POTD: Cool If It Worked – Kimball Arms Prototype .30 Carbine


POTD: Cool If It Worked – Kimball Arms Prototype .30 Carbine

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have an absolute catastrophe of a handgun…but it would have been cool if it worked. This is the Kimball Arms 30 Carbine Pistol. This particular example is a prototype. These guys popped up in the mid-1950s due to the popularity of surplus M1 Carbine rifles finding their way to the civilian market and being owned and adopted by the public. Most consumers actually really enjoyed the M1 Carbine so Kimball Arms decided to make a pistol that used the same ammunition. unfortunately, the operating mechanism was not refined enough to hold these poor things together. They were technically a delayed blowback pistol but the only thing delaying the blowback was an annular ring cut in the chamber. this is interesting since the case mouth was allowed to flare in the chamber and not be extracted until pressures were safe. The slide however flew at a speed and force that would deform and break parts on the inside making them potentially dangerous.

One of less than 250 manufactured between 1955 and 1958. The Kimball was a failed attempt at producing a blowback pistol in 30 Carbine using a series of cut rings in the chamber. In theory, on ignition the casing would swell to fill these rings, delaying extraction long enough for pressure to drop. Of only about 238 manufactured, many were destroyed during use by the severe recoil, making examples in this kind of condition even rarer. Blade front and adjustable rear sights, with the Detroit address on the left side of the chamber, serial number on the right, and finely checkered plastic grips. The pistol is left “in the white” without a final polish or blue finish seen on the majority of Kimball pistols.

Kimball Arms

Lot 2492: Very Rare Kimball Arms Prototype Serial Number 10 .30 Carbine – Very Rare Kimball Arms Prototype Serial Number 10 .30 Carbine Caliber Semi-Automatic Pistol. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved December 15, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/75/2492/very-rare-kimball-arms-prototype-serial-number-10-30-carbine.

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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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