The current war in Ukraine has populated the internet with an abundance of images that have piqued the curiosity of firearm and militaria collectors worldwide. Photos with captions like: “Russians fighting with 19th century muskets” are disingenuous at best when the accompanying illustration is of a soldier with a bolt-action Model 91/30 Mosin-Nagant with a sniper scope—an effective rifle in any century.
In the April 2022 issue of Shooting Illustrated, this column looked at my all-time favorite carry gun, the Colt Model M or 1903/1908. This month we look at my favorite European semi-automatic, the Mauser HSc and its cousin, the Heckler & Koch Model 4.
This is the story of a "potato digger," more accurately a Model 1895 Browning belt-fed, air-cooled machine gun. The Model 1895 was designed by the creative genius of John M. Browning, manufactured by Colt and was the first American machine gun ever manufactured.