Shooting the "Digger"

posted on February 19, 2013

Photo Courtesy of the Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Harvard College Library

As you may have noticed, this is the first time a Colt’s Automatic Gun, Model 1895 has appeared on the cover of American Rifleman. As Philip Schreier’s March 2013 cover story points out, this was the first machine gun model (mechanical guns such as the Gatling are not self-loading, fully automatic machine guns) used by the U.S. Army in combat. Of course we have Gatling video here, too.

For American Rifleman, this really is the year of the “Potato Digger,” as we also fired a Marlin-made version of the Model 1895 for American Rifleman Television’s "I Have This Old Gun" segment. This gun, made available to us through a good friend of American Rifleman TV Field Editor Martin K.A. Morgan, will be featured on Wednesday May 8, on the Outdoor Channel. But if you want to see what firing a “Potato Digger” is like, check out the short behind-the-scenes video clips below. One of the shooters is American Rifleman TV cameraman and editor Jake Stocke. Jake, who spends most of his time shooting or editing the show, rarely misses a chance to fire a vintage machine gun. Do you blame him?


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