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A Federal Powder Tester? This powder tester recently came to our attention and although we can’t find any documentation on it, it does appear to be authentic. Looking at the images, the inspector cartouches appear authentic and have patina to match the raised grain of the wood. The hammer shape is typical of the period and the workmanship seems to be arsenal quality.
Separate Primed – Part 4 Paper and combustible cartridges described in Parts 1 and 2 soon gave way to more durable cartridges, some of which had their own problems. For one thing, most weapons of that ilk required special, proprietary cartridges, without which the guns were useless, obviously complicating the supply chain.
Most, if not all, of the readers of this article know the basic history of the Model 1917 rifle, so this brief article will not repeat that material. It is enough to say that the weapon was a wartime expediency that turned out to be a good, solid, serviceable arm that was used extensively in World War I by U.S. troops. But in the author’s opinion it was also an “ugly duckling” compared to the standard U.S. rifle, the Model 1903, and the troops apparently thought so too, for the M1903 was...
Introduction Fulminates are chemical compounds that explode when struck. We all know Alexander Forsyth’s story: the deep insight that fulminates used for firearm ignition would finally overcome the flintlock’s disadvantages (the extra priming step, the flash and pause, energy leak out the touchhole, malfunction in the rain); the long and difficult experiments, without much government support; the invention of a reliable lock using loose fulminate powder enclosed in a primer magazine; and the...
We’ve had a lot of fun over the years and made some discoveries we had never expected. Among those discoveries that we are most proud of is to have unearthed a series of breech-loading rifles that thereto-for were previously unknown except in carbine form:
Josiah ``Joe” Vincent Meigs was an inventive guy. He obtained 15 patents relating to firearms and cartridges (as well as patents relating to several other subjects). Yet his firearms and cartridge patents appear to have yielded him very little profit: his firearms were never put into production and his cartridges were not a popular design. This is the story of his foray into breech loading arms design.