The Ruger Mini-14: Let's Get Real

If you want a Mini-14 buy one.

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Firearm Showcase: Winchester's Forgotten NATO Light Rifle? - at the Cody Firearms Museum - HIGH RES PICS!

In January, just before the 2017 SHOT Show, I got the opportunity to travel to Cody Wyoming to visit the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, to see some of their rare firearms and bring photos of them to our readers.

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Firearm Showcase: Mason Experimental 1901 Semiautomatic Rifle at the Cody Firearms Museum - HIGH RES PICS!

In January, just before the 2017 SHOT Show, I got the opportunity to travel to Cody Wyoming to visit the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, to see some of their rare firearms and bring photos of them to our readers.

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Early Selfloading Rifle Mania Continues: The Chauchat C6 Semiautomatic, with Forgotten Weapons

The first nation to begin serious work on the problem of an infantry rifle that could load itself between shots was none other than the then-military superpower of France. In 1886, the French revolutionized the infantry weapon by introducing the smokeless-power, repeating Lebel rifle, and no sooner was the rifle in the hands of the troops, than were French designers and planners figuring out what to replace it with. By 1900, the French autoloader program had been kicked into high gear, with designers Etienne Meunier, Rossignol (first name appears to be lost), and Louis Chauchat, among others, all working towards the goal of a practical selfloading weapon that met the French requirements.

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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.

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Forgotten Weapons on Ed Browning's Winchester G30 Prototype Semiauto Rifles

By this point, most of my readers will be familiar with the fabulous work being done (almost single-handedly) by Ian McCollum for his site ForgottenWeapons.com, and those who aren’t should click through and subscribe to his channel for some of the best gun-related content on the web. However, yesterday Ian released a the first of multiple videos on a rifle family that is very near and dear to my heart, that being the Winchester G30 line of development. For a rare look at the rifle as helmed by Ed Browning (half-brother to the famous John Moses Browning), watch the video below:

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Meet the "Black Rifle": An Introduction to the AR-15

It’s no good to discuss how firearms work without also giving the context surrounding the firearms themselves. With that said, let’s talk about the AR-15, its copycats, competitors, and relatives. Together these rifles share space under the loose umbrella of black rifles, a term which references the use of lighter and more durable black polymer gunstocks in place of traditional wood, something that became common from the 1960s onward in military firearms design. Today the term simply means any modern military rifle, or any rifle patterned after a modern military rifle, the two most common of these by far being the AR-15 and AK types. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the AR-15, but much of what we’ll talk about will be applicable to any black rifle.

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Bloke on the Range RECREATES HISTORY with John D. Pedersen's Cartridge Wax Process

A retarded blowback rifle extracts cases from the chamber while they are still under considerable pressure – over 35,000 PSI. Because of this pressure, the walls of the cartridge cases adhere strongly to the barrel’s chamber walls, while the head is forced back. Under normal circumstances, this would cause a catastrophic case head separation, therefore a successful retarded blowback weapon needs some kind of lubrication to free the case walls from the chamber and facilitate extraction at such high pressures.

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The Most Advanced Gun in the World (in 1916): The 1916 Meunier Carbine

Beginning in the last decade of the 19th Century, the French government began work on the next great advancement in infantry small arms technology: The selfloading rifle. By 1916, after the outbreak of World War I, they had produced what many consider the most advanced rifle of its time: The Meunier A6 Carbine.

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Hope You're Not Sick of Toggles Just Yet: A Look at Japanese Toggle-Action Rifles

Is it Toggle Month, or what? Readers of TFB have so far been treated to several posts in April on the famous toggle-locked Luger pistol, but the fun’s not over yet! In the 1930s, the Japanese were – like many major powers at the time – looking to replace their bolt-action Type 38 rifles with more modern selfloading weapons. During this time, John Pedersen, designer of the toggle-retarded blowback Pedersen rifle series, traveled to the islands to demonstrate his design to Japanese Army officials. Pedersen did not successfully sell his rifle anywhere ( despite it being a world-class design), but Japanese arms manufacturers could not quite let go of Pedersen’s ideas. Ian McCollum of the Forgotten Weapons YouTube channel takes a look at two such rifles designed and manufactured by Japanese companies, but based on Pedersen’s excellent rifle. These are the Tokyo Gas & Electric rifle, and the Nippon Special Steel rifle, videos on both being embedded in that order below:

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The CZ Model S Early Selfloading Rifle

Well, it’s no secret that I am a sucker for early selfloading rifles. The sheer number of ideas that were being explored in the early decades when these rifles were undergoing military trials creates a fascinating body of work for us gun nerds in the modern day to study. One area that doesn’t get enough attention is the developments of gun designers in Central Europe before World War II. We previously posted on the ZH-29, one of the most important milestones in the story of the military selfloading rifle, but today we’ll take a look at a video released by Forgotten Weapons on another rifle designed by the same talented designer, Emmanuel Holek. That rifle is the CZ Model S:

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When the Japanese Copied the M1 Garand

The Type 4 (sometimes also called the Type 5) was a clone of the US M1 Garand rifle developed by the Japanese Navy towards the very end of World War II. It’s a fascinating rifle for its combination of American engineering and Japanese style. Forgotten Weapons released a video yesterday giving an overview of the rifle at Rock Island Auction:

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Reconsidering the M1 Carbine as an Assault Rifle

The M1 Carbine is a weapon that, although popular with shooters and soldiers alike, has been unfairly dismissed in the broader context of the development of the modern assault rifle. Although initially fielded without select-fire capability, the lightweight and handy M1 Carbine was a surprisingly capable weapon, able to perform the combat roles of both the full-size infantry rifle and to a more limited extent the submachine gun, out to short distances. Its development would foreshadow the post-war assault rifle, and both it and its cartridge would become a model for several post-war intermediate caliber assault rifle projects in France, Belgium and elsewhere.

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The Browning 1921 Autoloading Rifle: A Forgotten Weapon of War

Some of John Browning’s contributions to the effort of the First World War – like the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle and the M1917 Browning Machine Gun – are well-known, but there’s one that never made it to production, or even any substantial degree of recognition: A Browning infantry rifle design, utilizing a totally unique hesitation locked mechanism.

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In Which I Talk Early Selfloaders At Gun Guy Radio!

About a month and a half ago, Ryan Michad of the Firearms Radio Network reached out to ask me to do a segment for the Gun Guy Radio show. He wanted to tackle the subject of the selfloading rifle trials that led to the US adoption of the first standard-issue selfloading rifle in the world, the M1 Garand. I was happy to accept, and a few weeks later we recorded the segment, which was released just this past Sunday. In it, we cover ground from the earliest semi-automatic rifle experiments undertaken by the French in the late 19th Century, to the “rockstar” gun designer John D. Pedersen, up to the adoption of the Garand rifle as the U. S. rifle, caliber .30, M1, in 1933. We even tackle some “what ifs?” including “what if Pedersen’s rifle had been adopted instead of Garand’s?” and “how would a standardized .276 caliber have changed US firearms history?”

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