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The Vault

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, [...]

Russian 9mm PB Silenced Pistol

We’re pleased to have another guest article for you today, this time by Russian author Maxim Popenker (you may recognize him from his encyclopedic web site of firearms, world.guns.ru). He got his hands on a silenced Russia PB pistol, something we have very little chance of seeing over here in the US, and offered us [...]

My New (Old) Carry Pistol

I recently picked up a new carry pistol…it’s about 65 years old, rattles a bit when you shake it, has a bit of pitting on the slide, and the finish is worn off all the corner and edges. I think it’s a great carry piece. It’s an Argentine Ballester-Molina, surplussed from Argentina Navy service and [...]

Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver

The Webley-Fosbery was an early automatic handgun based on a revolver design. The top half of the frame was able to slide back under recoil, recocking the hammer and indexing the next round in the cylinder. They were made commercially in both .38 and .455 calibers, with the .455 version attracting interest from British Army [...]