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RIA: Thompson T2 Submachine Gun Prototype

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The T2 submachine gun was Auto-Ordnance’s entry into the ongoing competition to replace the classic Thompson submachine gun with something more economical to produce. It was a closed-bolt, select-fire design using a progressive trigger and a tubular receiver, along with stand Thompson gun magazines. Examples were made in both 9mm and .45 ACP, but […]

RIA: Walch Navy 12-Shot Revolver

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Patented by John Walch in 1859, this is a .36 caliber revolver using superimposed chambers – meaning that each of the six chambers could hold two shots, for a total of 12 rounds before reloading. The revolver has two hammers and two side by side triggers, with the trigger for the front loading being […]

RIA: Thompson Model 1923 Autorifle

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One of the very early entrants into the United States Ordnance Department’s semiauto rifle trials was the Auto-Ordnance Company, makers of the Thompson submachine gun. For the rifle trials, they designed a .30-06 rifle using the same Blish-locking principle as had been applied to the SMG. Since the Blish principle doesn’t actually work, this […]

RIA: Reifgraber .38 S&W Automatic

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Designed by Austrian immigrant Joseph Joachim Reifgraber, this is a prototype gas-assisted short recoil pistol in a .38 rimmed revolver cartridge. While this version did not see any serial production, the Union Firearms Company of Toledo (Ohio) did market a slightly smaller model in .32 S&W (and .32 ACP). The gas-assist, as described in […]

RIA: Whitmore 4-Barrel Swivel-Breech Rifle

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One of the options for having multiple shots available in the age of the muzzleloading rifle was the swivel-breech rifle. Such a rifle would have typically two barrels and one lock – one the first barrel was fired, the whole barrel assembly could be rotated 180 degrees to bring the other barrel into alignment […]

RIA: Cochran Turret Revolver

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The Cochran turret revolver is one of the more common turret revolvers in the US, although that’s a pretty low bar, as only about 150 of them were made. Turret-sytle revolvers never became popular on the commercial market because of the potential hazards posed by a chainfire when one has chambers pointing in all […]

RIA: James Reid No.2 Revolver

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James Reid was a New York gunsmith best known for his “My Friend” knuckleduster revolvers, but before he devised the idea for those he was working in New York City making traditional style revolvers. This particular one is a Number 2 pattern example, a .32 caliber, 7-shot rimfire revolver.

These were manufactured in violation […]

RIA: T3E2 Trials .276-Caliber Garand

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By 1932, the competition for the new US emiautomatic service rifle had been narrowed down to just two designs: John Pedersen’s delayed blowback toggle action and John Garand’s gas-operated action. Both rifles were chambered for Pedersen’s .276 caliber cartridge, and used 10-round en bloc clips. Twenty samples of each were made and sent out […]

RIA: Bendix-Hyde Second Model Prototype Carbine

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In late 1940, the US military opened a competition for what would become the M1 Carbine – a rifle that needed to use the .30 Carbine cartridge and weigh no more than 5 pounds (2.27kg). No fewer than 9 companies and designers entered the first round of competition in April 1941, including John Garand, […]

Vintage Saturday: Finnish Militia

Finnish red guard militia members posing for the camera some time during the civil war.

Finnish red guard militia members posing for the camera some time during the civil war (click to enlarge).

The woman at the front right has a Winchester 1895, almost certainly of Russian contract origin in 7.62x54R. The others appear to have Type 30 Arisaka rifles, which would have been sold to Russia by Japan […]