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The Vault

Furrer M1919 Double-Barrel SMG

Furrer M1919 double barrel subgun (Photo courtesy National Firearms Centre, Leeds UK)

 

We have looked at one of Adolf Furrer’s M1919 submachine guns before, but this one is a much different implementation. The model 1919 Furrer designed was basically a chassis for converting a Luger pistol into a carbine. He lengthened the barrel, added a booster to help it cycle, and replace the gripframe with a [...]

Swiss Prototype Pistols: P44/8 and W+F Bern P43 (Video)

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Switzerland was an early adopter of the Luger pistol as a standard military sidearm, but by WWII that design was becoming obsolete and the Swiss began looking for a newer sidearm. Several lines of development were pursued, and we have examples of two of them here: the W+F Bern P43 and the SIG P44/8 (the [...]

Danish Bang Rifle for British Trials

British trials Bang Rifle, caliber .303 (photo courtesy National Firearms Centre, Leeds, UK)

 

British trials Bang Rifle, caliber .303 (photo courtesy National Firearms Centre, Leeds, UK)

One of the first semiautomatic rifles tested by the US military was a design by a Dane named Søren Hansen Bang, which was first presented to the government in 1911. The rifles used a gas trap design which would ultimately [...]

BSW Prototype Gas-Operated Pistol (Video)

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In 1936 or 1937, the BSW company (Berlin-Suhler Waffenwerk) produced a small number of prototype pistols for German Army trials. These trials were eventually won by the Walther P38, and for good reason in this case. The pistol BSW submitted was a gas-accellerated blowback design, with an aluminum frame, stamped slide, 13-round magazine (in 9×19), [...]

Canada’s WWII Self-Loading Rifle Experiments

(The material for this post came primarily from a post made by Roger V. Lucy at the MilArt blog, which also has information on a couple other WWII Canadian experimental projects)

When we see rifles, typically No4 Lee Enfield rifles, marked with the name “Long Branch“, we are actually seeing the production of Small Arms [...]

Mannlicher 1885 Semiauto Rifle

Mannlicher 1885 semiauto “Handmitrailleuse”

Ferdinand von Mannlicher’s Model 1885 self-loading rifle design as a failure, never seeing anything even resembling mass production. However, it was a failure which in many way set the stage for a huge number of the machine guns that would follow for the next several decades, including the famous Browning [...]

Schwarzlose 1898 Pistol (Video)

Schwarzlose 1898

The model 1898 Schwarzlose was a self loading pistol definitely ahead of its time. It was simple, powerful (for the period; it was chambered for 7.63mm Mauser), and remarkably ergonomic. It used a short recoil, rotating bolt mechanism to operate, and very cleverly had one single spring which did the duties of primary recoil spring, [...]

Gustloff Prototype Pistol at RIA

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Gustloff was a large industrial concern in Germany which made many different weapons for the military. In addition to these, its attempted to market a small-caliber pistol for police or SS use. This pistol used an alloy frame (with steel inserts for durability in crucial areas) and steel slide, with a simple blowback mechanism and [...]

Japanese Pedersen Rifle at RIA

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After he failed to win US military adoption of his toggle-locked rifle design, John Pedersen went looking for other countries that might be interested in the gun. One of these was Japan, which experimented with toggle-locked Pedersen rifles and carbines for several years in the early/mid 1930s. This particular one is serial number 8, and [...]

Very Early Mars Pistol #4 at RIA

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Until the midle of the 20th century, the most powerful automatic pistol made was Sir Hugh Gabbett-Fairfax’s Mars pistol. With the .45 caliber version approaching the energy of a .45 Winchester Magnum, it was quite the accomplishment for a gun designed initially in 1898! Well, RIA has a very early example of the Mars – [...]