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The Vault

Elmer Keith’s Revolver No. 5 at James D Julia

Elmer Keith’s No.5 Single Action Army is arguably the most famous custom revolver ever made. Keith had it built in 1928 after developing a friendship with Harold Croft, another revolver enthusiast. Croft had shown Keith his own custom revolvers, which he had numbered 1 through 4. Croft had been trying to make an ideal pocket [...]

Thuer Conversion Colt 1849 at James D Julia

As the self-contained metallic cartridge because popular, a niche industry developed in converting percussion revolvers to use the new cartridges. One of the first of these conversions was designed by F. Alexander Thuer and marketed by the Colt company itself. Thuer’s conversion was put into production while the Rollin White patent was still in force, [...]

Winchester 94 with Maxim Silencer at James D Julia

The Winchester Model 94 is one of the most iconic American sporting rifles ever made, and this particular one is chambered in the equally iconic .30-30 cartridge. It is a takedown version, made in 1907, and most interestingly of all, it comes with a legal and registered original Maxim Silencer. The Silencer is something that [...]

Shooting Elmer Keith’s Carry Pistol at James D Julia

Elmer Keith should need no introduction here, as one of the fathers of the .44 Magnum, as well as the .357 Magnum and .41 Magnum. Well, his gun collection being sold at the James D. Julia auction house next month, and I had the opportunity to not just look at the guns but actually shoot [...]

Sharps-Borchardt M1878 at RIA (Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMl6FjWkfsM

The M1878 was the last new rifle produced by the Sharps company before it went out of business in 1881. It was the invention of none other than German gun designer Hugo Borchardt, better known for his C93 Borchardt automatic pistol (generally considered the first commercially successful automatic pistol). Borchardt was brought in as [...]

Winchester 1893 & 1897 Shotguns at RIA (Video)

The Winchester 1897 was the gun that really set the standard for the now-ubiquitous pump action shotgun. It was designed by John Browning, but was not the first pump action designed and sold. That credit goes to Christopher Spencer, who put the first pump action on the market in 1882. His patent on the [...]

Fiala Model 1920 Combination Gun at RIA (Video)

The Fiala Model 1920 was a manually-operated repeating pistol in .22LR caliber that was marketed with the backing of famed polar explorer Anthony Fiala. The guns came as a set of one frame, three barrels (3″, 7.5″, and 20″) and a removable shoulder stock. This allowed the owner to set the gun up in [...]

Lady’s (Ladies?) Home Companion at RIA (Video)

The Ladies Home Companion was a pistol (technically) made by the Cobray company on the same frame as their 12ga “Street Sweeper” shotgun. It had no stock or front grip, and was chambered for the .45-70 rifle cartridge, carrying 12 rounds in its fixed drum magazine. It’s kinda like watching a train wreck…you know [...]

Standard Arms Model G Rifles at RIA (Video)

Right at the beginning of the 20th century, there were 3 options on the market for semiauto commercial sporting rifles in the US: the Remington Model 8, the Winchester 1905/1907 Self-Loader, and the Standard Arms Model G. The Remington and Winchester were both good guns, and sold well – the Standard Arms was pretty [...]

Roper Repeating Shotgun at RIA (Video)

Sylvester Roper was a great example of the classic American inventor – he had a wide range of interests, and impacted technological development in more than one industry. This shotgun is a design he patented in 1866, which uses a 4-round magazine of the 12ga or 16ga shells (in its earliest versions, it used [...]