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The Vault

Handmade Auto-Revolver at RIA

This very odd one-off pistol first appeared in a 1958 Golden State Arms catalog, with no description of its history or mechanical design. I have often seen it referred to as an automatic revolver, but this is a misconception – what appears to be a cylinder is actually a rotary magazine, akin to a Ruger [...]

Krnka 1895 Semiauto Pistol at RIA

This prototype 1895 Krnka automatic pistol is another of the items up for sale at the upcoming Rock Island Premier Auction. This pistol, serial number 7, was the first in the developmental line that led to the 1907 Roth-Steyr cavalry pistol.

Mauser 1912/14 Automatic Pistol (Video)

The Mauser 1912/14 automatic pistol was the final stage of a dead-end development track for a military sidearm in 9mm Parabellum made by Mauser. The program began as a plain blowback pistol in 1909, which did not work effectively, and was replaced by a series of different locked or semilocked systems culminating in this, the [...]

Smith-Condit Rifle

Smith-Condit military trials rifle

In the years prior to World War I, the US Army Ordnance Department was already investigating the possibility of adopting a self-loading service rifle, even as the 1903 Springfield rifle was being adopted. In 1904 and again in 1909, the department published the testing procedure that would be undertaken for semiauto rifles submitted for consideration. [...]

Ole Krag’s Experimental Pistol: Made By Norinco

In 1908, Ole Krag (the same man associated with the Krag-Jorgensen rifle) applied for a US patent on an automatic pistol design. This design, along with many others, would be submitted to the Norwegian military pistol trials taking place around that time, and would fail to in them (the winner was the Norwegian copy of [...]

US Model 45A

Model 45A

by Tom Laemlein

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short article for Small Arms Review magazine on the strangely futuristic “Model 45A”, which was the subject of a group of photos by a US Army photographer. Apparently this rifle was a one-off developed by a group of Army Ordnance men stationed in the [...]

Reed Knight’s Experimental 1903 Semiauto

I saw this rifle when I visited Reed Knight’s Institute of Military Technology a while back, but didn’t have a chance to examine it. Well, he took it off the wall for a video segment with Jerry Miculek, and it’s definitely worth watching:

As I recall from asking about it at the time, there [...]

Mayn Experimental Carbine

mayn

To the left there is a Soviet memo on the subject of the experimental carbine designed by a Colonel P.I. Mayn. The memo reads:

To the chief of the Red Army GAU, General-Lieutenant-Colonel comrade Yakovlev

The faculty of aviational armament in the Zhukovskiy Military Air Academy, under the supervision of a lecturer from the department [...]

Calzada Bayo CB-51

Thanks to reader Barton and some connections in Spain, we have some outstanding photos of a couple experimental rifles from the post-WWII era before Spain adopted the CETME rifle. After the war, virtually every major nation was trying to expend upon German small arms technology, and Spain was no exception. They had an advantage in [...]

Japanese Type 1 HMG

I was recently contacted by a fellow looking for information on the Japanese Type 1 heavy machine gun – a replacement for the Type 92 whose name would suggest it was adopted in 1941, but which never seems to have been put into mass production. This fellow was able to track down the only known [...]