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Q&A #5: Rollin White and Other (Better) Designers

Questions in part I of today’s Q&A:

1:04 – What was Rollin White’s revolver like? 7:09 – Why did pan magazines disappear? 10:14 – Why no pointed pistol bullets? 13:24 – Funky rounds like Trounds or Gyrojet rockets 17:47 – Current US MHS trials 19:55 – Underappreciated designers

Questions in the part II […]

RIA: Cripple Stock Shotgun

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Okay, so the name may not be considered very PC today – you could also call this a cross-dominant stock. The concept was to allow a shooter to mount the gun in one shoulder but sight with their opposite eye. This was useful for cross-dominant shooters (ie, right handed but left eyed) or shooters […]

Ross Model A-2 Pistol Photos

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A reader named Paul sent me these photos of a very odd pistol that was allegedly found in Germany during WWII. In fact, this is a very rare Ross automatic pistol, patented in 1903 by Charles Ross, of the Ross Rifle Company in Quebec. It is a short recoil, toggle locked design, made for the […]

Hand-Fitted Parts Firsthand: French Modele 1874

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We often hear the phrase “hand-fitted” in regards to either really finely made guns, or ones made before the the advent of truly interchangeable parts. Well, I recently had a firsthand experience with hand-fitted parts, and thought it would make an interesting video. i suspect a lot of people today don’t really think about just […]

The Sketchy AKs of the Libyan Civil War

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Armament Research Services (ARES) has a database of Conflict Material (CONMAT), logging arms and munitions documented within the illicit sphere in conflict and post-conflict zones. I have been working on co-athoring a report with N.R. Jenzen-Jones covering Libyan arms trading conducted via social media platforms between November 2014 and November 2015 for Small Arms Survey. […]

James D. Julia: Orvill Robinson’s Innovative Rifles

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Orvill Robinson was a gunsmith and gun designer in upstate New York who developed two rather interesting rifle designs in the 1870s. They are both pistol-caliber actions, with tubular magazines. The first (the 1870 model) used a tilting wedge very similar in concept to the 1886 Mannlicher straight-pull action. This Robinson design had a pair […]

James D. Julia: Sisterdale Texas Confederate Revolver

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The Sisterdale revolver is one of the most original designs of the Confederate revolvers. It was devised by a group of Texans led by one Alfred Kapp, son of a German immigrant in Sisterdale, Texas. He and his compatriots made six of these revolvers on the Kapp homestead with the intention of obtaining a contract […]

Spoils of War: A 1907 St Etienne Full of Bullet Holes

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The 1907 St Etienne heavy machine gun is a really neat gun mechanically, but I can’t shot you that today because this one is jammed together from the 7 bullet impacts that rendered it unusable a hundred years ago…

Viet Cong Handmade Luger Lookalike

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In the continuing occasional series on crude handmade firearms, we have an entry sent to me by a reader on Facebook (thanks!). It’s a Vietnamese Luger lookalike, which was being sold by Arundel Militaria in the UK (and no, I didn’t buy it – it was already sold when I first saw it).

This […]

Knoble Automatic Pistol, Cal .30 (Video)

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The Knoble in .45 caliber was one of the pistols in the US pistol trials of 1907. Unfortunately for Mr. Knoble, his pistol was deemed to crude for the Ordnance Board to consider even test firing, and it was dropped from the trial like a hot potato.

Knoble only made a handful of pistols in […]