German Special Weapons of World War II, Part 1

Britain wasn’t alone in providing tailored firearms to special operations units during World War II. Most countries involved in the war expended at least some effort doing likewise, and Germany was no exception. A number of German special weapons and components from WWII are well known to collectors and enthusiasts, even while others remain obscure.

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The Brandenburgers, Part 1

Special operations forces as we know them were conceived in World War II. Before then, there were certainly special missions, and one could argue that some units filled a special operations role. However, virtually all modern special operations units can be traced to a World War II origin or predecessor — Britain’s Special Operations Executive,

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British Special Weapons, Part 1

In the last decade, Stoner’s evolved AR-platform has been pressed, stretched, pulled, prodded, and modified. Many consider it a panacea among firearms, although its suitability in certain roles is certainly a matter for debate. Nonetheless, the concept of modifying existing weapons to meet specific, often highly specialized needs is not new. Many nations have experimentally

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The SBS, Part 1

The Special Boat Service is a special operations unit of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. Although little known in comparison to its famous cousin, the Special Air Service, the SBS also has its origin in World War II. After the Fall of France in 1940, an isolated Britain marshalled its forces to defend the far-flung

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Germany’s Prolific Parabellum

Notwithstanding that the Wehrmacht, the united armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935-1946, commited some of the worst large-scale atrocities the world has ever seen, many people today are fascinated with this military machine on account alone of its technological accomplishments. After all, Germany’s engineers and designers during that period paved the way to the

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The History of the 9×19, Part 3

World War II’s ashes were still warm when the Cold War began, and it began in a world that had been fundamentally changed by the former conflict. Warfare would never be the same, especially after the events of Aug. 6 and 9, 1945, but on account of other developments as well. For instance, most major

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The History of the 9×19, Part 2

Unfortunately for Luger, the 9×19-chambered pistols he sent to the 1907 U.S. field trials did not impress the reviewers enough to be selected, although neither did the ones chambered in .45 ACP. It was not so much an issue of caliber as pistol design that kept the Luger, and thus the 9×19, out of U.S.

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Imitation is Flattery: MP5 Clones, Part 1

In the 1970s, Heckler & Koch began licensing companies worldwide to produce various models of its legendary roller-delayed blowback firearms: MP5, G3, HK33, HK21 and others. In addition to manufacturing these guns for their host-country military and police forces, most licensees also have or at least had a healthy export business. Examples include MKE in

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The History of the 9×19, Part 1

The 9×19 is the most popular handgun cartridge of our era, serving military, law enforcement, and civilians worldwide. And unlike other handgun cartridges of the same general time period, such as the .38 Special and the .45 ACP, the 9×19 — officially 9x19mm Parabellum, 9mm Luger, or 9 mm NATO (I will explain each of

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The SAS

Although the British SAS, or Special Air Service, was not the first unit to adopt the MP5, it can certainly lay claim to being the unit that made the MP5 internationally famous. The SAS enjoys notoriety in the modern world for its counterterrorism exploits, but it also has just about the longest and most contiguous

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The Zenith Custom Shop

Roller-delayed blowback firearms are legendary for their quality, endurance, reliability, and accuracy. Quite honestly, they have few rivals. But in a world dominated by plug-and-play AR-15s, the undersupported and more mechanically complex roller-delayed system can be intimidating. Where can you turn if you want to clean up the trigger on your Z-5RS or MP5? And

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The HK Licensees: The True Right Arm of the Free World? PART 1

The FN FAL is often referred to as “The Right Arm of the Free World.” If one examines the NATO table of organization and equipment from the 1950s through the 1990s, this title seems difficult to dispute on the surface. However, the Heckler and Koch G3, and its more ubiquitous little brother, the MP5, can

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