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Winchester’s Liberator Shotguns (Video)

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In the early 1960s, an influential but little-known (today) firearms designer by the name of Robert Hillberg came up with an idea for a cheap-but-effective armament for the masses. With encouragement from DARPA, the Winchester company took up manufacture and development of the design, under the name “Liberator”.

The guns were initially planned to […]

Roth-Theodorovic Pistol w/ Tambour Safety (Video)

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Georg Roth’s company in Austria presided over a wonderful variety of interesting handgun development, and this is one example of that lineage. Roth’s licensed or purchased the patent for this pistol from its inventor, Wasa Theodorovic, and turned it over to his engineer Karel Krnka to develop (I’m simplifying this). The design used a […]

Colt Paterson No.1 Carbine (Video)

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Sam Colt’s very first work was done in Baltimore, but this ended fairly quickly, and it was with his subsequent move to Paterson New Jersey that the first true production Colt firearms were made. Colt set up a small shop there and introduced both handguns and rifles using his patented system in which cocking […]

Type 99 Arisaka Sniper Rifles (Video)

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4x Nagoya: https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/69/1441 2.5x Kokura: https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/69/1446

The Japanese Army made significant use of snipers (or in today’s terminology, designated marksmen) as part of its infantry combined arms doctrine, and produced about 22,000 Type 97 sniper rifles for use in WWII and the Sino-Japanese War. In 1941, shortly after the adoption of the new 7.7mm […]

General Liu’s Prototype Rifle (Video)

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The General Liu rifle (named for its designer – it never received an official designation that we know of) was China’s closest approach to an indigenous self-loading infantry rifle before World War II. Mechanically it used the same principles as the Danish Bang rifle – a muzzle cup captured some of the gases from […]

Colt “Brevete” Copy Overview: Legal, Illegal, and Post-Legal (Video)

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When you think about early revolver patent infringement, the name that probably comes to mind is Rollin White. But Sam Colt had more than his share of infringement to deal with as well! Colt’s most important patent was on the linking of the hammer and cylinder, so that cocking the hammer would automatically rotate […]

Frommer 1901 Pistol (Video)

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Rudolf Frommer was a self-taught engineer and firearms designer who worked his way up through the FEG concern in Budapest to eventually hold the position of CEO. During this time he developed a series of long-recoil, rotating-bolt pistols culminating in the Frommer Stop, which was adopted by the Austro-Hungarian military. These pistols began with […]

Belgian 1862 Wall Gun (Video)

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Wall guns are the philosophical predecessor to today’s anti-material rifles – large-caliber, high power rifles heavy enough that they cannot be fired from the shoulder realistically. Traditionally, they were used for defending walls or ramparts, as the name implies. They would allow defenders to perforate armor that would be proof against normal shoulder rifles, […]

Colt Prototype “Zig-Zag” Root Revolvers (Video)

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In the White: https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/69/1132 Blued: https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/69/1133

The 1855 “Root” pocket revolver was a reasonably successful design for the Colt company, although it was not the best mechanical design. The side hammer design used the cylinder axis to rotate and lock in place instead of using the rear face of the cylinder, which resulted in […]

Pritchard Bayonet for the Webley Revolver (Video)

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The Pritchard bayonet for the Webley revolver is one of the more photogenic and less truly practical weapons to come out of the Great War. Designed by one Captain Pritchard after he spent a year in France in 1915-1916 with the Royal Berkshire Regiment, the idea was to use the front 8 inches or […]