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Cathey 8th October 2017 06:11 AM

What Am I - Firearms Curiosa?
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Hi Guys

The Pistol pictured belongs to a friend of mine who specialises in collecting Firearms Curiosa. He has asked me to post pictures of this particular item in the hope that some of you might be able to enlighten him as to what it actually is.

Cheers Cathey and Rex

Jon MB 8th October 2017 10:46 AM



Mid 19th C. Belgian Pin-fire 20 Shot revolver, incomplete?

Not my field though..

David R 8th October 2017 11:07 AM

It has to be a low pressure and short round, so I suggest made for a Flobert or gallery/saloon gun type round. I would also look at Velo-dog pistols.

fernando 8th October 2017 01:59 PM

Yes, Liege was 'specialized' in these multishot revolvers. 19th Century, Flobert (brim fire) system seems to be correct.
... I mean, only my opinion.
Look for the Liege eliptical proof mark somewhere on the barrel, or on the cilinder canelure flats or even in its admission (bak) side.

CutlassCollector 8th October 2017 07:35 PM

There does not seem to be a good way to hold it or take aim.
Could it be for use in the slaughterhouse? One hand holding the barrel right up against the animals head while the other works the trigger.

Jon MB 8th October 2017 07:45 PM

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How about used as a trap?

fernando 8th October 2017 07:46 PM

I guess it is a revolver 'only' missing its wooden stock.

Cathey 9th October 2017 05:15 AM

Actually its complete

To add to the confusion apparently this item is complete, nothing actually missing.

Cheers Cathey

Jon MB 9th October 2017 08:10 AM

Would the loop at the end of the trigger not also suggest a trap? Lack of sights, lack of grip, low powered rounds....or, as mentioned, a slaughter pistol, but the lack of grips counts against that theory.

Is the trigger pull reversed, i.e. Is the hammer induced to drop from the cocked position by the trigger action moving forward (as opposed to backwards)?

Is it double action?

Marcus den toom 9th October 2017 10:24 AM

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These revolvers are sometimes offered on the marked, mostly Liege 19th century.
Quity often they have multiple barrels too.

Attached is my favourite revolver of this type :)

Fernando K 9th October 2017 12:01 PM

fernando 9th October 2017 12:23 PM

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This is the kind of things that, unless you are familiar with, having in it hands and be able to meddle with it, helps a lot. I would insist that it must be complemented by some kind of stock; once not a classic one, some extension to hold it or stick it on.
Isn't that a tension spring on the upper part of its 'grip', even with a pin to let it rotate ? Couldn't it be to fix such extension ? In this case its owner could help us, by trying to make it move.
I would agree that the trigger ring is there for some reason. I wouldn't go for the trap but something of more repeated action; i don't know ... some racing signal device ?
Surely single action. The hammer with a tiny rectangular portrusion to crack into the rim fire ammo. But again, its owner may confirm this.

I meant double action.


fernando 9th October 2017 12:41 PM

Oh, cross posts with Fernando K. I now remember such thread. The example posted (not the drawing) is a center fire specimen ... and looks more refined.
However i wouldn'y buy so easily the theory of their use in landing boats. What caliber would they have ?
... And Cathey, what caliber does your friend's example thave ... a tiny velodog of circa 5 to 6 m/m ?

Jon MB 9th October 2017 12:41 PM

fernando 9th October 2017 12:54 PM

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Good find Jon.
This one has a solid frame and loads by a side window, while Cathey's example breaks open for loading ... and seems to have a nuch smaller caliber, as mentioned, thus unable to function as a "mitrailleuse" (machine gun).
I still find hard to swallow the military purpose of the ones, even with a larger caliber, but ... :o


Jon MB 9th October 2017 01:07 PM

Agree, not sure I go with the 'French Customs boat gun' theme.

Richard G 9th October 2017 01:45 PM

My guess, and it is only that, is that it might be some form of starting\signaling device. For example, to signal when a race competitor has passed a line so that someone else can start or stop a stopwatch or record a time. I can imagine this being useful in time trials where you cannot get all competitors to start at the same time such as dinghy racing in restricted waters or road racing on narrow lanes. All you would have to do do is tug a lanyard as a competitor goes by as the gun itself could be mounted on something else, like a starting boat or dais.

Cathey 10th October 2017 05:35 AM

Watch this space
Hi Guys

I have today created an email account for my friend Les who owns this strange firearm so he can get involved in this post as soon as his registration comes through.

He is not very IT savvy and only recently got access to a note book, but he is now looking forward to getting involved in this forum His user name should be Les-M when he get's online, and he has an extensive and impressive collection of Antique Firearms Curiosa.

Cheers Cathey and Rex

Les-M 13th October 2017 05:22 AM

20 shot revolver
Hi guys

Thanks for all of your responses thus far.

The pistol is 45 calibre centre fire, takes a colt 45 round. Has no marks what so ever and is complete with nothing missing.

If you would like to see any other picture angles let me know.

Cheers Les

fernando 13th October 2017 04:36 PM

Welcome to the forum, Les :) .
Now, with such caliber, my previous humble perspective ought to be reviewed. Without a point of reference, only judging by the images, i thought this was not such a sturdy gun. This being a 'forty fiver', one may then think it was made for more argumentative purposes. Despite some (plausible ?) doubts that this type of multishot pistols was to mount on boat rails, it remains highly potential that its function would require it to be fixed onto some base or extension, and its trigger able to be pulled with a string or a wire. In line with that, i would reiterate my fantasy that the slight protuberance on the grip back works as a fixation spring. Can you confirm that ... or is it just an irregularity of the material ?
It is good to have you around; further riddles may be on their way to our appreciation :cool:.

Richard G 13th October 2017 06:09 PM

Well, like Fernando, I think .45 is a bit OTT for a signalling device. I also notice that none of the cylinders seem to have any backplate apart from the one being fired so friction only is keeping the cartridges in place. I would worry that following a few vigorous tugs of the lanyard a few of the remaining cartridges would be shaken out.

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