Gardner Gun Manual

Today’s post is going back to the Gardner Gun. These are a series of manuals for both the Pratt& Whitney and the British/Dutch manuals.


Pratt & Whitney Gardner Gun Manual

Dutch Gardner manuals

British Gardner manual (b/w)

British 2-barrel Gardner manuals (1886 & 1894)

British 1-barrel and 5-barrel Gardner manuals

Interesting Spanish pistol

On my trip through the mid-west I had a great opportunity to look at a number of great gun collections. At one of the stops I had a chance to come across a unique Spanish pistol. The pistol is not the unique part but the magazine is. It is a double column magazine that was developed in the late 1920’s. This is the write up from Wikipedia information:

Ruby Plus Ultra

The Ruby Plus Ultra was made between 1928 and 1933. It was an improved version of the earlier Ruby but had a 20-round double-stack magazine. Models with an extended 140 mm barrel, but standard length slide were available, as were models with selective fire capability. These features were most popular in the Asian market, and sales to both Chinese warlords and Japanese pilots are recorded. These were not purchased officially by the Japanese forces, but as private purchase weapons through the Japanese equivalent of the Army and Navy Stores. During the Spanish Civil War volunteers in the International Brigade also favoured these early high-capacity weapons.[3]

This is a write up by my friend John D.:

Believe the Plus Ultra had a longer production span than the Wikipedia article states: actually 1925 to 1937, possibly early 1938.  Gabilondo dramatically improved and revised their products in the wake of lost French ‘Ruby’ pistol contracts at the end of WW I to keep their facilities occupied.  The Plus Ultra was introduced with a number of other updated Gabilondo products in 1925.  Never saw Gabilondo material describing it as a ‘Ruby’ either, just Plus Ultra.  Ruby name may have been attached to this pistol by sellers downstream, but Gabilondo was trying to live down the WW I Ruby pistol’s dubious reputation.  It may even have been an attempt to get in on the French RFQ for high capacity handguns which birthed the Browning High Power and the Petter SACM 1935 / SIG P.210.  Or it possibly stimulated the French to RFQ a high capacity handgun!  Regardless, it is the first production handgun with a double column magazine in the grip and there are several references to it in official French military correspondence.

The Llama trademark was registered in 1932 and Plus Ultra pistols were never sold under the Llama brand name, so most authors quote 1933 – the year Llama branded pistols entered production – as the terminal date.  But Gabilondo and their many ‘affiliates’ continued to make and sell non Llama brand pistols into the Spanish Civil War.  You find considerable usage of these pistols by Republicans in the Spanish Civil War and these pistols were not generally available within Spain before the Civil War so there were no stocks on hand.  Firearms parts production in the Basque region only ended with its capture by Nationalists in the middle of 1937.  Assembly operations continued into early 1938 under Nationalist control until parts stocks were exhausted.  Basque region firearms production converts to Spanish standard models under the Nationalists, but their unique designs do not resume production until after the Nationalists vanquish the Republicans in 1939.

There is some confusion over the magazine capacity of these pistols.  My pistol’s magazine holds – and functions well – with 20 rounds of 7.65x17mm, but does not function with 22 rounds although you can stuff it with 22 rounds.  Might be an issue with the semirim on the 7.65x17mm cartridge – the semirims seem to hang up in the case extractor grooves when the magazine holds 22 cartridges.  Spanish 7.65x17mm ammunition may not have had as pronounced a semirim as American produced .32 ACP ammunition.  This is how the 9x23mm Bergman/Largo cartridge evolved from the .38 ACP/Super cartridge.  My pistol might also have a limp magazine spring, Spanish spring steel metallurgy of this era is pretty sad.  Gabilondo reportedly advertised the pistol as having 20, 21, or 22 round capacities during its life.  They might have made some changes to the follower during production, but all the Plus Ultra pistols I saw at Interarms in the 1970’s (where they all entered the USA – from Thailand of all places!) had the same grip frame dimensions and the magazines were interchangeable.

Now on to the Pictures:

The complete pistol first.


DSC_1425sYou will notice that the pistol grip is longer and the barrel is slightly longer as well.


Now to the magazine.


DSC_1426csThe front of the magazine.


The view of the follower.

DSC_1430csThe bottom.


An interesting pistol.

Updating the Vulcan V18

I just received an e-mail from a friend in southern Arizona concerning the Vulcan V18. You have seen my write up in a past post and Ian’s post on the Vulcan V18 so you know what we this of this piece of cr@p. Really it is truly junk. Well the good news is that it is saveable. Rick at has managed to save it. Of course he had to go through the entire gun and fix it. In addition he changed out the lower receiver and added a new stock, but he made it work. That’s more then can be said about Vulcan arms. You really need to see his write up here:

I like his fix so much that I am going to do the same thing with mine. Just think finally a V18 that works. Read his write up. It’s very good.

This is the original version.


DSC_3514csand a close up of it.




and this is his over haul of the rifle.


V18-10sThis looks like a fun and reliable rifle. Check out his post. It is worth your time

Taking some time off for fun

There was a small machine gun shoot this last Saturday and with my friend Axel in town my wife convinced me to go and take a day off. We had a great time and Axel as well as myself got to do some shooting and have a little fun. This is the video I did of Axel shooting, unfortunately I did not get the video of him shooting the full auto Sudanese AR-10. That rifle is just way to much fun standing up in full auto. He was a hazard to low flying aircraft.


Something interesting happened at the shoot and that is you should always check what kind of ammo you are shooting. A friend bought a large number of reloads and partial boxes of factory 38 special. After he finished shooting it a strange case was noticed on the ground.

DSC_3489csIt was a 32-20 fired in a 38 special chamber.

DSC_3490csIt was easy to make the mistake if you are not checking each and every round.

DSC_3491csI also got to shoot a Knight Armament 308 rifle with suppressor. What a great gun I just wish I had the money to buy one.



A great time was had by all and I am glade I took the day off.

Sunday answer

This magazine is the shorten version for the silenced Chinese sub machine gun.

20140811_691249This is a look at the larger magazine that was issued with this weapon.




This is the Sub machine gun.

pattern room 043s

pattern room 042s

pattern room 041csThis is the special 7.62×25 cartridge that was used  with this weapon.


What is it Saturday


VG1-5 magazine release button.

In this post we are going to show you how the magazine release button is made. We start with a laser cut washer.

DSC_2748csOkay over 100 laser cut washers.

DSC_3394sThen run them through the pressing tool that forms them to the shape we need.


DSC_2597sAfter this step they look like this.

DSC_3395sOne hundred later and this is what it looks like.

DSC_3397sHere is a video of the process.


Once they are formed then they are riveted to the threaded button. This is the picture of the button.

DSC_2745scA pile of buttons.

DSC_3400sA quick look at the riveting tool.DSC_2595ssWhat the riveted  part looks like.

DSC_2601sAfter this they go to welding and then to finishing.



Making the VG1-5 strengthening plates

In this post we are going to take you through the steps necessary to make the strengthening plates for the side of the VG1-5 receiver. In the first couple of rifles that we made we bent the plates on my finger brake.

DSC_3434sThis was not a plan for doing over 200 of them. The time necessary to measure and mark each one and then eye ball the bends and fit to the receiver would have been enormous. To do this in an efficient manor that insured that they were all the same and would fit correctly a press tool had to be made. This are a couple of solid model pictures to get an idea of what it should look like.

side press assem1

side press assemOnce design in solid works and programed in mastercam this is what the final product looked like.





And taken apart to show the inside of the press tool.




In this last photo you can see where the laser cut blank set.


DSC_3431sThis last two photos show the angle that we pressed to. These photo’s were taken after all the pressings have been completed. The press tool was made out of 1018 steel and the wear from pressing 210 pieces was non-existence. If we were going to press thousands upon thousands of them we would have gone to heat treated steel.

Now on to the actual making of parts. This is what we received from the laser cutting people.

DSC_3382sThe parts were cut and cleaned from them. A slightly better look at them.


Now a quick video of pressing them.



The final part after they were all pressed.

DSC_3391sEvery one of them exactly the same and ready to install on the receiver. Just for an idea of the time to accomplish this part.  It took 2 days to design and build the press tool and about an hour to do the pressings. If we would have stayed with the old procedure it would have taken days to accomplish and the repeatability and accuracy would not have been there.

Weekend update 1-5-15

Well the new year is here and the holidays are over. It is time to get back into the routine of life. This last week was just that but a little longer. The first on the list was the honeydo’s  project. My wife wanted a new kitchen faucet for Christmas ,seeing how the old one had cracked and died, and I got the pleasure of installing it. Now before any of you get on my case about buying a faucet for my wife for Christmas and not something like jewelry, witch I make, or cloths, which I would never guess at, she bought it her self. In fact she buys all the gifts because I have no since of humor shopping. This is a picture of the old faucet and you can see why it needed to go.

DSC_3348sThis what she bought to replace it.

DSC_3307sNow the fun starts. There is nothing I like better then to get my old and over weight body down on the floor and try to squeeze into a small space and work.


DSC_3351sThen to only find out none of the hoses match up between the old faucet and the new on. So a trip to home depot to buy the necessary components and back on the floor again and we end up with this.

DSC_3352sWhile we are on the subject of honeydo’s my next door neighbor decided he needed a new tv. The large 63″ one in his bedroom just was not big enough so he bought a new one that was larger and was going to throw out his one year old one because it kept shutting down after 30 minutes or so. Because he had trouble moving it by himself he gave me a call and asked if I wanted it. Not one to turn down free stuff I said yes. It is now in the living room where it replace my 34″ set. And the timer has been reset so it operates great.


DSC_3355sIt took a while to get working and new cables have to be bought, as it is high def and our old one was not. I still can not get use to the size. It takes up the wall.

Now on to shop things. Most of this weekend was spent working in the wood shop and as the weather was a little chilly it was a good idea.

DSC_3316sYes, that is snow on the mountain behind my home.

Now, back to the wood shop. A couple of weeks ago I picked up some new, for me, wood working equipment. With the new additions I needed to make some changes to the shop. It seems a number of  people question my sanity for getting additional wood working equipment when I spend most of my time in the machine shop. There are two good reasons for this. The first is that I need to make stocks and metal casting patterns for some of the gun projects were we are doing. The second is that I started a complete house remodel a few years back and got stopped at the kitchen. I bought a kitchen store display cheap but when I went back to buy the additional cabinets to finish the kitchen the costs were out in the “O MY God” price range. The same is true when we contacted a number of cabinet makers in the valley. Not to mention that I am now sure that cabinet makers are one step below used car sales men in honesty and integrity. So I have decided to make the remainder of the kitchen cabinets because I have nothing to do in my spare time.

So,with the new tool I got for Christmas I got busy.

DSC_3312sI finished the back table for the table saw.

DSC_3375sA cabinet needs to be built for inside the stand. That project is coming up as soon as I finish the drawings in solid works.

DSC_3376sThen we move the radial arm saw to a new location to make it more user friendly and started build a larger table for it. This next series of pictures is that process.




We started with the old bench that I had in the shop, I got it out of a dumpster a while back and liked it. However it was to low for the saw and needed to be raised and there was a slight rise in the table so everything had to be hand fitted.

DSC_3363sBut by the end of the weekend we had it mostly finished. I need to pick up a 1.5″x2″x16′ long piece of steel to finish the job. This is how it looked when I stopped.

DSC_3374sThis weekend I also took a class for K. who is a professional photographer, and works for a top gun magazine, to try and improve my pictures. This is the photo I took at the beginning of the session.


DSC_3325sAnd these are the same shots at the end of the session. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a few hours with her and learned a great deal. With any luck I will be able to do it again.



DSC_3328sNo photoshop magic was done on any of them.

And as they say in the infomercials, BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE.

I also spent time in the machine shop working on the new parts we just got in fro the laser cutter for the VG1-5 project. I finished the magazine release button and the strengthening plates for the receiver.



DSC_3391sMagazine release buttons.




DSC_3404sA complete write up will be coming in the next few days along with videos. I also spent more time on the AR-16 drawings to try and get that rifle finished up in solid works. Other then taking my wife out to the movie and a few clean up projects this was my weekend. Tomorrow I will post an update on the VG1-5 project and all the other projects we have been working on here at Gun Lab.




Sunday Answer 1-4-15

This is the bolt from a Holloway HAC 7 rifle.

IMG_0045csYou can see how it sets in the bolt carrier here.

cimg76311024x768And finally the complete rifle.

cimg76271024x768lsI use to own one of these when they first came out, wish I would have kept it.