James Sieg’s bull-pup rifle.
"A typical gas operated rifle, with expanding propellant piped off the barrel and against an rod/piston mechanism, the Sieg rifle wasn’t mechanically unique. What made it different was the choice of bull-pup layout, elaborate muzzle break and snag-free envelope. The Sieg was fed by a 20 round box magazine chambered in .30-06. To create the overall snag-free siholuette, Sieg designed a rifle that had folding front and rear sights, and not pistol grip. The rifle itself was manipulated by the firer who gripped the magazine behind the trigger assembly.
A lever behind the trigger assembly acted as a combination safety and magazine release, ergonomically laid out for easy use. And the trigger itself was deigned to have two stages. Instead of a separate lever or mechanism to switch between full-and-semi-auto, Sieg made the rifle trigger with two functions. The upper pivoting trigger fired in semi-auto, while the bottom half of the same trigger when depressed went full-auto, at a rate of fire between 600-700 rounds per minute. The element that was perhaps most appreciated by testers of the day was the Sieg designed muzzle compensator. Expertly machined, the muzzle assembly was designed to tame the recoil and muzzle rise experience in rapid or fully automatic fire. It was described as easy to shoot, with little recoil, and capable of being fire with one hand.”
Exactly why the design didn’t go anywhere is anyone’s guess at this point.
-Quote from http://www.dieselpunks.org/profiles/blogs/little-known-american-bullpup
Early development Schulhof manual repeating pistol M1884
Schulhof was credited with having developed several types of repeating pistols in about 1884 and later in the 1880s. This version has a 6” bbl with a drift adjustable front and rear sight. A finger loop lever under the receiver was used to close the bolt. Having traveled to its final position, the trigger protruded into the finger loop and could be pulled to fire the gun. A small nudge released the finger loop, allowing it to spring forward. Loading was accomplished through the left grip that was retained by a tensioned latch. It is estimated Schulhof made fewer than 50 of these repeaters. Though awkward and cumbersome by today’s standards, repeater pistols were an important development and provided the foundation for more modern semiautomatics.
Grant Hammond’s 1912 patent gas powered “blow-forward” pistol.
"The gun was chambered for the .32 ACP, though I suspect this was simply an expedient in a proof-of-concept gun, since the .32 cartridge doesn’t require a locked breech mechanism. The gun has a barrel casing which contains the gasses from the burnt propellant. This casing is blown forward by the force of the gas, and in its forward-most position the gas pressure is bled off. By this time the bullet has left the barrel, and as the casing moves back toward the rear it activates the rotating bolt which unlocks the action, ejects the spent shell, cocks the hammer, and chambers a new round. When the last bullet in the magazine has been fired, the magazine drops out of the gun. When a new magazine is inserted, the bolt closes automatically and chambers the first round. I can’t imagine that this gun could ever have been made to work reliably, as its mechanism was too complicated"
Find out more at http://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/GHP/ghp.html
Reiger Manual Repeating Pistol M1889 with brass frame.
Cal. 8mm. Finger loop trigger and firing function are very similar to the Schulhof pistols. A finger loop under the receiver was used to close the bolt. Having travelled to its final position, pressure on the trigger releases the firing pin to fire the cartridge. To access the cylindrical rotary magazine compartment, it was only necessary to move the right-side cover toward the rear. The cylindrical skeleton frame 6 cartridge clip (present) was simply dropped into the recess to load the pistol. The safety is mounted on the frame behind the bolt. Pushing the safety to the left blocks the bolt, preventing finger loop movement and bolt retraction. If already cocked, the safety will enter a notch in the protruding firing pin to block its movement. Moving the safety to the right allows unencumbered operation.
Very rare Model 1895 Krnka Prototype/Test pistol 8mm as developed by Karel Krnka.
There were only a handful of these early pistol produced at best with almost no examples surviving in the world today. Krnka was credited with several innovative patents during his life time. This pistol has a very unique mechanism that has a locked breech with “rotating/turn bolt” mechanism. It is also fitted with an early hold-open device based on the use of the magazine follower, with a side mounted bolt release, operating in the same manner as many of the current day semi-automatic rifle and pistols. It has an internal magazine like the M1907 Roth pistols and is loaded via a magazine stripper through the top of the action. It is cocked/loaded by pushing the barrel reward, inserting a loaded stripper, pushing the rounds into the internal magazine and withdrawing the stripper, allowing the bolt to go forward and ready to fire. One of the most interesting and unique features of this pistol is that it actually can fire in a double action manner and has a rebounding hammer. This rebounding mechanism works when you fire the pistol and the trigger is released the hammer automatically rebounds to the half-cock position.
Krnka later went on to design the pistol that would become the Roth-Steyr M1907.
Schulhof repeating pistol with rotary magazine, M1887
This particular version, a later example, has a 5.25” bbl with drift adjustable front and rear sights.Loading is through a rotary magazine whose cover is secured by a banded spring that locks into left receiver. A finger loop under the receiver was used to close the bolt. Having travelled to its final position, pressure on the trigger releases the firing pin to fire the cartridge. On the left side of the frame, beside the finger loop, is a fire blued safety. Moving the safety up blocks the trigger. Downward movement frees the gun to fire. With only minor pressure, the finger loop disengages and moves forward, ready for the next loading.
Here’s a very odd one. A prototype automatic (maybe .45 acp) single action / double action pistol that looks quite a bit like a revolver (or sci-fi movie gun).
In other places on the internet this is listed as actually being a semi-auto revolver but I don’t think it is: I’m pretty sure the “cylinder” is actually just a rotary magazine (it doesn’t even line up exactly with the barrel), making this a more or less conventionally fed semi auto pistol, with respect to the magazine-chamber relationship. Of course that leaves the particulars of the action and a lot of other things up in the air, certainly something very interesting is going on here.
Apparently “THIS one is pictured in a 1930’s catalog WORLD’S GUNS, an advertisement catalog by Golden State, page 192.” and perhaps the catalog entry includes a bit more information.
Please contact me if you have any other information about this design!
Extremely rare Alexandre Fagnus 12mm pinfire revolving carbine with removable wire stock.
The Fagnus design is perhaps most notable for the fact that the cylinder is attached to a small bead chain. This chain keeps the easily removed cylinder handy.
Guess what? I’m bringing back the blog on an occasional basis, but now it’s “Strange Guns” - all about weird, wacky designs and firearms of unique historical significance. I went back through and cleaned up/added to some old info and will be posting new material as I discover it!