Friday, February 12, 2021

Because it's never simple.

So, it all started when I was going to do a short piece for the other blog on the Harrington & Richardson Self-Loading .25 pistol...

To do this, I got out my .32 Webley auto and, in the process, was reminded that the left grip panel was wobbly. So I pulled out a screwdriver and, because I'm a gun nerd who had never had the grips off this relic before, popped the grip off before putting it back on and snugging it down.

Huh. I do not have the knack for visualizing mechanical systems in operation, but even I can see how the safety on this thing functions!

Sorry for the potato-quality cell phone photograph, but you'll note that the safety is of the "up-to-fire" configuration. If you move the safety lever down into the horizontal position, it will uncover the word "SAFE" engraved on the slide, and present a camming surface that will deflect the trigger bar downward when it is pulled, preventing it from making contact with the sear.

With one grip panel off, I went ahead and pulled the second one, too. This revealed something interesting...

The big hairpin-looking thing is the recoil spring, which actuates the slide via that big pivoting lever.

Everything about this gun is a 1908 Model: The recoil spring assembly, the slide shape, the cocking serrations, the lack of a separate rear sight (there's just a simple channel milled in the top of the slide), the safety mounted above the left-hand grip panel rather than next to the hammer... Except that the trigger with the externally visible trigger bar is purely that found on the earlier 1905 Model.

Remember how I said that because Savages were uncommonly collected relative to Colt or S&W, reference materials were hard to come by? Well, compared to Webleys, Savages are common as dirt. There appears to be one good book on the topic, and used copies bring blood money.