New Old Revolver
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  1. #1
    Gun Wizard
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    New Old Revolver

    Thought this might interest some of the BP boys and girls.

    Just finished rebuilding this 1860s Adams DA revolver. Its a five shot 54 bore which is .45". It also has WD and arrow stamps, so Army issue. Stripped the working parts out, sorted the action which was faulty and rebuilt. She now works perfectly. A pleasure to work on. The mainspring is a V spring in the handle.

    During her service life our military looked after a quarter of the world, maybe a third of the worlds population, so it may have served almost anywhere. And yes, it has an odd almost mottled finish. Not one I have seen before, but not a problem. All original. Love the smooth DA action, really nice to the break with no stacking. Single action is also crisp, and the sights are really good with a good profie front to a point and a V notch rear on the back of the frame.

    One of the best things working on antique guns is thinking about who was last in there, how many people stripped and cleaned it, and when. Some young apprentice in the Army back in 1865, or maybe an old salt, taking the time and care only experience teaches us. The mottled finish is I think indicative of a humid environment. Who knows where? Notice the large trigger guard, for gloves, also the hump at the top of the backstrap to stop it slipping up during rapid double action fire. Also, the drilled hole in the grip for a lanyard.
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    Last edited by tranteruk; 06-02-2019 at 09:37 AM.
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    A piece of history for sure! Beauty!
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    What are the laws in the UK for B/P revolvers.

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  5. #4
    Gun Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by 94win30wcf View Post
    What are the laws in the UK for B/P revolvers.
    Fairly stupid. Antiques are no problem, no licence buy whatever you want. Repros however are controlled and need to be on licence. Not a really big deal, many own and shoot them but you do need a firearm licence. Totally unnecessary. I have a licence but dont own any repro BPs. Did think about getting a repro BP percussion side by side recently. Used to own a Navy Arms and enjoyed shooting it.
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    I doubt the hole drilled in the grip was for a lanyard. Marvellous old percussion revolver though. Adams had a booth next to Colt at the Exposition of 1851 at the Crystal Palace.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranteruk View Post
    Fairly stupid. Antiques are no problem, no licence buy whatever you want. Repros however are controlled and need to be on licence. Not a really big deal, many own and shoot them but you do need a firearm licence. Totally unnecessary. I have a licence but dont own any repro BPs. Did think about getting a repro BP percussion side by side recently. Used to own a Navy Arms and enjoyed shooting it.
    your gonna love this. here in Cuomo land you can buy/ own a B/P revolver BUT! if you want to shoot it or have in your possession the powder and ball to load it. it must be on your pistol permit ( about 200 bucks and about 9 months waiting for NYS to give birth to your permit.
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    On some of the old nipples I have seen they are full diameter on the cap side and on the charge side but smaller in the middle. Kind of like having a choke in the middle of a shotgun barrel.
    I have handled a few Adams and they point fairly nice for me. They look awkward but really are not.
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithywess View Post
    I doubt the hole drilled in the grip was for a lanyard. Marvellous old percussion revolver though. Adams had a booth next to Colt at the Exposition of 1851 at the Crystal Palace.
    The hole is not uncommon on British percussion military revolvers of the period, and it is known as the 'lanyard hole'. Later models came with the steel lanyard ring on the butt which remained common into the 1950s on revolvers and of course, even later on Browning HPs.

    I have a 'thing' about lanyards and believe they have a role today. I seem to be in a club of one, but can make a case for them. Their original role was to prevent the owner becoming separated from his handgun, perhaps by dropping it. That makes sense. Lets say in the US, where legal you investigate noises in the night in your home holding a handgun. If your surprised, maybe someone hits you, throws something, whatever, you may drop the gun. In the dark, with one or more assailants your hardly in a position to go look for it. Worse, the assailant may see it before you do.

    There is also the gun grabber (Been there). In Northern Ireland troops patrolling the streets would sometimes attach the rifle to their wrist with the sling, same thing. Many modern armies still use them with handguns. Lanyards have a role, and I think are dismissed to readily by todays gun owners.

    Oh, and your right about the Great Exhibition of 1851. Colt opened a factory in London, which went out of business after four years. It couldn't compete with the British revolvers, mostly with larger calibre's and single/ double action design. The problem for our gunmakers was that they diddnt at the time embrace mass production, with guns still being largely handmade. That made them better, stronger and more reliable but more expensive and fewer in number. I always thought that odd, considering Britain was the home of the industrial revolution. The birthplace of the factory and steam powered machinery. Things changed of course with factories like Webley and Enfield turning out millions of handguns that were sent to every corner of the world.

    At the Great Exhibition Col. Colt himself presented Prince Albert with a fancy presentation pair of revolvers. I actually handled them one time, with white gloves when at the Royal Armouries in London. I did a little work with them in the 80s/90s.
    Last edited by tranteruk; 06-03-2019 at 01:56 AM.
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  10. #9
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    In the states the pistol replace the sword as a cavalry weapon. Some of the irregulars would carry more than one pistol. The 1851 Colt was very popular with the Confederates as it was economical to shoot. Also surprisingly popular in the West. Hickok carried a pair of them. They have the power one of those small 380 pistols. Lanyards would have been handy off horseback also. I shot a deer with a Repo once. Carried it as a back up for my mL rifle. Shot at a doe and looked for blood without reloading, and did not find any blood but did hear a grunting sound. A buck came walking up on the doe trail and I shot him at about 10 feet straight into the chest. He did not go very far. Full load in the 36.

    There were better pistols in the States than the Colt but old Sam loved to present them to influential people and get contracts. For Cavalry the S&W break open was said to be more practical for loading off a horse. Gave rise to the term "Long Colt" for the 45 cartridge as there was a "short Colt" loaded that fit into both the S&W and the Colt, for the military. But these are cartridge revolvers. Lots of legends on the old Colt Walker and film makers and novelists love to write about some hero carrying the Walker. The Walker was an awkward pistol and replaced by the Dragoons. They did not hold quite as much powder as the Walkers were know to burst from overload. Also the pistol could not benefit by that much powder. They had the loading latch secured where the Walker was know to have the latch fall down and lock up the mechanism if not tied up. These were "horse" pistols and carried on holsters mounted on the horses as they were very awkward to carry. The 44 Colt Army was a holster pistol carried on ones person.

    Your Adams 5 shot must have been scaled down for holster carry and fairly compact. Lanyard hole suggest it. Colts were generally 6 shot. The Confederates imported quite a few weapons from Britain and had an interesting revolver that some like JEB Stuart carried a Trantor Revolver made in England but also is credited for a LaMat which held more shots and had a shotgun barrel underneath. One thing I will point out. The Colt and Remington revolvers were much handier to reload in the field as they had a loading lever underneath the barrel. Those without almost had to be loaded off a bench. Is the mottling possibly a case hardening finish? Might be the steel and how it takes blue also.

    Thought I would throw out a bit of American history on the revolvers as they are so associated with the West and kind of our "thing" Sam Colt invented them and spent a lot of time chasing down patent infringers as revolvers got so popular. The truth of the American "wild" west was that it was that the cap and ball revolver predominated during the "wild" times. They were built well into the 1870's and still carried. I enjoyed shooting mine for many years.

    DEP
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  11. #10
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    It's really a shame that guns like this one can't talk. Thank you for sharing this.

    I for another think lanyard rings make a lot of sense. I frequently carry a J frame S&W revolver and have thought about having it drilled for a simple lanyard. I wouldn't use the lanyard all the time but there are places where it makes a ton of sense.
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