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Benke-Thiemann Folding Luger Holster

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While most major pistols made before the 1930s had some type of shoulder stock available as an option, the Luger had much more variety of stocks than most others. In addition to the several types of wooden stocks made on military contract, there were also several commercial types of folding stocks made. One of […]

RIA: Odd Iver Johnson Prototype .32s (Video)

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These unique and unmarked prototype .32 ACP pistols are apparently Iver Johnson prototypes – and I can’t find any information on them beyond that description from their consignor. One is a simpler example in the white, and the other is a more developed example with both a manual safety and an unusual style of […]

RIA: Experimental Semiauto Springfield 1903 Primer-Actuated Rifle (Video)

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During the 1920s, a lot of experimental rifle development work was being done in the US. The military was interested in finding a semiautomatic rifle, and plenty of inventors were eager to get that valuable military contract. One particular item of interest to the military was the possibility of being able to convert large […]

RIA: Müller 1895 Curved Recoil Pistol (Video)

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The model 1895 Müller automatic pistol is an interesting and unusual design, despite being a simple blowback action. Where most pistols have a bolt or slide that moved directly rearward, the Müller pushes the bolt in a semicircular arc into its grip. This is similar to the Swedish Hamilton trials pistol that would come […]

RIA: Prototype CZ-38 Trials Rifle (Video)

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Like most other nations with modern military forces. Czechoslovakia was interested in developing a semiautomatic infantry rifle in the 1920s and 1930s. The most successful such rifle to come out of Czech factory during this time was The ZH-29, but it did have competition. A major series of trials was held in 1937 and […]

RIA: M1944E1/M1945 Johnson Light Machine Gun

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After getting his Model 1941 machine gun purchased in small numbers by the US military, Melvin Johnson continued to press for more sales and a general adoption. Following testing results and recommendations from soldiers in the field, he made a number of modifications to the gun and developed the M1944, which was quickly tweaked […]

RIA: Prototype Mauser HSv Pistols (Video)

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When the German military finally could no longer tolerate the expense of the P.08 Luger in the late 1930s, they held a trial of possible replacements. The three main entrants were BSW with a gas-operated pistol, Walther with what would ultimately be accepted as the P.38, and Mauser with it’s experimental HSv locked-breech design. […]

RIA: Ethiopian ZH29 and Czech Experimental Z37

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The ZH-29 was an influential early semiautomatic military rifle, although not one that saw any significant adoption. As best I can tell, only two countries purchased them in any quantity: China and Ethiopia. This ZH-29 is an Ethiopian contract example, with an Ethiopian Lion of Judah on the receiver and stock. The other rifle […]

RIA: Prototype W+F Bern AK44 Copy of the SVT

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The Swiss factories of SIG and W+F Bern both produced a remarkable number and variety of experimental self-loading rifles in the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Nothing would be adopted by the Swiss military until the StG-57, but these two firms were continuously working to develop a military self-loader for either Swiss or foreign […]

GX vs GY: What Are the Differences in Pedersen’s Garands?

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In a last hopeful attempt to get a rifle adopted and produced for the US military, John Pedersen designed his own copy of the M1 Garand rifle in the late 1930s (approximately 1939). His toggle-locked rifles had been irreversibly rejected, and the Garand rifle fully adopted by 1936. Pedersen’s exact reasons for making a […]