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American Luger Carbo-Jet History

June 2 2017 at 4:12 PM
Karl Paoletti  (Login kpaolett)

I would like to invite the American Luger experts to comment on my latest purchase. It is a single shot pistol marked American Luger on the frame and has black grips similar to the Schimel, not like the stag horn grips of the Carbo-Jet. It has both an adjustable trigger and adjustable power. Serial number is 0--0S. The box has a "Single Shot" label over the "8-Shot Repeater" on the cover plus the box does not show the "Hy Hunter's" logo. The side of the box shows "Manufactured by A. C. Swanson Co" I am curious where it fits in the development history.

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DT Fletcher
(Login DTFletcher)

Re: American Luger Carbo-Jet History

June 3 2017, 6:57 AM 

Swanson was right at the tail end of things.

As I recall, the details of Swanson taking over from Hy Hunter is discussed in Smith's book.

I base my distinction between the American Luger and Carbo Jet variants on the owner's manuals: American Luger is non-adjustable power, Carbo Jet is adjustable power.

Karl Paoletti
(Login kpaolett)

Single Shot Carbo-Jet ??

June 7 2017, 9:59 AM 

I am only a novice on the American Luger/Carbo-Jet history but I do have several guns with "American Luger" cast into the frame. My question is where my latest acquisition of a single shot, adjustable power, adjustable trigger, black gripped gun fits into the manufacturing history. The box it came in is labeled American Luger and notes that it was manufactured by Swanson. There is no mention of Hy Hunter on the box. It is similar to the lower gun on page 221 in Smith's book.

Did Swanson make this gun before or after Hy Hunter's Carbo-Jet?

I have copies of the parts list and instructions dated 31 May 1955 that do not mention or show adjustable power parts for the American Luger HV-822. I also have an original 8 page Carbo-Jet brochure from Hy Hunter that does discuss the variable power. This brochure must have come out in late 1956 or in 1957. I also have a copy of an ad from GUNS MAGAZINE dated April 1956 for a "CARBO-JET GAS PISTOL" that does not mention variable power. Exactly when was variable power offered?

Is it possible to obtain copies of your owner manuals where adjustable power is mentioned? I would be glad to pay any copying costs.

DT Fletcher
(Login DTFletcher)

Re: Single Shot Carbo-Jet ??

June 7 2017, 1:37 PM 

I think we're all novices when it comes to American Luger/Carbo-Jet.

Q: Where does the Swanson model fit in? A: right at the very tail end of production. So, yes, after Hy-Hunter. As I recall, this is confirmed by the info in Smith's.

Note: we had a long discussion about American Luger/Carbo-Jet on this forum many years ago which I presume they can still be found via searching.

In summary, unless more info/literature is found, I see the chronology breakdown as:

Var. 1: American Luger = no variable power.

Var. 2: Carbo-Jet (still marked "American Luger") variable power.

Var. 3: Swanson - Single shot, variable power, also marked "American Luger."

Sounds like you are missing Operating Instructions for Hy Hunter New Carbo-Jet Variably Power CO/2 Model V-822 Gas Pistol.


Here's the Fickr Album with everything I have. (click on the picture)


This message has been edited by DTFletcher on Jun 7, 2017 1:39 PM

Karl Paoletti
(Login kpaolett)

Swanson Single Shot Timing

June 8 2017, 8:54 AM 

Thanks for the information. Do you have any comments on the timing of the American Luger, the Carbo-Jet and the Swanson Single Shot?

My information shows that in May 1955 through Apr 1956 the AL without adj power was sold and called American Luger

In Apr 1956 an ad called it "Carbo-Jet CO2 Pistol" but still did not mention adj power.

The 9 page Carbo-Jet Brochure giving Adj power probably came out in Late 1956.

When was Carbo-Jet sales stopped?

When did the single shot Swanson gun come out? When did these sales stop?

Why Swanson would market a single shot version with different grips is difficult to understand unless they were exhausting inventory and wanted to distance themselves from Hy Hunters Carbo-Jet and were having difficulty with the magazine. If you have ever shot a Carbo-Jet the magazine can cause loading problems.

Also interesting is why are Carbo-Jets common (I have or had five) but AL without adj Power is never seen?

DT Fletcher
(Login DTFletcher)

Re: Swanson Single Shot Timing

June 8 2017, 1:42 PM 

I have never tried to pin down any dates with these guns, so, I can't really provide much more than I already have. The timeframes for these guns is so short that without some hard documentation it's just not possible to say much else without guessing.

(Login usaf25)

American Luger / Carbo-Jet

June 9 2017, 9:40 PM 

There were extensive conversations on this forum in September 2005 and June 2012 regarding these pistols.

Karl Paoletti
(Login kpaolett)

Single Shot Carbo-Jet By Swanson

June 14 2017, 2:10 PM 

Hi Bruce. Do you have any idea why Swanson manufactured a single shot Carbo-Jet supposedly after Hy Hunter stopped the multi-shot Carbo-Jet.

(Login usaf25)

Re: Single Shot Carbo-Jet By Swanson

June 14 2017, 8:38 PM 

Not sure as I really haven't done much research on these guns. I will send you what I have via email. Perhaps you will find a few answers but more than likely, it will raise a few more questions.

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