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Discussion Starter #1
Just finished restoring these two percussion revolvers. Both British, from about 1855. Both are 5 shot double action 54 bore, about. 45. I stripped and cleaned, oiled and rebuilt with care. It was an absolute pleasure to do. I wont touch the finish of course. Anyway, I thought some on the forum might like to see. Hope so.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
They are both Adams, one says Adams & Company London the other says London Armoury. These may have seen service in any one of a dozen countries from India to Africa to the West Indies or even the Crimea. Gotta love guns and history.

A bit more info for anyone else into DIY gunsmithing, I disassembled them all the way, each part inspected and cleaned. Where needed any corrosion cleaned off. The main spring, a V spring in the grip needed replacing on one. A company I know made one to size. The guns are obviously percussion, and five shot. The lever, unlike the Colts, Remingtons etc rests on the side of the barrel and lifts up. There is a safety on the right side, just behind the cylinder that presses forward, blocking the cylinder from turning. They are double action, and the triggers on both a superb. Trust me, I have fired more revolvers in my time than I care to remember, I know a smooth DA pull and they dont come better. The grips, like on many old guns may look odd, skinny, but are surprisingly comfortable. The hump at the top of the back strap stops the hand riding up in rapid fire. Although looking similar, and they are made to the same design parts will not interchange. These were made by gunsmiths, each part made to fit as they went along. Thats as good as its bad, the guns are regular production, one Army marked but are very well made. One thing about the British guns of the period, they were made so they might be repaired almost anywhere. No point being half way up the Nile and finding a part broke and you need a huge machine to make a new one. All were designed for minimal maintenance.

Sorry if I go on a bit, but the history of firearms has always fascinated me as much as getting out and using them.

Oh, BTW, there is one problem that remains. A guy at the range wants to buy one of them. He is a good guy, except for his habit of shouting out when you get a good group, while your still shooting. Anyway, he would pay a fair price, but I dont want to sell either. They are beautiful to me and have so much history. I will have to tell him next time we meet.
 

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Oh now that is cool. Write down all that you know about them...keep it with them for future generations. Its so nice to see new life breathed into these old pieces of history.

redhawk
 

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Beautiful piece of history, and yes it would have my finger itching to get some black powder. Hey you cleaned'em once you can do it again................Thanks for posting
 

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Really glad you like them, and can see what they are, a piece of history. Not just me then?
When we got muzzle loading deer seasons in different states the first thing that came out were "modern muzzleloaders" Knight was one of the first and now CVA is into them. Some were modern modified bolt actions. The historical aspect was what drew most of us to the sport. when arguing about them most argued on the grounds of primitive or effectiveness. I built muzzleloaders and tried to copy the styles of originals as close as possible. They are historical. Names like JP Beck and Hawken take us back. I always admired the English Sporting rifle. It was both practical and attractive. Far more so than many of the gaudy Pennsylvania rifles. The Colt percussion revolvers are our history. The true guns that won the West. Those pistols you show are the guns of the Empire and have a history similar to the Brit as do the Colts to the American. Better made than the Colts like the Sporting Rifles over our rifles, and with the same mental pictures of their past. They were also darn expensive even in their day. If you see the old photos of the American Civil war, you see many with the young men holding both the service rifle and the revolvers which were personal an non issued. Good to see them preserved.

DEP
 

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Love to see and read about old guns...if only they could talk!
 

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Really glad you like them, and can see what they are, a piece of history. Not just me then?
Not just you! I think we can all appreciate those revolvers for what they are, a remarkable bit of history. Happy you could bring them back to life and share them here. Thanks!
 

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Those pistols you show are the guns of the Empire and have a history similar to the Brit as do the Colts to the American. Better made than the Colts like the Sporting Rifles over our rifles, and with the same mental pictures of their past. They were also darn expensive even in their day. I Good to see them preserved.

DEP
Interesting that Colt had a booth next to Adams at the Great Exposition of 1858 in London. He managed to secure a contract with the British Government to supply the army with thousands of Navy Colt Models of 1851 for use in the Crimea. Every Colt part in those Navy models was interchangeable with another. Revolvers could be swapped out if damaged and I think that was part of his very successful sales pitch. The Adams revolver with it's double action is a much more complicated affair and perhaps not as battle hardened as would be a Colt. It's also interesting that London Navy Colts of 1851 were tailored to that British market. The trigger guard and backstraps were iron instead of brass. The trigger guard is a good deal bigger that those produced at Hartford. The hammer spurs sported that stippled finish one sees on fine European firearms rather than the American cross hatching. Moreover the barrel lugs were much thicker in the London Navies. Finally the London models were fitted with English black walnut stocks which is a nicer figured wood than that normally seen on navies made and assembled Stateside. Amazing the likes and dislikes of different cultures really.
 

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Interesting hand grips. Congrats. That's a daisy of a set of smokewagons ya got there Pistolero.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Interesting that Colt had a booth next to Adams at the Great Exposition of 1858 in London. He managed to secure a contract with the British Government to supply the army with thousands of Navy Colt Models of 1851 for use in the Crimea. Every Colt part in those Navy models was interchangeable with another. Revolvers could be swapped out if damaged and I think that was part of his very successful sales pitch. The Adams revolver with it's double action is a much more complicated affair and perhaps not as battle hardened as would be a Colt. It's also interesting that London Navy Colts of 1851 were tailored to that British market. The trigger guard and backstraps were iron instead of brass. The trigger guard is a good deal bigger that those produced at Hartford. The hammer spurs sported that stippled finish one sees on fine European firearms rather than the American cross hatching. Moreover the barrel lugs were much thicker in the London Navies. Finally the London models were fitted with English black walnut stocks which is a nicer figured wood than that normally seen on navies made and assembled Stateside. Amazing the likes and dislikes of different cultures really.
Well yes, and no. Not quite. The British revolvers were far more robust than the Colts, and that was proved in the field. The British revolvers were forged from one frame and barrel piece. The Colts had a separate barrel, held on with the wedge. Also, the Colts suffered a blowback issue, if the hammer was blown back a few millimetres it moved the cylinder, as the hand was linked to the hammer. Not so on the Adams design, where the hammer and trigger/ hand were separate. The fact is the Adams laid the foundation for revolvers up to today. Double action and solid framed. There was another failing on the Colts, which the Adams got around and that was jamming from loose fragments of the caps, working there way in the mechanism.

The Colts bought by the British military proved of insufficient power and were less reliable. The interchangeability of parts was a plus of course, but the British arms industry soon took that idea up. Especially with the standardisation of threads by Mr Whitworth. Also the inventor of the Whitworth rifles, used so effectively by the Confederacy. Accuracy I understand that would challenge a modern sniper rifle today.

In fact, the action in the Adams is less complex and less fragile than the Colt design. The following might help explain..
 

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Really glad you like them, and can see what they are, a piece of history. Not just me then?
Now that you have saved them, they belong together now if only they could talk yes what tales they could tell. Next job cases with accessories that will keep you going, did it with an Edwinson Green 12g hammer gun. An original case cost me nearly half the price of the gun but still makes me smile when I look at it cased with all it's accruements. Gar.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Now that you have saved them, they belong together now if only they could talk yes what tales they could tell. Next job cases with accessories that will keep you going, did it with an Edwinson Green 12g hammer gun. An original case cost me nearly half the price of the gun but still makes me smile when I look at it cased with all it's accruements. Gar.
Gar, hm, expensive. I found an original case for sale, promising but they want £550.00, which is a lot. By the time you source genuine accessories, flask, bullet mould, cap tin and cleaning rod its gonna double the price. I think to assemble a case and bits will go over the £1k. Of course, it will increase the value even more, so investment wise a good move but thats no use unless you sell it.
 

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I looked up the cost of the Adams Revolver and the Union bought 795 of them for [email protected] Colts were not as expensive, saw one price at $13. The Navy model Colt was popular but I have a replica army model 44 which was also very popular. I like the feel of the Army model very much and used one in competition. We had an event where we put 4 firewood chunks on a board and timed how fast we could shoot them off (inspired by bowling pin shooting) I won a few of those events. With careful loading the revolvers worked and I generally loaded them as most loaded them with about 30 grains of 3f. The ball just cleared the frame. They were a combat revolver and not a target revolver. I also raised the front sight on the Colts and the Remington Repos I had so that they would hit point of aim. These revolvers had a natural "point" with their longer barrels.

Sam Colt was noted for his marketing which included presentation of elaborate revolvers to the "right" people. Many say the S&W break open was a better cavalry revolver, but Colt got the contracts. Due to the Smith and Wesson's influence the Army had two cartridges. A "short" Colt that fit into both the S&W and the Colt Army and a Long Colt which only fit the Colt. Hence the term Long Colt, the name which some have issues with. The confederate officers had a more diversified collection of revolvers and many tended to be more English than the English. They tried to get Britain to join their side in the Civil War and Britain did supply rifles and possibly revolvers, but were reluctant to openly side with them. Of course part of it was the smuggling trade for the Souths cotton. Officially the British were against slavery and would not support the south. The confederates not only had Enfield rifles but the Whitworth's as well. There may have been some Adams thrown in or they may have been privately owned.

DEP
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, Col Colt (Col Colt, Col Sanders?) was first and for most a salesman. He presented a matched pair of Navy Revolvers to Prince Albert, Queen Victorias husband. I handled them, with white gloves, when at the Royal Armouries. A real honour I can tell you.

And yes, we supported the South in your Civil War. A little awkward when you consider we banned slavery here in 1833. However, we needed cotton for our factories. I guess the pound, or dollar ruled then as it does now.
 
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