Friday, July 13, 2018

First Model Sharps

Christian Sharps was issued a patent for his design of a breech-loading rifle on September 12, 1848. It would become known as the Model 1849 Rifle (a.k.a. 1st Model Sharps). 
The rifle was manufactured by Albert S. Nippes of Mill Creek, Pennsylvania, for Christian Sharps in 1849.

It was a breech loader that used paper cartridges. The rifle features the distinctive brass circular disk automatic capping device on the right side of the breech. To operate, the hammer was set at half cock and the lever lowered which dropped the breech block. When the breech block, which also contained the nipple, was dropped the capping device would automatically cap the nipple, cartridge would be inserted, breech closed and you were ready to full cock and fire.

Very few Sharps Model 1849 Rifles were manufactured; estimates of total production range from 50-150 rifles.

The top of the barrel is roll-stamped: "MANUFACTURED/BY/A.S. NIPPES/ PHILADA PA" in four lines behind the rear sight. "C.SHARPS/PATENT/1848" is stamped in three lines on the top of the breech.



Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Fluck Dragoons Enigma

"This is a rare example of a Colt U.S. Walker Replacement Dragoon revolver that was manufactured in 1848. The Fluck Dragoons are believed to have been manufactured by Colt as replacements for Colt Walker Model revolvers that failed in service and were assembled with some re-worked Walker parts. Little documentation exists on these pistols." (Auction house description.)

From Flayderman’s Guide

US Walker Replacement Dragoon. Also known as the “Pre 1st Model Dragoon” and the “Flunk” Dragoon (named after the late John J Flunk whose detailed research in 1956 first identified the gun as a distinct model) Manufactured in 1848.
Closely resembling the First Model Colt Dragoon. Just 300 of these were made by Colt for the US government to replace Colt Walkers which had burst or otherwise failed while in US service.

More recently, tentatively renamed “Colt’s Second Contract Dragoon” (not to be confused with the “Second Model Dragoon”) In a 1989 detailed study “Observations on Colt’s Second Contract” November 2, 1847 add complication and controversy to this rare model. The authors have theoretically identified 1000 (rather than 300) of this enigmatic Colt, contracted in 1847 and delivered in four shipments, each with their own variations, in 1848. As this survey is conjectural and was based on the examination of “...well over a dozen specimens”.

"Fine Pair of Rare Consecutively Serial Numbered U.S. Colt "Fluck" Dragoon Percussion Revolvers -A) Colt Pre-1st Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver" (Auction house description)

You be the judge, if any that makes sense to you.

Me? Well I'm certainly glad I'm not a Colt collector. I'm not sure what all the above tells me, but like Granny Hawkins said, it "don't mean doodley squat", 'cause I ain't a lookin' to buy one.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Colt Thuer Conversion Model 1860 Army revolver, manufactured 1869-72.

In order to use the metallic cartridge without infringing on the Rollin White patent, Colt engineer F. Alexander Thuer devised a cylinder capped at the back that could be loaded from the front end. Existing Colt production revolvers were converted to accommodate the new design. The advantage to the Thuer conversion was that it could fire percussion and metallic cartridge ammunition simply by exchanging the cylinders.
This conversion did not last very long, although some sources say as many as 5,000 were made, this figure is in doubt my most collectors.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Charles Roth Marked Swivel Breech Percussion Combination Gun

Charles Roth was born in Germany and was active in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, by around 1840 after arriving in the U.S in 1837.

Both barrels are .50 caliber and have traditional sights. One barrel is smoothbore, and the other is rifled. Both are stamped "CHAs ROTH" and "WILKES BARRE" on the top flat between the rear sight and breech. 

The lock is unmarked. The barrel release is on the left, and it is equipped with double set triggers, a slender maple stock, two ramrods, a "C.S." inscribed German silver cheekpiece inlay (most likely the initials of an unknown original owner),

Roth is reported in the March 28, 1902, "Wilkes-Barre Record" as having locked up his gunshop and joined the home guards upon learning of Lee's invasion in 1862. He returned to his shop after the war and left it in the hands of his son when he retired in 1887.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A one of a kind Smith & Wesson

Embellished Model Number 3 American Single Action Revolver in 44 Rimfire.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A one of a kind half-stock percussion plains rifle by Robinson of Philadelphia.

William Robinson is listed as having worked at 90 S. Second St., above Walnut, in Philadephia, from 1840-1845.
The pictures speak for his artistic ability. The rifle has a .54 caliber rifled bore, medium to heavy weight octagon barrel, half stock with double keys. The rifle measures approx. 52-1/2” overall with 34-1/2” barrel. 
The barrel measures approx. 1-1/16” across the flats of the muzzle.

 The belly of the stock shows engraved heel plate with three cap boxes engraved en suite.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Prototype Browning Lever Action

This Browning designed prototype lever action centerfire rifle has front and rear locking lugs, a design reminiscent of no other Winchester rifle of the late 19th century.

Winchester's partnership with John Browning began in 1883 and lasted 16 years. Browning's legacy at Winchester is marked by the company's most notable late 19th century firearms such as the Model 1885 single shot rifle, Model 1887 lever action shotgun, Model 1897 slide action shotgun and lever action Models 1886, 1892, 1894 and 1895.

Speaking to Browning's success, firearms historian and author R.L. Wilson stated, "No other gun inventor or designer can rival John Browning's string of achievements. He owned 128 gun patents covering eighty different firearms; he sold approximately forty gun designs to Winchester."

Of course, not every Browning patent Winchester purchased made it to the factory production line. The trail leading to even the most successful designs is often steeped in documented and undocumented trials and errors.

This 30 caliber Browning prototype carbine is fitted with a pinned blade front sight and a ladder rear sight marked "1873" and graduated from 2-9. There are no external markings on the rifle. The upper tang is drilled and tapped. The rifle was left in the white. Mounted with a smooth forearm and straight grip stock. There is a single barrel band and a carbine buttplate. The receiver has an exposed hammer and a bolt, which slides back when the action is opened. When closing the action the bolt slides forward to lock. A true one of a kind prototype showcasing Browning's partnership with Winchester.

The action is similar to that found in Browning's patent 492459. Patent 492459 is for a .30 caliber lever action rifle, which was applied for on March 22, 1892, and issued on February 28, 1893. Browning had several lever action rifle patents purchased by Winchester and patent 492459 is one of those patents but was not used in a production Winchester firearm. In fact, Winchester purchased many Browning patents that were not used in production firearms.