19th Century “Milspec” Was Anything But

By the middle of the 19th century, arms production in the United States was changing. The concept of interchangeable parts had become the primary goal at the Federal armories. If this was to be achieved, then a set of agreed upon design parameters had to be established. Unfortunately, production standards varied widely in previous decades. […]

Dream Gun: The Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum

When Smith & Wesson introduced the now-legendary Registered Magnum in 1935, the United States was in the middle of the Great Depression. Even so, that didn’t stop them from offering what was their most expensive revolver to date. The entire gun was a custom order. You chose the barrel length (anything between 3 1/2″ and […]

John Garand’s Need for Speed

In the waning days of 1928, John C. Garand filed a patent application for a “High Speed Firing Mechanism.” At the same time, he was working diligently at Springfield Armory in Massachusetts, developing the rifle that would soon bear his name. The patent, which was granted in November 1930 and assigned to the Lyman Gun […]

My Grandfather’s 1943 Union Switch & Signal M1911A1

Within two months of his eighteenth birthday, my grandpa left the Bronx, New York and was inducted into the Army of the United States. His listed civilian occupation was “boilermaker,” but he was on his way to an MOS of Intelligence Observer 518 in the 209th AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. He […]

Wright Arms Company ‘Little All Right’ Palm Pistol

Easy-to-conceal palm pistols were all the rage during the last quarter of the 19th century. Numerous companies produced countless variations of very similar designs. One design was, however, quite different from the rest. Enter the “Little All Right” by the Wright Arms Co. of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Patented in 1876 by Edward Boardman and Andrew Peavey, […]