POTD: A Pistol for Big Aliens – The Mars Semi Automatic Pistol


POTD: A Pistol for Big Aliens – The Mars Semi Automatic Pistol

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have an extremely rare behemoth of a pistol. This is the Mars Semi Automatic Pistol designed by Englishman Hugh Gabbet Fairfax. The Mars was basically the AMT Automag of its day but not even to the point that it was marketed or sold in large volume. No one Mars pistol is like another and all were hand built. They were manufactured in different chamberings, most notably in the 45 Mars cartridge which was the largest of its day. This particular one is chambered for the .360 Mars cartridge which is similar in dimensions to a 9mm projectile. They were submitted for military trials and rejected swiftly every time for their ginormous size and violent recoil. The government’s official recommendation to Hugh Gabbet Fairfax was that he scales the pistols down significantly for a fair shot at trials but he had no interest or intentions of ever doing so.

“These early automatic pistols utilized several very unique designs, namely they had a round, rotating bolt with three opposed locking lugs, it utilized a clip/magazine that loaded through the pistol grip itself with the cartridge being loaded via an elevator/carrier in the receiver which actually stripped the cartridges out the magazine backwards and then lifted it up and into the chamber of the barrel. A very unique and certainly one of a kind mechanism. The pistol itself is extremely well made with all hand fitted parts with a fine British rust blued finish and wonderful checkered walnut grip panels. This is an extremely early version with the serial number “4” stamped on the underside edge of the magazine well/pistol frame with the left hand side of the frame marked: [“MARS” PISTOL 360]. It has a full-length rib integral with the barrel with a tangent rear sight with four elevation steps and a beaded front sight blade. The back strap was originally manufactured for a shoulder stock (not included with this pistol), and it is complete with one original magazine with the lanyard loop on the base. Although these pistols had an advanced, super high velocity cartridge, they also had an unusually very robust recoil. The design of the pistol, having all of the recoil mechanism at the rear of the gun, also exacerbated the recoil, creating an almost uncontrollable recoil every time it was fired.”


Lot 1438: Mars Semi Automatic .360 Gabbet Fairfax – Exceptionally Rare Serial Number 4 Gabbet Fairfax Mars .360 Semi-Automatic Pistol. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/64/1438/mars-semi-automatic-360-gabbet-fairfax.

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Writer | TheFirearmBlog Writer | AllOutdoor.com Instagram | sfsgunsmith Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.

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