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ca. 1840’s - 1850’s BRITISH TRANSITIONAL BAR HAMMER PERCUSSION REVOLVER – VERY NICE ENGRAVED SPECIMEN IN VERY GOOD CONDITION AND MECHANICALLY SOUND:  Believed to date from the mid-1840’s through the 1850’s, these British Transitional Bar Hammer Revolvers are a graceful, yet substantial handgun of the type that would have been favored by gentlemen and adventurers alike who needed the comfort and protection such a pistol provided.  Lacking any maker’s stamp - not uncommon with these pistols - it is generally believed they were manufactured in England and it was left to the retailers to apply their company names.   

This double-action percussion revolver is in very good to excellent condition. Measuring 12” in overall length and chambered in .36 caliber, the revolver features a six chamber cylinder and a 5 ¾” long octagon barrel.  The iron frame – receiver, frame straps and butt cap - is nickel plated, and the plating has survived in very good condition with only a few very minor darkened spots.  The barrel flats at the muzzle, the frame, hammer, trigger guard, back strap and butt cap are engraved with a floral motif, with all the panels providing .   

The barrel carries British proof stamps on the bottom flat, and the cylinder bears the British proof stamps between each of the chambers. 

The revolver’s mechanics are crisp, with very little play in the timing – nothing that interferes with the function.  The trigger-hammer function performs with a crisp pull.  All of the percussion cones are present, full form, unbroken, and have not been mushroomed from dry firing.  The rear of the cylinder has safety notches between each of the percussion cones for resting the hammer when the revolver was carried with all six chambers.  The bore and all six cylinders are clear with a minimum of frosting at the rear of the bore, and no pitting.  There is a minor degree of play between the arbor and the frame, but nothing excessive and nothing which affects the function of the revolver.   The exterior surfaces show no sign of cleaning, the edges are sharp, and there is no significant pitting on the surfaces.   

The two piece finely checkered rosewood wood grips are in excellent condition – full form with no cracks or signs of abuse, and with only the slightest evidence of wear from the pistol being carried.   

It is interesting to note that the NRA museum has one of these revolvers in their collection which is documented as having been seized by the U.S. Navy from a Confederate blockade runner.  While one specimen is in no way indicative that these pistols were purchased and imported by the Confederacy for issue to their soldiers, it does illustrate that this design did enjoy some degree of the firearms market here in the United States.    

Produced in the mid-19TH Century, these pistols were certainly present during the Mexican and American Civil Wars, and as the country expanded, they likely accompanied the immigrants onto the frontier, and saw service in the Gold Fields and saloons of the West.  This is a very nice specimen of an original British Bar Hammer Revolver.  (0708)  $1250



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