"The Weapon Hunter"
Season Premiere Sunday, February 12 at 9PM ET/PT
on Smithsonian Channel
Season two of the Smithsonian Channel original series “THE WEAPON HUNTER” shines a light on true American heroes as series host, history buff and restoration expert Paul Shull partners with veterans to spotlight iconic moments and artifacts in military history. This is history that leaves a mark. From a Vietnam era gun truck and a World War II B-25 bomber, to a giant 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannon and more, THE WEAPON HUNTER is history up-close and personal. Season two of the six-episode series premieres Sunday, February 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Paul Shull returns on his quest to get his hands on some of the world’s rarest and most remarkable pieces of military history. To do so, Paul calls on his network of military artifact collectors who have amassed collections that rival those found in the world’s great military history museums. This season, Paul also calls upon combat veterans – including a 96-year-old eyewitness to the Pearl Harbor attack , veterans from Vietnam, and Marines recently returned from Afghanistan and Iraq.
The series premiere, “VIETNAM ROAD WARRIOR,” takes Paul to rural Tennessee, where he meets Sammy Seay, a Vietnam veteran who is rebuilding a rare vehicle from the Vietnam War known as a Gun Truck. Built to protect supply convoys for American troops during the war, these armor-plated behemoths represent an untold chapter in the conflict’s history. Paul’s ultimate goal is to experience a simulated convoy attack while riding aboard the rebuilt truck with Gun Truck veterans.
Other episodes of “THE WEAPON HUNTER”:
THE WEAPON HUNTER: BIG BAD B-25
Premieres Sunday, February 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Paul is looking for the final missing piece of a World War II B-25 bomber, which is being restored by the United States Commemorative Air Force. The piece in question is the heart of this flying weapons system - the Norden bombsight. Paul’s search takes him into the arid Californian desert. Then he heads on to a unique flight school where he learns to fly a B-25 and to use the World War II targeting scope to drop a bomb.
THE WEAPON HUNTER: PEARL HARBOR PAYBACK
Premieres Monday, February 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Paul attempts to rebuild a weapon that helped America move on from the devastation of Pearl Harbor, the 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannon. While hunting down parts for this kamikaze-killer, Paul meets a Navy veteran who describes the carnage of Pearl Harbor. He also experiences the deadly capabilities of a vintage Japanese Zero fighter plane, all in a bid to understand how and why the Oerlikon cannon helped turn the tide in the Pacific theatre.
THE WEAPON HUNTER: WORLD’S FASTEST WEAPON
Premieres Sunday, March 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Paul sets out to fix and fire the fastest gun ever built: the Minigun - a rotating six-barrel monster that can fire up to 6,000 rounds per minute. Teaming up with Vietnam helicopter pilot Fred Behrens, Paul must track down the parts they need to get Fred’s vintage weapon firing again. Along the way, Paul investigates the evolution of machine gun speed, from hand-cranked Gatling guns, through the Nazi’s MG42, to the present day.
THE WEAPON HUNTER: D-DAY DETONATOR
Premieres Sunday, March 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Paul intends to reconstruct the entire experience of D-Day from the point of view of a GI on the front lines. His focus is four key elements: the airborne attack; the Naval bombardment; the tank assault; and the massive infantry invasion. He finds and fires the classic weapons of the Normandy Invasion, and he speaks to WWII veterans who provide personal insight into these events. And with the help from a world-renowned explosives expert, Paul builds his very own Bangalore torpedo, a device critical to the bloodiest battle of the invasion, the landing at Omaha beach.
THE WEAPON HUNTER: IWO JIMA FRANKEN-GUN
Premieres Sunday, March 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
In the season finale, Paul rebuilds a one-of-a-kind World War II machine gun, the Stinger. Built by Marines during the invasion of Okinawa, the unique firearm was made from the internal mechanisms of three different weapons. Now Paul must track down parts from each one in order to bring it to life. During his quest, he discovers why and how this franken-gun came into being, and he learns the heroic story of Tony Stein, the American Marine who won the Medal of Honor with The Stinger slung at his side.