Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Confederate Sisterdale Texas Dragoon.



This massive and unique  44 cal. Sisterdale, Texas Dragoon was manufactured in 1862 . This revolver has a cylinder indexing mechanism much like that of the Remington Beals revolvers.



This massive gun measures over 14" overall with 7-3/4" bbl weighing 4lbs. 


Bill Gary in his 1987 text Confederate Revolvers dedicates an entire chapter to this unique survivor of which six were noted to have been made. Pictured in Lone Star and Double Eagle, Civil War letters of a German-Texas Family, by Minetta Goyne, 1982, pg. 67. A passage dated August 10, 1862, Camp Clark states, "Assembled to produce six-shooters for the army on or near the Ernst Kapp farm, not only the Coreth brothers, but at times also Adolph Munzenberger, August Schimmelpfennig, Hermann Kammerling, and a somewhat nebulous character variously called "Wilhelm der Schmidt" or "Schmidt Willem" all were involved in the project. All were under the direction of Alfred Kapp, who had special qualifications resulting from a tour of the eastern United States in 1856-57, during the course of which he had worked at the Colt factory in Hartford.

Together these men produced a number of pistols (six, it is thought) that experts describe as combining certain features of the Colt, the Remington, the Smith and Wesson, and the Rogers and Spencer. Only one is known to exist today. "The engineering excellence among this group of German-Americans in Sisterdale was amazing. This particular pistol is among the very finest of any made in the South, with fabulous aesthetics and the overall unique mechanism and horn grips." 








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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

One of works of art by Colt’s Master Engraver, Cuno Helfricht.


Manufactured in 1900, this SA Army, has a factory silver-plated finish, two-piece pearl grips with a carved eagle shield motif on the right panel and engraved by Helfricht. Featured in R.L. Wilson’s "The Book of Colt Engraving" on page 239. 




























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Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Podewils-Lindner Rifle



The base of this rifle was the muzzleloading Bavarian M-1858 Podewils military rifle designed by Philipp Podewils, who was director of the Royal Manufactory of Amberg in Bavaria. 
Podewils and Edward Lindner, of New York, had prior dealings around 1857-59 when approximately 2,500 Austrian carbines were converted to an earlier design Lindner system.

Lindner was an inventive being. He worked in conjunction with the Amoskeag Manufacturing Co. of Manchester, New Hampshire building breech loading rifles and various breech loader conversions, many of which saw service during the American Civil War.


Simply stated, the Bavarian 1858/67 Podewils-Lindner rifle was the Podewils rifle with the breech plug removed and the Lindner conversion screwed on. Think of it as a modern day bolt action receiver assembly.
The conversion, which has a loading port on the top a bolt with an interrupted thread locking lugs which mates with a corresponding interrupted thread in the receiver, the bolt also has a dust cover which runs in two parallel grooves on the receiver.
The bolt face is dished so that the edges direct gas leakage forward upon ignition. The dust cover also helps deflect gas leaks from the user’s face and prevents dirt from getting into the receiver.

The ammunition was a paper cartridge with a "twist". The cartridge had a conventional percussion cap glued, facing outwards, in a recess at the base of the cartridge. The user would first cap the rifle with the cartridge, the cap would be captured (hopefully) by the nipple and then the cartridge inserted into the gun.

Interestingly the trigger assembly has an unique internal safety which blocks trigger movement until the bolt is closed and locked down. 







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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The military collectors dream come true, the prototype model for what would become one of WW2's finest assault rifles, the Walther MKb 42.


In 1942 the German Ordnance Ministry was searching for the ideal assault carbine. It was felt that the 7.92 mm cartridge was too powerful for full automatic and that they needed to develop a new cartridge. The cartridge they developed was the 7.92x33mm round.
The companies of Haenel and Walther were both tasked with creating trial rifles that utilized this new ammunition.

This Walther designed prototype rifle is very unique in that it is comprised to 2-3 different sheet metal sections that were riveted/pinned together.
The front section is very similar to the Mkb.42(W) with an extruded barrel jacket, which is keyed into the integral front sight base/bayonet lug assembly that was held on by the muzzle nut. The rear half of the receiver is also a stamped sheet metal housing which covers the rear half of the rifle, which is riveted onto the stamped trigger guard and box magazine.




Internally the front and rear halves of the rifle are joined to a machined internal receiver that acts as the rear barrel trunnion/locking lugs and rear support for the sheet metal receiver. This piece was the real key to this design as it is one of the very few all machined and critical parts on the weapon.

The other real interesting feature is that inside the upper receiver it has a sliding sheet metal bolt carrier to which the actual machined bolt body has been riveted to. This carrier extends from the larger bulbous middle section of the barrel jacket to the rear of the receiver opening, approximately 12 inches long.

The buttstock is attached to the rear of the receiver via a through bolt type arrangement. The large hole in the buttstock is covered by the stamped buttplate.

From the pictures, it is obvious that the Walther was experimenting with an early detachable box magazine. This magazine design would eventually evolve into the standard box magazines for the G/K43 series of rifles.







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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Kynoch Revolvers


Scottish entrepreneur George Kynoch, a manufacturer of ammunition, ventured into firearms manufacturing by leasing the arms factory of William Tranter in 1885 following the latter's retirement. Kynoch’ associate and works manager Henry A. Schlund was granted British patents (9084 in 1885 and 11900 of 1886) for safety revolvers with enclosed hammer and dual triggers.





Revolver is most unusual with enclosed hammer both for safety and to prevent snagging when drawn and an oversize trigger guard which encloses two triggers. Pulling the lower trigger advances the cylinder to the next chamber for firing, locks the rear trigger in place and cocks the hammer at the same time. The upper trigger, which is checkered, is used to fire the cartridge. The primary trigger fires the revolver with lighter pull in single action or can be used independently in double action.


The rear of the frame has a checkered thumb latch which is used to tip the bbl down for unloading & reloading.


Sides of the barrel lug have triangle shaped wires attached to the ejector housing boss to deflect the holster from jamming the cylinder when re-holstering the pistol.


Calibers were .380, .450 and .476., only around 600 of both types were produced before the factory ceased production.

There were two types of Kynoch revolvers. The Type 1 had the cocking portion of the trigger below the guard. The above pictured revolvers are the Type 2. Pictured below is a Type 1.




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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Standard Arms Semi-Auto Rifle


 
In April of 1906, Morris Smith was granted a patent for his gas-operated semi-automatic rifle design. Capital backing was acquired and shortly afterwards the and Standard Arms Company was incorporated. Standard Arms started production of their Model G in Wilmington, Delaware, plant in September 1909.
The rifles were offered in the then-new Remington family of rimless cartridges in .25, .30, .32 and .35 calibers. 




It had the interesting option of allowing the shooter to disable the gas system. 


A port near the end of the barrel channels propellant gas through a valve into a long cylinder, which was often mistaken by those not familiar with the rifle as a magazine tube. A piston inside the cylinder is connected to dual action bars which in turn are connected to the breech bolt. Turning the valve to its “off” position prevents gas from entering the cylinder, allowing the rifle to be manually operated as a slide action.



The fragile mechanical arrangement was prone to breakage and thus not reliable. This plus being in competition with the Remington Model 8 and the Winchester 1905/1907 Self-Loader, both of which sold well, proved to be the downfall of the rifle. The Standard was pretty much a flop.
Standard attempted to gain market share with other models and options but the company folded in 1912. The company was restarted in 1913 as Standard Arms Mfg. Co., and closed in April, 1914.
Nearly 5,000 various model rifles were manufactured at the actual factory. At the time the plant closed, approx. 2,200 rifles were in various stages of production, and a supply of parts remained. These were primarily purchased by Numrich Arms, made into complete rifles, and sold.

Standard submitted a variation of their model G to the U.S. Military Board for trials at Springfield Armory on April 8 and June 16, 1910. The rifle used a special .30/.40 short cartridge made by Frankford Arsenal. The board declined the rifle as not sturdy enough for military use, being too complicated and for needing a non-standard cartridge.





The pictured rifle is said to be one of the military trial rifles, or a prototype of the same, that has been restocked as a sporter at some point in time. (the Military Model had a full length stock and handguard). You will note the rifle has the military charging handle arrangement, otherwise the receiver and general configuration are that of a Standard Arms Co. sporting rifles.



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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Parker, Snow / Miller Breech Loading Conversion was one answer to the post American Civil War surplus of muzzleloading muskets.




During the American Civil, Parker, Snow & Co. of Meriden, Conn., was one of the independent arms makers that the United States War Dept. contracted with to manufacture regulation Springfield model 1861 rifle muskets. The National armories along with independent makers produced over a million M1861 rifles during the war.
Post war the armories were loaded with muzzle loading rifles that were made obsolete by the metallic cartridge. The logical answer was to convert the inventory to accept the metallic round. 


William H. and George W. Miller designed and patented such a conversion.
The Meriden Manufacturing Company, of Connecticut, would produced the product for the brothers.

Most of the Miller conversions were on Parker, Snow rifle muskets; there may have been some connection, since both were in the same town.
It is thought that only 2,000 of these were made, mostly for issue to state militia companies, but only 45 were issued to the state of New York and 50 to the state of Maryland can be verified. Presumably the rest were sold off as surplus, as the Army expressed no interest as they preferred the Allin (Springfield Armory) conversion. 


The Miller conversion uses a short, upward swinging breechblock. The hinge part is dovetailed into the barrel behind the rear sight. The block flips up, exposing the chamber and activates the shell extractor. When the action flips down, it locks in place. There is a deep groove at the top of the stock at the breach for ease of inserting the .58 caliber rimfire cartridge.






Aside from the changes necessary for the conversion, the rifle musket is a standard Model 1861.

The Parker, Snow firm continued in the arms making business for many years and became known as Parker Bros who in 1868 began producing the internationally renowned Parker Shotguns.



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Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Enfield Mark l revolver was the official British military sidearm from 1880 through 1887, and was the issue sidearm of the North-West Mounted Police in Canada from 1883 until 1911.



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Unfortunately, the system was obsolete as soon as it was introduced.
They were top-break or double-action, chambered for the .476 Enfield cartridge which fired a 265 grain lead bullet, loaded with 18 grains of black powder.

Unlike most other top brake self-extracting revolvers, it was somewhat complicated to unload. It had a selective extraction/ejection system which was supposed to allow the user to eject spent cartridges, while retaining live rounds in the cylinder.



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It had a hinged frame, and when the barrel was unlatched, the cylinder would move forward, operating the extraction system and allowing the spent cartridges to simply fall out. The idea was that the cylinder moved forward just far enough to permit fired cases to be completely extracted (and ejected by gravity), but not far enough to permit live cartridges from being removed in the same manner.

It required reloading one round at a time via a loading gate, much like the Colt Single Action Army.

Lack of stopping power, the cumbersome loading and a tendency for the action to foul or jam when extracting cartridges made the revolver unpopular and eventually it was replaced in 1889 by the .455 calibre Webley Mk I revolver.


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