The tradition of firearm miniature reproduction started in the Russia of the Tsars in 1810 and has established more and more, thanks to a handful of very skilled and dedicated armourers, in the Tula and Izhevsk Arsenals during the first few years of 1900. The most famous example of this school is certainly the set of three Mosin 1891 rifles in 1:4 scale gifted to Tsar Nicholas II in March 1897 and still preserved today at the Hermitage.
The preferred firearms miniature of those years were in scale of 1:2, 1:3, 1:4 and 1:5. The two World Wars killed this high-level practice and art of gun miniaturization, which can be truly compared to the best jewel and watch crafts around the world. Until the founding of Miniature Arsenal in Moscow, which was established in 2004, after the discovery of a pair of magnificent and pristine Mosin M1891 rifles built in 1899 and perfectly functioning in scale 1:4 (one fourth of the original dimensions) hidden in the underground halls of the Red Army Museum in Moscow. Part of a set of three, they were the winners of the Gold Medal for Russia at the Paris Universal Expo in 1900 and came from the Michailovskaya Academy of Mechanics in Saint Petersburg were they were built by some of its graduates as a final exam of ability.
Miniature Arsenal has built over the past five years a unique collection of historic and modern firearms of all kinds and size, in various scales, in series ranging from 1 piece to a few tenths, with finishes and engravings matching or even surpassing those of the original size firearms. All manufacturing processes of the firearms of the collection are totally faithful to the original size firearms, including the choice of metals, wood essence and polymers, with extreme care dedicated to metal surface treatment and colour-scheme match and historical respect. The Miniature Arsenal Collection comes as a series of perfect scale reproductions, dedicated to the collector, the lover of beautiful things and the gun enthusiast, in search of unique and exclusive pieces. During more recent years, Miniature Arsenal has developed a number of very rewarding and promising joint venture projects with some of the most notable and long established firearm manufacturers from the old and new world.
To mention some, the partnership with FN-Browning for the making of one exceptional single piece Browning Auto 5 shotgun in half size, or the relatively small series of Caracal pistols, made for the Government of Abu Dhabi in different finishes, including a single piece-whole Damascus steel pistol, in half size. Again, the already mentioned collaboration with Blaser for the making of 3 unique pieces of the quite extraordinary double bolt, in-line action rifle R93 Duo “Hamed”, which has led to the development of a limited series of the newest product from the house of Isny, the Blaser R8 in half size (ready in mid-2012), or again the limited series of the revolutionary double barrel 2011-A1, developed in parallel with our own sister company Arsenal Firearms.
In particular, Miniature Arsenal is also capable of developing single piece or small series firearms with dedicated engravings matching to the detail those of the original piece owned by a final customer, or even reverse-engrave the full size gun owned by the final customer to match the miniature to be made or already existing in the Miniature Arsenal Collection. In practical terms, there is no mission impossible for Miniature Arsenal: any past or present gun project can be developed, either through reverse engineering (if the gun is available at least in one working sample) or via a brand new development.
As a matter of fact, some modern gun manufacturers are finding that during the R&D phase of creating a new firearm project, can be viable and faster to develop a fully functional miniature: not only it will ensure fast inspection of all the working parts, but also allow freedom of miniature sample circulation throughout the Countries, as we are not dealing with a firearm. In a few words and with no fear of argument, Miniature Arsenal holds today the world’s largest collection of small weapons miniature reproduction ever developed.