click for more images
This is an extraordinary pistol whose design is generally attributed to Michele Lorenzoni who worked in Florence from the early 1680s until late in the 1730s and counted the Princes Medici, among others, as his patron. Very little is known about Lorenzoni which is somewhat surprising considering his distinguished patrons and the contribution he made to the development of multiple shot weapons.
The design has been described by more erudite people than me as a “transverse cylinder, lever-operated repeating magazine system”. In essence the pistol contains a main powder magazine, a ball magazine and priming powder magazine. To operate the pisto,l the lever is raised and this operates a mechanism to dose the chamber with the charge, prime the flash pan and drop the frizzen and raise the cock. On firing the gun the process is repeated up to seven times until the balls and powder are exhausted. Clearly the machining of such a pistol had to be precise and excellent because ostensibly the shooter is holding a powder magazine so any failure in the integrity of the action could result in injury or death.
This particular pistol is a 70 bore with a barrel length of 8.5/8" with an overall length of 13" with a weight of 1.3 kgs.
Several leading British makers manufactured examples of Lorenzoni pistols in the 18th Century notably Grice and Mortimer as late as 1800. Lorenzoni type pistols were also manufactured on the East Coast of the USA by makers such as Cookson. The Lorenzoni design was subject to study in the early 19th Century and I believe this particular example is a study piece.
This pistol has no proof marks but the workmanship and materials indicate manufacture in the first quarter of the 19th Century. The screws and the engraving are typical but there is not makers name so I suspect this was either a commission piece or a study for academic or practical purposes.
There are less than 24 known examples of true Lorenzoni pistols extant and most are held in institutional collections. For the collector of flintlock pistols this is an interesting rarity that is seldom encountered. I have seen an occasional rifle or carbine offered for sale in recent years but this is the first pistol I have encountered.
This 36 calibre percussion Colt Navy revolver has matching serial numbers on the barrel, frame, cylinder, wedge, butt strap and arbor which dates manufacture to 1863.The Navy was Colt's most popular model at the time and supplied to both the Civilian and Military market. This revolver would have been supplied at the height of the US Civil War.
The condition of the revolver is excellent, the lock up is as tight as the day it was made, bore is clean and sharp and all edges are sharp with no damaged screws as can be seen. There is a little colour left on the loading rammer and evidence of silver plate on the trigger guard.
The cylinder scene is completely extant and I would hypothesise that the cylinder was rolled at the start of the use of new roll dies which periodically wore out.
Fortunately for a revolver in this condition no collector or dealer has attempted to "improve" it by re-bluing it.
Grips are excellent and special order with most varnish remaining.
The address on the top strap is Col Sam Colt's New York address.
Other than the finish described the rest of the revolver has toned down to a mellow plum grey.
If you are looking for an excellent and fully functioning example of Colt's most iconic revolver and without paying a crazy price this might be the one for you.
Sharps Civil War Era capping breech loading rifle.
This is a very decent example of a scarce rifle that achieved legendary status during the US Civil War and was the origin of the term “Sharpshooter”. This particular example has an excellent bore, good woodwork and functions flawlessly. The production of these rifles was limited because of the high cost so any extant examples are scarce.
The military Sharps rifle was a falling block rifle used during and after the American Civil War in multiple variations. Along with being able to use a standard percussion cap, the first pattern Sharps had a fairly unusual pellet primer feed. This was a device which held a stack of pelleted primers and flipped one over the nipple each time the trigger was pulled and the hammer fell - making it much easier to fire a Sharps from horseback than a gun employing individually loaded percussion caps.
The Sharps Rifle was produced by the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company in Hartford, Connecticut. It was used in the Civil War by multiple Union units, most famously by the U.S. Army Marksman, known popularly as "Berdan's Sharpshooters" in honour of their leader Hiram Berdan. The Sharps made a superior sniper weapon of greater accuracy than the more commonly issued muzzle-loading rifled muskets. This was due mainly to the higher rate of fire of the breech loading mechanism and superior quality of manufacture, as well as the ease of which it could be reloaded from a kneeling or prone position.
At this time however, many officers were distrustful of breech-loading weapons on the grounds that they would encourage men to waste ammunition. In addition, the Sharps Rifle was expensive to manufacture (three times the cost of a muzzle-loading Springfield rifle) and so only 11,000 of the Model 1859s were produced. Most were unissued or given to sharpshooters, but the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves (which still carried the old-fashioned designation of a "rifle regiment") carried them until being mustered out in 1864.
This is a very good example of a very sought after rifle.
Between the early 1860’s and early 1900’s the Braendlin Arms Company was a force to be reckoned with and were a major manufacturer of excellent weapons and not only supplied the British Government but the bulk of the Birmingham and London gun trade. The chances are that if you have any nice good quality Martini action sporting or target rifles in your collection, no matter what the name on the top strap it was made by the Braendlin Arms Company and somewhere, maybe under the wood will be a discreet tiny mark of crossed pennants with a “B” on the weapon signifying it originated from the Braendlin Arms Company.
The philosophy of the company was to make for anyone and everyone and they simply didn’t care if the product was attributed to another maker as long as they made a profit.
This is a solid example of a Farquharson patent falling block rifle and in this instance Braendlin supplied direct and their name and London and Birmingham address is on the top of the barrel.
The calibre is obsolete 450 3.1/4” Black Powder Express and the rifle features an excellent English Walnut stock, 28” Barrel and Express Leaf sights calibrated to 1000 yards. The bore is very good with no pitting and the overall appearance and balance of the rifle is outstanding and exudes quality.
The Farquharson Rifle is a single-shot hammerless falling-block action rifle designed and patented by John Farquharson, of Daldhu, Scotland in 1872. George Gibbs, a gun maker in Bristol, became a co-owner of the Farquharson patent in 1875 and was the sole maker of Farquharson rifles until the patent expired. Fewer than 1,000 Gibbs-Farquharson rifles were made, the last one being delivered in 1910.
A few years after the original Farquharson patent expired in 1889, many English gun makers began producing their own versions of Farquharson rifles utilizing actions made by Auguste Francotte in Herstal, Belgium. These actions were essentially exact copies of those used by Gibbs to build his military target Farquharson rifles, which had a solid combined lower tang and trigger guard.
Farquharson action rifles are renowned for reliability and accuracy and those manufactured by Gibbs command an extremely high price. This is an opportunity to acquire a Farquharson actioned rifle at a realistic price in an obsolete calibre.
Occasionally I sell air weapons and here we have a small number of Webly air pistols with their original boxes. I have two Webley Premier and one Webley Senior type E designation. One of the Premier's is .177 calibre and the other .22".
All are very nice pistols in very good order as can be seen. The Webley Premier that does not have the makers name in white was an American export and repatriated from the USA.
The boxes containing instructions pasted into the lid and some accessories such as pellets, targets and one has a cleaning brush.
Feel free to ask questions.
Prices range from £265 to £350.
For more information see Gordon Bruce's excellent book on the subject. Webley sold pistols in the USA in the 1960's as "indoor practise" guns to save the cost of ammunition and their market was focused on an older user.
These are interesting and iconic guns that many of us owned as children and they are now increasing substantially in value as many were badly used and are difficult to find in excellent condition.
This is an interesting military long arm in obsolete 6mm calibre that can be owned without a license.
In 1894 the US Navy determined that it wanted to adopt a new small calibre high velocity rifle that would be suitable for a universal cartridge that could also be used in machine guns.
The Winchester Lee Model 1895 rifle (Model 1895) was based on the works of James Paris Lee (1831-1904), a Scottish-born inventor/gunsmith who eventually took up American citizenship during the course of his life. His greatest claims to fame would become the Lee-Metford and Lee-Enfield service rifles which both managed long storied careers. His work on the integral box magazine approach, coupled to a straight-pull, "cam-action" design, allowed his guns to be sold without patent infringement from traditional bolt-actions manufacturers. In 1895, the United States Navy accepted Lee's Model of 1895 (M1895) and adopted it in the rather limited 6mm calibre. Serial manufacture of the gun then fell to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The United States Navy commissioned for 100,000 of the rifles and the Model 1895 marked the first American-originated rifle to support a clip-loaded magazine.
Although 100,000 rifles were ordered only 15,000 were delivered making this a scarce weapon.
The rifle became known under various names throughout its service but remained of a conventional layout utilizing a solid, single-piece of wood that integrated the shoulder stock and grip handle. A single band joined the barrel to the stock for rigidity near the rifle's midway point. The action was contained at the bulk of the stock with the integral magazine set just ahead of the trigger unit. Sights were added to the receiver as well behind the muzzle in traditional fashion. Sling loops were present under the stock and under the forend. The rifle carried an overall length of the weapon was 48 inches with the barrel assembly measuring 28 inches long. Overall weight was 8.3lbs. The weapon utilized 6mm Lee Navy or 6mm USN cartridges through a wedge/cam locking action and five cartridges could be loaded into the fixed box magazine.
This rifle has an excellent bore, is mechanically sound and has a good walnut stock without defects other than the handling marks you would expect from a rifle over 100 years old, Overall a splendid example of a collectible and iconic antique rifle seldom encountered in the UK.
This is a good representative example of a Hall breech loading model 1841 rifle. The rifle functions flawlessly and has a good American Walnut stock and has a decent bore with no external issues of pitting. The rifle has the expected handling wear of a rifle 175 years old but is an attractive looking example of a scarce rifle seldom seen in the UK.
John Harris Hall (1781-1841) proved a potent inventor and forward-thinking gunsmith during his time. Aside from his contributions to mass production, Hall also designed and developed the M1819 Hall Rifle that bears his name (along with inventor Dr. William Thornton). Though a single-shot long gun at heart, the primary quality of this rifle was its patented breech-loading system which now allowed the operator to load/reload his weapon at the action as opposed to the muzzle. The shooter no longer was required to stand his weapon on its butt and engage in a time-consuming reloading process which also presented him as a target for the enemy. The M1819 Hall Rifle became the first breech-loading rifle in the world to be adopted in notable quantities by a national army that had the benefit of interchangeable parts and could truly be regarded as “mass produced”.
The first Hall rifle was a flintlock and Hall began limited production of his rifle until the US Army placed an order for 200 of the type to be delivered sometime in 1815. However, lacking the required manufacturing facilities to meet the government deadline, Hall turned down this commission. To address the issue, Hall began dissecting his rifle manufacturing process which could, at best, output approximately 50 units per year. This rethinking brought about a complete revision of the process which ultimately sped up production through use of interchangeable parts along an assembly line-type arrangement. With the streamlining initiative in place, Hall then approached Army authorities to revitalize the commission. Impressed, the US Army then placed a new order for 1,000 Hall Rifles in 1819 which earned them the designation of "Model of 1819" - otherwise "Model 1819". The guns were produced out of the Harpers Ferry Arsenal utilizing Hall's methodology.
At one point, the US Army sought to test the Hall breech-loading rifles against contemporary smoothbore muzzle loaders (with a target at 100 yards) and found them to be more accurate and with a higher rate-of-fire, giving US infantrymen a considerable tactical advantage for the period.
The Hall rifle features multiple groove shallow scratch rifling which was a considerable improvement on the conventional smooth bore muskets of the time.
The breech of the rifle is opened by the secondary trigger spur in front of the firing trigger and this flips open the chamber block to allow either powder or a paper cartridge and ball to be introduced.
The machining tolerances were very good considering the equipment available at the time but eventually wear would allow gas escape which was a later criticism of the rifle.
By the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865), the percussion cap principle was rapidly replacing the centuries-old flintlock action. The actions were somewhat similar in that old flintlock firearms could be converted to newer percussion cap forms through a bit of engineering. Percussion caps were less susceptible to weather and humidity and consequently more efficient and reliable.
The Model 1819 Hall Rifle saw a similar conversion as other guns in the lead-in to the Civil War, becoming the Model 1841 Hall Rifle. Paper cartridges, holding the propellant, and a .69 Ball were now in use. However, the life cycle of the rifle was quickly drawing to a close after several decades of consistent service. Many infantry also still preferred muzzle-loading weapons due to availability and familiarity. Hall Rifles did, however, still see use in the conflict before given up for good - all manner of guns and artillery were pressed into service by both the North and South - either produced in American factories or acquired form Europe. In all, 23,500 Model 1819 Hall Rifles were produced.
This is an interesting rifle and an important design in the development of the modern military rifle.
The Ballard Deringer is one of the scarcest Deringer pistols to find in reasonable condition. The survival rates are very low and the pistol was the only pistol manufactured by Ballard who was renowned for his superior quality rifles and who later became associated with Marlin Firearms.
This particular pistol in 41 rimfire calibre is in exceptional condition with an unusually good bore, original silver plating and traces of case hardening and fire blue on the hammer and trigger. The makers name is on the top strap and the factory address and patents on the left hand side of the receiver. It is estimated that less than 1000 of these little pistols were manufactured in 41 calibre and the survival rate is very low. The grips are in very good condition with no cracks and the pistol functions properly with the ejector extant. An excellent example of a very scarce pistol.
Henry Deringer perfected his famous pocket pistol designs before the US Civil War and manufactured them until his death in 1868. Based on his agents and known inscribed examples, it appears they were especially popular with politicians, bankers, and shopkeepers as well as gamblers and miners in the South and California. This scarce example is virtually identical to the infamous "Peanut" Deringer used by John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. This example dates to the 1850s or 1860s and has the correct genuine Henry rifling. This was effective at short ranges for which these pistols were used. The barrel has a dovetailed German silver front sight, Deringer's classic brown and copper imitation Damascus finish, a German silver banded breech plug with "DERINGER/PHILADELA" on top, "P" flanked by sun burst designs on the upper left, and a notch rear sight on the integral tang. The floral engraved lock has "DERINGER/PHILADELA" near the tail. The wedge escutcheons, flash plate, trigger guard with late pineapple finial, side plate, thumb plate, tear drop inlay, and the nose plate are all also German silver. The escutcheon is engraved in contemporary style. The very short barrel version of this pistol is extremely rare and can be considered the pinnacle of any “Deringer” collection. An outstanding example and difficult to better.
This is an exquisite W C Scott and Son of London 10 bore hammer gun. The gun was manufactured in 1879 and has seen little use. The gun features 30” Damascus barrels and the top rib is engraved with the makers name and Great Castle Street, Regents Circus, London address with “patented triplex lever” to describe the gun. For the technical minded, Length of Pull is 14” and the left barrel measure .778” and the right barrel also measures .778” with an original proof of .775”. Bores are bright and the weight of the gun is 8.8 lbs. The barrel chokes are 041” and 0.32" The gun is very tight and has no issues and has a wonderful Damascus pattern to the barrels that doesn’t really show in the photographs. The barrels are browned as was all of W C Scott’s production at this time. The chambers of the gun are 2.7/8” so will not chamber modern 10 gauge cartridges and consequently it is exempt from licensing and can be owned as an object of curiosity.
The engraving is excellent and features a hunting dog on one lock plate and a Grouse on the other with a plethora of engraving around the locks and the trigger guard. If you look at the engraving of the dog, the dog actually has personality and I reckon a real dog was the subject matter. There is considerable original finish including nitre blue on the gun and the barrels are unblemished. There is a vacant silver escutcheon on the underside of the butt and the side plates are both engraved with the makers name W C Scott & Son. This is a quite beautiful example of the British Gunmakers art at the height of its popularity in the last quarter of the 19th Century.
W C Scott were prolific manufacturers and made guns in three qualities, A, B and C. Most B and C guns were sold to retailers who engraved their own names on the gun and most A grade guns such as this bore W C Scott’s name and were retailed from their London premises and proofed in London.
In 1871 the firm moved to 10 Great Castle Street, Regent Circus (now Oxford Circus) where the firm was to remain until 1899.
On 18 January 1875 William Middleditch Scott patented an external twin bolting system for barrels (No. 186) which comprised cross-bolts on either side of the action. Patent No. 1902 of 25 May 1875 covered a bolt which was part of the top lever. It engaged with the top rib extension and became famous as the Triplex top lever grip (in use up to 1892 when it was replaced by Scott's Improved Bolt). This gun features this action. Minor changes were made to the basic design over the next few years and it was widely used until gradually replaced by the rectangular crossbolt introduced in 1892, it was discontinued by Webley & Scott in 1914.
This is an attractive and interesting gun manufactured at the pinnacle of the career of one of England’s most revered gunsmiths.
website designed and maintained by Concept500