I cover this area from mid-18th century to late-19th century, from flintlock to early cartridge guns. For me this is where hobby and profession meet, as I'm a black powder enthusiast (ex-fencer)! My particular interest is in American and British revolvers of the percussion era and, to a more general extent, in British and European service handguns from the 19th century. Good reference books include: English pistols and revolvers by J N George; Howard Blackmore's book on English service firearms of the 18th & 19th century. Museums with important collections include: the Royal Armouries, Leeds; the Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1; Musee de l'Armee, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna; and various other museums in European capitals.
Here is a selection of militaria from this category:
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.32 Whitneyville five-shot revolver, single action rim fire
This was made at the Whitneyville Armory, Connecticut, USA, and is marked accordingly on the top barrel flat. It has a 3.25" barrel, stub trigger and lacquered rosewood grips. It fired a rim fire cartridge with a soft lead slug and a black powder load. Some 30,000 were made in various barrel lengths and other calibres, notably .22 and .38.
Salter balance for Lewis gun trigger/magazine tension
This is a multi-purpose tool (overall length just under 5"): screwdriver, magazine awl and trigger/magazine tension adjustor, which would have accompanied every Lewis gun on issue to the troops. Salter was a spring-balance maker of 19th-century origins, and today make superb electronic scales.
Model cannon by Marklin
This fine model of a German field gun comes complete with a small black powder cartridge with a recess for a primer in its base to enable it to be used as a signalling gun or a rather posh toy.
KNIL service revolver (Vickers), model 1891
This is a nice example of a Schmidt-Galand 9.4 mm centre-fire double-action revolver. It was unique to the Dutch colonial army (KNIL = Royal Netherlands East Indies Army) and was carried by officers and police personnel. This was made by Vickers under a Dutch ordnance contract for about 5,000 guns in the early 1920s.