The service revolver model 1873 Chamelot-Delvigne was the first double-action revolver used by the French Army It was produced by Manufacture D'armes de Saint Etienne from 1873 to 1887 in about 337,000 copies. Although replaced by the Modele 1892 revolver, it was nevertheless widely used during the First World War and issued to reserve units in 1940. The Resistance made widespread use of it during the Occupation.
The model 1874, of which 35,000 were made, was an officer's version. It differs from the model 1873 by having a lighter structure and a darker finish. Many copies for civilian sale were made in France and Belgium.
Both the 1873 and the 1874 use an 11mm cartridge which proved to have insufficient velocity. The weapons themselves were very reliable and resistant to damage. A Navy version was also produced. A more powerful cartridge was produced for this version, but production ceased and they turned to the regular ammunition when the stocks were depleted.
The Franco Prussian War in 1870 clearly demonstrated the need for up-to-date equipment in war time. A great military tradition and esprit de corps can be defeated by superior training, and in the case of that war, artillery. After the war, both Germany and France continued to improve their military technology. However, neither side was convinced of the importance of pistols for field officers. The sword continued to be the symbol of authority for an officer on the battlefield all the way into WW1. European general staffs at that time were extremely conservative and pistols were sometimes grudgingly adopted as personal defense weapons with no practical offensive use. Even as pistols became more of a symbol of the officer, most preferred to privately purchase a smaller and more comfortable handgun instead of using a large standard issue revolver.
The Chamelot-Delvigne 11mm Modele 1873 was adopted by the French army as a service revolver for non-commissioned officers. The Modele 1874 Revolver d'Officier was the version issued to officers. The differences between the two models included the following: the 1873 was finished in the white, whereas the 1874 had a fluted cylinder and a blued finish. The 1873 and 1874 were the first centerfire cartridge revolvers adopted by the French army. They had solid-frame, side-ejection, double-action mechanisms. The pistols were manufactured by the St. Etienne arsenal, which still continues to manufacture fine sporting arms.
The design of the Chamelot-Delvigne revolvers became so popular that versions were adopted by the Belgian in 1871, Italian, and 1872 in Switzerland with the Model 1872 Revolver.
The caliber of these French pistols was 11x17.8mmR. The French round was actually 0.47 mm larger than its German counterpart. The German round could be loaded and used in the French pistol, but French rounds would not chamber in the German pistol. The cartridge had a pointed lead bullet weighing 11 grams. The case length was 17.8 mm, which was rather on the short side. Reloading this cartridge could take some patience due to the shortness of the case. Military specifications called for black powder loads, replaced by a mild smokeless powder in the early twentieth century. Standard muzzle velocity was around 550 feet per second.
The cylinder had a side-loading gate which pulled straight to the rear. The sight picture was a ball and v type and is easy to align. It could be difficult to stay on target when shooting double-action due to the stiffness of the action. There was certainly no danger of accidentally pulling the trigger double-action. Cleaning and disassembly were easy as the cylinder pin doubled as a screwdriver and all-purpose tool. Internal parts were finely machined and finished. The trigger, hammer, and several of the internal springs were straw-finished, a type of case-hardening hot oil finish.
The French pistols began their service with the French army in the late 19th century and saw service all over the globe in French colonies. Many saw service in World War I when European armies finally realized how important pistols were in the trenches. The Chamelot-Delvigne finally ended its venerable service as a police sidearm in World War II.
oldguns.ca, virtual museum collection.
From the B. Williams collection.
Very rare early production M-10 Ross .280 caliber, 26” barrel, deluxe, sporting rifle. The .280 Ross cartridge developed by Sir Charles Ross, in his quest to produce a light weight, high velocity long range hunting rifle, was the first to achieve muzzle velocities in the 3000 feet per second range, unheard of in 1907.
The barrels were made from chrome vanadium steel, a developmental amalgam in those days, and were tested (and stamped) to the British standard of “28 tons” breech pressures, which is outstanding even today.
With a mid 7000’s serial, it is finished in the early pattern of bright steel on barrel and butt plate, and a more matt blue (to reduce glare) on the action and bridge. Front sight is a gold target edition, with a barrel sight c/w a folding 500 yard leaf. The rare rear bridge mounted sight, (giving longer sight radius), is the first “Porter pop-up” folding version, and is fully functional and tight. Finally, the stock is inlet at the wrist for a Lyman folding target sight (removed) and a blanking plate is in place. The Lymans fell out of favour, as the opening of the bolt interfered with the sight staff, and the M-10s were already known to hold 1 minute of angle accuracy at 100 yards with the Porter bridge sight.
In overall excellent condition with a good but worn bore. Owned by a serious Ottawa based Ross collector for 40 years who is always looking for Ross related items, call oldguns.ca if you have any ross related items.
For additional information, please contact Mr. Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Winchester Model 71 was a lever action rifle introduced in 1935 and discontinued in 1958. Essentially, a slightly modified version of the Browning designed 1886, it was only chambered for the 348 Winchester round; except for an extremely rare 45-70 and 33 WCF. It was also (other than 400 rifles chambered for the .348 in the Cimarron 1885 Hi-Wall in 2005-06) the only firearm that ever used that cartridge. The Model 71 was conceived as a replacement for both the 1886 and the 1895 as a complement to the Winchester Model 70 bolt-action rifle and to replace a raft of cartridges (the .33 Winchester, the .45-70, the .35 Winchester, and the .405 Winchester) with just one (the .348 Winchester. The rifle and cartridge were very effective against any North American big game animal in heavy timber, including the great bears, if using the 250-grain (16 g) bullet. It was once very popular for hunting in Canada and Alaska. The 71 was built in 2 different barrel lengths the standard rifle and the short rifle and in two configurations, the standard rifle and the deluxe rifle. New research indicates that less than 5% were manufactured in the short rifle configuration. After a certain year Model 71's came from the factory drilled and tapped for side mounted peep sights. Unfortunately, economics caused the rifle to be very expensive, and with less costly lever action rifles available in common and fairly powerful rounds such as 35 Remington and the growing popularity of cheap bolt-actions in military and Magnum chambering, the Winchester 71 with its excellent but unique cartridge was destined for commercial oblivion. The .348 was also the only 34 caliber cartridge ever made by an American manufacturer and essentially the first short magnum cartridge, making it a little problematic for hand loaders, as there was never a wide selection of 34 caliber bullets. Cartridges of the World remarks that factory ammunition was available in 150, 200 and 250-grain (16 g) weights. Only the 200-grain (13 g) weight is still available in factory ammunition. Browning re-issued the Model 71 as a limited edition in the mid 1980s. The Winchester and Browning versions showed very high degrees of craftsmanship. As of August, 2013, the Winchester Repeating Arms website again lists model 71s as available, new from the factory. The Winchester Model 71 still has a loyal following for what is arguably "the finest big bore lever gun that has ever been" as well as being used as a strong and solid platform for various 'wildcat' projects. This example sports a 20" barrel with hooded integral-ramp front sight. Short tang. Super Grade swivel studs. Checkered walnut stock with capped pistol grip and original checkered steel buttplate. Bolt peep sight. Checkered hammer. Excellent bore, factory short rifles are extremely rare, this is the only one I have ever owned and frankly the only one I have ever seen.
oldguns.ca, virtual museum collection.
In 1763 France adopted a new infantry musket, much stronger than the previous design, to answer the needs of an accelerated fire coming from the war tactics developed during the Seven Years War. The new gun was found too heavy and was replaced after only three years by the 1766 Model. After this date it has been replaced by the Model 1770/71 and the muskets given back from the soldiers have been used in 1775 when the American Independence War started and France distributed numerous 1763 - 1766 muskets to the troops in the American revolution and of the newborn United States of America. Many Charleville Muskets were used in Upper and Lower Canada in the early 1800's and specifically the war of 1812. This example is is very fine condition with strong wood and excellent original finish. Mechanically it functions as it should. A very fine example with tons of history, American and Canadian.
oldguns.ca virtual museum collection.
The 44 WCF was standard for the “gun that won the West,” though it also was made in 38 WCF (first offered in 1879), 32 WCF (introduced in 1882) and .22 rimfire (1884), with a few special-order guns built in .22 extra long rimfire. Model 1873s had iron receivers until 1884, when a steel receiver was introduced. The Model 1873 was offered as a sporting rifle (with a 24” round, octagonal or half-octagonal barrel), a carbine (with a 20” round barrel) and as a musket (with a 30” round barrel). The Model 1873 was officially discontinued in 1919, after approximately 720,000 guns had been produced.
The First Model 1873 (s/n 1 to about 31000) has grooved guides on each side to retain the dust cover (sometimes referred to as a “mortised dust cover). The Second Model (s/n 31000 to 90000) has a dust cover on one central guide secured to the receiver with two screws. The central guide rail on the Third Model is integrally machined as part of the receiver. The Model 1873 .22 Rimfire Rifle was the first .22 caliber repeating rifle in America was introduced in 1884 and discontinued in 1904. Winchester sold a little more than 19,000 .22 caliber Model 1873s.
This example was a barn find, it had been in the same family for generations and spent all of its life in the barn. The family member I got it from admitted that it had been lost in the barn until discovered recently and brought to me. It has been in my collection for many years. The outside appearance shows a very hard life as a tool, however, it functions flawlessly and has an amazingly bright shiny bore with really strong distinct rifling, only a bit of corrosion in a line, down one section of the bore, probably it was lying on its side for many years and that is where the moisture accumulated. It is an excellent shooter. As you can see in the pics the serial number is not visible, I attempted to polish the area where the number would normally be and tried etching chemical in an attempt to raise the serial number, I met with no success. Due to the fact that the upper tang is void of any model indication and there is no provision for a tang mounted peep sight, my research indicates that this carbine is definitely lower than serial number 31,000, and maybe lower than 600 and possibly lower than 350. Apparently, there are however a couple of conflicting components on this rifle, one being the hammer and the other being the dust cover, it has been proposed to me that these are of a later version. I am presently researching verification on these issues, however it is not impossible that these parts could have been changed. To date we have determined by the brass lifter that the corners are slightly rounded and that on the very first model variation the lifter corners were absolutely sharp, as viewed on Carbine serial number 47 from the W. Connor collection. One needs to ask the question, how rare is this rifle.......? Being such a low serial number how many of these carbines were produced and how many have survived.....?
oldguns.ca, virtual museum collection.
From the E. Lind collection.
Nearly every source describes this original Westley Richards patent, hinged tipping block, single-shot design as an "Improved Martini". This terminology is so ubiquitous that even prominent merchants of fine vintage arms use it unthinkingly. The esteemed Walter Winfer, acknowledged as the guru of British single shot lore, uses it freely. But Winfer at least makes it clear that the moniker is technically incorrect. The Martini design was a hammerless modification of the original Peabody action design. However, the Westley Richards design is similar only in the respect of a hinged breech block that tips down for loading. None of the rest of the internals share any commonality. Whereas the Peabody has an external hammer and the Martini a striker, the Westley Richards has an internal hammer with an integral firing pin. More to the point, the Westley Richards design predates the Martini, so it's clearly not an improvement on that design. In fact, the Westley Richards design was a competitor with the Martini for British military contracts. After losing out to the Martini for the British Army, the Westley Richards design was marketed heavily to the pioneers and settlers of the Dutch Boer colony of South Africa in both musket and sporting rifle forms.
The design (including the Model 1871 and its variants) was extremely popular in the Cape colony and was followed by improvements and variations for several years, competing well against Westley Richards' own Deeley-Edge patent falling block design and remaining in production until the expiration of the Gibbs Farquharson patent rights around the turn of the century and its release to the trade prompted the firm to develop the similarly styled Model 1897 Westley Richards New Model Underlever Rifle, which was the ultimate evolution of the Deeley-Edge action. There is much confusion regarding the various models, in part because Westley Richards continually advanced the design and also made individual rifles to order. The Model 1869 is distinguished from the later larger framed Model 1871 most easily by examining the length of the lever in relation to the trigger guard; in the Model 1869, the lever does not extend much rearward past the small trigger guard, whereas on the Model 1871, it comes well past the long trigger guard.
This is a beautiful example, wonderfully engraved in true Wesley Richards fashion. The wood is in excellent condition as is the rest of the rifle, the blueing shows very well and remains bright on most of the rifle, with the receiver showing most of the wear. Originally chambered in No. 2 Musket, it was sleeved with a Parker Hale insert many years ago. It is now chambered in 25-20. The bore is bright and shiny with excellent rifling.
For additional information, please contact Mr. Lind at email@example.com.
From the E. Lind collection.
The Rolling Block Creedmoor rifles were originally in .44-77 Remington-Sharps bottleneck, but with rifling lead designed to allow the bullet to be seated out further to allow 90 grains of black powder. But soon they were chambered for a slightly longer case .44-90 Remington cartridge. Originally they were almost all 34" barrels as the rules allowed that as the maximum barrel length. The rules also allowed for a 10 lb. weight limit, so the half octagon barrel was specifically designed to meet that weight with a 34" barrel. In reality they are as you described as 1/3rd octagon, but still referred to as half octagon. They also all had single non set triggers, as set triggers were not allowed in Creedmoor matches. Sights were a Remington Long Range tang sight at the rear, and a windage globe in the front. Additionally a good number had a 2nd heel base mounted on the buttstock, near the buttplate to allow for shooters who preferred shooting in the prone back position. There were military stocked versions with a straight grip military 2 band stock, but sporting versions all had straight grip stocks that were nicely checkered on the grip, but not the forearm usually. I have seen them with checkered forearms, but it would have been a special order. Most Remington Creedmoor rifles were made between 1874 and 1880.
This particular example sports a 34 inch barrel, with an overall weight of just slightly under 10 pounds. As evidenced in the pics this rifle meets all the other requirements of the Creedmore rifles. The bore is in as new condition and mechanically it functions flawlessly. The vernier sights are new replacementments but the original sights are with the rifle. This rifle is in tremendous condition and a great example of a very rare rifle.
For additional information, please contact Mr. Lind at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a Colony and Dominion of Britain until Confederation in 1867, the security of Canada was in the hands of the British Government.
As such, British forces were stationed in Canada to varying degrees, depending on need and perceived external threats. Those forces were armed and provided for at the discretion and expense of the British Government.
The need for an improved defence organization was an important contributing factor leading to negotiations for Confederation. Following Confederation, Sir George Etienne Cartier's first Militia Act for the Dominion of Canada created the Department of Militia and Defence in 1868. It drew heavily upon Canada's system of universal obligation for military service and volunteer units, which visibly embodied the militia.
The new Canadian armed forces continued to rely on Britain for the supply of arms, not always with success. Weapons from American suppliers crept into the chain to fill shortages. As ammunition development progressed, and following the introduction of Magazine Lee-Metford and Enfield rifles, many Martini arms on hand through the latter part of the 19th century were converted to .303” calibre. Thus Canadians were armed with a hodge-podge, depending on service and immediate need.
One exception was unique to Canada. Following approval by the Department of Militia and Defence, the .303” caliber Martini-Metford MkII rifle was ordered from Britain, along with the P1893 sword bayonet. The bayonets were contracted to Wilkinson of London, and a production run of 1,000 completed by 1894.
The hilt design of the bayonet was influenced by the British Martini Henry P1887 MkIII, and strongly followed the overall appearance of the British 1888 Trials bayonet.
All British markings on P1893 bayonets to date are marked as follows, the left ricasso bears a large Victorian crown over V.R, the issue date of 2 ’94, and maker's name WILKINSON, LONDON.
The right ricasso is stamped with the British ownership mark : WD over an arrow, the lone (Wilkinson) inspector's stamp on steel : a crown over 35 over W, and the ‘X’ bend test mark.
Both grips of each bayonet are also marked with a Wilkinson inspector's stamp : crown over 49 over W.
Of the 1,000 Martini Metford rifles and bayonets purchased from Britain, the majority were issued to the Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry. The RRCI were formed on 23rd May 1893, and re-designated the Royal Canadian Regiment in November 1901. Apparently, two issue marks are encountered RRCI 1-500 for issue to The Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry Canada's regular army infantry regt and M&D 501-1000 for Militia and Defence property stamp. M&D marked were issued in small numbers to select militia regts. This particular example is neither marked for the regiment nor the Militia. Interesting non British approved arm but which went through full inspection and view process. Unique to Canada, these are scarce bayonets and are highly prized by collectors. Reference material, www.bayonetsplus.com.
oldguns.ca, virtual museum collection.
From the W. Connor collection.
Sharps rifles are a series of large-bore, single-shot, falling block, breech loading rifles, beginning with a design by Christian Sharps in 1848, and ceasing production in 1881. They were renowned for long-range accuracy. By 1874 the rifle was available in a variety of calibers, and it was one of the few designs successfully to be adapted to metallic cartridge use. The Sharps rifles became icons of the American Old West due to their appearances in many Western-genre films and books. Perhaps as a result, several rifle companies offer reproductions of the Sharps rifle.
Sharps' initial rifle was Patented September 12, 1848 and manufactured by A. S. Nippes at Mill Creek, (Philadelphia) Pennsylvania, in 1850.
The second model used the Maynard tape primer, and surviving examples are marked Edward Maynard - Patentee 1845. In 1851 the second model was brought to the Robbins & Lawrence Company of Windsor, Vermont where the Model 1851 was developed for mass production. Rollin White of the R&L Co. invented the knife-edge breech block and self-cocking device for the "box-lock" Model 1851. This is referred to as the "First Contract", which was for 10,000 Model 1851 carbines - of which approximately 1,650 were produced by R&L in Windsor. In 1851 the "Second Contract" was made for 15,000 rifles and the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company was organized as a holding company with $1,000 in capital and with John C. Palmer as president, Christian Sharps as engineer, and Richard S. Lawrence as master armorer and superintendent of manufacturing. Sharps was to be paid a royalty of $1 per firearm and the factory was built on R&L's property in Hartford, Connecticut. The Model 1851 was replaced in production by the Model 1853. Christian Sharps left the company in 1855 to form his own manufacturing company called "C. Sharps & Company" in Philadelphia; Richard S. Lawrence continued as the chief armorer until 1872 and developed the various Sharp models and their improvements that made the rifle famous. In 1874, the company was reorganized and renamed "The Sharps Rifle Company" and it remained in Hartford until 1876, whereupon it relocated to Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Sharps rifle would play a prominent role in the Bleeding Kansas conflict during the 1850s, particularly in the hands of anti-slavery forces. The Sharps rifles supplied to anti-slavery factions earned the name Beecher's Bibles, after the famed abolitionist Henry Beecher.
The military Sharps rifle was used during and after the American Civil War in multiple variations. Along with being able to use a standard percussion cap the 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 used in the Civil War by multiple Union units, most famously by the U.S Army marksman known popularly as "Berdan's Sharpshooters" in honor 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.
The carbine version was very popular with the cavalry of both the Union and Confederate armies and was issued in much larger numbers than other carbines of the war and was top in production in front of the Spencer or Burnside Carbines. The falling-block action lent itself to conversion to the new metallic cartridges developed in the late 1860s, and many of these converted carbines in .50-70 Government were used during the Indian Wars in the decades immediately following the Civil War. Some Civil War, issue carbines had an unusual feature: a hand-cranked grinder in the stock. Although long thought to be a coffee mill, experimentation with some of the few survivors suggests the grinder is ill-suited for coffee. The modern consensus is that its true purpose was for grinding corn or wheat, or more appropriately for grinding charcoal needed in the production of black powder.
Unlike the Sharps rifle, the carbine was very popular and almost 90,000 were produced. By 1863, it was the most common weapon carried by Union cavalry regiments, although in 1864 many were replaced by 7 shot Spencer Carbines. Some Sharps clones were produced by the Confederates in Richmond. Quality was generally poorer and they normally used brass fittings instead of iron.
This particular example has multiple patent stampings with the earliest being 1852, I believe, indicating that it started life as an 1852 percussion carbine and based on the subsequent stampings, converted to centre fire likely around 1859. Sharps rifles have had a very interesting and somewhat confusing history, so if my deductions are incorrect please feel free to let me know so I can change the information. As with all of the pieces I have dealt with in the Connor collection, this rifle is in amazing original condition, with clear stamps, vivid case colour, good deep rich blueing and an amazingly near perfect bore.
For additional information, please contact Mr. Connor at email@example.com.