A great animation of a semi auto handgun

Mac, a friend of gun lab, found this on you tube and thought the viewers of gun lab would appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed the graphics and work that went into making this video as much as I did.

Timberline Hawk survival rifle

Not much is known about the company Timer Line Hawk. So this is as much of a history as I could gather. The registered agent of the company  was John A. Mc Gerty and the filing date was March 29,1983. It was a company formed initially by four men to take over the assets of the old Armalite company when they closed their doors. Initially they did the warranty work for Armalite on the AR-180 and 18. What is not generally known is that they also design and built guns other than the AR180 series rifles. This article is about such a rifle. This is the 2 shot rotating barrel 22lr survival rifle.

There are a few draw backs to this rifle. The first is that the point of aim is different for the two barrels. The second is that you have to be careful when loading as it is easy to get the cartridge not properly placed to allow the action to close.




dsc_2258sThe side of the rear barrel support. You can see the pins that pinned in the barrels to the support.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe barrel release latch on the bottom of the frame.








dsc_2219csLooking at the end you can see the machined area for the extractor.

dsc_2245csThe barrels are actually AR-7 barrel liners.

dsc_2240sThe retaining notch is cut in behind the made in USA. Looking at the machining of this notch you can see that these were prototype weapons only.

dsc_2217cAn interesting logo used by Timberline Hawk.

dsc_2216cwThe storage tube that was also the stock. To be used to store survival items.

dsc_2218csThe rubber cap that acted as a butt plate


dsc_2359csThe rifle taken apart and next to it’s storage bag.


dsc_2366csAs it would be stored in the back pack.

dsc_2368sThis is a limited prototype weapon that I don’t think ever went into serious production. The number on this rifle is 42 and it is the only one that I have ever seen or heard about. There were a few spare barrels assemblies made, I have one in my collection.

This rifle came out during a time period when small light weight survival rifles were all the rage.

I want to thank Pete, a friend of Gun Lab, for letting me photograph his very rare rifle.

Weapons man has an interesting write up on the original derringer that was the initial idea for this rifle here.

VG1-5 stock making

When we made the first couple of stocks for the VG1-5 we used a fixture to hold the stock. This fixture held the wooden blank that we cut using the bandsaw and then using a hand held router we cut the radius on the out side edge of the stock.

This procedure was a little harry to say the least.

The router bit and ball bearing guide.

DSC_2066sThe fixture that the router bit would run around on using the bearing as a guide.

DSC_2075sAfter doing a couple of stocks this was it has been decided by me not to do this again. I have a cnc router that I have been working on and will use it for the hand guards, but for the stock it was not going to work real well.

While at a job I saw this in a guy’s garage and knew that this would be perfect for my stock project.




This last weekend I started working on it. I managed to get all the wood cut for it and the real good news is that most of it came from my scrap pile.




All the wood is cut to size and next weekend I will start cutting the groves and rough assembly.



WW1 Trench magazines


I was reading on of my favorite go to sites a while back and saw this short write up he did on trench magazines.

This is the link to the short write up that was done at.

I thought I would add some to his post.

This is a GEW98 Mauser with an extended 20 round magazine from the Gun Lab reference collection.


DSC_1990sThe makers mark. W co DRP









DSC_2000sMade in 1916


DSC_1994sThe stock repair behind the front band

DSC_2006sWhile heavy and awkward they did provide additional fire power for the troops in the trenches.

Things that go on at Gun Lab

I have been spending the day working on projects and needed to take a few pictures. As I was walking into the machine shop to do just that a friend showed up and wanted to be photographed as well.


DSC_2073csNot exactly a small bob cat.

VG1-5 update fire control group

On our last update we discussed the newly design disconnector,

With this new disconnector we have now hand fitted all the fire control groups. Once this task was completed we then took apart all the fire control groups to do the last heat treating.



DSC_2058sSafety detents.

DSC_2060sThis now finishes the last of the fire control group parts manufacturing. So the components that are finished are as follows.

The complete fire control group

The upper receiver and bolt assembly as front support

The lower receiver

Currently we are working on finishing the rear top cover, some welding is required and then hand fitting it.

Soon it will be down to the stock and hand guard and then flute the barrel.



Zulu Shotgun

A while back I picked up an interesting single shot shotgun with a bronze receiver. A little research showed it as a ZULU shot gun.

The history of this weapon goes back to the end of the muzzle loading era. With the civil war  ushering in the era of the breech loading metallic cartridge firearm. With large stocks of muzzle loading weapons on hand countries needed a way to convert these weapons to a breech loading weapon. One of the first methods was the Snider or Tabatiere conversion.

By the late 1870’s large quantities of French converted rifle were on the surplus market with no buyers. A decision was made to convert them to a inexpensive shotgun. This was accomplished by reaming out the rifling in the barrels to make them smooth bore, scrubbing all the original marks off the rifles and then proof them with Belgium proof marks, cut down the stocks to a sporter configuration and removing the rifle sights and installing a front sight bead.

This example is a bronze receiver that was made during the Franco-Prussian war from French church bells that were donated because of the material shortage at the time.

Right side view

DSC_1636cssLeft side view

DSC_1641csClose up of the receiver area



DSC_1642sBelgium proof marks on the breech block


DSC_1646sMarking on the inside of the breech block


DSC_1649sThe spring that acts as a breech locking device and firing pin retaining pin.




DSC_1654sThe angle of the hammer and the lack of a gripping surface make it very difficult to pull the hammer back and to drop the hammer by hand. The spring pressure on the hammer is quite high

DSC_1658sThe trigger guard is  from a M1857 rifle musket

DSC_1659sThe standard butt plate from a M1857 rifle musket

DSC_1653sThe front barrel band looks like a piece of copper pipe hammered to fit.



Lend lease pistols part 1

During World War II after the Dunkirk evacuation the British military was in dire straits for weapons that were lost.

There was a shortage of revolvers. Smith & Wesson was contracted to provide replacement handguns for England. Due to the urgent need there was no time for Smith & Wesson to design a new revolver so the M&P pistol was used. This weapon was designed to shoot the 38 special and with some minor modifications  implemented to convert this handgun to the British caliber .38/200.

The initial orders for this handgun were for South Africa but the British military staff in Washington DC diverted it to the United Kingdom.

Originally the Smith & Wesson M&P model came in four, five and 6 inch length barrels, with checkered would grips and commercial bluing. Due to the demands for faster and more economical production Smith & Wesson changed to a plane wood grip, 5 inch barrel and a phosphated finish.

The pistol were talking about today is one of the standard ones that were made.

There were 586,200 Smith & Wesson M&P  pistols produced. This is one of the of the 8000 pistols that Australia received.


DSC_1350cs You could see that it’s marked United States property which is part of the lend lease package to the United Kingdom.






DSC_1348s Looking at this photograph you can seal the stampings that indicated it was used by Australia.

DSC_1344proof ws

DSC_1524s You can see the broad arrow stamp on the bottom of the frame.

DSC_1526s For more information on Smith & Wesson victory models please look at the following books:,204,203,200_.jpg,204,203,200_.jpg

Or go to the webpage.

Webley Mark IV Singapore police pistol

This post deals with 2 Webley mark IV pistols. Both of them were issued to the Singapore police force. Both of these pistols are commercial versions and show no military markings.

The first is a standard mark IV webley.












The second version is the police model. This pistol incorporated a hammer safety. With this pistol the safety can only be engaged with the hammer down. The pistol can still be open to load or unload with the safety on. Production of the Police model ended in 1970.



DSC_1507sTop strap markings

DSC_1488csThe safety pushed to the safe position.

DSC_1489sClose up of the barrel proof marks

DSC_1487sTypical markings showing the model and proofing of the pistol

DSC_1486sYou can see the Singapore police markings and the red dot on the safety indicating the weapon is ready to rife.


DSC_1482sRack markings painted on the butt of the grip

DSC_1496csA quick look at then side by side. showing the frame differences.

DSC_1492csNotice the hump design on the back of the frame and the difference in grip design.



Pieper M-1893 Revolver

This pistol came about for usage by the Mexican military through a presidential decree in 1893 by president Porfirio Diaz.

The pistol was built in Liege, Belgium by the Pieper firm. It uses a gas seal design where the cylinder moves forward to seal it during firing. This is the same concept as the Nagant revolver. It is a seven shot double and single action revolver. The  total contract  was for 5000 pistols.





DSC_1417sHard rubber plastic grips with H.Pieper Patent markings


DSC_1423csThe rear of the cylinder showing the rebate area for the rims

DSC_1425csThe front of the cylinder for the gas seal


DSC_1430csLanyard attached on the pistol grip

DSC_1433csCylinder latch. Looks like a Colt design. EJERCITO MEXICANO stamped on the side of the frame , top strap and cylinder.


Markings on the cylinder