One Size Fits All

I carried one of these for many years.

(Click any pic for maximum size.)

The original multi-tool.  I liked that way that it provided options in case of emergencies.  One time I managed to help a woman who was stranded by the side of a lonely road by taking the grill off of her car in order to fix a hole in the radiator.

I was well in to my teens when I was finally able to watch some television, and I came across an old spy program named The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  The guns used by the fictional agents were fascinating!

Short barreled handgun suitable for concealed carry, small carbine if one attaches all of the extras.  It even had a Maxim style suppressor so the agents wouldn’t wake the neighbors when shooting the bad guys.  Really cool!  Too bad nothing like that was available in real life.

It was many years ago, at the dawn of the modern internet we know today, that I came across a webpage featuring a catalogue from the Pacific Arms Company.

Hey, that looks familiar!  Shoulder stock, extended magazine, barrel extension.  It even has a Maxim suppressor!  Where can I get one?

Oh, wait.  The catalogue was printed in the early 1920’s.  Except for very few, extremely rare, extremely expensive examples, you can’t them anywhere.  Drat!  Drat and darn!

The catalogue I looked over long ago is gone from the interwebs.  One can find some expensive mimeographed copies for sale here and there, and I really didn’t want to pay the cash to have a reminder of what I can’t shoot for real.

I found these few pages at this website for antique gun collectors.  It is short, but the author does a fantastic job of bringing together what little is known of the mysterious Pacific Arms Corporation.

So what did happen?  Catalogues were printed and distributed by PAC in 1922 and 1924.  Sales must have been slow, as two trucks loaded with arms and ammunition were intercepted by Federal agents in 1927.  Seems the rich guy behind PAC was trying to ship the stuff down south into Mexico, where the merchandise would no doubt have found its way in to the hands of bandidos and revolutionaries.  The authorities destroyed the guns, no doubt, which leaves only the very few examples purchased by private citizens via mail order.

Where did the guns come from?  How did they get over here in the United States?  No way to know.  The hardware seems to be pretty fancy, not regular armed forces issue.  I would like to think that it was a shipment of guns to the Mexican government to sweeten the deal laid out by the Zimmerman Telegram, but that is just conjecture on my part.

Still I bet the tale of where the guns came from, how some shady arms dealer in San Francisco ended up with them and what ultimately happened to them would make a great episode of a spy television show!


2 thoughts on “One Size Fits All

  1. Interesting piece about an interesting piece.

    Hmmm . . . very fond of Swiss Army knives, I do carry one – Huntsman’s model – I guess the most used attachments on it are the scissors, closely followed by the tweezers. A friend of mine did once describe a Leatherman as a Swiss Army knife with an attitude problem. 🙂

    I’ve been catching some repeats of ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E’ I don’t think it’s aged particularly well. -sigh- Although I am convinced that Ducky on NCIS is really Illya Kuryakin who was given a false identity on his retirement . . .

    But talking of the U.N.C.L.E. carbine, have you seen this:

  2. I still carry the that my father gave me in 1972. It’s side plate broke so I sent it back to victorinox and got it back in a couple of weeks clean and shiny and sharpened. Up until 911 I carried it with me around the world (I was a tech rep for the Navy) with out a problem.

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