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The Vault

Nickl Prototype M1916/22 Pistol at James D Julia

Josef Nickl was one of the chief R&D designers at Mauser after the Federle brothers, and one of his pet projects was a rotating barrel military pistol developed from the Steyr-Hahn M1912 pistol. He built a number of prototypes of it while at Mauser, but the company never put it into production because of a [...]

Type 92 Japanese HMG at James D Julia

The Type 92 was the final iteration of a machine gun that began as the Model 1897 Hotchkiss HMG made in France. The Japanese army purchased many of these guns, and then produced their own slightly refined version. These in turn were replaced by the updated Type 3 (1914) heavy machine gun, and finally the [...]

Experimental “Joint Safety” C96 Mauser at James D Julia

This particular 1902-made example of the C96 Mauser incorporates several experimental features of the design that would never go into mass production. It was an effort to make a version of the C96 that would be more suitable for civilian carry – something a bit lighter and more compact than the military style. To this [...]

Mauser 1912/14 Experimental .45ACP Pistol at James D Julia

Before World War One, the Mauser company tried to make a follow-up automatic pistol to replace its famous C96 “Broomhandle” design with something more modern. The result was a very successful pocket pistol in .25ACP and .32ACP, and a series of unsuccessful blowback and delayed blowback service pistols in 9mm and .45ACP. This particular one [...]

Colt 1862 Police Pocket Revolver (Cased) at James D Julia

The 1862 Police Pocket was the last of Colt’s percussion revolvers. It was a combination of the small 1849 model frame (intended for .31 caliber) and a 5-shot .36 caliber cylinder. The frame was stepped to allow the larger cylinder to fit without require any changes to the lockwork, and the result was a rather [...]

Schulhof 1887 Repeating Pistol at James D Julia

Austria was a hotbed of early repeating handgun design, first with manually operated designs and shortly thereafter with self-loaders. One of the men contributing to this development in the 1880s was Josef Schulhof, a farmer-turned-gunsmith who had a number of patents and designs to his credit. His first pistol was developed in 1884, and this [...]

BSA Prototype .45ACP Pistol at James D Julia

BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) was the largest private arms maker in the UK during World War One, and when the war ended it of course saw its huge military contracts evaporate. One of BSA’s efforts to develop new markets and product lines was to devise a series of self-loading pistols. These also involved the use [...]

20-Shot C96 “Broomhandle” Mauser at James D Julia

Early in the production of the C96 Mauser, the company tried a variety of different configurations of the pistol, to see what would be popular and sell well. Most of these were abandoned by about 1902, when the design was more or less standardized to the version were are familiar with today. One of the [...]

M1907/12 Schwarzlose HMG at James D Julia

The M1907/12 heavy machine gun was the standard mounted MG of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the First World War, and saw sporadic use clear through the end of WWII. The design is unusual among heavy machine guns because it is actually an unlocked, delayed blowback system. A combination of a heavy recoil spring and significant [...]

Mars Automatic Pistols at James D. Julia

The Mars pistol was designed by Sir Hugh Gabbett-Fairfax in England in 1898, and only 81 were produced by the time manufacturing ended in 1907. These pistols were chambered for several different cartridges, all of them tremendously powerful for the day (and really not equaled by another self-loading pistol until the Automag). I have a [...]