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Title Freeman's .44 calibre single action revolver
Nationality American
Period c 1864

This weapon would have been used in the early years of the Wild West, before the advent of the cartridge revolver, and is perhaps one of the rarest of the secondary martial US revolvers, as only some 2,000 were made at Hoard's Armory, Watertown, NY and patented 9 December 1862 (there is a full inscription to this effect on the top strap).

Its use in the Civil War may well have been restricted to private purchase, as it would appear that the government contracts were never successfully fulfilled. The original contract price was US$12 apiece and, at the end of the Civil War, they were sold off in the public square at Watertown for 25 cents each, a similar tale to the Rogers & Spencer revolver, an infinitely superior weapon, but made in far greater quantity by comparison to this rare beast.

The weapon bears some similarity to both the Star and the Remington revolvers, yet is clearly different to both. This example is stamped with the initials WSB on the left hand side of the frame and on the inside of both grips. It is serial numbered 841 throughout on frame, cylinder, cylinder arbour, rammer and barrel. It weighs just over 2 lbs 12 ozs, with a barrel length of 7.5 inches.

The action is in brilliant shape, with four clearly audible cocking positions. The bore has shallow rifling, with some very light pitting (now thoroughly cleaned out), which would not affect the shooting of the weapon. It has its original walnut grips, which appear to have much of their factory varnish. However, they are both split internally, although the splits do not come through to the outside. There is a little wear to the inscription on one side of the top strap and generally some scattered, minor bruising to the metalwork, mostly on the barrel and its housing. There is some bruising to the woodwork on the base of the butt, where it has been used as a hammer. The retention spring for the cylinder arbour would appear to be a modern replacement.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Firearms : Percussion Revolvers : American : 19th Century]


Many thanks, badge was awaiting my return today. Pleasure dealing with you again. I'll be back again.

P B, UK, 20.02.2008

I am more and more pleased with the sword, and am wondering whether to do an article on it...

M M, UK, 04.11.2005