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  #71  
Old 05-16-2015, 10:55 AM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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Picked this up on a whim at Cabela's yesterday - not an especially valuable or collectible gun, but it's a great example of what used to be a very popular gun and priced very right at $80. It's an old Belgian import side by side, with dual triggers, external hammers and no ejectors. Pretty much your stereotypical working man's farm or duck gun from the late 19th / early 20th century. This one was made between 1893 and WW1 by the proofs, and marked "The Interchangable" with no maker - pretty typical of what you might have ordered out of the Sears or Eatons catalogue around the turn of the last century. It's in great external shape, unmessed with as so few of these are, and actually has a fluid steel barrel so it's safe to shoot with modern ammo. That said its a little loose, so I'm going to be sticking to light target loads, but should make a fun vintage skeet gun. Also fits nicely into my Irish War of Independence collection, as it's pretty typical of the shotguns many IRA local battalions were largely armed with (captured British rifles being reserved largely for the active service Flying Columns).

I like it. Don't forget to wear a tweed jacket when shooting it.
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  #72  
Old 05-17-2015, 07:46 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Thanks! I've already got a tweed cap, I'll try to pick up a jacket next time I'm at the second hand shop!

I picked this up last week - it's a Hi Standard Model B in .22 LR, made in the late 30s. I've wanted a first generation Colt Woodsman for years but this came up at half the price so I jumped on it! It's beautifully made (not quite a prewar Colt but way nicer than anything you'll buy at Cabelas) and actually comes apart easier than a Woodsman, and seems to be just as accurate. My first shot, using fairly cheap Remington Target ammo, took out the center of a playing card at 25 feet, and it generally holds twonie sized groups at that distance if I do my part. Didn't jam at all in the two boxes of ammo I put through it, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for the various 1911-22s and Sig Mosquitos I used to sell! The short grip feels compared to what I'm used to - if I ever come across a Model A or early HD with the long grip I might jump on it, but I'm still really happy with this one!

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  #73  
Old 06-03-2015, 11:29 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Couple of interesting ones today - just received a US Krag M1899 cavalry carbine, in .30-40 of course. Too late to have been in the Spanish-American War, but probably the Phillipine-American War. Has the correct carbine sight and handguard and is very usable condition. Like all Krags, the action is butter smooth, the magazine is bizarre, and the machining is top notch. Not in the best shape, but original Krags are rare enough that I can live with a worn bore! Looks good on the wall next to my M1898 rifle and Winchester 95 SRC!



Haven't received this one yet, but I doubt I'm going to take any better pictures than the auction house so I'll use this. It's an Iver Johnson 2nd Model Safety Automatic Hammerless in .38 S&W with a 5" barrel and nickel finish, but more importantly it has the custom-order knuckleduster grip! Somewhere on the order of 1.5 million Safety Automatics were made, with and without external hammer, but only about 7000 with the knuckleduster. Ivers are really underappreciated revolvers - they were pretty well made (not a Smith but decent), and very technically advanced. They had a transfer bar safety, and the 3rd models used coil instead of flat springs - both of which were pretty big deals when Ruger came out with them in the 60s! And if you look close on this one you'll even see a Glock style trigger safety. Not bad for a budget gun from the 1890s!


Last edited by Nyles; 06-03-2015 at 11:32 PM.
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  #74  
Old 06-06-2015, 03:51 AM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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I like that knuckle duster. Great.
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  #75  
Old 06-09-2015, 09:27 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Thanks! Weirdest coincidence, I was hanging out with a collecting friend on Sunday and found, literally forgotten on a shelf behind some German webbing, an external-hammer IJ with a knuckle duster! Now my friend is a hardcore German collector (just as an example he has an MP44, MP18 and MP41 on the same shelf), doesn't care a whit about American revolvers and just happened to inherit it. Considering they made about 7000 knuckledusters out of about 1.5 million top breaks, what are the odds of us both having them?
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  #76  
Old 06-09-2015, 09:35 PM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
Thanks! Weirdest coincidence, I was hanging out with a collecting friend on Sunday and found, literally forgotten on a shelf behind some German webbing, an external-hammer IJ with a knuckle duster! Now my friend is a hardcore German collector (just as an example he has an MP44, MP18 and MP41 on the same shelf), doesn't care a whit about American revolvers and just happened to inherit it. Considering they made about 7000 knuckledusters out of about 1.5 million top breaks, what are the odds of us both having them?
Very very low.
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  #77  
Old 06-10-2015, 01:20 AM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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This came in the mail today - got a really great deal on it because it was "missing the magazine" (IE he thought the ejection port for the enblock clip was a mag well).



It's a WW1 Italian Vetterli-Vitali-Carcano M1870/87/15 (quite the mouthful!) in 6.5mm Carcano, originally made at Torino in 1880. It started life as a single-shot Vetterli M1870 rifle in 10.4mm, was upgraded to a 4-shot Vetterli-Vitali M1870/1887 sometime before the turn of the last century, and then converted to 6.5mm Carcano with a 6 shot Carcano mag during WW1. The Italians, like pretty much everyone else, had a serious shortage of rifles in WW1, no one having anticipated the scale of losses. Like several other countries, they converted their obsolete black powder cartridge rifles to the modern round for issue to rear-echelon troops - the Italians ending up with what was probably the most combat-worthy and least safe of the lot.

The Vetterli wasn't a super strong rifle when it came out and certainly isn't up to the pressures of a modern smokeless powder cartridge - it's a question of when and not if it fails. The Italians knew that, but also knew they'd last awhile and issued them to troops they didn't expect to see combat. That said they absolutely did, mainly when the Italian front collapsed after Caporetto in 1917. Needless to say I won't be shooting it without doing up some light loads - it's probably got some life left in it but why risk it?

It's quite interesting how they converted these - they bored out the barrel and soldered in a new sleeve in 6.5mm caliber, cut off the bolt face and soldered on a new one, and then took off the old Vitali magazine and attached a Carcano mag assembly with the trigger mechanism cut off, which required making some extra relief cuts in the receiver, as the old 10.4 x 47 round, and it's corresponding mag, was both shorter and fatter than the new 6.5. You can see where they attached wood inserts to fill the stock. Oddly enough they didn't touch the sights, which are still graduated for the old 10.4mm - I guess they didn't figure their rear-echelon troops would be doing a lot of long range shooting!


Barrel sleeve


Inserts in stock (and "missing magazine")


Factory marks

Last edited by Nyles; 06-10-2015 at 01:37 AM.
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  #78  
Old 06-10-2015, 04:08 AM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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Talk about a rifle that looks like it should be in an Opera set in the late 1800's. I always have liked the look of the original model. Especially that funky Vitali magazine.
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  #79  
Old 06-11-2015, 12:57 AM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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They do have a rather baroque look to them, don't they? Sort of like something off the cover to an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. I'd love to get my hands on an unmodified M1870/87 with the old mag, but it would cost more than $160!
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  #80  
Old 06-11-2015, 01:42 AM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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Originally Posted by Nyles View Post
They do have a rather baroque look to them, don't they? Sort of like something off the cover to an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. I'd love to get my hands on an unmodified M1870/87 with the old mag, but it would cost more than $160!
Prices are going up. Just today in my monthly issue of "Gun Digest" there is an article detailing the rise in costs for even Lee-Enfields. Evidently they're going for between 300-400 dollars now. My first one (MkIII*) cost me $80 back in 1999.
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