Strange Guns

By Annika R.

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The 1905 and 1907 White-Merrill pistols.

According to Pistols of the World (Hogg & Walter), the earlier .45acp 1905 pistol design was a delayed blowback weapon wherein the delay was achieved by the “differential leverage” and resulting resistance of the specially placed hammer itself. Apparently this design proved unsatisfactory.

The later 1907 model, designed with a view to the military trials being conducted at that time, was not, as is often reported, a blowback design. Rather, it shared a remarkable similarity to the Browning system with three barrel ribs locking into the front of the slide. The most visually obvious feature of the 1907 pistol is of course the somewhat “batwing” shaped cocking lever under the trigger guard, useful for racking the slide with one hand. The 10 round magazine could be loaded either through the top via stripper clip or pulled out the bottom of the grip. While the photos we have available do not show this feature it is reported that the military trial pistol had a left side translucent grip panel for counting remaining rounds. The usual bugs associated with prototype specimens led to the disqualification of the pistol after having fired 211 rounds.

Filed under Guns gun pistol firearm vintage Antique .45acp military history

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The strangely proportioned and mechanically unusual Berger repeating pistol

Cal. 7.65mm. The Berger repeating pistol, made in France, has a unique mechanism that involves a double set of hammers. A large, fixed front sight, made of copper, sits on the barrel over a tubular magazine that loads from the left side. Pulling the trigger actuates the cartridge elevator while cocking both hammers. The forward hammer/breechblock, that carries the firing pin, falls first. The rearmost hammer immediately follows, striking the now-protruding firing pin. Relaxing the finger loop allows the trigger to spring back into position.

Filed under firearm Guns gun pistol Repeater vintage Antique Steam Punk steampunk

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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

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

Filed under Guns gun firearm rifle Carbine bullpup

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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.

The lower image depicts an interesting prototype alternative arrangement. Loading on this model is through a forward frame extension box magazine that is brazed in place and has a curved vertical slot in the right side to accommodate the feed lever and cartridge follower. The cartridges are loaded from a stripper clip (not present) inserted from beneath the magazine box and are tensioned by the leaf spring driven feed lever, which is pivoted internally from above the loading lever.

Filed under pistol firearm Guns gun Antique vintage Repeater steampunk Steam Punk

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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

Filed under Guns gun pistol firearm Antique vintage blow-forward

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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.

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.

Filed under Guns gun pistol Repeater vintage Antique steampunk Steam Punk brass

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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.

Filed under firearm Guns gun pistol vintage Antique automatic pistol

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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.

Filed under firearm Guns gun pistol vintage Antique Repeater steampunk Steam Punk

173 notes

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!

Filed under prototype pistol revolver sci-fi Guns vintage gun Steam Punk steampunk