Weapon Mounts for Secondary Armament

The day many of us have been waiting for is finally here! For those of you not already up to speed on this amazing volume, here is the scoop, in brief:

In 1957 a book was released in a very small printing (perhaps as few as 25 books) which had been commissioned by the Detroit Arsenal of the United States Army Ordnance Corps. It was an exhaustive collection of small arms mounts from WW1 to 1957, including an incredible array of experimental mounts, many of which led to the adopted version many of us collect today. Anyone who has had the rare privilege to see an original volume and browsed its 1157 pages has found it a jaw dropping experience.

The good news is that the book most sought after by machine gun collectors is once again in print.

Below is a review, which explains how this project came into being, followed by the liner notes, several scans from the book, and the full table of contents. I have provided a link below to the Long Mountain Outfitter purchase page.

Link to the Long Mountain Outfitter purchase page

A few years ago a friend sent me a package containing a book he thought "I might find interesting." It was the mother of all understatements. The book was Weapon Mounts for Secondary Armament, and an original copy at that! I had been hearing of the existence of this book for some time - it was an almost mythical book, and the one most sought after by small arms collectors. A small run of 100 reprints had been privately released in the 1980s, a Xerox quality affair that only hinted at what might be found in the original. This green covered copy was all that most collectors had ever seen. But now I was holding an original, and I was dumbfounded at the sheer scope of the book, which contained literally thousands of small arms mounts, including almost 200 pages of tank and armored vehicle mounts alone.

I had been interested in seeing Weapon Mounts reprinted, and last year I received an E-mail from Dan Shea, owner of Long Mountain Outfitters and publisher of Small Arms Review. He told me he had located the film which had been used to print the original. His plan was to reprint the book and make it available to the collector community. This was great news, as the project could not have been in the hands of anyone better suited to take on such a massive project - the book is 1157 pages!

I was sent one of the prerelease copies to examine, and the final product exceeded all expectations. The paper is of a much higher quality than was used in the original book, and combined with the state of the art printing techniques now available, the result is crisp clean images and text that far surpass the original. The book is hard bound with a cover showing one of the fine weapons from Robert Segel's excellent collection, a water-cooled .50 caliber, one of the mounted weapons covered in the massive book.

Having used two of the original volumes in my research, this is clearly of superior quality in all respects. I can't tell you what a supreme pleasure it is to finally have not only my own copy, but the finest version ever printed.

I had truly despaired of ever seeing Weapon Mounts for Secondary Armament in print again, but Dan's considerable determination and effort to once again put this priceless resource in the hands of the collector community has resulted in a contribution that is beyond measure. If I was able to keep only one book from my collection, this would be the book.

The Book's Liner Notes:

1157 pages of wonderful, arcane, and useful knowledge about weapon mounts, both experimental and in use. Much of the information can be found nowhere else.

Weapon Mounts for Secondary Armament has long been the most respected and sought after work ever published on weapon mounts. Published in 1957 as a reference for those interested in developing new and more effective secondary armament, it’s publishing history is still something of a mystery. The number of volumes originally published is not known, though it is generally believed that as few as 25 copies were printed. Whatever the number, it must have been very small because today an original copy is so rare it can sell for well over $1000.00. The scope of the mounts covered here is stunning. Starting in WW1 and continuing to the mid 1950s, the material includes data and details on coaxial and combination gun mounts, bell mounts, cupola gun mounts, bow gun mounts, fender and sponson mounts, and other types of mounts for secondary armament weapons. A great deal of attention is also given to experimental mounts, tracing the developmental history of some of the world’s most famous mounts.

Printed from the original restored film, this edition of Weapon Mounts for Secondary Armament is the result of a few dedicated collectors determined to see this treasured resource finally reach the larger audience it deserves.

Nearly two hundred pages are devoted to tanks from WW1 to the mid 1950s. While the bulk of the ground mounts are US, mounts from all over the world are covered.
Left: An experimental twin .50 mount. Center: M1 wheeled mount and T21E1 tripod. Right: The T18 pedestal mount
There are sections devoted to fender kits and under wing aircraft gun containers. Above right is a fender kit with M37 machine guns.
Left: M15 Multiple Gun Carriage on a half-track Center: Multiple Turret Mount with four 20 mm Orlikons and two .50 caliber Brownings! Right: a tree mount for the .30 caliber Browning machine gun.