The 1892 Blake rifle
John H. Blake of New York constructed his rifle in response to the fact that very few domestic designs were submitted to US Army rifle trials (1890–93). The rifle used a unique, 7-round rotary magazine. It was unique because it was detachable, whereas other rifles at the time using similar type of feed used non-detachable rotary magazines (Savage M1892). As such the detachable magazine was often described as a packet, or en-bloc clip, due to the lack of a more proper term at the time.
The Stg45m is the simpler, easier to build cousin of the revolutionary Stg44. Faced with losing the war between the Russians on one side and the US & UK on the other, Germany sought to develop a cheaper gun to replace both the K98 Mauser and the new STG44. The Stg45m cost an amazing $12 to build in the later stages of the war. It fired the somewhat-powerful 7.92×33 kurtz, which has a similar power to that of the 7.62×39 round of the AK 47. Thankfully Germany was only able to build a few prototypes before the end of the war.
The Pedersen Rifle
The Pedersen rifle was one of the only other viable contenders in the program that brought us the M1 Garand and M1941 Johnson rifle. While the Pedersen rifle never achieved the status of a standard-issue weapon of the U.S. Army, the rifle did have a visible impact on the process by which the ultimate winner—the M1 Garand rifle—was selected. John Pedersen’s work in creating and improving his rifle was a coherent research and development process which significantly raised the bar for those trying to get a hearing from Army Ordnance regarding their designs. Significantly, the only serious competition that the Pedersen rifle had in the end was the rifle created by John C. Garand—like Pedersen, a talented designer and engineer with a solid grounding in the particulars of production tooling.
There’s not a whole lot to say about this – It’s the smallest centerfire known to man. Patented in 1910 and introduced in 1914 by Franz Pfannl, an Austrian watchmaker, with financial support from Georg Grabner. It was designed to accompany the Kolibri semi-auto pistol or single shot pistol, both marketed as self-defense weapons.
The Mondragon represents the first in a line of somewhat revolutionary but completely overlooked rifles. Due to the lack of infrastructure in Mexico, SIG industries in Switzerland was entrusted to manufacture the rifle. Later on the features were incorporated in the venerable K11 and K31 bolt action rifles. In 1908 Mondragon yet again developed another revolutionary concept – A magazine fed, select fire rifle. The concept wouldn’t be fully utilized for many years.