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The Vault

Type 1 Japanese Paratroop Rifles at RIA

Before standardizing on the Type 2 paratroop rifle (a 7.7mm Arisaka that broke in half at the chamber), the Japanese military tested a variant of the Type 38 carbine with a folding stock retrofitted into place. Very few of these were made, and Rock Island is selling two of them at their upcoming September Premier [...]

Nazi Belt Buckle Pistol at RIA

One of the items at RIA in this upcoming Premier Auction is a Nazi belt-buckle pistol. There is a fair amount of debate as to whether these are authentic WWII German artifacts, as opposed to post-war creations to feed the market for Nazi memorabilia. Authentic or not, they are a very neat mechanism to take [...]

Handmade Auto-Revolver at RIA

This very odd one-off pistol first appeared in a 1958 Golden State Arms catalog, with no description of its history or mechanical design. I have often seen it referred to as an automatic revolver, but this is a misconception – what appears to be a cylinder is actually a rotary magazine, akin to a Ruger [...]

Krnka 1895 Semiauto Pistol at RIA

This prototype 1895 Krnka automatic pistol is another of the items up for sale at the upcoming Rock Island Premier Auction. This pistol, serial number 7, was the first in the developmental line that led to the 1907 Roth-Steyr cavalry pistol.

Transferable FG-42 at RIA

The undisputed star of the upcoming Rock Island Premier auction is this transferable full-auto German FG-42 paratrooper’s rifle. Only a few dozen of these are in private hands in the US, and they are an extremely advanced design for WWII.

For more information on the FG42, check out the FG-42 page in the Vault, [...]

Four-Shot Superposed Ratchet Pistol at RIA

Today’s item in the upcoming Rock Island Premier Auction is a rather unusual percussion pistol. It began life as an underhammer gun, and was rebuilt by an unknown gunsmith as a percussion gun that fired four superposed charges with a creative repeating action.

1875 Lee Vertical Action Carbine at RIA

My recent trip to the Rock Island Auction house was spent taking a whole slew of videos on guns that are coming up for sale in their Premier auction on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of September. I’ll be putting out one each day for pretty much the next 3 weeks – lots of great [...]

2-Gun Match: WWII Snipers (Video)

This month for the 2-Gun Action Challenge Match, Karl and I square off with WWII snipers’ rifles. I have a No4 MkI (T) Enfield sniper with a 3.5x No.32 scope, and Karl has a Mauser K98k with a 1.5x ZF41 designated marksman’s optic. Both rifles are authentic, although both scopes are reproductions. The question is, [...]

Slow Motion: Frommer Stop

This week’s slow motion gun is the Frommer Stop, put into production in 1912. The Hungarian designer Rudolf Frommer was responsible for a series of long-recoil pistols, of which the Stop was the last and best. It is chambered for 7.65mm Frommer, which is identical in size to the .32 ACP but loaded slightly hotter. [...]

Mauser 1912/14 Automatic Pistol (Video)

The Mauser 1912/14 automatic pistol was the final stage of a dead-end development track for a military sidearm in 9mm Parabellum made by Mauser. The program began as a plain blowback pistol in 1909, which did not work effectively, and was replaced by a series of different locked or semilocked systems culminating in this, the [...]