This is a rare Spur Trigger, Teat Fire Hammer Cup-Primer Cartridge 6 shot revolver that was manufactured by the Connecticut Arms Company in Norfolk Conn. U.S.A. (1862-1869), utilizing 1864 and 1866 issued patents by S. W. Wood. It was designed as a front-loading cartridge revolver in an effort to circumvent the Rollin White patent held by Smith & Wesson which allowed for chambers bored completely through the cylinder and loaded from the rear. Unlike the rim fire cartridges used by S&W and familiar to all of us, the cartridges used in this revolver had a priming compound in the cup shaped base of the cartridge. The hammer swings through the hollowed out center of the “cup” and struck the compound from the side, pinching it against the inside of the cartridge wall. This revolver loads its special cartridges from the front, and extracts them with a lever mounted between the trigger and cylinder on the frame’s right side. The extractor reaches through the same notch in the cylinder that the hammer uses to strike the primer. The extractor then hooks into the rear of the cylinder and pushes the cartridge out the front. The revolver can only be loaded and unloaded with the hammer in the half cock position; otherwise the chamber openings are partially blocked by a portion of the barrel assembly. This design prohibits the un-rimmed cartridges from falling back out through the chamber’s front opening. Approximately 2,700 Manufactured.
This is a all original, parts complete, mechanically perfect, pocket pistol in working order, with matching serial numbers on the frame’s butt and both grip panels. All markings are clear. The rib atop the barrel is marked “CONN. ARMS CO. NORFOLK CONN.” The circumference of the cylinder is marked “PATENTED MAR. 1ST 1864. And the front face of the cylinder is stamped with a “D”. The underside of the grip frame is marked “4784” as is the left side of the grip frame and the insides of both grip panels.
Perhaps 70% of the original bluing remains on the barrel and cylinder while most of the silver plating finish has been worn away from the frame leaving a fine brass under metal in a great mellow even patina. The barrel flats show thinning as does the cylinder and extractor lever. There is some very light pinprick erosion around the cylinder window. The hammer and trigger are case colored. The hammer is checkered and the spur trigger is smooth. The bore is surprisingly bright and the rifling is sharp. There is some light, scattered erosion in the bore, but none of the pitting typically seen on black powder arms. Barrel Length: 3”. The front sight is a half round blade. There is no rear sight.The grips are smooth varnished rosewood. The grips show numerous small handling and compression marks, but no chips or scratches. This is a nice example of a interesting and unique front loading single action revolver from the Reconstruction era. Overall, this handgun rates in a very good condition for an antique pocket pistol.
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