Tag Archives: Rock Island

A very curious pair of Colt Londons

RIA has a set of matching, though mismatched, Colt London Navys up for grab this week.

While Colt’s Hartford, Connecticut factory made the bulk of the company’s wheelguns in the mid-19th Century, production also occurred in England, to a smaller scale. Colt London made something like 40,000 Model 1851 Navy pattern revolvers in three different series at their armory near Vauxhall Bridge before production halted in the 1870s, with about a quarter of those being sold to the British military.

The difference between the two in wear is noticeable

The above set, produced in 1855, are classic second series guns with 7.5-inch octagon barrels on iron frames with a distinctive large round trigger guard. However, at some point very early in their life, the guns had the cylinders swapped and, as one is well-worn while the other spent comparatively more of its life in storage, the long-ago change apparently stuck.

C’est la vie

A close-up of a British/Irish P14 sniper

Ian with Forgotten Weapons looks at the classic Pattern 14 sniper rifle made for the British Army in WWI in the above.

The rifle, a P14 MK I*W(T) with a semi-adjustable 3x BSA Model 1918 telescopic sight, was an American-made sniper model chambered in .303. Used late in the war and, as McCollum notes, it was one of the most mature designs of the conflict.

These guns proved accurate and reliable enough that they went on to a long life, being used by British and Commonwealth forces in WWII and others.

Among the “others” was a stockpile of 75 guns sent to the Irish Free State by Britain in the 1930s and, after service in that country, were sold as surplus in the U.S. in the 1950s. One of these Irish P14s, a Winchester-produced variant seen in the above video with McCollum, is up for auction this month with Rock Island.

So how many weird Luger variants have you see in one place?

Rock Island Auctions has over 100 Lugers at their upcoming Premier Auction in May including carbines and artillery models and rare pistols meant for Persian, American, Argentine, Mexican, Swiss and Russian markets. They got em in 7.65 blank, 7.65×21mm Parabellum (which almost became U.S. Army issue!), and good ole 9mm parabellum.

DWM Model 1900 7.65mm “Ejercito Mexicano” marked commercial pistol made in hopes of gaining contracts with the Mexican military. Only one other example has ever been documented.

A rare DWM-made Model 1906 9mm para made for the Tsarist Russia contract. One of just 1,000 made, it includes Cyrillic safety markings and crossed Mosin Nagant rifle engravings (Photos: RIA)

For more detail, head on over to my column at Guns.com.