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The Vault

Survival Rifles at RIA: Luftwaffe Drilling and USAF M6

Today we’re looking at a pair of military survival rifles at the Rock Island September auction. One is a Luftwaffe M30 drilling – the most finely finished and luxurious survival rifle ever issued by a military force (a Luftwaffe case for an M30 is being sold separately). The other is a US Air Force M6 survival gun, spartan and utilitarian – the polar opposite of the M30.

Gyrojet Pistol at RIA

The 13mm Gyrojet pistol was the closest thing to a commercially successful rocket pistol, although not many were sold before the company went out of business. This pistol version (the most common type of Gyrojet) fires a 180 grain rocket projectile. It is for sale – with 15 rounds of live ammunition – at the upcoming Rock Island Premier Auction in September.

Prototype Dieckmann P66 Pistol at RIA

The P66 was a prototype .22LR semiauto pistol designed by a German immigrant to the United States by the name of Rolf Dieckmann. It never went into production, but had a number of interesting features, including a removable firing mechanism and a combination extractor and firing pin. In addition to Dieckmann pistol number X3, this auction lot also includes number X4, a cutaway model.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZITxehPimzQ

Vintage Saturday: Finn Capture

Finnish officers examining a captured Russian DP-28 LMG

Why make our own guns when the Russians keep dropping perfectly good ones? (photo source: SA-Kuva)

Note the Mosin Nagant PE sniper on the wall, and the AVS-36 machine rifle peeking out from behind the man on the right in addition to the DP-28 LMG on the table.

Krummlauf Curved Barrel StG44 at RIA

Today’s Rock Island Auction item is a very cool piece – a German Sturmgewehr with a “krummlauf”, or curved barrel attachment. This is the 30 degree type, intended (as goofy as this sounds) for firing around corners and over barricades in urban combat. A 90-degree version was also made for use in armored vehicles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSsFiS2Voxg

Chinese Mystery Pistol at RIA

Many unique and interesting pistols were made in China in the 1920s and 1930s, and this pistol is a good example of them. It is not a copy of any specific Western handgun, although mechanically it works like a Mauser 1914 pocket pistol. It is chambered for .32ACP (the other common caliber for these handguns is 7.63mm Mauser). This one is coming up for sale in the September Premier Auction at Rock Island on Saturday, September 13th.

I would very much like to put together a better reference on these non-standard Chinese pistols – if you have one I would love to get detailed photos of it! Please contact me at admin@forgottenweapons.com if you can help…

Two Pinfire Harmonica Pistols at RIA

Harmonica guns were a short-lived type of firearm that was developed in an effort to have reliable repeating weapons prior to the the modern centerfire cartridge. They were made in both muzzleloading and cartridge varieties, and one notable (and reknowned) American maker of such guns was Jonathan Browning, father of John Moses Browning. These two harmonica pistols (a short 7mm one and a larger 9mm one with a fixed barrel) was made by a man named Jarre in France (also a noted manufacturer), and both use pinfire cartridges. In addition, while early harmonica guns had to be manually indexed for each shot, these two automatically advance their slides when their triggers are pulled. Both are available for sale at the upcoming Rock Island Auction

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 auction. Both are mechanically functional and have intact chrysanthemums, but one has about 40% of its finish remaining while the other has more finish and is in better overall condition.

Transferable MKb-42(H) Assault Rifle at RIA

The MKb-42(H), or Maschinenkarabiner-42 (Haenel), was the first production iteration of the German Sturmgewehr. It was chambered for the then-new 8x33mm kurz cartridge, and fired both semiauto and full-auto from an open bolt. Approximately 11,000 of these were made before production changed to the closed-bolt MP43. This particular MKb-42(H) is fully transferable, and up for auction from the Rock Island Auction Company on September 13th, 2014.

 

1889 Schulhof Rotary-Magazine Bolt Action at RIA

Another of the interesting pieces in the upcoming September RIA sale is a Belgian-made Schulhof bolt action rifle. It is notable for its 9-round rotary magazine, and this same model of rifle was tested by the US Army in 1889. The magazine and overall design of the rifle was found to be quite good, but the bolt was too weak for Army approval. Regardless, it is a creative and quite elegant design.