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Can you spot the difference between these two Lugers?

One of these things is not like the other:

On the left, you have a DWM-made M1900 Luger in 7.65 with a skinny barrel, dished toggle knob, and push-grip safety, among other features. On the right is a gun that was made just 15 years later, am Erfurt-produced P08 in 9x19mm Parabellum with a thicker barrel, serrated toggle, and no grip safety.

Fundamentally, the one of the left is a commercial model, based on the original Luger adopted by the Swiss Army in 1899, and made for export, while the pistole on the right was the German Army standard for the Great War.

Further, the M1900 is an American Eagle, a breed of guns that proved unusually popular on the U.S. consumer market with Western lawmen and cowboys in the 1900s and 1920s.

More on the American Eagle Luger in my column at


Today the term “BBQ Gun” floats around for those who utilize a nice or customized handgun for some sort of open carry, be they a small-town sheriff ala Longmire style or just someone who likes to exercise their 2A rights with a little flair.

The Nighthawk Custom Hi-Power is a good example of a BBQ gun…functional by all means, but something you would want to show off a bit if you carry it

In the old days, this was simply just done with swords.

Smallsword, plaques by Wedgwood (British, founded 1759), about 1790. steel, faceted, burnished, blued and gilded, iron, and stoneware (Jasperware). The John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection, Worcester Art Museum 2014.49.

As noted about the above beautiful blade by the WAM:

Stylish men wore swords as part of their daily wear from the 1500s until the 1700s. This superb smallsword was made shortly before civilian swords went permanently out of fashion. Its light, edgeless blade is designed for civilian dueling, but the real purpose of this weapon was to impress rather than kill. The cut-steel beadwork on the hilt imitates the look of diamonds, and the jasperware Wedgwood plaques feature neoclassical designs inspired by Roman and Etruscan archeological finds.

The curious Danish Rolling Block

Over the course of the past 150 years or so, Denmark and the U.S. have traded each other’s rifle designs back and forth. Today, the Danish military uses the Canadian-made C7/C8 system, which is fundamentally an M4/M4A1, while the elite Slædepatruljen dog sled patrol still carries Great War-era M1917 “American Enfields” in .30-06 as they walk their icy beat in Greenland.


Going back to the 1950s through the 1960s, the Danish military used the M1 Garand, or Garandgevær M/50 in local parlance, keeping them in reserve through the end of the Cold War.

Prior to that, the Danes used a standard Scandanavian bolt-action rifle, the Krag-Jorgensen, a design that was a staple in America on the front lines of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection, then kept around as a second-line and training rifle as late as WWII.

This U.S. Volunteer, photographed in Tampa in 1898, preparing to ship out for points south in the War with Spain, is carrying the distinctive Krag

Danish troops with their side-loading Krags, a rifle they carried for nearly 60 years

All this sharing can be traced back to 1867, when the Royal Danish Army, looking to re-equip after their war with upstart Germany three years prior, bought one of the most modern breechloaders in the world– the Remington Rolling Block.

Notably, Denmark adopted the rifle before the U.S. Army (who adopted it as the Model 1870).

More in my column at

Cutaway General Officer’s Model

U.S. Armament Corp— who has been making superb licensed “reissue” Colt 1903 Hammerless Pocket Pistol (Model M) .32ACPs in the guise of the classic RIA General Officer‘s variant– just posted these images of a cutaway specimen.

It is nice to see makers still cranking out these classic guns “for the love of the game” so to speak.

Keeping Maggie in shape

A simple step that is often missed in the act of care and maintaining semi-automatic firearms, such as the AR-15, is to spend a minute keeping the magazines up to snuff. With that in mind, I put together a quick and dirty guide to cleaning both the most common polymer (Magpul PMAG) and aluminum (STANAG) mags along with some tips and tricks.

More in my column at

Repairman Jack’s Gatt

Originally billed as a “vest pocket .45” built for maximum concealment in mind, the 4+1 Semmerling LM-4 pistol was only 5.2-inches long, 3.7-inches high, and a svelte 1-inch wide. For reference, this puts it in the same neighborhood as common .32ACP and .25ACP pocket pistols, but in a much larger caliber. Today it still holds the title as perhaps the smallest .45ACP that isn’t a derringer and, for comparison, it is about the same size as a Ruger LCP.

It is also the only manually-worked slide action .45ACP carry gun I can think of…

And I have been fooling around with serial number #31 lately

More in my column at 

The Gun Writing World is Diminished

Jeff Quinn– the gun writer not the current and much younger Notre Dame coach of the same name– has reportedly passed. Every year, I enjoyed bumping into Jeff at SHOT Show and NRA Show. He was most certainly a character and his Gunblast site was unique in the firearms industry.

Jeff, with his brothers Boge and Gregg behind the camera, teamed up in January 2000 to become one of the very first in the online firearms review game back when a 56K dial-up connection was still considered fast in many parts of the country. Keep in mind, they predated Vimeo and YouTube which were founded a half-decade later!

The full-time firearms writer game only has about 100 active players. After all, when compared to other enterprises it is a smallish industry, despite what the left screams. Losing Mr. Quinn feels like we are diminished by far more than just one voice.

So long, Jeff.

Guttersnipe sights are so 2020…

Announced last week, the new P938 SIG Anti-Snag model dehorns the squared edges from the pistol for what the New Hampshire-based company bills as a seamless draw. This process includes ditching the standard sight posts for a flush-mounted FT Bullseye fiber-tritium night sight mounted directly into the slide.

The new Sig Sauer P938 SAS

Of course, the FT Bullseye is similar to the old guttersnipe sights of the 1970s ASP..but who I am to point that out, right?

Anyway, more on the Sig Sauer P938 SAS in my column at

Colt’s most underappreciated serpent

When it comes to 20th Century Colt revolvers, collectors have gone hot and heavy on magnum “snake guns” like the Python, Anaconda, and King Cobra, while the aesthetically-similar Diamondback often gets overlooked, making it more of a sleeper. Worse, it falls further through the cracks to a degree as it doesn’t have the noir appeal of Sam Spade-era guns like the Police Positive and Detective.

With that being said, the Diamondback was in production across three decades in both .22 and .38 format, and in 2.5-, 4-, and 6-inch barrel formats, making them capable of scratching a lot of itches.

And they looked great…

More in my column at 

The briefly rebooted Walther Taschen Pistole

Walther, originally located in Zella-Mehlis, Germany, was founded in 1886– back when Kaiser Willy was on the throne. After spending the first quarter-century of their existence crafting highly accurate schuetzen competition rifles, Fritz Walther returned to the company from an apprenticeship at DWM, home of the Luger pistol, and, seeing the industry was rapidly moving to produce then-novel semi-auto pistols, urged the older Walther to move in that direction as well.

This led to a flurry of new patents for small, blowback-action semi-autos handguns with fixed barrels and the steady production of little popguns from the Walther Model 1 in 1908 through the Model 9 in 1940. Thus:

Fast forward to the 1960s and Walther, after losing their Zella-Mehlis factory to the Soviets– who transported it to the East to make Walther PPs, err Makarov PMs– set up a new plant in West Germany. Their first German-made product after the move (as the PP/PPK and P-38 were being cranked out in France) was a throwback to Fritz’s little pocket pistols, or taschen pistole.

The Walther TP:

Only produced for about a decade, the Walther TP was “retro” even when it was introduced in the 1960s.

More in my column at 

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