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.

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Firearm Showcase: The Heckler & Koch MP5 PIP, Improving Greatness – HIGH RES PICS!

In May of this year, I got the rare opportunity to travel to Heckler & Koch’s headquarters in Ashburn, VA, to take a look at some of the experimental and prototype firearms they have located there in their famous “Grey Room”. It wouldn’t be worth as much for [Read More…]

Left to right: 4.9x45mm DAG, 4.3x45mm DAG, 4.6x36mm HK/CETME, 4.7x21mm HK early G11, 4.7x33 HK late G11, 4.6x30 HK MP7 Left to right: 7.65x38mm Swiss, 7.5x55 GP.11, 6.45x48mm GP.80, 5.56x45mm SS109 DSC_0825mod

Firearm Showcase: The Heckler & Koch XM29 OICW, the ULTIMATE Individual Weapon? – HIGH RES PICS!

In May of this year, I got the rare opportunity to travel to Heckler & Koch’s headquarters in Ashburn, VA, to take a look at some of the experimental and prototype firearms they have located there in their famous “Grey Room”. It wouldn’t be worth as much for [Read More…]

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BREAKING: French Defense Procurement Department CONFIRMS Heckler & Koch HK416 Win for French Rifle Contract

If any of you still had doubts about the HK416’s rumored win of the French AIF (Arme Individuelle du Futur – Future Individual Weapon) contract, doubt no more. The French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement, their defense procurement office) has released [Read More…]

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Firearm Showcase: The Heckler & Koch G11 ACR, The US Army’s Lost Opportunity? – HIGH RES PICS!

In May of this year, I got the rare opportunity to travel to Heckler & Koch’s headquarters in Ashburn, VA, to take a look at some of the experimental and prototype firearms they have located there in their famous “Grey Room”. It wouldn’t be worth as much for [Read More…]

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Firearm Showcase: The Heckler & Koch SMG II, 1980s Would-Be Successor to the MP5 – HIGH RES PICS!

In May of this year, I got the rare opportunity to travel to Heckler & Koch’s headquarters in Ashburn, VA, to take a look at some of the experimental and prototype firearms they have located there in their famous “Grey Room”. It wouldn’t be worth as much for [Read More…]

"First generation" intermediate calibers together. Left to right: 7.92x33 Kurz, 7.62x39 (commercial lookalike standing in for M43), .280/30 British, 7.62x45 Czech, 7.92x40 CETME, 7.5x38 Swiss. Tula long top 2

GUEST POST: A Brief History of the Kalashnikov Magazine Part 2: Synthetic Magazines

This is a the second part of a guest article from our reader Brandon covering the development of synthetic magazines for the AK-47 and AKM rifles. You can read the first part, on metallic magazines, at this link. Thanks, Brandon! Sometime around 1965-1968 Izhevsk [Read More…]

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GUEST POST: A Brief History of the Kalashnikov Magazine Part 1: Metal Magazines

This is a guest article from our reader Brandon covering the development of metallic magazines for the AK-47 and AKM rifles. Thanks, Brandon! The venerable Kalashnikov rifle is easily one of the most important small arms in history. Love it or hate it, it’s one of the [Read More…]

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Firearm Showcase: The Heckler & Koch G11K2, 1989 Caseless Hyperburst Wonder – HIGH RES PICS!

In May of this year, I got the rare opportunity to travel to Heckler & Koch’s headquarters in Ashburn, VA, to take a look at some of the experimental and prototype firearms they have located there in their famous “Grey Room”. It wouldn’t be worth as much for [Read More…]

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BREAKING: S&W M&P 15/22 Rifles BANNED at Appleseed Events Due to Run Away and Out of Battery Firing

It might be time to take a second look at your favorite .22 caliber AR-15 trainer rifle: Bearing Arms is reporting that organizers of the Appleseed Project marksmanship program have banned outright the use of Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 due to problems experienced [Read More…]

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BREAKING: Heckler & Koch CONFIRMED Winner of French AIF Rifle Contract; FN to Appeal French Decision

Multiple French news outlets are confirming the victory of Heckler & Koch’s HK416 rifle in the French Army’s AIF (Arme Individuelle du Futur – Future Individual Weapon) program to replace the FAMAS, in which it has evidently unseated the FN SCAR, its [Read More…]

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Stop Worrying About Whether Your Gun Is “Viable” – Accepting Obsolescence in Your Arsenal

As we ride the shockwaves outward from the epicenter of the explosion which began in 2004 with the expiry of the Assault Weapons Ban, our community of gun owners has rapidly mutated from the set that characterized our parents and grandparent’s generations. Many [Read More…]

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More On Kalashnikov Concern’s New MA Compact Assault Rifle and SVK Marksman’s Rifle (and More!), via Modern Firearms

Kalashnikov Concern’s newest weapon releases have received quite a lot of attention since they were first shown off at the ARMY 2016 military and technology forum in Moscow, and as the conference winds down, I want to take a more thorough pass through four of [Read More…]

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BREAKING: Kalashnikov Concern Introduces New SVK Semiautomatic Designated Marksman’s Rifle

As part of Kalashnikov Concern’s new product rollout for the Russian government’s ARMY 2016 military technology conference, the company has announced a new designated marksman’s rifle, named the SVK. Earlier this year, an article in PopMech.ru showed [Read More…]

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BREAKING: Kalashnikov Concern Releases New Micro Assault Rifle to Replace AKS-74U – 21st Century Krinkov!

The Russian small arms firm Kalashnikov Concern has announced several new weapons during the International Military-Technical Forum “ARMY 2016” held by the Russian government in Moscow, the first of which is a new take on a promising 20th Century [Read More…]

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BREAKING: Kalashnikov Concern Discontinues AK-12, Replaces It with… The New AK-12!

The AK-12 is dead. Long live the AK-12! That’s the song Kalashnikov Concern is singing this week at the recent ARMY 2016 expo in Moscow, Russia. The radical AK-12 prototypes that have dominated Kalashnikov’s press over the past two years are gone, replaced [Read More…]

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Where to Draw the Line? Managing the Weight of Next Generation Universal Calibers Using a Weight Calculator

How can one balance the trade-offs inherent in ammunition design to create a true one-caliber infantry weapon system that is both effective and lightweight? This is a question I’ve been exploring for close to a decade, and writing about for over four years. The [Read More…]

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BREAKING: Court Rules H&K NOT AT FAULT for G36 Rifle Controversy; Owes German Gov’t No Compensation

In the ongoing controversy about the G36 assault rifle, German gunmaker Heckler & Koch have won a major victory against the German federal government, as the Koblenz court where the company’s lawsuit against the government was tried ruled that the company was [Read More…]

Polymer-cased telescoped ammunition, left to right: .38 cal. Dardick Tround, 5.56x30 Hughes Lockless, 5.56x45 Steyr ACR flechette.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 008: Plastic-Cased, Telescoped Ammunition – Lightening the Load, Pt. 4

Previously, we discussed different concepts for lightening the soldier’s load, including aluminum-, composite-cased and caseless ammunition. Today we’re going to look at the weight-reducing concept that many believe is the horse to bet on when it comes to [Read More…]

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BREAKING: Inspector General Report DAMNS XM25 “Punisher” CDTE Program – Is the Army’s New Airburst Weapon on the Chopping Block?

The US Army’s “Punisher” XM25 Counter-Defilade Target Engagement (CTDE) weapon program is in danger, says a report released earlier this week by the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office. The program has been riddled with delays and [Read More…]

.264 USA The long-necked Colt 7.62mm round on the left combines the principles of triplex and squeezebore rounds (together called "salvo-squeezebore"). When fired from a modified M60 with a tapered muzzle, it would spit out three 55gr .224" caliber projectiles per shot. In the center is the duplex (not squeezebore) M198 7.62mm round, and on the right is the M80A1 EPR round, for comparison.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 007: Squeezebore Ammunition – Celeritas Et Accuratio

Previously, we discussed the benefits of and challenges facing saboted projectile ammunition, including the advantages of decoupling the diameters of the bore and the projectile, and the problems of accuracy during sabot discarding. One concept that could possibly [Read More…]

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BREAKING: The Next French Infantry Rifle Is German – Heckler & Koch Reportedly WINS French AIF Rifle Competition

According to an as of yet uncorroborated report from the French publication RETEX MAG, the next French rifle will be a variant of the German-made Heckler & Koch HK416. The report cites notices sent out to the five participants in the French Army’s AIF (Arme [Read More…]

Multiplex rounds, left to right: .30-06 long neck duplex, .22-06 long neck duplex, .25 Winchester FA T115 short neck duplex, .25 Winchester FA T127 long neck duplex, Colt 7.62 salvo squeezebore triplex, 7.62mm M198 duplex ball, 9.53x76mm Winchester quadruple flechette, .330 Amron Aerojet triple flechette.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 006: Multiplex Projectile Ammunition – Two, Three, Four for the Price of One?

After World War II, US Army analysts determined that the effectiveness of the infantryman was not as closely related to their marksmanship discipline as had been previously thought. It seemed that instead, the random environmental circumstances and effects, plus the [Read More…]

Caseless rounds, left to right: 7.62x34mm Frankford Arsenal caseless, 5.56x24mm FA caseless, 5.56x25mm Hercules caseless, 4.7x21mm H&K/DAG early caseless, 4.7x33mm HK/DAG G11 caseless.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 005: Caseless Ammunition – Lightening the Load, Pt. 3

Previously, we discussed trying to lighten the soldier’s load by making the cartridge case out of different materials, including aluminum and compositing the case out of polymer and metal. Yet, wouldn’t the lightest possible case configuration be… [Read More…]

Flechette rounds, left to right: XM645 with glass polyester sabot, XM645 with compressed sabot, XM110 with GP sabot, 10gr SPIW flechette and sabot above, XM144 with GP sabot, 10gr SPIW flechette above, .330 Amron Aerojet triple flechette, 9.53x76mmR Winchester quadruple flechette, AAI 5.56x45mm ACR flechette, Steyr 5.56x45mm ACR plastic cased telescoped flechette. Sabot rounds, left to right: XM645 SPIW flechette with compressed disintegrating puller sabot, XM645 SPIW flechette with glass polyester disintegrating puller sabot, 5.77/4.32 Frankford with polymer cup pusher sabot, 5.56x45mm AAI ACR flechette with petal-type puller sabot. Far right is a pulled SPIW sabot and flechette.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 003: Sabots – Performance-Enhancing Shoes for Your Bullets

One of the problems of small arms ammunition is that of swept volume. That is, the most ballistically efficient projectiles are the longest and thinnest ones, which cut through the air more easily than squatter, fatter projectiles. Yet, the best projectiles from a [Read More…]

So far, the polymer composite case has only found purchase with low-power specialty ammunition, such as the plastic blank and fired 7.62mm UTM marking round, both on the right. Several commercial composite cased rounds have been tried, including the grey .223 Remington PCA ammunition. In the 1970s, Frankford Arsenal and AAI experimented with composite cased ammunition, represented by the white cased round in the middle. On the left is a standard Korean-made M855 round.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 002: Polymer-Cased Composite Ammunition – Lightening the Load, Pt. 2

In the last installment, we talked about the growing need throughout the 20th Century to reduce the weight of the cartridge case, to lighten the burden of the soldier. Experiments in aluminum have thus far proven unsuccessful, but another material is even more [Read More…]

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Lightning Review: Sticky Holster LG-2 for Glock 19 (and Other Pistols) – The Best “Universal” Holster There Is?

The Glock 19, along with its close clones and equivalents, is in my opinion the ideal “universal” civilian pistol. Small enough to carry concealed, but large enough to shoot well, the Glock can serve equally well as an every day carry gun or as a home [Read More…]

The lead-free M855A1 5.56mm cartridge.

BREAKING NEWS: Liberty Ammunition LOSES M855A1 EPR Appeals Lawsuit in Federal Claims Court, US Army CLEARED

The United States government has won a major firearms-related victory in Federal appeals court today, regarding claims of patent infringement by Liberty Ammunition, LLC. Liberty had claimed that the US Army’s M855A1 EPR and M80A1 EPR projectiles infringed on its [Read More…]

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Business Insider’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad List of Weapons the Military “Should” Bring Back

Earlier this week, Business Insider released an article written by Christian Lowe entitled “6 weapons the US military should bring back from the dead“ with a very self-evident, but interesting premise. However, the weapons (all firearms, oddly) that the [Read More…]

Aluminum cased rounds, left to right: .30 T65 Light Rifle aluminum experimental, .280/30 British aluminum experimental, 6x50mm SAW aluminum experimental, 9.53x76mm Winchester quadruple flechette, .330 Amron Aerojet triple flechette. Today, aluminum cases are only used in low pressure applications, like the Omark Industries short range training round on the far right.

Future Firearms Ammunition Technology 001: Aluminum Cased Ammunition – Lightening the Load, Pt. 1

The metallic cartridge case was invented in the 1840s, and – starting in the 1860s – its military application brought with it a host of of advantages for the soldier: Now, ammunition was self-contained, weatherproof, and durable. Yet, despite it being a [Read More…]