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Q&A #5: Rollin White and Other (Better) Designers

Questions in part I of today’s Q&A:

1:04 – What was Rollin White’s revolver like? 7:09 – Why did pan magazines disappear? 10:14 – Why no pointed pistol bullets? 13:24 – Funky rounds like Trounds or Gyrojet rockets 17:47 – Current US MHS trials 19:55 – Underappreciated designers

Questions in the part II […]

RIA: Smith & Wesson Model 1913 Automatic Pistols (Video)

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Smith & Wesson’s first venture into the autoloading pistol market was done under the leadership of Joe Wesson, Daniel Wesson’s son. He was quite the automatic pistol enthusiast, and made an agreement to license patents of Liege designer Charles Clement for adaptation into a pistol for the US market.

The resulting Model 1913 featured […]

Vintage Saturday: Smoke Break

Belgian soldier smokes a cigarette during a fight between Dendermonde and Oudegem Belgium in 1914.

Belgian soldier smokes a cigarette during a fight between Dendermonde and Oudegem Belgium in 1914.

This is a really good photo of a Belgian Maxim, although it appears to be staged – the man has his thumbs on the trigger, but there does is not ammo belt in the gun.

[…]

RIA: Extra-Fancy 20-Shot Pinfire Revolver

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The pinfire cartridge was a popular development in Europe in the mid-1800s that never saw much exposure in the United States. A huge variety of pinfire revolvers were made by a myriad of large and small shops, with Liege Belgium being one of the biggest manufacturing centers.

Guns ranged from tiny folding-trigger 5mm models […]

James D. Julia: LeMat Grapeshot Revolver Design Evolution

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The LeMat grapeshot revolver is one of the most distinctive and powerful sidearms of the US Civil War, sporting both a 9-round .42 caliber cylinder of pistol bullets and a shotgun barrel as cylinder axis. Alexander LeMat received a contract for 15,000 of these guns for the Confederate military, but only managed to deliver about […]

RIA: An Overview of the Pinfire Revolver System

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The pinfire system was an early cartridge type which saw widespread use in Europe, but was not widely adopted in the United States. First invented by a French designer named Pauly, it was made commercially feasible by Casimir Lefaucheaux. It was Casimir’s son Eugene, however, who took the pinfire cartridge to its full potential, garnering […]

Warsaw Uprising Bergmann 1910/21

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I was sent those photos by reader Marcus K (thanks, Marcus!) showing a pistol in the Polish Home Army Museum in Krakow. The gun is a Bergmann M1910/21 semiauto pistol which has been modified in a couple ways – allegedly by fighters during the Warsaw Uprising.

The main modifications are pretty obvious – the […]

Belgian 1886 Rifle Trials Report (Translated to English)

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Our friend Thibaud has spent some time translating a report from the Belgian 1886 rifle trials into English – thank you, Thibaud!

He notes that the text has a lot of specifically Belgian terminology and phraseology from that period which is not in common use anymore, and has included explanatory details in [square brackets] when […]

RIA: Colette Gravity Pistol

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Colette was a Belgian gun manufacturer that made this interesting parlor pistol. It used a rocketball type of cartridge, in which the powder and primer were encased in the hollow base of the bullet to make a caseless cartridge. The gravity pistol was named for its gravity feed mechanism and its 20-round capacity. Because of […]

RIA: Stocked FN Model 1903

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The FN Model 1903 was a Belgian-made scaled-up version of John Browning’s model 1903 pocket hammerless pistol. The pocket hammerless was made in .32 ACP and .380 calibers for (primarily) the civilian market in the US by Colt, and the FN model was chambered for the more powerful 9x20mm Browning Long cartridge, with military and […]