Sunday, July 23, 2017

Prototype Czechoslovakian Model S Semi-Automatic Rifle ca 1929.




In the late 1920s when the Czechoslovakian military was actively developing several new semi-automatic rifle designs. This is a prototype of what they came up with, the Model S semi-automatic rifle.

This rifle was way ahead of its time as it has a gas operated system that uses a long operating rod mounted on the underside of the barrel, similar to the M1 rifle. The rear of the operating rod is connected to the bolt, so that when each shot is fired it cycles the bolt and cocks the action. To initially load or charge the rifle it uses a fixed cocking handle on the right side of the action, that pulls the bolt to the rear and then disengages (from the bolt) and is pushed forward. To release the bolt you pull the trigger, which allows the bolt to go forward and strips a new cartridge from the detachable box magazine. It also uses a very unique "two-piece" hinged receiver type design. Chambered for the 7.92mm Mauser cartridge.

In looking closely at this rifle you can clearly see that this rifle could have very easily been the forerunner of the famous FN 49 and FN/FAL rifle designs as it has numerous similarities compared to those two rifles as follows: a hinged/split upper and lower receiver, a side mounted cocking handle that disengages from the bolt after it is cocked, a gas operated system that utilizes a long-stroke operating rod that directly cycles the bolt. Even when you look down into the trigger group, (hammer, sear and disconnect mechanism) you can clearly see the similarities to the FN49 and or FN/FAL trigger mechanism.

Now you say so what! Well you have to remember this was made in the 1929 time frame almost 10 years before the US M1 garand, the Russian SVT 38 and German G41 and 20 years before the FN rifles!









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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Iron Frame Henry, New Haven Arms Company manufactured approximately 275 iron frame Henry rifles concurrently with the brass frame rifles in 1861 and 1862.


The iron frame models had a case-hardened iron receiver, hammer, loading lever and buttplate.



Production of all Henry rifles ended in 1866 with approximately 14,000 units having been manufactured.




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Sunday, July 16, 2017

This is a Simson & Company prototype semi-automatic pistol that was was developed circa 1928/29 in the hopes of developing a physically larger arm than the 9mm Luger semi-automatic pistol.


During the Weimar era 1920-1930, Simson & Co. was the only manufacturer permitted to repair, rebuild or even manufacture new pistols for both the military and police units in Germany, in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles to prevent any future German re-armament.

Obviously this pistol was developed as a potential rival to the German Luger and with Simson’s close ties to the German Government they anticipated securing military contracts with a newly designed pistol.
However, with the rise of Hitler and the National socialist state with their anti-Semitic ideas, forever doomed Simson & Co. and their newly designed pistol from ever entering production.
It is estimated that probably not more than 10-15 were actually manufactured before they stopped all efforts.

 


It is an extremely well made pistol with all machined steel parts. You can see how the overall design was influenced by the standard German Luger, as it has the same grip angle as a Luger, with very similar shaped checkered walnut grip and it uses a slightly modified German Luger magazine. All these features would have made training and conversion to this design much easier. 


It has very few markings, the left side is hand engraved, "Simson u. Co. Suhl/Waffenfabriken" and directly behind that is a large rotating safety lever. When it is engaged and pushed down it exposes the hand inscribed word "Sicher" indicating "SAFE". In the inside, front area of the trigger guard loop to a small serrated takedown lever.
Currently there are only a handful of these ultra rare prototype pistols known in the world today.






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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Like the blog title says "They Make All Kinds", a George J. Tibert 12-Shot Revolving Rifle.


 Produced in 2006, this rifle combines features from a number of classic weapons with new design ideas to create a weapon that will chamber modern ammunition while still maintaining an "antique" style and appearance. 


At the core of the weapon is a sidehammer single action revolver system, not unlike the Colt Root series, fitted with a "conical" 12-round cylinder, narrower at the front, which further emphasizes the unique overall form. A raised block front sight without bead is present on the half-round, half-octagon barrel. Smooth forearm, with a concealed ejector assembly on the underside. Extra-fancy walnut buttstock, with a brass hand rest on the wrist, raised and contoured right-handed cheekpiece, brass buttplate and raised scroll carving on the right side.







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Sunday, July 9, 2017

"Texas Jack 1896"


This outstanding Colt, manufactured in 1895, has been engraved in the rich American style of Master Engraver L.D. Nimschke. The revolver has been restored and engraved, by an unknown engraver at a much later date. The backstrap is inscribed "Texas Jack 1896". From that date one must assume it was meant to represent, John Vermillion, a friend of the Earps. Was the artist trying to produce a counterfeit piece, which is doubtful, or maybe a conversation piece. Regardless of the who, what or where, it is an outstanding work of art.










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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

This revolver was designed and patented by Jacob Rupertus of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Rupertus was a gunsmith working for John Krider, a manufacturer and importer in Philadelphia. 
The design was patented by Rupertus on April 19, 1859. 
It is though that Rupertus made three model prototypes. "Army" size, "Navy," and "Pocket", with no more than a dozen were manufactured in all three sizes, and only half that number are known to collectors. (The Army model is pictured.)
At one point, Krider and and a man named John Siner showed interest in backing development of Rupertus' design. However they soon realized it would cost a large sum to build and to manufacture the revolvers themselves and foresaw the end of the percussion system due to metallic cartridges.
Colt also expressed interest in aspects of the design, but Rupertus was not interested in licensing or selling his patent. 



The Rupertus revolver design is unusual in that it utilizes only one nipple for ignition instead of one for each chamber. The nipple is mounted on an arm in a recess in the breech. This is a "safety tube" in the patent. The arm retracts when the hammer is cocked to allow the cylinder to rotate as it is pushed by the pawl at the bottom of the hammer. When the hammer is near full cock the arm snaps forward locking the cylinder and creating a gas seal. The hammer is pill primed by a mechanism within the back strap. 







The loading lever rotates to the right rather than down and loads from the side rather than through the front. The barrel and frame are manufactured as one piece creating a very stable firearm. 


                            


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Sunday, July 2, 2017

The 1890's saw the beginning the semi-automatic pistol era. Designers from the four corners of the world were feverishly producing the unique to the weird.



A prime example is this Model 1895 Krnka Prototype pistol as developed by Karel Krnka. 
Karel was a very talented engineer born in 1858 in Bohemia, (today upper Czechoslovakia) that was credited with the development of one of the forerunners of the more successful Roth–Steyr M1907, or, more accurately Roth-Krnka M.7 semi-automatic pistol. Krnka was credited with several innovative pistol patents during his lifetime.


This pistol was probably developed/produced for the Austro-Hungarian test conducted in 1897/98, but probably never used. There were only a handful of these early pistols produced at best, with almost no examples surviving in the world today.

This pistol has a very unique mechanism that has a locked breech with an actual "rotating/turn bolt" mechanism with Krnka’s unique extractor mechanism. It is also fitted with an early hold-open device based on the use of the magazine follower, with a side mounted bolt release, operating in the same manner as many of the current day semi-automatic rifle and pistols. It also has an internal magazine and is loaded via a magazine stripper through the top of the action.

It is cocked/loaded by pushing the barrel rearward, inserting a loaded stripper, pushing the rounds into the internal magazine and withdrawing the stripper, allowing the bolt to go forward and ready to fire. One of the most interesting and unique features of this pistol is that it actually can fire in a double action manner and has a rebounding hammer. This rebounding mechanism works when you fire the pistol and the trigger is released the hammer automatically rebounds to the half-cock position. It is fires a 8mm pistol cartridge, and holds approximately 10 rounds.


                            



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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Colt Paterson Improved Second Model Ring Lever Rifle


One of those Colt firearms that collectors dream about.
Colt manufactured approximately 500 of these rifles between 1838 and 1841. The rifle features an 8-shot cylinder and distinctive ring ahead of the trigger guard that cocks the hammer and rotates the cylinder. 
The rifle has the loading lever mounted on the right side of the barrel lug, a small groove below the loading lever to accommodate a powder flask and a capping channel in the recoil shield. 
The Second Model rifle was only offered in .44 caliber, but was offered in both 28-inch and 32-inch barrel lengths (though the 28 inch barrel was less common).








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Sunday, June 18, 2017

The French MAS-38 submachine gun.


Developed in the period between the World Wars, it was part of a complete overhaul of French small arms. It was France’s first officially adopted submachine gun, rushed into service in 1940. It was basically too late to help with the defense of France, with less than a thousand delivered by June 1940. The Germans kept the gun in production, making 20-30 thousand under the designation MP722(f). During the occupation the Germans considered it a secondary arm. The '38 saw use by both the Vichy and Free French Forces.



French production picked up immediately after the war, and 203,000 were made by the end of 1951. The gun would see service mostly in Indochina.


Mechanically, the MAS 38 is a simple blowback SMG, although it has a few unusual features. The most interesting feature of this weapon is the 6 degree angle between the barrel and receiver, which was done in order to drop the stock and allow a sight picture with shorter iron sights. As a result, the bolt face is also cut at about a 6 degree angle off perpendicular.


The safety is the trigger itself, which folds up and forward to engage, locking the bolt in place.


Notched blade front and a set of 100 and 200 meter flip-up rear sights, with dust covers for the ejection port and magazine well, integral "flip-forward" trigger safety, a sling ring on the left side.



The weapon is chambered for the 7.65 X 20mm French Longue cartridge, which was also used in the 1935A and 1935S pistols. It is lighter than most other military submachine gun rounds, roughly on par with 9x18mm Makarov. That reduced ballistic peer does make for a very comfortable and controllable weapon, however.

The French military were introduced to the cartridge when the US demonstrated the Pedersen device after the end of World War I in Le Mans and again when John Browning exhibited a carbine in the same caliber in 1920. The US .30 Pedersen cartridge (Auto Pistol Ball Cartridge caliber .30 Model of 1918 or .30-18 Automatic) used in the Pedersen device was the basis for the 7.65×20mm Longue. France adopted weapons for the cartridge and those weapons saw combat use; so the cartridge is best known by its French name.




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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Early production Johnson Arms Model 1941 Light Machine Gun (LMG).







The rifle was the brainchild of Colonel Melvin Johnson (USMC) an early inventor and weapon designer that utilized some fairly unique features in 1939-1940 timeframe, such as the recoil-operated, firing mechanism where the recoil of the round actually allowed the barrel to move slightly rearward to start the unlocking mechanism, as well as the barrel takedown mechanism, both unique to Johnson rifles only. It worked extremely well in that it was light weight, easy to maneuver and handling and it used a larger 25 round detachable magazine with a quick change barrel exactly like the standard semi-automatic M1941 rifle. 




The right side of the lower receiver is marked "LOAD, SAFE and FIRE". One of the interesting designs of this rifle is the "Load" feature on the receiver. When in this mode the bolt stays reward after the last round if fired from the magazine and after inserting a new fully loaded magazine. You just rotate the lever to the FIRE position and that releases the bolt, allowing it to move forward and strip off a new round from the magazine and load it into the chamber of the barrel. It actually functions more like a "bolt release" lever, similar in design to that used on the Model 16 series of rifles today. The receiver is the distinctive one-piece casting or forging that has the perforated barrel jacket, with the side mounted magazine well (in place of the later designed rotary box magazine) for the 25 round magazines, but also has the right side loading port for use with the 1906 stripper clips to load five rounds at a time if necessary.

This model was heavily used by the USMC Raiders and Paramarines and later on by the 1st Special Services units. These early LMGs are a very rare item today as the majority of them were returned to either the USMC or the factory and converted into the later 1944/45 models with the improved designs. After WWII the majority were sold to foreign countries or simply destroyed as surplus to the demands of military. 





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Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Japanese military weapons collector’s dream, the Type 5 semi-automatic rifle.


In July of 1932, an order was given to the Nippon Special Steel Company and the Tokyo Gas and Electric company to submit designs for Japan's semi-automatic rifle project. At that time several rifle designs were developed (or copied from other rifles) and tested by the Japanese. One was a copy based on the British Vickers Pedersen design, the other a copy of the Czech ZH-29 semi-auto rifle. 

Shortly after completing the military tests, in the mid 1930’s, Japan invaded Mainland China and development was halted.

Fast forward to around 1943 and Japan decided to resurrect the search for a successful semi-automatic rifle. Historians/collectors generally agree that at this time they just chose to copy the US M1 Garand design.



The rifle pictured is one produced at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal. As you can see it is a close copy of the U.S. M1 only chambered in the Japanese 7.7 mm cartridge. It is estimated that approximately 200 sets of parts were actually manufactured, with only 125 rifles actually assembled due to the end of the war, with very few actually returning back to the U.S.

Known examples have sold in excess of $50,000.



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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Mauser Model HSv pistol


When the Wehrmacht finally could no longer tolerate the expense of the P.08 Luger in the late 1930s, they held a trial of possible replacements. This prototype Mauser Model HSv pistol was was a response to the request.
The three main entrants were BSW with a gas-operated pistol, Walther with what would ultimately be known as the P.38 and Mauser with its experimental HSv locked-breech design.
Although the Mauser was less expensive than the Luger in was more expensive than the Walther, which led to the P.38 design winning the trials.


The HSv is a 9 mm, double-action, short recoil pistol with an eight round magazine capacity. It is one of the great rarities in German World War II military pistols. A superbly made and elegantly designed pistol. Very few were manufactured.


This pistol is listed in “System Mauser” by Breathed & Schroeder. It is listed as one of the experimental pistols on page. 268 and photographed on pg. 269. This pistol is widely recognized, by collectors, as the most important Mauser pistol of the post WWI period.
The HSv is also featured in The Walther Pistols 1930-1945 Vol. I by Buxton. He states "extremely few of the Mauser guns (HSv) were made, only one is definitely known to exist now." This one sold for $74,750 at auction a couple years ago.






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