EXPANDED REVISED EDITION, 2017
The first edition of this classic work appeared in 2004, and has long been out of print. The author, a prizewinning military historian, has continued his research in the military archives of Germany and elsewhere and we now present this expanded, revised edition, which contains the most complete and authoritative account ever published of the intermediate calibre assault rifle and the revolutionary 7.92x33mm kurz cartridge.
It has been said that Adolf Hitler was the greatest general the Allies had during WWII, and several examples of his fatefully bungled tactical decisions are discussed. None was perhaps more significant than his refusal on three separate occasions to sanction the development and adoption of the intermediate calibre assault rifle as the general issue weapon of the Wehrmacht. Its acceptance and fielding proved to be a long, tortuous and never fully completed process and, as a measure of the complexity of the story, in all of German small arms history, no weapon was renamed so often within such a short period of time.
The Sturmgewehr 44 (assault rifle 44) to give it its ultimate name, was belatedly approved by Hitler in October, 1944, after his earlier rejections had delayed the programme for a full year, and by the time he changed his mind a general rearming was out of the question. Nevertheless, the Sturmgewehr was by far the most important and influential small arm and cartridge development of the war. Fully indexed.
The Schmeisser Myth -
Deluxe First Edition, 2016
Of the plethora of submachine guns developed in Germany before 1945, most if not all of which are covered in this book, the most popular by far have been the M.P. 38 and MP 40 series, collectively but erroneously known to all and sundry as “Schmeissers.”
The origins of “the Schmeisser myth” can be traced back to the summer of 1940, when an official British Military Intelligence report described the first captured M.P. 38 as a “Parachute troops machine pistol of the Schmeisser type”, while later that year plans were afoot to produce the “9mm Schmeisser Carbine M.P. 38 Parachute Model” at BSA Guns Ltd. in Birmingham.
The book begins with a brief history of modern warfare and the technological and strategical developments which led to the first “machine guns”, and the adoption during WWI of Infiltration tactics as a means of surmounting the stagnation of trench warfare. The élite German and Austrian Sturmtruppen (storm troopers) were soon clamouring for portable rapid-fire weaponry capable of effective close-range striking power, and a new class of military small arm was the result, beginning with the Italian Villar Perosa. Several early German developments culminated in the adoption of the Bergmann M.P. 18,I in 1918. The new term “submachine gun”, coined in America, soon came to denote any light, portable pistol-calibre automatic weapon of the type called a Maschinenpistole in Germany.
The M.P. 38 was adopted in 1938 and was superseded by a somewhat simpler version called the MP 40 in 1940. The MP 40 was produced in five manufacturing variations by three firms - ERMA, Haenel, and Steyr - until 1944.
Of special interest to advanced collectors will be the four detailed, illustrated accounts of M.P. 38 and MP 40 magazines and loaders, magazine pouches, manuals, and the rare transport and storage chest.
This in-depth technical, tactical and historical treatise on these important and iconic weapons and their makers concludes with a Bibliography and an extensive Index.
The ArmaLite AR-10:
Deluxe First Edition, 2016
This is the most complete account of the history of the invention, development, manufacture, and use of the ArmaLite AR-10 rifle ever to appear in print.
The road to the U.S.-built AR-10 is followed faithfully and meticulously, with descriptions and numerous illustrations of all the 'AR'-numbered designs—such as the "Para- Sniper", a lightweight, .308-caliber bolt-action spoiler fitted with a composite aluminum/stainless steel barrel and foam-filled fiberglass stock (the AR-1); a prospective survival rifle for the U.S. Air Force (the AR-5), and its civilian offshoot, the popular AR-7—through the series of one-off experimental prototypes that led to the 7.62mm NATO caliber ArmaLite AR-10B, a remarkable rifle in many ways. Five hand-produced examples of the AR-10B created a sensation in a number of successful military demonstrations, until coming face to face with the "NIH" factor (Not Invented Here) as espoused by Springfield Armory, where the AR-10 was subjected to a series of nefariously rigged trials before being dismissed as "Not Satisfactory as a Military Service Rifle".
Further improvements and a new lease on life for the AR-10 in series production at the state-owned arsenal Artillerie-Inrichtingen in The Netherlands followed, with the potential world market carved into sales territories for the several arms merchants eager and willing to promote it. The book describes and illustrates all the different "country" and other military models of the AR-10 "family", which included scoped AR-10 sniper rifles and magazine- and belt-fed light machine guns, as well as the experimental carbine and sporting (semi¬auto-only) versions produced in Holland before program termination.
Uniquely, this book continues with extensive, illustrated coverage of the successful use of the perfected NATO model of the AR-10 in combat, largely with Portuguese forces, under some of the harshest and most grueling conditions on the planet. In every instance the AR-10 acquitted itself with high honors, earning praise and devotion from its users.
As far as is known, such a wealth of tactical and historical information on the combat use of the AR-10 has never appeared before in any source - certainly Small Arms of the World and other respected compendia contain little or no information whatsoever concerning this crucial segment of the AR-10 story.
The modern-day rebirth of the 7.62mm AR-10 in several guises; the fate of surplus returns; and a look at the latter-day designs of ArmaLite Incorporated, are followed by a Bibliography and an extensive Index.
The FN49--The Rifle That Ran Out of Time
Deluxe First Edition, 2011
The book begins with a historical overview of early FN self-loading rifles, all of which were discontinued not because of inherent problems but because of external events—usually wars—the overwhelming import of which took precedence over further development.
After the German occupation of Belgium in 1940, the British seized upon FN's new gas-operated self-loading rifle and beginning in 1943, RSAF Enfield manufactured at least 51 examples of what was generally known as the SLEM (Self-Loading Experimental Model).
Following the liberation of Belgium in late 1944 the self-loading rifle project was revived by FN, with comparative trials being conducted by the Royal Dutch Navy in 1947. The first commercial contract for what became the “FN49” was signed with Venezuela in 1948.
Further orders from a number of countries were forthcoming over the next decade, leading to a total production of approximately 176,000 FN49s. We present new colour images of a complete collector's catalogue of all the contract models, in chronological order, which sheds new light on the developmental history of this fine arm.
The book contains extensive details on the development of the Echo scope mount, which was designed and patented by the American gunsmith and machinist Edward Herkner, whose story is told largely in his own (previously unpublished) words.
The numerous component differences between the semi-automatic FN49 (the “SAFN”) and the selective-fire version, the “AFN”, are illustrated and explained.
Two chapters cover combat use of the FN49 by the Belgian Volunteer Battalion in Korea and by Belgian and colonial troops (the Force Publique) in the Congo.
A detailed retrospective of FN49 production includes the complete, official FN Order List, plus further breakdowns of production and deliveries by year and by calibre.
The book concludes with three chapters on Accessories and Ancillaries— handbooks, bayonets, cleaning kits, grenade launchers, scopes and slings—and a Bibliography.
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