sig p210 trigger function

The SIG S.P.47/8 was developed to compete for succession of Georg Luger’s Parabellum pistol that had been adopted by the Swiss Army in 1900 as the first automatic pistol to be issued in military service. Although the Luger has been simplified, and arguably perfected in its 1929 embodiment by the Waffenfabrik Bern (W+F), it was deemed too expensive for continued production. Its successor was to cut down on the costs while maintaining its stellar accuracy. The legacy of the Luger is clearly seen in one of the modifications of the Charles Petter design that SIG licensed for that purpose in 1937. While Petter’s Modèle 1935A pistol imitated the M1911 in its slide rails riding on tracks in the frame, SIG replicated the Parabellum arrangement that made the upper assembly reciprocate inside the frame tracks. Sig also designed a two-stage trigger that imitated the trigger pull of the Luger, while decreasing its trigger weight, as witness the following test results.
    On the Lyman electronic trigger gauge, the trigger of a heavy frame SIG P210-6, serial number P79608, yields a weight of 1.2kg, averaged over 10 pulls. Its immediate heavy frame successor, P79609, fitted with a National Match hammer, releases the sear at an average of 1.23kg. Likewise the heavy frame P210-6, serial number P79103 in 7.65 Para, at 1.24kg. That’s about as good as you can get in a tuned service grade self-loading pistol, and much lighter than Swiss pistol target shooting competitions allow, by requiring a trigger weight above 1500 grams. More typical are the measurements of the heavy frame SIG P210-6, serial number P79136, which yields a weight of 1.82kg, averaged over 10 pulls, the Borchardt C93, serial number 1774, releasing the striker at 2.59kg, and the Krieghoff P08, serial number 3249, weighing in at a hefty 3.48kg.
    More Swiss service pistol trigger pull weight measurements follow:

  • P06/1929 SN 71644: 3.80kg;
  • P06/1929 SN 77493: 2.57kg;
  • P06/1929 National Match SN 59951: 2.64kg;
  • P06/1929 National Match SN 65721: 2.15kg;
  • P210-6 SN P86618: 1.78kg;
  • P210-2 SN P79980: 1.67kg;
  • P210-1 SN P77209: 1.94kg;
  • P210-2 SN P74064: 1.86kg;
  • P49 SN A204931: 2.88kg;
  • P49 SN A156213: 2.90kg;
  • P49 SN A107159: 2.75kg;
  • P49 SN A105553: 2.56kg.

All are two stage, with a very crisp stage transition (Druckpunkt). It is obvious which pistols have been resprung. As witness P06/1929 National Match SN 59951 and 65721, W+F was either unwilling or unable to equal, let alone best the measurements of a factory tuned P210, in preparing for the 1949 ISSF competition in Buenos Aires.
    The double pull lever is the part responsible for regulating the transition between the two stages of the trigger pull of the P210. After the trigger, part #28, takes up the slack to engage the sear, part #23, by way of the trigger rod, part #26, the first stage of the trigger pull is determined mainly by the weight of the trigger spring, part #31, with additional resistance provided by the sear spring, part #24. As the sear rotates around its pin, part #22, it brings all the way back the hammer, part #14, and contacts the double pull lever, part #21. At that point, the double pull lever connects the sear with the mainspring, part #20, providing considerable additional resistance in the second and final stage of the trigger pull, just before the release of the hammer by the sear.

    Double pull lever adjustment method
click on the picture for higher resolution

    The double pull lever is individually hand-fitted to the sear and the hammer to regulate the pressure point (Druckpunkt) of the two-stage trigger pull system. If the pressure point is too soft, i.e. if the second stage of the trigger pull has to be strengthened, the top surfaces of two support arms furthest away from the pivot pin of the double pull lever, part #22, must be evenly worked down with an oilstone at the point of their contact with the hammer action housing, part #13. This operation brings the body of the double pull lever closer to the sear. In performing this operation, both sides of the double pull lever must remain perfectly square at the points of their contact with the hammer action housing. The hammer action housing itself should not be modified. If the pressure point is too hard, i.e. if the second stage of the trigger pull has to be weakened, the two projections in the middle of the double pull lever located on either side of the stirrup, part #16, must be evenly worked down with an oilstone at the point of their engagement by the sear, part #23, in the course of the trigger pull. This operation postpones the engagement of the double pull lever by the sear. In performing this operation, both projections on the double pull lever must remain perfectly square at the points of their contact with the sear. The sear itself should not be modified. Never attempt any modification of these parts, unless you are certain of your gunsmithing competence.
    In late production, forged and deep hardened milspec sears and double pull levers were gradually replaced by metal injection molded (MIM) parts of slightly modified profiles. This image is taken from Armbruster, p. 193:

    Double pull levers used during the SIG P210 production runs. Nos. 1-4 are milled and hardened. From No. 2 the area between the anterior and posterior pressure ridges was reinforced by adding material. No. 5 is the latest version, produced by metal injection molding.
click on the picture for higher resolution

As with all MIM components, these parts are superficially case hardened. They are therefore unsuitable for hand fitting that is liable to cut through the hardening and expose soft core metal in the working surfaces.

manurhin mr73


Writing a year after the end of WWI, prewar Olympic gold and silver pistol shooting medalist Walter Winans began Chapter I of his treatise The Modern Pistol and How to Shoot It with a bold pronouncement: “There is now no use learning revolver shooting. That form of pistol is obsolete except in the few instances where it survives for target shooting, or is carried for defense; just as flintlock muskets even now survive in out-of-the-way parts of the world. If a man tries to defend himself with a revolver against another armed with the automatic pistol he is at a great disadvantage. […] The automatic is more accurate than a revolver [and has] a much longer range than the revolver.” This article is concerned with technical features of the most conspicuous exception to Winans’ pronouncement, the Manurhin MR73, the last revolver developed and fielded forty years ago as an offensive sidearm, a capacity in which it continues to excel to this very day.
    But first, a few words about its precursors. Continue reading manurhin mr73

exit pp41; enter pp14

SIG P210 barrels are designed to shoot standard Swiss Army pistol ammunition, the Pistolen Patrone 41, made by RUAG in Thun. This 124gr. NATO-spec FMJ 9x19mm round originally came in 24-round boxes, which sufficed to load three magazines. Like the RUAG rifle ammunition, it has replaced its original nickel alloy bullet jacket with a jacket made of copper. Its headstamps are the same as for the RUAG GP90 rifle round, comprising a T for the factory location in Thun, placed above the last two digits of the year of manufacture. The Pistolen Patrone 41 was originally produced for the P49, loaded with WIMMIS, a slow burning pistol powder. According to the KTA Reglement 53.103 d, it develops 2600 bar chamber pressure. (The published maximum chamber pressure for 9mm Para per CIP is 2350 bar.) Available for purchase at pistol ranges throughout Switzerland, and distributed to Swiss citizens during Schützenfesten, unlike other RUAG ammunition, it is restricted from export, but may be found in small quantities on the collector market. It is a high-pressure combat round, accurate albeit not optimized for target shooting.
The PP41 was originally meant to be used with the then newly introduced, toggle-operated W+F MP Model 41 (Furrer Model 1941) and the Solothurn MP 41 (Suomi Model 1931) submachine guns, at the time when the standard issue KTA pistol round was 7.65mm Para. The idea to adopt the Pist Pat 41 as the new standard issue came up at the pistol trials held in 1942, in connection with the ill-fated W+F 9mm Pistol 29 prototype. The Furrer 41/44 SMG was gradually decommissioned after WWII, but the Suomi lingered until at least  the late Eighties. It's likely that the pressure of the Pist Pat 41 was kept well above the CIP and NATO standard for SMG compatibility, which probably also accounts for KTA proving 9mm Para arms at 50% overpressure instead of following the CIP practice of 30% overpressure proof loads.
pp 41 14

Earlier in this year, RUAG introduced the PP14 under the brand Geco Sintox as the cartridge meant to succeed the PP41. It is currently manufactured in Switzerland and copied under license by MSF in Hungary. Accordingly, the current 50-round boxes are labeled EU or Switzerland.

korriphila press clippings

For auction: 1984 4″ .45 ACP double action Korriphila HSP701 serial number 023.

In a simpler time, an armorer with an order for personal weapons measured his man and his man’s pocket-book and straightforwardly hammered and clanged out the requisites. Everything was just about one-at-a-time anyway. Even the complication of gunpowder didn’t change that for centuries. Indeed, 150 short years ago, that was how it was and therefore all those splendid cased pistols, Pennsyltucky rifles and long fowlers. Here lately, however, anything really personal in a handgun — if it was to be up-to-date — meant the conversion, alteration and/or embellishment of some factory arm. That may be changing, and colleague Jeff Cooper rather likes the idea.
    He certainly likes the Korriphila pistol, otherwise called HSP-701, as gotten up by Edgar Budischowsky in Heidelberg, West Germany. The Korriphila is a made-to-measure self-loading handgun built without regard to cost to be, to the limits of its maker’s talents, as good as it can be. According to Cooper’s report of the two samples he tried — unfortunately neither made to Cooper measurements or requirements — the Korriphila is pretty good. But first the options thus far known:
    1. Choice of eight calibers, 45 ACP and 10mm down to 9mm Ultra.
    2. Four- or six-in. barrel length.
    3. Single-action only; double-action only; or selective for both.
    4. Finish of choice — black or white.
    5. Control levers, trigger, and the like sized to order, and placed (in the case of slide-stop and magazine release) where wished.
    6. A normal list of sight and shape (square trigger guard? hook trigger guard?) options.
All except 38 Special and 9mm Ultra have Budischowsky’s single-roller-delay blowback action. The barrel is rigid; the sights adjustable; the magazine a single-column affair.
    “These pistols were each a pleasure,” Cooper said. “The pulls were clean and sharp, the feel fine, the sights just right. In a 35-ounce gun, of course, the recoil was light.” Cooper has long felt eight shots upon command, as in the Model 1911 Colt, are enough and has no problem with the Korriphila’s magazine capacity. (His exact words were: “If one cannot solve his immediate problem with six or eight well-placed shots, it is doubtful that he can solve it with 10 or 12.) But he does think the gun a tad bulky. Cooper thinks nearly all the service pistols in the world are a little bulky, matter of fact, but has hopes that this design effort may one day provide all the gun he wants and less — that is, if enough cash customers bespeak Korriphilas, and enough of those want slimness with their quality, perhaps it will happen.
    Yes, the HSP-701 is expensive. It is not anything like a shotgun one might order in London, which is a comparable undertaking. To get right to it: At this writing, a customer in the U.S. will pay $2000.00 for his Korriphila pistol. (He will talk, we’re told, to International Gun Co., P.O. Box 35551, Tucson, AZ 85740.)
    Among the Budischowsky design’s real — if invisible — charms is the idea of it. There is no way Korriphila was meant for the military or for the police — it’s for individuals. That’s refreshing.

— Ken Warner, Gun Digest 1986, p. 173

In view of the continuous complaints we get about the sale price of the Steyr Scout, we now offer a proper response. It seems that Herr Budischowsky of Eislingen, Germany, is now offering what he considers to be the pistol to end all pistols. This is the “Korriphila Model HSP 701” and its retail price in Germany is 15,900 Deutsch Marks. (Last we heard there were about 1.7 DM to a US dollar.) This, of course, is in its deluxe version in solid Damascus steel. Its less ornamental brother in plain blued steel is way down at DM 8,000. Basically it is a 9mm crunchenticker, but it may be offered in the future in a major caliber. I do not know if Herr Budischowsky is taking orders at this time, but you might check with him at the SHOT Show.

Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries, Vol. 6, No. 10, September, 1998


Korriphila-Präzisionsmechanik GmbH, Ulm/Donau, Germany.

This precision-engineering business is best known in gunmaking circles for handguns designed by Edgar Budischowsky. These were originally distributed exclusively by Waffen-Frankonia of Würzburg, but the current products are promoted by Intertex-Korriphila of Eislingen.

TP-70 Apart from double-action lockwork and exemplary quality, this was a conventional blowback design with a slide-mounted safety catch. It was sold in the USA in the 1970s as the “Budischowsky”, honoring its designer.

HSP-701 (1982 to date) An interesting delayed-blowback pattern, this relies on a separate breechblock within the slide and a transverse roller. When the gun fires, the roller has dropped into a recess in the frame and prevents the breechblock from moving back until an operating finger on the slide raises the roller out of its seat. Only about 30 guns are being made annually, confined to 9mm Parabellum (nine-round magazine) and 45 ACP (seven rounds), although 7.65mm Parabellum, 9mm Police, 9mm Steyr, 38 Special and 10mm Norma options have all been offered in the past. The guns have 4- or 5-inch barrels and weigh about 39-42 oz depending on their features. A few single-action examples have also been made.

  • Odin’s Eye This is a fascinating deluxe version of the basic HSP-701, differing from the standard pattern in the material of the frame and slide. It is the only automatic pistol ever to have been made in hand-forged damascus steel. The guns are fantastically expensive, but truly “one-of-a-kind”, as the patterning on the metalwork is unique to each particular component.
— Ian Hogg & John Walter, Pistols of the World, 2004, p. 194

another win for human rights

As of today, citizens of California no longer need any more of an excuse to be licensed to carry a gun than to be licensed to drive a car.

Plaintiffs in Richards v. Prieto had argued that Yolo County’s Sheriff’s policy, in light of the California regulatory regime as a whole, abridges the Second Amendment right to bear arms because its definition of “good cause” prevents a responsible, law-abiding citizen from carrying a handgun in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Yolo County’s policy provided that “self protection and protection of family (without credible threats of violence)” are “invalid reasons” for requesting a concealed handgun carry permit. The district court concluded that Yolo County’s policy did not infringe Richards’ Second Amendment rights and denied Richard’s motion for summary judgment while granting the MSJ of Sheriff Ed Prieto. Today, Justice Diarmid O’Scannlain reversed and remanded this ruling on behalf of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Thus the court granted the plaintiffs’s demands:

  1. Declaratory relief that the “good moral character” and “good cause” provisions of California Penal Code § 12050 are unconstitutional either on their face and/or as applied to bar applicants who are otherwise legally qualified to possess firearms and who assert self-defense as their “good cause” for seeking a handgun carry permit; and
  2. An order permanently enjoining Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and all persons in active concert or anticipation with them who receive actual notice of the injunction, from enforcing the “good moral character” and “good cause” requirements of California Penal Code § 12050 against handgun carry permit applicants who seek the permit for self-defense and are otherwise qualified to obtain a handgun carry permit under that section.

It’s all over for hoplophobes, but for the shouting.

best pistol ever?

Dick Metcalf waxes lyrical about the Colt Government Model 1911. I agree that the Colt 1911 is to autoloaders what the Colt Single Action Army is to revolvers: an obsolete design sustained by sentimental attachment of nostalgic fanboys. Here is why:

  1. Far from the “Best Pistol Ever”, the 1911 design is demonstrably inferior to its descendants. Locating the barrel with a bushing at the muzzle and a swinging link at the breech makes it easy to tune for accuracy or reliability but hard to standardize for drop-in spare part replacement and tricky to take apart and put back together. A 1911 built tight for accuracy will not shoot reliably until it has been broken in with thousands of hardball rounds, at which point it will have loosened up to become less accurate. The exterior of the 1911 bristles with hard edges and delicate notches. Its ergonomics are so poor that only collector editions are made without beavertail tangs, memory groove grip safeties, extended thumb safeties, and cut or arched mainspring housings. Its construction standards are so lax that three generations of gunsmiths have put their kids through college by charging fees for hand-fitting for accuracy and reliability tune-ups. Its lore is akin to that of Harley-Davidson Big Twin, the flagship product of the oldest surviving motorcycle manufacturer in the world, which putters around in grand style as long as the rider abstains from going too fast or turning too abruptly.
  2. “Its straightforward, user-friendly design cannot be outclassed for reliability, accuracy, endurance, and effectiveness.” Oh, really? In the late 1960s, the US Navy ran a test using an accurized softball competition 1911A1 pistol shooting Remington 185-grain .45 ACP jacketed wadcutter match ammo. At the outset the gun printed 20-shot 2.5″ groups at 50 yards out of a machine rest. About every 5000 rounds, it was put back into the machine rest and retested. In each of these tests through 25,000 rounds, it still shot the same size groups. At 30,000 rounds, the groups had opened up to about 3.5″; at 35,000 rounds, the groups were about 4.5″. For comparison purposes, numerous Swiss shooters report no degradation of factory-grade accuracy in a SIG P210 after firing 250,000 rounds. These milspec guns were tested on behalf of the Swiss Army to put 10 rounds into a 50mm circle at 50 meters, and did so consistently over five times the lifespan of a 1911. As Ken Hackathorn and Larry Vickers pointed out while explaining the supersession of the 1911 by the HK45, “at 50,000 rounds, a 1911 needs a severe overhaul. It’s going to need to be rebuilt and it’s going to have a lot of parts that are worn out.” Back in its heyday, that was a reasonable expectation of of a military sidearm’s lifespan. Thus Julian Hatcher described in the 1953 Gun Digest a 5,000 round endurance test administered by the U.S. Army around the end of WWII to a number of service autopistols. Only the Colt M1911A1 passed. The German P38 came in second with 10 malfunctions, one broken extractor, and 2 other parts replaced. Among the blowback pistols, including the Walther PP and PPK and the Mauser HSc, each had at least 36 malfunctions, with the PPK coming in the worst at 83. All of the blowback frames cracked before completing 5,000 rounds. The PP outlasted the rest, firing 4,142 rounds before cracking the frame. This was par for the course for pistols that could be expected not to fire more than 50 rounds in annual qualification, but totally inadequate for entrants in the modern offensive handgun weapon system, as evaluated by Hackathorn and Vickers. Put simply, Colt’s beloved relic fails to live up to the standards of accuracy, reliability, and ruggedness, maintained by modern service auto pistols.
  3. “How well can a Government Model 1911 pistol shoot? Generally, a top-of-the-line Colt-manufacture .45 Gold Cup new from the box can be reliably expected to deliver 2.5-inch, five-shot average groups at 25 meters from a rest. Give it to a top-grade pistol-smith for refinement and you’ll get a gun that will put match-grade loads into a 1-inch circle at that distance.” This is no tribute, but a reproof. The factory-accurized Colt Government Model National Match Gold Cup is far too tight to merit the accolades for reliability earned by its predecessors in military trials; all the more so once it has been “refined” by a top-grade pistol-smith. Four decades ago Colt tacitly acknowledged these shortcomings in their stillborn SSP design, which dispensed with the separate barrel bushing and barrel link of the 1911, taking its design cues from Charles Petter’s French M1935A and its successor, the Swiss P210. The one-piece slide differentially-bored to support the tilting barrel cuts in half the clearances required by the replaceable barrel bushing; the barrel cam that superseded Browning’s swinging link in the Radom ViS-35 and the FN GP35, as derived from the his own 1927 patent for the Grande Rendement prototype of the latter, enables drop-in barrel fit for a unit construction slide; the integral hammer action that can be removed and replaced without tools, as introduced in the Tokarev TT30, simplifies maintenance and allows for drop-in unit-level armorer repair of ignition malfunctions; and the Luger-patterned frame with its rails enveloping the slide makes for their far more consistent alignment. These design changes amount to genuine corrections of John Moses Browning’s venerable masterpiece. To maintain its ongoing supremacy over its successors is an insult to the intelligence of modern handgunners.

Crossposted to [info]larvatus and [info]guns.

nanny statists, sore losers?

Charles Simic asseverates, without adducing a shred of evidence or articulating a scintilla of argument, that the chief mission of NRA and other gun lobbies is “to drum up business for the 1,200 gun makers in this country”. Let’s see how his claim holds up.

In 2012, according to an analysis by business research firm Hoovers, the gun and ammunition industry in the U.S. generated an estimated $6 billion in revenue. In comparison, Exxon Mobil alone generated $482 billion, with WalMart coming in at $469 billion. Outside of the oil and gas and retail industries, we find Apple at $156 billion, closely followed by General Motors, General Electric, and Berkshire Hathaway at $150, $147, and $144 billion. In the general scheme of things, the aggregate revenue of the U.S. gun industry would place it around relative pipsqueaks on the order of Hershey and Kodak.

If the strength of the gun lobby is owed to the industrial base of its suppliers, why don’t we hear about the politics of chocolate bars or film stock unfairly dominating American lunch counters and movie theaters? Could it be that NRA, in deriving nearly half of its revenues from individual membership dues, functions as a legitimate conduit of public interest, no less so than the Supreme Court of the United States, in affirming the individual right to keep and bear small arms that are commonly used for self-defense and appropriate for service in the militia, including Simic’s bugaboos, “not only hunting rifles but also military-style murder weapons and even hollow-point rounds that are banned in warfare”? Is it possible that Simic bemoans this publicly disclosed and thoroughly litigated state of affairs for want of journalistic integrity that begins with accounting for the financial data and studying the legal rulings of our court of last resort?

As witness Dan Baum interpreting the politics of guns in terms of “the power of the individual in relation to the collective, and the extent to which each of us needs to live by the permission of the rest”, an American liberal need not be a nanny statist. Likewise Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, self-identified as a “pragmatic classical liberal”, who invalidated under the Second Amendment an Illinois law, the last in the land to forbid most people, though not politicians, from carrying a loaded gun in public. Simic’s demagogical legerdemain is far more plausibly attributable to intellectual dishonesty than political convictions.

Crossposted to [info]larvatus and [info]guns.

the revolvers of willi korth

Willi Korth was born in Stargard / Pommern on 11 July 1913. He learned machining and toolmaking at the Deutsche Reichsbahn between 1930 and 1934. Ten years later, in the summer of 1944, he briefly worked at Mauser-Werke under contract as an independent designer of military small arms. In August of 1950 Korth moved to Ratzeburg. Next year he found a job as a manager at the Hubertus Metallwerke in Mölln. In 1952 Korth resigned to pursue his own designs. His first effort was a blank firing gas revolver. The few gas revolvers, designed and manufactured by Korth in the winter of 1954/55, are now sought after as collector’s items.
    On 1 October 1955, following the expiration of the postwar ban on German manufacture of firearms, Korth founded a company in Ratzeburg under the name of Willi Korth, Waffenfabrikation. In September of 1955 Korth exercised his first manufacturing license for firearms. In 1962 he designed and manufactured his first revolver, initially chambered in .32 S&W Long, the highest caliber allowed by the terms of his license. Instead of a traditional cylinder release on the left hand side of the frame, the cylinders of these revolvers were unlatched from the frame by pulling forward the head of the ejector rod. The crane lock was released by the leftward push of a button located on the right hand side of the frame under the cylinder, whereupon the entire crane assembly complete with the cylinder would slide forward for removal from the frame.
    The first series production of Korth revolvers began in 1964 with the police revolver chambered in .38 Special, serial numbered 20xxx. In 1965, Korth introduced 4″ and 6″ barreled six-shot revolvers in .22LR and .22 Magnum, and five-shot models in .357 Magnum, serial numbered in the 21xxx series. The subsequent 22xxx/23xxx series appeared in 1967, comprising a small run of 6″ revolvers in .357 Magnum and .38 Special, as well as .22LR, plus a few 4″ .357 Magnums. Its new feature was a torsion trigger spring mounted on a stud accessible on the left-hand side of the frame, and fixed with a set screw on its right hand side. This arrangement allowed an easy adjustment of the trigger pull weight between 1kg (35.274 ozs) and 2.5kg (88.185 ozs) without disassembling the revolver.
    The 24xxx series, introduced in 1969, featured another innovation in the trigger action, patented in Germany as DE 1904675 A1, designed for a precise and tunable stacking transition in double action, achieved through the use of variously sized rollers on the trigger impinging upon the double action sear on the hammer. Thenceforth every revolver was shipped with five numbered metal wheels of different diameters that ranged from No.1 (0.283″) for the hardest stacking transition to No.5 (0.293″), for no stacking at all. Korth also added the second cylinder lock, achieved by latching the head of the axially fixed ejector rod inside a lug located under the barrel. Because the head of the ejector rod was no longer accessible for manipulation with the cylinder latched, Korth added a pivoting lever at the right side of the hammer to cause the cylinder release. The floating firing pin with its spring was retained in the frame by a transverse pin. Finally, the exposed coil mainspring gave way to the definitive sleeved telescopic design inspired by the MP38 recoil spring.
    The production of the second, Combat revolver variant started in 1973, with the first 15 specimens numbered in the 27xxx and continuing in the 28xxx series. They upped the centerfire cylinder capacity from five to six rounds and featured a rounded grip frame, a ramp front sight combined with a low mounted rear sight. Most significantly, they initiated the transition from the one-piece barrel topped with a ventilated rib and fitted with a short locking underlug, reminiscent of Dean W. King’s patented 1936 custom conversions of S&W revolvers, to a two-piece assembly comprising a tensioned barrel surrounded by a shroud topped with a ventilated rib and fitted with a full-length underlug, in an arrangement that referenced Colt’s 1955 Python externally, while replicating Karl R. Lewis’patented 1967 design originally realized by Dan Wesson. Throughout their production, Combat barrels varied in length between 77mm and 82mm, nominally designated as 3″. Meanwhile, the Sport revolvers retained their one-piece barrel fitting, with both five- and six-shot cylinders available through the 28xxx series.
    In the series 29xxx begun in 1974, Korth co-branded his revolvers with Dynamit Nobel serving as a distribution partner. All revolvers in this series were fitted with six-shot cylinders. The 30xxx series completed the transition to the two-piece barrel construction and introduced the optional 102mm or 4″ Combat barrel configuration. Finally, the 32xxx series introduced the definitive, semi-slabsided profile of the barrel shroud. All these features remained unchanged in the 1980 33xxx series, which for the first time added the 6″ Combat configuration. Meanwhile, beginning in 1978, Willi Korth had refocused his design work on a new autopistol, considering the action of his revolvers fully perfected. From the first five prototypes with features patented in Germany as DE 3111037 A1 and DE 3203991 A1, and produced in 1982, the manufacture of the first series did not start until 1989. The pistol never succeeded commercially, owing to lack of development and the initial price of $6,750.00.

Korth revolver parts:

1. Frame
2. Barrel assembly
2.1 Barrel
2.2 Barrel shroud
2.3 Front sight •
2.4 Front sight retaining pin
2.5 Front sight Target Model •
2.6 Front sight retaining screw
2.7 Barrel shroud screw
3. Sideplate
4. Cylinder
5. Extractor
5.1 Extractor spring for rimless cartridges
6. Crane
7. Extractor axle
8. Cylinder retaining pin
9. Spring guide rod
10. Return spring for extractor
11. Extractor axle head
12. Spacer bushing
13. Cocking spring
14. Extractor axle guide bushing
15. Circlip for cylinder mount
16. Plunger for cylinder stop
17. Compression spring for cylinder stop
18. Retaining screw for #16 and #17
19. Crane locking piece
20. Compression spring for #19
21. Retaining nut for #9
22. Locking screw for trigger spring stud
23. Trigger spring stud
24. Trigger spring pawl
25. Trigger torsion spring
26. Trigger
27. Cylinder stop bolt
28. Pin for cylinder stop
29. Cylinder hand
30. Double action roller •
31. Guide pin for the hand and double action roller
32. V spring for the hand
33. Hammer cocking cam
34. Retaining pin for #33
35. Hammer complete with axle
36. Double action sear
37. Compression spring for #36
38. Retaining pin for #36
39. Pin for #40
40. Hammer strut
41. Bushing for hammer spring
42. Mainspring •
43. Mainspring guide housing
44. Cylinder release lever
45. Cylinder release lever plunger
46. Spring for #45
47. Firing pin
48. Firing pin return spring
49. Firing pin retainer pin
50. Rear sight tang for Model Sport
51. Rear sight blade for Model Sport
51.1 Rear sight blade for Model Combat
51.2 Adjustable sight blade for Model Combat
51.3 Retainer for elevation for Model Combat
51.4 Rear sight with blade for Model Target
51.5 Rear sight blades for Model Target •
51.6 Locking screw for sight blades
52. Elevation screw for Model Sport
52.1 Elevation screw for Model Combat
52.2 Elevation screw for Model Target
53. Compression spring for elevation
54. Steel ball for elevation
55. Snap ring for elevation screw
56. Windage adjusting screw for Model Sport
56.1 Windage adjusting screw for Model Combat
56.2 Windage adjusting screw for Model Target
57. Windage screw retaining pin for Model Sport
57.1 Windage screw retaining pin for Model Target
58. Leaf spring for rear sight
59. Cylinder locking plunger with retaining spring pin
60. Compression spring for cylinder locking bolt
61. Locking bolt for cylinder lock
62. Retaining pin with compression spring for #61
63. Trigger pivot screw
64. Sideplate screw
64.1 Fitted pin for side-plate
65. Lower retaining pin for grips
65.1 Single retaining pin for Match grip
65.2 Upper retaining pin for grips
66. Trigger stop screw
67. Grips
68. Grip screws (pair)
69. Grip screw bushings (pair)
70. Stop pin for hand lever spring

• Variable dimensions.

    Willi Korth’s revolvers were benchmade by five gunsmiths at the rate averaging about 120 pieces a year. In contrast to the mass production standards, Korth revolver parts were neither cast nor milled. They were ground in the course of hard fitting from steel forgings that boasted a tensile strength of 1,700 psi. Each revolver required 70 man-hours that comprised 600 distinct operations. Their major components were surface hardened up to 60 HRC on the Rockwell hardness scale. The original production of Korth revolvers ended in 1981 with the serial number series 33xxx, adding up to a total of 7141 revolvers in calibers .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .22LR, and .22 Magnum, with barrel lengths ranging from 3″ to 6″, fitted with 6-shot rimfire and both 5- and 6-shot centerfire cylinders. The three main variants were the Combat, the Sport, and the Target models, some of which were finished as engraved luxury pieces.

    Korth turned over his business with all inventory, tools, and drawings to count Nikolas von Bernstorff on 30 June 1981. The company continued as Korth GmbH & Co. KG, its payroll peaking at 30 employees during the following decade. Its initial production comprised the 1982 transitional series 34xxx and 35xxx, still made under their inventor’s personal supervision. Following Korth’s resignation due to failing health in 1983, his successors produced the 36xxx, 37xxx, and 38xxx carbon steel series, mostly from the legacy parts fabricated and blanks forged by Willi Korth. They also introduced the Fxxx matte-finished Profi series priced 25% below its luxurious siblings and added the optional 5¼” barrel configuration and .32 S&W Long chambering. Additionally, in 1985 there appeared the short-lived Sxxx matte stainless steel series, highly sought after by collectors today. Starting with the 36xxx series in 1986, the top strap of the Korth frame was made about 0.5mm thicker, adding around 9 grams to its weight. Additionally, the crane was modified with a new cylinder bushing, which eliminated the gas check relief cut of the original centerfire revolver design. These modifications strengthened the revolver and improved its cylinder support, at the cost of accelerating the erosion of the forcing cone.

1985 Korth 4″ Profi Sport

    Willi Korth died on 10 October 1992, leaving the development of his autopistol unfinished, with its production by his successors falling short of the inventor’s design goals in accuracy and reliability alike. In mid-1999 Korth GmbH underwent bankruptcy following a long production slump. Its assets were taken over in April 2000 by the Armurerie Freylinger of Luxembourg. Over the following years, five gunmakers employed by Freylinger produced the 39xxx and 40xxx series, briefly expanding into the American market by establishing a subsidiary in the United States in 2001 in a joint venture with Earl Sheehan, an independent importer of Walther firearms. In 2001, they introduced the finish option of plasma TiAlN PVD surface coating in satin and matte styles, which boasted exceptional abrasion resistance. Since 2002, Korth revolver aficionados benefited from their comprehensive historical and technical analysis by Veit Morgenroth, arguably the most detailed investigation of a sporting firearm ever to be published. Regrettably, this treatise neglected the contributions of Korth’s successors, which included the Triple Lock, the externally tensioned mainspring, and switch-barrel configurations developed under the management of von Bernstorff.
    In November 2008 the original Korth factory in Ratzeburg clodsed its doors. But six months later, on 22 April 2009, Andreas Weber and Martin Rothmann revived the Korth trademark in Lollar near Giessen. The new owners of Korth exhibited their 41xxx revolver series and autopistol prototypes in 2012 and 2013, both at IWA in Nürnberg and the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. In the sequel, I shall examine some representative Combat and Sport revolvers manufactured by Willi Korth and his successors.

Crossposted to [info]larvatus and [info]guns.

joe biden indicts the founding fathers

“No law-abiding citizen in the United States of America has any fear that their constitutional rights will be infringed in any way,” Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday, 21 February 2013. “None. Zero.”

“I would never inculcate a base and envious suspicion of any man, especially of those who have rendered signal services to their country. But there is a degree of watchfulness over all men possessed of power or influence, upon which the liberties of mankind much depend. It is necessary to guard against the infirmities of the best as well as the wickedness of the worst of men. Such is the weakness of human nature, that tyranny has perhaps oftener sprung from that than any other source. It is this that unravels the mystery of millions being enslaved by the few.”

—Samuel Adams, Letter to Elbridge Gerry, 23 April 1784

“For it is a truth which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger, when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion.”

—Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 25, 21 December 1787

“In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will discover, and wickedness insensibly open, cultivate, and improve. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves therefore are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe their minds must be improved to a certain degree. This indeed is not all that is necessary, though it be essentially necessary. An amendment of our constitution must here come in aid of the public education. The influence over government must be shared among all the people. If every individual which composes their mass participates of the ultimate authority, the government will be safe; because the corrupting the whole mass will exceed any private resources of wealth: and public ones cannot be provided but by levies on the people. In this case every man would have to pay his own price. The government of Great-Britain has been corrupted, because but one man in ten has a right to vote for members of parliament. The sellers of the government therefore get nine-tenths of their price clear. It has been thought that corruption is restrained by confining the right of suffrage to a few of the wealthier of the people: but it would be more effectually restrained by an extension of that right to such numbers as would bid defiance to the means of corruption.”

—Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-1785