A Japanese matchlock musket with silver and gold inlaid dragon on the barrel. Asano Clan markings, 17th century.
The German C-96 “Red 9” Broomhandle Pistol,
During World War I, the famous Luger pistol was the most popular side arm of the German Army. However production of the Luger was slow due to its complicated and precise engineering. To make up for the shortage the German Army contracted Mauser Works to manufacture a version of the C-96 chambered in 9mm Luger as an alternative. The new pistol produced was identical to the original C-96, the only difference being the change in caliber. To ensure that it was not accidentally loaded with the wrong ammunition, a large red painted 9 was carved into the handle, hence its nickname. Like other broomhandle pistols they were often issued with a detachable wooden buttstock which also served as a holster. 150,000 “Red 9” broomhandles were produced, of which approximately 137,000 were delivered to the German Army.
A marriet style 18 shot percussion pepperbox revolver crafted by Auguste Francotte of Liege, Belgium. Early to mid 19th century.
A set of French double barrel flintlock fowling pieces crafted by Blanchard, Arqubusier a Paris, late 18th or early 19th century.
Rare Venditti lever action pistol. Originates From Italy, circa 1870’s. One of only 100 produced.
Estimated Value: $4,500 - $7,000
The Lee Burton Magazine Rifle,
Patented in 1898 the Lee Burton was another one of those unique designs created by Bethel Burton, an American living in England noted for developing very strange, unorthodox designs such as the 1886 Patent Bethel Burton rifle. The Lee Burton was a more traditional design. A standard bolt action rifle, it used a spring loaded column fed magazine based on the designs of James Paris Lee. Unlike many other bolt action rifles, however, the magazine was mounted on the right side of the receiver rather than underneath action. The magazine had a spring loaded slot into which cartridges were loaded as well as a fitted slot to accommodate stripper clips. Altogether the magazine could hold five rounds of .303 British cartridges, then the standard caliber of the British Army. A cutoff lever was also incorporating which when activated made the rifle a single shot, a common feature at the time as military planners believed soldiers with repeating rifles would waste ammunition. Sights consisted of a V notch sight which could be elevated for range and windage. Finally, the Burton design sported a fold out bayonet.
The new Bethel design rifle was submitted for British trials, but rejected in favor of the Lee Enfield design by James Paris Lee himself. Only five Lee Burton Magazine rifle prototypes were produced, two of which are located at the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, one in the Tower of London, one at the Royal Dutch Army Museum, and one in a private collection.
Rare prototype Austo-Hungarian Krnka semi automatic pistol, serial number 7, late 19th century.
Estimated Value: $8,500 - $13,000
Bone decorated wheellock pistol originating from Nuremburg, Germany, early 17th century.
Sold at Auction: £14,375 (US$ 23,334)
Four barrel tap action flintlock pistol signed “Twig of London”, 18th century.
The pistol fired two barrels at a time, with a small lever being turned to switch off between each set of barrels. The flash pan would have needed to be primed in between shots.
The Kynock double trigger revolver,
In the second half of the 19th century William Trantor was one of the major pistol manufacturers of England. Throughout his career Trantor designed and produced a number of single action and double action designs, at first cap and ball muzzleloaders but later revolvers using self contained metallic cartridges. Trantor retired in 1885, but that same year rented his factory to one of his employees, a man named George Kynoch.
One of Trantors most unique designs was a double action revolver with two triggers, one was a double action trigger which rotated the cylinder, cocked the hammer, and discharged the round with one trigger pull. The second trigger would spin the cylinder and cock the hammer, but not fire the revolver. This made the revolver into a single action, with a lighter trigger pull which increased accuracy.
After Trantor’s retirement, Kynoch created his own design which improved upon the Trantor revolver. First he modified the design into a break open action rather than a solid from. When opened an ejector would eject empty cartridges from the cylinders. Then he modified the revolver into a hammerless design, with the hammer being enclosed within the inner workings of the pistol. A later model further improved the design by placing both triggers within the trigger guard, thus improving safety.
Unfortunately, like Trantor’s double trigger design, the Kynoch design was also a commercial failure. The strange revolver was often difficult and uncomfortable to use, and accidents occurred when people confused the two triggers. In addition the Kynoch was introduced at a time when the firearms market was flooded with super cheap break open designs. Kynoch went out of business in 1890.