Sunday, September 25, 2016

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.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Colt M-1900 with Sight Safety

The Colt M-1900 is the first semi-automatic pistol manufactured by Colt and the first of John M. Browning's successful semi-automatic pistol designs. The new design featured a new cartridge, the .38 Automatic Colt Pistol. Despite the name, this cartridge used a .357 caliber bullet weighing 107 grains, at a muzzle velocity of 1,259 feet per second. 
The most prominent feature of the Model 1900 was the sight safety, which while a good idea in theory, did not work out well in execution, and proved to be unpopular. 

When pushed down the safety blocked the firing pin, when pushed up it performed as the rear sight. This gave an immediate visual indicator of whether the safety was on or off when one went to aim the pistol, without resorting to feeling for the safety lever. The first M-1900 were equipped with rear milled slide grooves but then it was found that this could interfere with the sight safety (one could inadvertently flip the safety on or off while manipulating the slide) the milled slide grooves were moved to the front.

This safety was used in about the first 3,000 production pistols. Colt then installed a conventional rear sight. Total production of the M-1900 was 4,274. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Winchester Thumb Trigger Rifle

Image result for Winchester Thumb Trigger

Boy, I gotta' get out more. 75,000 of these were made and I've never seen or heard of them before. Sure would like to shoot one.

"The Winchester Thumb Trigger rifle was a very inexpensive boy's rifle developed from the Model 1902. It is a single-shot .22 rimfire bolt action system, on which the trigger was replaced by a thumb-activated sear behind the bolt. In theory, this was to allow greater accuracy by requiring less force acting to disrupt your point of aim when firing. It was also a simpler and thus cheaper mechanism to manufacture. About 75,000 of these rifles were sold, including many exported to Australia, interestingly."
Ian, Forgotten Weapons, does a nice job of demonstrating the works of these rifles in the following video. Worth watching.

Image result for Winchester Thumb Trigger

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Winchester Wetmore/Wells Prototype SA Revolver

In the early 1870s it was announced that the U.S. government as well as the Russian government were in the market for a new side arm. Smith & Wesson as well as Colt competed for these contracts but what many people do not realize is so did Winchester. The contract was awarded to S&W.
Undaunted by its losses for government contracts, Winchester’s board of directors forged ahead with its plans to break into the revolver market. Planning so at the Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia in 1876. The company invested a great sum of resources and money to the Centennial Exhibition, and their Wetmore-Wells revolver samples were one of the revolver models Winchester introduced to the public.

Whitmore and Wells were former Smith & Wesson employees and were hired by Winchester to develop a revolver.
The basic revolver was designed by William Wetmore circa 1874 and the cartridge ejection system by Charles Wells in 1872. (Well’s patent 33,732 12/10/1872)

This example, which was likely on display at the Centennial Exhibition, is without visible markings and features the cartridge ejector system developed by Wells. 

The ejector system is mounted on the right side of the frame. Ejecting a casing requires the operator to push down the ejector bar, thus setting in motion a sliding ejector that rode under the rims of a chambered cartridge in line with the loading port. 

It has a solid frame, six shot cylinder, blade front sight and frame sighting groove. All nickel finish with checkered walnut grips. A lanyard ring is mounted on the butt. 

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Texas Model Paterson

The Colt No. 5 Holster Model revolver or Texas Model Paterson revolver. The revolver has an octagon, 36 caliber, 9 inch barrel, five-shot cylinder and varnished walnut grips.

The Paterson design was Colt’s first foray into the firearms market which was ultimately successful and led to the dynasty still in business today. The large heavy caliber No. 5 Holster Model was the most practical of the Paterson revolvers. Use of these revolvers by Texas Rangers Jack Hayes and Samuel Walker created the association between Colt revolvers and the western frontier and established Colt revolvers as an effective handgun. They were a functional design that saw hard use on the frontier. Total production was approximately 1000 revolvers manufactured between 1838-1840. 

Initially this 5-shot revolver was produced in .28 caliber, with a .36 caliber model following a year later. As originally designed and produced, no loading lever was included with the revolver; a user had to disassemble the revolver partially to re-load it. Starting in 1839, however, a reloading lever and a capping window were incorporated into the design, allowing reloading without requiring partial disassembly of the revolver. 

The No. 5 Model Paterson revolver is the most sought-after of all Colt Paterson revolvers and is a premier piece in any advanced Colt collection. An estimated 150 examples of the No. 5 Paterson revolver exist today.

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