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JoLoAr .45 ACP One-Hand-Cocking Pistol (Video)

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The JoLoAr pistol was a combination of a poor-selling and unremarkable Spanish blowback semiauto pistol called the Sharpshooter and an idea by a man named Jose Lopez Arnaiz (whose name is the source of the pistol’s name). Arnaiz conceived the idea of mounting a lever (palanca in Spanish) onto a pistol slide, to allow […]

Armaguerra Model 1939 Semiauto Rifle (Video)

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The Italian army actually adopted a semiautomatic rifle in 1939: this Armaguerra Model 1939. It was intended to supplant the M38 Carcano bolt actions, but ultimately never managed to get into mass production.

The rifle was adopted initially in the new 7.35mm cartridge, and then quickly cancelled, as the new cartridge was dropped for […]

Rod Bayonet M1903 Springfield (Video)

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The US military adopted the Model 1903 Springfield rifle in 1903, replacing the short-lived Krag-Jorgenson rifle. However, the 1903 would undergo some pretty substantial changes in 1905 and 1906 before becoming the rifle we recognize today. The piece in todays video is an original Springfield produced in 1904, before any of these changes took […]

Mauser C77 Single-Shot Pistol (Video)

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The Mauser brothers’ first attempt at a commercial or military handgun was this, the C77 (Construktion 1877) model of single shot pistol. Why a single-shot sidearm in 1877, well into the age of centerfire military revolvers? That is a good question. By the time the design was complete, the Mausers opted (prudently) to not […]

French C6 Long-Recoil Prototype Semiauto Rifle (Video)

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France began working on developing military self-loading rifles virtually as soon as the 1886 Lebel was adopted, and they would pursue a pretty elaborate series of trials right up to World War I. One series was developed by Etienne Meunier at the Artillery Technical Section using gas operated mechanisms, and designated the A series. […]

Colt Sidehammer “Root” Dragoon Prototype (Video)

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During the development of the 1860 Army revolver, Colt did consider mechanical options other than simply scaling up the 1851 Navy pattern. One of these, as evidenced by this Colt prototype, was an enlarged version of the 1855 Pocket, aka Root, revolver. That 1855 design used a solid frame and had been the basis […]

Japanese Grandpa Nambu with Stock (Video)

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The 1902 “Grandpa” Nambu is one of the first wave of successful military automatic pistols, developed by Kijiro Nambu and his team over the course of 5 years, from 1897 to 1902. It was the first automatic pistol to be used by the Japanese military, although it was a private-purchase sidearm for officers and […]

Frommer Prototype Semiauto Rifle (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. At some point during […]

Bergmann Simplex Pocket Pistols (Video)

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The Bergmann 1896 Number 2 pistol was a relatively successful compact pocket gun for its day, but quickly became obsolete as semiautomatic handguns developed and improved. Bergman and his chief engineer Schmeisser spent the late 1890s developing and improved version of the Bergmann automatics, pitting into two distinct lines of development. One was the […]

Turner Semiauto SMLE Conversion (Video)

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Russell Turner was a Pennsylvania gunsmith and inventor who developed this semiautomatic conversion of an SMLE bolt action rifle circa 1940. It was intended for trial and potential sale to the Canadian military, as it would allow them to retrofit existing rifles into semiautomatic configuration and still use existing supplies of .303 British ammunition. […]