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The Vault

Backlog of Video!

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While I have been posting daily videos from the recent series of Rock Island Auction material, I have also been publishing the occasional video on InRange TV – and some of those would probably be of interest to folks here. So now that we have a hiatus from auction content, here are a few things [...]

Pinfire LeMat Grapeshot Revolver at RIA

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Colonel Jean Alexandre LeMat was a native Frenchman who emigrated to the United States and in 1856 secured a patent for a “grapeshot revolver”, which had both a 9-shot .42 caliber cylinder and a 20-gauge smoothbore barrel acting as the cylinder axis. A moveable striking surface on the hammer allowed the user to alternate between [...]

Allen & Wheelock Lipfire Navy Revolver at RIA

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Not all companies responded in the same way to the development of cartridge revolvers and the Rollin White patent. Allen & Wheelock, for example, decided to simply ignore the patent and make revolvers for their proprietary lipfire cartridges (fairly similar to rimfire) while relying on their lawyers to delay the anticipated patent infringement suit for [...]

Merwin & Bray .42 Caliber Cupfire Revolver at RIA

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One of the many revolver systems designed to work around the Rollin White patent was the Pant’s Patent cupfire revolver, made by Merwin & Bray in several calibers (.28, .30, and .42). This particular example is a nice on in .42 (which is the diameter of the cartridge case; the projectile is actually .39 caliber). [...]

Colt “Cloverleaf” House Revolver at RIA

The Colt House revolver, better known as the Cloverleaf (and sometimes as the Jim Fisk Model) was the first revolver Colt designed from the ground up for rimfire ammunition. It entered the market in 1871, and was only made for about 5 years. It’s colloquial name came from its unusual 4-chamber, .41 caliber cylinder.

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Colt 1862 Police Pocket Revolver (Cased) at James D Julia

The 1862 Police Pocket was the last of Colt’s percussion revolvers. It was a combination of the small 1849 model frame (intended for .31 caliber) and a 5-shot .36 caliber cylinder. The frame was stepped to allow the larger cylinder to fit without require any changes to the lockwork, and the result was a rather [...]

Elmer Keith’s Revolver No. 5 at James D Julia

Elmer Keith’s No.5 Single Action Army is arguably the most famous custom revolver ever made. Keith had it built in 1928 after developing a friendship with Harold Croft, another revolver enthusiast. Croft had shown Keith his own custom revolvers, which he had numbered 1 through 4. Croft had been trying to make an ideal pocket [...]

Dreyse/Kufahl Needlefire Revolver at James D Julia

Needlefire rifles were developed in the 1830s and represented and early effective type of breechloading rifle. As such, they were adopted by both German and French armies – but only in rifle form. Needlefire handguns were much less common. This particular design was patented in 1852 by a man named G.L. Kufahl in the UK, [...]

Thuer Conversion Colt 1849 at James D Julia

As the self-contained metallic cartridge because popular, a niche industry developed in converting percussion revolvers to use the new cartridges. One of the first of these conversions was designed by F. Alexander Thuer and marketed by the Colt company itself. Thuer’s conversion was put into production while the Rollin White patent was still in force, [...]

Shooting Elmer Keith’s Carry Pistol at James D Julia

Elmer Keith should need no introduction here, as one of the fathers of the .44 Magnum, as well as the .357 Magnum and .41 Magnum. Well, his gun collection being sold at the James D. Julia auction house next month, and I had the opportunity to not just look at the guns but actually shoot [...]