Posts by Nathaniel F

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.

r8IwJer FN15_DMR_II_Rside IMG_6277-0 A lineup of 5.56mm rounds. The two on the right are Mk. 318 (second from right), and M855A1 (far right). 70d90466066020a2541789cd6c524bc8 0XKdKxd

7.62×25 Tokarev M1 Carbine: Another Frankensteinian Creation From Herbert “The Mad Gunsmith” Werle

German gunsmith Herbert Werle – creator of the famous “AK-47” Luger and the .45 ACP Luger Carbine – has created another strange hybrid firearm: A 7.62x25mm Tokarev M1 Carbine. Two videos of Werle testing the rifle are embedded below: In the description of his [Read More…]

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Has “The Silencing” Begun? The Marine Corps Experimenting by Suppressing an Entire Battalion

On the defense side, sound suppressors have been relegated to special roles ever since their invention. Used to give stealth to special operatives, assassins, and direct action teams, silencers have been valuable tools, but not central fixtures in normal military [Read More…]

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Bloke on the Range Tests the DEADLY M1 Garand Flaw that got GIs KILLED in WWII… (Actually No, Probably Not)

We’ve all heard it at gun shows or with friends: The M1 Garand was the first rifle that brought true semiautomatic firepower to the battlefield, but it came with a fatal flaw – the ping, which would alert German soldiers that the hapless GI was out of ammo, [Read More…]

A British Army soldier provides overwatch with his L129A1 rifle in Afghanistan. Image source: reddit A_coalition_Special_Operations_Forces_member_fires_his_sniper_rifle_from_a_hilltop_during_a_firefight_near_Nawa_Garay_village_(120403-N-MY805-202) DSC_1130

A Trip to the Bundeswehr’s Fantastic Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Part 8: Weird & Wonderful [GUEST POST]

The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make [Read More…]

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Bullets Versus Propellers, or Why Synchronizer Gears Were So Important in World War I – The SlowMo Guys

In World War I, the Germans developed a secret technology that helped them dominate the skies during 1915 and early 1916. The tech? A device that synchronized the firing of a machine gun with the rotation of an aircraft’s propeller, allowing accurate low-mounted [Read More…]

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Early Selfloader Mania: Italy’s First Semiauto Battle Rifle, the Armaguerra Model 1939, with Forgotten Weapons

By this point, it’s impossible to hide my affinity for early selfloading rifles, and today we have another great video from Forgotten Weapons on an early Italian model that made it all the way to adoption. Though the program was cancelled before it could be [Read More…]

yg7addF The best Thanksgiving ever? A US soldier and sailor both enjoy some turkey 17 days after the Armistice that ended the War to End All Wars. DSC_1017

A Trip to the Bundeswehr’s Fantastic Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Part 7: Pistols [GUEST POST]

The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make [Read More…]

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A Trip to the Bundeswehr’s Fantastic Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Part 6: Assault Rifles [GUEST POST]

The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make [Read More…]

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A Trip to the Bundeswehr’s Fantastic Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Part 5: Submachine Guns, Cont’d 2 [GUEST POST]

The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make [Read More…]

[It's a real shame this game is dead. Just saying.] DSC_1077

A Trip to the Bundeswehr’s Fantastic Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Part 4: Submachine Guns, Cont’d [GUEST POST]

The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make [Read More…]

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A Trip to the Bundeswehr’s Fantastic Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Part 3: Submachine Guns [GUEST POST]

The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make [Read More…]

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A Trip to the Bundeswehr’s Fantastic Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Part 2: Selfloading Rifles, Cont’d [GUEST POST]

The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make [Read More…]

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A Trip to the Bundeswehr’s Fantastic Defense Technology Museum in Koblenz, Part 1: Selfloading Rifles [GUEST POST]

The history of modern small arms is in part so fascinating because of how many firearms have been developed even in obscure circumstances, and how many of those obscure small arms still exist in museums and private collections around the world. Even though I make [Read More…]

M92 right side A render of the REV A03 magazine prototype, which became the Hexmag HX30-AR. In 2014, the company fell out with the magazine's designer, Adam Schefter, and now has attempted to erase him from the company's official history. Image credit: Adam Schefter

BREAKING: Hexmag CAUGHT Erasing Magazine’s Designer from Official Company History – A TFB EXCLUSIVE

In a story that could be ripped right from the annals of Stalin-era Soviet history, polymer AR-15 magazine manufacturer Hexmag has been caught whitewashing its official corporate history to eliminate any mention of the original designer of the magazine, replacing him [Read More…]

Even within the same ammunition system, different projectile weights have a massive effect on external and terminal ballistics. Here we see some of the different weight bullets available in the 5.56x45mm caliber. Different bore diameters give rounds different properties. Despite the fact that all three rounds shown here - 7.62x39, 5.6x39 Russian, and 6.5x38 Grendel (two on the right) - all use the same case base and have virtually the same case capacity, they have very different ballistic properties due to their different bore and bullet diameter. Left to right: .280/30 British, 7.62x39mm M67, 5.56x45m M855, 6.8x43mm SPC XM68GD, 6.5x38mm Grendel 123gr Lapua Scenar, 7.92x33mm Kz.Ptr.43 sME. All of these rounds have different characteristics that affect their ballistic performance and their reliability in automatic firearms. We'll be taking a closer look at these characteristics to better understand the trade-offs in small arms ammunition design. The HK416F variant adopted by the French Army. Note the specialized bayonet lug apparently designed for launching rifle grenades. Image source: sofrep.com

Will France and Germany Adopt a Unified Weapon? Heckler & Koch Poised to Take European Rifle Market

France has just adopted the HK416 as its new standard infantry rifle, replacing the FAMAS, and Germany is on a path to a new weapon, aiming to divest herself of the controversial G36. This raises the question: Will Germany and France adopt a unified arm? These two [Read More…]

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Full Auto Controllability, Continued: How Do We Define Useful Fully Automatic Fire?

Previously, we talked about the word “controllability”, and what it means in relation to the recoil and ergonomic characteristics of a firearm. If you haven’t already read that article, I recommend you click the link here and do so first, as this post [Read More…]

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6 Reasons the AK-47 Is the Most Reliable Rifle in the World: A Guide to Kalashnikov’s Magic for Aspiring Gun Designers, Part II

Yesterday, we took a close look at the AK’s operating group, to enumerate the details that make this pattern such a dependable design. Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the other elements of the AK that make it so reliable, but first I want to [Read More…]

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6 Reasons the AK-47 Is the Most Reliable Rifle in the World: A Guide to Kalashnikov’s Magic for Aspiring Gun Designers, Part I

Today we know the Kalashnikov family of rifles as one of the most successful and reliable weapon families ever designed. Even as the rifle’s legend has begun to be peeled back, the weapon’s reputation for reliability is still largely unquestioned, and many [Read More…]

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India’s Schizophrenic Rifle Program Stutters Forward: Excalibur to Be Adopted in Interim, 7.62x39mm Rifle Sought

The frothing, boiling cauldron that is India’s collective rifle development and procurement entities has shifted again. Just two weeks ago, we reported to you that India had restarted its search for a 7.62x51mm foreign assault rifle to replace the INSAS. Now, we [Read More…]

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“Why Didn’t He Design Anything Else?” Looking at Mikhail Kalashnikov’s Forgotten Firearms Portfolio

Last weekend, I took the major arguments of Kalashnikov conspiracy theorists head on, and one of those – which I hear rather frequently – is why he did not design any other weapons besides the AK-47. The reason is… He did. Kalashnikov was a skilled and [Read More…]

DSC_0035 83a426269bbc682d299d3bb2db75e5a2 P9260027 14650598_10157729319790121_26863942826722108_n Four PDW calibers: .22 WMR (Kel-Tec CMR-30 and PMR-30 SMG), .22 SCAMP (Colt SCAMP), 5.7x28mm FN (FN P90), and 4.6x30mm HK (HK MP7).

Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 002: The 4.6x30mm HK

If the 5.7x28mm FN is the first successful modern PDW round, then the 4.6x30mm HK is the second, and its biggest rival. German firm Heckler and developed the microcaliber 4.6mm in the 1990s as a response to a NATO solicitation for a Personal Defense Weapon, to which [Read More…]