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The Vault

Schwarzlose 1898 Preview

Yesterday turned into a rather hectic afternoon, as a friend dropped off half a dozen fantastic guns that we will be out shooting tomorrow. Yesterday was my opportunity to become acquainted with how they work and prepare for shooting videos today. So instead of writing an insightful and interesting post for you, I was up [...]

Prototype Pieper .45ACP Pistol at James D Julia

Nicholas Pieper designed a blowback pocket pistol which was manufactured under license by Steyr in 1908. It was a reasonably successful pistol, and can be found today in .25ACP and .32ACP calibers. This particular one is an experimental version scaled up to .45ACP, with the intention of making military or commercial sales in the US. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Slow Motion: Steyr-Mannlicher M1905

The 1905 Steyr-Mannlicher was developed by Ferdinand Mannlicher, one of Europe’s most prolific gun designers. It uses the 7.65mm Mannlicher cartridge, which is roughly equivalent to .32 ACP, with a 10-round fixed internal magazine. The 1905 is, in my opinion, a fantastically elegant pistol, handles very well, and has minimal recoil thanks to its light [...]

Slow Motion: M1912 Steyr Hahn

The Steyr M1912, or Steyr Hahn (meaning “hammer”, to distinguish it from the striker-fired Steyr 1907) has a number of features that make it unusual among pistols today. It uses a fixed internal magazine fed via stripper clips, and a short recoil, rotating barrel locking system. Only a handful of other pistols have been made [...]

Roth-Sauer Automatic Pistol at RIA

The Roth-Sauer is a rare early automatic pistol designed by Karel Krnka, financed by Georg Roth, and manufactured by J.P. Sauer & Sohn in Germany. It is mechanically quite complex – much moreso than strictly necessary. The action is a long-recoil type, in which the bolt and barrel remain locked together through the full rearward [...]

Austrian Rast & Gasser M1898 (Video)

The M1898 Rast & Gasser revolver was the last iteration of a series of revolvers, and was a standard Austro-Hungarian sidearm during WWI (despite the adoption of the Steyr M1912 selfloader). The M1898 an often underappreciated handgun, with a number of useful features and a very high standard of manufacturing. These features include use of [...]

Vintage Saturday: Colonial

Italy issued a small number of M95 carbine (still in 8x50R) after WWI. Note the Fiat-Revelli M1914 water-cooled machine gun behind him…