Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Vault

Walther KPK Pistol at RIA

The Walther KPK was a modified version of the PPK automatic pistol made in very small numbers by Walther in hopes of winning a new military contract. Mechanically identical to the PPK, the KPK has a lengthened slide to effectively shroud the hammer, preventing it from catching or snagging on clothing or obstacles in the [...]

Pedersen Selfloading Rifle at RIA

When the US military decided to seriously look at replacing the 1903 Springfield with a semiautomatic service rifle, two designers showed themselves to have the potential to design an effective and practical rifle. One was John Garand, and the other was John Pedersen. Pedersen was an experienced and well-respected gun designer, with previous work including [...]

“My Friend” Knuckle-Duster Revolver at RIA

The “My Friend” knuckle-duster revolver was a defensive weapon sold on the civilian market from the late 1860s until the early 1880s. It functioned both as a revolver (this one is in .22 caliber, with a 7-shot capacity) and a blunt weapon for striking. These were made in upstate New York (in the Catskills, specifically) [...]

Spanish Miquelet Flintlock at RIA

The miquelet lock is generally considered the first true, mature flintlock action in the progression of firearms technology. It combined the pan cover and frizzen (the plate against which the flint strikes) into a single multi-purpose part. This particular pistol is a good example of the characteristics of a miquelet, despite its rather rough condition.

[...]

Spencer Rifle Conversion at RIA

The Spencer repeating rifle was a major leap forward in infantry firepower, and more than one hundred thousand of them were purchased by the US military during the Civil War. The Spencer offered a 7-round magazine of rimfire .56 caliber cartridges in an era when the single-shot muzzleloading rifle was still predominant. This particular Spencer [...]

Iraqi Tariq Pistol at RIA

The official issue sidearm for the Iraqi Army (and many of its police agencies) is the Tariq, a domestically-manufactured copy of the Beretta M1951 pistol. The Beretta is a pretty decent pistol, mechanically fine and comfortable to shoot but hampered by an awkwardly-placed magazine release and safety. Copies of it were used by several middle-eastern [...]

S&W 320 Revolving Rifle at RIA

The Model 320 Revolving Rifle was one of Smith & Wesson’s least successful commercial products, and as a result has become one of the most collectible of their guns – less that a thousand were ever made. The problem with the guns was the same problem that has plagued virtually all other revolving rifles: the [...]

Chicago Palm Protector Pistols at RIA

“The Protector” was a very discreet palm pistol developed in the late 1800s by a French inventor, produced in bulk by the Ames Sword Company, and sold by the Chicago Firearms Company. They are mechanically double-action turret revolvers with a unique grip design meant to be to be fired by squeezing. The first few were [...]

Lancaster Howdah Pistols at RIA

Charles Lancaster was a master London gunsmith who made 2-barrel and 4-barrel pistols in a variety of British revolver cartridges (commonly known as Howdah pistols). Many of his pistols was purchased privately by British military officers, explorers, and big-game hunters to use as backup weapons throughout the Empire. These three examples are chambered for the [...]

Online-Only Auction at RIA

It is worth pointing out the RIA has added a third type of auction in the last year or so; online-only. The idea is to have a lower-overhead way to sell some of the things that don’t really fit into the Premier and Regional auctions. The next one is coming up next Saturday (the 15th), [...]