A Pilot’s Best Friend: WWII Remington Rand M1911A1

Remington Rand M1911A1 (9)

This 1943 Remington Rand M1911A1 is striking. (Photo: Richard Taylor/Guns.com)

SEE MORE ON THIS M1911A1 IN THE VAULT

One of the more interesting guns that have come through the Guns.com Vault in recent months is a World War II-era Remington Rand M1911A1. The gun came to us from the family of a man who was reportedly a B-17 bomber pilot during the conflict. While the golden rule in used firearms is “buy the gun, not the story,” this Government Issue .45 certainly has a lot to say just by looking at it.

Remington Rand, not to be confused with Remington Arms, was a business machine company formed in a merger between the Remington Typewriter Company and Rand Kardex Corporation during the Roaring Twenties. However, as with other gadget and widget makers, during WWII they retooled to help crank out the Arsenal of Democracy and win the war.

For Remington Rand, this meant making M1911A1 pistols, the standard U.S. military handgun since 1926. The company received drawings, gauges and tooling from the Army’s Springfield Armory, which had been previously used to manufacture M1911s and converted their “C” Division typewriter plant and warehouse in 1942 to war production.  While Colt, Ithaca, railway equipment maker U.S. Switch & Signal, and even the Singer Sewing Machine company would produce over 1.8 million of these iconic handguns during the conflict, it was Remington Rand that delivered the most to Uncle Sam.

With a serial number that dates to 1943, the Remington Rand in the Guns.com Vault has what collectors consider Type 3 slide markings, a very crisp “FJA” Ordnance inspector’s mark of Col. Frank J. Atwood, an Ordnance Department wheel, and U.S. Property marks.

Remington Rand M1911A1 markings

Lt. Col. Frank J. Atwood was the U.S. Army Ordnance officer in charge of war production in the Rochester district of New York from 1942 to 1946 and both the Remington Rand and Ithaca factories were under his control. M1911A1s accepted during that time from those makers will have his FJA mark. (Photo: Richard Taylor/Guns.com)

Remington Rand M1911A1 markings

Remington Rand’s M1911A1 factory was located on Dickerson Street in Syracuse, New York, which is now a parking lot. (Photo: Richard Taylor/Guns.com)

Remington Rand M1911A1 markings

While the M1911 was adopted before WWI, the “A1” series became standard in 1926. (Photo: Richard Taylor/Guns.com)

Remington Rand M1911A1 markings

Note the U.S. Property marks (Photo: Richard Taylor/Guns.com)

Remington Rand M1911A1 markings

U.S. Army Ordnance Corps wheel is one of the oldest insignia designs used by the U.S. Army. (Photo: Richard Taylor/Guns.com)

Remington Rand M1911A1 markings

Note the condition of the grips and parkerized finish as well as the “P” proof mark by the magazine release and lanyard ring. (Photo: Richard Taylor/Guns.com)

When it comes to the barrel, this M1911A1 has one produced by High Standard as denoted by the “HS” mark on the lug. This is correct for late model Remington Rands as the typewriter and adding machine maker did not produce their own pistol barrels. High Standard, on the other hand, produced 5-inch M1911 barrels during the war for not only Remington Rand but also for Ithaca and US&S.

Remington Rand M1911A1 (10)

(Photo: Richard Taylor/Guns.com)

As for why the gun looks so minty, the story is that the gun was issued to said B-17 bomber pilot who only shot it to familiarize himself with it and returned home with the gun after the war, where it spent the rest of its life largely in storage.

Why would a pilot have a gun?

U.S. Army Air Force B-17 bombers flying through flak on their way to a target in Europe. At 25,000 feet, the temperature could drop below -60 degrees Fahrenheit but the Germans had their own way to keep things hot for American aircrews. (Photo: U.S. Air Force photo)

U.S. Army Air Force B-17 bombers flying through flak on their way to a target in Europe. At 25,000 feet, the temperature could drop below -60 degrees Fahrenheit but the Germans had their own way to keep things very hot for American aircrews. (Photo: U.S. Air Force photo)

This week marks the 77th anniversary of Mission #1, the first heavy bomber attack on Nazi-occupied Europe by the U.S. VIII Bomber Command, the England-based unit that was to grow into the mighty 8th Air Force. While that initial raid only fielded 18 B-17 bombers on a strike in occupied France, by Mission # 84, the famed Schweinfurt–Regensburg Raid — which was 76 years ago this week and coincides to the “born on” date of our Remington-Rand — the 8th Air Force sent 376 B-17s deep into Germany itself. By Mission # 817 in February 1945, the 8th Air Force was putting an amazing 1,437 bombers into the air over Berlin.

Over the course of the war, the 8th Air Force alone lost a staggering 4,145 bombers on missions over Europe. While aircrew were limited as to what they could bring along on their high altitude flights — for instance, most liquids were banned due to the likelihood of them freezing in the unpressurized aircraft — they were issued basic survival gear such as a special extreme cold-weather uniform, life vest, parachute and a pistol in case they had to “hit the silk” and try to escape and evade Axis patrols to make it to friendly lines, often with the help of local resistance groups.

While Navy aviators had to make do with various revolvers, Army Air Force aircrew were typically issued standard M1911A1s. The U.S. Air Force Museum has an example of one such gun on display carried by a WWII B-17 gunner that caught a piece of German flak on a mission.

The Remington Rand in the Guns.com Vault came from its owner complete with its 1943-marked Boyt M3 shoulder holster.

The U.S.-marked leather holster is imarked "U.S. Boyt 43" (Photo: Richard Taylor?Guns.com)

The U.S.-marked leather holster that comes with the M1911A1 is marked “Boyt 43” (Photo: Richard Taylor?Guns.com)

The M3, sometimes referred to as the “flyer” holster by militaria collectors to set it apart from later “tanker” holster models, was often issued to USAAF aircrews and occasionally to Army paratrooper officers.

"England. The crew of the 91st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, relax beside the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Klette's Wild Hares. They have just returned from a bombing attack on enemy territory." Note the M1911 pistol and holster of the crewmember to the far right. (Photo: U.S Army Air Corps via National Archives)

“England. A crew of the 91st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, relax beside the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Klette’s Wild Hares. They have just returned from a bombing attack on enemy territory.” Note the M1911 pistol and holster of the crewmember to the far right. (Photo: U.S Army Air Corps via National Archives)

In the end, while you can easily pick up any variety of 1911 clones, few are the real thing carried by the members of the Greatest Generation. Even when you do, military surplus 1911s are often “mixmasters,” with their parts swapped out over the years by military armorers and arsenals, leaving such pistols with a lot of character but little in the way of being all-matching. Meanwhile, this Remington Rand has escaped relatively unscathed and intact.

If only guns could talk.

Remington Rand M1911A1 (4)

History is just a clock away. (Photo: Guns.com)

SEE MORE ON THIS M1911A1 IN THE VAULT

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Cap & Ball Revolver Redux: Remington New Army v. Ruger Old Army

The top revolver is a circa 1865 martially-marked Remington New Army while the "identical cousin" below it is a 1999-produced Ruger Old Army. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

The top revolver is a circa 1865 martially-marked Remington New Army while the “identical cousin” below it is a 1999-produced Ruger Old Army. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

SEE RUGER OLD ARMY AT GUNS.COM FROM $650

While some argue that Sturm, Ruger’s Old Army cap-and-ball revolver is a modernization of the Civil War-era Remington New Army, they aren’t totally wrong.

The Original “New” Army

In all, the Federal government contracted for no less than 18 different revolver types during the Civil War with the two most numerous being the six-shot Colt Army .44 (129,730 purchased) followed by Remington’s New Army (125,314) in the same caliber. This impressive number doesn’t take into account the thousands of handguns purchased by private soldiers and officers. The iconic Remington wheel gun had an 8-inch barrel and, unlike the Colt, a solid top strap, making it one of the most powerful and rugged performers of its day.

An unidentified cavalry soldier in Union frock coat with Remington New Model Army revolver. Please excuse the poor trigger discipline. (Photo: Library of Congress)

An unidentified cavalry soldier in Union frock coat with Remington New Model Army revolver. Please excuse the poor trigger discipline. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Firing a 260-grain projectile over a 30-grain black powder charge, it remained popular on the commercial market well into the mid-1870s when cartridge revolvers became all the rage. Still, other copies were sold to purchasing agents working for the armies of the Tsar, the Mikado of old Japan, the King of England, and the Republic of Mexico.

The Rebooted “Old” Army

Building on the success of his line of single-action cowboy guns, such as the Blackhawk — which in itself was a revamped clone of the Colt 1873, Bill Ruger took the proven Blackhawk action and rolled it into the company’s first black powder revolver. Dubbed the Old Army, the updated hogleg looks a lot like the common Civil War-era .44 smoke wagon but internally is very different. Even looking past the cosmetic similarities between the Old Army and its New Army predecessor, the modern Ruger ditched Remington’s brass trigger guard and wonky mid-19th Century ironwork metallurgy for an all-steel construction. This makes the Ruger perhaps one of the strongest black powder revolvers to ever make it into production.

If you look closely at the Old Army, you will note that it has the flat-top and three-screw arrangement such as the original Ruger Blackhawks. Also, the Ruger uses a rounded barrel with much better sights rather than Remington's octagonal barrel.

If you look closely at the Old Army, you will note that it has the flat-top and three-screw arrangement such as the original Ruger Blackhawks. Also, the Ruger uses a rounded barrel with much better sights rather than Remington’s octagonal barrel. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Remington New Army Ruger Old Army compared (1)

Note the difference in thickness between cylinder walls on the Ruger, left. While Ruger recommends that Old Army users start with a 20-grain load of FFFg black powder when firing a pure lead .457-inch diameter ball, others often step that up or down a bit. I prefer to use a 30-grain load over a 143-grain Speer .457 ball. When swapping the black powder cylinder out, aftermarket conversion cylinders by companies such as Kirst Konverter and others allow the more modern wheel gun to fire .45 Long Colt and .45 Schofield black powder “cowboy” cartridges. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Other safety enhancements on the Old Army included the ability to be carried safely with six rounds in the chamber as the Ruger has safety recesses between each chamber for resting the hammer. Further, as the hammer nose is designed to clear the uncapped nipples, it can be dry fired.

Note the stainless steel nipples set deeply into the cylinder on the Ruger Old Army model, left, compared to the nipples on the vintage Remington New Army, right. This helps prevent bits of fired percussion caps from working their way into the mechanism or behind the cylinder and creating a jam.

Note the safety recesses and stainless steel nipples set deeply into the massive cylinder on the Ruger Old Army model, left, compared to the vintage Remington New Army, right. This helps prevent bits of fired percussion caps from working their way into the mechanism or behind the cylinder and creating a jam. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Remington New Army Ruger Old Army compared (10)

The top straps of the Old Army, left, and New Army, right, are very different, with the Ruger having rear sight that is adjustable for windage and elevation. While a fixed sight Old Army model was produced, zeroed at 25 yards, the adjustable sight variant is more common. Both guns are exceedingly accurate, with the Ruger having a distinct advantage when it comes to sights. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Remington New Army Ruger Old Army compared (9)

Note the extra steel present in the frame of the Old Army, right, versus the Civil War-era New Army. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Remington New Army Ruger Old Army compared (8)

While the original Remington cavalry revolver sported an 8-inch barrel, most Ruger Old Armies use a 7.5-inch barrel, with an overall length in both cases pushing well-past the one-foot mark. Some Old Army’s were made with a downright snub-nosed 5.5-inch barrel but they are not as popular. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

The sturdy loading lever/ramrod assembly on the Ruger is much beefier than the setup used by original New Army.

The sturdy loading lever/ramrod assembly on the Ruger is much beefier than the setup used by original New Army. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Remington New Army Ruger Old Army compared (3)

Ruger used the rear frame, sights, coil mainspring, and trigger system of his already proven Blackhawk series single-action revolver, while roughly everything from the cylinder forward was new design drawing inspiration from the classic Remington of yesteryear. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Remington New Army Ruger Old Army compared (6)

Regardless, both models fill the hands and are akin in size to a Ruger Super Redhawk. Weight on the Old Army as shown is 50.5-ounces, while the Remington goes 44.6-ounces even with a marginally longer barrel, a testament to the extra steel used in the Ruger. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

While the author’s Old Army is blued, among the most common models are stainless examples which shrug off the soap-and-water cleanup required by black power guns much better. Odds are, if stainless models would have been made available to Gen. Grant in 1863, he would have chosen them.

Ruger kept the Old Army in steady production from 1972 through 2008, a 36-year run. This makes those big Ruger smoke generators increasingly collectible — another trait shared with the more vintage New Army series.

We currently have a selection of certified used stainless Ruger Old Army models in the Guns.com Vault, all with 7.5-inch barrels and adjustable sights.

This Ruger Old Army dates to 1986 and is in good condition with faux ivory steer head grips.

This Ruger Old Army dates to 1986 and is in good condition with aftermarket faux ivory steer head grips.

This circa 1990 model Old Army has the original rosewood factory panels.

This circa 1990 model Old Army has the original rosewood factory panels.

This 1995 model Old Army also has the standard rosewood grips and comes with the original box.

This 1995 model Old Army also has the standard rosewood grips and comes with the original box.

No matter which Old Army you choose, know that you are getting one of the most superb black powder cap-and-ball revolvers ever made. Also, if you have one to sell, we are always looking.

SEE RUGER OLD ARMY AT GUNS.COM FROM $650

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For the Love of the MP5: Roller-Locked 9mm Clones

PTR 9KT, a semi-auto send up of the HK MP5K.

The PTR 9KT, a semi-auto send-up of the HK MP5K. What’s not to love? (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

The Heckler & Koch MP5 is a thing of enduring beauty but their rarity on the consumer market has left a void quickly filled by dozens of clones.

Developed in the 1960s as HKs Maschinenpistole 5 by a team led by Tilo Möller, the team essentially started with the company’s proven G3 battle rifle and, in many ways, just downsized the 9-pound 7.62x51mm weapon to a much smaller 5.5-pound, creating a 9x19mm chambered squirt gun.

Both guns share the same basic roller-delayed blowback action. The roller lock design, invented by Dr. Werner Gruner and used in WWII on the very successful MG42 machine gun, creates a durable and effective lock-up that is as efficient as it is reliable. The blowback action fundamentally treats the cartridge case itself like a piston to work the closed bolt, with the gas of the recoil being transferred through a fluted chamber.

A staple of military special ops types and counter-terror teams for decades, the MP5 today evokes the same sort of old-school cool common in Cold War-era SEAL teams.

SEAL Team 8 wielding the iconic H&K MP5 submachine gun in 1991 (Photo: U.S. Navy via National Archives)

Although a few pre-1986 transferrable select-fire MP5s are floating around, and others are hopefully headed to the market as LE teams are increasingly replacing their HK room brooms with M4-ish guns, their cost is upwards of $25K — not including stamps. Semi-auto variants produced by the German gunmaker — the SP89, and the SP5 — are more affordable but almost as rarely encountered at affordable prices. This opens the field for clones.

PTR

South Carolina-based PTR has continued to expand their MP5-style offerings in recent years by introducing the very handy 9KT earlier this year.

SEE AT GUNS.COM FROM $1,681

The American-manufactured semi-auto pistol is an NFA-compliant version of the classic HK MP5K (Kurz = short), a storied SMG that was a favorite of various international balaclava-clad SF types in the Tom Clancy-era. Announced just prior to SHOT Show 2019, the 9KT runs just 13.38-inches overall, largely due to the 5.16-inch, three-lug barrel.

The company splashed into the MP5 clone market in 2018 with the 9C series pistol and 9R series rifle.

South Carolina-based PTR has continued to expand their MP5-style offerings in recent years by introducing the very handy 9KT earlier this year.

The 9C sports an M-LOK compatible aluminum handguard and 8.86-inch 3-lug barrel with push-button and paddle-style magazine release while the rifle has a stock and a 16.2-inch barrel. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

SEE AT GUNS.COM FROM $1,681

Zenith

Zenith markets over a dozen ZP5 series pistols and rifles

Zenith markets over a dozen ZP5 series pistols and rifles (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

SEE AT GUNS.COM FROM $1.999

Located in Virginia, Zenith Firearms imports a wide array of roller-locked designs produced in Turkey by MKE-K, a company set up in cooperation with HK decades ago to make such guns for the Turkish military. One of their cooler new offerings is the Z-5RS, a braced pistol with an 8.9-inch barrel and a classic style forearm and the Z-5RS SBM4 which sports a Picatinny rail and slimline forearm.

Our very own Chase Welch recently reviewed another one of Zenith’s pistols, the Z-5P.

Other makers

Besides PTR and Zenith, who account for a huge market share when it comes to MP5 clones, there are a host of smaller shops that specialize in the platform. These include Pennsylvania’s Black Ops Defense, Brethren Arms in Utah, Dakota Tactical in Michigan, and TPM Outfitters in the Lone Star State. Like the MKE-K guns brought in by Zenith, the Pakistani Ordnance Factory (POF) ships semi-auto MP5ish clones to the states which are brought in by several importers. Finally, Palmetto State Armory has been promising their own domestically made model for the past couple years, so that is on the horizon.

And of course, HK still makes them for the LE and military market, the restriction in place due to the Hughes Amendment. In short, the platform that its original maker describes as “the most popular series of submachine guns in the world,” has a lot of life left in it.

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The ‘Skeeter Skelton’ .44 Special Custom Revolver

This Ruger revolver made as a tribute to the late great gun writer Charles “Skeeter” Skelton has a special place in Boge Quinn’s heart. “This six gun means more to me than any gun that I own,” he said.

Quinn explained that Skelton was his favorite writer growing up. “He was a gun writer but he was much more than that. He wrote about life and he wrote about friendship and relationships and he wrote with a lot of humor and a lot of historical accuracy,” he said. “I just can’t overstate the impact that Skeeter Skelton had on me and a lot of people in my generation.”

The old model Ruger Blackhawk was equipped with all the characteristics Skelton desired in a revolver. Particularly, the gun was converted from .357 to .44 Special, a cartridge Skelton had popularized.

Bill Grover, of Texas Longhorn Arms, wanted to produce the gun as a tribute to Skelton while Skelton was still alive, but Skelton died before he completed the job. So, the gun ended up going to Skelton’s son, Bart. In all, Grover made seven Skeeter models.

Quinn acquired serial number six in 2009 as a gift from his friend, Terry Murbach, who later passed. “It’s one of my most prized guns, for both its intrinsic value and for the memory of my great friend Terry Murbach,” Quinn said.

‘Skeeter Skelton’ .44 Special Custom Revolvers

One of only seven ‘Skeeter Skelton’ .44 Special Custom Revolvers. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

‘Skeeter Skelton’ .44 Special Custom Revolvers

One of only seven ‘Skeeter Skelton’ .44 Special Custom Revolvers. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

For great handgunsrifles, and shotguns, check out the Guns.com Vault and collection of Certified Used Firearms

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Can You Put a Silencer on a Revolver?

Gun Question Can You Suppress a Revolver

Can you slap a suppressor on a revolver and make it work? That’s a trick question. (Photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

The question of whether you can put a suppressor or silencer on a revolver is a loaded one that has a simple answer as well as a few exceptions to the rule.

The original Maxim Silencer Company, as far back as the 1910s, advertised and sold numerous types of suppressors along with a series of barrel couplings to accommodate a range of rifles and pistols. Left out of the equation at the time were wheel guns as the humble revolver did not lend itself well to having its sound signature moderated. This is because, in general, while a suppressor can help reduce (but not eliminate) the report of a gunshot by slowly dissipating the escaping gasses caught in the suppressor tube at the muzzle, the gap between a revolver’s cylinder and barrel’s forcing cone allows some gas to escape at the other end, thus defeating the purpose.

So, while you can thread the barrel of a revolver and attach a suppressor to it, the barrel-cylinder gap is still going to allow gas, and thus noise, to escape. This, of course, has not stopped Hollywood from extensively showing such fictional contraptions to be “twhip-twhip” silent in movies like The Sting and Desperado. Lee Marvin famously carried a whole series of suppressed roscoes in the 1964 film, The Killers, a crime flick that also featured future President Ronald Regan.

But…

Now that the rule is explained, there are, as with any rule, a few exceptions. With the problem in suppressing a revolver resting in the barrel-cylinder gap, finding a creative way to plug that gap can make a wheel gun a more effective suppressor platform. One such revolver is Emile Nagant’s series of gas-seal revolvers such as the Russian M1895.

Nagant revolver

This thing — a Nagant revolver. (Photo: Guns.com)

SEE M1895s AT GUNS.COM FROM $475

On the M1895, when the trigger is pulled the cylinder is not only rotated but also moved forward, so it comes very close to the forcing cone. Further, each chamber of the revolver is countersunk to mate with the barrel while the special 7.62x38Rmm ammunition used has a very deep-set bullet design. All this comes together to create a wonky action that cams the cylinder and barrel almost shut, thus nearly eliminating the gap that almost every other revolver has.

While Mr. Nagant engineered his creation this way to produce a mild boost in velocity for the otherwise anemic cartridge, it also had the unintentional side benefit of allowing these fairly common military classics to be suppressed — provided you can mate a suppressor to the barrel after threading it or using a coupler. The Soviets later figured this out and created what was known as the Brambit Device to convert an ordinary M1895 to a suppressed revolver. Moscow liked the concept so much they even used a version of the Brambit for their full-sized M91 rifles but that is a whole ‘nother story.

As a proof of concept, Utah-based SilencerCo has often trotted out a suppressed Nagant to trade shows over the years and has talked about the unique characteristics of the neat-o Russki wheel gun.

nagant with Omega 9K silencerco

Yes, suppressed revolvers do exist. Kinda: A Nagant M1895 with a SilencerCo Omega 9K suppressor. Note how close the cylinder is to the barrel’s forcing cone at the point of firing.  (Photo: SilencerCo)

In more recent times, the Russians have fielded the OTs-38 suppressed revolver, an invention by Igor Stechkin that, like the M1895, uses a gas seal. Utilizing specialty ammo, it is reportedly very effective.

OTs-38 suppressed revolver

The OTs-38 Stechkin (Photo: Rosoboronexport)

American ingenuity

Not to let the Russians run away with this topic, it should be pointed out that a series of suppressed or otherwise low-noise revolvers have been fielded on this side of the pond for niche purposes. During the Vietnam conflict, tunnel rats needed an effective but muted gun (for obvious safety reasons – they were underground!), that was still short enough to move around Viet Cong tunnels.

In 1966, the Army made a half-dozen experimental tunnel rat kits that included a suppressed Smith & Wesson .38 with downloaded ammunition for use by these underground gladiators. Deemed a Tunnel Exploration Kit, the revolver came with a mouth/teeth bite-switch activated headlamp. However, these kits weren’t liked and weren’t all that silent due to the escaping gas from the cylinder.

Australian combat engineer assisting American forces in Vietnam with tunnel clearing operations Vietnam Phuoc Tuy Province 1966 note S&W Smith Wesson suppressed revolver AWM P01595.021

Australian combat engineer assisting American forces in Vietnam with tunnel clearing operations Vietnam, Phuoc Tuy Province, 1966. Note S&W Smith Wesson suppressed revolver (Photo: Australian War Memorial)

Another attempted solution was the 1969-era Quiet Special Purpose Revolver, a converted Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum that was chambered for a very low power special .410-ish Quiet Special Purpose Round filled with 15 tungsten balls in a plastic sabot. Since the ammunition itself had about as much powder as a Fourth of July party popper, the gun was fitted with a short smoothbore barrel and did not need a suppressor. Just 75 were made and, though quickly withdrawn from Army use, were purportedly still utilized by SOG in places that never existed late into the war.

But wait, there’s more!

Back in the early 1990s, C. Reed Knight Jr.’s Knight’s Armament Co (KAC) of Vero Beach, Florida responded to a call from a government agency yet unnamed to produce a small and short-ranged suppressed rifle. Their answer was a unique weapon based upon a Ruger Super Red Hawk.

According to reports, Knight took a commercial Redhawk .44 Magnum and replaced the barrel with a 10-inch .30 caliber 1-in-9-inch right hand twist example that had a gap between the cylinder and the barrel of 0.005 inch. For comparison, a standard U.S. 10-cent piece is 0.053-inches thick. Over the barrel, a 6061 T6 aluminum suppressor tube 18.5-inches long was fitted. Then the whole affair was coated black, a bipod was fitted, and the result was a 36.5-inch long, 8.5-pound integrally suppressed revolver.

What round did it fire? Well, like the Nagant before it, the cartridge was very special. The gun made its first mention in the “gun rags” in the September 1992 issue of Soldier of Fortune magazine. The article went into extreme detail in the method of sealing the cartridge to prevent gas escaping and thus make it quieter:

“Screw-turned with a needle-sharp point, the bullet is encased in an aluminum piston with a black plastic front face seal. Both are loaded into a Federal .44 magnum case. Powered by an undisclosed propellant of undisclosed charge weight and upon ignition, the piston moves forward a small amount and its beveled face interfaces with the rear end of the barrel to seal the front cylinder gap. A rubber O-ring on the piston seals the case from propellant blow by, so that all of the propellant gas is driven into the sound suppressor attached to the barrel.”

KAC of course later went on to develop the suppressor for the SEALs MK25 pistol in 1996, as well as other innovations. And with that, consider the question of if you can suppress a revolver answered with a “No, but also, yes.”

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This Smith & Wesson Model 1917 Has Seen Four Wars

The Smith & Wesson 1917 featured in this article saw duty in all four major wars of the 20th century, then served many years as the personal protection weapon of a respected Texas jurist, before finding a steward in Boge Quinn of Gunblast.

Quinn recently spoke to Guns.com about this gun, which is part of personal revolver collection.

The featured Smith & Wesson Model 1917 in .45ACP was issued for WWI. After the war ended, it was sent to England under the Lend-Lease program for use by English troops in WWII.

After WWII, it was sent back to the U.S. and issued to a young soldier who took it to Korea with him. After the Korean conflict, the soldier went to college and got his law degree. He then took it with him to the Vietnam War.

After Vietnam, the lawyer was allowed to keep the sixgun. He left military service to practice law and became a judge in Texas.

During this time in the revolver’s life, the judge had it converted for his use as a daily-carry piece. He had a new 4” bull-profile target barrel installed, added a new front sight and adjustable rear sight, bobbed the hammer and installed a set of grips made by the late great grip maker, Deacon Deason of Bear Hug Grips.

The judge carried this revolver daily under his robes for over 20 years. After the Judge’s death, Quinn bought the revolver from his estate. He had the lockwork converted to a butter-smooth double-action-only by Milt Morrison of QPR Gunsmithing.

S&W Model 1917 .45ACP Boge Quinn Gunblast.

S&W Model 1917 in .45ACP belonging to Boge Quinn of Gunblast. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

S&W Model 1917 .45ACP Boge Quinn Gunblast.

S&W Model 1917 in .45ACP belonging to Boge Quinn of Gunblast. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

The post This Smith & Wesson Model 1917 Has Seen Four Wars appeared first on Guns.com.

Colt Single Action Army ‘Sheriff’s Model’ in .44 Special

Boge Quinn, of the popular Gunblast channel, showed off his “First Generation” Colt Single Action Army “Sheriff’s Model” .44 Special, produced in 1906.

Quinn came across the sixgun at a gun shop in Arizona. He immediately fell in love with the beautiful all-blue finish and one-piece genuine ivory grips. After purchasing it at a very reasonable price, he had a friend in the Colt archives research it for him.

Original Colt Sheriff’s Models, which featured short barrels without an ejector rod, are extremely rare. Quinn’s revolver was not originally a Sheriff’s Model but was originally a 7-1/2” barreled .45 Colt Single Action Army, with color-casehardened frame and standard black rubber “Eagle” grips, shipped in 1906.

It was converted to a .44 Special Sheriff’s Model by having a short ejector-less barrel installed, adding a “Sheriff’s Model” style base pin, having the bus for the ejector rod housing milled off the frame, and refinished in all-blue.

The work was beautifully done, and at some point, the one-piece ivory grips were fitted. Seeing as it wasn’t original, Quinn figured he’d have the gun engraved by a friend. The result is a truly remarkable, one of a kind sixgun.

Colt Single Action Army “Sheriff’s Model” in .44 Special.

Colt Single Action Army “Sheriff’s Model” in .44 Special. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

Colt Single Action Army “Sheriff’s Model” in .44 Special.

Colt Single Action Army “Sheriff’s Model” in .44 Special. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

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