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Prototype Italian MBT 1925 Straight-Pull Rifle (Video)

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Note: This video was filmed over a year ago, but I have been holding it in anticipation of the rifle going to auction. That doesn’t seem to be happening, so I’m posting the video now.

Only three example of this 1925 prototype rifle from MBT (Metallurgica Brescia gia Tempini) were ever made, and were […]

SIG KE-9 & M29A Prototype Rifles (Video)

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The SIG KE-9 and M29A were several in a series of developmental rifles made by SIG in Switzerland and designed by Pal Kiraly. These ultimately found no commercial or military sales, although the related KE-7 light machine gun did have some limited success.

Swedish Hamilton Trials Pistol (Video)

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The Hamilton was a handgun entered into the Swedish military pistol trials of 1903, where it competed against guns like the Luger and Colt/Browning 1903. The Hamilton was a simply blowback action chambered for 6.5mm Bergmann, although it did have the interesting and unusual feature of a bolt which pivoted on a round path during […]

Grant Hammond .45ACP Trials Pistol

grant hammond

The Grant Hammond .45 pistol is a gun which was too late to take part in the major 1907 US military pistol trials, and which was instead presented proactively to the military in hopes of supplementing or replacing the current issue pistol (the Remington M53 falls into this same category). Unfortunately for Mr. Hammond, his […]

Schlegelmilch Automatic Pistol

Schlegelmilch automatic pistol

Aside from being one of the more unfortunately-named early repeating pistols, the Schlegelmilch is also one of the earliest and more unusual mechanically. It also the only example I am familiar with of a pistol made entirely with square-headed bolts rather than slotted screws, for what it’s worth.

Schlegelmilch, right side (click to enlarge)

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The First Maxim Machine Gun

Maxim "Prototype" at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Note the absence of the rate-of-fire control arm in this version...

I am going to start an intermittent series of posts on the various different types of Maxim machine guns over the next few months – there are a whole slew of them, and I have good photos of a bunch of different variants. Hopefully it will be a good reference for both production history and […]

Savage .45 ACP Pistols – History & Disassembly (Video)

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In the US pistol trials of 1907 that eventually led to the adoption of the Colt/Browning Model 1911, the two strongest competitors to the Browning design were the Luger and the Savage. Luger declined the opportunity to participate in extended field trials, and so the two finalists were Browning and Savage.

Savage had their original […]

Swiss Prototype: N33 (Video)

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The N33 is one of a series of Swiss prototype semiautomatic rifles developed between WWI and WWII (the “33” refers to 1933). This particular design is interesting because it fires from an open bolt, a feature generally seen on light machine guns. An open bolt rifle typically is more difficult to shoot accurately because of […]

Sidewinder SMG Photos

The Sidewinder is a rather unusual submachine gun designer by Sidney McQueen in the mid 1960s. His objective was to create a weapon which could be fired one-handed with the firepower of a submachine gun rather than a pistol. What McQueen came up with was a good example of the “arm pistol” concept, which can […]

Mystery Japanese Semiauto

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While in the Smithsonian gun room, I noticed a semi auto Japanese rifle of a type I have not seen reference to before. It is definitely Japanese, judging from elements like the split buttstock and rear sight, and the ventilated underside of the hand guard is reminiscent of the Japanese Pedersen rifles. However, this rifle […]