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RIA: Mauser Model 1878 “Zig-Zag” Revolvers (Video)

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After making their big break with the adoption of the Model 1871 Mauser rifle by the newly unified German government, the Mauser brothers, took a shot at getting the handgun contract for the military as well, with this revolver, the Model 1878. It is often colloquially called the Mauser Zig-Zag because of its conspicuously […]

RIA: Strange Unique European Revolver

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With no markings or provenance at all, the origins of this revolver are a mystery. Its features all point to the 1880s or 1890s, and someone clearly spent a lot of time working on it – but we don’t know who. What makes it interesting is the very unusual operating mechanism. It is similar […]

RIA: Little All Right

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Aren’t these 19th century little pocket pistols cute? This is another palm-type hideout gun, named the “Little All Right” and patented in 1876. It’s actually a pretty basic revolver mechanism, just put into an unusual style of body with a strange trigger. It holds 5 rounds of .22 Short, and fires double action. Only […]

Book Review: Documenting the Weapons used at the Little Bighorn

Grandgaard book cover

I previously reviewed a book on archaeological study of the Little Bighorn battlefield, which did an excellent and very insightful job of tracing the battle through tangible artifacts, including forensic tracing of different individual weapons across the field. I recently picked up another book on the battle (Little Bighorn to the Americans; Greasy Grass to […]

Vintage Saturday: Send a Gun to Defend a British Home!

British women sort through guns donated by Americans for the Home Guard.

British women sort through donated American guns for the Home Guard.

“When the ships from America approached our shores with their priceless arms special trains were waiting in all the ports to receive their cargoes,” Churchill recalled. “The Home Guard in every county, in every town, in every village, sat up all through the […]

British Pistol Use During WWI

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Here’s an interesting piece of research, done in 2010 by one David Thomas as part of a degree in British First World War Studies:

The Pistol in British Military Service During the Great War (pdf)

This is a well-footnoted 38 pages, covering the British procurement of handguns, the different types of handguns use, and the […]

RIA: A Pair of Arresting Montenegrin Gasser Revolvers

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This is quite the eye-catching pair of revolvers…

The Model 1870 Gasser was a behemoth of a pistol designed by Leopold Gasser for the Austro-Hungarian cavalry – it was built around the 11x36mm cartridge used in their Werndl cavalry carbines. This cartridge was a middle ground between rifle and pistol; light enough to not […]

RIA: Savage Navy Revolver: Almost Double Action!

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The .36 caliber Savage Navy is one of the many revolvers that saw purchase and martial use during the US Civil War – and in this case, martial use on both sides. About 13,000 Savages were bought by the Union army and navy, and another 11,000 were sold commercially. Many of those commercially-sold guns […]

RIA: Pond .32 Rimfire Revolver (Video)

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Lucius Pond was one of 4 major manufacturers successfully sued by Rollin White on behalf of Smith & Wesson, for infringing on White’s patent (exclusively licensed to S&W) of the bored-through cylinder. Pond had designed a hinged-frame .32 caliber rimfire revolver with some good and bad qualities, and made in excess of 5,000 of […]

RIA: Dutch Police Revolver (with safety!)

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This Dutch police revolver is an interesting example of technology being used as an element of police policy and procedure. The Dutch police administration in the late 1800s/early 1900s decided that officers should carry a blank round in the first chamber of their revolvers, a tear gas round in the second chamber, and actual […]