Announcing Clockwork Basilisk: Headstamp’s Fifth Book

I am very excited to announce today the launch of Headstamp Publishing’s fifth book, Clockwork Basilisk: The Early Revolvers of Elisha Collier and Artemas Wheeler. Written by Professor Ben Nicholson and a team of researchers, this is a groundbreaking study of the forefather of all modern revolvers. Collier and Wheeler created a true flintlock single-action revolver decades before Sam Colt’s work, but have not receiver the recognition they deserve for their innovation.

This book is publishing in two volumes, intended to be referenced together while reading. The first volume contains the core material of the story – development of the original Collier and Wheeler patents, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd model Collier revolvers, military trials, decoration and engraving, fakes and reproductions, interaction with Colt, and the other revolving firearms designs that came before and after Collier. The second volume is a catalog of all known Colliers, with photos and details of each, plus a series of useful appendices.

The book is available for preorder on Kickstarter in several different variations along with a selection of cool extra materials – check it out today!


  1. Hi Ian,
    When will this be available to order through Headstamp, also what is happening with the publication of the AK book?

    • This will be available for preorder on the Headstamp as soon as the Kickstarter ends, for the full retail price (the Kickstarter is significantly discounted). The AK book is indefinitely delayed on account of war and embargo.

      • Thanks Ian,
        I have just pre-ordered a copy, for your interest Schuy of Motz & Schuy has published a book on Austrian revolvers, unfortunately still in German

  2. Good day Ian. I would like to get some info and I am stuck. 12.7 = 50cal, 14.5 = 55cal what is a 60 cal? As the internet and books I have don’t have any information on the 60cal rifle?

  3. Great news. This book is to help me with my research for a literary blog. Don’t know where it’s easier to get it?

    • I think Amazon will be the fastest solution. Can you tell us what exactly your research is about? I was writing a paper for a college project, and I picked up this book, hoping to get the information I needed, but I was disappointed. I had to use help from to get a good paper because I was on a deadline. Also, there is a lot of open information about ancient weapons on the Internet, though I could only find a few interesting facts about pistols in this book. Thanks in advance for your response.

  4. This is an interesting topic and the book probably looks at the history, specifications and context of use of these revolvers.

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