What Is It?

What Is It?

This is a discussion on What Is It? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; A friend literal dug this up. I can give you some hints as to what it is. It was found in Marion Junction, AL. This ...

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Thread: What Is It?

  1. #1
    VIP Member
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    What Is It?

    A friend literal dug this up. I can give you some hints as to what it is. It was found in Marion Junction, AL. This is about 15 miles from Selma, AL. There is a Belgian proof mark on the cylinder. It is a double action revolver.

    Here are 7 pictures. You tell me what it is.















    Have fun.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein


  2. #2
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    I have no idea what it is George but judging it on just the condition I'd sure be willing to let you point it at me & pull the trigger.
    Seriously, it's interesting looking. A neat find.

  3. #3
    Member Array Freedz's Avatar
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    Cool find definately, although I dont know what it is other than dirty!

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    I've seen pics of one before and if no one figures it out by time i get home from work ill start looking

  5. #5
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    Fascinating George and for me too - sorta familar. Not sure why.

    One or two guys on THR could ID that if we draw a blank.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    If no one has provided the answer by 11 AM I'll tell you. It's funny, I get NRA's American Rifleman Video Collection which were programs originally aired on the History Chanel as "Tales of the Gun." The last DVD I received was called "Bullets and Ammo" and contained the info necessary to know where to start with this revolver.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    Looks like an early 1800s pin-fire.
    Good luck finding ammo for it!
    Works similar to a rim-fire except the cartridge has a small cylindrical piece sticking out from the rim that fits in the cylinder cut-out and is struck by the hammer for ignition. Never really caught on, probaly due to the fact that if the extension on the cartridge got bent or broke off it rendered it useless. My dad has a Spanish version in his collection, with maybe 3 or 4 unspent rounds.
    "He who makes things with his hands is a laborer, he who makes things with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who makes things with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist."
    www.garritysgunleather.com

  8. #8
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    What is it? Old and VERY interesting.

    Can't wait for the answer, what is near where your friend dug it up?
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  9. #9
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    Since Mark Garrity had given the correct general answer I'll go ahead and fill in the blanks.

    It is a 9mm Lefaucheux style pin-fire revolver. The proof mark is from Liege, Belgium. There were thousands of these revolvers imported during the War for Southern Independence. (I expect Chris will recognize that phrase, but others may not. I first ran across it in the New Oxford English Dictionary and it is the phrase the British use to refer to what is variously referred to as the War of Northen Agression, or if you are an unenlightened Yankee, the Civil War. If you ever have an hour or so let me know and I will document using US Government documents that it could not possible have been a civil war.) Almost all the pin-fires imported by the Union were single action and almost all found in the Confederacy were double action. This particular style is sometimes referred to as the "Stonewall" revolver. It is of a style similar to the one that Stonewall Jackson's men presented to him.

    There is some ammo available for it, but it is very rare and very expensive. The Confederate arsenal in Selma, AL had over 10,000 rounds of 9mm pin-fire ammo in its inventory when it was captured by Union troops. This has lead many to believe that the arsenal was producing this ammo. There is no proof of that, but it is unlikely that the South would have shipped 10,000 rounds to the arsenal.

    Another thing interesting about his revolver is the fact that the grips survived. Several experts on guns from the era said that they had never seen an excavated weapon from that period with the wood intact. By the way QK, the outside is pretty rough, but the metal all appears to be solid. The spring that holds the loading gate closed is gone as is the spring for the ejector rod. The double action works and comes down on exactly the correct spot, so the timing is still good. The hammer will only stay back when it is over a certain chamber, so something on the cylinder has worn or rusted off on 5 of the chambers.

    The people I showed it to think that the revolver is in remarkable condition considering it was buried. They speculate that it was somehow protected for a long time either by how it came to be buried or because it was wrapped up somehow. I'm sure we'll never know the answer to that. Interesting none the less.

    Here are some pictures to give you an indication of what the revolver looked like before it was buried.


    This is almost identical, except it is not a military gun and has no lanyard loop.

    The next 4 are of a revolver that except for the shape of the grip and the trigger guard is a near duplicate of the revolver I have.









    This is what the round looked like.

    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the erudition George - I should have also managed to ID the pinfire nature by shape of recoil shield etc.

    Totally fascinating.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Neat find...thanks for posting the pics.

    Quote Originally Posted by dr_cmg
    the War for Southern Independence. (I expect Chris will recognize that phrase, but others may not. I first ran across it in the New Oxford English Dictionary and it is the phrase the British use to refer to what is variously referred to as the War of Northen Agression, or if you are an unenlightened Yankee, the Civil War. If you ever have an hour or so let me know and I will document using US Government documents that it could not possible have been a civil war.)
    My favorite title for the War Between the States has always been "The war between the Americans and the Yankees"
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

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