Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > European Armoury
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 20th May 2010, 02:54 AM   #1
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
Smile OLDEST REVOLVER ?

I VISITED WARWICK CASTLE NEAR STRATFORD ON AVON IN BRITIAN SEVERAL YEARS AGO. THEY HAVE A REVOLVER PISTOL SAID TO BE VERY EARLY IF NOT THE FIRST OF ITS TYPE. IT FURTHER STATED THAT COLT STUDIED IT WHEN DESIGNING HIS SIX GUNS. I WAS WONDERING IF THERE ARE ANY FORUM MEMBERS WHO HAVE VISITED THIS CASTLE/MUSEUM OR ANY LIVING IN THE AREA WHO COULD PERHAPS GET MORE INFORMATION AND PERHAPS PICTURES OF THIS PISTOL.
THE CASTLE IS FULL OF LOTS OF VERY GOOD STUFF AS THE OWNER WAS ON THE SIDE OF CROMWELL AND GOT TO KEEP ALL HIS STUFF AS WELL AS LOOT FROM THE WAR. A VERY CREEPY DUNGEON AS WELL AS A TOWER WITH ITS OWN GHOST ARE WORTH A LOOK AND THE GREAT HALL IS ESPECIALLY NICE, LOTS OF WEAPONS, ARMOR ECT.
HERE ARE SOME PICTURES TO WHET YOUR APPATITE.

(The fourth photo below - the long interior view down the table - is from floato's flickr page )
Attached Images
      

Last edited by Lee : 23rd August 2011 at 12:53 AM. Reason: add photo cretit
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2010, 12:25 PM   #2
Berkley
Member
 
Berkley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Austin, Texas USA
Posts: 257
Default

It is generally believed that when Sam Colt briefly visited London in 1830 as a midshipman on the Brig Corvo he observed a flintlock revolver made according to the American inventor Elisha Collier's 1813 British patent.

Revolving firearms were made well before that time, as shown by this matchlock revolver from the Musee de L'Arme in Paris.

Colt's design employing the percussion ignition system was the first practical revolving cylinder multiple-shot firearm.
Berkley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2010, 03:56 PM   #3
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
Smile

THANKS BERKLEY
THATS THE INFO I WAS LOOKING FOR. THE GUN THEY HAVE MAY HAVE BEEN OF THE TYPE COLT LOOKED AT OR ONE HE ACTUALLY EXAMINED ?? THE POST ON THE OTHER OLDER FIRE ARM JOGGED MY MEMORY AND MADE ME CURIOUS. THANKS AGAIN
THE CASTLE MAY BE MORE COMERCIAL THESE DAYS WITH RESANANCE FAIR TYPE ACTIVITYS AT CERTIAN TIMES OF YEAR. THERE WERE NO LINES WHEN I VISITED AND ONE WAS FREE TO WANDER WHERE YOU WISHED AND TO STAY AS LONG AS YOU LIKED. MUCH MORE FUN THAN SHUFFELING ALONG WITH THE CROWDS AT THE TOWER OF LONDON. BUT THE TOWER OF LONDON IS NOT TO BE MISSED REGARDLESS.
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2010, 04:07 PM   #4
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 6,114
Default

All right Barry, we have a deal. I will take both castle and weapons .

I could swear i have read that Samuel Colt made his first protoptype in wood, when aboard a ship; it was after this visit to London, then ?!

Fernando
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2010, 04:36 PM   #5
Berkley
Member
 
Berkley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Austin, Texas USA
Posts: 257
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
I could swear i have read that Samuel Colt made his first protoptype in wood, when aboard a ship; it was after this visit to London, then ?!

Fernando
Exactly right:
Attached Images
 
Berkley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2010, 07:46 PM   #6
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default Revolvers at least as old as 1530-40 !!!

Here are two North Italian matchlock revolvers with three revolving barrels of ca. 1530-40, now presereved in the Ducals' Palace Venice and a Munich wheel-lock revolving dart shooting system of ca. 1550! Moreover a bundle of three North Italian revolving matchlock barrels, ca. 1530-40 and preserved in the Ashmolean Mueum Oxford since the late 17th century.

All these and many later systems as posted here have been known to Samuel Colt and at least 'inspired' him!

Best,
Michael
Attached Images
            
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2010, 07:55 PM   #7
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

More.

Here now the images of the three barrel arquebus, ca. 1530-40, in the Museum Luigi Marzoli, Brescia.
Attached Images
        
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th May 2010, 08:35 PM   #8
stephen wood
Member
 
stephen wood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 217
Default

...doesn't Elisha Collier appear as a character in one of Mallinson's Hervey novels? - demonstrates the gun on Hampstead Heath
stephen wood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th May 2010, 09:38 PM   #9
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 6,114
Default

Well, this one is not so old ... but not so new, either

.
Attached Images
  
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2010, 04:56 AM   #10
Philip
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 402
Default Revolving barrels vs. revolving cylinder

Gentlemen,
Thanks much for posting all those pics of these rare and fascinating guns!

Not all the examples posted so far are true revolvers in the modern sense. What made Sam'l Colt's "invention" so notable, to the point that the essence of its design is still in current use, is that the multiple charges (powder and bullet) were housed in a revolving CYLINDER and were discharged one by one through a single BARREL when the mechanism lined each chamber up with the bore.

Firearms with multiple rotating barrels are a separate class, which culminated and ended with the PEPPERBOX pistols of the first half of the 19th cent. The advantage of the true REVOLVER, with its compact cylinder and single barrel, are obvious to anyone who has hefted each type of pistol of comparable length and caliber. The weight of a pair of p'boxes in belt holsters can pull a guy's pants down if his belt isn't cinched tight enough, and that's not even addressing the issues of aiming and balance.

Of all the guns on this thread so far, Collier's flintlock revolver and the rare Portuguese revolving fowling piece (oh my, where can I get one for my collection?) are the direct mechanical antecedents to Colt's prototype. All the rest are the forebears of the percussion pepperbox.
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th May 2010, 08:25 PM   #11
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Exactly, Philip,

I think we can summarize the 500 years of the development of the revolver from several rotating barrels to the turning cylinder by defining it as a process of shortening the barrels to the length required by the load inside and simultaneously reducing their number to one which is longer than the cylinder.

On this basis, can the 'Apache' revolver which features only the cylinder be called a true revolver?

Best,
Michael
Attached Images
   
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th May 2010, 08:51 PM   #12
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 6,114
Default

Hi Michael
May i say no ... at least semantically?
Technicalities apart, and giving place to connotations, this would belong to the class of "pepper boxes" (poivriers, pimenteiros), only later appearing those labelled as "revolvers" ... having had an intermediary hybrid, so called "transitional".
Could it be that, the early term for multi shooters was connected to the "repetition" terminology?
BTW, this French Apache setup was more an impressive resource than an efective weapon ... says i, in my innocence .
Fernando
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th May 2010, 10:54 PM   #13
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Thank you so much for your precise arguments, Fernando,

They exactly confirm my opinion, so thanks again for denying my question.
My request was just meant to explore whether there are any differing opinions on this topic.

And yes, of course this curious weapon must have had very little practical use, apart from astounding people for its multiple functions combined. On the other hand, though - what practical use did my almost 500 year old four barrel mace have?
Please cf. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=8179

(I realize that the barrels did not rotate). In spite of the spikes in the head the grip is way too fragile and the head containg the barrels is way too heavy in order to really deal a hard blow - the grip would have broken in no time.
And the spearhead is riveted to the hinged muzzle lid in such a delicate way that it, too, would have broken at the very first thrust.

What I wish to say is that curious combination weapons like my mace or the Apache 'revolver' have been built again and again throughout the centuries regardless of their being of little or no practical use.
I feel they are just based on the playful human wit, which seems to have first manifested in the Italian High Renaissance Mannerism of the 16th century, ca. 1520-80.

As to your thesis that the term of multishot firearms may have related to early repeating arms I should suggest to rather put it the other way round. The earliest period illustrations and actually surviving pieces of both multibarrel and superimposed load firearms clearly prove that the invention of repeated fire out of one single barrel did not take place before ca. the 1570's - and that of course is identical with the first application of a revolving cylinder connected to a fixed barrel. )

Before that time (and for long after) it was all about either multiple barrels or superimposed loads in one barrel (the first evidence of the latter, a six shot snap tinderlock arquebus the upper five loads of which would of course have to be fired manually by holding a smoldering match or piece of tinder into the respective pan!, is found in a South German manuscript of ca. 1525 - please see attachment:

Best,
Michael
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Matchlock : 31st May 2010 at 01:49 AM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2010, 05:17 AM   #14
Berkley
Member
 
Berkley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Austin, Texas USA
Posts: 257
Default

Some references on the distinction between "revolvers" and "pepperboxes":
Quote:
The origin of the word "pepperbox" as applied to firearms is obscure. The nickname was more popularly adopted by the purchasers and users of these arms in the mid-19th century and came into wide popular acceptance by collectors of the 20th century, rather than being adopted by the gun manufacturers themselves. As attested to by advertising, instruction sheets and other literature of the era, the makers preferred to term their arms as "revolving pistols" or "repeating pistols."
-Norm Flayderman, Guide to Antique American Firearms, 8th Ed.

Quote:
The brothers Benjamin and Barton Darling were granted a patent for the first American pepperbox.... Mr. Benjamin Darling has been repeatedly quoted as having maintained until his death at an advanced age that he invented the first American revolver. (The word "pepperbox" was not in vogue at the time of his invention, though it had been used earlier and was to be revived a few years later in America. In the 1830's a pepperbox was a "revolver" or a "rotary pistol.") The Darling patent, dated April 13, 1836, claimed the rotation of the cylinder by cocking the hammer; the Colt patent, which also claimed this mechanical rotation, was dated February 25, 1836 - some seven weeks earlier.
-Lewis Winant, Pepperbox Firearms


Quote:
My brother...had a small-sized Colt's revolver strapped around him for protection against the Indians, and to guard against accidents he carried it uncapped. Mr. George Bemis was dismally formidable. George Bemis was our fellow-traveler. We had never seen him before. He wore in his belt an old original "Allen" revolver, such as irreverent people called a "pepper-box." Simply drawing the trigger back, cocked and fired the pistol. As the trigger came back, the hammer would begin to rise and the barrel to turn over, and presently down would drop the hammer, and away would speed the ball.

To aim along the turning barrel and hit the thing aimed at was a feat which was probably never done with an "Allen" in the world. But George's was a reliable weapon, nevertheless, because, as one of the stage-drivers afterward said, "If she didn't get what she went after, she would fetch something else." And so she did. She went after a deuce of spades nailed against a tree, once, and fetched a mule standing about thirty yards to the left of it. Bemis did not want the mule; but the owner came out with a double-barreled shotgun and persuaded him to buy it, anyhow.

It was a cheerful weapon--the "Allen." Sometimes all its six barrels would go off at once, and then there was no safe place in all the region round about, but behind it.
-Mark Twain - Roughing It, which follows the travels of young Mark Twain through the Wild West during the years 18611867.

Last edited by Berkley : 1st June 2010 at 03:05 AM.
Berkley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2010, 05:44 AM   #15
Philip
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 402
Default the intimidation factor

Michael,
Your multi-barrel mace and the Apache pistol (I concur with Fernando in that it falls in the pepperbox category) may be of questionable utility as regards to some aspects of their construction, but the psychological effect cannot be ignored. A person without a superior weapon in his hand, staring at those muzzles pointing at him from close range, is more likely to picture the likelihood of being hit by multiple shots than he is to analyze whether the spikes, the handle, or the little bayonet are sturdy enough.

At the very least, these odd weapons are a good illustration of our species' mechanical ingenuity through the ages and across national boundaries.
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2010, 06:50 AM   #16
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Hi Berkley and Philip,

Your contributions are much appreciated! Thanks.

Best,
Michael
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 09:17 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.