FIREARMS CURIOSA
The Cristóbal carbine 
Designed by Pál de Király, a Hungarian arms designer, the Cristóbal was a popular rifle with countries that did not want to deal with the political consequences of purchasing NATO or Warsaw Pact small arms. It was made by Király’s Cristóbal company from 1948, with production taking place in the Dominican Republic. Chambered for .30 carbine, some classify it as a submachine gun rather than a rifle, but nevertheless it sold in the tens of thousands and armed many Central American forces.

The Cristóbal carbine

Designed by Pál de Király, a Hungarian arms designer, the Cristóbal was a popular rifle with countries that did not want to deal with the political consequences of purchasing NATO or Warsaw Pact small arms. It was made by Király’s Cristóbal company from 1948, with production taking place in the Dominican Republic. Chambered for .30 carbine, some classify it as a submachine gun rather than a rifle, but nevertheless it sold in the tens of thousands and armed many Central American forces.

"Ever see a 48-shooter?"
I recently came across this bizarre 1948 promotional material for Levi’s jeans that makes reference to a 48-shot revolver. The ad seems to imply that these weapons saw usage in the American West but I can’t find any evidence to back this up - the only patent regarding this type of revolver was taken out by Joseph Enouy of Middlesex, England in 1855. His revolver still exists today. However, a wooden mock-up of a similar design surfaced at an auction in Illinois, so it is possible that the design was played around with in the US. As for cowboys slinging them around like 19th-century submachine guns? Unlikely.

"Ever see a 48-shooter?"

I recently came across this bizarre 1948 promotional material for Levi’s jeans that makes reference to a 48-shot revolver. The ad seems to imply that these weapons saw usage in the American West but I can’t find any evidence to back this up - the only patent regarding this type of revolver was taken out by Joseph Enouy of Middlesex, England in 1855. His revolver still exists today. However, a wooden mock-up of a similar design surfaced at an auction in Illinois, so it is possible that the design was played around with in the US. As for cowboys slinging them around like 19th-century submachine guns? Unlikely.

Biwarip machine-carbine
Submitted to the British Small Arms Committee (later the Board of Ordnance) in 1938, the Biwarip was a slightly unusual-looking design that is said to have been ahead of its time. It was quite similar to the Patchett (or Sterling) submachine gun that would appear five years later, both externally and internally. The Small Arms Committee found it far too light for battlefield usage. The sole prototype had a 30-round magazine and no sights. It was chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum.
More information at: http://firearms.96.lt/Firearms%20Curiosa.html

Biwarip machine-carbine

Submitted to the British Small Arms Committee (later the Board of Ordnance) in 1938, the Biwarip was a slightly unusual-looking design that is said to have been ahead of its time. It was quite similar to the Patchett (or Sterling) submachine gun that would appear five years later, both externally and internally. The Small Arms Committee found it far too light for battlefield usage. The sole prototype had a 30-round magazine and no sights. It was chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum.

More information at: http://firearms.96.lt/Firearms%20Curiosa.html

BSA X16

A belt-fed Bren derivative made for British Army trials in 1957. It was a neat conversion with great accuracy and reliability. It was arguably better than the similar X11 GPMG designed at Enfield, but neither gun was adopted; the British Army opted for the FN MAG instead. The X16 was designed by Joseph Veseley, a Czech designer who emigrated to the UK during the Second World War. 

More information at: http://firearms.96.lt/Firearms%20Curiosa.html

Experimental STEN prototypes

1. The ROFSTEN

Developed at the Royal Ordnance Factory at Fazackerly (ROF), the ROFSTEN was an odd STEN prototype with a redesigned magazine feed and cocking system. The weapon was cocked by pulling the small ring above the stock. It was more reliable than the standard STEN but there was no funding for it and so the project died.

2. SOE STEN

A silenced STEN Mk.II developed for SOE agents in France. Essentially it’s exactly what it looks like. Only a handful were made, but they did see action.

3. Parachutist’s STEN

A STEN Mk.II prototype with a sling and incredibly basic pistol grip. It was designed for paratroopers so that they could fire whilst descending. There are no records that this model was ever fielded.

http://firearms.96.lt/Firearms%20Curiosa.html

Website testing

http://firearms.96.lt/Firearms%20Curiosa.html

Incredibly basic HTML website. Very 90’s-esque.

Patchett machine-carbine

In 1942, George William Patchett of Sterling Armaments Co. designed this submachine gun. It was trialed and found to be a satisfactory service weapon, and about 110 models were issued to the 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions. However, the Ordnance Board saw further potential in the design, and it was considered in 1945 as a replacement for the STEN. Rigorous trials carried on into the early 50’s and finally the Patchett gun was adopted on the 18th of September, 1953 as the standard-issue submachine gun of the British Army, beating BSA’s rival weapon, and several MCEM prototypes from Enfield. Once adopted, it became known as the “L2A1” and later the “L2A3”, and retained the “Patchett” name in official documents, but this didn’t stop British soldiers referring to it simply as the “Sterling”. Pictured are early prototypes, of the kind that saw limited service in WWII.

Interestingly, if the British Army had been fully armed with the experimental EM-2 rifle, as they were planned to before the hasty adoption of the L1A1 SLR, then the Patchett would never have been adopted. Instead, the British Army considered the Madsen M50 as a companion weapon to the EM-2. Maybe in some parallel universe, this was the case!

onedoomedspacemarine:

cerebralzero:

augfc:

Prototype Lanchester submachine guns

George Lanchester of Sterling Armaments Co. is best known for his MP28 copy, which became known simply as the “Lanchester” and was adopted by the Royal Navy and Air Force. In an attempt make an army-service submachine gun, he later designed these prototypes, known simply as the “Model 1” and “Model 2”. The Model 1 was essentially a stripped-down version of his first submachine gun with a cylindrical foregrip made of Tufnel. The Model 2 was an improved version, with a ergonomic foregrip and a folding stock, and left-handed cocking. Both were trialed and both were solid weapons, but the STEN was cheaper to produce and the army was already set on adopting it.

that foregrip looks like a sex toy

can not unsee

Wasn’t there a model of the Sten with a wooden stock patterned after the SMLE rifles? Seems like something that would have been desirable if there was ever time for it.

(Though of course, stamping and riveting metal is so much faster, but I mean, a proper wooden stock would give so much class).

Indeed, they made several wooden STENs, but none ever saw service with the British Army. However, wooden-stocked STENs with suppressors were briefly used by the SOE in France.

Prototype Lanchester submachine guns

George Lanchester of Sterling Armaments Co. is best known for his MP28 copy, which became known simply as the “Lanchester” and was adopted by the Royal Navy and Air Force. In an attempt make an army-service submachine gun, he later designed these prototypes, known simply as the “Model 1” and “Model 2”. The Model 1 was essentially a stripped-down version of his first submachine gun with a cylindrical foregrip made of Tufnel. The Model 2 was an improved version, with a ergonomic foregrip and a folding stock, and left-handed cocking. Both were trialed and both were solid weapons, but the STEN was cheaper to produce and the army was already set on adopting it.

Automatic Lee-Enfields

During the Second World War, four strikingly similar designs appeared from four commonwealth nations. All were based on the classic SMLE rifle which was widely in service at the time. All utilized an external gas tube that ran along the right side of the weapon. All had wooden pistol grips fasted onto the stocks. Yet all were seemingly completely unrelated projects designed by different people.

1. Rieder Automatic Rifle

The Rieder rifle was designed by Henry Rieder, a South African. He worked mainly with TVs and radios, but when the war came around he tried his hand at firearms design, and in 1940 he made a conversion for the Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III rifle that essentially turned it into a light machine gun or automatic rifle. 3 prototypes were sent to the UK for testing and while they showed promise, the British Army wasn’t interested in the design and it was shelved.

2. Ekins Automatic Rifle

Sgt. W. O. Ekins, an Australian serviceman, designed this conversion in 1944. It was blueprinted at the AEME workshop but likely never physically made. The design was more or less exactly the same as the other examples, and since the Australians already had the Bren gun and the Charlton rifle at their disposal, there was simply no need for Ekins’ weapon.

3. Charlton Automatic Rifle

New Zealander Philip Charlton designed this Lee-Enfield conversion, and it was designed as a stop-gap weapon for New Zealand and Australian servicemen who were in short supply of Bren guns. Early Charlton rifles were constructed from obsolete Lee-Metford rifles (3rd image), whilst later ones were made from SMLE rifles (4th image). The Charlton was fed from a 30-round magazine and reportedly worked quite well, considering its crude design.

4. Howell Automatic Rifle

The Howell was actually the first of these designs to appear, having been built during the Great War. When the Second World War came around, a revival of interest in the weapon sprung up and it was tested by the British Ordnance Board. It was decided that it was not suitable for the army, but it was issued to the British Home Guard as an anti-aircraft weapon. Despite this, it was most effective as an automatic rifle or light machine gun.