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Online Counter Lock, Stock, and History
Lock, Stock, and History

The 15 and 20 Inch Rodman Columbiads,

During the Civil War columbiads were very large smoothbore guns that were popular for use in sieges and as coastal defense guns.  They were especially common among Union forces since the north had the industrial capacity and resources to produce these large guns.  In 1861 a Union artilleryman and ordnance engineer named Capt. Thomas Jackson Rodman developed a new way to cast iron cannon that was faster, more efficient, and produced guns that were stronger and safer to fire.  The new columbiad Rodman designed had a curving soda bottle shape which reinforced the chamber, the point where the most pressure would occur when firing.

As soon as the Union Army adopted the Rodman gun hundreds began to be produced in northern foundries.  Most were produced at Fort Pitt Foundry in Pittsburgh, although others were casted in foundries at New York and New England as well.  Calibers were 8 inch, 10 inch, and 15 inch.  While the 10 inch was the most common with over 1,000 made, it was the 15 inch that was the most prized, of which 323 were produced.  Manned by a crew of 12, the 15 inch Rodman gun could fire a 400 lb iron ball 5,000 yards (almost 3 miles) using a 40 lb charge of gunpowder. The massive gun itself weighed almost 50,000 lbs. Due to their long range most were used as coastal defense guns to protect ports against Confederate raiders. None of the 15 inch guns were ever fired in anger.  A number 10 inch Rodmans were used to bombard Confederate cities such as Vicksburg, Petersburg, and Richmond.

In 1864 the Fort Pitt Foundry pushed the envelope by producing three 20 inch Rodman guns. The gigantic guns weighed twice as much as the 15 inch, and could fire a 1,000 lb iron ball 8,000 yards (4.5 miles) using a 200 lb charge of gunpowder.  Two were stationed at Fort Hamilton, NY while a third was produced for the warship USS Puritan.

Altogether 1,840 Rodman guns casted during the American Civil War.  Today 140 survive and can be seen at various historic coastal fortifications across the Atlantic coast.

Ivory inlaid brass mounted Turkish musket, late 17th century.

Ivory inlaid brass mounted Turkish musket, late 17th century.


General Bonaparte in Italy 
-Edouard Detaille

General Bonaparte in Italy 

-Edouard Detaille

A British Webley revolver decorated with Navajo silver and turquoise.  Complete with leather rig. Late 19th century.

thegetty:

This elegant, but rather plain chair has a secret. 
Can you see the disguised hinges that reveal a secret compartment?
Desk Chair, about 1735, Attributed to Etienne Meunier. J. Paul Getty Museum.

thegetty:

This elegant, but rather plain chair has a secret. 

Can you see the disguised hinges that reveal a secret compartment?

Desk Chair, about 1735, Attributed to Etienne Meunier. J. Paul Getty Museum.

bantarleton:

Don’t suppose anybody has a small fortune they’d be willing to donate?

The Duke of Wellington’s Dueling Pistols,

Pair of saw-handled flintlock duelling pistols; the lock-plates and barrels are signed: W. JONES, LONDON. They were given to the Duke of Wellington in 1814 or 1815 by the East India Company. A small plaque is engraved with the inscription: ‘Presented to H.G. the Duke of Wellington, R.G.’

Currently on display at the Museum of London.

mintsmintsmints:

eyyo first off, the story about the Sikh Captain is old as balls.

Second, he’s a fucking Captain, and more than likely outranks you.

Third, he’s in accordance with regulations. (AR 600-20, thanks tacblog)

Fourth, you still live by the Warrior Ethos and the Seven Army Values, don’t forget that shit.

Fifth, getting buttmad isn’t going to change anything. 

Welcome to 2014.

In 1896, 21 Sikhs in an outpost along the Pakistani/Afghan border held off an Afghan army of 10,000 long enough for British reinforcements to be mobilized.  Rather than retreat the 21 Sikhs chose to stand their ground and fight to the death in order to buy time for the British Army to mobilize.  When the British arrived they found the bombed out ruins of the outpost with 21 dead Sikhs surrounded with the corpses of 450 Afghans.

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And we don’t want them in our army because they wear turbans?

A massive and ornately decorated Belgian copy of a Gasser Montenegrin revolver.

Features a ten shot cylinder in 11mm centerfire.  Heavily engraved with pearl grips. Signed “Vicente Cerna” on the barrel.  Liege proof marks, dates to 1870’s or 1880’s.

Estimated Value: $4,000 - $8,000

peashooter85:

A 600 year old Chinese coin found by archeologists on the Kenyan Island of Manda. Dated to the Emperor Yongle (2 May 1360 – 12 August 1424) Ming Dynasty.

peashooter85:

A 600 year old Chinese coin found by archeologists on the Kenyan Island of Manda. Dated to the Emperor Yongle (2 May 1360 – 12 August 1424) Ming Dynasty.

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Africa’s Lost City —- The Ruins of Great Zimbabwe,

Built around the 11th century, the Ruins of Great Zimbabwe are located near Lake Mutirikwe in what in now the nation of Zimbabwe.  Spanning over 1,780 acres, Great Zimbabwe was perhaps the largest city south of the Sahara desert.  After conducting studies of the area scholars estimate that at its height Great Zimbabwe would have been home to around 10,000 to 20,000 people.  The city takes the name “Great” Zimbabwe because it largest of 200 other communities (zimbabwes) that made up what was once the Kingdom of Zimbabwe.  Being the largest city it is thought that Great Zimbabwe served as capital of the kingdom and home to its monarchs.

Today what remains of the city is a large stone and brick fortress called the “Great Enclosure which served as a palace, temple complex, and city center.  The structure features two walls, an inner wall and outer wall with balconies to man guards.  Between the two walls stands a large 30 foot high watchtower.  Inside the Great Enclosure were a number of buildings that are theorized to make up either a temple complex or palace.  Beyond the Great Enclosure the area is dotted and crisscrossed with the foundations of walls and buildings, mostly made from stone and brick.  

More amazing than the Great Enclosure and surrounding buildings, a number of archaeological artifacts shed insight into the lives of the people who live at Great Zimbabwe.  A very complex society, the people of Great Zimbabwe had a number of skilled artisans who crafted goods from wood, soapstone, ivory, leather, and pottery. 

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Even more amazing was their complex knowledge of metallurgy.  While they crafted goods out of soft metals such as copper and gold, they also were able to create bronze and were even crafting tools and weapons from iron.

Other archaeological discoveries reveal that Great Zimbabwe was not an isolated city or kingdom in Southern Africa, but was a major center of trade with contacts all over the known world.  Among the most incredible discoveries revealing their commercial influence are coins from Arabia, glassware from Persia, and porcelain from China.  A monumental granite cross, located at a traditionally revered and sacred spiritual site suggests they may have also had contact with Christian missionaries, most likely from Ethiopia.

By the mid 15th century Great Zimbabwe was abandoned as food resources in the surrounding countryside could not sustain the city’s population.  Evidence also suggests that the area suffered from acute deforestation.  Today Great Zimbabwe is a National Monuments and UN World Heritage Site.

Ornate flintlock blunderbuss or Turkish origins, mid 19th century.

Ornate flintlock blunderbuss or Turkish origins, mid 19th century.

The Bechowiec Submachine Gun,

During World War II Poland suffered terribly under German occupation.  As a result the Polish Resistance was one of the largest partisan groups in Europe during the war.  Unfortunately the Polish had difficulties obtaining weapons, as they were too far away from the Western Allies and the Soviet Union to receive regular arms shipments.  As a result the Polish often had to produce their own weapons.  The most common weapon produced was the British Sten as it was simple, required few resources to produce, and were easy to build.  However, the Polish also built a number of ingenius indigenous designs as well.

 When the Germans occupied Poland in 1939, a Polish blacksmith named Henryk Strąpoć from the village of Czerwona Góra decided he would use his skills to help in the war effort,  In 1943 he designed and built a working submachine gun from various things lying around that he thought would be useful.  The submachine gun he designed looked crude compared to mass produced weapons used by professional armies, yet it was reliable, effective, and deadly.

The weapon Strapoc created was incredibly brilliant for a homemade insurgency weapon.  Unlike many homemade SMG’s it could fire both semi-automatic or fully automatic, and also had a safety setting.  Built mostly of stamped metal, the Bechowiec used a blowback operated hammerfired closed bolt.  The bolt itself operated more like a slide on an automatic pistol.  While this design was novel, something that wasn’t repeated until HK developed the MP5 decades later, out of ignorance Strapoc didn’t see anything special about his creation.  He had little knowledge of how submachine guns worked, to him that must have been how it was done. 

Just as incredible as his design was the way they were produced.  The design specs were given to a team of metalworkers at a local metalworks.  At the time the metalworks was occupied by the Germans to produce goods for the German war effort.  Under the Germans noses, the workers produced parts for the Bechowiec SMG, then smuggled them out a piece at a time.  Strapoc took the responsibility of assembling the guns and finishing them, where they were then donated to the local resistance group.  Altogether, between late 1943 and July of 1944 thirteen Bechowiec SMG’s were built.  Another 20 were produced but never assembled as German Army units occupied the area to fight the oncoming Soviets.  The first 9 were produced in 9mm Para, which was commonly used by the Germans.  The last 4 were produced in 7.62 Tokarev, a caliber commonly used by the Soviets.

Today only one Strapoc built Bechowiec SMG is known to exist.  It is currently on display at the Museum of the Polish Army.

Rare three barrel Irish percussion boxlock pistol by  Wm. & Jn. Rigby, Dublin, Circa 1830.

Rare three barrel Irish percussion boxlock pistol by  Wm. & Jn. Rigby, Dublin, Circa 1830.