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The Vault

German Mauser Obrez Pistol

From the collection of the Deutsches Historisches Museum, a reader named James found an example of an Obrez pistol made on a Mauser K98 rifle action. This apparently was made by Czech partisans during World War II, using the grip from an MG42 machine gun.

Obrez made by Czech partisans with a Mauser rifle [...]

Gyrojet Pistol at RIA

The 13mm Gyrojet pistol was the closest thing to a commercially successful rocket pistol, although not many were sold before the company went out of business. This pistol version (the most common type of Gyrojet) fires a 180 grain rocket projectile. It is for sale – with 15 rounds of live ammunition – at the [...]

Two Pinfire Harmonica Pistols at RIA

Harmonica guns were a short-lived type of firearm that was developed in an effort to have reliable repeating weapons prior to the the modern centerfire cartridge. They were made in both muzzleloading and cartridge varieties, and one notable (and reknowned) American maker of such guns was Jonathan Browning, father of John Moses Browning. These two [...]

Four-Shot Superposed Ratchet Pistol at RIA

Today’s item in the upcoming Rock Island Premier Auction is a rather unusual percussion pistol. It began life as an underhammer gun, and was rebuilt by an unknown gunsmith as a percussion gun that fired four superposed charges with a creative repeating action.

Book Review: United States Martial Pistols and Revolvers

Pre-WWI American handguns are an area that I am pretty weak in, and I’m working to remedy that. One of the initial resources I picked up was Arcadi Gluckman’s United States Martial Pistols and Revolvers. Originally printed in 1939, it is a pretty good reference for the title subject – especially considering the price.

Arcadi [...]

Volcanic Repeating Pistol (Video)

The Volcanic was not the first repeating pistol, but it was an early one of the first in a line of firearms that would develop into the iconic lever action rifles of the American West. Patented in 1854, the Volcanic used a toggle-action lock operated by a finger lever – simply a smaller version of [...]

The Most Elegant Pistol Ever

Most of the time, guns intended to be fancy and particularly fancy leave me rather cold. I can recognize the mind-blowing skill that goes into really high-end hand engraving, but engraved guns just aren’t really my style. Same with precious metal inlays…it’s just not for me. Even if I one day become wealthy enough to [...]

Semmerling LM4 Video

The Semmerling LM4 has pretty much no historical significance, but it does have a pretty unusual operating system. It is a .45ACP backup pistol developed by a fellow named Philip R. Lichtman in the 1970s. It was a pretty compact pistol, intended as a last-ditch backup weapon while still being in a major caliber. Lichtman’s [...]

Russian Silent Ammunition

Pistols Firing Internally Silenced Ammunition Guns of the Spetsnaz Pt III

By Maxim Popenker

As discussed in previous articles on the subject, Soviet Spetsnaz troops played a key role in Soviet military doctrine, in both local operations (mostly in third world countries such as Afghanistan) and in possible global war in Europe. [...]

Book Review: Central Powers Pistols by Jan Still

Central Powers Pistols, by Jan Still, is a bit of a neither-fish-nor-fowl book. It has many more and better quality photos than most heavy-duty reference works, but also has much more detailed information (particularly on markings and serial numbers) than most coffee table volumes. I wasn’t really sure what to make of it at first, [...]