Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ehler's Paterson Revolvers

In 1842, Samuel Colt's Patent Arms Manufacturing Co. went into bankruptcy. Effects of the 1837 depression, lost faith among shareholders, an inter-company struggle between  Colt and company treasurer John Ehlers were all factors that caused the company, Patent Arms Mfg. Co. to fail.
Ehlers, who was one of the earliest investors in Patent Arms, purchased the company and inventory at auction. 

Numbers vary but an estimated 536 incomplete Colt Paterson No. 1 and No. 2 revolvers were included. 

He completed an unknown number of Paterson No. 2 revolvers, sometimes referred to as "Fifth Model Ehlers"

Distinctive Ehler's features include a 1 1/16 inch long round back five-shot cylinder with hand-engaged ratcheted teeth at the back, a recoil shield capping cut-out on the right side of the frame, a hammer with knurled spur, and barrel markings that lack the "M'g Co" found on Colt manufactured Paterson revolvers.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Experimental Colt .45 ACP "Offensive Pistol"

Developed in the early 1990s, the Colt OHWS (also known as Colt SOCOM) was a semi-automatic pistol created by Colt to compete for the United States Special Operations Command Offensive Handgun Weapon System (OHWS) tender. The winner of this competition would become the standard-issue handgun for most US special forces groups.

 Pictured is a tool room prototype based on the M1911 frame in .45 ACP caliber, a single-stack 10-round magazine double-action "offensive pistol", stainless steel construction. Designed to carry a removable sound suppressor and a laser aiming module (LAM).
The pistol measures approx. 11-1/2” overall with thumb-release muzzle break attached. The pistol is equipped with many special features for shooting with wet hands, rotating barrel with short recoil system, automatic slide stop. Weight is approx. 56 oz. 
It is believed to be the only example in private hands.

The OHWS contract was awarded to Heckler & Koch and Colt scrapped the project.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Slocum Sliding Sleeve Revolver

For me this is one of the most interesting revolvers from the 1860's.
"In 1849 gunsmith named Rollin White produced the first bored through cylinder, which he patented in 1855. A year later White sold the patent to Smith & Wesson for a royalty of 25 cents for every revolver produced. The invention of the bored through cylinder was important because it allowed for the practical application of metallic self contained cartridges. In 1857, Smith & Wesson began production of the Model 1, a .22 caliber rimfire pocket revolver featuring a bored through cylinder. Afterwards, Smith & Wesson would produced a whole line of metallic cartridge revolvers, having a near total monopoly on the market due to ownership of the patent.

In order to compete, revolver manufacturers came up with a wide variety of designs to circumvent the patent. The most common were front loading revolvers, where the user would insert a metallic cartridge into the front of each chamber. Pretty much all of these front loading designs were very flawed. One unique alternative design was by Frank Slocum, called the Slocum Sleeve Revolver. Manufactured by Brooklyn Arms Co. from 1863 - 1864, the Slocum Sliding Sleeve Revolver was a departure from front loading design. 
Each chamber on the cylinder had an individual sleeve that would slide forward opening the chamber, allowing the user to insert a cartridge and/or remove a spent case, from the side. The revolver was chambered for a .32 caliber rimfire cartridge and had a five round cylinder. It was produced in single action only. The Slocum Sliding Sleeve was much more reliable than front loading designs. However, production of the revolver was expensive and time consuming due to its complex mechanism. It was often cheaper to simply buy a Smith & Wesson, or a tradition cap and ball revolver. Thus the Slocum revolver saw little success. Around 10,000 were manufactured.."

Image result for Slocum Sliding Sleeve Revolver

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

M-1894 Steyr/Mannlicher Self-Loading Pistol of the "blow forward" design.

These early Mannlicher pistols were designed by Ferdinand Von Mannlicher and were produced by the Austrian Steyr factory. Mannlicher was an exceptional early engineer and designer who teamed with the Steyr factory to produce all of his rifle and pistols from the late 1890's through post WWII.

The pistol uses a special rimmed cartridge in 6.5 mm caliber. The design represented an entirely new utilization of mechanical principles in an automatic action called "blow-forward action". In the standard type of automatic action for low-powered cartridges, the recoil (or blow-back) is utilized to drive back a movable breech face or block, but Mannlicher utilized the principle of a rigid standing breech with the barrel blowing forward to extract, eject, and prepare for reloading.

A special barrel housing which carries the front sight, covers the entire length of the barrel (6.49 in/165 mm) when the arm is closed. A heavy recoil spring is mounted concentrically around the barrel within this housing and is compressed between a shoulder at the forward end of the casing and a shoulder at the rear of the barrel.

It is also a "double action" mechanism with a rebounding hammer, a cartridge can be in the chamber with the hammer down, you just pull the trigger as in the double action mode, just like many pistols today. Very unique for "1894".

Another interesting feature is that the pistol looks like it should have a standard removable pistol clip, however it actually has a permanently installed internal magazine that loaded from the top of the action via a stripper clip, when the barrel is forward.

M1894 page 188.jpg