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Vintage Saturday: Mr. Lee Goes to China

British Marines from the HMS Alacrity in China with Lee-Metford rifles (1900)

Note the bandoliers of individual cartridges – these Lee-Metfords predate the adoption of charger clips, and would have been reloading one round at a time.


Vintage Saturday: Liberator

Chinese man with a Liberator pistol

Chinese man with a Liberator pistol. Source: The Liberator Pistol by Ralph Hagan

Photo taken by John Brunner outside OSS headquarters in Kunming, 1945.

The Ubiquitous RPG-7 (Video)

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The RPG-7 is pretty far from being a forgotten weapon, but I was not going to pass up an opportunity to take a closer look at a live one. This example is one of the few live and registered RPGs in the US, and it belongs to Movie Gun Services (if you saw Black Hawk […]

Inside a Chinese Mystery Pistol


I recently did some horse trading with Chuck at GunLab, and he ended up with a couple of my Chinese Mystery Pistols. Today, he pulls one apart to look at the insides…and it’s not a pretty sight. Have a look:

GunLab: Chinese Pistol

Slow Motion: Mauser Schnellfeuer (Video)

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Today’s slow motion video is a Mauser Schnellfeuer; the full-auto version of the C96 pistol made in the 1930s. Just over 100,000 of these were made, with the great majority being sold in China. It is chambered for 7.63mm Mauser, firing at 1120rpm (using Prvi Partisan ammo) from 10- and 20-round detachable magazines.


One More Chinese Mystery Pistol at RIA!

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This particular Chinese pistol is a great example of all the elements of a proper Chinese Mystery Pistol: sights that don’t function, gibberish markings, mechanical derivation from the Browning 1900, aesthetic elements form the C96 Broomhandle Mauser, and clearly handmade parts. However, this one is a particularly high quality example of the type.


Japanese Inagaki and Sugiura Pistols at RIA

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The most common Japanese pistols used during World War II were the Type 14 and Type 94 Nambu designs, by a huge margin. However, there were a number of other handguns used in small numbers, and today we’re looking at two of those. The first is the Sugiura, essentially a copy of the Colt 1903 […]

A Selection of Chinese Mystery Pistols at RIA

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During the 1920s and 1930s, a combination of civil wars and international arms embargoes led to a lot of domestic firearms production in China. The size and quality of manufacturing facilities varied widely – everything from massive factories established with European technical assistance to one-man shops only a step or two above being blacksmiths. The […]

Shansei .45ACP Broomhandle Mauser at RIA (Video)

During the Chinese civil war in the 1920s and 30s, international arms embargoes made rifles difficult to acquire – which led to a lot of popularity for pistols with shoulder stocks. The C96 “broomhandle” Mauser in particular was popular, and it was copied by a number of Spanish firms for sale in China as […]

Chinese Pistols Coming Soon!

I just recently spent some time at RIA doing video for their upcoming Regional auction, and happened to notice a batch of guns they were in the process of sorting and writing descriptions of for the April Premier auction: a whole slew of Chinese Mystery Pistols.

I really need to come up with a better […]