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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 […]

RIA: Liegeoise 1888 Trials Rifle

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The Belgian Army held rifle trials in the late 1880s to choose a new infantry rifle, and the winner was the Model 1889 Belgian Mauser. Quite a few different guns were involved in the competition though, including this Engh-patent rifle made by Manufacture Liegeois D’Armes. It’s a pretty unusual bolt action that is definitely worth […]

Biography: Léon and Émile Nagant

Henri-Léon Nagant and Emile Nagant

Note: Today’s post was written by our friend and occasional contributor Robert White. Thanks, Robert!

Léon Nagant (left) and Emile Nagant (right)

One of the oldest pistols still in service is the Russian M1895 Nagant, designed by Léon and Émile Nagant. Léon Nagant along with Colonel Sergei Ivanovitch Mosin designed one of the […]

Pinfire LeMat Grapeshot Revolver at RIA

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Colonel Jean Alexandre LeMat was a native Frenchman who emigrated to the United States and in 1856 secured a patent for a “grapeshot revolver”, which had both a 9-shot .42 caliber cylinder and a 20-gauge smoothbore barrel acting as the cylinder axis. A moveable striking surface on the hammer allowed the user to alternate between […]

Biography: Henri & Nicolas Pieper

Today’s biography is a guest post by our friend Robert White – thanks, Robert!

Henri Pieper (left) and Nicolas Pieper (right)

Henri Pieper was born and raised in modest German home in Soest (Westphalia) Germany on Oct 30, 1840. He received his technical training in Soest and then in Warstein. Then emigrated to Belgium […]

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. […]

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 […]