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

The Vault

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 the bolt was too weak for Army approval. Regardless, it is a creative and quite elegant design.

Vintage Saturday: Mounts

German troops posing with a variety of MG08 mounts

German troops posing with a sampling of Maxim machine guns (photo courtesy Beryl Barnett)

From left to right, an MG08 on its sled mount, a captured Russian 1910 on a Vickers J tripod modified with wheels (and an MG08 blank adapter), a dummy MG08, and a blank-adapter MG08 on a German MG01 sled mount.

2.7mm Kolibri Semiauto at RIA

Today’s item at the September Rock Island auction is an example of the smallest centerfire pistol ever made – a 2.7mm Kolibri semiauto. About a thousand of these were made between 1910 and 1914, firing a 3-grain projectile at about 650 fps (for a total of 3 ftlb of muzzle energy). It may be insanely impractical, but it’s a great piece of mechanical art – and it comes with 7 rounds of ammo!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THsDpGJcpk8

Nazi Belt Buckle Pistol at RIA

One of the items at RIA in this upcoming Premier Auction is a Nazi belt-buckle pistol. There is a fair amount of debate as to whether these are authentic WWII German artifacts, as opposed to post-war creations to feed the market for Nazi memorabilia. Authentic or not, they are a very neat mechanism to take a look at…

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 10-22.

I should add that Mongo, in the YouTube comments, pointed out something I should have considered – it looks like the missing piece contained a locking block that would hold the bolt and barrel assemblies together during the recoil travel. That makes a lot of sense, I should have realized it myself. :)

 

Krnka 1895 Semiauto Pistol at RIA

This prototype 1895 Krnka automatic pistol is another of the items up for sale at the upcoming Rock Island Premier Auction. This pistol, serial number 7, was the first in the developmental line that led to the 1907 Roth-Steyr cavalry pistol.

Transferable FG-42 at RIA

The undisputed star of the upcoming Rock Island Premier auction is this transferable full-auto German FG-42 paratrooper’s rifle. Only a few dozen of these are in private hands in the US, and they are an extremely advanced design for WWII.

For more information on the FG42, check out the FG-42 page in the Vault, and my review of the SMG Guns semiauto reproduction FG-42.

Four-Shot Superposed Ratchet Pistol at RIA

Today’s item in the upcoming Rock Island Premier Auction is a rather unusual percussion pistol. It began life as an underhammer gun, and was rebuilt by an unknown gunsmith as a percussion gun that fired four superposed charges with a creative repeating action.

Vintage Saturday: Gewehrgranaten

German troops posing with a variety of grenade launchers - WWI

Grenade launchers galore! (photo from Drake Goodman – click to enlarge)

WWI German troops posing with a variety of grenade launchers.

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 video for you guys, covering all sorts of interesting guns! Today we’ll kick things off with an 1875 Lee Vertical Action Carbine

The 1875 Lee Vertical Action was an experimental rifle designed by James Paris Lee (of Lee Enfield and Lee Navy fame) as an idea to increase the rate of fire from single-shot Army rifles. He touted an impressive 30 rounds in 45 seconds with the rifle, thanks to several design elements that combined to make a very fast manual of arms. In total only 143 of these guns were made at Springfield Armory, and this example is the only known carbine variant. It will be up for sale on September 14, 2014 at Rock Island Auctions – see the link above.