Vetterli single shot police carbine with bayonet.
Single shot breech loading carbine made by the firm Gastinne Renette for Emperor Napoleon III, 1870.
Sold At Auction: $19,000
The M1875 Springfield Officers Trapdoor,
First produced in 1875, the Springfield Officers Trapdoor rifle was a special variant of the venerable .45-70 Springfield Trapdoor breechloading rifle used by the US Army from 1871 to the 1890’s. However this was not a standard issue military rifle but a specially made sporting rifle made by Springfield Armory and only offered for sale to high ranking US Army officers. Special features include a checkered stock and foregrip, engraved lock, a special semi-pistol grip, and fine target sights. Made from 1875 to 1885, only 500 were ever produced. Today a Springfield Officers Trapdoor can easily sell for over $10,000 at auction.
The M2 Carbine,
In 1944 US Army Ordnance demanded an improved version of the standard M1 Carbine. The M1 Carbine was a semi-automatic firearm chambered for .30 caliber carbine, not as powerful as a rifle, but more powerful and accurate than a pistol. The weapon was often issued to light troops such as paratroopers, support troops, and commando’s, but saw much in the way of frontline service as well.
In 1944 the M2 Carbine was introduced, a much improved version of the M1 carbine. Originally the M1 was supposed to be a fully automatic weapon but remained a semi auto firearm. The M2 was upgraded to full auto, with a selector switch that toggled between full auto and semi-auto. With the increased firepower, designers also increased its magazine size from 15 rounds to 30 rounds. Finally the M2 was designed with a bayonet mount, a feature which the earlier M1 lacked. Kits were also produced which could convert older M1’s into M2 Carbines.
The M2 Carbine was only pressed into service in the waning months of World War II. Few would see combat in the war. However, the M2 would come of its own in the early 1950’s with the Korean War. The fully automatic feature with the 30 round magazine was especially valuable in Korea as the North Koreans and Chinese tended to use “human wave” tactics, a strategy in which they would attempt to overwhelm UN lines through superior numbers. Often the M1 Garand, which only had an eight round internal box magazine, was found wanting when facing a human wave assault consisting of thousands of Chinese soldiers. By the last year of the war the M2 Carbine was almost exclusively issued to American soldiers for combat in Korea.
After the Korean War many more carbines were manufactured and sold to US Allies as a part of the larger Cold War, especially to the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Today they can still be found among military, police, and guerrilla units around the world. Around 600,000 were produced.
Rare Lorenzoni System flintlock rifle from Germany, dated 1730.
Very early over and under percussion sporting gun,
Originally a flintlock converted into percussion, this odd firearm features over and under barrels, one below the other. It has double triggers and and two separate percussion locks locks. Unfortunately the listing does not specify caliber, so I don’t know if it is a rifle or fowling piece. Dated 1800.
The Remington Keene,
A bolt action rifle developed in 1878, the Remington Keene was intended as a military rifle for the US Army. Chambered in .45-70 it featured a nine shot tube magazine. While a repeating bolt action, the Remington Keene had a magazine cut-off so that the rifle could be used as a single shot, with the other 9 cartridges held in reserve for emergency use. The other noticeable feature with the rifle was an expos ed hammer which could be cocked or uncocked independently of the bolt. The hammer also had a half cock feature as a safe. The rifle came in two models, a full stocked military version and a half stock sporter version.
While certainly an interesting design, the Remington Keene did not see lucrative military contracts. Only 250 were purchased by the US Navy. Another 600 carbines were purchased by the Department of the Interior to army Native American police. Only 5,000 were produced altogether.
The Boer Model 1895 Mauser,
When the British decided to invade the Boer Republics of South Africa in the late 1900’s, the Boers had a system in which every man supplied his own rifle and ammunition. While this worked fine when fighting African tribes who lacked firearms, it was a problem when facing a well armed and well equipped British force. The Boers were armed with a motley collection of rifles from all around Europe, logistics was a nightmare, and the individual men themselves did not have the money or means to supply themselves like professional soldiers.
In stepped Germany. An imperial rival of the UK, Germany was willing to stab at Britain in any way possible. In 1896 the Boers purchased 70,000 Model 95 Mauser rifles. A popular weapon, they were used by the military’s of dozens of countries, many in Latin America. Accurate and rugged, the Model 95 fired a 7x57 cartridge which had an incredibly high velocity and above average accuracy. The increased velocity also mean’t increased range, an advantage for the Boers since much of the fighting occurred in open plains while the British Lee-Metfords and older Martini-Henry’s had markedly lesser reach. Many Boer Mausers were also made with a turned down bolt handle to make it easier to work the action on horseback. Most other model 95’s had a straight bolt. Model 95’s that were produced for the Boers were marked with either “O.V.S” for Orange Free State while those delivered to the Traansvaal Republic were marked with either an A, B, or C at the end of the serial number. While officially known as the Model 1895 Mauser, the Boers tended to refer to them as the Model 1896 or 97 Mauser, due to manufacturing dates stamped on the receiver. Often, Boer fighters would carve various personal decorations on the stock, which might include the owner’s initials, full name, dates, home district, wives’ or girlfriends’ names, or decorative patterns. Oddly enough one manufacturer, Ludvig Loewe (DWM) supplied a number of rounds of an odd 7x53 cartridge with the rifles. Shorter then the 7x57, it was said to be safe to chamber and fire. The reason why Loewe supplied it was to sell off old stocks of 7.65×53, which were necked down to hold 7mm bullets. The result was the occasional burst barrel, most Boers refused to use them.
While the M1895 Mauser gave the Boers an edge against the British, the British had the edge on manpower and attrition. What made the war worse for the Boers was the British policy of scorched earth, interning Boer civilians in camps, and total war. Unable to deal with such devastating tactics, the Boers were eventually defeated and the Boer Republics were reorganized into British colonies in 1902.
Exhibition quality high relief engraved 1866 carbine attributed to the master engraver Conrad F. Ulrich. Only ten high relief engraved Winchesters were ever produced.
Estimated Value: $160,000 - $320,000
I suddenly realized I haven’t posted any German Schuetzen rifles for quite a while.