Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Enjoy what you read here at Forgotten Weapons? Please consider supporting me on Patreon with $1/month! Thanks!

Nomar M1911 Magazine-Stock (Video)

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-39-01-pm

In 1936, Lewis Nolan Nomar patented this device, which is basically a large 40-round magazine for the 1911 pistol. He envisioned a military use for the device in trench raiding, giving men a compact weapon with a large capacity. Unfortunately for him, the device was both remarkably (and unnecessarily) heavy and obsolete the day […]

Winchester’s Liberator Shotguns (Video)

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-3-37-37-pm

In the early 1960s, an influential but little-known (today) firearms designer by the name of Robert Hillberg came up with an idea for a cheap-but-effective armament for the masses. With encouragement from DARPA, the Winchester company took up manufacture and development of the design, under the name “Liberator”.

The guns were initially planned to […]

Colt Paterson No.1 Carbine (Video)

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-8-36-42-am

Sam Colt’s very first work was done in Baltimore, but this ended fairly quickly, and it was with his subsequent move to Paterson New Jersey that the first true production Colt firearms were made. Colt set up a small shop there and introduced both handguns and rifles using his patented system in which cocking […]

General Liu’s Prototype Rifle (Video)

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-1-04-13-pm

The General Liu rifle (named for its designer – it never received an official designation that we know of) was China’s closest approach to an indigenous self-loading infantry rifle before World War II. Mechanically it used the same principles as the Danish Bang rifle – a muzzle cup captured some of the gases from […]

Colt “Brevete” Copy Overview: Legal, Illegal, and Post-Legal (Video)

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-1-01-27-pm

When you think about early revolver patent infringement, the name that probably comes to mind is Rollin White. But Sam Colt had more than his share of infringement to deal with as well! Colt’s most important patent was on the linking of the hammer and cylinder, so that cocking the hammer would automatically rotate […]

Colt Prototype “Zig-Zag” Root Revolvers (Video)

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-9-16-13-am

In the White: https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/69/1132 Blued: https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/69/1133

The 1855 “Root” pocket revolver was a reasonably successful design for the Colt company, although it was not the best mechanical design. The side hammer design used the cylinder axis to rotate and lock in place instead of using the rear face of the cylinder, which resulted in […]

Rod Bayonet M1903 Springfield (Video)

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-9-30-58-am

The US military adopted the Model 1903 Springfield rifle in 1903, replacing the short-lived Krag-Jorgenson rifle. However, the 1903 would undergo some pretty substantial changes in 1905 and 1906 before becoming the rifle we recognize today. The piece in todays video is an original Springfield produced in 1904, before any of these changes took […]

Colt Sidehammer “Root” Dragoon Prototype (Video)

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-1-03-33-pm

During the development of the 1860 Army revolver, Colt did consider mechanical options other than simply scaling up the 1851 Navy pattern. One of these, as evidenced by this Colt prototype, was an enlarged version of the 1855 Pocket, aka Root, revolver. That 1855 design used a solid frame and had been the basis […]

Turner Semiauto SMLE Conversion (Video)

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-1-04-38-pm

Russell Turner was a Pennsylvania gunsmith and inventor who developed this semiautomatic conversion of an SMLE bolt action rifle circa 1940. It was intended for trial and potential sale to the Canadian military, as it would allow them to retrofit existing rifles into semiautomatic configuration and still use existing supplies of .303 British ammunition. […]

Collier Flintlock Revolvers (Video)

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-9-37-33-am

Elisha Collier is probably the best-known name in flintlock revolvers – to the extent that any flintlock revolvers are well known. Because of the great cost and required skill to manufacture a functional repeating flintlock handgun without modern machine tools, these weapons were never common, but they were made by a number of gunsmiths […]