Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rare indeed, only two prototypes of this Auto-Ordnance/Thompson experimental SMG, were made.


The weapon was designed/developed in late 1941/early 1942 based on the request from the US Army for industry to develop a standardized 45 ACP SMG, as a replacement/substitute for the Thompson M1928 SMG.

It competed against several other SMG designs namely the Marlin M2 and the General Motors/Inland Div., M3 Grease Gun. All were developed with the intent of being a low-cost war expedient weapon intending to reducing the numerous parts and machining operations that were used in the Thompson.

As we all know this design did not win out against the General Motors/Inland Div. designed M3 Grease gun. It was noted in the report that this example had several stoppages and malfunctions as well as a small stress crack at the tail end of the trigger housing, all of which helped contribute to it being eliminated.

This gun is very unique in that it was developed along the same lines as the British STEN submachine gun in that it uses a straight tube receiver with a round machined bolt. It still used some of the M1 Thompson type parts such as the non-finned barrel, 20 shot "stick" magazine and front sight. (pictured w/o magazine)
It does have a completely unique full length one piece walnut stock with a fixed vertical pistol grip and top handguard.
The actual receiver and barrel groups are held in the stock by two wing-bolts that served as simple take down mechanism. I assume this to be for ease of testing only.






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Sunday, February 26, 2017

This is one of sweetest, embellished Remington New Model Army revolvers you will ever see.

Just some pictures I ran across and thought I had better pass along. No informatiom as to who did the work or when the work was done. Appears to be an older embellishment. One of a kind.









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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Springfield M-1882 Chaffee-Reece Magazine Rifle



In 1882 a Board of Ordnance committee was formed to evaluate potential candidates for a magazine fed rifle that should be acquired in sufficient numbers to see field trials.
Over 50 different make of arms were submitted and saw initial testing, and the board found that the submitted designs from Lee, Chaffee-Reece and Hotchkiss were the most promising.
The result was the acquisition and field-testing of about 750 of each rifle. The US M-1882 Lee, the US M-1882 Chaffee-Reece and the 3rd Model Hotchkiss Rifle.

This post is about the Chaffee-Reece, manufactured by Springfield Arsenal. The action was invented by General Reuben S. Chaffee and Jasper N. Reece in 1879. It was a bolt-action, magazine fed rifle, chambered for the 45-70 Government cartridge. The rifle held 6 cartridges in the magazine tube in the buttstock and one in the chamber. The magazine was loaded through a trap in the butt, and the bolt had to be open to release the pressure on the feed device to allow it to open. Rather than a spring feed magazine, the Chaffee-Reece design used a ratcheting cartridge feeder that pushed a new cartridge forward each time the bolt was worked.
A small lever, mounted on the forward right side of the receiver activated a magazine cut-off, which allowed the rifle to be fired as a single shot rifle. This held the contents of the magazine in reserve for rapid fire when necessary.

The 9 pound, 9 ounce rifle (empty weight) had a 27 7/8” long blued barrel, secured by two spring retained, solid barrel bands. The upper band held a sling swivel and a stacking swivel, with the lower swivel being mounted on the trigger guard bow.



The rifle entered field service for testing in late 1884 and was met with generally negative reviews. 95 reports on the rifles were received from the field during the trials, with only 14 of the reports reflecting that the Chaffee-Reece was superior to the current Trapdoor system or the other 2 magazine rifles then being tested. Although some of the reports lauded the magazine system of the rifle and some commended its accuracy, most reports were not positive. 


The primary complaint was that the butt magazine system weakened the stock significantly and made it susceptible to breakage. Other complaints revolved around the difficulty to keep the gun clean (making the bolt difficult to open and close), the heavy trigger pull (making accurate shooting difficult), the difficulty in performing the manual of arms with the rifle, and the poor performance with reloaded ammunition in the guns. By the end of the first quarter of 1886, the Chaffee-Reece rifles were returned to the Ordnance Department stores. Over the next couple of decades the rifles were sold off as surplus.





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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Whitney-Beals Walking Beam Pocket Revolver



The unique cylinder indexing mechanism, of this revolver,  was designed to evade all Colt patent claims, as you can see, this revolver has a full octagon barrel, seven-shot cylinder, ring trigger and distinctive shield on the left side of the frame that covers most of the cylinder.  The Whitney Arms Co., manufactured the Whitney-Beals' Pocket Revolvers between 1854 and the late 1860s. Surviving examples are scarce.
I have wanted to do a post on this revolver for some time now but never found suitable pictures showing the working mechanics and without such pictures I found it impossible to describe the workings in words.



Well thanks to Ian of Forgotten Weapons, he just did an eight minute video on this revolver and it is a GOOD one. If you have any interest in the workings of revolvers, as well as a bit of history on this one, take the time to watch this. You won't regret it.

                          


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If only this revolver could talk.




This Remington-Beals revolver started life as a standard Federal Navy issued, blued percussion model that would have been carried early in the Civil War. In 1874, under contract with Remington, the Navy returned these revolvers to be converted to 38 caliber center-fire.

On this particular revolver, the typical New York style Remington engraving would lead one to speculate that after the conversion this revolver was engraved & refinished at Remington. Perhaps done for a Naval officer as a presentation piece or a memento of his service. Unfortunately the revolver’s history has been lost in time.

Except loading lever & cylinder, the entire gun was originally silver plated with a gold wash applied over the top of the silver. It must have been a masterpiece.




The Navy used the standard Remington-Beals conversions up until 1889 when the they purchased Colt revolvers.
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Friday, February 10, 2017

Buffalo Bill's Remington Revolver

                           


“To Charlie & Carrie Trego. This old Remington revolver. I carried and used for many years in Indian Wars and Buffalo killing. And it never failed me. WF Cody Dec 13th 1906.” 

Cody wrote this note to his friends Charles and Carrie Trego, foreman of his Nebraska ranch, when he gave them the gun for Christmas in 1906.







The message was written on William Cody’s personal business card, in his position as judge advocate general of Wyoming.


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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wesson & Leavitt Revolving Rifle



Patented by Edwin Wesson and Daniel Leavitt and manufactured by the Massachusetts Arms Co., of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts around 1850. Collectors  estimate that only between 16 - 50 of these rare rifles were manufactured and have an estimated collectors value $25,000.

It falls in that 'you got to be kiddin' category but I love these oddities and when I first saw this rifle I thought "what a fun toy, I gotta find one" but that estimated price quickly told me ---- keep dreamin'.


The rifle is based on the .40 caliber, Wesson & Leavitt "Army" revolver frame with side hammer and six-shot cylinder. An integral fixed rear sight is mounted on the top of the frame. The 24-inch round two-step barrel has a brass front sight blade.










Wesson & Leavitt "Army" Revolver


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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fallschirmajagergewehr FG 42 Paratrooper Rifle





A rare late WWII original issue Krieghoff Heinrich Gun Company rifle with Luftwaffe ZF4 sniper scope. These rifles were exceptionally unique weapons that were way ahead of anything that the Allies had. This rifle design married the concept of both the basic German infantry rifle with the fully automatic "light rifle" weapon, somewhat like the Browning BAR. It would be further developed by various countries in the post-War years.

Some of the more notable weapon designs that used this concept were the FN/FAL and M14 rifles, which used a full sized rifle round in both the semi-automatic and fully automatic mode. One of the most unique aspects of this weapon was that it fired from a "closed bolt" when shooting in the semi-automatic mode and an "open bolt" in the fully automatic mode, which aided in reducing cook-offs.


As a “light machine gun” its utility was greatly limited by the 20-round magazine limit and the light weight barrel. It had no provision for belt feed and the constant magazine changes would have prevented building a solid base of cover fire. On top of that the heavy-weight 8mm Mauser cartridges would have precluded carrying large amounts of ammo. Users carried 20 magazines in a special harness-like strip, meaning each user had 400 rounds which would last a light machine gun in fire suppression mode only about three minutes. 

It was accurate, light (10 pounds), sleek, had extraordinary pointability. However, “because physics, in the end, can’t be defied, kicked like the mother of all mules”.


Some of the easily identified characteristics of this rifle are a horizontal 20 round box magazine, a "brass deflector" on the right rear side of the receiver, a permanently attached folding bipod, and folding front and rear sights.

The top of the receiver of these rifles were specifically machined with a long dovetail type base designed to accept the two scope rings. The rings each have a single locking lever that allowed easy installation and removal of the scope depending on the specific combat scenario; general combat or in a limited sniping role.


The finish is the late war green/gray phosphate on the receiver and barrel assembly has a blue/black painted finish on the lower trigger group/housing assembly.

These rifles were developed fairly late in WWII and were specifically issued to only German Paratroopers. It is estimated that only appropriately 5000 were ever manufactured with most being destroyed after the war with only a few surviving intact examples in collectors hands today. 





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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Franklin/Colt Trials Rifle






Colt manufactured Franklin Military Model "Trials" rifle. The rifle is the brainchild of General William Franklin, who was the Vice President of Colt in the 1880-1900 time frame and is actually credited with the patents for this design.

The design was submitted to U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance and the U.S. Army Ordnance Board in the 1887-1888 trials. The design proved to be extremely simple and reliable and was extensively tested by both. After firing over four thousand rounds with no apparent failures to feed or fire, they determined the design to be simple, reliable and was more solid and safe than any other system known at that time and satisfactory for military service but none were ordered.

The rifle represents an important step in the development of repeating military bolt actions rifles based on two features. It uses a lifting bolt mechanism (later used on numerous military rifles) and it has a multi-shot box magazine both features were very advanced for their time.

The obvious most unique feature of this rifle is the top mounted 9 round box magazine with a receiver mounted cutoff. Both were very innovative for the time. The magazine itself, albeit of a spring mechanism, has a simple loading port on the underside that once loaded, inverted and attached to the rifle. It is then fed by gravity and the slight recoiling/shaking of the rifle during firing.

The obvious idea was to increase the firepower of the standard infantry rifle by adding a simple gravity feed magazine. 


These rifles are really an enigma in the Colt collecting community as well as in the martial arms field as only a small quantity were ever produced with an even fewer number actually surviving. As noted on pages 480-481 in "The Book of Colt Firearms" by R.L. Wilson, there were exactly 50 of these rifles manufactured. 






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