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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Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Glisenti Model 1910, Italy’s first semi-auto military sidearm.



It was a 9mm calibre semi-automatic service pistol produced by the Italian company Societa Siderugica Glisenti. It saw extensive service in World War I and limited service in the World War II with the Italian Army.
Glisenti first introduced their Model 1906 to the military which was designed to fire a 7.65×22mm bottleneck cartridge. The Model 1906 failed to impress the Italian Army and they requested a redesign to fire a round similar to the German 9mm Parabellum.

Glisenti made only minor changes and named the pistol the Model 1910 and was formally adopted by the Italian Army.
The Model 1910 retained the same complex and fragile firing system of the parent pistol which mandated that the pistol use weaker cartridges than the 9mm Parabellum. To reduce ease the stress on the pistol's weak design, the Model 1910 had to fire the 9mm Glisenti which is structurally similar to the 9mm Parabellum but has a reduced velocity.

The Beretta M1915 would later become the official service pistol in the Italian Army in 1934. The Glisenti was declared obsolete the same year but remained in arsenal inventory until the end of World War II.







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Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Remington Beals series of pocket revolver, the revolvers that spawned Remington's New Model Army revolver.


1st Model Remington Beals

After seeing Colt’s success, Remington & Sons were wanting to enter the civilian revolver market but did not have a designer with revolver experience in their employ. They looked to former employee Fordyce Beals, who was working at the Whitneyville Armory at the time. Beals had already designed and patented revolvers while at Whitneyville. 
Beals would become instrumental in helping Remington & Sons enter the civilian market, a niche they have excelled in ever since.

After returning to Remington, still owning the patent of a previous revolver, Beals developed it further. Beals' design changes got him a new patent in June of 1856 for what would be Remington's first pocket pistol, the 1st Model Beals Pocket Revolver.





3,000 of the five shot .31 pockets were made over the next three of four years

Always thinking and tinkering, Beals redesigned the 1st Model to have a spur type trigger and and called it the 2nd Model Beal's Pocket Pistol. It is believed that fewer than 1000 were produced.





Just prior to the American Civil War, Beals designed a somewhat larger revolver called the 3rd Model Beals Pocket Revolver. As many as 1000 of these were made between 1859 and 1861.









The 3rd Model was characterized by features that would lead to Beals designing a new revolver that would be the ancestor or base for the Remington New Model Revolver.







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