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The Vault

Apache Knuckleduster Revolver at RIA (Video)

The “Apache” was a combination knife, brass knuckles, and revolver made by several companies in Belgium and France, which became associated with a group of street thugs in Paris around the turn of the century. They were patented by a man named Louis Dolne and made in a variety of different styles, but all [...]

Mexican Pieper Revolving Carbine

I often find myself answering the question, why didn’t anybody adopt a revolving rifle based on the M1895 gas-seal Nagant revolver? It does seem like a natural solution to the gas-related problems inherent to a revolving rifle, doesn’t it? Well, the answer is that at least one group did adopt just such a weapon: the [...]

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 [...]

Vintage Saturday: Assassination

Gavrilo Princip being arrested in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.

Gavrilo Princip’s FN 1910, used to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand (on display at the Military History Museum in Vienna)

Precisely 100 years ago today, Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip (through a rather intricate series of coincidences) managed to assassinate the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir [...]

Prototype FN-49 Photos

I was planning to do a brief post today on a photo of a Spencer-Lee slide-action rifle, but as I started looking I found more and more information about it. I’m going to need a lot longer to put it all together into a good article – but I stilled needed something for today. So [...]

Belgian Mini-Revolver (Video)

Since our last video was the biggest gun we’ve ever filmed, I figured we would go the opposite direction this week, and feature the smallest gun we’ve ever filmed. It’s an example of a cheap pocket pistol from a century ago – a 6-shot Belgian revolver chambered for .22 Short (sometimes referred to as a [...]

Montigny Mitrailleuse Photos

The Mitrailleuse was one of the first pseudo-machine guns – the first ones were developed prior to the Gattling, but they continued to be purchased by military forces through the 1870s. There were several versions, the two most common being the Reffye and Montigny designs. We are taking a look at the Montigny today, which [...]

Bergmann M1910 and 1910/21 Pistol

We come now to the final chapter in the Bergmann pistol saga – the Danish M1910 and 1910/21 pistols. When Pieper (AEP) in Belgium contracted to build the 1908 Bergmanns for Spain, they also got the rights to build the guns under license for commercial sale. Bergmann’s own company had decided to get out of [...]

Bergmann-Mars 1903/1908 Pistol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmTtLyXf6Q4

The military breakthrough for Bergmann finally came in 1903 with a new locking system for the pistol, designed by Louis Schmeisser (who had also designed the previous Bergmann handguns). In 1901, Schmeisser developed the new lock, and it was patented by Bergmann (his employer) primarily for use on heavy machine guns. It was used [...]

Bergmann Simplex

Theodor Bergmann was tenacious in his pursuit of a military pistol contract, but the sales of the 1896 and 1897 model Bergmann pistols showed him that a single design could not effectively suit to both the military need for a powerful cartridge and the civilian demand for a small and concealable pistol. In order to [...]