The belt-fed German machine gun in the second video is an MG-34, not an MG-42. Typo, perhaps?

  • ghost

    Finally, firearms more my size.

  • So I skimmed through the videos, but it looks like only the last one included any shooting. Really? What a rip. And that Larry Vickers guy is kinda annoying.

    • sultan of swing

      LV does some great gun reviews- FG42 and StG 44 are worth a watch

    • Patrick Mingle

      Each 1:2 scale rounds cost 100 euros ($112) to produce

  • Don Ward

    Nice cheek weld!

    *Intentional Interwebz snark*

    These are fascinating creations.

    • FourString

      Brings a whole new meaning to “cheek weld” o.o”

  • LCON

    We of the RPALB Approve of this and send out Heart Felt Thanks to the Russian People….
    Long Live The Great Revolution Long Live The Revolutionary Peoples Army of Lilliput and Blefuscu

    • LCON

      no one reads Gulliver travels any more…

  • charlesrhamilton

    This is very interesting! For some reason, working miniatures have always fascinated me. I’ve always wanted a Sharps scaled down to a .22lr shell. Is there anymore info on the custom ammo? That would be interesting in its own right.

  • Lance

    Worthless but at the same time its adorable as heck!!!!

  • Guest

    Each one of those 1:2 scale rounds cost 100 euros ($112)

  • Adam aka eddie d.

    This is just insane.
    Since I know some guys that make their living doing precision metalworking and engineering stuff, I’ve got a pretty good idea how hard and meticulous small scale precision machining is, but I can’t even imagine how freekin’ hard THIS could be…

    I’m amazed, really. Nice to know that the Strike One was designed by such talented and competent people (not forgetting they are one half of the Arsenal Firearms Group,
    and Nicola Bandini was the other main designer from the Italian side).
    Dimitry seems to be a very cool guy too.
    They’ve just spurred my interest on the Strike One – if it comes from guys like him,
    it’s a promising sign in my humble opinion.

    Larry also deserves a big thanks for making these videos!

    • Patrick Mingle

      Dimitry is a very cool guy! I’ve only spoken with him briefly before but you can tell he is very committed to thinking out of the box engineering wise and definitely doesn’t shy away from a challenge. I am looking forward to their future products which I believe includes a bolt action rifle and some sort of AR platform. While they still are really just a boutique firearm manufacturer their future is definitely bright especially with the AF2011 (a double barrelled 1911) being featured as the weapon of a Bond villain in the upcoming film

  • Southpaw89

    Completely impractical but I love every one of them. The Thompson has to be my favorite though.

  • Phillip Cooper

    One of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while

  • USMC03Vet

    I literally lol’d at that first picture.

    Thank you for the laughs at work when it’s 1am.

  • Cattoo

    The videos would’ve been even more entertaining if there were Oompa Loompa’s firing the downsized firearms.

  • Cattoo

    So the AKM, aside from not having the compliant US made components and the import sanctions against Russian imports, would be an NFA item how many times? Would it be considered an sbr?

    • SBR, full auto, can. I think the underbarrel would be considered a pistol.

      • Or these could considered curio and relics due to the uniqueness and considered unlikely to be used in a crime due a variety of factors such as the high cost of the ammo and the gun. Plus would gang members use these? They don’t sure curio and relic handguns or rifles. Importing may be a pain though.

  • Dan

    this is really phenomenal stuff. maybe i’ll have another look at that strike one.

  • Russia evidently plans to invade the Munchkin Country.