|The revolutionaries in Ireland had an obsession with guns. The dire and immediate need of weaponry,
coupled with a pernicious and fickle black market, forced serious insurrectionists to make a close and
near neurotic study of all available and potentially available arms.
To understand the times, the battles, and the minds of the men themselves, here are the makes and
models, legends and famous associations of the guns found In the Stack’s Mountain stories.
Walther Model 2 and Model 5 (1909 and 1913 model years)
A decade before Dirty Harry looked down the long barrel of his forty-four magnum and asked about a
punk’s luck, James Bond made the Walther PP and PPK the coolest guns on the planet. The only gun to
carry when dressed in a tuxedo, 007’s German-made Police Pistol Kriminal (Detective) is incorporated in
the super-spy’s logo, featured in every credit sequence, and an indelible part of his identity, every bit
iconic as his cocktails (“shaken, not stirred”) and ice-cool swagger (“Bond. James Bond.”).
Michael Collins and his legendary body-guard Joe O'Reilly habitually carried Carl Walther's early palm-
sized automatics. Barely four inches long and designed for pocket-carry without a holster, the Model 2
held six rounds; the Model 5 could load eight. Both used the same small-caliber ammunition but had
different box magazines. The PP, essentially a larger Model 5, was introduced in 1929.
Webley RIC (aka Navy)
Sidearm of The Royal Irish Constabulary, these enormous, foot-long six-shooters fired a man-stopping
forty-five caliber bullet. Uniformed police wore a Sam Brown belt, a belt with a thin shoulder strap across
the chest, to carry the heavy pistol and holster.
For over half a century, Webley’s MK series of top-break revolvers were contracted to The Royal Navy,
Colonial police-forces, The Royal Army, and various armies of The Commonwealth. Reliable in the filthy
conditions of trench warfare, on the Veldt, and in the Punjab, it was a favorite of soldiers around the
world. Given to him by an English Lord he had taken buffalo hunting, American General George Custer
carried a Webley RIC into battle at The Little Big Horn. The West Point graduate had a celebrated gun
collection, well-documented with every piece currently known and in museums or private collections,
except his Webley RIC.
The British Bulldog was the pistol of Scotland Yard. A snub-nosed revolver, it carried only five shots.
Originally a large caliber forty-five, and subsequently a fat, stubby gun, by the early twentieth-century
it had slimmed to a thirty-two caliber. Extremely light and easily concealed, it was meant to be used for
personal protection and was not accurate except at close distances.
Smith and Wesson DA
Innovative in the middle of the nineteenth century, Smith and Wesson’s first double action revolver
was a workhorse and stayed in production until World War Two. The gun frame was hinged at the
barrel in a top-break design; the front-loading cylinder held five .38 rounds. The double action
mechanism eliminated the need to pull back the hammer before firing each shot. When used as a
single action and manually cocked, the trigger pull was light, making the gun easier to handle, and
leading to the threatening phrase, “on a hair trigger.” Half the weight of similar Colt and Webley
revolvers at just over one pound, and having a short, but not snubbed, barrel, it was also a ‘quick
Smith & Wesson’s double-action revolvers, in break-open and newer six-cylinder swing-out models,
and in a wide range of calibers (.32, .38, .38 Special), were popular with Canadians, both officers
and troops, for personal use as side arms in the trenches of Europe.
John Browning, the world’s most famous gun designer, brought a slimmed down version of his Colt
Semi-Automatic to Belgian manufacturer Fabrique Nationale. Using a thirty-two caliber magazine
(the U.S. version was a thirty-eight) that held seven rounds, Browning’s gun was accurate, light,
and easy to handle.
Similar to in size and caliber to Walther’s models 2 and 5, both Fabrique Nationale (Model 1906)
and Colt (Model 1908) produced identical Vest Pocket pistols using the same John Browning
design. The VP held six cartridges in the magazine.
model 2 model 5 PPK