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RIA: Colt Richards Conversion 1860 Army

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Colt, like all the other manufacturers in the US, was prevented from making cartridge revolvers by the Rollin white patent, which finally expired in 1869. This left them limited to their percussion revolvers, the 1849, 1851, 1860, and 1862 models in particular. These were phenomenally popular guns, but quickly becoming obsolete in the face of […]

Smoothbore Spencer: Tracing a Mystery Gun

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Today’s firearm is not a normal gun; it is a conversion of a Spencer into a shotgun. My question is, what path did this weapon travel? What did it begin as, and how did it come to be in its current form?

Let’s see if we can puzzle this out looking at the evidence in […]

Video Q&A #3: What-Ifs and How-Comes

MG 81 Bild 2

I initially figured these Q&A video would be a fun little side note, and I have been a bit taken aback by how popular they became…and so they keep getting longer. This one clocks in at nearly 50 minutes, and I think I got some particularly good questions. Let me know what you think!

Would […]

First Pattern 1865 Allin Conversion – Trapdoor Springfield at RIA

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As the US Civil War drew to a close, it was quite apparent to everyone that muzzleloading rifles were obsolete, and any military force wishing to remain relevant would need to adopt cartridge-firing weapons. However, the Union arsenals had a million or more muzzleloading rifled muskets still on hand. How to modernize the weaponry without […]

Beretta M1918 SMG Photos

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The Beretta M1918 was one of two simultaneous efforts to turn the M1915 Villar-Perosa machine gun into a more practical weapon. The Officine Villar Perosa (who had manufactured the 1915 gun in the first place) did one version, and Beretta did the other. In fact, Beretta’s version was the work of none other than Tullio […]

RIA: Granatbuchse GrB-39 Antitank Rifle

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Like most countries, Germany had a standard-issue antitank rifle when World War II began – the Panzerbuchse 39. It fired an 8x94mm cartridge with a small very high velocity armor-piercing bullet. And like the other AT rifles from the 1930s, the PzB-39 became obsolete quickly as tank armor improved during the war. However, while most […]

RIA: The ASP Subcompact 9mm for Sneaky People

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The ASP was a custom take of the S&W Model 39 autoloading pistol developed by a man named Paris Theodore in the 1970s. Theodore made a wide variety of sneaky James-Bond-like guns for various clients, but is best know for the ASP. At the time, it was one of the best options for a subcompact […]

Dutch M1 with AR-10 Magazines

Garand converted to use AR10 magazines by Artillerie Inrichtingen

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Dutch government was looking to adopt a new rifle for its Army, and considered both the AR-10 (which was being produced domestically by Artillerie Inrichtingen) and the FAL. The FAL won out, but it was not immediately clear if that rifle would replace everything in Dutch service, […]

Vintage Saturday: Throw Me a Line!

French officer with a Lebel rifle and barrel-mounted light

French officer with a Lebel rifle converted to throw lines

Thuer Conversion Colt 1849 at James D Julia

As the self-contained metallic cartridge because popular, a niche industry developed in converting percussion revolvers to use the new cartridges. One of the first of these conversions was designed by F. Alexander Thuer and marketed by the Colt company itself. Thuer’s conversion was put into production while the Rollin White patent was still in force, […]