Sunday, March 11, 2018

Turner/Lee Enfield Semi-Auto Conversion

“Developed in the early 1940s, this rifle was the product of independent inventor Russell J. Turner, who was also a contender in the U.S. Army Light Rifle Trials during the same period. Reportedly it was conceived for sale to the Canadians, who at the time were looking at their stock of SMLE bolt-action rifles and contemplating an upgrade to a semi-automatic infantry weapon. Similar in broad principle to a number of "conversion" rifles produced between the World Wars, the Turner uses a great number of original Lee-Enfield components, which would make for a cheaper weapon that could benefit from existing parts stores. That said, the Turner took the conversion up a notch, effectively cutting down the original receiver to a stump for mounting a whole new set of guts, built around Turner's patented cam-driven tilting breech mechanism, which is powered by a long piston operating rod assembly and a muzzle mounted gas port assembly. While the gas port arrangement bears a strong resemblance to the one found on the M1 Garand, the Turner has a novel feature in a hand-adjustable three position gas port. The front sight, magazine and buttstock are typical for the Enfield, but the forearm and handguard have been ventilated and altered to accept the gas cylinder, and the rear sight is windage and elevation adjustable with a large "2-10" graduated elevation knob suitable for use with gloves. Though the Turner performed very well, especially during cold weather trials, the Canadians retained the Enfield until the 1950s, when the FN FAL became the standard issue rifle”.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Designed for and issued to the Austro-Hungarian cavalry during The Great War, the Roth–Steyr M1907, or, more accurately Roth-Krnka M.7 was the first self-loading pistol to be adopted by a major power.

It was developed by the Czech designer Karel Krnka, working for an ammunition company of Georg Roth, from an earlier design of Roth–Theodorovic pistol. After development and tests of several prototypes, the final version of the Roth–Krnka won the trials for an Army pistol in 1906, and was adapted as a standard gun of Austro-Hungarian Army designated, Repetierpistole M.7. (self-loading pistol M1907).

Since Roth had no weapon production capabilities, the government bought all the rights and contracted with Hungarian arms makers Steyr and FEG in Budapest. 

The pistol is a locked-breech pistol, which allows the barrel and bolt to recoil together within a hollow receiver. The long bolt is solid at the rear, except for the striker grove, the front part is hollow and fits tightly over the barrel. The interior of the bolt has cam grooves cut into it, and the barrel has cam lugs which fit into the bolt grooves. When the pistol is fired, the barrel and bolt recoil together within the hollow receiver for about 0.5 inch. During this operation, the helical grooves in the muzzle bushing cause the barrel to turn 90 degrees clockwise, unlocking the bolt as it continues to the rear, cocking the action as it does so.The empty case is extracted and ejected. The bolt is now at the rear position and the recoil spring is compressed. Under the action of the recoil spring, the bolt closes and a new cartridge is pushed in the barrel, the bolt is locked and the pistol ready to fire.

The pistol was claimed to embody important advantages as a cavalry weapon, ease of ambidextrous operation and particularly in the isolation of the trigger system from the auto-loading action to reduce the possibility of accidental firing.

Chambered for the 8mm Roth-Steyr cartridge specific, to this model. The pistol does not have a detachable magazine, but features a fixed magazine loaded from the top with stripper clips.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Model 1853 Sharps high grade shotgun

This is likely the only high grade 24 bore Sharps Model 1853 shotgun ever manufactured. 

Sharps expert Frank Sellers only recorded a total of two 24 bore Model 1853's in his book "Sharps Firearms" and listed only one of those as "Fine Engraved." He also notes that at least a few high grade guns are listed incorrectly in the factory records as plain. 
This is a late example and would certainly fall within the "Extra Fine Engraved" category and has the exact same gold inlaid barrel address and scrollwork pictured on page 59 of his book where he notes that this inlay is found "on the highest grade of Model 1853" shotguns. 

The scroll patterns covers the 9 inches of the breech section of the barrel, and "Sharps Rifle Manufg Co. Hartford, Conn." is at the center in Gothic script. The barrel also has one thin and one broad band of gold inlay at the muzzle and is equipped with a post front sight with small bead. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mauser C78 Revolver

The Mauser 'Construktion of 1878’ (C78) was developed to enter Germany’s trials for their first metallic cartridge revolver in 1879. Designed by Peter Paul Mauser, the single-action, six-shot,7.65 caliber revolver was intended to offer an alternative to the majority of contemporary revolvers with a supposedly simpler indexing mechanism which lined up the cylinder chamber with the breech more reliably. The C78 also has the distinction of being Paul Mauser’s first and only revolver design.

The revolver has a number of interesting features, including its unique cylinder indexing system. The 'zig-zag’ grooves cut into the cylinder which provided a channel for a sprung studded cam that moved forward when the trigger was pulled. This rotated the cylinder aligning the next chamber with the breach. This was intended to prevent the pistol getting 'out of time’ and failing to align a round properly.
The other features included "ring-type" cylinder latch located ahead of the trigger guard which unlocks the barrel and cylinder assembly allowing them to be swung upwards to unload spent cases. 

In later models, above picture, ejection, was aided by a star-style ejector that was actuated when the barrel was tipped up. The ungainly 'tip-up’ position of the barrel made reloading the pistol tricky when compared to contemporary top break pistols sold by Webley and Smith & Wesson.
It also has a safety latch on the lower left side of the frame that engages the cylinder to keep it from rotating when on safe.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Prototype Remington New Model Army

This prototype Remington New Model Army revolver was formerly part of the famous Locke and "Slim" Kohler collections. They list the revolver as manufactured in 1869 or 1870. The revolver has no visible markings. 

It is primarily built like a standard New Model Army but differs significantly in the way the cylinder is secured. Instead of a winged pin that enters through the front of the frame, it has as cross pin and sliding latch. The cross pin is pushed inwards towards the left. Then, the latch is pulled towards the muzzle releasing the cylinder, so that it can be removed from the left side. 

The design is based on Samuel Remington's March 17th, 1863, patent. It is recorded as Patent No. 37,921 for "Improved Method of Holding the Base-Pins of Revolving Pistols" and was designed to rectify issues with the cylinder pin system used on the Model 1861 revolvers at the behest of the Ordnance Department, but the firm opted to revert to the older system used on the Beal's revolvers. 
The main advantage of this system is that the loading lever can be operated without worry of the cylinder pin falling out. Losing a cylinder pin during the heat of combat would render the revolver effectively useless. Not to mention creating a mess in your shorts.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Harrington & Richardson/Reising prototype M14 battle rifle.

This prototype rifle was obviously developed while H&R were in production on the standard issue M14 rifle for the U.S. Military with the intent to make a cheaper, easier and more cost effective rifle to manufacture than the standard M14 rifle.
It is based on design inputs from their designer engineer, Eugene Reising. The front end of the rifle (barrel, flash hider, gas system and handguard) are basically the same as the standard M14 rifle. It uses a standard M14 magazine

The redesign aspects are: a new one-piece receiver with a completely enclosed top area and a small ejection port on the right side. The rear of the receiver has the same large screw/end cap as the H&R Model 60. It has a round bolt, except for the rear area, which forms the rear locking area. During operation the bolt actually rotates (to unlock) and then the rear drops down somewhat like an M1 carbine.

The internal parts appear to be a combination of both stamped and full machined parts and house the safety and fire control parts. The stock is very close the standard M14 design, only machined to fit this rifle with a stamped steel trigger guard that is permanently attached to the stock with three wood screws.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Walther "Armee-Pistole" prototype.

The pistol is just one of Walther's continuing attempts at developing a suitable semi-auto pistol for military sales, they were a continuation of the very early Walther MP designs.

The Walther policy, when working on an experimental series, was to build no two alike. All of the “Armee-Pistole” prototypes produced had different features. They simply made many variants to see which worked better.

This pistol incorporates several unique and innovative features such as the "swinging locking block" and "twin recoil springs on the frame". Both of which were later incorporated into all Walther HP and P38 production pistols.

This example features a separate takedown and hold open lever, a concealed hammer, checkered takedown lever and all steel frame with the longer rear frame area that has been machined to accept an original Walther shoulder stock/holster designed similar to the early Mauser Broomhandle.

This pistol is considered, by Walther collectors, as an early engineering design/development model. It is estimated that this series of prototypes were produced in the early 1935-37 time frame with only a handful known to exist in the world today.