Category Archive 'Guns'
15 Apr 2019

If You Happen to Have All the Tea in China…

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How on earth did it survive in that condition all these years?

11 Apr 2019

Gun That Killed Van Gogh? Maybe, Maybe Not, Too

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The 7mm Belgian pinfire revolver that might have shot van Gogh.

Hyperallergic reports on an intriguing opportunity to buy a junk gun that just

    might

have an important historical connection. On the other hand, some drunken clochard might simply have lost it sleeping in the field.

Any shmoe with a spare $25-$100 million dollars can land themselves an original Vincent Van Gogh painting, but this June, only one lucky bidder can go home with a singular piece of art history: the gun that was allegedly used by the eccentric painter to kill himself. As reported by the Associated Press, a 7mm pocket revolver found in a field in the northern French village of Auvers-sur-Oise — where Van Gogh is believed to have shot himself in the chest on July 27, 1890 — will go up for auction in Paris at the Drouot auction center, on June 19.

“The gun offered in this sale was found in this field by a farmer around 1960 and was handed to the current owner’s mother,” said the auction website. “Writer Alain Rohan investigated this case and wrote the book Did we find the suicide weapon? in 2012. Several pieces of evidence show it must be Van Gogh’s suicide gun: it was discovered where Van Gogh shot it; its caliber (7 mm) is the same as the bullet retrieved from the artist’s body as described by the doctor at the time; scientific studies demonstrate that the gun had stayed in the ground since the 1890s and finally, it is a low power gun so it could explain why Van Gogh didn’t instantly die after shooting it.”

The painter died two days later of his apparently self-inflicted injuries — although another recent theory is that Van Gogh did not inflict this wound himself.

“Another theory about Van Gogh’s death appeared in 2011,” says the Drouot website, referencing a controversial biography, Van Gogh: The Life, by authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, which makes several dramatic revisionist claims, based on 10 years of study with more than 20 translators and researchers. “According to [two] American researchers, the artist didn’t kill himself. He would have been the victim of an accident. [Two] young boys were playing with a gun next to him when one of them pressed the trigger by mistake and wounded him. However, even if this assumption is right, the weapon could still be the one that killed Van Gogh. The gun would have been left in the field.”

Either way, the gun was included in a 2016 exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, On the Verge of Insanity: Van Gogh and his Illness, which deals with multiple aspects of the painter’s notoriously troubled mental health, and is expected to fetch €40,000–60,000 (~$45,000–67,000) at auction. It certainly represents a unique offering for obsessive Van Gogh fans, gun collectors, and historical true crime enthusiasts.

30 Mar 2019

Most Expensive Firearm Auction Sale Price of All-Time?

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16 Mar 2019

Napoleon’s Pocket Pistol

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Napoleon’s three-barreled pocket pistol, with trophy references to the Battle of Marengo, 14 June 1800, by the renowned London gun-maker Durs Egg.

15 Mar 2019

That Sword of Gabriel’s Wouldn’t Have Done Him a Lot of Good, If Adam & Eve Were Packing Iron

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Michelangelo, Expulsion from Eden, Sistine Chapel, 1508-1512.

The Onion:

Religious Conservatives Argue Adam And Eve Would Never Have Been Banished From Eden If They’d Had Guns

HOUSTON—In what they described as scriptural evidence of the right to bear arms, leading figures among the religious right gathered Wednesday to issue a statement arguing that Adam and Eve would never have been banished from the Garden of Eden if they had owned guns. “Just imagine: If Adam and Eve had carried firearms and stood their ground against God, they would have been able to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge in peace, and He could never have forced them to leave paradise,” said Pastor Hugh Peters of Houston’s Second Baptist Church, explaining how the entire course of human history would have been altered for the better if the first man and woman had taken the simple precaution of keeping a semiautomatic weapon at the ready for use during emergencies. “God was trespassing on their property, pure and simple. He had absolutely no right to force them from their home. Had Eve been able to open-carry a handgun, maybe tying it to her hip with a vine or something, God would have known to back off. This is one of the Bible’s most important lessons.”

God didn’t make men equal, after all. That was Samuel Colt.

HT: Stephen Frankel.

23 Feb 2019

Is This a Great Country or What?

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A Crescent Shotgun, manufactured 100+ years ago by the Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich, Connecticut. H.D. Folsom Arms, 314 Broadway, New York, N.Y. owned Crescent from 1893 to 1930, when they sold Crescent to Savage.

Any gun nut has undoubtedly seen some rusty, dusty old Crescent shotguns being sold as wall-hangers in Antique shops.

I was looking at the Double Gun Discussion Boards this morning and came upon the following (edited and abbreviated) thread:

Alan writes:

    A few years back #1 son was given an old shotgun that had been laying on the floor of a barn. The stock was completely rotten. He stuck it in his own shed and gave it to me a year or so ago. I finally got around to nickeling the rust off of it, squared off the barrels that had been hacked back to 27″ and I’m working on getting a new stock. The fore end is still in good shape. All internals except the left trigger are in good shape. I need to find a trigger guard and a left side hammer.
    Oh, and yes, I know I am going to have the most expensive tomato stake on the block.

————————–

Keith replies:

    Alan, if you had asked before you started, my advice would have been to not waste any time on a Crescent… unless you just wanted to practice some gunsmithing techniques before working on something more valuable. They made a ton of Crescents and Crescent Gun Co. variants, and when you see them at gun shows, most have shown they did not stand the test of time very well. Even complete guns that are still in decent condition don’t sell for very much because they have no collector value.
    But since you are into it, and it beats just watching TV, you could start by doing searches on Ebay every few days. It’s only a matter of time before another one gets parted out and listed there. Unfortunately, there are a few purveyors of cheap worn out gun parts on Ebay lately that are selling a lot of junk with crazy-high starting bid prices. You have to sort through all that to find someone who isn’t smoking crack when they list their junk. I also see a LOT of Crescent parts in boxes of gun parts at gun shows. Most aren’t labeled, so you need to know exactly what you’re looking for.

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Alan replies:

    I know it’s not going to be a collectors item and is certainly not worth the effort monetarily, but, as you pointed out, it is good practice and one of these days …..

    and if not, it’ll be like that old fellow down the street who was cutting down a tree. He was having a devil of a time and I stopped and offered to help him, he declined. I insisted, … he stopped and looked me dead in the eye and said, “Alan, I’ve got the rest of my life to cut this tree down…”

    I also like working on things that I really can’t screw up. This Crescent fits nicely into that category.

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And along comes RWTF:

    Send me a picture or tracing of the right hand hammer, and include all pertinent dims. I may have a LH hammer in my “cigar boxed inventory” that might work– I have two trigger guard bows at present, both from field grade L.C. Smiths- pre-1913 with the two set screw holes– if that might give you something to work with. I have never worked on a Crescent shotgun, so this is just a “shot in the dark” but if I can assist with this restoration project, OK.

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And then, along comes Mark:

    Alan, I have a box of Cresent parts. I am just back from a road trip. Give me a few days to get back in the swing. I don’t think I have any stocks but I may have a forend wood. If you don’t hear from me feel free to rattle my cage.

Think about it. All you have to do is find the right place on the Internet to ask, and you can actually reach people who have parts for (nobody-collects, essentially-valueless) Crescent Shotguns in cigar-boxes in their garage.

And some people think that all you have to do is pass a law and you could ban guns in this country!

23 Dec 2018

The Firearms Expertise of the Creative Class

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04 Dec 2018

New Pistols for the Old Guard

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Task and Purpose:

The Sentinels of the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier hold among the most revered posts in the U.S. armed forces, so it makes sense that they should have a sidearm to match.

Sig Sauer will present a cache of four specially-designed 9mm M17 pistols to Tomb Guard Platoon of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), the company announced on Oct. 3.

Created to the same specs as the M17’s adopted as part of the Army’s Modular Handgun System and fielded to soldiers earlier this year, the ceremonial M17 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Pistols are distinguished by a stainless steel slide and a custom wood and aluminum grip.

More importantly, each of the four pistols will have a unique name: Silence, Respect, Dignity, or Perseverance.

The names are tributes to the special mission of the Old Guard.

28 Oct 2018

Personal Effects of Texas Ranger George Washington Arrington

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m

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His revolver is a 3rd Model Merwin & Hurlbert Double Action .44, made between 1883 and 1887, with Ivory grips.

16 Oct 2018

14-Year-Old Girl Mocks Metrosexual-Firing-Gun Article

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Gersh Kuntzman, back in 2016, wrote:

What is it like to fire an AR-15? It’s horrifying, menacing and very very loud.

It feels like a bazooka — and sounds like a cannon.

One day after 49 people were killed in the Orlando shooting, I traveled to Philadelphia to better understand the firepower of military-style assault weapons and, hopefully, explain their appeal to gun lovers.

But mostly, I was just terrified. …

I’ve shot pistols before, but never something like an AR-15. Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection).

The recoil bruised my shoulder. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary case of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.

11 Oct 2018

Two Articles on the SIG M17, the New US Primary Military Sidearm

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SIG’s M17 (civilian version: P320).

Firearm Daily:

It has been no secret the United States Army has been reviewing new weapon designs to maintain their efficiency and superiority in battle. The common prediction is sometime in the near future the troops may be switching to a 6.X millimeter rifle, but have recently accepted a new pistol, the Sig Sauer M17 (P320 in its civilian version) as a standard issue replacement for the Beretta, Glock, and a few other accepted brands of handgun.

The P320 is an exciting new fully ambidextrous weapon with a modular system which is easily able to change grip size to individual preference, caliber between most modern popular rounds, and barrel length for ease of use and overall accuracy.

The M17 received U.S. Army approval and passed military testing procedures to be included as a spec sidearm for troops armed with a pistol, and was recently followed by similar announcements from the Air Force, Navy, and Marines. The first round of Sig Sauers was issued to the 101st Airborne Division in November of 2017, and there are plans to purchase 421,000 more of the weapon between all four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. The ultimate plan is for there to be a single handgun all military forces use so training and practice can be consistent for every soldier.

RTWT

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Guns America:

The M17 has a great trigger and good sights; I can’t tell a difference in performance or feel between the M-17 and the P320-M17. The contract specification for the M-17 was shooting a ten round four-inch group at 35 yards with crappy ball ammo which it will do all day. The civilian versions of the M-17 are just as accurate and fun to shoot. I have used a variety of heavy and light bullets in full metal jacket and hollow points. The 320-M17 fed them all.

The feel and the grip angle are like the rest of the P-320 family. The manual safety is ambidextrous and placed so that the thumb rides on it naturally when you assume a firing grip. The ambidextrous slide lock sits right in front of the safety. It takes a little getting used to, but it is ergonomic and easy to use.

There is some debate about external safeties. The MHS requirements specified a safety and the M-17 delivered. The M-1911 had a well-placed safety, the M-17 is better, inspired by competition modified civilian 1911s. There are a lot of things soldiers do, like individual movement techniques (Google it), which are fundamentally different than police or civilian applications. Military guns get banged and dropped and abused. Some soldiers jump out of airplanes wearing them. With training, a manual safety is no slower and provides an extra layer of protection. Nobody wants to get shot doing a PLF (Parachute Landing Fall).

The P320-M17 comes apart like any other SIG P-320. The original specifications for the XM-17 required a special tool to remove the takedown lever. This requirement was changed and now both the Army M-17s and the civilian variants have the same removable takedown lever as the P-320. The military M-17 and the Commemorative require a special tool to disassemble the slide. The trigger modules have the serial number and are completely removable.

RTWT

17 Jul 2018

Buffalo Bill’s Army Colt & Winchester ’73

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New Frontier Auction, July 21, 2018, 3:00 PM MST, Loveland, CO,

Lot 249: Buffalo Bill Cody’s Colt 1860 Army
Estimate: $50,000 – $80,000

This Colt revolver comes with approximately 15 pages of documentation and provenance, and additional research done by noted expert R.L. Wilson. Lineage on this revolver attributes only four previous owners. Mr. Wilson wrote a definitive book on Buffalo Bill memorabilia of which this was an item of focus. The revolver is a standard Model 1860 Colt Army, shipped in 1868, with factory nickel finish. All legends are sharp. The rebated roll-engraved Naval cylinder scene is nearly 100%. Frame and barrel markings are sharp. It retains its original nipples. This is a full plated example, which includes hammer and trigger, and retains 80%-85% of its original bright nickel finish. All matching numbers, even including the wedge. The ivory grips show wonderful aged color, and are well-fitting. The backstrap is professionally engraved “TO W.F.C. THE SCOUT”. Wilson reiterates the propensity to nickel and ivory handguns by Buffalo Bill. He points out several nickel and ivory Colt 1860 Army models in the same Civil War Ledger book No. 3 with the same proximity of serial numbers. Mr. Wilson’s documented ownership lists collector James Aplan as purchasing this revolver in 1994 from Mr. David Molleck along with a Buffalo Bill trunk that came from Mr. S.R. Randolph, who owned a bar/ museum on Lookout Mountain, Colorado near the gravesite of Buffalo Bill. According to Randolph, these items were obtained from Johnny Baker, the adopted son of Buffalo Bill. The information comes with an old copy of photograph of S.R.Randolph at Lookout Mountain with trunk, letter from James Aplan, documented history, and a 1993 letter from S.R. Randolph stating he obtained said revolver from Johnny Baker, and is listed by serial number. Included also is an early photograph of Buffalo Bill in his scout attire with cohorts, showing nickel and ivory Colt Army in his belt. While numerous pictures exist of Buffalo Bill sporting a nickel Colt and its presentation to Cody, along with the wonderful all original condition and special order finish and ivory grips of the revolver, makes this a very historical and extremely early weapon belonging to the iconic William F. Cody.

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Along with, Lot 250: W.F. Cody’s Presentation 1873 Winchester in .38 Winchester
Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000

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He could be holding the same rifle.

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