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RIA: Liegeoise 1888 Trials Rifle

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The Belgian Army held rifle trials in the late 1880s to choose a new infantry rifle, and the winner was the Model 1889 Belgian Mauser. Quite a few different guns were involved in the competition though, including this Engh-patent rifle made by Manufacture Liegeois D’Armes. It’s a pretty unusual bolt action that is definitely worth […]

American WWI Experimental SMG (Video)

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Reader Larry sent me this video, which was produced by the US Army Ordnance Corp just recently. It’s a one-off experimental submachine gun built in 1918, and is definitely not something like you have seen before. In order to maintain commonality of ammunition and magazines, the gun uses standard M1911 7-round mags and ammo. You […]

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 […]