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The Vault

Slow Motion Video from the Pattern Room

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As someone who is very interested in the practical handling of old firearms, the idea of gun museums leaves me a bit conflicted. On the one hand, I am absolutely in favor of guns being preserved for posterity, and there is no better environment for that than a museum. On the other hand, once guns [...]

Moore Teatfire Revolver at RIA

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The Moore patent “teatfire” revolver was one of the more (no pun intended) successful workarounds to the Rollin White patent. Designed by Daniel Moore and David Williamson, the gun was a 6-shot .32 caliber pocket revolver which used a proprietary type of cartridge. It was loaded from the front, and the rear of the case [...]

Slocum Rimfire Revolver at RIA

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The Slocum revolver, designed by Frank Slocum and manufactured by the Brooklyn Arms Company, was one of the more successful workarounds for Rollin White’s patent on the bored-through cylinder. The most significant advantage of Slocum’s design was its use of standard .32 rimfire cartridges, unlike most other workarounds which used proprietary ammunition. Slocum did this [...]

Model 1883 Reichsrevolvers at RIA

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It did not take long for some of the handling problems of the model 1879 Reichsrevolver to become apparent, and the result was a redesign to the model of 1883. These new guns retained the exact same lockwork was the 1879 pattern, but with a shorter barrel and redesigned frame and grip. The 1883 model [...]

Model 1879 Reichsrevolver at RIA

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We are used to German small arms being highly efficient and modern for their times, but the Reichsrevolver is an exception to that trend. The first centerfire adopted by the newly formed German empire, the model 1879 Reichsrevolver had traits we would typically associate with Russian arms rather than German. It was simple (too simple [...]

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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