Infallible 32ACP Pistol

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by cointoss2, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. cointoss2

    cointoss2 Guest

    Bob In St Louis
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    (5/24/01 8:29:01 pm)
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    OK - I am a bit short in the gray matter on American made pistols. Who can tell me about the Warner Infallible semi-auto pistol, made for only a couple of years around 1917 to 1919 I believe, in Connecticut or Massachusetts (you know - where Tye says them Huns come from). Supposedly only about 7,000 were made, and they are big, bulky and ugly. Guess that is why I am interested - I like them big, bulky and ugly pistols.
    Support the Dead Party, vote Harry S. Truman for Missouri Senate in 2002!

    LIKTOSHOOT
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    (5/24/01 9:30:43 pm)
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    Warner Arms Corp., Brooklyn, NY., formed around 1912, moved to Norwich, Mass. in 1913, and in 1917 merged and became Davis-Warner Arms Corp., Assonet, Mass., out of business around 1919. Two pistols: "Infallable" .32acp and "The Infallable" also in .32acp. You can also look under "Schwarzlose".....toot-sweet.....Bobbin fer bubbles

    WyomingSwede
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    (5/24/01 11:01:37 pm)
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    Bob....If you like Big-n-Ugley pistols, have you ever heard of the stallard pistol? .45 acp, made in Lima Ohio,no screws,just pinned together. Retailed for around $100. Very primitive sights...shot surprisingly well. As a last resort you could beat someone pretty well with it...very heavy..would make a great boat anchor. anyone else have one??? oh well..regards swede
    Wyoming Swede

    Bob In St Louis
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    (5/25/01 8:07:09 pm)
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    I have heard of the Stallards before - not a very good reputation - boat anchor is about right.
    Support the Dead Party, vote Harry S. Truman for Missouri Senate in 2002!

    AntiqueDr
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    (5/26/01 9:14:08 am)
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    And dont forget the "Faultless" aka the Warner-Schwarzlose Model C.
    Interestingly enough, the early pistols were NOT made in the US, but rather are simply Schwarzlose pistols made in Germany and imported into the US by Warner. After Davis acquired Warner, they had some Browning-patent pistols made in Belgium. The "Infallible" was, however, a Davis-Warner product mfg in Assonet, MA.

    I've never seen one in nice enough condition to bring more than $200.




    Purveyor of Fine Firearms to the Enlightened Few
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    Bob In St Louis
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    (5/26/01 8:36:55 pm)
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    The one I was looking at was in the 7,000 serial number range, so it was toward the end of their production. It was in excellent condition - I stopped bidding at $171.00, saw that it closed at $191.00.
    Support the Dead Party, vote Harry S. Truman for Missouri Senate in 2002!

    gun runner john
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    (7/7/01 4:16:52 pm)
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    I recently picked up a Warner Infallible on Auction Arms, perhaps the one you were bidding on.

    BTW, I'm looking for field stripping info for the beast, I don't want to start pounding out pins before I know more about the gun!


    TallTLynn
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    (7/7/01 4:20:24 pm)
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    Welcome to the boards gun runner john. I believe Bob might be out of the house at the moment - but please check back frequently as if he doesn't get back to this soon one of the other knowledgeable people here will.

    I do hope you enjoy yourself here.

    gun runner john
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    (7/7/01 6:50:35 pm)
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    Thanks for the welcome, now if I could just figure out how to get this damned Infallible apart...


    TallTLynn
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    (7/7/01 6:55:10 pm)
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    gun runner john - sometimes it just takes time to get an answer to come back - you just happened to show up on a Saturday afternoon and most of those who have expertise in this field are out right now.

    They will return - in fact you might consider making a brand new post asking for help - that way when they enter they'll see it right away.

    You should of seen me trying to figure out how to get my Beretta to let go of the clip - it was definitely an interesting online talk to get it done.

    But I did learn a lot!

    Bob In St Louis
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    (7/7/01 8:12:53 pm)
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    Ah - I bet you did outbid me on that! Anyway, I was interested in the pistol due to it's uniqueness and different appearance. Frankly, I don't have any info on take down, etc. Maybe when Antique Dealer gets in he will have something.
    Support the Dead Party, vote Harry S. Truman for Missouri Senate in 2002!

    kdubaz
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    (7/7/01 8:33:28 pm)
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    Howdy, GRJ -

    Hope you will stay to join in the various forums here on the board with comment, wisdom or just plain smartass remarks, when appropiate!
    Keep below the ridgeline!

    gun runner john
    Member
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    (7/8/01 1:26:30 pm)
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    kdubaz, I'll probably be around awhile, I'm into collection early 1900's semi-autos, so this looked like a good place to be.

    Bob in St. Louis, you wanted the Infallible for the same reason I did, I needed a really klunky and ugly pistol to provide a contrast to the good looking stuff I have.
  2. OldPilgrim

    OldPilgrim New Member

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    I did a google search for info on this gun and found this old thread.

    I got one a while back for three reasons: first it was cheap, second it was ugly and different and third, I live about 10 miles from Assonet, Ma where it was made. I don't know how to take it apart either !

    Weird thing is that the right grip is painted brass and the left is some kind of plastic.

    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  3. jarrett

    jarrett New Member

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    I bought mine about ten years ago. In good shape, firing pin is broken. I'm sure eventually somebody will figure out how to take it apart.
  4. jarrett

    jarrett New Member

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    So who needs another infallible?
  5. jarrett

    jarrett New Member

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    I wonder how many are left out of 7000?
  6. jarrett

    jarrett New Member

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    I do have the firing pin...and it looks like it was kept in a case most of it's life...great condition.
  7. jarrett

    jarrett New Member

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    If anybody is interested my e-mail...bucknerjw73@hotmail.com
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Warner Arms Co. was primarily an importer. They imported Austrian Schwarzlose blow-forward pistols prior to WWI, but with the war was unable to get them, so had those blowback pistols made with a deliberate resemblance to the Schwarzlose. Davis was the designer.

    There are, I think, three versions, but I have only two. There is little difference except in the way the bolt is freed from the spring rods. The type shown is not too bad because at least the shooter can see if the pin is not pushed in; the other type just has a little lever. If the bolt is not engaged on the rods, it will come back in the shooter's face when the gun is fired.

    My overall impression is not especially good. The design is a bolt in the face looking for a place to happen, and the overall quality is not very good. I consider them strictly collectors' items. I do not recommend disassembly beyond bolt removal.

    Jim
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  9. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When I saw this thread, it rang a bell from years ago when I read an article about this arm titled The Fallible Infallible. It stuck with me because my Father-In-Law owned one, and I loaned him the book I had which the article was in.

    I have just finished digging through my old library, and located it. It was an article in The Complete New 7th Edition of Guns Illustrated from 1975.

    Good grief.
    I remember the name of an article I read thirty five years ago, and can't remember what I did with my coffee cup which I had in my hand five minutes ago!

    Anyway, I sanned in the entire article so I could share the information in it with you, as it gives a lot of historical information on the gun, as well as technical information.

    BUT - the size limitations on pictures here are such that the article becomes unreadible when shrunk down that much -

    SO - I put it on one of my web-sites in reasonable size, only shrunk to 80% of original scan, where you all can peruse it, download the scans, etc..

    You can read the five page article HERE

    All the scans are on that single page which makes it BIG, so be patient while it downloads unless you have a super-fast connection.

    I hope this helps -
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Well, I got a couple of things wrong. The Schwarzlose importation had stopped before WWI and Davis was a partner, not the designer. But I hope I got the point across that those guns are best collected, not fired.

    Jim
  11. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I believe you got that point across well, Jim.

    As a design engineer of some years experience, and having examined one of these, I fully concur.
    Like a Damascus twist barrel, they look really good on the wall or in a showcase, so leave them there.
  12. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Now the really weird guns are the Schwarzlose blow-forwards. Another idea that sounded good, but I got a headache looking at the guns and figuring out how he solved all the problems of the magazine, the disconnector, and so on.

    Jim
  13. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have not had the pleasure of examining one of these, but it certainly sounds like an interesting idea -

    As part of my job, I did a lot of patent searches to avoid infringement issues. Some of the things that I turned up were absolutely WILD.

    I remember an early patent on the electronic dog collar. It was listed as a device for control of dogs or 'unruly children'. That particular one was French, I believe.
  14. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Ha! The French thought THEY had unruly children? We could use a bunch of those things.

    One of the interesting aspects of gun design in the early 20th century was the need to work around Browning's patents. A few examples:

    JMB patented the single piece slide and breechblock, forcing Pedersen (Remington), Searle (Savage), Wesson (S&W), and Fyrberg (Warner) to come up with designs that were different (not better, just different).

    Browning also patented the simple idea of auto pistol grips held to the frame by screws, explaining the odd grip mechanisms of the Remington, Savage, and S&W pistols.

    Among JMB's patents of the obvious, was the operating handle on a semi-auto shotgun, which is why the Winchester Model 11 has a knurled barrel. The ironic thing about Winchester was that before Browning fell out with the company, the patent for what became the Auto 5 was written with the help of Winchester's lawyers, so Winchester's Johnson was tied in knots by his own company's legal staff.

    Jim
  15. kville79

    kville79 New Member

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    sounds and looks like an interesting firearm, wouldn't mind having one in my collection
  16. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, ampaterry,

    I think the most interesting patent I ever ran across was the electric cannon ball. I think it was from sometime around 1900. It had a small battery inside and the idea was that when it went through an enemy soldier, it would electrocute him.

    I guess the inventor, like others, was so fascinated by electricity (the electric chair came from the same era) that he never even realized that the cannon ball would kill the poor guy with or without the useless battery.

    Jim
  17. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good grief!!
    Unbelievable!

    There was an application for an emergency escape device for use in case of fire in the 'new fangled' skyscraper buildings. It was a top hat with a chin strap that would release a parachute so one could just jump out a window - -
    Didn't this guy ever even HEAR of hangings?
  18. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have chastized myself for topic drift.
    Seven days in the Western Caribbean will do that to a person -

    Sorry, folks -
  19. Austing

    Austing New Member

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    I would love to own one of those for my .30-.32cal collection... Gonna keep my eyes peeled in case a local gun show ever has one! And is the average price really $600-$900? I'd figure with only 7000 out there (Less than that in good working order), in addition to the age, it would be over $1000.

    What's the magazine capacity, and how rare/expensive is a second mag?
  20. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Another case of rarity not automatically bringing a high price. It is the old law of supply and demand and I don't think many folks are lined up demanding Infallible pistols. That is about the same total production as the Colt First Model Dragoon, but I seem to recall that the Dragoon runs a bit more than an Infallible.

    The magazines hold seven rounds, but they are unobtainable and AFAIK there are no repros. The ones on my two guns don't interchange; they appear identical but are not, and the mag catches are different. They show signs of hand fitting. I seem to recall that only one magazine came with the guns, so there were not a lot of extras, and I don't know of anything else that would fit or could be made to fit.

    Jim
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