Know Your WW1 Weapon’s History: The Flammenwerfer

Flammenwefer — World War I German Flamethrowers

 

It appears the first flamethrower of modern design was patented in Germany by Richard Fiedler in 1901. During the same year, the German army funded his continued work on flamethrower designs. Fiedler, a private citizen, designed several flamethrowers models and presented a working product to the German army in 1905. Based on the feedback he received, two versions of the flammenwerfer were delivered to the army in 1908.

Around the same time, a multi-talented man by the name of Bernhard Reddemann began his own experiments in designing flamethrowers. Reddeman was an officer in a German Pioneer battalion until 1903. At that time, he transitioned to a reserve officer and stayed in a Pioneer unit. Pioneers were specialist troops frequently responsible for the demolition of fortifications, engineering strong points and using specialized weapons.

 

 

Pistol Fundamentals Flashback: Jeff Copper and the Modern Technique

H/T Lenny Ladner

 

 

No other man in firearms training history has had more influence and persuasion that Colonel Jeff Cooper, USMC (Ret.)

The Modern Technique of Pistol Craft that Colonel Cooper invented and taught revolutionized Handgun Training forever.

The MT can be divided up into four major parts:

1. The Big-Bore Autoloading Pistol

Cooper favored this pistol for its proven fight-stopping characteristics, its ease of handling, and the ability to reload it very quickly. While he personally preferred the Colt 1911 in .45 ACP, he also gave the nod to the CZ-75, the Browning Hi-Power and a few other guns. He was not a big fan of the 9 mm, however, and called double-action semi-auto pistols the answer to an unasked question.

2. The Weaver Stance

Cooper borrowed this technique from Deputy Sheriff Jack Weaver, who was consistently beating them all in the combat matches. It is a balanced combat stance that uses a two-hand, isometric hold on the handgun. The shooting hand pushes forward and the support hand pulls back. It is the key to fast, multiple shots using full-power ammunition.

Since the MT was developed over 40 years ago, there have been a myriad of other shooting stances developed that are worth checking out.

3. The Flash Sight Picture

Early on, Col. Jeff Cooper realized that when shooters focused on their front sights, their number of center hits went up dramatically. He also realized that, at close range, you really don’t have to carefully line up both the front and rear sight, nor do you have the time to do it in a gunfight. Just get the front sight on the target as quickly as possible, see the front sight clearly, and launch your shot. The effectiveness of this technique is amazing.

4. The Surprise Break

Cooper taught his students to press the trigger instead of giving it a healthy jerk that would throw the sights off target. In practice, one begins this technique very slowly, pressing gently until the shot is launched. Done properly, the shot should come as almost a surprise. With further practice, one learns to compress all the right moves and deliver his shot quickly and accurately. The combination of No. 3 and No. 4 is why you hear instructors admonish their students with “Front sight, Press.  Front sight, Press.”

 

News Piece from 1979 on Cooper and Gunsite Academy.

 

Jeff Cooper’s Handgun Fundamentals Instructional Video (1985)

 

Know Your Rifles: The “Krag” aka Springfield Model 1892 Infantry Rifle

Story of the Krag: The Springfield Model 1892 Infantry Rifle

 

The formal appellation Springfield Model 1892-1899 describes the several subvariants of the Krag-Jorgensen bolt-action repeating rifle developed in the late 19th century. U.S. troops affectionately referred to the weapon as a “Krag.” The rifle was actually a collaborative effort of Norwegian gun designers Ole Herman Johannes Krag and Erik Jorgensen. The Krag was developed at a time when the entire planet was discovering bolt-action repeating infantry weapons. It nonetheless featured some radical new design elements.

Where most contemporary designs featured an internal box magazine loaded via stripper clips from above, the Krag magazine and its lateral loading system were integral components of the receiver. To load the weapon, you pivoted open a machined steel cover on the right and fed rounds one at a time from the side. Eventually, the army issued a claw-style clip that allowed the magazine to be loaded in a single step.

 

Why Russian Tanks Explode When Hit

History and War

Russian tanks used in modern conflicts have had very bad tendency of suffering catastrophic explosions. When penetrated into the magazine (“ammoracked” for gamers), Russian designs (particularly T-72 and its derivatives) tend to be violently relieved of their turret, which can fly off even some dozens of meters away.

The reason for this tendency towards turret throwing championship is their design decision – but not the one that is typically blamed for it.

Usual answer for why Russian tanks tend to explode is their use of the autoloader. Decision for using the autoloader is a logical one for the Soviet tank doctrine. It makes the tank much smaller, especially the turret – T-72 is almost a foot shorter than the M1 Abrams, allowing it to take cover more easily. Smaller profile also helps make the tank more mobile, as the same amount of armor can be had at the lower…

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Know Your WW2 Weapons: The German K43 Rifle, Deutschland’s DMR

GERMAN K43 RIFLE: DEUTSCHLAND’S DMR

 

K43 is German shorthand for Karabiner 43. The same weapon was also known as the Gewehr 43. A relatively simple gas-operated design, the K43 was the German answer to our M1 Garand. However, manufacturing pressures and a suboptimal design conspired to keep the K43 from reaching its full potential.

The K43 was an evolutionary development of the previous G41. Produced as the G41(M) from Mauser and the G41(W) from Walther, these two rifles suffered from an inexplicable design mandate that German engineers craft the weapons without drilling a gas port in the barrel. The end result was a gas trap design that was front-heavy, cumbersome, heavy and unreliable. About the time the Wehrmacht was convincing itself that the G41 was a dry hole, they encountered the Soviet SVT-38 and SVT-40 self-loaders in combat on the Eastern Front.

The subsequent G43/K43 featured a more conventional short-stroke piston-driven action with a flapper locking mechanism. Much of this rifle’s entrails seem eerily similar to those of the Soviet SVT-40. This system was easier to manufacture, more reliable and fairly robust. The weapon was semi-auto-only and fed from detachable 10-round box magazines that could also be charged from the top via standard stripper clips.