The Kansas Raygun
This interesting handgun, which looks like something right out of 1930s Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon, is likely a one of a kind pistol from a Renaissance man in Kansas.
Rock Island had it up for auction this week (estimated price $100-$200) and I seriously thought about bidding on it for the aesthetic value if nothing else. Crafted by Mr. P. P. Belt of Fredonia, Kansas, it is a .22LR semi-auto that accepts Colt Woodsman magazines– why reinvent the wheel on the latter, right? The barrel is 5.5-inches long and I imagine the blowback rimfire action is contained in the rear of the receiver. The cocking handle is on the right-hand side. The piece has wood grips, a large bladed front sight, and rear notch.
Belt seemed like an interesting fellow. The Biographical Record of Jasper County, Missouri describes him as a jeweler and machinist in Fredonia (current pop just over 2,000.) He is listed on the Worldwide Registry of Auto manufacturers as having made his own car around 1904-1907. Popular Aviation in 1930 covered him because he made his own airplane with a Model T engine. His shop, powered by propane for “pennies a day” was considered interesting enough of its own account to earn separate mention at least twice in machinist and blacksmithing journals.
Mr. Belt, thanks for a really interesting pistol design.
Update: I blogged about it over at Guns.com last week the day before the auction, and after “very active” bid activity, it went for $670, which is uncharacteristically high for a homemade .22LR from an unknown maker. Hopefully, the lucky bidder appreciated the curiosity and will heirloom it for future generations.