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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would appreciate some assistance in ID-ing this revolver. Is the Chamelot Delvigne pictured below a Swedish Navy revolver? If so, is this a rare enough piece that I should leave it "as is," or can I undertake a hand & barrel replacement project with good conscience? It's an orphan that has found a home with me, and I'd like to bring it back if it's not too rare to touch. Serial # Z 100 all matching parts, heavy pitting on the loading gate with light pitting elsewhere, missing original grips and lanyard ring assembly as well as trigger return spring, one dinged chamber in need of a slight bit of reaming near the throat, worn hand so it indexes off-center to the left, damaged forcing cone and bulged barrel, "Sutterlin Lippmann & Cie" on left frame side with "D" in oval surmounted by crowned "P" in oval towards barrel, "Mre. de St.. Etienne" in a single line on right frame side with "S(star)L" in oval below loading gate, tiny illegible line of text on cylinder with possible crossed swords(?), crowned "E" stamped on bottom of barrel, no date stamp anywhere:





 

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The Z pre fix would indicate reject if it's a military model I believe . Looks like
ejector spring and screw is missing .
I would leave as is no matter what model it is as it has more vaue the way it is .
mcgoo
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
No, the ejector spring and screw are in place and fully functional. I believe that it was the "X" series that were armory rejects - I was kinda hoping that "Z" series indicated "for export to Sweden"....
 

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Wow, great fiind and a good question concerning whether it should be repaired and/or restored. I think I would consider it. Cost is always a factor.
Of the 1,000 Swedish Navy revolvers made, which perhaps this is one, 700 were made under contract to Henry and 300 to Sutterlin Lippmann & Cie. I have an Henry, a blued one which can be viewed on the Chamelot Delvigne post on this forum.
Don't know much about the Sutterlin Lippman & Company ones other than all Swedish Navies are considered to be rare, and yours is the first one I've had the opportunity of viewing. The small shield on the right side of the frame, anterior of the cylinder of mine, is the acceptance or property marking of the Swedish Navy. Your shield marks or escutcheons are different from mine, and are on both sides of the frame, so perhaps I'm wrong in assigning it to Swedish service. There are some very well informed collectors of these pistols on this board.
Grips will be a problem but apparently all parts are available if one is patient. There are members of this board who can direct you to a reputable restoration specialist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Anders on the Swedish Military Firearms forum says that this is not an 1884 Swedish Navy because it is missing the "cat's claw" navy mark, and also because all Swedish Navy revolvers were blued and this one has definitely always been white. The two different crown stamps lead me to believe that this piece was indeed exported to somewhere regal, probably Sweden, but who might have used it besides the Swedish Navy? Could it have been a private purchase arm? I know that German Army officers were known to occasionally purchase Chamelot Delvignes for themselves....
 

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The mark that Anders refers to is on my Henry contract revolver, that I mentioned as the Swedish escutcheon in front of the cylinder, right side. Also, I defer to Anders; he knows his stuff. Eager, however, to learn more about yours.
 

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I received a notification of a post of yours on the other current French revolver thread, http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?t=61471 , but it had disappeared by the time I looked. You described the barrel damage as a bulge, and also damaged forcing cone due to the badly indexing cylinder. My guess is that a bullet failing to enter the bore properly remained lodged half-way along, and was struck by a subsequent shot.

I definitely wouldn't convert this revolver for another cartridge, and least of all .22 rimfire. In fact I would only modify it in such a way that the original parts can be kept in an unaltered state. As for fitting a replacement barrel, if you can get one, it may well be that the misaligned bullet has widened out the rear of the barrel threads, and unscrewing it would both be very difficult, and could strip or widen the frame threads so that the replacement would be a loose fit.

I have a much commoner French 1873 which has had the barrel shortened by about 1/2in., and I have contemplated sleeving a new piece of .45 ACP barrel blank (which is of an acceptable diameter) into the octagonal section with the inscriptions. While this could be done with a simple liner, narrowing down where the threads are, a better way would be to have the front end threaded into the frame, with the octagon and ejector rod housing turned into a simple sleeve. So I have made a rather casual attempt at unscrewing an 1873 barrel, and it is very tight, so I gave up until brass blocks etc. can be made. It would be hard to distinguish this natural tightness from the sort that is ruining the threads as you unscrew. Much as it pains me, since I am usually of the "do it" school of restoration, I think you would be better to call this one a wall-hanger.

There is one alternative. You could make six chamber-length inserts, which would let you do some gallery target practice with a tiny cartridge and, in effect, about a 1in. barrel. This could be .32 Short or .25ACP, bu the best of all, if you could get them, would be the tiny European Zimmerstutzen cartridge, of something under 5mm. ralph h, a poster on the other French revolvers thread mentioned above, knows about these. .22 Short with the bores offset would introduce other problems, since the firing-pin protrusion is so great that it would hit steel. Inserts could be held in place with rapid epoxy, which will remove by heating without damage to the cylinder.

I wouldn't hesitate to improve the finish, in a revolver that always was in the white. But I doubt if you could make it really good without erasing some of the markings, and collectors frown on even removing the burr thrown up around some of the punch marks. I don't believe the "Manufacture" name etc. have these, but the small ones might. Probably there are places you can improve it a lot with succeeding grades of fine abrasive paper glued to something flat, and finally fine emery powder or something on an old toothbrush, to remove discoloration from the bottom of any residual pitting. Things like the hammer top and loading gate could be completely restored, if they don't clash too much with the rest.

The number 100 is consistent with the Sutterlin and Lipmann part of the Swedish contract. They were a pretty notional company, I think, intended to legalise what was really an MAS sale to Sweden. We often regard stampings as a more reliable guide than they in fact were. Maybe someone forgot, or the stamp was broken. Or maybe MAS made and marked a few spares, in case of damage or rejection, or by clerical error.
 

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Those grips are replacements. The originals would have been checkered, with a little twin-lobed steel excutcheon plate around the screw-hole. Both are within the scope of the amateur to do, and these pieces of walnut, which will darken with oiling, are a good place to start. I'm some distance from my revolvers and books at the moment, but I'm sure someone here can tell you the pitch of the checkering, to choose tools from someone like www.brownells.com.

I'm sure I remember the Swedish contract revolver in Vuillemin's book being in the white. It is possible that the others were blued sometime after they arrived in Swedish service. The French explanation with their own M1873 was that the bluing processes weren't durable enough. But the officers' M1874 was blued from the start. Either they thought cleaning and oiling was good for military discipline, or they meant cheap bluing was insufficiently durable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I made the grips out of black walnut. I plan on darkening them with aqua fortis and rubbed oil once they are checkered. Any help as to the proper pitch and spacing for the checkering on Swedish Navy grips would be MUCH appreciated. EDIT: I now believe that the "S(star) L" stamp on the right side of the frame is a license stamp and stands for "Sutterlin Lippmann," since I've discovered that the Belgian firm Pirlot Freres manufactered a licensed Chamelot Delvigne variation for the Royal Cavalry which bore a similar "CD" oval stamp. (link: http://www.littlegun.be/arme%20belge/artisans%20identifies%20p/a%20pirlot%20freres%20gb.htm )

From discussions here and elsewhere, I've been convinced to leave this one "as is" except for replacing grips and trigger return spring and a little light hand-buffing. All seem to agree that, regardless of where it served, this is a fairly rare piece.

Here are a couple of shots of the tragically ovoid forcing cone:



 

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Henry 1884 Swedish Navy Pistol

Attached here is a photo of my Henry 1884 Swedish Navy, with the French one for comparison. It's pretty obvious when looking at the Henry that it was blued during production, and has been that way since it first hit the deck.
Don't know about the Sutterlin Lippmann's, however, your's appears to have always been in the white.
 

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Yes, but Vuillemin illustrates apparently mint examples of both Suttelin and Lippmann and Henry revolvers (the former described as having Swedish controler's mark, the latter as no. 687) in a bright finish. Both look as if the trigger might be blued, but I don't believe the hammer is. He describes some the Sutterlin and Lipmann revolvers as being in three series, A (1-100), B (101 -200) and C (201-300), which leaves room for changes in specification. For both these revolvers, the grips and escutcheon look identical to the French version.

Vuillemin's Sutterlin and Lipmann has the number A2 on the major screw-heads, although a main serial isn't mentioned. The small parts letter is usually different from the serial prefix on French M1873 revolvers, although used with the final digits. A z number was a recognised mark for some but perhaps not all revolvers converted in some possibly experimental way, e.g. an 8mm. M1873, and I don't know whether its use on a Sutterlin and Lipmann was coincidental.

I believe it was for the Royal Cavalry of Italy that Pirlot Frères also (?) made a small number of a long-barreled Chamelot-Delvigne as the M1872, although a more widely issued M1874 was made domestically, including, for mine, the Società Siduruga in Brescia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hmmm, Z prefix may mean an experimental...that could explain the lack of a Swedish acceptance mark, it may have been part of an initial test batch. Probably ought to mike the bore and cylinder of this petit chouchou, just to be thorough. Don'tcha love a good mystery?
 
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