Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Talk about things other than the Model 8's and 81's
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Sarge756
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Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by Sarge756 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:03 am

I was visiting my favorite gunshop couple days ago and spent some time with the crankiest old gunsmith east of the Mississippi. Vince, pulled out an unusual pistol he was working on to show me. It was a Frommer 1912 STOP . Immediately saw it was not the normal semi-auto as it is a long recoil that operates similar to our Model 8/81`s. I found the website below when I got home that shows it in operation. Thought members here would find it interesting.
Joe

http://candrsenal.com/pistol-frommer-stop/

Photos of the one Vince is working on:
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DWalt
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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by DWalt » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:32 am

I'm sure there have been many various designs and prototypes for long-recoil handguns over the years, but the only other one I know of is the infamous "Mars" pistol tested by the British military very early in the 20th Century. I don't think there were many of them made, but enough that there are some production guns known in the collector's market. I remember reading about a comment made about it in the original British test report, to the effect that "...no one who had fired it once wished to shoot it again." Recoil must have really been something. I also remember from many years ago an article in one of the gun collector publications about a complete restoration project done on a basket-case Mars.
---------------
I found the article - It was in the Gun Collector's Digest, 1974, Page 108, entitled "Restoring Rare Guns." Also, see the Wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Automatic_Pistol

Back in the pre-GCA-68 days, Frommer STOPs were often seen in the various mail-order gun ads in the gunmags of that time. I also remember seeing many of them at gun shows back then. But I don't remember seeing any recently.

Another equally weird pistol was the Schwarzlose 1908 "blow-forward" pistol, sort of the reverse of a "blowback." The breech remained stationary while the barrel moved forward upon firing. I actually owned one of those long ago, the only one I ever saw. I think there was a similar Japanese pistol using the same principle.

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Sarge756
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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by Sarge756 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:08 pm

Great article on the Mars. Think of a 100 years going by and they reached back to the design for the development of the present day Desert Eagle. Shows that most things(firearm related) are not new, just improvement of the past. I`ve never seen a Mars but will certainly keep my eye out from now on. Having shot a Desert Eagle I can relate to the statement describing the Mars in the article. The captain in charge of tests of the Mars at the Naval Gunnery School in 1902 observed, "No one who fired once with the pistol wished to shoot it again". Shooting the Mars pistol was described as "singularly unpleasant and alarming".[

I wondered when I saw the Frommer Stop, if John Browning ,had any input or influence on the design.Hard to imagine that Frommer didn`t use some of his ideas . I`ll have to keep an eye out .From closed listings as recent as a couple years ago they look to be fairly affordable. Would go well with my Ortgie pistol in 32acp.
Only drawback would be having to handload the 32acp`s a little hotter so it would function properly.
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

DWalt
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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by DWalt » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:36 am

I had an Ortgies .32 once, over 30 years ago. I got it for, essentially, free, It had some problems and I had to make up some parts to get it working, but work it did. It's a little unusual, but not unique, in that it has no screws. Handloading .32 ACP is not a real problem, the main issue being the difficulty in handling the small cases.

I just ran across a really odd pocket pistol several weeks ago that I had forgotten I even had - a Davis-Warner "Infallible" in .32 ACP from the WWI era. It still works, but they sure don't come much uglier. Allegedly, its odd design was the result of getting around the Browning patents, so the stories go.

I have always loved pocket pistols, and at one time had a fairly large collection of them - most are now gone except for some Savages, Remington 51s (both my favorites), a mint Browning 1900, and the recently-uncovered Infallible.

Is the Desert Eagle long recoil? That's one I know nothing about, and never had one in my hand. I did know a small-town Texas Constable once (crazy as the proverbial S**t-House rat) who carried one and was always looking for an opportunity to shoot someone with it. And then there was the Auto-Mag - another one I know little about, but I think it was gas-operated. Didn't Dirty Harry use one of those in a later movie of the series?

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Sarge756
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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by Sarge756 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:48 pm

Agreed , no problem loading the 32acp but they are tiny and my fingers are too big.Fumble fumble with powder,bullets and primers on the floor. The smallest I usually load is 38 spl. When I mentioned the Frommer being used in the design of the Desert Eagle I believe it must have been the bolt design that was used.Both have a rotary bolt .The Desert Eagle is not a blowback recoil pistol.It is gas operated and uses a piston like found on center fire semi auto rifles. The gas port runs from the chamber area to the muzzle and activates a piston there. Remembering problems with the ports on my 742`s and BAR`s getting fouled I can`t imagine what a port that long would be like. Perhaps ,they don`t get shot enough to cause a problem. Once with the 50 cal is just about once too much. Take a look at this video:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=des ... FORM=VIRE4

.........and Yes, that Infallible is one ugly duckling.
Joe
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

DWalt
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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by DWalt » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:49 pm

Not my idea of fun. All I shoot in my three .44 Mags are .44 Special-level handloads, mainly because I'm not impressed by recoil. The very first .44 Mag I owned back in the mid 60s was one of the original Ruger Blackhawk flat tops, and I sold it cheap because of the brutal recoil from full .44 Mag loads. I didn't reload at that time, and I sure wish I had kept the gun.

I've never had any port fouling problems with my 740 or 7400, but then I don't shoot them that much any more.

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imfuncity
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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by imfuncity » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:58 pm

DWalt wrote:And then there was the Auto-Mag - another one I know little about, but I think it was gas-operated. Didn't Dirty Harry use one of those in a later movie of the series?
Yes, "Sudden Impact". The story goes that they had two divers in the water when he shot that scene shooting the Auto-Mag on the pier... as it misfired so often Clint did or at least threatened to throw it in!

I have one in 22mag, and although they are nortorious for hanging up, I have had zero problems. (Except for a lot of folks trying to get me to part with it! :D )
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TRX
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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by TRX » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:41 am

The Auto Mag was a short-recoil system; the upper barrel assembly moves back about 5/16". The bolt is unlocked by a cross-pin in the cam track and the bits cycle the rest of the way by inertia.

It's the same basic system as the 1898(?) Schwarzlose pistol.

The Frommer Stop's mechanism looks very similar to some early Browning patents, with two springs in a housing over the barrel, but I'm not sure if it works the same way. The Stop put the bits up top in order to lower the barrel to reduce muzzle flip. Nowadays that's considered a big thing; back then, bores 3 or 4 inches over your hand weren't that big a deal, particularly some of the Austrian-designed monstrosities.

The Webley Automatic Revolver was also a long-recoil action. It was truly an automatic, despite using a cylinder instead of a box magazine.

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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by DWalt » Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:30 pm

In a way, you could say the British Webley-Fosbery revolver was recoil operated, but not in the same way as the 8/81 is. The entire barrel and cylinder assembly recoils independently of the frame for a short distance (much less than the cartridge length) upon firing. There is a small stud in the frame which works in a "zig-zag" slot in the cylinder. Then when the assembly recoils and returns to battery, it cocks the hammer and revolves the cylinder to the next chamber. Otherwise, the design is the same as any other revolver, requiring manual reloading after the sixth shot was fired. I can't think of the name right now, but there was also an American revolver that operated on the same principle. And of course the W-F was not automatic, but semi-automatic. The main problem with the W-F was you had to use a very firm grip or it would malfunction if you "limp-wristed" it. I also seem to remember that someone had designed a recoil-operated Gatling-type machine gun that used a similar principle to eliminate the need to turn a crank to fire it.

A lot of fiction writers (possessing no gun knowledge) at one time often used the phrase "automatic revolver" to describe a handgun. That would have been true only if the ficticious shooter was using a W-F. I don't know how many W-Fs were made, but I think many British military officers bought them for use during WWI. At that time, officers of the King were required to provide their own sidearms. No problems, as most were from the moneyed class or the aristocracy.

I remember reading a book long ago in which the bad guy actually did use a W-F revolver.
Last edited by DWalt on Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Forgotten Weapons
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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by Forgotten Weapons » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:30 pm

The book you're thinking of is probably The Maltese Falcon.

There have been a few true long-recoil pistols, but not very many. The Frommer Stop was the final one of Rudolf Frommer's such pistols (subsequent Hungarian designs were just plain blowback). Prior to the Stop he had models in 1901, 1905, and 1910. I have one of the 1910s, and mechanically it's exactly the same system as the Model 8 (except with a 3-lug rotating bolt). Funny how that complex of a locking system was deemed necessary for a .32 (and the pre-Stop models used a different .32 cartridge even wimpier than .32 ACP).

The Mars is also a good example of a long recoil handgun. Another interesting aspect to the Mars is that is pulled cartridges out the back of the magazine, primer-first, then lifted them up to be chambered.

And, of course, there is also the Chauchat automatic rifle being a long-recoil system. It was actually a decent gun, despite all the bad things people say.

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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by DWalt » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:01 pm

"The book you're thinking of is probably The Maltese Falcon."
Could well have been. I read it long ago.

"A .38 caliber Webley-Fosbery was integral to the plot of Dashiell Hammelt's novel The Maltese Falcon, and in the 1941 movie of the same name. In the novel, private detective Sam Spade, says "Yes. Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver. Thirty-eight, eight shot. They don't make them any more." Another Webley-Fosbery is wielded by the character Zed. played by Sean Connery in the 1973 movie Zardoz."

Prior to reading the above, I was unaware there was a W-F in .38. But it appears that there indeed was one. I haven't found any details about it, however. Incidentally, in the movie, Humphrey Bogart referred to the W-F as a ".45" but the book calls it a .38. References say .38 ACP. A strange caliber choice, but certainly possible. In my stumbling around, I also found mention of a modern (ca. 1997, Italian) revolver of similar design called the "Mateba." The other US automatic revolver I earlier mentioned was the pre-WWI "Union," made in Toledo, OH, in .32 caliber. One recently sold on GunsAmerica for about $3000.

The M1941 Johnson automatic rifle and light machine guns were also long recoil. I think their only US military service was with the USMC for awhile during WWII.

Regarding the Chauchat, its main problem was the result of a poor conversion to .30-'06 as was done for use by US forces during WWI. It apparently worked quite well in its original 8mm Lebel caliber, for which it was designed. Lots of people criticize it, but they forget that there was no other automatic rifle available to the allies besides the BAR, and that didn't reach France until very late in the war, and was used very little even then. The story was that Pershing did not want to issue BARs to the US troops for the fear that some would be captured by the Germans and copied.

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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by ROBOPUMP » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:46 pm

There is a Frommer 1912 STOP up for bid on GunBroker right now, but does have some missing parts.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt ... =368868904

ROB

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Re: Long Recoil Semi Auto Pistol

Post by ROBOPUMP » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:25 pm

I just found two complete Frommer 1912 STOP pistols for sale. One is stated to have 90% finish with strong rifling with very light frost. The other is 85% with some light frosting. How does $495.00 sound for a price? Both look really good for the age.

ROB

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