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RIA: Roper Repeating Shotgun

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Sylvester Roper is not a well known name in firearms history today, but he made a number of notable contributions to the field – in addition to his work with motorcycles and automobiles where he is much better remembered.

The Roper revolving shotgun was an early cartridge-firing repeating shotgun that could carry and fire four […]

RIA: Merwin & Hulbert Revolvers

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The Merwin & Hulbert company was a short-lived firearms manufacturing partnership between designer Joseph Merwin and the Hulbert brothers as financiers. Merwin wanted to design a particularly strong and high-quality revolver, and he succeeded – his guns are arguably some of the best revolvers of the frontier era. The company made a wide variety of […]

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 […]