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It's time to arm yourself, as we bring you an exclusive look at WPN 60-65, coming in 2018! 

The “Trapdoor” Springfield: From the Little Bighorn to San Juan Hill

Intended to replace the proliferation of different small arms fielded by US forces during the American Civil War, the “Trapdoor Springfield” was designed in 1865–66 by Erskine S. Allin. Using metallic cartridges, it could be loaded in a single action, increasing the number of shots per minute as much as fivefold. The new weapon quickly proved its worth in two separate incidents in August 1867: small groups of US soldiers and civilians armed with the trapdoor repulsed numerically superior Native American contingents. A simple and cost-effective weapon, it was used, along with its variants in every US conflict in the three decades after the Civil War, especially on the American frontier.

The Anti-Tank Rifle

The emergence of the tank in World War I led to the development of the first infantry weapons to defend against tanks. Anti-tank rifles became commonplace in the inter-war years and in the early campaigns of World War II in Poland and the Battle of France, which saw renewed use in the form of the British .55in Boys anti-tank rifle - also used by the US Marine Corps in the Pacific. The French campaign made it clear that the day of the anti-tank rifle was ending due to the increasing thickness of tank armour.

Nevertheless, anti-tank rifles continued to be used by the Soviets on the Eastern Front with two rifles, the 14.5mm PTRS and PTRD, and were still in widespread use in 1945. They served again with Korean and Chinese forces in the Korean War, and some have even appeared in Ukraine in 2014–15.

The Crossbow

Technologically sophisticated and powerful, the crossbow has long enjoyed a popular reputation for villainous superiority as it enabled a peasant to take out a fully armoured noble knight from great range. The study of bow designs, trigger mechanisms and spanning devices reveals a tale of considerable mechanical ingenuity; advances that produced a battlefield weapon requiring comparatively little training to use. It was an extremely useful weapon, and especially effective in siege warfare for both attack and defence.

Known to the Ancient Greeks and the Chinese as early as the 5th century BC, the crossbow developed both in Western Europe and in the Far East. Advances in trigger mechanisms, spanning and bow design allowed the development of ever more powerful bows.

The FN MAG Machine Gun: M240, L7, and other variants

For six decades, the 7.62mm FN MAG has been a dominant general-purpose machine gun (GPMG) in worldwide arsenals. Three qualities have guaranteed this enduring status – reliability, ease of operation, and firepower. Several nations have license-produced the weapon as their standard GPMG, including the British (as the L7) and the Americans (M240), and in total more than 80 nations have adopted the FN MAG. The machine gun has also been modified extensively for vehicular, naval, and aircraft platforms, demonstrating versatility on air, sea, and land.

The Luger

Patented in 1898 and produced from 1900, Georg Luger’s iconic semi-automatic pistol became synonymous with Germany’s armed forces throughout both world wars. Rugged, accurate and well made, it was a sought-after souvenir for Allied troops and remains popular among collectors today.

The Luger’s toggle-locked, recoil-operated action worked well with high-pressure cartridges. Initially chambered for the 7.65×21mm round, from 1902 the Luger was designed for DWM’s 9×19mm round, which even today remains the most popular military handgun cartridge. It was adopted by the Reichsmarine, the Imperial German Navy, in 1904, followed by the Deutsches Heer, the German Army, in 1908, receiving the name Pistole 08. With a 20cm barrel and a shoulder stock, the Lange Pistole 08 or ‘Artillery Luger’ was issued to artillerymen in place of the rifles or carbines typically used by other countries’ supporting arms. Although it didn’t prove successful in a full-automatic configuration, when combined with a shoulder stock and a ‘snail’ magazine the Luger proved to be a lethal close-quarters trench-warfare weapon offering a much better rate of fire than a rifle or a carbine. Despite being supplanted by the Walther P 38, the Luger remained in widespread service with all arms of Nazi Germany’s armed forces throughout World War II, and even equipped East Germany’s Volkpolizei in the years after 1945.

The Sterling Submachine Gun

One of the Cold War’s most iconic weapons, the 9mm Sterling submachine gun saw action in more than 50 conflicts. Adopted by over 40 countries, it was in front-line service around the world for nearly 60 years. The Sterling’s advanced design placed its pistol grip at the weapon’s point of balance, making it an extremely handy weapon which was so well balanced it could be aimed and fired with one hand; helical cuts made to its bolt ensured the gun continued to function even when dirty.

The Sterling was used by military and police forces around the world and continues to be found in warzones today, with the Kurdish Peshmerga recently photographed armed with them. It was centre stage for many of Britain’s post-colonial conflicts from Malaya to Kenya and from Yemen to Northern Ireland. The silenced L34A1 Sterling-Patchett entered service in 1966 and first saw action deep in the jungles of Vietnam in the hands of the elite special forces of Australia, New Zealand and the United States during prisoner snatches and reconnaissance patrols.

How many of these will be joining your Weapon collection? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!