First Maine Cavalry shown skirmishing with Spencer carbines at an unnamed battle in drawing by Alfred Waud.


The Spencer Carbine

By Kelly Bell

Confederate soldiers bitterly called it “that damned Yankee carbine they load on Sunday, and then fire all week.” Read more


Revolutionary War Weapons: The American Long Rifle

By David Alan Johnson

By the mid-1700’s, the American long rifle had acquired an almost supernatural reputation. To the British troops who were unfortunate enough to come up against it in combat during the Revolutionary War, the rifle was more an affliction than a weapon. Read more

A mannequin wearing the uniform of a technical sergeant in the American 359th Infantry Regiment mans the equipment in the Hoffmann Museum’s “radio corner.”


Luxembourg’s Hoffman Museum

By Raymond E. Bell, Jr.

You won’t find the familiar little triangular signs, “Warnung Minen!” hanging on barbed wire today in Western Europe, with one exception. Read more


The Short-range Shotgun

By Christopher Miskimon

Coming upon the enemy’s rear guard outside the western Kentucky village of Sacramento, four days after Christmas 1861, Confederate Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest ordered his cavalry to advance. Read more

An American soldier of the 31st Infantry Division carries an M3 submachine gun, known as the Grease Gun, during landings on the island of Morotai in the Pacific in September 1944.


The Controversial M3 Grease Gun

By Patrick J. Chaisson

No one ever used the words “graceful” or “elegant” to describe the M3 submachine gun. Instead, those soldiers, sailors and Marines who carried it called the M3 a “plumber’s nightmare” or “the cake decorator.” Read more


The Browning Automatic Rifle

By William F. Floyd Jr.

By dawn on June 9, 1944, the men of the Company C, 1st Battalion, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, of the 82nd Airborne Division found themselves engaged in a fierce firefight with German troops at the village of Cauquigny just west of the Merderet River in Normandy’s Cotentin Peninsula. Read more

A U.S. airman belonging to a security squadron trains with an M-79. Although most commonly associated with the Vietnam War, the sturdy grenade launcher also saw action in the 1982 Falklands War and is still in the inventory of many armed forces around the globe.


The M79 Grenade Launcher

By Blaine Taylor

I fired the M79 grenade launcher in advanced infantry training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in 1965, and had one on the back seat of my machine-gun jeep during my tour of duty in South Vietnam in 1966-1967 as a member of the U.S. Read more

One of the most iconic British WW2 weapons today, the Bren Gun was in short supply in 1939 but quickly became the backbone of the British infantry.


What Made The Bren Gun One of the Most Iconic British WWII Weapons

By Arnold Blumberg

While all the combatant nations engaged in World War I fielded machine guns during the conflict, the British Army’s Vickers was arguably the best medium machine gun of the war, while their Lewis gun—an American design but perfected by the English—was the most effective light machine gun. Read more

Boer Commandant-General Christiaan de Wet laid a clever trap for an unsuspecting British garrison in the Orange Free State.


The Weapons at Sannahs Post

By William Welsh

In the aftermath of the failed attempt by Dr. Leander Starr Jameson and his 600 horseman to overthrow the Traansvaal Republic’s government in January 1896, the Boers in both republics embarked on a spending spree to arm all able-bodied burghers with state-of-the-art rifles. Read more