Guns of the Week: October 6 – 10, 2014
Unloading the Myth – Dardick and His Trounds
This gun may look like something from the pages of a science fiction novel but it was actually an unique invention produced in the mid-twentieth century. In the 1950s, one such firearm was the Dardick Model 1500 Pistol. David Dardick marketed this pistol from 1954 through 1962. It has a fifteen round magazine that feeds the ammunition into an open-topped chamber revolving mechanism.
It fired Dardick’s companion invention, the tround: a contraction for triangular round. In lieu of a traditional cartridge, the projectile for this gun is contained within a colorful polymer, which is typically blue, green, or white. After production ceased on this firearm in the 1960s, Dardick reinvented his ammunition, receiving a patent in 1974 for a tround that could hold multiple rounds and types of projectiles.
This new patent was used in the U.S. Army’s Project SALVO in the development of Harrington and Richardson’s Special Purpose Individual Weapon System. Instead of firing bullets from the tround, however, they used high velocity flechettes. This firearm is also on display in the Smithsonian exhibition.
Unloading the Myth – The Whitney Wolverine
Another invention from the same decade as the Dardick was the Whitney Wolverine. This firearm, manufactured by the Whitney Arms Company heralded a lightweight aluminum frame. Robert Hillberg, who worked with aluminum casting during World War II, created this 1.3 lb firearm that fired 10 rounds of .22 LR cartridges.
Due to poor budgeting constraints and marketing, the company only produced 13,371 firearms between 1956 and 1958. While this design initially disappeared from the firearms scene, it was redeveloped after its appropriation by Olympic Arms Inc., which manufactures an upgraded version of the firearm today.
Unloading the Myth – Passler & Seidl
When you look at early invention in the semi-automatic, you get some interesting-looking firearms. The first attempt at the semi-auto pistol was Borchardt’s C93 that attempted to reinvent Maxim’s toggle lock. Around the same time several other inventors were attempting similar yet different designs.
This Passler & Seidl Semi-Automatic Pistol is a rare representation of those guns. In 1887, this firearm was invented by Franz Passler and Ferdinand Seidl in Austria. This early repeater played around with the self-loading features of a semi-auto. The ring trigger could be manipulated forward and backward to load the firearm. The ammunition was loaded into the bottom of the frame. The caliber is 7.7 mm and may be a 7.65mm Borchardt cartridge or an 8mm Bergmann tapered rimless cartridge (two contemporary cartridges of its time).