So recently I have been researching one downright weird friggen wheel gun.
*20-shot cylinder with a loading gate.
*11mm/.45cal (ish) chamber.
*No grip or stock.
*A long pry-bar shaped trigger with a rope hole in the bottom.
*Belgian proofs that date between circa 1893 and 1911.
I was able to find two clues throughout gun history where other people have encountered such a beast in the wild.
A 1927 Bannerman’s military surplus catalog listing to a rare revolver “found in a Paris gunshop.”
And a 2007 Hermann Historika listing in Germany of an “Unbekannter Grabenrevolver(?),” which translates roughly to an unknown trench/turret revolver (?). Other than the fact it is a top break, it is a dead ringer.
You know when they use the term “unknown” in a two-word title, and end it with a question mark, something bananas is going on.
So what is it?
Good question, more in my column at Guns.com.
Perhaps no other revolver screams ‘British’ louder than the .455-caliber Webley six shooter. This wheelgun was the go-to sidearm of the King’s military for generations and once you look at it, you can see why.
The British Army had been in the revolver game for more than thirty years before the Webley came on the scene. Starting with the Adams revolver of the 1850s (models of which popped up in the US Civil War) and moving onto the disliked and slow to reload Enfield .476-caliber six-shooter, a reliable handgun was increasingly needed in the Victorian era. This was the days when young British officers on colonial duty in far off and exotic lands needed sturdy, and effective firepower to stop charges of irate local warrior types in situations where numbers were very much relative. For instance, in the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879, 1800 British and colonial troops faced 20,000 Zulu warriors and were overwhelmed.
The redcoats needed a capable handgun that could be reloaded ricky tick, so they turned to Webley…
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk.com