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A Beautiful Idea

A Beautiful Idea

Photo credit: Michael Ives

This feature appears in the August ’16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.  

Anyone who has ever shot a hard-kicking firearm has dreamed of somehow dramatically reducing its recoil, and naturally, many options have been tried over the years. 

Two U.S. patents were issued in the 1990s to Frederic Ducolon for his concept of a recoil counter-vectoring gun, which presented a valid solution to that problem. While his patent model might not be the most attractive piece in the National Firearms Museum collection, Ducolon’s easily observable mechanism of springs, pulleys and counterweights drew attention from the firearm industry and military authorities. By his own account, Ducolon turned down an offer from General Electric Co., and intriguingly, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records appear to indicate that General Dynamics Corp., Kriss USA, and both the American and Chinese militaries filed paperwork related to similar patents after Ducolon’s own patents had expired.

Ducolon’s design continues to draw much attention from our Fairfax gallery visitors.

The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va.; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M.; each have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit NRAmuseums.com, phone (703) 267-1600 or email nfmstaff@NRAhq.org.