Grant Hammond .32 ACP Prototype Hybrid Blowback/Blowforward Pistol

Sometimes, it seems like there just isn’t enough innovation in the firearms world. Most firearms on the market today are the result of a century of product improvement, and the overwhelming majority of those that aren’t are designs that have roots going back three or more decades.

It takes a good hard look at a design like the Grant Hammond featured in the Forgotten Weapons video below to make one appreciate how sound – if boring – modern firearms are:

The Grant Hammond (a name which Ian notes is a bit incongruous with firearms naming convention, as it is the given and family name of its single designer) prototype seems to have everything for the experimental firearms addict. It’s a hand-built prototype, and probably a retrofit of an earlier experiment, still retaining many features that speak to it having had a different configuration in the past. It features an utterly bizarre operating mechanism – which could alternately be described as “hybrid blow-forward/blowback” or “long-blow-forward” – bringing to mind such utterly disparate designs as the Farquhar Hill and Hino-Komura at once. It has “gadget” features like the automatic bolt release and automatic magazine ejection that together with the weird mechanism make the pistol practically hypnotic to gun geeks.

This pistol is up for sale at the Rock Island Auction Company’s website, where it is Lot # 3333. Should one of our readers feel this pistol simply must be theirs, they can head over to that website for more information on how to bid. Good luck!

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • I dare say that a lot of the wacky self-loading designs from the first third of the 20th Century were motivated by the need not to infringe any of John M. Browning’s many patents.

  • Hokum

    Would be really interesting to watch such a detailed video of the G11 clockwork.

  • Turner

    I’ve heard that shooting blow forward pistols feel like getting hit in the hand with a baseball bat, even in small calibers. Anybody with experience care to confirm?

    • MR

      You go put your bid in and win the pistol, I’ll round up some ammo for you to try it out. It’d probably be like getting hit in the hand with a baseball bat thirty times in a half second, thirty times per half second, as this is a “Ghost Gun” with no serial number.

  • Adam

    Am I the only one that thinks that the hammer would bite like a rabid dog?