2019 programme

All meetings held at 19:00 at the Royal Armouries unless specified otherwise.

January  – AGM

February – The technical and tactical evolution of the Light Machine Gun – Stephen Cater.

At the start of the 20th century, the medium machine gun was an integral part of the infantry and would dominate the battlefields of WW1. Why then, was it felt necessary to develop a smaller, lighter machine gun (LMG), how was this achieved, and why did the LMG quickly find itself obsolete after WW2?

March – Some guns acquire a degree of popularity, or maybe infamy, far beyond their technical merit. This evening we will examine a number of these, challenging our members to identify the gun and explain why it became infamous.

April – Noel: subject to be confirmed.

May – There is no better way of understanding a firearm than stripping it down and seeing how each and every part works. Normally we refrain from doing so to the many rare and historic firearms entrusted to us for inspection, but in May two of our members will provide a selection of firearms with the explicit intent that they be taken apart !

June – KNIL – Koningkliijke Nederlands Indisch Leger. With a title like that it can only be another of the Gunnings’ expert talks on the military force maintained by the Netherlands in its colony of the Netherlands East Indies (also known as the Dutch East Indies), and the varied weapons issued to them.

July – Library study evening

August – To be confirmed

September – Against the grain: alternative propellants. Gunpowder in one form or another has been around and the basis of firearms propellant technology for over 500 years but are there any other alternatives? Hypergolic liquids perhaps ? Electricity ?

October –  Following on from previous talks about the Medium and Light machine guns, we round off with a consideration of the sub-machine gun. Why was its development considered so urgent, and why is now apparently obsolete?

November – Innovation and improvisation: is there anything new?

December – ‘Bring and Show’ evening