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10 Rare And Obscure WW1 Era Guns I THE GREAT WAR Special feat. Rock Island Auction


I’m Indy Neidell; welcome to an ultra-nerdy
Great War top ten special about obscure, unusual, or rare firearms during the First World War
era. This is an episode in collaboration with the
Rock Island Auction Company and some of the rare and obscure guns you see here are actually
up in their next auction. And if you are curious to learn more about
these weapons, Ian from Forgotten Weapons actually examined a few of them and their
history too on his channel. Anyway, without further ado, here we go… Number 10, the Schwartzlose 1898 prototype. A self-loading pistol from 1898 is pretty
exotic in the first place, but the Schwartzlose M1898 was truly ahead of its time. It was fairly ergonomic and had a unique spring
and recoil mechanism, but they only made around 1,000 of them. I have no idea how to really explain why they
failed. Ian from Forgotten Weapons says one factor
might have been the cost, and he’s probably right, but there should be more to it than
that. Actually, a few were shipped to the Boers
during the Boer Wars, and the Russian Social Democratic Party also bought some for a planned
insurrection. If you wonder who that party was, it was illegal
for most of its existence and indeed eventually split into the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. Look it up after you watch this. Number 9, the Norwegian Hagen design French
prototype test rifle. Okay, many people have a somewhat unfavorable
image of the French army during World War One. This is unfortunate because it was a major
fighting force, however at the beginning of the war you can see where that image came
from. Marching out in bright red colors, advancing
en masse over open fields against machine guns, the Lebel rifles, and so on, they began
the war in the past. However, after the “Shame of Sedan” in
1870, a humiliating loss to Prussia, there were many who wanted to reform and re-outfit
the army for modern combat. Even just before the war, they considered
a khaki uniform, but that idea died in committee because “the red pantaloons are France”. How many men you think that decision cost? Anyhow, another might-have-been is the semi-automatic
Hagen rifle. Low recoil, simple firing mechanism, great
accuracy, a few other flaws supposedly made it impractical. More impractical than a Lebel? Wow. Number 8. Okay, this is a two fer. The 1916 Mauser 9mm self-loading -Selbstlader-
carbine and the 1908 Mexican Mondragon rifle. Self-loaders had been experimented with for
decades before WW1, and these two notable designs ended up in the hands of the Flieger
Korps. Both were pretty impressive from a design
perspective and were quite accurate, but were totally impractical for ground troops since
they were easily affected by dirt, mud, and debris, which is exactly what you don’t
need in trench warfare. But isn’t the design oddly familiar to us
from today’s perspective? Number 7 isn’t a gun but an attachment,
the 40 or 25 round stick magazine for the Pedersen device. The device was supposed to allow a soldier
to transform “his rifle into a form of submachine gun or automatic rifle” in about 15 seconds. It replaced the firing mechanism of the previously
modified Springfield M1903 and pretty much turned it into a blow-back weapon with an
expanded magazine. The idea was to give soldiers a boost in firepower
for the planned 1919 spring offensives, and tens of thousands of them were made, but most
were destroyed and only around 200 exist today. Number 6, the Hellriegel heavy submachine
gun prototype. This is a contestant for first submachine
gun. There’s not a ton of info on it but it seems
the first tests were in October 1915. It was apparently fed by a 160 round drum
magazine that was belt feeding into to the rifle. It was water-cooled, which may be one reason
it was not effective as a mobile weapon, but we just don’t know much about it, though
it looks really interesting. Number 5, the Bergmann MG15nA. This heavy machine gun was at first intended
for use in Zeppelins or aircrafts, but was lightened and outfitted with a butt stock
for infantry use. It wasn’t mass-produced until late 1916,
and was pretty advanced for its time. It relied on the short-recoil principle that
forced the bolt to travel further to compress the spring. Together with the typical compact Bergmann
lock system the MG15nA provided innovative ideas and shared many similarities with the
design of future machine guns. Fed by 200-500 round belts and fired with
a pistol grip and trigger, its effective range was about 1,000m. In fact, around 6,000 of them were made and
were mostly sent to the Eastern Front or the Palestine Front in early 1917. Number 4, the Perino, Model 1908. Italian engineers were experimenting well
before the war with machine gun designs. The 1908 Perino was recoil operated and water-cooled,
and was – interestingly – not fed by a belt, but by 20 round clips that were loaded and
ejected as strips. The box on the left, which held five clips,
could easily be refilled by the second gunner. This design lost out to the Fiat Revelly design,
which was based on the Maxim. An honorable mention side-note here, the Italians
also experimented with a light machine gun, the SIA Model 1918, an assault machine gun
light enough to be carried into battle, but the war ended before it saw action. Number 3, the RSC Model 1917, a perhaps not
exactly rare, but quite modern French semi-automatic rifle. Manufactured with a rotating bolt, which was
forced to rotate by a gas piston, it rapidly and reliably fired its five round clip. It was a bottom loader, with a hatch that
that could be sealed, which was an invention born out of the mud of the trenches. More than 80,000 of these were issued after
production began in April 1917. Some sources say that these were rather fragile,
particularly the loading system, and they could jam when out on the front lines, but
overhauled versions in 1918 were more robust, shorter, and lighter. Number 2, The T-Gewehr, a single shot, bolt
action, anti-tank rifle. It was nearly as long as I am tall and weighed
loaded and with a bipod attached to it18.5 kilos, so it wasn’t popular to wield, especially
since it had ridiculous recoil, and in fact, some sources claim that a single soldier could
only fire a handful of shots before the recoil wore him out. It was basically a more powerful version of
the Mauser with more stopping power, and its armor piercing bullets could breach the newer
Mark IV tanks, where the Mauser no longer could. Instead it used 13,2mm TuF – Tank und Flieger
– calibre cartridges. The weight of the solid bullet was 51,5g and
could travel 785 m/s at its peak, enough to penetrate 20mm of armour on 100m. It was intended to be enough to punch through
the first armour plates and then ricochet inside the tank to cause the maximum amount
of damage. Around 16,000 of these were built toward the
end of the war. And number one, the periscope rifle. Pretty much all armies in the war used periscope
rifles in trench situations. Periscopes themselves were used for observation
in trenches early in the war and the next logical step was periscope rifles, allowing
the soldier to aim and shoot without himself being exposed. The first reported use was actually at Gallipoli,
where the enemy lines were very close and an Australian engineer came up with the idea. After that, they even had some improvised
production lines for them. And that’s my list. As you may have guessed, it’s not really
in any particular order, but to do that I’d have to go with either rarity, weirdness,
effectiveness or some other single characteristic. I suppose the one thing they did all have
in common was that they were developed to make the enemy soldier die quicker than yours. I bet that some of you have some other weapons
you’d like to add to this list, so please put
them in the comments. I will be seeing you all on Thursdays during
our regular weekly episodes.

100 thoughts on “10 Rare And Obscure WW1 Era Guns I THE GREAT WAR Special feat. Rock Island Auction

  1. The French has so much bad equipments.
    Chauchat, St Chamond
    Yet they also has some very revolutionary weapons.
    M1897 75mm howitzer, SPAD, and the Renault FT

  2. I knew as soon as I seen the ria logo Ian was gonna be mentioned. The guns that they get at that auction house are beyond imagination they got some hunters there lol

  3. During " EARLY INDUSTRIAL TIMES", one factor of product demise could be several reasons. Metalurgy was also in it's " DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE" Springs were VERY prone to failure.

  4. 2:50 That thought boils my blood. That arrogance and pride of the person who made that demand has the blood of thousands upon thousands of men on his hands and head.

  5. France: Probably the most successful military history in the world

    Also France: Getting laughed at for performing not that great in the world wars

  6. The Chinese had some semi auto rifles built in 1916 in the USA. One version has them being destroyed in shipment by a storm and the second has them forgotten in a harbor wharehouse in china for years. Ian had one in an episode.

  7. All these people think playing BF1 is teaching them something when in reality theyre getting a skewed depiction of the period.

  8. Does the great IAN mention your name in his videos?
    Stop fawning over that guy, and make your channel better.
    To blazes with Ian, that big Francophile, communist loving sissy.
    Also: Video games are for children.

  9. People referencing guns in video games…in comparison to real world weapons is cringy and incredibly, pathetic and stupid.Imo the people that do this have little to no experience with actual weapons and should STFU. just play your games and leave actual weapons to actual men. Who know and understand and have, experience with actual weapons.

  10. You could also rate them by usefulness. The Tankgewehr was quickly rendered useless because of tank development, while others could have been usable for decades with improvements (the RSC)..

  11. What's with the hand gestures everytime you get to a new item? I mean, talk about wepons nerds.
    DAMM!!!

  12. Mauser Koka-Đurić. A Serbian-improved single shot Mauser 1871 that got converted to a 5-bullet repeater in the early 1900s. A distinctly Serbian rifle that equipped about 1/4 of the Serbian infantry.

  13. NZ government are destroying guns. They don't care about history. They just want to push communism under the excuse of "safety for all".

  14. I would like to see the Austrian machine gun from the first world war that was air powered and fired caseless ammunition. At the end of the war the Allies wanted to charge the Austrians with war crimes for the use of this machine gun.

  15. My personal favorite would be the Huot Automatic Rifle, a Canadian conversion of the Ross Mk. III into an LMG. Only five of these were ever made, four of which are on display in various museums in Canada.

  16. My dear Indy, just a liddle Detail, the Pedersen Device is ment to transform the American springfield 1903 servicerifle in to a semiauto pistol carabiners.

    Sorry for my terrible written english,

  17. Steyer 1917 semi-auto pistol that the rounds were fed by a stripper clip. It fired a 9mm Largo round. I wish I still had mine.

  18. I actually remember the Mondragon and RSC from Youjo Senki, in which the Mages fulfilled the role of the air force and the anime used those rifles for the Imperial Mage Corps (Mondragon) and the Entente Mage Corps (RSC). Interesting me in WWI semi-autos.

  19. The Hagen to me has some of the most attractive lines of any rifle ever built…

    Provided it actually worked today, I'd buy one without a second thought.

  20. Thumbs-up; except that you visit a foreign country and cannot easily learn and say their verbal equivalent. What a typical pompous American.

  21. Idk about it but i read a book about the ss and they said the ss that is that it was a hope and a prayer a fantasy that they would go on any longer

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