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The Vault

Hall Breechloading Carbine at RIA

The M1819 Hall rifle was the first breechloader adopted on a wide scale by a military force (the British Ferguson predated it, but was only made in small numbers). The Hall stayed in production on and off for several decades, being made in many configurations. This particular one is an 1836 pattern smoothbore Hall carbine, [...]

Survival Rifles at RIA: Luftwaffe Drilling and USAF M6

Today we’re looking at a pair of military survival rifles at the Rock Island September auction. One is a Luftwaffe M30 drilling – the most finely finished and luxurious survival rifle ever issued by a military force (a Luftwaffe case for an M30 is being sold separately). The other is a US Air Force M6 [...]

Gyrojet Pistol at RIA

The 13mm Gyrojet pistol was the closest thing to a commercially successful rocket pistol, although not many were sold before the company went out of business. This pistol version (the most common type of Gyrojet) fires a 180 grain rocket projectile. It is for sale – with 15 rounds of live ammunition – at the [...]

Prototype Dieckmann P66 Pistol at RIA

The P66 was a prototype .22LR semiauto pistol designed by a German immigrant to the United States by the name of Rolf Dieckmann. It never went into production, but had a number of interesting features, including a removable firing mechanism and a combination extractor and firing pin. In addition to Dieckmann pistol number X3, this [...]

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 [...]

Handmade Auto-Revolver at RIA

This very odd one-off pistol first appeared in a 1958 Golden State Arms catalog, with no description of its history or mechanical design. I have often seen it referred to as an automatic revolver, but this is a misconception – what appears to be a cylinder is actually a rotary magazine, akin to a Ruger [...]

1875 Lee Vertical Action Carbine at RIA

My recent trip to the Rock Island Auction house was spent taking a whole slew of videos on guns that are coming up for sale in their Premier auction on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of September. I’ll be putting out one each day for pretty much the next 3 weeks – lots of great [...]

Folding 1911 Shoulder Stock

Colt 1911 with unusual folding wire shoulder stock

From Tom Laemlein:

Colt 1911 with unusual folding wire shoulder stock (click to enlarge)

A few years back I found these photos of a Marine Corps modification of the standard M1911 .45 caliber pistol. Unfortunately there was no accompanying documentation. A unique folding extension stock—it would interesting to know if any of [...]

Slow Motion: Colt All American 2000

The All-American 2000 was Colt’s attempt to compete with Glock for the military and police service pistol market. It had a polymer frame (except a few early ones with aluminum frames), a double-action-only striker firing system, double-stack magazines, and used a rotating barrel to lock. The design was originally the brainchild of C. Reed Knight [...]

C96 High-Speed Video and Smith-Condit article

Now that I have this high speed camera to use, I am going to be making high-speed video a regular weekly feature, at least until I run out of guns to film this way. Today’s is (by popular request) the Mauser C96 “Broomhandle”:

If I can get another chance to shoot a Schnellfeuer, you [...]