Euroarms Italia has many great guns for sale, which is killing me as they are in Italy and I'm not.  One gun they've had recently, and which didn't last long, is a Ferdinand Früwirth made Shutzen rifle using the Werndl system.

picture of rifle

All pictures on this post from Euroarms Italia

The Werndl was Austro-Hungary's first modern breech loading rifle. Up untill that time the Hapsburg Army was using trapdoor converted Lorenz muskets.  The final version of the Werndl fired a small, high velocity (for the period) 11mm slug and for a time could compete with the best rifles in Europe.  The shooter operated a revolving drum to load the cartridge, an 11.15 mm black powder round that by 1877 had a muzzle velocity of 1400 fps.

picture of rifle

The Werndl system was designed by Karel Holub, who worked in Josef Werndl's factory, which eventually became Steyr Mannlicher.  Früwirth's factory built many guns, and sold  to certain Gendarmarie units.   Werndl had apprenticed to Ferdinand Früwirth himself, and eventually took over his firm, among others.

picture of breech

The Werndl was not adaptable to a magazine system, but despite that had stayed in service for 20 years and later was used as a rear echelon weapon during the First World War.  Shooting them now takes a bit of work.  Cartridges can be made from 348 Winchester brass, but not easily, but some companies like Bertrams sometimes have cases for sale. Finding or making these cartidges, then shooting these old beasts are a very satisfying part of gun collecting.

picture of rifle

picture of rifle

Avro Vulcan XH558, the twelfth Vulcan bomber built out of 134, is still in the air, the last of it's kind still flying.  Built in 1960, it served many roles for the RAF including duties in a bomber wing and maritime reconnasaince.  The plane sat on the bench for a few years when an engine explosion damaged the airframe, but has been the Vulcan operated the longest by the RAF.  For years after the fleet of Vulcans were set out to pasture, the RAF operated XH558 as a display aircraft till 1992.

picture of the last Vulcan bomber
The last Vulcan Bomber by Wikimedia contributor James Humphreys

The aircraft is now operated by Vulcan to the Sky Trust, who takes donations to keep this complicated and very expensive aircraft in the air. I have personally seen this aircraft at the Dayton Ohio Airshow ten or fifteen years ago and is an imposing sight. It really is amazing that they have kept it flying so long, so every year is a toss up till they see how much they get.  

One pleasant way to help is to try Vulcan Bomber Ale! Bottled and brewed by the Yorkshire Drinks Company, every sale has a percentage earmarked for the Vulcan project.  That's a painless way to donate!


picture of Vulcan Bomber Ale
Vulcan Bomber Ale

Another intesting thing this bomber does is the "Vulcan Howl", an awesome sound caused by the air intakes at 90% power.  You can hear it in this video by Wonkabar007.