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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 […]

Savage .25ACP Automatic Pistol

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Savage made more than a quarter-million pocket pistols in .32 and .380 caliber, but never commercially marketed a .25ACP design. They did design such a “baby” pistol, though, beginning in about 1912. Despite a significant tooling investment, only 40 were ever made (perhaps because they could not be made cost-competitive with other competing guns). The […]

Vintage Saturday: Colt 1895 on Water Tower Hill

Colorado National Guard

In 1914, a long-standing strike of mine workers against the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company was ended by the Colorado National Guard in what is known today as the Ludlow Massacre. As part of their preparations, the Guard emplaced a Colt 1895 “Potato Digger” machine gun on Water Tower Hill above the striking workers’ camp. […]

Smill & Welson Spanish Counterfeit Revolver

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This revolver looks like it is a Smith & Wesson DA from the early 20th century, right down to the S&W grips. However, it is actually a Spanish Eibar-made copy, and you can tell when you take a close look at the patent markings atop the barrel. Instead of “Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Mass, USA”, […]

Today’s New Tech: Red Dot Handguns

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I am often asked what is the coolest new thing in firearms technology…and the answer isn’t anything having to do with the actual gun design. Our guns today are mechanically the same as they were in 1950. What has improved markedly are materials and optics. A Glock is just another simplified Browning tilting-barrel action, […]

James D. Julia: Confederate Cofer Revolver

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T.W. Cofer was a Virginian gunsmith who made revolvers for the Confederate cause during the Civil War – although he never had a formal contract with the CSA. His pistols were sold privately to individual soldiers, and in at least one case bought in bulk by a unit commander.

One thing that makes Cofer stand […]

James D. Julia: Presentation Colt 1851 w/ Canteen Stock

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One of the less common accessories for Colt percussion pistols is the original factory shoulder stock. And far less common still is the factory stock made with a canteen inside it! The stocks were made of two pieces of wood pressed together over a pewter drinking water canteen in the center of the stock. Very […]