In doing some research for the “From the Editor” for the September issue, I spent some time looking at William Batterman Ruger’s first contribution to American Rifleman, and no it wasn’t his “.22 Ruger Pistol” that made its debut in a September 1949 advertisement, nor was it Technical Editor Julian S. Hatcher’s extremely favorable review of “two production-line samples of the .22 Ruger” that ran in November 1949.
No, the first Ruger in the magazine was an article written by the young inventor in December 1943, at a time when he was working on a machine gun design for the U.S. Ordnance Dept. Titled “Semi-Automatic .250-3000,” Ruger detailed the conversion of a Savage Model 99 from a lever-action to a gas-operated semi-automatic, noting “This conversion can be accomplished with only superficial changes in a few of the parts.” Even in this first gun, aesthetics mattered to the young inventor: “The rotary type magazine has adequate capacity and does not require projections on the exterior of the gun.” Of course, some of those features would be seen in Ruger’s later designs, especially a flush-fitting rotary magazine.
Read the rest here: The First Ruger
What happens to the detritus left of the fields of battle after a war is rarely touched on in print or on film. Whether the remains are human or mechanical, something has to be done with them. wwiiafterwwii has put together an excellent look at how the mechanical remains were disposed of or reused.
Since starting wwiiafterwwii, I receive from time to time suggestions for topics. These are wide-ranging but two in particular seem very popular: WWII weapons in the Vietnam War, which has been touched on several times; and a general question of how the world “cleaned up” WWII battlefields after the war. For the latter, I was surprised at how very little is written about it so perhaps this will be of interest.
One of the reasons WWII battlefields did not remain littered with vehicles for long was that, with the lone exception of the USA, all of the major warring powers made some official level of combat usage of captured enemy arms during WWII. The most formal was Germany’s Beutewaffe (literally, ‘booty’ or ‘loot’ weapon) effort, which encompassed everything from handguns to fighter aircraft with an official code in the Waffenamt system; for example FK-288(r) (the Soviet ZiS-3 anti-tank gun), SIGew-251(a) (the American M1 Garand rifle), and Sd.Kfz 735(i) (the Italian Fiat M13/40 tank). Captured gear was assembled at points called Sammelstelle and then shipped back from the front lines for disposition.
Read the rest of this great article here: Cleaning up after WWII
Note the scoped Enfield. IWM image colorized by Doug Ralston
A sniper from “C” Company, 5th Battalion, The Black Watch, 51st (Highland) Division, in position in the loft space of a ruined building in Gennep, Holland, 14th February 1945
Or at least your monitor. I saved some of these 15-16 years ago from one of the forums I used to frequent. Unfortunately I don’t recall who put them together anymore. Here’s some 50.63 Para FAL goodness for today with more to follow as the mood hits me…
OK it’s not me. It’s a pic I ran across of someone in the First Balkan War, October 1912 to May 1913.
Zouaves on maneuvers with M1886 Lebel rifles, in 1909.