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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I picked this up last weekend at the Springfield (MA) Show. It's a small-frame, nicely-engraved Belgian pinfire revolver with Japanese markings on the forward end of the barrel. The kanji translates "1872 - No. 2(or 3?)46 - Nagahama Prefecture." In 1872, Nagahama Prefecture was merged into modern-day Shiga Prefecture.

I had to lighten these photos so the markings would show clearly. The actual blue on the metal is a nice dark color, except for the forward half of the barrel. The next step is to identify the Belgian maker.

C/
 

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Chip, that's another cool find !! You sure got a knack of finding these. I'm still kicking myself in the rear end for not getting that S&W No.2. The only one I got is the Moore gun with the Meiji marking.

Albacore, that avatar of yours is a blatant violation of the rules governing the definition of us exclusive club members. i.e. : beer guzzling, pot bellied, pizza sauce stained T-shirt wearing, gun collector, who no young nice gals in their right minds would come close within a 50 yard radius perimeter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Chip, that's another cool find !! I'm still kicking myself in the rear end for not getting that S&W No.2. The only one I got is the Moore gun with the Meiji marking.
Luckily, I just happened to look down into the guy's display case as I was walking by. I personally think you did the right thing by passing on that No. 2. The condition was a poor match to the price. Japanese-marked No. 2s aren't that rare. In his reply to my query about the shipping history of my No. 2, Roy Jinks remarked that mine was among a shipment of 300 No. 2 pistols sent to the Augustine Heard Co. in Yokohama. Frankly, I'm green with envy over that Moore gun you picked up. Can you post those photos of it again?

C/
 

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Chip, yay these things are addictive. Good thing they aren't around that much, or they would burn up ones wallet pretty quickly ! These things are VERY interesting historical items.
 

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Great finds for each of you. Thanks for putting up the pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good thing they aren't around that much, or they would burn up ones wallet pretty quickly ! These things are VERY interesting historical items.
I'll say. It's at times like this, I wish these relics could talk. I'd give anything to find out where these pistols have been in their travels and with whom they've been associated. Luckily, I don't run across them very often, otherwise, it would be the poorhouse for me too.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Takehito,

One more question. Why do you think your pistol and mine were dated using two different conventions?

C/
 

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Chip, for sure ! just thinking some of the early ones "could" have been involved in the clashes during the Meiji restoration and the ensuing Satsuma rebellion makes one dream of their providence.

I'm not sure the reason for the usage of the two different year naming methods, but perhaps after a certain year the arsenals required changing the style, but do you have any consistencies on the numerous examples that you own ?
 

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Albacore, that avatar of yours is a blatant violation of the rules governing the definition of us exclusive club members. i.e. : beer guzzling, pot bellied, pizza sauce stained T-shirt wearing, gun collector, who no young nice gals in their right minds would come close within a 50 yard radius perimeter.
Hahaha sorry about the violation. Oh man it's only a matter of time before some of the pics from tonight's Commando party surface. Being the designated driver for four girls can sure be a pain though.
 

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Designated driver for four girls huh ? hmmmm. How's about driving up to the bay area with those wonderful friends of yours, and me and CW will host a reeeeeal nice party ! plenty of sake, shochu and dried squid up here.
 

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Pain?

That kind of pain I could stand, for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm not sure the reason for the usage of the two different year naming methods, but perhaps after a certain year the arsenals required changing the style, but do you have any consistencies on the numerous examples that you own ?
Every one of my antique rifles and pistols that are Japanese-marked are dated using the same system as that on my pinfire revolver. None are dated using a Meiji-Era designation like the one on your Moore pistol. Maybe it's a coincidence, but all of my antique arms, with one exception, are dated "1872." Any thoughts?

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I need to do some research, but there is a high probability that the Meiji goverment issued the requirement to register and mark all firearms in civilian, police or other non-military ownership in 1872, and hence that could be the reason many of the markings exists for that year. What year is the other marking you have ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OK, that blows away my "theory". I'll do some research on the registration hsitory.
I'm not sure it invalidates your theory. Perhaps the mandate just occurred a year or two earlier. At any rate, please let us know what you find out.

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
While on the subject, my notes indicate I have two pistols that are marked with Tsukuma Prefecture registrations. The first is a Hammond Bulldog pistol with Registration No. 643. The other is a Belgian Fagard percussion revolver with Registration No. 850. I wonder whatever became of the original registration records? Suppose they've been lost to history.

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