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Mauser C77 Single-Shot Pistol (Video)

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The Mauser brothers’ first attempt at a commercial or military handgun was this, the C77 (Construktion 1877) model of single shot pistol. Why a single-shot sidearm in 1877, well into the age of centerfire military revolvers? That is a good question. By the time the design was complete, the Mausers opted (prudently) to not […]

RIA: Real vs “Fake” Wheellocks – What is “Fake”, Anyway?

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When someone makes a “fake” historical gun, they can do so with the intent to deceive or be up-front with the gun’s new manufacture. Those acknowledged reproductions are a great option to have – guns like Uberti reproduction revolvers give us an excellent opportunity to shoot antique designs without the cost of true originals […]

RIA: Saxon Double Barreled Wheel Lock

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Wheel locks are one of the less common types of early firearm ignition systems, as the were much more expensive as the contemporary flintlocks. The wheel lock had a major advantage in reliability, though. Many surviving wheel locks are quite ornate guns, as they were valuable enough to be kept away from much field […]

RIA: Brun Latrige Model 1900

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Patented in 1896, this is one of several models of unique pocket pistols designed by Paul Brun-Latrige. He was a manager of the Manufrance company located in St. Etienne France, a large mail-order catalog company that produced a wide variety of products. Early versions of this pistol used a ring trigger mechanism and a […]

RIA: Norwegian 1846 Postførerverge Knife-Pistol?

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This is one of the more practical knife/pistol combinations I have seen – it actually has a pretty reasonable grip when used in either capacity. It has two muzzleloading smoothbore barrels, with a percussion cap hidden under each top ear of the crossguard and a folding trigger in the body of the grip.

After […]

A Few Historical Weapons in Libya

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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: Confederate Cofer Revolver

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T.W. Cofer was a Virginian gunsmith who made revolvers for the Confederate cause during the Civil War – although he never had a formal contract with the CSA. His pistols were sold privately to individual soldiers, and in at least one case bought in bulk by a unit commander.

One thing that makes Cofer stand […]

James D. Julia: An Assortment of James Reid “My Friend” Knucklers

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James Reid was a Catskills gunsmith who emigrated form Ireland by way of Scotland. He made a number of different revolvers, but is best known for his line of “My Friend” knuckleduster pepperboxes (or “knucklers”, as he called them). At the height of their popularity, Reid had 17 employees, and made a total of about […]

The Gun as Art: Tiffany Colts from Two Eras

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The famous American jewelry company Tiffany & Co has a long history of offering decorative firearms, and today I’m looking at two of them. One is a cartridge conversion Colt from the 1870s, engraved by Nimschke and fitted with a silver-plated Tiffany “Mexican Eagle” grip. The other is a modern-production 1860 Army designed by Tiffany […]

James D. Julia: Confederate Spiller & Burr Revolver (Presentation!)

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The Spiller & Burr was a Confederate copy of the 1854 Whitney revolver, made in .36 caliber under contract to the CSA. As with so many Confederate arms projects, many thousands were promised and only a small fraction actually delivered. The Whitney in particular suffered from a lack of suitable materials, with cylinders having to […]