Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Spanish Charolay Y Anitua semi-auto pistol.


Another late 18th century semi-auto pistol manufactured circa 1898-1900 in Eibar, Spain. They are a very lightweight, diminutive pistol that was well liked and highly regarded.

It is a simple blow-back operated design with some resemblances to both the Mauser Broomhandle or Mannlicher pistols in that it has a non-detachable 6 round magazine located in front of the trigger that uses stripper clips to load from the top. Chambered in 5mm.



It was made by four different manufacturers and had minor changes in barrel and hammer spur lengths, cocking piece appearance and the fourth type had a bolt catch.

The firm “Charola y Anitua” produced approximately 950 units and another 900 in number were produced by Ignacio Charola.

A third production of 800 units that were made, bear only Liege proofs, indicating that they were made or assembled in Belgium for Ignacio Charola. Interestingly these are stamped, “THE BEST SHOOTING PISTOL”, on top of the chamber area. Their hammer spur is also shorter.

A fourth production of about 400 units, complete the estimated total of 3000 that were produced; This group only bears Liege proofs, indicating that they were made or assembled in Belgium for Ignacio Charola.

I have not been able to pinpoint when or where, but I think, the third and fourth production runs there 7mm versions.
 
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), much of the collections and archives of the arms manufacturers disappeared, so firm documentation I have yet to find. 
Pictured below are two 7mm pistols. The pearl grip pistol appears to have a detachable magazine, maybe (?) the fourth production.






Don't miss a post from this blog
Subscribe to this blog by going to the upper right where you see "Follow this blog by using spam free Email" and enter a email address. You will be send an email each time I do a blog post. This is spam free! You will not receive any junk email! Try it, you can always cancel.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fewer than 1,000 Colt Single Action Army revolvers were factory engraved between 1873 and 1940. A factory engraved Colt Single Action Army is one of the most desirable of all American collector firearms.


Manufactured in 1905, nickel finish, pearl grips with carved American Eagle motif and factory engraved with Colt No. 2 American style scrollwork on a punch dot background with zig-zag borders. The engraving was probably executed by Cuno A. Helfricht or his shop.










Don't miss a post from this blog
Subscribe to this blog by going to the upper right where you see "Follow this blog by using spam free Email" and enter a email address. You will be send an email each time I do a blog post. This is spam free! You will not receive any junk email! Try it, you can always cancel.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Steyr-Mannlicher Model 1900 pistol

M-1900

This was probably one of Mannlicher's most successful and elegant handguns, it is one of the most simple blow-back semi automatic pistols ever designed. The lock work is essentially that of a single action revolver. It was patented in 1899 and was actually produced from 1901-1905.

M-1900


When the Model 1900 was originally produced, it was chambered in an 8mm cartridge; however, in 1901, Mannlicher reintroduced it with the 7.63 Mannlicher cartridge to make it more powerful. ( 7.65 mm Mannlicher in Germany and 7.65x21mm in the U.S) 
The pistol was tested by both the Austro-Hungarians and the Americans. Though passed over officially, the pistol won fans among Austria's officer corps, and caught the eye of Colonel Frank Phipps, the commanding officer at Springfield Armory, who unsuccessfully petitioned to give the 1901 a second look.
Although never officially adopted by the Austro-Hungarian Army it was never the less used by many Austro-Hungarian and German Officers in WWI. 

M-1901

M-1901


In 1905 a third model was introduced, the Modelo 1905. All of which were produced Steyr. All of the models have the same basic design and operation, but minimal adjustments were made to improve each of them. The Modelo 1905 is the version of the Model 1901 that the Argentine Army purchased from Steyr in 1905. A total of around 10,000 of these pistols were acquired by the Argentine armed forces.

M-1905

M1905


These pistols were so well liked that ammunition for them was actually produced right up until WWII. All the pistols had internal magazines that loaded via stripper clips through the top of the action.






Don't miss a post from this blog
Subscribe to this blog by going to the upper right where you see "Follow this blog by using spam free Email" and enter a email address. You will be send an email each time I do a blog post. This is spam free! You will not receive any junk email! Try it, you can always cancel.




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The H.E. Dimick Navy Revolver



Horace E Dimick was a gunsmith and firearms dealer active in St. Louis, Missouri from 1849 through the early 1870s. Dimick expanded from a small custom gun store, to a larger emporium selling a variety of firearms. Dimick was respected for the quality of his firearms, but especially well known for his long rifles, especially his highly accurate plains rifles. During the Civil War, Dimick became nationally famous for providing the long rifles for the elite sharpshooters of the 66th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

By 1860, Dimick had 27 gunsmiths working for him, building a variety of firearms, including derringer pistols, shotguns and hunting rifles. However it seems that revolvers were one arm he didn’t want to manufacture. His "Western Emporium" sales did list “Colt’s Revolvers” among the offerings.

In 1864 when the Colt plant was destroyed by fire, Metropolitan Arms Company of New York stepped in offering Colt revolver copies. (Many collectors feel the quality and workmanship was equal to that of Colt).



In order to meet sales demands Dimick, ordered 300 Navy models, approximately 100 of these were marked by Dimick, the majority were completely unmarked. By all accounts they were exact copies of the Colt.


Don't miss a post from this blog
Subscribe to this blog by going to the upper right where you see "Follow this blog by using spam free Email" and enter a email address. You will be send an email each time I do a blog post. This is spam free! You will not receive any junk email! Try it, you can always cancel.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

This is one of those firearms that will have you scratching your head and wondering why.



The Union Automatic Revolver manufactured around 1909-1912, it bears a strong mechanical resemblance to the Webley-Fosbury Automatic (last picture), to the point where the base principles are virtually identical: a top-break revolver frame is mounted in a spring-loaded housing and grip assembly, and on discharge the frame is driven backwards by recoil, revolving the cylinder and re-cocking the hammer. The main deviation is that the hammer is mounted to the housing on the Union and no manual safety is included.








 The Webley-Fosbury Automatic


Don't miss a post from this blog
Subscribe to this blog by going to the upper right where you see "Follow this blog by using spam free Email" and enter a email address. You will be send an email each time I do a blog post. This is spam free! You will not receive any junk email! Try it, you can always cancel.



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Avenger


The infamous "Mormon Avenger" was a post Civil War style of modified single-action percussion revolver. Attributed to the Mormon "Avenging Angel", Orrin Porter Rockwell. Rockwell is reputed to have carried several chopped down Colt cap and ball guns for personal defense. Purportedly “Doc” Holliday carried such a revolver at one time. I’ll call it hearsay as none of this has been documented.
Nonetheless, occasionally real factory Colts, modified in this style, do show up at auctions and are seen in Western museums. 



Hollywood and reproduction revolvers such as the Pietta 1851, Uberti and Cimarron 1860s have contributed to the “Avenger” following. Counterfeit “Avengers” abound.



By the late 1870s the Avengers were outdated and easily replaced with cartridge revolvers, like the double action Colt M1877, which were suited for concealed carry. 


As shown in these auction house pictures, barrels were shortened, sights added on some and adding a lanyard are seen. As you can see most, but not all, of the real thing were the smaller Navy models which would be easier to conceal.





Don't miss a post from this blog
Subscribe to this blog by going to the upper right where you see "Follow this blog by using spam free Email" and enter a email address. You will be send an email each time I do a blog post. This is spam free! You will not receive any junk email! Try it, you can always cancel.



Sunday, March 5, 2017

While browsing Gun Auction I ran across a Werder rifle. Really thought it was unique and as I had never seen one before, curiosity got the better of me. I did a bit of digging and came up with the following information and pictures.





It was the brainchild of a prolific Bavarian engineer by the name of Johannes Ludwig Werder. He was a specialist in production engineering and tooling design. The relatively obscure Werder rifle is a masterpiece of design, exhibiting many characteristics well ahead of its time, considering the date of its design and adoption was mid 1869. The Bavarian Military was so impressed that they were manufactured in rifle, carbine and pistol.

The Bavarian Army used these arms during the 1860's and early 1870's and they saw action against the French in the Prussian/Franco war of 1870-71. (civilian models were also manufactured)

Although similar to the Martini/Peabody family of pivoting block actions, many details show a very inventive and creative mind.

Note the double trigger. The front trigger is pushed forward to open the breech and eject the case. This allows comfortable firing from the prone position, compared to the clumsiness of a lever action like the Martini-Henry (This was a requirement of the Bavarian Staff).

The loading and safety system is the best thought-out of the period. 
The arm is loaded when the hammer is in the fired position. When a round is chambered it is captured by the breech block which is under slight spring pressure, this prevents the round from being jostled out while on horseback. 

In the half-cock (safety notch) position of the hammer, the breechblock is raised but not fully, ensuring that the floating firing pin (with rebound spring) will not hit the primer, even if the rifle is heavily jolted or bumped. Only in the full cock position is the breech block fully raised and the firing pin in line with the primer.


The entire action is a self contained assembly removable by releasing a single screw in front of the trigger guard, sliding the trigger guard backwards to unhook it and pulling the action upwards. This allows complete access to the breech end of the barrel for cleaning.












Don't miss a post from this blog
Subscribe to this blog by going to the upper right where you see "Follow this blog by using spam free Email" and enter a email address. You will be send an email each time I do a blog post. This is spam free! You will not receive any junk email! Try it, you can always cancel.