Victory Arms MC-5
Origin: United Kingdom
Caliber: Various (.45 ACP pictured)
Despite having entered production in the late 1980’s, MC-5 handguns are incredibly rare and valuable. Designed in the mid-80’s by the Nottingham-based company Victory Arms Ltd., the MC-5 was produced in the UK for a short time and exported to the USA, where it was marketed as the “Victory MC-5”. Legal difficulties forced Victory Arms to relocate their place of manufacture to Florida, and later the company sold the design to Magnum Research Inc. While it achieved little success in the USA, quite a few were sold in the UK, almost all of which disappeared off the face of the earth after the UK enforced its handgun ban in 1997. Production officially ended in 1990, but I’ve heard rumours that there were plans to revive the pistol - as of yet, nothing. Without at doubt, Victory Arms Ltd. went out of business years ago, so it seems incredibly unlikely that the MC-5 will reappear any time soon.
The poor sales of the MC-5 can perhaps be explained by its blandness as a handgun, both aesthetically and operationally. It was a basic magazine-fed weapon with illuminated square-notch sights and ambidextrous safety. The frame was made from stainless steel and the grips varied from plastic (Victory Arms model) to wooden (Magnum Research model). It could be re-chambered for about 6 different calibers; 9x19mm, 10mm, .41 AE, .45 ACP, .40 S&W and .38 Super.
In December 2013, an MC-5 pistol went up for auction at Holt’s, Norfolk. It had an estimated price of £2000 - 3000, and was a long-barreled variant made by Magnum Research Inc., chambered for .45 ACP. The magazine was missing. It was also bundled with a Victory Arms Ltd. company manifesto and uniform. I have no idea whether it sold or not. This is the only MC-5 pistol that I’m aware still exists. Check your attics, people!
This is a photo taken from what I believe was an Azerbaijani training exercise. It’s a CornerShot variant with a shortened AKS-74U rifle attached to the fore end. It could be that this is actually an official CornerShot that Azerbaijani special forces have modified, or a copy made in Azerbaijan. There’s been no other sightings of this weapon at all so I suspect it hasn’t been adopted in large numbers, and may well be an experimental prototype.
http://youtu.be/LpU2GNbzKzw?t=4m2s - full video here, showing the weapon in action.
Shield New Service
Origin: United Kingdom
No, this isn’t a prop from a sci-fi movie, it’s a competition revolver made by Shield Gunmakers in 1960. Allegedly the designer found a Colt New Service revolver in a bin and after tinkering with the grips, sights and barrel, it was transformed into this. Shield Gunmakers also turned a Ruger Blackhawk into something similar to this, albeit a lot larger. This revolver was designed for the Police Pistol Combat Competition in 1960.
Caliber: Unknown (caseless)
Quite an astonishing feat in firearms design, the Caseless Ammunition Rifle (CAR) was designed by Rik van Bruaene, the manager of VBR-Belgium. It was designed in response to the Heckler & Koch G11, and works in a similar fashion to H&K’s weapon, with the magazine being inserted horizontally over the top. The magazine holds up to 120 rounds; this amount of firepower is typically reserved for light machine guns! An alternate model, known as the CAR-2, was also produced, aimed at limiting the firepower for infantry soldiers, with a magazine of 75 rounds. Unfortunately, the CAR didn’t make it past prototype stages. Although VBR-Belgium hasn’t released any official reasons for the cancellation of the CAR project (along with almost all of their small arms), I suspect it was the result of both police intervention and moral fears from Rik himself. VBR-Belgium has made it no secret that Belgian police forces have confronted them over their potentially lethal designs (these are not the kind of weapons that you’d expect civilians to be armed with!), whilst the VBR-Belgium website once asked whether it was “moral” for soldiers to be armed with 120-round rifles. Not a lot of information regarding the CAR project, but still an interesting weapon either way.
Edgecumb Arms Combat Ten
Origin: United Kingdom
Caliber: .380 ACP
I spent an ungodly amount of time researching this gun after I saw a picture of it on an online firearms archive that I frequently browse. For months, probably over a year now, I thought there was no information on this godforsaken thing at all, but by fluke I found a Russian website that had a catalogue of weird revolvers and this was among them. Unfortunately it’s nothing special - just a bog-standard target revolver made by a UK company called Edgecumb Arms (which is somewhat odd because I don’t believe there is an Edgecumb in the UK!), designed specifically for entry in the Police Pistol Combat Competition in the USA. I was expecting it to be a civilian revolver of sorts. I don’t know where it’s currently being kept (presuming only one was made), but I suspect the NRA probably has ownership of it in one of their many collections, since the Police Pistol Combat Competition has links to the NRA.
Enfield Arms TC10
Although the manufacturer’s name would imply that this is a British gun, it’s actually an Australian design. The “Enfield Arms” in question is completely unrelated to the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield, England. The TC10 is a 9mm handgun with an odd foregrip. The overall length of the weapon is about 8 inches, but it can be converted into a carbine by attaching an optional barrel extension and stock. It was nicknamed the “mini-gun” by its creator, Ron Owen, but in actuality it’s not very small at all. I don’t think any TC10s have been seen outside of Australia, but they’re available at Owen Guns, Gympie, for about $2,200 Australian dollars.
Origin: United States of America
A true freak of firearms design, this revolver was designed by William H. Philip of Brooklyn. It can hold up to three different cylinders, each of which can be chambered for different calibers. Once the first cylinder is depleted, the bullets from the cylinder behind it will pass through the first one, and so on. Therefore, the largest caliber must always be at the front, otherwise the bullet would not fit through the first two cylinders, possibly resulting in a nasty misfire. Weirdly enough, revolvers with multiple cylinders was somewhat of a small trend in mid-late 19th century America, with at least 7 or so different designs patented - although none of them really caught on, for obvious reasons.
48-shot transitional revolver
Joseph Enouy’s “ferris wheel” revolver, patented in 1855. This revolver is part of the late C.G. Vokes’ collection. It really is a bizarre weapon, but predictably it was not a successful design - it couldn’t be holstered or concealed, it weighed an excessive amount and it was awkward to operate.
18th century grenade launcher
Caliber: 2lb grenade
An early grenade launcher dating way back to the 1700s. Typically these weapons were wildly inaccurate, not very long-ranged and not very reliable. Misfires proved fatal. Despite this, quite a considerable number of these pieces have survived, indicating that they were moderately popular with the Dutch, although few have emerged in other parts of Europe. They’re really only ever found in museums, and are valued at around $7000 (provided the condition is good).