It’s a “holy grail” item in the revolver collecting fraternity, and it’s pretty much unobtainium for even the most well-heeled collector. It’s the Smith & Wesson “Baby” Aircrewman revolver, and Brownells Gun Techs™ Keith Ford and Steve Ostrem show us one recently offered by Rock Island Auction Co. Smith made the Aircrewman for the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s to serve as a lightweight sidearm for pilots and other crewmembers of combat aircraft. This J-frame is chambered in .38 Special, with the f
Get ready for a History Rush, folks! Brownells Gun Tech™ Keith Ford is at Rock Island Auction Co. to give us a long look at a Colt 1851 Navy revolver attributed to Old West legend James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok. While the gun's provenance isn't perfect, Rock Island's Joel Colander points to several factors that indicate it WAS Wild Bill's Colt. It is one of a pair of matching ivory-gripped, heavily engraved 1851s only 17 serial number apart, formerly owned by the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wy
When it was introduced in 1947, nobody offered anything like it, not even archrival Colt. Many experts believe the Smith & Wesson K-22 Masterpiece is the FINEST-shooting .22 LR double action revolver of all time. Brownells Gun Tech™ Keith Ford tells us the K-22 story. After World War II, Carl Hellstrom became president of Smith & Wesson and embarked on an ambitious plan to boost production - and thus sales and profits - from hundreds of guns per month to thousands. Revolver designs were simplifi
At a glance, it looks like a Colt Python, and for some of us back in the day, it served as the "poor man's Python." Brownells Gun Tech™ and firearm historian Keith Ford shows us his unfired Colt Diamondback manufactured in 1972. Unlike the Python, which was built on Colt's large I frame, the Diamondback used the smaller D frame of the Detective Special and Police Positive double action revolvers. Introduced in 1966, it came chambered in .38 Special or .22 Long Rifle, and could be had with a 2.5"
When Smith & Wesson introduced their .22/.32 Kit Gun revolver in 1936, you could get it with any finish you wanted - as long as you wanted it blued.
Fans of German engineering, this one's for you! Caleb takes us on a tour of the Volkspistole, the Heckler & Koch VP9 "People's Pistol." It's a striker-fired pistol introduced in 2014, commonly used by military and police across Europe, and popular in the U.S., too. Chambered in 9mm Luger (9x19), the VP9 comes with a 15-round magazine, with optional extended 20-round and 10-round (sigh!) mags available. The VP9's features include ambidextrous controls, interchangeable backstrap inserts, cocking i
So you want a really small concealed-carry revolver that you can stow in your pocket. You don't want an exposed hammer that'll snag during the draw. But you want to be able to thumb back the hammer for single action shooting. An insurmountable engineering challenge™ "Not at all!" says Brownells Gun Tech™ Keith Ford. The Smith & Wesson Model 49 Bodyguard, chambered in .38 Special, delivers all three requirements. The top rear of the frame is extended to conceal all but the deeply grooved top of t
Caleb shows us a sweet little .22 rimfire rifle, the Western Field Model 46A. The 46A is in fact a Mossberg Model 42A sold by Montgomery Ward (remember this vaunted catalog / retail giant of the past™) under their Western Field house brand. The bolt action Model 42A / 46A was produced only in 1937 and '38; the "A" indicates extra action tuning for smoother operation. It'll shoot .22 Short, .22 Long, and .22 Long Rifle ammo fed from its box magazine. Despite the gun being a simple .22, Mossberg's
Let's dial the wayback machine to 1958 and check out the Winchester Model 55 single-shot automatic .22 rimfire rifle. Yep, you read that right: "single-shot automatic." It's Brownells Gun Tech™ Keith Ford's rifle, and he explains what the Model 55 is all about. To operate it, you pull back the charging handle on the right-hand side of the receiver and insert a .22 Short, Long, or Long Rifle round into the loading port. As you do so, the safety pops on. When you're ready to take the shot, disenga
We're taking a look at Mausers today. But if you're expecting classic bolt action rifles, here's a surprise: Brownells Gun Tech™ Keith Ford shows us his Mauser HSc and Model 1914 pistols. Both are blowback operated and chambered in .32 ACP, aka 7.65mm Browning. By the 1930s, the aging, striker-fired Mauser 1914 was being seriously challenged by the new hammer-fired Walther PP and PPK. Mauser's response was the HSc: "H" for hammer fired, "S" for Selbstspanner (self-cocking), and "c" indicating it
Brownells Gun Tech™ Keith Ford shows us his rare Uzi Pistol. No, not the Uzi submachine gun or the Uzi Micro machine pistol, but the semi-auto Uzi PISTOL. Set your wayback machine to the early 1980s, when Action Arms was importing into the U.S. the Uzi Carbine, a semi-auto, 16" barreled version of the renowned IMI Uzi submachine gun. AA wanted to get into the handgun market and asked IMI to build a pistol variant, which entailed far more engineering than just shrinking the subgun. Keith field-st
"Probably THE best Mausers ever produced," says Brownells Gun Tech™ and resident firearm historian Keith Ford about Swedish Mausers. Today he shows us a Swedish Model 1894 Mauser carbine chambered in (of course) 6.5x55mm Swedish. The M94 carbine was actually adopted two years before the full-size Model 1896 infantry rifle. Keith's example was built for the Swedish Navy in 1903... but it looks like it just came off the assembly line! In 1914, the Navy decided it didn't need bayonets on its rifles
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