RIA: Pond .32 Rimfire Revolver (Video)

Lucius Pond was one of 4 major manufacturers successfully sued by Rollin White on behalf of Smith & Wesson, for infringing on White’s patent (exclusively licensed to S&W) of the bored-through cylinder. Pond had designed a hinged-frame .32 caliber rimfire revolver with some good and bad qualities, and made in excess of 5,000 of them. More than 4,000 of that number had to be turned over to S&W at wholesale cost, however, when he lost the patent suit in 1862. Those guns (including this particular example) were marked “Manufactured for Smith & Wesson”, and resold for a nice markup by S&W.

Pond would go on to design a very jerry-rigged alternative design using removable chambers. This did avoid the Rollin White patent, but was quite awkward to use, and predictably failed to catch on commercially.


  1. I was looking at Rollin White’s revolver patent, and it doesn’t appear to use either a rimfire, centerfire, or pinfire cartridge, so I’m trying to understand what kind of cartridge it used that might have worked with its (apparently) external percussion cap design lifted from a typical cap and ball revolver.

    It would be nice to see one of thse guns in action, rather than just looking at the patent application drawings. Or was his revolver patent the firearm equivalent of one of the many perpetual-motion machine patents that were routinely applied for –and approved– throughout the 19th century: a purely conceptual design without a working prototype ever being developed?

    • “without”
      Wait wait, you can get patent for something if you do NOT deliver working example?
      I am as always confused about U.S. law, and BTW: what is U.S. equivalent of Gebrauchsmuster?

  2. Video for the Pond revolver won’t play. The ad plays, but the Pond video portion will not.

  3. Disappointed that this Patreon supported venue us now using ads. Also, the video won’t play on my Firefox browser. I had to use Microsoft Edge (ugh!) instead.

    • I have Firefox, and the ads play, but the video doesn’t. The previous day’s video about the Smith and Wesson .35 automatic plays just fine. Today’s Pond revolver video just plays the ad, and then freezes.

  4. I had the same issue with Firefox but the YouTube worked.

    Looked like there were a couple of good ideas there.

    Ian has long had adds at the beginning of the video. It helps to keep the site up.

  5. Oh, the potential!

    Think of a .44 Henry version mass produced and issued to Union Cavalry, officers, etc. Not a war winner by itself, but it would’ve been tactically advantageous.

    • The Smith & Wesson Old Model 2 revolvers in .32 rimfire were popular among soldiers in the Civil War. I suppose an upscaled version in something like .44 Henry would have been developed if they weren’t already swamped by orders for their smaller products. After the war they submitted a Model 3 in .44 Henry, but it was rejected because the Army didn’t want to adopt a rimfire cartridge.

      There are examples of gunsmith conversions of Colt and Remington revolvers to .44 Henry, so if you really wanted one you could get one made at the time. It’s interesting that Colt produced just such a thing after the Rollin White patent failed to be renewed:


      It’s interesting that this .44 Henry revolver post-dates the development of the .44 Colt centerfire cartridge for the “Richards-Mason conversion” revolvers. Presumably for the same reason it took a while to get the Colt Model P chambered in .44-40 WCF, because they didn’t want to chamber their revolver for a competitor’s cartridge. But, eventually, consumer demand won out.

  6. Given a choice, which would you have at your bedside to fend off armed burglars? NEVER PUT YOUR GUNS UNDER YOUR PILLOW!!!

    1. Pond revolver
    2. Slocum revolver
    3. Colt Single Action Army in .45 Long Colt
    4. Walther PPK
    5. FN Five-Seven
    6. Francotte semi-automatic rifle in 6mm center fire
    7. Winchester model 1912
    8. Type 100 SMG with bayonet
    9. Screw that, the windows and entry doors are rigged with tear gas spray nozzles.
    10. DO WHATEVER!!!

    There is no need to pay any attention to this voluntary activity. You are not required to participate. Please keep any and all criticism of this post humane and free of foul language.

    Thank you,


    • “FN Five-Seven”
      I has some doubt about using armour-piercing in such situation, don’t want damage something behind (light) wall (does anything want collateral damage in own home?) . Hollow point bullets are available but does they have significant advantage over more classic (like 9×19) hollow point?

      “Winchester model 1912”
      Shotgun seems to be good choice considering that I do NOT want to shot through walls.
      However I would get Rys shotgun, for compactness

      “Colt Single Action Army in .45 Long Colt”
      If you want revolver for some reason than get Webley Mk. VI loaded with .455 Webley Mk. III cartridge /hollow-base-hollow-point/

      There might be problem if “armed burglars” use some form of body armour then you have mutually exclusive (XOR) requirements – for high piercing ability and for low piercing ability

      • Ballistic armor is useless against knives. I wonder if the Type 100 SMG and bayonet combination would deal with armored intruders…

      • Daweo, 5.7 armor piercing ammo is not available for sale to private US citizens. Thus only the hollow points . Even so, your point on over penetration of interior walls is valid and is also Germaine to traditional cartridges. For myself I am thinking of a few hundred dollars of cold rolled steel to re enforce my daughter’s bedroom wall and sticking to buckshot and hollow point standard cartridges for the handguns.

  7. How did Pond’s removable sleeve chamber revolver differ from the Slocum revolver you were a bit of a fan of last year?

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