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  #11  
Old 02-12-2012, 09:10 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Couple of new additions this month:

First was a Star Model A in 9mm Largo, made in 1938 during the Spanish Civil War. This one is really rare because in spring 1937, when Franco's Nationalists captured the Eibar area, the Echeverria (Star) factory was destroyed in the fighting. Production was relocated into a temporary shelter in Derio, where only 125 were made in 1938. Because of this, it doesn't have any of the usual Spanish proof marks, just an assembly number on the frame and slide.



Then, came a 1914 Commercial production Colt 1911, which is in the serial number range for the 5000 guns purchased by Canada to arm the 1st contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force to go to Europe for WW1. Canada switched to the S&W Hand Ejector revolver in .455 in 1915 because of difficulties obtaining .45 ACP ammo in Europe. That said the 1st Division of the CEF never turned in their Colts for S&Ws, keeping them until 1918 some even taking them to Siberia during our intervention there in 1919.

They weren't actually marked as Canadian property due to the rush of their procurement, but the serial number range for Canadian contract guns is either C3000 to C13000 or C5400 to C16000, depending on which source you go with. This one is right in the middle of both in the C9500 range. Either way, by numbers your gun has a 50% chance of actually being Canadian purchased, give or take a statistically fairly small number of non-Canadian ones which would have been ordered in configurations other than blued with walnut grips. The fact that it's located in Canada was enough to tilt the odds on it for me, I'll be getting a factory letter to confirm it.

Either way, there's nothing like the quality of a pre-WW1 Colt auto, those are actually my fence boards reflected in the bluing on the third picture. One interesting feature is it has the round topped rear sight Colt stopped making in about 1915 / 1916 as opposed to the familiar square topped version. You can see why they replaced it, it's not exactly fast to aquire.



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  #12  
Old 02-12-2012, 10:14 PM
SPEMack618 SPEMack618 is offline
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Great stuff there Nyles.

If I was in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, I would be most annoyed if someone was to replace my Government Model with a S&W Hand Ejector.
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2012, 10:19 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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I would too, except maybe if I'd been unable to get .45 ACP out of British supply chains for awhile. Revolvers were also considered more reliable at the time, particularly in the British Empire. That said, period accounts did show a marked resistance by Canadians to give up their 1911s.

Even in 1916 when the British high command decided that all Webley, S&W and Colt revolvers issued in the British Isles were to be replaced by Spanish-made Garates and Trocaolas so the better guns could go to the front, the Canadian HQ in London flat out refused, stating that their S&Ws were purchased with Canadian government funds and thus outside of British jurisdiction.
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  #14  
Old 02-12-2012, 10:22 PM
SPEMack618 SPEMack618 is offline
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About the only plus I could think to using a revovler over a Government Model would be that I could let the hammer rest on a loaded cylinder and not worry about blowing off my male reproductive organs to do so.

What's your source for 9mm Largo?
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2012, 04:59 AM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Buddy from work who reloads it for his Destroyer carbine. Also gun shows.
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  #16  
Old 02-16-2012, 06:58 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Well, I got 4 really good guns out of a huge estate sale (guy had over 200 good quality and rare old milsurp guns), two of which arrived today, I have to pick the other two up at the post office tonight.

The first was a Bodeo 1889 Officer's Model in 10.4mm, made by Glisenti in Brescia in 1905. This is a very early production model with the external hammer connector. This is in really nice shape inside and out with a surprisingly nice bore - it's missing the axis pin retaining screw, which is a commonly lost part of Bodeos (I think maybe intentionally - it's not necessary to hold it together and the gun strips much easier without it). I'm absolutely amazed at how the trigger guard improves it's handling characteristics compared to my Trooper's Model (purchased years ago) - the angle, location and side of grip and trigger are the same but the Officer's Model points much more naturally. And although the trigger pull on both could best be described as awful, it seems more manageable on the Officer's Model.




Right along with it I bought a Dutch East Indies (KNIL) 1891 revolver in 9.4mm Nagant (or 10mm Soerabaja depending on which source you go with). I was very pleased to find that this one was dated 1924 and part of the 3rd Contract, which was originally made by Vickers subcontracting out to the Birmingham gun trade, and then reworked by FN after the initial quality wasn't up to snuff. The external conditions is better than expected, considering the 30 or so years it spent riding in holsters in tropical conditions, and the bore is very decent. Unforunately it doesn't function reliably in double action - that said, single action works fine and it locks up tight. I'm ok with it anyways - it's a rare gun known for being hard to find in good condition at a very fair price.

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  #17  
Old 06-16-2012, 09:59 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Haven't posted here in awhile, but I've acquired some interesting guns I'll fill in here as time permits.

I'll start with a German Reichsrevolver 1879 in 10.6mm German Ordnance that I picked up from Cabelas in Buda, Tx while on vacation in the US. This was the first issued service pistol of the German Empire after unification, and though it was supplanted by the lighter 1884 model and replaced by the Luger, it was still issued to some NCOs in WW1, particularly in artillery units. The Reichsrevolver is a single-action design (one of very few made in Europe, where the double action was popular long before the US), with an applied safety catch. It's loaded via a gate like the Colt SAA, but to reload you pivot down the lever in front of the cylinder, which releases the axis pin (which doubles as the ejector rod) and cylinder to be emptied. A slow and unnecessarily complex system, but these were very tough, reliable guns which were used for a very long period. This one is in very nice shape, mostly matching, and is unit marked to the ordnance column of the 6th field artillery regiment.

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  #18  
Old 09-19-2012, 08:40 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Well, haven't posted here in awhile! Due to home ownership my gun buying has slowed, but there's still a bunch of stuff I haven't posted here.



Looks like a Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine, but look closer!





It's actually a Garate Tigre, a Spanish copy of the Winchester 92 SRC made for issue to the Guardia Civil and Guardia de Asalto, the Spanish rural and urban police forces, respectively, in the 20s and 30s leading up to the Spanish Civil War. Key differences are the Mauser style sight and sling swivels. These were widely used, espescially by irregular forces, during the Spanish Civil War, in fact the president of the Spanish Republic, Manuel Azaņa, carried one while visiting the front.
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  #19  
Old 09-19-2012, 08:49 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Another old Winchester lever gun, this one being the genuine article. It's an 1895 Saddle Ring Carbine in .30-40 Krag that I got a really good deal on. This one was made in 1915, just before commercial production was suspended while they started making Musket models for the Russian government. The 1895 SRC was actually widely used by irregular forces in the Mexican revolution, although the gentleman I bought this from said he bought it in Alaska in the 60s from someone who had carried it while working on the famous Alaskan highway. A factory letter on this might be in order!



This is a Italian Carcano M91 Fucile made at Terni in 1897. It's in kind of rough shape but I got it for just over $100 so I'll live with it! This was the standard Italian rifle of WW1 and for many years after, this is of course a very early example with a mismatched bolt but otherwise original. It's in 6.5mm Carcano of course and has the standard Carcano 6 round magazine. The only really technically unique thing about these is the gain twist rifling - the rifling twist starts out slow at the breech and gets much faster at the muzzle in order to minimize wear and tear.



This is a Boer Mauser 1896 made by Ludwig Loewe, and carved with the name of the Boer who owned it (very common practice since the Boers didn't have a standing army but a militia in which a soldiers rifle was his private property). I actually have an identical rifle in better shape, but the fellow selling it didn't know what he had and priced it too cheap to pass up!



This is a Siamese Arisaka Type-66, made in Japan for Thailand (at time still called Siam) in the late 20s and the standard issue Thai rifle when they fought the French in Indochina in 1940 and then as Japanese allies from 1942. This isn't the more familiar Siamese Mauser Type-45 but the rifle that replaced it. It's basically an Arisaka Type-28 but in the larger caliber, with different sights and a shorter butt, as well as some small changes in the barrel bands and cleaning rod. There are, oddly enough, no interchangable parts with the Japanese Arisaka. The really neat thing for me is that it's marked entirely in Thai script, whereas even Japanese Arisakas use English numbering.

Last edited by Nyles; 09-19-2012 at 08:57 PM.
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  #20  
Old 09-19-2012, 09:35 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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I got this one quite awhile ago, not sure how I missed posting it. It's a Spanish-army issued Astra 1921 (aka Astra 400 commercially) in 9 x 23mm Largo, one of the only straight blowback pistols ever made chambered in a large, high-pressure cartridge. It accomplishes this with a very heavy slide, and very strong main and hammer springs. Takes a solid grip to cock it! Very big, heavy and well-made pistol, and very unusual construction. I've taken apart alot of different pistols in my life and this is one of few where I had to consult the manual!



These two Mausers came out of the same estate sale.

The top is a Romanian-issued VZ-24 in 8mm Mauser made by CZ in Czechoslovakia. This one is very, very rare in that it was the royal crest of King Carol II, who ruled Romania from 1930-1940. He was deposed by pro-Axis forces who brough Romania into WW2, where they were actually the second-largest Axis army on the Eastern Front. Almost all had the royal crest ground off after WW2 once the Communists took over.



The botton is a Polish WZ-29, also in 8mm Mauser, made by Radom in the 30s. This one had all the markings except the serial number ground off so they could covertly be sold to the Spanish Republicans in 1936 without upsetting Germany, who were supporting the Nationalists.



This was, oddly enough, one of the hardest guns in my collection to find - first one I've found in 10 years of looking! It's a plain-jane Russian Mosin-Nagant M1891, made by Tula in 1896, which was never modified by the Finns, never converted to a 91/30 by the Russians, or simply destroyed in any of the dozen wars Russia was involved in between 1896 and 1945. It received the 1910 upgrades (handguard, curved rear sight) just before WW2, but is otherwise unmessed with, if in somewhat rough shape. It was likely another gun sold to the Spanish Nationalists, which accounts for it making it to Canada in it's original Russian configuration.
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