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This is a very good Peabody rifle, this particular pattern designated as the 1868/70 Spanish in 43 Spanish centrefire calibre.
The Peabody rifle was the development of Henry O. Peabody of Boston, Massachusetts and initially patented in 1862, but fully developed too late to play any major role in the US Civil War. The basic patent relates to a heavy pivoting breech block, the front of which pivots down around a transverse fixed pin fixed through both the upper rear of the breech block and through the upper rear of the solidly built box receiver. Lowering the front of the breech block allows access to the chamber from above but, when elevated closed, transfers the force of firing to the rear of the receiver housing
This particular rifle is interesting insofar as it has Prussian acceptance marks which are a square crown over a “V”. This explains that the rifle was a capture after the Franco Prussian War.
This rifle is in very good condition with a good bore and only the usual handling marks on the woodwork. An interesting and seldom encountered rifle that has a combat history.
The carbine was a single-shot, percussion, breech loader used mainly by Union cavalry units. It used the .54 calibre Minie balls with paper cartridges which were loaded by lifting the top of the breech lever. The barrels were 22 1/8 inches and round with one-barrel band.
Known regiments where the carbines were issued are:
• New York 1st, 5th, and 18th
• Pennsylvania 11th, 17th, and 18th
• New Jersey 1st
• Indiana 7th
• Wisconsin 1st and 3rd
• Kentucky 27th
• Delaware 1st
This original, breech-loading carbine is one of only some 14,500 weapons produced by H. Merrill of Baltimore, MD. This cavalry weapon is a wartime example of the First Type Merrill carbine in .54 calibre. The first type is easy to identify as it has a brass patch box which was later removed, no doubt to save cost.
This example has the brass trigger guard, brass butt plate, single brass barrel band, and brass patch box. Specimen has a 22 1/8” long round barrel with the finish toned down to a pewter grey colour. Bore has strong rifling and is bright towards the chamber but with some modest black powder pitting in the last three quarters that would be worth spending some time in cleaning to improve. The carbine was loaded by pulling back on the flat, cross-hatched tabs, then lifting and pulling back the plunger latch on the top of the receiver and inserting the cartridge. Mechanics are good. Top flat of the breech lever is marked with “J.H. MERRILL BALTO. / PAT. JULY 1858” while its base is marked with serial number 7291. Underside of the lever is clean. Atop the barrel is the three-level rear sight with the “V” cuts graduated for 300 and 500. Marked on the iron lock plate forward of the hammer is the three-line address of “J.H. MERRILL BALTO. / PAT. JULY 1858 / APL. 9 MAY 21-28-61.” Serial number 7291 is stamped behind the hammer. Carbine features a dark walnut stock with one cartouche that can be faintly seen. Stock left side is also fitted with an iron sling bar and sling ring. Stock has no breaks or cracks but shows moderate wear with some small wear loss on the left side of the fore end where it would be held. All brass furniture is toned and has not been cleaned ( thankfully). The butt is stamped with a US with the letter S stamped backwards. This is clearly a mistake, or the stamper was illiterate, volunteer troops were not chosen for their literacy!
I am told that it is possible to research who these carbines were issued to.
An interesting and scarce US Civil War carbine seldom seen in the UK.
This is an exquisite and rare little Maynard “automatic” pocket revolver.
Edward Maynard was a prolific inventor and introduced his tape primer system to the USA army very successfully from a commercial point of view. He later went on the design a carbine which realistically was the first breech firearm to use a reloadable brass cartridge case. This developed quickly into the centre fire case we are familiar with today.
This is a Maynard Automatic revolved cylinder revolver made in 28 calibre with a 3.5" barrel and is tape primed. The back strap is marked Patent/Jan 2 1855 and the primer door is marked Maynard's Patent 1845. Less than 2000 of these revolvers are known to have been made and the Massachusetts Arms Company that manufactured them was in dispute with Colt and had previously manufactured a similar hand revolving cylinder to avoid Colts patent. Interestingly the tape primer has only one nipple which fires each of the cylinder chambers in turn which had a firing hole large enough to allow the flame from the nipple to fire the cylinder chamber but small enough to stop the powder from exiting at the rear of the chamber. There is much original finish on the revolver and altogether this is a very interesting and uncommon revolver to be encountered.
By far the majority of these revolvers have trigger faults which this one doesn’t have. This is caused by people trying to fire the revolver in double action and damaging the springs. Fortunately, this revolver has not been damaged and works as it should. To circumnavigate Colt’s patent the revolver is single action and cocking the hammer does not revolve the cylinder. The action of cocking turns a spigot wheel which pushes the tape primer over the nipple. Once cocked the cylinder is turned by pulling the trigger half way. Pulling the trigger all the way releases the hammer for firing. By interrupting the cylinder from the hammer Maynard “beat” Colt’s patent and avoided further litigation.
John Brown of "John Brown's Body" etc fame purchased several hundred Maynard revolvers.
This is a very good example of a very early square back trigger guard Colt Navy revolver manufactured in 36 calibre.
In Patrick Swayze's excellent Tome titled "51 Colt Navies published in 1967 he states
The design of the square back trigger guard was probably made with the question of appearance alone in mind, for it certainly does not does not seem to have any useful or practical value. In fact, it would seem that such a design would be highly impractical because of the chances of the pointed rear of the trigger guard proper becoming fouled in the holster, or pocket, from which it was being drawn. The square back design is attributed to Colonel Talcot of the Ordnance Department of the U.S. Army, who seemed to have a fondness of the symmetry and beauty of the design. Since Colonel Talcot had much to do with the purchase of handguns for U. S. Army - a potential purchase of some size - Sam Colt was certainly one to cater to the whims of those who could help him sell his handguns; so the square back trigger guard it was! The story is that when Colonel Talcot was convicted by a court(s) martial, Colt immediately discontinued his production of the square back design and changed to the small rounded trigger guard.
This particular revolver has an excellent bore, and is mechanically sound with all matching serial numbers on the arbour, rammer, butt, frame and cylinder. The wedge has a different number but is contemporary and with a number close to the revolver.
The action is tight and although the finish is faded away there is some silver plating extant in protected areas. The revolver has a strong mainspring and cocks and locks perfectly, the latch spring on the rammer is particularly tight. There is evidence of the cylinder safety stops and they have not been totally worn away as is often seen. My view is this was a working gun that was well looked after by the state of the bore and I would say that it could have been issued to some official body.
There is an inspectors stamp "G" below the frame serial number stamp.
The 7.5" barrel is roll stamped with the early address
"-Address Saml Colt -New-York City-"
The I of the city is extant and this indicates an early revolver as this eventually wore out and examples stamped C TY are not unusual.
The brass square back trigger guard indicates it is one of less than 1000 manufactured and given survival rates is a difficult Colt to find for any collection.
Expect to pay at least 50% more for an example with any original finish left.
A desirable revolver.
This is a very good pair of matched flintlock turnoff pistols made by Henry Nock of London.
A good example of Nock's general trade work the pistol locks are engraved "H Nock" on one side and "London" on the other and exhibit London proof marks.
Nock was a prolific inventor and is best known for his formidable multi-barrelled volley guns which were purchased by the Royal Navy and in recent years brought back to public notice by the TV series Sharpe in which Sergeant Harper carries a Nock Volley Gun. There is an interesting and erudite article on Nock and his volley guns in the Gun Report magazine of October 1967.
This is a very good pre-war Enfield Mk 111 complete with volley sights and magazine cut-off. BSA manufactured in 1908 this is the quintessential SMLE issued before the reality and rigours of WW1 revealed that the idea of Volley sights to fire at Cavalry at a distance and magazine cut-offs to save ammunition were really memories of the past and not relevant in the 20th Century.
The owner tells me it was re-barrelled and reproofed by Fultons in the 1970's and has seen little service since. This is both a shooters rifle and a wonderful historical artefact.
There are several cartouches and numbers on the butt. Overall a very tidy rifle and all changes admitted.
I can deliver to your RFD for £25 and I will be exhibiting at the Northern Shooting Show at Harrogate and Bisley in May.
Section 1 will require a FAC
This is another great design by John Moses Browning.
The Winchester Model 1886 was a lever-action repeating rifle designed by John Browning to handle some of the more powerful cartridges of the period. Originally chambered in .45-70, .45-90 WCF and .40-82 WCF, it was later offered in a half dozen other large cartridges, including the .50-110 Winchester.
The Model 1886 continued the trend towards chambering heavier rounds, and had an all-new and considerably stronger locking-block action than the toggle-link Model 1876. It was designed by John Moses Browning, who had a long and profitable relationship with Winchester from the 1880s to the early 1900s. William Mason also contributed, making some improvements to Browning's original design. In many respects the Model 1886 was a true American express rifle, as it could be chambered in the more powerful black powder cartridges of the day, proving capable of handling not only the .45-70 but also .45-90 and the huge .50-110 Express "buffalo" cartridges. The action was strong enough that a nickel-steel barrel was the only necessary modification needed to work with smokeless powder cartridges, and in 1903 the rifle was chambered for the smokeless high-velocity .33 WCF cartridge.
This particular rifle was manufactured in 45-90 calibre and has a factory standard 26" octagonal barrel. We know from the serial number we know it was manufactured in 1887 which ostensibly was the first full year of manufacture. The finish of the rifle has faded over 131 years but the mechanical action is fine and it has a good bore with no major problems. This is a typical “Cowboy” gun and would be used for both hunting game and for protection. This is a handsome looking rifle.
Section 1 License required price includes shipping to your RFD
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.
I seldom feature licensed guns on this website but Winchester 1897 shotguns are interesting and collectible and are an exception to this rule.
All of these Winchester 1897s are recently proofed but in their original magazine capacity which will require a Section 1 authority or Firearms Certificate to possess but I can arrange to have any of them professionally restricted and a proof house limitation certificate issued to allow them to be held on a standard shotgun certificate.
Decent little Marlin XXX Standard tip up revolver in very scarce 30 RF calibre. This calibre proved very unpopular as it was said it could not perforate a wet overcoat!
This brass framed revolver is mechanically sound and an interesting item for Marlin collectors or collectors of pocket pistols.
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