Thursday, September 27, 2012

M3 105mm howitzer

Designed for air transport during WWII, the M3 105mm towed light howitzer was used by the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion. It was originally designed in 1941 and started production in 1943.

The M3 was another World War Two era mobile artillery piece.

Barrel length measures in at 16 caliber (1.68 meters) and the breech operates out of a horizontal sliding system with recoild handled hydropneumatically. The tow carriage system is an M3A1 split-trail type and can be towed by a variety of vehicles. Elevation for the gun system is at +30 degrees and the unit can traverse plus/minus 22 degrees. Muzzle velocity is reported at 310 meters per second. The M3 105mm towed howitzer can fire a variety of munitions with the standard being the HE (High Explosive) type.

Specifications for the M3

Overall Length: 12.93ft (3.94m)
Width: 5.58ft (1.70m)
Crew: 5
Weight: 1.2 US Short Tons (1,130kg; 2,491lbs)
Armament: 1 x 105mm main gun

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vought OS2U Kingfisher

The OS2U Kingfisher was a product of the Vought aircraft firm, appearing initially as the VS.310 design to which the United States Navy accepted as a prototype in the XOS2U-1. The prototype would be airborne for trials by 1938 and fitted with the Pratt & Whitney R-985-4 Wasp Junior radial piston engine of 450 horsepower. After passing trials with the US Navy, the system was given the green light for full production and operational status as the OS2U "Kingfisher" series, serving as catapult launched floatplanes capable of adapting to landing on airstrips as well with some modification to the landing system.

Though an American product, the Vought OS2U Kingfisher series served in quantity with the ranks of the British Fleet Air Arm.

The Kingfisher series was powered by a single engine mounted at the fuselage front. The crew of two sat in separate cockpit areas with the pilot in front, just behind the engine and the rear gunner/observer in a mid-mounted cockpit position. The aircraft was made highly identifiable by the large centerline float pontoon running nearly the length of the fuselage and extended forward of the propeller. Two additional yet smaller stabilizing floats were mounted under each wing of the low-monoplane design. Additionally, the system could be adapted to land on shore bases thanks to the interchangeable landing gear / float system.

Armament consisted of light self-defensive measures and was made up of a single forward firing fixed 7.62mm machine gun and a rear-mounted 7.62mm machine gun. The system was capable of carrying up to 650 pounds of external stores and was known to undertake a few dive bombing sorties in its time aloft. In all, the Kingfisher system served the Fleet Air Arm (as the Kingfisher Mk I series), US Navy and the Inshore Patrol Squadrons quite faithfully during its wartime tenure. A fourth variant of the Kingfisher in the form of the OS2U-4 was proposed but never evolved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The Mod. L rifle had been developed by Spanish CETME company (now Santa Barbara SA) as a further derivative of the previous Mod. 58 ad Mod. B rifles. These rifles, in turn, have their roots in WW2 German assault rifle Stg.45, developed by Mauser. After the WW2, some Mauser men moved to the Spain and started to work for CETME, where they developed the Mod. B battle rifle, chambered for 7.62mm NATO cartridge. This rifle later was licensed by Heckler&Koch and became the famous G3, but CETME also continued the development. In the mid-1960s men at CETME began to work at smaller-caliber version of the basic rifle, initially called Mod. E. Development was completed in 1980, when first prototype of the Mod. L, chambered for 5.56mm cartridge appeared. Production of the Assault Rifle Mod. Land carbine Mod. LC began in 1984, and it was adopted by Spanish army. In 1999 this rifle was declared obsolete by adoption of the H&K G36E assault rifle.

Like the previus models, CETME Mod. L is a delayed blowback operated, selective fire assault rifle. It has two-piece bolt with two rollers, which are used to accelerate bolt body and to slow bolt head and to hold the cartridge case in chamber until the pressure will drop. The chamber walls are fluted to help the extraction. Overall design is somewhat similar to H&K 33 rifles, but Mod. L is easily distinguishable by larger trigger guard and different (from HK designs) plastic pistol grip and hand guards. Sights on Mod. L also are different from HK pattern and rear sight is a simple flip-up "L" shaped leaf with two apertures for 200 and 400 meters. Magazine port also is different from HK pattern and is designed to accept M16-type magazines. Carbine Mod. LC differs from the Mod. L by having shorter barrel and telescoping metallic buttstock.

Caliber: 5.56x45 mm NATO (.223 rem)
Action: Delayed blowback
Overall length: 925 mm (860/665 mm mod. LC)
Barrel length: 400 mm (320 mm mod. LC)
Weigth: 3.4 kg empty (3.22 kg Mod. LC)
Rate of fire: 600 - 750 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 12 or 30 rounds

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cristobal assault rifle / carbine

The Cristobal Model 2 assault rifle / carbine is an interesting weapon which is somehow not easy to classify properly. Technically, it is close to typical submachine guns, as it fires from open bolt, but it's cartridge is way too powerful to be considered as a "pistol" round, as the .30 US Carbine develops about 1300 Joules of muzzle energy and thus is about 2-3 times more powerful than a typical military pistol round like 7.62x25 TT, 9mm Luger or .45 ACP, and has maximum effective range of 300-400 meters.

Cristobal Model 2 assault rifle / carbine

The Cristobal Model 2 assault rifle / carbine was developed by famous Hungarian small arms designer Pal Kiraly, who after the WW2 left Hungary and settled in the Dominical republic. The Cristobal Model 2 assault rifle / carbine is broadly based on two submachine gun designs - internally it resembles the Hungarian 39M submachine gun (designed by Kiraly), and externally it somehow resembles Italian Beretta M1938, which at the time of M2 development was manufactured under license in Dominica. Production of the Cristobal Model 2 assault rifle / carbine began in mid-1950s, and it was produced in significant numbers. In 1962, a modified version, known as Cristobal M1962, was designed and entered production. The Cristobal Model 1962 assault rifle / carbine was slightly shorter but heavier than its predecessor. It was also manufactured with fixed wood stock or with side-folding wire stock.

Cristobal Model 2 assault rifle / carbine

The Cristobal Model 2 assault rifle / carbine is a delayed blowback weapon that fires from open bolt. In this system, bolt consists of two parts, with pivoting lever attached to the forward part (bolt head). When in battery, the bottom hand of the lever is resting against the receiver, and the upper rests against the rear part of the bolt (bolt body). Upon discharge, movement of the bolt head forces the lever to rotate back, thus speeding up the bolt body and slowing down the initial opening of the bolt head. Once the lever is fully pivoted, both parts of the bolt can recoil together freely against the return spring, to complete the firing and reloading cycle. Firing is from open bolt, in full automatic mode or single shots. To select mode of fire, weapon is provided with two triggers - front trigger delivers single shots and the rear trigger delivers full automatic fire. The manual safety lever is located on the left side of the receiver, below the rear sight. Feed is from detachable box magazines with 30-round capacity. Standard stock is made from wood. On Model 2 rifles, the rear sight is adjustable for range from 100 to 500 meters, the Model 1962 has a simplified L-shaped flip-up rear sight.

Cristobal Model 1962 assault rifle / carbine

  Cristobal Model 2 Cristobal Model 1962
Caliber .30 M1 US Carbine (7.62x33 M1)
Action Delayed blowback
Overall length 945 mm 866 mm
Barrel length 405 mm 310 mm
Weight, empty 3.53 kg 3.96 kg
Rate of fire 580 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 30 rounds



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