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Bjorgum 1905 Norwegian Prototype Pistol (Video)


Niels Bjorgum was a Norwegian artist-turned-gun-designer who decided to try his hand at handguns for the Norwegian military. His design work ran from 1894 until 1921 or so, starting with long guns but later turning to handguns. He was able to convince the Norwegian government to sponsor his work, largely because he was one […]

Terni M91 Carcano Semiauto conversion (Video)


This rifle started out its life an a normal M91 Carcano long rifle, before being converted into an experimental self-loader by the Terni Arsenal. Rather than adding a gas piston to the barrel, Terni engineered a short recoil system. The barrel and bolt recoil together about a centimeter (3/8 inch) upon firing. Instead of […]

Thompson SMG in 30 Carbine (Video)


When the US military released a request for what would become the M1 Carbine in 1940, the Auto-Ordnance Corporation offered up a Thompson submachine gun simply rechambered for the new .30 Carbine cartridge. This entailed a new magazine, a receiver modified for the longer magazine, and a new barrel and bolt face – but […]

Spanish 8×33 Mosqueton CB-51 Prototype (Video)


The Spanish military, like many others, was quite interested in developing a new semiautomatic or selective fire combat rifle after World War II. Franco’s political ties to Germany (combined with Spanish neutrality in the war) gave them unusually good access to German arms designs, and the Spanish experimented with several variations on the StG-44 […]

Early Pistol Cartridges – What, When & Why?


In a recent discussion with a friend the topic of early automatic pistol cartridges came up. Specifically, looking at the context of which cartridges were actually available at which times, and how this might provide helpful context for understanding why particular cartridges were adopted (or commercially successful) or were not.I decided to see if I […]

Hagen Prototype Semiauto Rifle (Video)


The Hagen (more information here) is an early semiauto rifle designed by a Norwegian, manufactured in the UK, and tested by several different militaries – but adopted by none. It uses a long stroke gas piston and a two-lug rotating bolt to operate. Compared to other contemporary rifles, it was a quite light and […]

Early Ruby .45 ACP Pistol


The Spanish company Gabilondo y Urresti, later to become known as Llama, introduced this locked-breech .45 ACP copy of the Colt 1911 in 1924. It was not a slavish copy, however, and introduced a captive recoil spring which would be the inspiration for that feature in the Polish Vis-35 and many later pistols.

By […]

Slow Motion: Roth-Steyr 1907


Some high-speed footage of a Roth-Steyr M1907 pistol here for you – these are rotating-barrel, locked breech pistols with trigger lockwork much akin to a Glock. Namely, the action cycling puts the striker at half cock, and the first stage of the trigger press fully cocks the striker before releasing it.


Q&A #7 Video


Another set of questions from my awesome Patreon contributors!

0:43 – Guns flexing in slow motion 3:41 – Destructives Devices – the guns vs the ammo 9:54 – What makes some stocked pistols exempt from the NFA? 14:41 – Unusual things build into rifle stocks 17:36 – Best rifle/pistol that never was (sort […]

Johnson Model 1941 Rifle


Designed in 1936 by Melvin Johnson, the M1941 Johnson Automatic Rifle was a competitor to the M1 Garand, but not introduced in time to actually be adopted din place of the Garand. Instead, Johnson hoped to have his rifle accepted as a parallel second option for the US military in case something went wrong […]