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Q&A 60: Early Automatic Pistols & More w/ “Fireplace Guy” – Len Antaris

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Check out Len’s channel “Historic Investments”:

Today I am speaking to Len Antaris of Historic Investments, aka “Fireplace Guy”. Len has a tremendous collection with an emphasis on unusual and prototype handguns, and he has been very generous in allowing me to film much of it for you over many years. So, I figured we should talk to him about some of the things you might be interested in his take on:

00:00 – Introduction
02:14 – Why are American Collectors so interested in Swiss Firearms?
04:21 – Why were early autoloading pistols so clunky compared to modern pistols?
07:32 – Your house is on fire, and you only have time to save one gun from your collection. Which one, and why?
Laumann & Schonberger-Laumann:

10:11 – How did you get started collecting firearms and why a particular interest in early semi-auto handguns?
15:38 – Why have modern firearms have lost the finesse and finish of older guns?
18:34 – Top 3 guns to hang on the mantle above the fireplace?
20:33 – Most interesting technological dead end to come out of early self-loading pistol design?
22:49 – Webley self-loader viable for wide-spread use in WW1?
Webley Model 1913:

25:12 – Were there any serious attempt at stocked revolvers for militaries after the early 1900’s?
25:27 – Thoughts on the Trejo Model 1 .22 auto pistol?
Trejo Model 1:
26:30 – Why didn’t the Schwarzlose 1898 take off commercially despite it’s advanced features and good ergonomics?
Schwarzlose 1898:

29:21 – How hard is it finding warlord pistols these days?
35:39 – What firearms are you seeking, or wish you could have for your collection?
36:53 – Iā€™m starting to collect World War 2 military sidearms. But, I want to focus on the “not so common” military issue sidearms. What would you consider the top 3 “un-sung pistols” of World War 2?
41:15 – Favorite pistol to shoot / Do you shoot your collectible pistols?
43:26 – Which, if any, of the early semiauto pistols could be a (limited) success if it was brought back as a replica today?
48:18 – Will polymer pistols ever be collectible?
51:25 – Who are some early designers of semi-automatic handguns you think more people should know about?

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