The Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver

A semi-automatic revolver is something I’ve been fascinated by ever since I got a copy of Ian V Hogg’s Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of the World’s Firearms somewhere around 7th or 8th grade. 

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I lugged that book around in my book bag for almost the entire school year and tried to read through it anytime I had a free moment.  This was in the mid-80s so no SWAT teams were called out because a kid had a gun book at school.  Considering the books and magazines I carried and read at school (no porn!) I can only imagine how many suspensions I would have racked up today but I digress…

As usual, Ian at Forgotten Weapons gets to play with the coolest things

 

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The Smith & Wesson Model 25-5

Even though I prefer the 4″ N Frames, my 6″ 25-5 is a joy to spend range time with…

Gunner's Journal

The S&W model 25-5 is one of those revolvers that has gained classic status along with most of the other “N” frame S&W’s made before the lawyer proofing started with those darn framelocks that everyone loves to hate myself included.
A couple of years ago you could buy about any older S&W revolver for very little money but these days people have come to realize that these wonderful revolvers are something special and prices have increased accordingly. Most any S&W “K” frame will sell in the $450 to $500 range with “N” frames at $600 plus depending on how rare they are. I recently saw a nickel 6 inch 41 magnum marked at just under $1000! A word to the wise if you have one keep it!
My journey with the S&W “N” frame started in 1976. At that time the model 29 was the revolver to buy. Barrel length…

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Pritchard-Greener Revolver Bayonet

Trench raiding was a tactic developed by the British, although the French and Germans quickly caught on.  The weapons used during trench raids were famously gruesome with some men using maces, clubs and knives.  However, the most popular weapon was the pistol, closely followed by bombs or grenades.

In late 1916 Captain Arthur Pritchard, who had been serving with the Royal Berkshire Regiment in Flanders since 1915, developed the Pritchard Revolver Bayonet for the British Army’s standard issue pistol the Webley Mk VI.  The idea behind the weapon was that in the close-quarter hand to hand fighting frequently experienced during a trench raid a man equipped with a Webley might not have time to reload. Although the Webley was remarkably quick to reload – especially with speed loaders (pouch next to the officer’s holster image #2), it was thought that in a tight situation a short stabbing blade could be extremely useful.

British Trench Raiding Weapons c.1916 (source)

The Pritchard bayonet was a shortened French Gras rifle bayonet adapted to attach to the pistol’s barrel with the the cross guard behind the foresight with the base sitting against the frame, around the revolver’s cylinder cam, cam lever and joint/hinge pin screw.  The Gras blade was shortened to roughly 8 inches making the weapon’s overall length about 17 inches.

Pritchard initially brought his design before the famous sword and blade makers Wilkinson’s Sword Company however after making a prototype they passed on the idea.  It was the Birmingham gunmakers W.W. Greener which took on Captain Pritchard’s design believing their may be a real market for the weapon both privately and possibly as a wider army contract.

1874 Gras Rifle bayonet (source)

Greener produced two variants of the bayonet, one with a steel hilt and another more commonly seen variant with a brass grip (see above). The bayonet was undoubtedly a fearsome looking weapon which would have certainly had a psychological and possibly practical impact on any German soldier unlucky enough to come face to face with one (see the artist’s impression above, image #2).

The Pritchard-Greener Revolver Bayonet was never widely manufactured and was not a commercial success.  Exactly why is unclear although practically speaking the blade would have made the revolver muzzle heavy.  It is estimated that as few as 200 were actually produced. There is no direct evidence to suggest any ever reached the Western Front or were used.

The demand created by arms and militaria collectors over the last 30 years means that thousands of copies and replica Pritchard Bayonets have been manufactured.

Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
The Webley Service Revolver, R. Maze, (2012)

via historicalfirearms

Do you know anything about this oddball wheelgun?

Ian over at Forgotten Weapons takes a look at an odd European revolver that just screams steampunk.

“With no markings or provenance at all, the origins of this revolver are a mystery. Its features all point to the 1880s or 1890s, and someone clearly spent a lot of time working on it – but we don’t know who. What makes it interesting is the very unusual operating mechanism. It is similar to a ‘zig-zag’ system like the 1878 Mauser or Webley-Fosbery, but with angled splines on the cylinder instead of grooves.”

Source: Do you know anything about this oddball wheelgun?

Russian M1870 Galand Revolver

 

The Galand was an innovative revolver design created by Frenchman Charles Francois Galand and patented in 1868. It is most notable for using a long lever system to eject cartridges by throwing the cylinder and a separate cartridge retention plate forward. It was also one of the early adopters of centerfire ammunition (a .45 caliber cartridge with an unusually thick rim, specifically).

In addition to being licensed for production in England, Belgium, and France, the Galand was adopted in 1870 by the Imperial Russian Navy, and several thousand (including this example) purchased by them. Some were made by the Nagant brothers in Liege, and some by the Tula factory in Russia.