CHASSEPOT TO FAMAS: FRENCH MILITARY RIFLES, 1866 – 2016
BY IAN MCCOLLUM
Chassepot to FAMAS: French Military Rifles, 1866 – 2016 is a reference guide for historians, shooters, and arms collectors alike, detailing the progression of French military rifles from the first paper-cartridge Chassepot rifles in 1866 through the FAMAS – the last military rifle to be made in France. This book is the first English-language work to comprehensively cover the subject, and includes all major models of French rifles:
Each chapter includes a history of the rifle’s development and its intended use, along with information concerning known variants, production numbers, markings, disassembly and mechanical operation, bayonets, and a history of deployment and combat use. French small arms have played a unique role in global firearms development, often ahead of the curve and always unique. Supported by world-class color photography and printed to the highest standards, Chassepot to FAMAS is not just a valuable reference tool but also a beautiful book worthy of any discerning library.
Ian McCollum is the founder, editor, and presenter of Forgotten Weapons, a decade-old web site and video archive dedicated to preserving firearms history. He specializes in French small arms and holds a deep interest in collecting these weapons. It is his hope that Chassepot to FAMAS will lay the groundwork for a new level of appreciation and respect for these historically important weapons.
Works in Progress
THORNEYCROFT TO SA80: BRITISH MILITARY BULLPUP FIREARMS, 1901 – 2018
BY JONATHAN FERGUSON
Thorneycroft to SA80: British Military Bullpup Firearms, 1901 – 2018 is a reference work for all those interested in the history of military firearms. It charts the British love affair with the ‘flipped’ bullpup rifle and machine gun - weapons with their firing mechanism positioned behind the trigger - from a faltering start in the Edwardian period, through the controversy of the NATO rifle trials, to the troubled history of the current SA80 family. The book covers the following arms in detail:
Korsak E.M.1 light machine gun
Thorpe ‘Cobra’ E.M.1 rifle
E.M.2 ‘Mamba’ rifle and carbine
Enfield Weapon System Individual Weapon and Machine Gun
SA80 Individual Weapon and Light Support Weapon
SA80 carbines & grenade launchers
Each chapter describes the weapon's conception, development, trial and intended role. Essential technical aspects of design and operation are framed in their historical context and the whole is laid out in a clear, logical, and chronological manner. These stories are lavishly illustrated with top quality photography of key examples from the world’s best collection of these exotic and poorly-understood weapons. As the contemporary debate over the relative merits of bullpup and conventional small arms builds pace, this work is a timely reflection on the efforts of the most prolific of the bullpup nations. Thorneycroft to SA80 is both a comprehensive reference work to support serious research, and an aesthetically pleasing illustrated publication for the firearms enthusiast.
THE EMIR’S NEW RIFLES: A HISTORY OF THE KABUL ARSENAL, 1885 – 1925
BY N.R. JENZEN-JONES & VERNON EASLEY
The Emir’s New Rifles: A History of the Kabul Arsenal, 1885 – 1925 charts the course of Afghanistan’s first and only modern small arms production factory. The reader will be transported back to the days of high adventure in this fascinating examination of key personalities, gun production, and firearms characteristics, framed against the backdrop of impressive feats of engineering accomplished in an austere and challenging environment. The book follows the Kārkhānah-i Bukhārī (‘steam workshop’) from its inception, through its high-points, to its gradual decline and demise after the First World War.
It covers the following Afghan-made arms in detail:
Pre-Kabul Arsenal regional designs, including the famous Afghan ‘jezzail’
Pre-Kabul Arsenal percussion muskets, including the ‘Brown Bess’
Seven distinct types of Martini-Henry and Martini-Enfield rifles and variants
Various proto-machine guns and cannon produced or finished at the Arsenal
Photography of the highest standard accompanies the text, allowing readers to pick out minute detail in unprecedented quality. Headstamp’s access to the world’s best collections of these rifles has been supplemented by field research in Afghanistan and archival research around the world, making this the definitive book on the topic. In recent years, firearms produced at the Kabul Arsenal–often mistakenly identified as Pakistani ‘Khyber’ copies–have proven popular mementos for ISAF troops and others deployed to Afghanistan. The Emir’s New Rifles offers collectors, curators, researchers, and enthusiasts an unprecedented understanding of this little-known factory and its unique firearms.