I Have This Old Gun
The Winchester 1873 may have been “The Gun That Won The West,” but it was the Winchester Model 1892, with its smoother, stronger action, that soon began outselling the earlier toggle-link lever-action and eventually caused the ‘73’s demise in 1921.
Colt’s Model 1877 Lightning revolver (occasionally confused with its 1884 Lightning pump-action rifle) was the company’s first double-action handgun, brought out to compete with the double-action British bulldog revolvers gaining in popularity at the time.
More than 1.5 million SVT-40s were manufactured between 1940 and 1945, making it second only to the M1 Garand as World War II’s most-prolifically produced semi-automatic service rifle. Following the war, it was quickly replaced in Soviet service by the SKS and AK-47.
By the latter part of the 1830s, most of the major powers finally let practicality overcome economy, realizing that it was time to switch their small arms over from flintlock to percussion. Britain and France were among the earliest, with the United States following suit in short order—the Americans fielding the handsome Model of 1842.
Christian Sharps is probably best remembered for his famous Sharps falling-block, breechloading, single-shot rifle, which he patented on Sept. 12, 1848. But a little more than a year later, on Dec. 18, 1849, he also patented an equally innovative four-barreled derringer.
Winchester was one of the first manufacturers to jump into the low-cost bolt-action .22 market with its John Browning-designed Model 1900, a design that would carry on for subsequent generations of Winchester single-shot .22 rifles, including one of the most prolific, the Model 67.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then a lot of firearm flattery has emanated from the People’s Republic of China. While developing some of its own unique firearm designs, the country is also known for making copies of everything from C96 Mauser “Broomhandle” pistols to Thompson submachine guns.
In the mid-19th century—just as in today’s world—citizens were clamoring for a concealable, reliable and affordable handgun. Ironically, inspired by the acceptance of his massive .44-cal. 1847 Walker and First Model 1848 Dragoon, the enterprising Sam Colt sensed an opportunity.