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Older, Odd, Offbeat And Forgotten Guns & Ammo

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by searcher, Feb 13, 2017.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Rather than posting thread after thread about older / forgotten weapons I thought it would be better to simply have one thread with different posts. Please feel free to post / comment when ever the mood strikes.

    Hope you enjoy the thread.
     
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  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Astra 700 Special: Failed Copy of the FN 1910
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 12, 2017
    https://www.rockislandauction.com/det...

    The Model 700 Special was an attempt by Astra to piggyback on the popularity of the FN Model 1910 automatic pistol. Astra took their Model 100 (a renamed Ruby pistol of WWI lineage) and changed the styling to resemble the FN gun, including adding a rotating mainspring cap around the barrel, as the 1910 used. The other internal parts, however, remained pure Ruby - including the barrel installation method, the shrouded hammer, the trigger mechanism, and the mid-frame safety.

    These pistols were made for sale primarily in China, although they did not prove to be very popular items. A total of 4,000 were made in 1926 and 1927, and they remained in Astra’s catalog into the early 1930s. Seeing the failure to get initial success, Astra cut off production when they introduced the Model 900 - a visual copy of the Mauser C96 Broomhandle, which would prove to be far more popular and successful.

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  3. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Remington EtronX: Electrically Primed Ammunition
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 13, 2017
    https://www.rockislandauction.com/det...

    One of the more mainstream attempts at incorporating electronic into firearms technology on the civilian market was the Remington EtronX, introduced in 2000. It consisted of a standard Remington 700 bolt action rifle, with the trigger and firing mechanisms replaced by electric versions. The firing pin itself became an insulated electrode, the trigger operated an electronic switch instead of a mechanical sear, and a 9V battery feeding a capacitor provided the energy to ignite the new type of primer - basically a resistor that would generate heat to ignite a charge of smokeless powder.

    Remington made a valiant effort with the EtronX, but came up short. Unfortunately, the only practical advantage to the electronic workings was a reduction in lock time of the action (the delay from trigger press to cartridge ignition). They did in fact achieve a virtual elimination of lock time, but this was not a problem that needed to be addressed for the general sporting rifle market. Between questions about ammunition availability and a general market rejection of electronic component in firearms, the rifle failed to sell, and was dropped from Remington’s catalog in 2003.

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  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Yeah, the AR15 is Now Becoming C&R Eligible
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 7, 2017
    https://www.rockislandauction.com/det...

    Given the status of the AR15 as the preeminent military rifle still today, it comes as a surprise to many people to learn just how old the gun really is. Civilian production of the SP-1 model by Colt actually began in 1964, which means that early SP-1 rifles started becoming Curio & Relic qualified back in 2014. Right now in 2017, more than 10,000 C&R AR15s exist - and this is one of them.

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  5. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Gahendra: the Nepalese Martini (or not)
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 8, 2017
    https://www.rockislandauction.com/det...

    Long a mysterious unknown member of the Martini family, the Nepalese Gahendra rifles finally became available in the US and Europe after IMA purchased Nepal’s cache of historic arms. The Gahendra is a uniquely Nepalese design built to sidestep British reluctance to supply military arms to the colony. Developed by a General Gahendra (who is also responsible for the Bira copy of the Gardner Gun), the rifle is not actually a Martini at all. Instead, it shares its mechanical features mostly with the earlier Peabody falling block rifles, using a hammer and flat mainspring (the Martini improvement replaces there with a striker and coil spring).

    Gahendras are chambered for the standard British .577/.450 Martini cartridge, although their bore diameters vary substantially, and one should absolutely slug a specific rifle before loading ammunition for it. In fact, unless you are capable of proficiently assessing the safety of the Gahendra, it is wiser not to shoot them at all. These rifles were individually handmade well over a hundred years ago using steels of questionable metallurgy and hardening.

    That said, the guns were actually much better made than most people assume, considering their non-interchangeable parts. Craftsmen built each rifle part by part, giving the factory an output of just 4 rifles per day. Production began in the 1880s, and according to the Nepalese government ended prior to 1899. Dates on the rifles, however, are commonly found as late as 1911. These dates are generally assumed to be inventory or refurbishment dates.

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  6. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Whitney-Beals Walking Beam Pocket Revolver
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 15, 2017
    https://www.rockislandauction.com/det...


    This revolver, designed by Fordyce Beals (how cool of a name is that?), was developed while Colt’s patent on using the hammer to index the cylinder was still in effect. To avoid that patent, this Beals design uses the trigger to rotate and index the cylinder, with the hammer being cocked separately. The gun was manufactured by Eli Whitney, who ran an industrial factory specializing in working with independent inventors who did not have the capital or resources to do their own manufacturing.

    This model of revolver is commonly known as a walking beam or walking lever type, after the mechanism of the trigger moving the cylinder. This was a mechanism commonly used in other application to convert linear motion to rotational motion.

    Beals would go on to work with the Remington company on his later pocket pistol design, and would have a major part in designing Remington’s 1858 Army revolver.

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  7. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    1875 Snider Carbine Portuguese Contract
    Iraqveteran8888



    Published on Feb 14, 2017

    In this video Eric and Kevin play with some black powder at the range with a Portuguese Snider Carbine. These were basically purpose built rifles based on the P-61 design that use a centerfire blackpowder cartridge inserted from a special breech with a much higher rate of fire than a traditional front stuffer. Stay tuned later in the video for a speed comparison of the Snider and Kevin's P-61 Musket. Much more on the way.

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    Disclaimer: Our videos are for entertainment purposes only, imitation or the use of any instruction shown in the videos is solely AT YOUR OWN RISK. Iraqveteran8888 will not be held liable for any injury to yourself or damage to your firearms resulting from attempting anything shown in any our videos.

    Copyright 2017, 88 Industries, LLC

     
  8. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Savage .25 ACP Prototype Pocket Pistols
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 19, 2017
    Savage was very successful with their .32 ACP and .380 ACP pocket pistols, and in the 1910s was interested in also breaking into the .25 ACP market, to compete with the Colt 1908 "Baby Browning". Savage invested in all the tooling to make a new blowback .25, but never put them into serial production. Only a few dozen were ever made, in two separate runs. Why so few? The exact reason is lost to history, but most likely the company determined that they would not be able to produce the guns at a price that would be competitive.

    Today's video is a re-make of a previous one, because I was able to get examples of both production runs to show, and also learned (thanks to master gunsmith Bill Chase) how to disassemble them! It's quite the non-intuitive process...

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  9. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Farquhar Hill: Britain's WW1 Semiauto Rifle
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 20, 2017
    The Farquhar-Hill was a semiauto rifle developed in Britain prior to World War 1. It was the idea of Birmingham gunsmith Arthur Hill, and financed by Aberdeen industrialist Mowbray Farquhar. The design began as a long-recoil system, but that was replaced with a unique spring-buffered gas operated mechanism before and production began.

    Basically, a gas port in the barrel taps gas off to a piston, which moved about 3 inches rearward and was then caught and held by a latch. At that point, the other end of the spring would be released to move backward, pushing on the bolt and bolt carrier, unlocking and cycling the action. This gave the rifle a very light felt recoil impulse, and also buffered the bolt from potential over-pressure cartridges.

    The Farquhar-Hill was chambered for the .303 British cartridge, and in its military form fed from 19-round drum magazines. A large order for 100,000 rifles was placed by the British military, but cancelled when WW1 ended. A small number of the rifles were sold in the military pattern as well as in box magazines fed sporting patterns, but Farquhar was more interested in pursuing military contracts, and would continue to work with machine gun designs going into the 1920s.

    Thanks to the Institute of Military Technology for giving me access to these two rifles: http://www.instmiltech.com

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  10. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Various Guns Bren Gun 1940
    Sirocco Military Gear and Equipment



    Published on Feb 21, 2017
    News reel showing various machine guns in used by the British Army at the start of World War Two, 1940.
     
  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Bren Gun at the Range
    Forgotten Weapons



    Uploaded on Aug 23, 2011
    We take a 1940 Bren gun to the range to demonstrate function, disassembly, and shooting from a variety of positions. For more information, check out http://www.ForgottenWeapons.com .
     
  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    SIG PE-57: Swiss Roller-Delay!
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 22, 2017
    Want to see a shooting comparison of the PE-57 and the G3? Check out today's InRangeTV video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsglg...

    The SIG PE-57 is the civilian semiauto version of the Stgw57, Switzerland's first self-loading service rifle. Developed from the German MG-42 but incorporating a substantial influence form the FG-42 as well, the PE-57 is a roller-delayed blowback action chambered for the 7.5x55mm Swiss cartridge. It was also made for US commercial export as the SIG AMT (American Match Target), and sold to the militaries of Bolivia and Chile.

    The PE-57 uses an in-line stock layout much like the FG-42, which minimizes muzzle climb, as well as a folding bipod which can be positioned at either the front or rear of the barrel shroud. The standard magazines hold 24 rounds. This rifle looks very awkward, but handles quite well, except for its rather heavy weight (12.25 pounds / 5.6kg). It is most at home in a fixed position, firing at long range targets from its bipod.

    Only a few thousand of these rifles were ever imported into the US, and I would like to thank Bob for generously providing use of this one for video!

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  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Mannlicher Model 1894 Pistols
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 26, 2017
    The Mannlicher Model 1894 was one of the first successful semiauto pistol designs, and used a very unusual blow forward action. Instead of having a moving slide, the bullet would actually pull the barrel forward when fired, cycling the action. The Model 1894 used a double action trigger and had a 5-round internal magazine fed by stripper clips. It was tested by several large militaries, but rejected by all of them.

    The US trial report is particularly illuminating, noting that for all its technological leading-edge status, the gun was in practical terms no more useful than a revolver. The first ones were made in 7.8mm, with production changing to a slightly smaller frame and a straight-walled 6.5mm cartridge when it moved to Neuhausen, in Switzerland.

    Only three blow-forward pistols were ever produced in number, with the other two being:

    1908 Hino-Komuro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IelUF...
    1908 Schwarzlose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHQep...
    1908 Schwarzlose in Slow Motion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQEXU...

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  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Maxim Silverman Model 1896 Automatic Pistol
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 24, 2017
    Hiram Maxim is obviously best known for the Maxim Machine Gun, but he and (most significantly) his assistant Louis Silverman also dabbled in handgun design. It appears that the work was primarily Silverman's, done with the tacit support of the Maxim company. A followup version was made with more of Maxim's fingerprints on the design, but it never appears to have been produced - while three of the Maxim-Silverman guns are known to still exist.

    This pistol began as a simple blowback action, albeit a clever and elegant one. It was chambered for the 7.63mm Borchardt cartridge, which proved to be too strong for a blowback mechanism to safely handle. This was remediated by the addition of a delaying spring added to the side of the frame to hold the bolt closed slightly longer during the firing process. The two other known prototype examples are in different calibers; one in an experimental 8mm version of the Borchardt round, a larger framed model in .455 Webley.

    Overall, these pistols are simple, elegant, and quite ahead of their time. It is unfortunately that they were not given more attention at the time, but it is reasonable that the Maxim company would be more interested in devoting its resources to the military machine gun market.

    Thanks to the Institute of Military Technology for giving me access to this pistol: http://www.instmiltech.com

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  16. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Who is Colt? A History of the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 23, 2017
    Today we will take a look at the history of the Colt company, from Sam Colt's first efforts in Paterson (and before) to the West Hartford remnants that survive today. If you enjoy this type of history, please let me know in the comments!

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  17. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    MAC 1950: Disassembly & History
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 27, 2017
    Shooting the MAC 1950: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sduZ4...

    The PA MAC 1950 (Pistolet Automatique Modele 1950) was the result of a 1946 French effort to standardize on a single military pistol. By the end of WWII, the French military had accumulated a mess of different pistols of French, Spanish, American, and German origin; officially using the Luger, P38, Mauser HSc, 1911 (and A1), 1935A, 1935S, Star, Ruby, and Model 1892 revolver.

    Trials were held in 1950, although the outcome was predetermined - this pistol, designed by St Etienne and largely derived from the Model 1935S, was to be the next French military sidearm. A design from the SACM company was also tested, as was a commercially purchased SIG SP47/8, but this was for comparison sake only. In fact, the SIG was the best performer in the testing, with the St Etienne design suffering from cracked parts and durability problems. It would be improved, however, and deemed suitable for adoption by early 1951.

    Production began in 1953 at the Chatellerault arsenal (hence the "MAC" name used in the US). All of 221,900 were made by Chatellerault until it was shut down in 1963, when production transferred to St Etienne, where another 120,000 would be made by 1978.

    Mechanically, the gun is largely taken form the Browning 1911, with a few improvements. The recoil spring is of a captive design, and the fire control group is all built into a single easily replaced unit (similar to the Tokarev and the 1935S). It is single action only, with hammer-block and magazine safeties and a 9-round magazine of standard 9x19mm ammunition. It is still in French service, having proven to be a reliable and dependable weapon, if outdated by today's standards.

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  18. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  19. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    WWII era Walther PP Pistol
    Military Arms Channel



    Published on Feb 28, 2017
    I take out my WWII era police Walther PP chambered in .32 ACP (7.65) and do some shooting with it. I talk about how the Walther PP influenced other handgun designs of the 20th century as well.

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  20. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    MAC 1950: Tactical Shooting Competition
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Feb 28, 2017
    History and disassembly of the MAC 1950: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m16n4...

    Following up on yesterday's discussion of the history and mechanics of the French Pistolet Automatique Modele 1950, today I am running it in a run-n-gun pistol match.

    The gun worked well for me, not having any malfunctions, but did present a couple issues. One was hammer bite, and the other was my inadvertently engaging the slide-mounted safety when racking the slide (whoops!). Otherwise, the gun was pretty much on par with other contemporary service pistols - the trigger is reasonably good, as are the sights. The 9-round magazines are terribly small by today's standards, but were rather the norm in comparison to the P38, 1911, Browning High Power, Beretta 1951, SIG P210, and other service sidearms of the 1950s.

    In the match, I was 2nd of 3 shooters in the "single stack" division, and 43rd of 49 overall.

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  21. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Mannlicher Model 1896 Pistols
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 1, 2017
    With the Model 1896 pistol, Ferdinand Mannlicher made an effort to improve the ballistics of his pistols and make them less awkward, by moving to a locked breech action and a bottlenecked higher velocity cartridge. The very first Model 1896 was a blowback, but this was almost immediately replaced by the locked system seen here.

    In 1897, a further improvement was made by replacing the 7-round fixed magazine with 6-round detachable magazines (although stripper clips could still be used to reload them). Some confusion exists about the dates of these guns because they were patented in the 1896/7 time frame, but not released onto the commercial market until 1901/3. Presumably Mannlicher was attempting to garner military contracts before putting in the time and money to market them commercially.

    In addition to standard pistols, these were available with longer barrels, shoulder stock lugs with combination holster/stocks, and as sporting carbines.

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  22. searcher

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    Tasting History: Scho-ka-kola - WW2 German Chocolate
    InRangeTV



    Published on Mar 1, 2017
    This video is a brief history of the infamous WW2 caffeinated German chocolate ration, Scho-Ka-Kola.

    Intended originally for the 1936 Olympics, scho-ka-kola gained adoption in the WW2 German military forces and continues to be available today.

    If you want to try some Scho-Ka-Kola, you can get it from Varusteleka here:
    https://www.varusteleka.com/en/produc...

    If you're interested in seeing someone eat 70+ year old Sho-Ka-Kola, check out Steve1989's video here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmdLn...

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    Limited Edition Bearcat Shopkeeper Sixguns from Tyler Gun Works - Gunblast.com
    Gunblastdotcom



    Published on Mar 3, 2017
    FOR MORE INFO: http://gunblast.com/BOGE-TylerBearcat...

    Boge Quinn ( http://www.gunblast.com ) tests the Limited Edition Bearcat Shopkeeper Sixguns from Tyler Gun Works.

    The Tyler Gun Works Bearcat Shopkeepers are fun, beautiful, reliable, accurate, and a true bargain. I highly recommend you get them while the getting is good.

    Order the Tyler Gun Works Limited Edition Ruger Bearcat Shopkeeper at
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    Check out the Ruger Bearcat series, along with the wide and diverse Ruger line, at
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    To order the standard Bearcat Shopkeeper from a dealer in your area, click on the DEALER FINDER at
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    View Mike Barranti's leather artistry and order Barranti Leather at
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    To buy 22 Long Rifle ammo online, go to
    http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com and http://www.luckygunner.com/rimfire/22....
     
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    Five Excellent YouTube Gun Channels you Might not Know About...
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 4, 2017
    While ForgottenWeapons has become a fairly large channel with a lot of visibility, there are plenty of other people out there creating excellent informative video content on historical firearms. Today I want to point out 5 other channels with great material that I enjoy watching, and learn from. They are:

    C&Rsenal: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClq1...
    Chris Bartocci: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_tD...
    CapAndBall: https://www.youtube.com/user/capandball
    BritishMuzzleloaders: https://www.youtube.com/user/britishm...
    Vbbsmyt: https://www.youtube.com/user/vbbsmyt

    And, of course, Forgotten Weapons' own sister channel, InRangeTV:

    http://www.youtube.com/InRangeTVShow

    http://www.patreon.com/ForgottenWeapons

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    Mannlicher Model 1901 & 1905 Pistols
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 3, 2017
    The Model 1901 and 1905 automatic pistols were the final development of the Mannlicher system. In this iteration they used internal magazines, a straight walled 7.65mm cartridge, and a delayed blowback system in which the slide had to overcome a spring-loaded wedge before it could open.

    The Model 1901 was a compact version with an 8-round magazine, and the 1905 was a larger frame with a 10-round capacity, although both use identical mechanisms. The guns were moderately successful on the commercial market, although the only military adoption of the design was form Argentina, which bought about 6,000 of the 1905 model guns. These were surplussed onto the US commercial market in the 1960s, and are generally distinctive for the bright spot on the right side where the Argentine crest was ground off prior to sale (although some have been refinished to hide this).

    Both the 1901 and 1905 are very comfortable, sleek and elegant guns to handle and fire. For some high speed footage of an Argentine 1905 firing, check here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjDzQ...

    To see a Roth-Theodorovic prototype pistol with a similar Tambour safety, check here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aRzp...

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    Semiauto DPM Light Machine Gun Review
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 7, 2017
    Don't let the terrible web site fool you, the guns are excellent:
    http://smgguns.com/?page_id=321

    I have had a parts kit for a Soviet DPM light machine gun (actually a Polish one, but the design is identical) stashed away for many years now, with the hope to eventually have it built into a live gun. When I found out that SMG (maker the the sweet semiauto FG42 replicas) was making a new production run of DP and DPM barrels, receivers, and semiauto trigger conversions I jumped at my chance. I sent my kit to SMG, and they built it into this complete semiauto rifle.

    The DP was introduced in 1928 as the standard Soviet light machine gun, and served through World War Two. In 1944, several defects were acknowledged and improved, notably the location of the recoil spring, the grip, and the bipod. This created the DPM, which did see some slight use at the very end of WW2, as well as use by several eastern bloc nations after the war (including in Korea). It would be updated again in 1946 with the RP46 conversion assembly to feed from Maxim belts instead of the distinctive pan magazines (and in fact, SMG is working on a reproduction of the RP46 conversion as well, although it is not yet ready).

    Anyway, I took my new semiauto DPM out to the range and got a firsthand understanding of why these guns were so well liked by troops who used them. The design is nothing if not solid, rugged, and dependable. Like other iconic Soviet firearms, the DP/DPM is elegantly simple and bombproof. It is easy and comfortable to shoot, and SMG's new and very clever linear hammer-fired semiauto conversion gives it a better trigger than any other semiauto machine gun conversion I have handled. Most such guns have really heavy and really creepy triggers, but this is about 8lb and very crisp - and that makes a huge difference in its shootability.

    In a nutshell, the gun zeroed easily and shot well, it had no malfuctions in my 3 or 4 pans of ammo expended (using Czech surplus steel-case ammo), and was really a joy to shoot. I would not hesitate to recommend them, and SMG is offered everything from individual parts for you to build yourself to kit build services, and turnkey complete guns.

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    Sosso 1941 Italian Prototype Pistol
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 6, 2017
    The Model 1941 Sosso is a huge Italian experimental semiauto pistol designed by Giulio Sosso. It uses a short recoil locking mechanism and is chambered for standard 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition, but its more unusual feature is its magazine. Instead of using a traditional spring and follower, the magazine body holds a 21-segment chain, like a machine gun belt. The chain is rotated one position each time the pistol's slide cycles. This would prevent problems related to magazine spring fatigue or varying pressure between the first and last round, but it also introduces a whole new set of potential problems.

    Only 5 of these pistols were made (by FNA Brescia), with the other 4 of them being presented to significant Italian political and military figures. It was not adopted or put into any sort of serial production for reasons that should become very clear once the internals of the gun are seen. One could probably buy a dozen Beretta 1934 pistols for the cost of one Sosso...

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    Ostfront 1987: Walther WA-2000 vs SVD Dragunov
    InRangeTV



    Published on Mar 8, 2017
    The WA-2000 is surrounded by lore and accolades. It's in movies, it's in video games, it's frequently referred to as legendary.

    However, it's also extraordinarily rare and barely made it out of the prototype stage of development. In fact it's pretty fair to say that even the produced ones are still really "prototypes".

    The Germans are consistently considered masters of firearms design, and the WA-2000 falls into that paradigm but there's very little data regarding the actual performance of the WA-2000, and even less so in the field.

    We aim to add some real data and testing to this ambiguity!

    So, we pit the Walther 2000 against its closest counterpart - the SVD Dragunov - on the fictional Eastern Front of 1987!

    How does the WA-2000 actually peform?
    What is it like to fire?
    How can it compare to the Soviet mass produced DMR?

    Let's find out!

    Don't forget to also check out Forgotten Weapons for the history and disassembly of the WA2000:
    https://youtu.be/_av1zBdnxXY

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    https://www.patreon.com/InRangeTV


     
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    Inland M1 Carbine
    hickok45



    Published on Mar 10, 2017
    Shooting and discussing a WWII Classic Carbine!
     
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    Wheellock 101: History and Shooting
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 11, 2017
    The wheel lock was one of the first types of early gun or firearm, developed as an alternative to the simple but problematic matchlock musket. The wheellock uses an iron pyrite set against a spinning serrated wheel to produce sparks to fire a charge of black powder. The wheel lock was complex and expensive, but did not require the constant attention of a matchlock and its slow-burning fuse.

    Today we will be discussing the history of the system, and then going through the process of loading and firing a wheel lock. Don't miss the fantastic slow motion footage!

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    British Submachine Gun Overview: Lanchester, Sten, Sterling, and More!
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 12, 2017
    Armament Research Services (ARES) is a specialist technical intelligence consultancy, offering expertise and analysis to a range of government and non-government entities in the arms and munitions field. For detailed photos of the guns in this video, don't miss the ARES companion blog post:

    http://armamentresearch.com/british-s...

    Great Britain was one of the few countries that went into World War Two with virtually no submachine gun development. Not every country had an issued SMG by 1939, but virtually everyone had at least been working on experimental concepts - except the British. It was only with the outbreak of hostilities that the need for such a weapon suddenly became apparent and its acquisition became a military priority.

    This was solved by acquiring and copying the German MP28/II, which was quickly followed by a simplification program that would lead to the MkI, MkI*, and ultimately MkII and MkIII Sten guns. The Stens were truly exception studies in simplification, getting down to a mere 5.5 man-hours of production time. Only after the threat of immediate German land invasion had subsided was the Sten allowed to become a little bit user-friendly, in the MkV guise.

    At the end of WW2, the British were finally able to scrap the Sten (known to be a compromise gun all along) and replace it with something with more finesse. Tests were run on the MCEM series, on BSA guns, on interesting prototypes like the double-stack-magazine Vesely V42 - but it was George Patchett's much improved Sten which would be chosen and come to be known as the Sterling SMG (named after it's manufacturer).

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    Schwarzlose 1901 Toggle-Delayed Prototype
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 10, 2017
    Andreas Schwarzlose was a German designer who created several very interesting and unusual handgun designs (in addition to his 1907 heavy machine gun, which was adopted as a standard arm of the Austro-Hungarian military). His first handgun was the model 1898, a short recoil, rotating bolt pistol that was remarkably ahead of its time but failed to sell well. This was followed by this experimental toggled locked 1901 prototype design.

    The 1901 Schwarzlose is a toggle-delayed blowback system, but not in the same way as the Luger or Pedersen. It has a unique set of arms that provide a major mechanical disadvantage to delay opening when fired, unlike anything else. It also uses a torsion type of mainspring, which is also quite unusual in handgun design. All in all, a fascinating pistol!

    When it failed to become commercially successful, Schwarzlose moved on to his 1908 blow-forward pocket pistol, which (remarkably) was the most successful of all his handguns.

    1898 Schwarzlose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYl0d...
    1908 Schwarzlose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHQep...

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    Poland's WW2 Battle Rifle: the Maroszek wz.38M
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 17, 2017
    http://jamesdjulia.com/item/1665-396/

    Had it not been for the German and Russian invasions in 1939, Poland might have entered the 1940s with a very modern semiauto infantry battle rifle - the wz.38M. Designed by Josef Maroszek (notably also the designer of the wz.35 Ur antitank rifle), the wz.38M is a simple and efficient rifle which includes elements from the BAR as well as several Czech firearms.

    It is a gas operated action with a Browning/Petter locking system, in which the bolt tilts up and down, locking against a cut in the top of the receiver. It disassembles into 4 components (plus one pin) in moments - really quite impressive for its time - and even still very good by today's standards.

    In total, just 55 of the rifles were made as an experimental trials batch, delivered to the Polish Army in 1939. Archival records of the weapon end at that point, as the German and Russian occupation ended Polish arms development. Only 5 examples are known to survive today, with two in Poland, one in Germany, and two in the United States.

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    Shooting the Czech ZH-29 Rifle
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 19, 2017
    http://jamesdjulia.com/item/1663-396/

    The Czech ZH-29 is one of the first well developed semiauto military rifles - it was light, mechanically simple, reliable, and handled well, unlike many of its ungainly or excessively complicated predecessors. It only found two buyers, though, in China and Ethiopia, despite being tested by many major military powers. The production examples were chambered for the 8mm Mauser cartridge, and several sources claim that it was a quite uncomfortably painful rifle to shoot. I want to know, was that true?

    To me, the recoil from the ZH29 was not particularly bad. It was similar to other selfloading 8mm rifles of the same approximate weight - noticeably but certainly not painful. That said, it did kick me in the cheek more than other rifles I have shot.

    Unfortunately, the gas settings and ammunition were not cooperating on this occasion, and the rifle was short-stroking consistently. That was not a problem typical to the design, and ought to be fairly easy to resolve on this particular example, although I did not have enough time to address it myself.

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    Axel Peterson .22 Luger Single Shot Conversion
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 21, 2017
    http://jamesdjulia.com/item/1564-396/

    Axel Peterson was a Swedish immigrant who became a very respected gunsmith in the Denver area in the late 1800s, and whose shop remained in business until World War 2. Peterson was best known for his smallbore .22 target rifles, but he did much more than just that. Like, for example, this .22 rimfire single shot Luger conversion. This is a really remarkably complex way to make such a pistol, which makes it all the more interesting to look at!

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    Canadian Experimental Lightweight No4 Enfield
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 20, 2017
    http://jamesdjulia.com/item/1659-396/

    In 1943 the need for a lighter and handier version of the Lee Enfield rifle became clear throughout the British Commonwealth, and experimentation began in Canada, Britain, and Australia. The work in Britain would culminate in the No5 Mk1 rifle, but the Canadian arsenal at Long Branch would try some different ideas first. Several different experimental prototypes were made with varying features, but they all shared the idea of substantially lightening the rifle without shortening it very much. This was done by removing metal anywhere possible, most obviously including the elimination of the stock socket and the use of a single piece stock in place of the traditional two piece Enfield stock.

    These modifications, also including an aluminum alloy trigger guard, were able to cut 25% of the weight from the rifle, and do so without a significant loss in accuracy. However, I suspect the resulting rifle would have proven far too fragile for combat use had it been adopted. The stock is surprisingly light and thin at the wrist, and it feels like it would not take much force to crack it. In addition, lightening cuts down the length of the hand guard made it quite susceptible to warping with heat and humidity changes.

    Ultimately the Long Branch Lee Enfield carbine experiments would be abandoned as the No5 “Jungle Carbine” was adopted instead.

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    US Test Trials .45 Caliber Knoble Pistol
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 22, 2017
    http://jamesdjulia.com/item/1620-396/

    One of the domestic American pistols entered in the US 1907 pistol trials was this short recoil, toggle locked design by W.E. Knoble of Tacoma Washington. Knoble submitted two experimental pistols to the trial, one with a single action trigger and one with a double action trigger - although he was unable to attend the trial himself. Unfortunately for Knoble, the trials board found his guns crude and unsatisfactory upon examination, and they were dropped from competition without having fired a single shot. The Luger, Colt/Browning, and Savage would go on the be the winners of the initial trials, with the 1911 ultimately winning.

    Knoble’s .45 caliber pistol here does certainly lack the finesse of many other pistols, but it did not appear to me to be dangerously crude, and I am a bit surprised that it was not at least test-fired by the trials board. At any rate, Knoble did make a few other guns of a similar style in .30 Luger and .22 Long Rifle, but never had a design reach a production stage.

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    Australian Prototype Jungle Carbine Enfields
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 24, 2017
    Shortened No1 Mk3*: http://jamesdjulia.com/item/1655-396/
    No6 Mk1: http://jamesdjulia.com/item/1652-396/
    No6 Mk1/1: http://jamesdjulia.com/item/1651-396/

    In 1943, experimentation began in Great Britain, Canada, and Australia into developing a shortened and lightened version of the Lee Enfield rifle. In Australia, the work was done on the No1 Mk3* rifle, as the Lithgow Arsenal had never switched over to production of the No4 rifle.

    We have three experimental prototype carbines from Lithgow to look at today. The first is simply a shortened SMLE, with no serious effort given to reducing weight. This rifle is visually very similar to the commercial SMLE "Jungle Carbines" marketed by a number of companies, although the real one here has several features missing form the commercial copies - most notably a simple rear aperture sight.

    The other two are examples of the two types of rifle that were ultimately considered for formal adoption (and a large order for one was actually placed, before being cancelled at the end of WW2). These are designated the No6 Mk1 (with a rear aperture sight) and the No6 Mk1/1 (with a rear tangent sight). Approximately 100 of each were made, half with brass buttplates and half with rubber recoil pads. In this form, slightly more than a pound was removed from the standard SMLE, and the reduced length did make for a handier rifle. The Australian need for this type of carbine was removed with the end of the war, although in Great Britain the No5 Mk1 carbine - the same in practical terms as these Australian examples - would be taken into formal service for several years.

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    A Swarm of Angry Bees: The American 180 .22LR Submachine Gun
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 25, 2017
    http://jamesdjulia.com/item/1709-396/

    The American 180 is a .22 rimfire submachine gun that fires at 1200-1500 rounds per minute or more, and feeds from drums of 177 to 275 rounds capacity. While it makes a great recreational machine gun, it was actually initially developed with law enforcement sales in mind. The notion was that the .22LR cartridge posed a minimal danger of overpenetration and was extremely easy to control, and the many repeated hits that could be made with the American 180 would make up for its lack of ballistic effectiveness. And that's not necessarily incorrect.

    Several law enforcement agencies did actually buy the guns, and one police shooting involving one is documented, from 1974. It never became really popular with police agencies, though, and production basically ground to a halt in 1986 when it became impossible to manufacture new machine guns for the civilian market.

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    M1915 Howell Automatic Rifle Enfield Conversion
    Forgotten Weapons



    Published on Mar 28, 2017
    http://jamesdjulia.com/item/1653-396/

    The M1915 Howell Automatic Rifle is a conversion of a standard No1 MkIII Lee Enfield rifle into a semiautomatic, through the addition of a gas piston onto the right side of the barrel. Despite its very steampunk appearance, the Howell is actually a quite simple conversion mechanically. The rifle action had not been modified at all, and a curved plate on the end of the gas piston is used to cycle the bolt up, back, forward, and down just as it would be done manually.

    The additional metal elements added to the gun are there to prevent the shooter from inadvertently getting their hand or face in the path of the bolt. The crude tubular pistol grip is necessary because the shooter’s hand on the wrist of the stock would normally be in the path of the bolt’s travel. Note that the Parker-Hale bipod on this example is a non-military addition from its time in private ownership.

    In addition to these elements, the Howell has been fitted with a 20-round extended magazine to better exploit its rate of fire. However, the Howell was made as a semiautomatic rifle only, and not fully automatic. It was offered to the British military circa 1915, but never put into service. Instead, the British would significantly increase production and deployment of Lewis light machine guns. Howell would offer his conversion in basically the same form to the military again at the onset of World War 2, but was again turned down.

    Shooting the Howell was remarkably successful - I had expected it to be very malfunction-prone, but in fact it ran almost completely without fault. In retrospect, I would attribute this to the simplicity of its conversion, which made no changes to the feeding and extraction/ejection elements of the SMLE. The gun was a bit awkward to hold, and the offset sights left one with really no cheek weld at all, but recoil was gentle thanks to the gas systems function and added weight. Quite a remarkable gun, and one I am very glad to have been able to shoot.

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