I think it was the best of the war. The Germans and Russians had some semi auto designs and even created an assault rifle, but they never were able to produce and issue them in significant quantities. A semi-auto in a world of bolt actions certainly is a great advantage. I prefer muskets, however.
The Ancient Vending Machine —- Heron of Alexandria,
Heron of Alexandria (also called “Hero”) was a mathematician, engineer, and scientist who lived in Roman Egypt in the 1st century AD. A brilliant man, he was an inventor first and foremost, and invented many things that we take for granted today. Some of his most notable inventions was the automatically opening door, a water pump, the wind organ, and an early form of the steam engine.
One of my favorite of Heron’s inventions was the ancient world’s version of the vending machine. Heron’s vending machine was common in temples at the time and used to dispense holy water to worshipers. A person inserted a coin in the tab, placed a cup under the tap, and the machine would dispense a measured and uniform amount of water into the cup. To the temple goers it was a miracle straight from the gods, to Heron it was a simple work of engineering.
When When the coin was deposited, it fell upon a pan attached to a lever. The lever opened up a valve which let some water flow out. The pan continued to tilt with the weight of the coin until it fell off, at which point a counter-weight would snap the lever back up and turn off the valve. Unfortunately Heron’s vending machine was never used for commercial purposes. The first commercial vending machines didn’t appear until the late 19th century.
I will be blunt and people will crucify me for it; it sucked. The Mosin Nagant was a good design for the early 1890’s. By World War II it was terribly outdated. In fact shortly before World War II the Soviets tried to replace the design. Of course they were too late and couldn’t do it before the Germans invaded.
I will compare it to the 98K Mauser, which is what I know. The bolt is overcomplicated, when I strip Mosin bolts I feel like I need three hands to reassemble it. By contrast I can stip and reassemble Mauser bolt one handed in about 30 seconds. The action of the Mauser was much tougher and more reliable, it had much better accuracy, and it had much better range. That damn stubbly little bolt is an annoyance, and because of it the Russians had to make special sniper models with a turned down bolt because they could not mount a scope otherwise. Most German 98K Mauser had a turned bolt that was very comfortable to operate. Not to mention the 8X57 cartridge had a lot more stopping power compared to the 7.62x51. The 7.62 was also a rimmed cartridge, which can be picky and demand precise placement (staking) in the magazine or stripper clip, lest you end up with a jam. If it jams you usually have to release the magazine from the bottom, a which point cartridges spill everywhere, then its hard to get the magazine closed. The 98K Mauser has a simple double stack internal magazine that you insert the cartridges into, no worries. Finally the ergonomics of the thing. It long and heavy, uncomfortable to hold, especially if you are a large dude like me. The 98k is short, light, compact, and forms nicely with the shoulder. All around Mausers just seem to be better made and of better overall quality.
That being said I love my Mosin and I love to shoot it as much as a Mauser. However going into combat I would chose the Mauser. Over both I would choose a Lee Enfield because of its fast action and ten round magazine.
My Mosin top pic, my dad’s all original German 98K, bottom pic
The Tokarev TT-30 Semi Automatic Pistol,
In the early 1930’s the Soviet Union made the decision that it needed to replace it old M1895 Nagant revolvers. At this time revolvers were giving way to semi-automatic pistols in military use, and it was important for the Soviet Union to keep up with the capitalist world. One design of note was a single action semi automatic created by the gun designer Feodor Tokarev. The new pistol visually was modeled after early John Browning designs, internally it used the short recoil dropping-barrel system from the famous Colt 1911, another Browning design. Feodor improved upon the design by employing a much simpler hammer/sear assembly and cartridge guides that provide reliable functioning. Under testing the Tokarev was found to be extremely rugged and able to handle the worst combat conditions. Soviet engineers also added several other features such as locking lugs all around the barrel. The magazine feeding lips were even machined in such a way that they prevented damaged to the cartridge due to misfeeds. More importantly the design was simplified to the point that Soviet industry could turn out thousands of the pistols without using significant time, labor, and resources.
The most interesting feature of the Tokarev was its ammo, a 7.62x25 cartridge that was bottlenecked to provide extra velocity. This cartridge was based off the German 7.65x25 Mauser. In fact during World War II the Germans issued a number of captured Tokarev’s because German ammunition could be used in the pistols. Feeding the pistol was an 8 round detachable magazine. The Tokarev had no safety other than a half cock feature on the hammer.
During World War II the Tokarev never fully supplanted the Nagant revolver, rather both were produced and issued concurrently. After the war the Tokarev became standard issue of other communist countries, such as the countries of Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, and Vietnam. They also saw use in pretty much every war fought from 1950 up to today. Below is a map of the various countries that at one point used or still use the Tokarev.
The Russian replaced the Tokarev with the Makarov in the 1950’s. Over 1.7 million were produced.
A rare English made Larson-Winterros 16 gauge lever action shotgun. Late 19th century.
Sold at auction £1,500 (US$ 2,515)
The marble sarcophagus is curved and beautifully decorated on all sides with deeply cut bas reliefs relating to Dionysus. To the right of the central scene, the Minoan princess Ariadne, abandoned by Theseus, is about to be wakened by Dionysus, god of wine and rebirth, with his joyous revelers.
The front edge of the lid contains an inscription in a central panel flanked by small roof-like tiles containing Dionysiac motifs. It reads: D(is) M(anibus) / Maconianae Severianae / filiae dulcissimae / M(arcus) Sempronius Proculus / Faustinianus v(ir) c(larissimus) et / Praecilia Severiana c(larissima) f(emina) / parentes, meaning “To the soul of the deceased. For Maconiana Severiana, the sweetest daughter, Marcus Sempronius Faustinianus, vir clarissimus, and Praecilia Severiana, clarissima femina, her parents [had this made]”.
Maconiana Severiana was the beloved young daughter of apparently wealthy senatorial parents (vir clarissimus and clarissima femina were titles of senators and their wives in the High Empire). Given the small size of the sarcophagus, Maconiana must have been a child or adolescent. Ariadne’s face, where a portrait of Maconiana might have been inscribed, remains uncarved; since Romans traditionally included portraits of the deceased on figured sarcophagi, it is possible that her parents, attracted to this ready-made sarcophagus, decided against having their child’s features on a mature female body.
A.D. 210 - 220, found in Rome
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Cased, engraved, and gold plated .41 rimfire Remington derringer. Also includes pearl grips. Circa 1911.
Sold at Auction: $2,270.50
Staff Sergeant Major Morgan and dog, 1915
'SSM Morgan enlisted in the AIF and was appointed as 6761A (later 6761) Company Sergeant Major (CSM) on 3 September 1917. On 21 November 1917 he embarked aboard HMAT Nestor in Melbourne as a member of the 20th Reinforcements, 23rd Battalion. On 17 April 1918 he was transferred to the 14th Battalion. On 6 November 1918 he embarked aboard HT Marathon to return to Australia. Note he is wearing a militia uniform and is accompanied by a dog wearing a forage cap.'
Source: Australian War Memorial’s collection.
As someone studying to be a Respiratory Therapist I would say that oxygen is my #1 favorite gas. Especially at levels at least 21% FIO2.
What else am I supposed to say people? The Holocaust was good? If you ask a simple question you will get a simple answer. It’s like asking me, “What’s your opinion on murder?”
I don’t know about Southeast Asia, but China and Korea used them to very great effect. The Joseon Dynasty of Korea used the Hwacha (pictured below) to defeat Japanese armies that outnumbered them by orders of magnitude.