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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Colin
Posted - 09/11/2003 : 12:06:12 AM
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The Mle 1873 revolvers were finished in the white, so the original surface may have become more or less rough in the intervening years. A scarcer variety, the mle 74, was blued and had a fluted cylinder. Cases can be made from cut down 44-40 (or 38-40). Bullets are a problem.



kelt
Posted - 09/11/2003 : 07:50:19 AM
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Fireman, when in good conditions those 73 revolvers are fun to have,
internal parts are well made, and they are fun at the range.
Ammo are easy, my recipe is 44/40 cases trimmed to 22mm, enlarged to take .45/200gr bullets. I use loading tables for .45 target loads with pressure inside 800 bars (11600psi.
I own two as on the picture above, one is a model terre in the family since WW1, and modified in 1942 to take 45ACP ammo, and survived a few of them! the other is a recent purchase, a 73 Marine model built for the French Navy to shoot its 12MM/1870 ammo.
kelt



vonmazur
Posted - 09/11/2003 : 11:30:13 AM
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According to the latest listing on various web sites, they seem to get $350.00+ for good ones. The Mle 74 is much more, $1200.00 and higher on some commercial sites.
I have all 4 versions, bought at gun shows in the South, and at the time regarded as "junque" by the sellers....but today everyone has a computer and looks for the actual value, regardless of their personal opinion.....I liked the "good old days" better.

Dale in Ala

PS The 4 versions are: in order of rarity, The Mle 1874 M, the Mle 1873 M, the Mle 1874, and the Mle 1873 being the easiest to find



fireman
Posted - 09/11/2003 : 10:54:49 PM
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Kelt, vonmazur and the rest thanks for the info, I am looking foward to the search for one of these, if/when I find one I will let you know, thanks fireman



keysrat
Posted - 09/12/2003 : 08:59:10 AM
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Kelt,
Talk to me about the 12mm 1870 rounds. I have an 12mm Galand and it is probably the same round.



Hardrada55
Posted - 09/12/2003 : 11:03:56 AM
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According to Gene Medlin and Jean Huon's book, "Military Handguns of France", the cartridge Kelt is calling 12mm/1870 and that I am calling the 11mm French Navy was used by the Lefaucheux 1858T (Transformation; i.e. a single action pinfire revolver modifed to double action and centerfire), the Lefaucheux Mle 1870 revolver, and the Mle 1873M and Mle 1874M revolvers. I believe the 11mm French Navy cartridge is not the same thing as 12m Galand (12mm Perrin Thick Rim?). As I understand it, the regular 11mm French "army" cartridge could also be used in the "M" marked Navy revolvers. The 11mm French Navy cartridge is longer and has a larger rim than the 11mm French "Army" cartridge. I don't know for sure, but I think the big rimmed 11mm French Navy cartridge could not be used in the "Army" revolvers because the Mle 1873 "Army" revolvers have individual recesses machined into the back of the cylinder for each cartridge rim. Another thing that is also interesting about these cartridges is the fact that the quality and the intensity of the loading of the 11mm French Navy cartridge seemed to be much higher than the early 11mm French "army" cartridge. Ballistics for the 11mm Navy were a 199 grain bullet at 705 fps. The ballistics for the 11mm French cartridge were a 179 grain bullet at 426 fps. So which cartridge did the French drop...why the more powerful Navy cartridge, of course. The Belgians used a Mle 1871 revolver which was almost identical to the French Mle 1873 revolver and which chambered a cartridge which fired a 231 grain bullet.



kelt
Posted - 09/12/2003 : 3:08:28 PM
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Keysrat, the 12mm galand is a different cartridge, actually called 12x25mm, with thick rim, and sorry for the false hope, but I know no more about it.
Hardrada55, you are right, I slipped! but to differentiate it from the regular army cartridge called 11mm73 and improved (poorly) 11mm73/90, the Navy cartridge is sometime called 12mm 1870, when it is in fact the same diameter of bullet but much more efficient load.
The Navy gave in to the Army on the revolver cartridge decision because they needed Army assistance to get rapid fire small caliber canons! (politics interfering with technics as usual).
My Navy 73, built in 1884, number 11045, has individual recesses like the army model but cut deeper, allowing for the thicker rim of the 11mm70 case,I use shortened 44/40 cases in it while for my army 73 I have to reduce the rim of 44/40 cases to fit in.
The chambers of the Navy cylinder are also machined larger to fit the bullet, while the Army's are smaller than the bullet dia, the Navy cylinder has a M stamped on the front, to identify it.
I will post picts of the cylinder on sunday.



stengun315
Posted - 09/12/2003 : 10:30:17 PM
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Are there any special markings on the 45ACP conversions? Thanks.



Colin
Posted - 09/12/2003 : 11:27:51 PM
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Stengun,
No the 45 ACP conversions aren't marked. The few I've seen were done by hand with a round file. Apparently during WW II in France the 1873 was more common than the ammo for it. 45 ACP ammo was more common, having been dropped in quantity to the Resistance. The conversion was one of desperation; don't ever fire one of those things.



kelt
Posted - 09/13/2003 : 01:38:25 AM
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The conversion to 45 ACP on "my" revolver was done by a small machine shop making parts for the trucks of a big transportation company called STA (subsidiary of the SNCF ralways system) the conversion is a professional job.
Shooting hardball in a 73 revolver, with its deep grooves designed for soft lead bullets would destroy it quickly by elongation of the top strap of the frame, funny enough the cylinder is not the weak point.
The 73 modified to 45 were a better choice than tackling an armed soldier with a 25 ACP pocket gun.
Shooting mild 45 ACP target loads with 200gr lead flat nose bullets is fun and accuracy is not bad.
I would not recommand to make such alteration to a vintage revolver, with the wealth of cases available to duplicate the old cartriges, and it would lessen its value as well.
I would recommand only on the army 73 a small improvement by reaming to .452 the chambers of the cylinder, accuracy is improved.
kelt



keysrat
Posted - 09/13/2003 : 12:01:18 PM
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Kelt and Hardrada55,
The bore on my Galand slugs at .440. It looks like a cut down .303 Brit would work. Cases for the .44 French Ordinance revolver will not work. 12mm Galand is probably what others have called 11mm French or 11mm Perrin Thick Rim.
I know that cut down .38 S&W will work in the 9mm Galand, which is also referred to as a Thick Rim cartridge.



The Stone Master
Posted - 09/14/2003 : 1:36:07 PM
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My '73 was apparently "adapted" to .45 ACP. Luckily it was not done with a file. 44.40's are loose in the chambers but .45LC (cut down) work well after resizing in a .455 Webbley die and thinning the rim from the front (easier said than done with consistency, even on a small lathe).

I have a small bunch of .45LC that have thin rims (marked "WRA") and those do not have to have the rim thinned. (I don't know where they came from).

Bullets are .454 (lead, 250g RNFP).

Lee makes a mould for this cartridge (sold through Le Hussard) which is a round nose, 180g with a hollow base and rabbeted heel. I think this is only good for unaltered revolvers. I wish I could find a .252 with hollow base at about 180g.
Charge: FFFG (messy) or under 3g of Bullseye (I have some Unique but have not tried it).

If these pistols were used with .45ACP, they must be quite strong (I know of no accidents) but I would not tempt fate!



stengun315
Posted - 09/14/2003 : 5:57:27 PM
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hello The Stone Master. NEI has hollow base moulds in .450 and .454 but they are in the 230 grain range.
I have two '73s and one will chamber 45ACP and the other one won't. Just my luck to get matching guns that require different loads. Hey Fireman, do you think O'connell had that problem? Maybe why he went with a pair of 1911's in the second movie.



ralph h
Posted - 09/14/2003 : 10:25:17 PM
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Greetings, Gentlemen,

I will add a little information to this topic. I hope I don't just confuse it further.

I will start with the 11 mm French. I have a 73 model that I believe is completely original, made in 1879. The chambers are bored a straight taper, .475" at rear and .452" at front. I have only inspected 3 of these revolvers. One had the chambers hogged out to almost 1/2 inch diameter. The other 2 had the dimensions mentioned above. Are you sure some chamber throats were actually smaller than the bullet diameter? Doesn't seem logical.

Posting pictures of rear of cylinder, & numbers. The loading data and instructions may be a little confusing, but the components and measurements are all you will be interested in anyway. I load for a few different obsolete cartridges, and I don't use a dedicated die set for each one. This has been posted before, but now is in the archives.

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Giant thread: Old French Revolvers Pt. 2

ralph h
Posted - 09/15/2003 : 12:03:48 AM
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Greetings,

Click on the 11.2 KB image to read the data and dimensions on my previous post. (Sorry, exactly that one was missing ! Carcano)

I have an 1859 Perrin that I load for. It is chambered for 12 mm Thick Rim. I am posting cartridge pictures for anyone who is not familiar with the thick rim. I also have an 1868 Galand that uses the same size cartridge but with thin rim. I use the same cartridge in both revolvers. When using in Perrin, I install the stainless steel rings in the rim reccess of the cylinder to take up the extra space normally occupied by the thick rim. In the Galand I do not use the rings. The pictures of the cylinders show what I mean.

Seems some Galands use thick rims and some do not. Both the Galand and Perrin measure .459" diameter in throat of chambers. The bullet I use is the same 450-220 heel that I use in the 73 French. The last image is my loading data sheet.

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ralph h
Posted - 09/15/2003 : 12:30:18 AM
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Loading data for 12 mm Perrin and 12 mm Galand.

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cameleon
Posted - 09/16/2003 : 3:55:08 PM
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Hello, still a frog!! I wish to give precise details over the "1873 & 1874":

Quantities Manufactured:

1873(Army): 325 659 + 2332 X Series (Demonstration)
1873M (Navy): 13 188
1874(Army): 36 084
1874M (Navy):1 566 only!!

I have the distribution of the year production per year
if you are interested for the navy cartridge here joined the
original diagram !!

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fk
Posted - 09/16/2003 : 7:10:30 PM
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Ralph H. & Cameleon thank you very much for informative posts and photos!

Cameleon I would be very much interested in the year by year production information.

BTW, that is a very interesting cartridge in the diagram! It looks like it has some type of battery primer like they use in shotgun shells.



cameleon
Posted - 09/17/2003 : 2:52:21 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by fk
Cameleon I would be very much interested in the year by year production information.
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Hi !! Here data gathered in the table below. I can also give the
significances of the punches (rifle marking). For the film the Mummy the revolver used is a "model 1892" gauges 8mm (but anything to see with the Lebel cardrige) often called apart from France "revolver 8mm French 'Lebel'"

NB:please excuse my bad english !!!!!!

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fk
Posted - 09/18/2003 : 01:59:54 AM
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Thanks Cameleon!

I only wish I could find information like that for the Lebel and Berthiers.

I would be very much interested in your information on the punches.



Colin
Posted - 09/19/2003 : 01:18:03 AM
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Cameleon
If you think your English is bad, you should read my French!! Please continue to post. We are very interested in your comments. I am Colin Doane of the book The French 35 Automatic Pistols, by Medlin and Doane and I am very interested in what you have to say.



cameleon
Posted - 09/19/2003 : 3:53:14 PM
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Thank you Colin ! as promised I thus will speak about markings: In fact,they should be divided into 2 categories:
- test and trademarks
- the hallmarks
The many small punches are those of the controllers of
1st, 2nd, 3rd class. In my first message, I will not give that the
significance of the principal rounds affixed on the left face of the
weapon, the first being that of the director according to the
MAS (Manufacture d'arme de St Etienne). The second is that of the principal controllers (see table), but another assumption is advanced: it would be absolutely necessary this second initial is that of the supplier of steel.
J =Steel-works of Jeumont
T = Steel-works of Thionville
C = Steel-works of Creusot
P = Steel-works of Pompey
F = Steel-works of Faulquemont
The millesime struck the gun with dimensions right is preceded by the
letter 'S' it is the letter codes MAS (St Etienne) all the 73 & 74
were manufactured in this place. Sometimes millesimes are higher than
1886, in fact these revolvers have the changed guns, but it preserve
their seriel number but the new gun is dated from the year of replacement and controlled by the director of the moment, more than I saw was 1926!!
Here is for the moment, I propose a continuation to you soon on
markings,



cameleon
Posted - 09/19/2003 : 4:05:41 PM
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Oops I forgot to join the list of the directors and controllers

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The Stone Master
Posted - 09/20/2003 : 10:58:48 AM
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By "gun" Cameleon means "Barrel" (canon in French)



vonmazur
Posted - 09/20/2003 : 3:12:46 PM
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Cameleon et Allii: I have just got a revolver Mle 1873 with a very high number, higher than the highest number listed in the Book by Melin and Huon.....J 25750 MA S 1885 (R) (T) on the left side of the bbl.....this is about 200+ above the listing in the book.....I nkow that it is no big deal, but synchonicity once more!!!!

PS The cylinder and trigger are not matched to the revolver, so it is not all that hot, but I liked the number and date! BTW the Mle 92 was in "Paths of Glory" Ralph Meeker was waving one around in the No mans land scene.....



kelt
Posted - 09/20/2003 : 4:32:34 PM
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Dale, I think that they did not start afresh every 1st january, but for each prefix letter they went to 99999, before moving to the next letter, regardless of the date.
It may explain why you have a number J 25750 from 1885.
I have a H 64147 from 1882!
With the smaller series like the Marine 73, numbered without prefix letter, it is easier to check if number and year of fabrication tally.
I have a 73 Marine number 11045 from 1884, if you make the sum of revolver 73M built until 1884, that number fall in that year.
What a fun puzzle!
kelt



fk
Posted - 09/20/2003 : 7:40:07 PM
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I don’t know much of anything about French revolvers, but I do know that rifles were numbered from 1-99,999 in each prefix letter block. MAS used the letters F-Q.

I added up the numbers for the Mle 1873 Army from Cameleon’s chart and got 300,659. If my addition is right, than the last serial should be I662. Dale’s J25750 would be 125,000 plus higher than this!

Dale, are you sure that it’s really a “J” and not an “I” the French cursive I looks a lot like a J.

Kelt, did all of French Navy revolvers lack letter prefixes?



kelt
Posted - 09/21/2003 : 09:19:25 AM
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FK, according to the book on revolver 73 written by J.P.BASTIE & D.CASANOVA, the regular army 73 had prefix letters as allocated to St Etienne manufacture like you mentioned (F to Q), the Navy 73 had no prefix letter, the 74 had all N prefix, and the revolver d'instruction made from rejected parts and unfit for shooting had X as prefix, the list given by Cameleon is slightly different than the production list found in the aforementioned book.

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Dale, there are obviously some descrepancies in the markings, my 73 army with a barrel dated 1882 is numbered H64147, but in an article printed in Cibles dated December 99, author John C.FROST mentions ownership of an army 73 J2910 of 1883 and another, H8763 of 1879.
It does not tally with mine, unless my 73 has been rebarrelled in 1882, in which cas there should be a specific mark (M) for return to arsenal on the right side next to the assembly screw location.
kelt



vonmazur
Posted - 09/23/2003 : 11:48:48 AM
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No return to Arsenal mark on this one, but I think they quit making these in 1885. It is a block letter "J" they did not use "I" cursive or block, at least I have never seen one......I have seen these '73 revolvers with the following prefixes.....F,G,H,&J only on the Army guns....

Dale in Ala



John Wallace
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I have two of these splendid revolvers in the U.K., where they can be freely owned and imported as antiques (via www.auctionarms.com), and could be if made up to 1939, if the cartridges are on the government's obsolete list. But they can't be fired unless I execute an administrative grovel and lodge them in a government approved shooting centre hundreds of miles away, to be visited like political prisoners. Observe how crime is falling off because of this.

There are two excellent books if you read French, and a real obsessive could get his money's worth from the pictures and tables in the second. I got it from Ray Riling books:

Bastié, Jean-Pierre and Casanova, Daniel: Le 1873 Bâtisseur d’Empires (2nd Ed. Éditions Crépin Leblond, 1996.)
Vuillemin, Henri: Les Revolvers Militaires Français (Fromont Glatigny, Paris,1991.)

The 1873 is sometimes considered a crude revolver and indeed it is simple in operation and, er, substantial. But it was designed to a very well-conceived specification, which I translate:

The weapon must not be of break-open design.

It must be a single unit, durable and solid, of which no part, in use, may catch on other objects, become distorted, detach or be lost.

The revolving cylinder must be easily removable for cleaning, and yet solidly held in place by the axis pin; the latter must be easily withdrawn, without risk of unexpected displacement.

The loading gate must be simple, solid and easily used, but unable to open accidentally, and its position must be such that the shooter will always notice if he has forgotten to close it.

The ejector rod must be strong, its use easy, its movement free. At rest it must be held firmly in place by simple, solid parts which vibrate, echo and click into place in a military manner. It must present no projections and not be subject to fracture or bending, and must be protected from rust.

The barrel must be rifled in such a way that it gives accurate shooting to the point of aim at a 25 meter target, without the foresight projecting too much or being capable of catching on other objects. The flatness of the trajectory must permit firing to the same point of aim at 50 meters, and to reach the target at 100 meters and beyond without noticeable deviation.

The weapon must be centerfire.

A strong half-cock notch is indispensable.



They fudge the "No tools" a bit, as there is a screwdriver blade on the secure but easily removable axis pin. Undo one screw and the sideplate comes off, and the left grip with it. All the internals are available for cleaning, but can't fall out unless you choose to remove them, and then it's easy. Under the grip, perhaps untouched for over a century, I found not a mainspring strain screw, but a strain LEVER with a neatly checkered end. My theory is that the Commission may have considered an external takedown lever, and kept this vestige to keep one of their members happy. I also found the name "L. Lebrun" (i.e. Brown) in pencil. It's just a pity it wasn't Lejaune or Yellow, the sadistic sous-officier who brutalises Gary Cooper in "Beau Geste". But the writer C.P. Wren was a former legionnaire, and may have changed names to protect the guilty. An 1873 was also used, briefly, by Owen Wilson in "Shanghai Noon", but he blamed his shooting on "these weird guns". It seems fair to point out that he was shooting around a pillar without looking at the time.

I sometimes imagine Col. Colt at a meeting of that Commission, explaining that you just have to remove eight screws, and then the parts come out... For a brief period this was probably the best military revolver in the world. It's a pity that in military service at least, it was always subject to miserable and, I think, pointless underloading of the Army cartridge. The 1873/90 improvement was needed, but done for a pretty absurd reason: it was thought a danger to national defence that their revolver should be incapable of penetrating a cavalry breastplate at any distance!

There is also something mighty funny about the specification for that improvement. A bullet weight reduction of under 10%, with the SAME black powder charge, doubles the energy? There was no such improvement in black powder quality at that time, unless perhaps if they used semi-smokeless, of which I know no evidence. Perhaps it was a convenient way to mask a discovery that their powdermakers had been caught doing something badly wrong. But no such deficiency seems to have existed in rifles.

It was certainly the commonest revolver in the world while it was current, and probably until the very large Colt and S&W contracts of the world wars. Bastié and Casanova list 334,785 1873, 36,084 of the officers' 1874, 13,188 the naval 1873M and 1,566 1874M. Some were probably made in Balgium for civilian sales, which may be the source of the apparently not ex-military ones sold by the Manufacture d'Armes et Cycles de St. Etienne. This firm ("Manufrance") was quite distinct from the government's Manufacture d'Armes de St. Etienne. I have a Brun-Latrige mail order catalogue, probably between 1890 and 1914, which may be another brand name of Manufrance in the same street, and it lists the 1873.

Cartridge nomenclature is confused, though not as bad as the seven metric fractions with various words, which are used for my Dutch 1873. The naval round was sometimes called 11.1 or 12mm., and I think both rounds may have been in civilian sales. The illustration makes it hard to tell what Brun-Latrige sold as 12mm., but it wasn't the shorter 12mm. French which also existed.

I know Ralph H well, and bow to his expertise in reloading, which Her Majesty the Queen (whom I think was ill-advised) doesn't want me to emulate. The trouble with heel bullets is that the diameter of the heel, which controls neck grip, is rarely specified. Every 1873 I know of has groove and cylinder throat dimensions of about .451in., and I know Ralph's mould is NEI. But their catalog #273. 200gr, made for the .44 Colt, has a smallet heel that would make it unsuitable.

The tables below are in Word, and should be downloadable if they don't appear. They are my own, compiled from various sources, and may eventually see the light of day in an article, so I could be in hot water if anyone has reproduced them in print anywhere else by then. They permit various conclusions on markings etc.

This is my first posting on Gunboards, except one on the picture testing board. What a refreshing environment!

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ralph h
Posted - 09/25/2003 : 07:04:39 AM
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Greetings, John Wallace,

Good to see you over here. Welcome.

I neglected to list the NEI part number for the bullet I use in the 73 French loading. It is 450-222 heel # 277B.



John Wallace
Posted - 09/25/2003 : 6:03:02 PM
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Originally posted by ralph h
Greetings, John Wallace,
Good to see you over here. Welcome.
Ralph, thank you for those kind words.

On the matter of safe loads, I'm not sure whether that stretching of the topstrap, due to the use of jacketed bullets, would actually happen. But it might, and the only way of finding out is the hard way. My opinion, though there are warnings against it, is that the use of conventional .45 ACP loads with cast bullets, in a well-converted revolver, would be quite safe.

The cylinder is actually exceptionally thick-walled, with the notches coming less close to the chamber than they do in the large Smith and Wessons. The steel is probably less durable, but the recording of steelmakers suggests that it wasn't just mild steel. Nobody seems to run into trouble with .45 ACP converted Webleys, and their steel is about the only one which I've had go perfectly black with Birchwood Casey Plum Brown and boiling, which suggests pretty primitive steel.

Most mechanical defects are due to cracked or tired springs, with which MAS, like many others of the period, seem to have had bad luck. My second M1873 had the mainspring beefed up with a piece of leather under the tension lever. These are usually well-shaped and of good material, and they can be annealed, reshaped, hardened and tempered by immersing in oil, which is burned off.

A final thought is that Gustave-Henri Delvigne was 75 at the time of its adoption, and his revolver was in limited issue (to transport drivers etc.) in the campaign of 1940. In the circumstances most pistol confrontations happen, I think that properly loaded cartridges would have made it a fair match for a P38 and hardball. But I'm not sure if any were ever issued. That isn't bad for a man born in 1798, who probably encountered the percussion cap as a novelty.

"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.

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kelt
Posted - 09/26/2003 : 02:03:17 AM
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Practice has shown over the years that all known few failure of 73 revolvers with handloads happened by breaking of the top strap of the frame, some breaks at the front, others at the back near the rear sight. most of those failures are to be blamed on hot reloads with the short case.
there was a string of articles written about the 73 on checks, repairs and load improvement by author John C.Frost in french magazine Cibles in the 90es, some readers working in the industry took to the task of testing their own revolvers for strength by brinnel hardness test, barrels and cylinders were in every case stronger than the frame, the values gave breaking strength around 80kg/mm2, with a low at 48kg/mm2 for one frame.
I made some calculations based on the weakest result and it confirms that mild loads of 45ACP,(800 bars) are safe to use, being at 33% of the yeld point of that weakest result, these revolvers are strong and fun to shoot and will last forever if treated well, my calcs being conservative show that a dangerous load taking the frame beyond the yeld point would need to be above 1400 bars.
It helps explain why some of these revolvers modified during WW2 survived a few 45ACP hardball!
find attached my calculation done in the old system of Kgf and in french helas! it is a word doc, you have to click on it to access.
kelt

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John Wallace
Posted - 09/26/2003 : 06:45:57 AM
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Kelt, that is very interesting and convincing information, and at first seems like a variation on the usual rule that revolver cylinder failures are due to excessive pressure, and barrel failures are due to obstructions. I suppose deep lands could be considered an obstruction. I wouldn't be surprised if M1873 revolvers used much with hardball have expanded barrel threads, too, and removal of the barrel is quite difficult. The thread diameter does look quite small.

I agree with your broad conclusions. But we should be quite interested in whether it really is necessary to set a limit of 800 bars, since the standard pressure for the .45 ACP is a little under 1000. (Not all Americans may know that as bar means atmospheric pressure, we multiply bar figures by about 14.7 to get pounds per square inch.)

I believe that useful figure of 1000 bar should be permissible, because of a factor you very rightly say you haven't taken into account. On firing, the case clings to the chamber walls, and stretching of the brass both reduces the impact on the breech face, and perhaps even more important, makes it less abrupt, like a wooden mallet instead of a steel hammer of the same weight. This effect isn't as great in low-pressure revolvers as it is in rifles, and it would be badly impaired by the use of .44 Magnum or Special cases, as is sometimes, in my opinion wrongly, suggested for the 1873 cartridge. But it exists, more with modern brass than with that of the 1870s. My view is that it is wrong to rechamber such a fine revolver, in which interest outside France seems likely to increase. But I think anyone who has a well-rechambered one can use .45 ACP reloads based on responsible information, and CAST BULLETS!

My second-best M1873, besides a mismatched cylinder which will need a tiny piece of steel silver soldered to the top of the barette ("hand" or "pawl" to us), has a slightly shortened barrel. Well, I like antiques which are either in very good condition, or bad enough to justify alteration. I intend, when I get around to it, to sleeve it with a piece of .45 ACP barrel blank which I have. I will have to make a new full-length round barrel, reduced to fit through the old octagonal part, which I will convert into a thin sleeve, just thick enough not to distort when the new barrel is screwed into the frame. M. Delvigne would have wanted it done!



vonmazur
Posted - 09/26/2003 : 12:39:59 PM
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Greetings John Wallace: Welcome to the best French Weapons Board on the Net!!!!! The most common problem with the French '73 is the missing trigger spring.(At least for me in Alabama!) I have found that Brownell's has an assortment of "Shotgun top snap springs" for repairing side by side double guns. These are just right for replacing the trigger spring, and they have the locating tab in the right place, just grind to fit!!
Around this State, not many of the "Bubbas" are interested in French weapons, so I can usually get them at reasonable prices, but the downside is the usual missing or damaged parts, needless to say, I have a large supply of French parts stashed here!!



John Wallace
Posted - 09/26/2003 : 1:57:16 PM
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Half the price of a comparable Webley, and a quarter that of a Colt... Who's complaining?

I knew of those Brownells springs, but it would have been some weeks before I could have found out if they would have worked. So I have bent and rehardened one of those trigger springs, and carved another from a piece of spring steel. It's worth it when you get something working that somebody else sold as junk. Somebody has to do it!

no longer there
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kelt
Posted - 09/27/2003 : 01:46:09 AM
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For precision target shooting, it was common practice to remove the trigger spring from the 73, thus improving greatly its trigger pull, the trigger had to be reset by finger.
kelt



John Wallace
Posted - 09/27/2003 : 04:53:01 AM
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Kelt, I got my better M1873 cheap because it wouldn't cock for single action fire - a gamble as I didn't know at that time that these parts are very durable. It turned out to be a weakened spring on the single-action sear. You can detect this because it can be cocked when you hold it upside down, as the sear falls into place under gravity. The only defective mechanical part I've heard of in an M1873, was when someone who had one with that sear broken where it was weakened by the pivot hole.

Vonmazur, would any of those be M1873 parts? I have been looking for a source for a cylinder axis pin.



vonmazur
Posted - 09/29/2003 : 2:00:16 PM
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Unfortunately, I got only Rifle parts, check out Le Hussard's web site, they need a box full of parts too!!

http://www.lehussard.fr/english/index.asp
click on the "Do it yourself Corner"

I suspect that if they can not get parts in France, we will have to make them ourselves!



kelt
Posted - 10/01/2003 : 5:58:01 PM
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John Wallace, for your 73 cylinder axis, you could try in France "Le comptoire de l'arquebuserie" they specialise in antiques, and have a large store of parts, they also had some often sought parts like 73/74 cylinders, springs, index finger made new.
email [email protected]
Tel (33) 1 43 63 73 17
Fax (33) 1 60 29 32 20
kelt



John Wallace
Posted - 10/02/2003 : 04:13:14 AM
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Kelt, thank you for that information, which I'd never have found anywhere else. "Kelt" sounds celtic, so are you in Brittany? I spent a month in Quimper on a summer course in 1970, and I still have a deformed 16g. ball which I found in a wood, just as far as you can walk down the river from the town. I wish it could talk.



kelt
Posted - 10/02/2003 : 07:26:21 AM
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John, you guessed right, my family is from Brittany, I was born in exile in Paris, but breton heart and soul.
A 16g ball would be a pistol ball, the weigth of the rifle ball was 27g.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Giant thread: Old French Revolvers Pt. 3

John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 10/03/2003 : 03:03:16 AM
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I have spent a long time trying to convince myself it would be a pistol ball, but logic says it was probably a solid ball fired from a shotgun. I've got what is surely the ultimate book on the technology of shotguns and smoothbore ball guns: General Journée's "Tir des Fusils de Chasse". He worked for the Société Française des Munitions, and gives figures (I think for the 1920 edition) that indicate 16g. cartridges were far outselling 12g., and 20g. ws quite a rarity. He says that the proportion of 12g. was steadily increasing, though.

Unfortunately this book is unlikely to be reprinted or translated, as it contains too many tables and mathematical symbols, which at least in my photographically reproduced 1949 reprint, are too unclear for scanning or optical character reproduction. Maybe it's a project to save for my old age. As Jeff Cooper used to say in the years before anybody would take up his scout rifle idea, "I've got mine."

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 10/03/2003 : 05:13:41 AM
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John,
I misunderstood, it is a cal 16 ball you were talking about, shotgun caliber, not very developped in France, often called lady's caliber.
kelt


The Stone Master
Gunboards Premium Member



USA
160 Posts
Posted - 10/11/2003 : 10:22:53 AM
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Hello to all:

Just back from France. Went to my yearly "pilgrimage" to the Invalides last Wednesday! (With my better half in tow, which accelerated things a bit!).
Anyway, here's my data on the '73 which could be added to the listing:

Mle. 1873 Armee, Ser. G 36488 S1877. Bright polished, all matching except side plate screw.

I liked the treatise on loading limits. If there is any interest, I will translate it and post.

All the best

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Cultivons notre jardin -Voltaire in "Candide"
The Stone Master


The Stone Master
Gunboards Premium Member



USA
160 Posts
Posted - 10/11/2003 : 2:03:16 PM
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Here's my translation of the file in question:



REVOLVER CHAMELOT DELVIGNE TYPE 1873

Computation of the forces transmitted to the top strap during firing:

At firing, pressure is transmitted to the cylinder frame through the case’s base.

Area of the chamber : 11.43mm X 11.43mm X 3.14/4 = 1.02 sqcm (0.1581 sqin)

Distribution of the force over the upper and lower surfaces of the frame, (distance of the application point of the force to the reaction points)

Distance from top of frame to barrel axis: 8.5 mm (.335”), top strap thickness: 3 mm (.118”).
Distance from top strap cross-section mid-point to barrel axis: 8.5 mm + 1.5 mm= 10 mm (.393”)
Distance from the bottom of the frame to the barrel’s axis: 37 mm (1.456”)
Lower frame thickness: 12 mm (.472”)
Distance from lower frame cross-section mid-point to barrel axis: 37 mm + 6 mm= 43 mm (1.69”)

Distance between mid-points of top and bottom frame cross-sections: 10 mm + 43 mm=53 mm (2.09”)

Force exerted on the rear of the frame, assuming an 800 bar [11,600 psi] loading:

800 x 1.02 = 824 kgf (1816 lbs)
Force acting on top strap:
824 x 43/53 = 669 kgf (1475 lbs)
Force acting on frame bottom:
824 x 10/53 = 155 kgf (342 lbs)

Case of a 48 kg/sqmm (34.136 ton/sqin) yield strength steel revolver frame :

Area of the top strap at its weakest point: 36 sqmm (.056 sqin)

HENCE: firing a 600 bar (11,600 psi) load exerts a force on the top strap of:
669/36 = 18.6 kg/sqmm (13.2 ton/sqin)

Without precisely knowing the tensile limit of a 48 kg/sqmm steel, which is somewhere between 70 and 80% of the minimum yield strength, an 18.6 kg/sqmm is only 39% of the yield strength and is well within the tensile limit of the steel.

Dangerous loads:
If the minimum tensile limit of a 48 kg/sqmm steel is 70% (or 33 kg/sqmm), the danger point for the top strap is therefore 36 x 33 = 1180 kgf; the force applied to the rear of the frame is therefore 1180 X 53/43 = 1464 kg/sqmm, which would require a 1464/1.02 – 1435 bar (20813 psi) load minimum to be dangerous.

These calculations do not take into consideration the friction between cylinder chamber and cartridge case which will reduce the rearward force by at least 10%.

The use of 800 bar (11,600 psi) loads in the Mle, 73 is quite reasonable IF the revolver has never fired loads that might have overstressed the top strap beyond its tensile limit (in which case top strap rupture would be inevitable as even weak loads induce stretching).

Bold titles added by me.


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Cultivons notre jardin -Voltaire in "Candide"
The Stone Master

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Edited by - The Stone Master on 10/11/2003 2:06:37 PM


gunnersugden
Gunboards Member



16 Posts
Posted - 11/09/2003 : 11:50:53 AM
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Hi Ralph,

I read your comments on re-loading the '73 with interest. Have you had any problems with primer flow due to the large firing pin hole?. Also what method of crimping do you use? I haven't a clue what a split chamber crimping tool is....who makes it?.

Thanks

robin


ralph h
Gunboards Super Premium Member



USA
327 Posts
Posted - 11/09/2003 : 6:21:13 PM
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I use Federal primers, which are quite soft, and haven't any problem with them extruding into the firing pin hole.

The split chamber crimping tool is my own design and manufacture. It mounts into Lyman bullet mold handles. When closed the main body diameter is about .020" larger than the cartridge case. Only the crimping ridge is smaller. Made from heat treated tool steel.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/ralph h/2003119181657_73 Crimp-1.jpg
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/ralph h/2003119181839_73 Crimp-2.jpg
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/ralph h/2003119182022_73 Crimp-3.jpg
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Does a fine crimp.
If the bullet heel is tight in the case, and the load is quite mild, a crimp may not even be needed. I crimped mine just because some said it couldn't be done easily.





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Regards, Ralph.
Boy, I love these old guns.....


gunnersugden
Gunboards Member



16 Posts
Posted - 11/10/2003 : 6:46:00 PM
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Hi Ralph,

Looks like you've just cornered a niche in the market for impossible to get tools. Thanks for the reply....very interesting. I feel that a crimp would be necessary, otherwise I think that you'd get the bullets dropping out of the cases after a few shots, and jamming the cylinder. I wish stuff like this was available off the shelf. I have toyed with asking Lee if they'll do a custom crimp for their $25 offer, but don't know if it would be feasable.

Regards

Robin


T0
Gunboards Premium Member



USA
152 Posts
Posted - 12/04/2003 : 1:26:50 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by John Wallace

Half the price of a comparable Webley, and a quarter that of a Colt... Who's complaining?

I knew of those Brownells springs, but it would have been some weeks before I could have found out if they would have worked. So I have bent and rehardened one of those trigger springs, and carved another from a piece of spring steel. It's worth it when you get something working that somebody else sold as junk. Somebody has to do it!

Download Attachment:
29.6 KB

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T0
Gunboards Premium Member



USA
152 Posts
Posted - 12/04/2003 : 1:30:20 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by John Wallace

Half the price of a comparable Webley, and a quarter that of a Colt... Who's complaining?

I knew of those Brownells springs, but it would have been some weeks before I could have found out if they would have worked......

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Do these Brownell springs have the "Teat/pin" at the 'V' of the spring? If not, do the springs maintain their proper positionin DA fire?

T0


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 12/05/2003 : 11:28:17 AM
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Another way of doing that crimp would be some sort of sleeve of just the correct length, with several little teeth or an inward lip at the top, which would fit over the case. It could then be driven by the press into any die with a tapered body of the right diameter, which would close it around the top of the case.

I have only just realised how Kelt and I were at cross-purposes, since I meant a 16 gauge ball, and he thought it was 16 gramme. I may be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes.

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 12/05/2003 : 12:38:59 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Don't worry John, I gathered as much about the 16 gauge pellet.
As for crimping the 73 ammo, why not modify a Lee factory crimp die in 44/40 to fit?
kelt


vonmazur
Moderator



USA
1762 Posts
Posted - 12/05/2003 : 1:09:07 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by T0


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by John Wallace

Half the price of a comparable Webley, and a quarter that of a Colt... Who's complaining?

I knew of those Brownells springs, but it would have been some weeks before I could have found out if they would have worked......

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Do these Brownell springs have the "Teat/pin" at the 'V' of the spring? If not, do the springs maintain their proper positionin DA fire?

T0

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Yes they have the pin in the right spot, all that is needed is to grind carefully to size, and test fit....


Dale in Ala

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"If those little sweethearts won't face German bullets,then they'll face French ones!"
General Mireau in Stanley Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" 1955


gunnersugden
Gunboards Member



16 Posts
Posted - 12/06/2003 : 04:59:58 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by kelt

Don't worry John, I gathered as much about the 16 gauge pellet.
As for crimping the 73 ammo, why not modify a Lee factory crimp die in 44/40 to fit?
kelt

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T0
Gunboards Premium Member



USA
152 Posts
Posted - 12/06/2003 : 2:03:57 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by vonmazur


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by T0


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by John Wallace

Half the price of a comparable Webley, and a quarter that of a Colt... Who's complaining?

I knew of those Brownells springs, but it would have been some weeks before I could have found out if they would have worked......

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Do these Brownell springs have the "Teat/pin" at the 'V' of the spring? If not, do the springs maintain their proper positionin DA fire?

T0

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Yes they have the pin in the right spot, all that is needed is to grind carefully to size, and test fit....

Dale in Ala

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Dale:

Thanks for the reply. Those springs from Brownell sound ideal. I'm getting interested in these great revolvers again. Terrific balance and pointing qualities, at least for me.

Sorry about multiple post; I'm new to this board.

T0



gunnersugden
Gunboards Member



16 Posts
Posted - 12/06/2003 : 5:50:48 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorry, It seems I managed a quote earlier, but not any text. All I was going to say was...............do you think that Lee would be able to custom make a factory crimp die for the '73/'74 for their $25 offer?.

Cheers

robin


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 12/07/2003 : 07:46:37 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've never used the Lee Factory Crimp die, but I've had a good look at the pictures on www.leeprecision.com. I'm sure a device of this general style would be about as easily made for the 11mm. as for anything else, if you were starting from scratch and doing it the toolroom way, with general-purpose lathe-tools. A difference in design, though, is that the Lee version isn't made for any other cartridge with a heel bullet, as wide as the case-neck or very nearly. Their process and tooling might or mightn't be able to take account of this difference. if it is, it's hard to think of a better or more economical way of doing the job.

If my loads were going to be close to the rather gentle original versions, though, I'd still want to try shooting a few rounds with uncrimped necks. With modern, tough brass and a well-fitted bullet heel, this just might work, without the bullets shifting under recoil. You would save your money if it did, while absence of a crimp might also improve case life, and avoid scoring the heel of the bullet as it is expelled.

I think the 1873 chamber would accommodate a somewhat longer case, as long as the naval round's or longer. If it does, the extra powder space should be an improvement. Incidentally I have seen somewhere that the SOE or OSS actually dropped chambering reamers with other arms and supplies, for the French resistance in wartime. Does anybody know if this is true?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed


Hein
Starting Member



Germany
6 Posts
Posted - 01/17/2004 : 12:13:25 PM
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Hello friends,
I'm new in this forum and would like to start with a question:
How was the finish of the M/73 after leaving the factory?
I know "in the white", but what was the real finish?
Totally polished? Unlikly.
Fine ground with visible traces?
There is a rumour in Germany that they have been varnished as the last operation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hein


T0
Gunboards Premium Member



USA
152 Posts
Posted - 01/17/2004 : 1:15:23 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Hein

Hello friends,
I'm new in this forum and would like to start with a question:
How was the finish of the M/73 after leaving the factory?
I know "in the white", but what was the real finish?
Totally polished? Unlikly.
Fine ground with visible traces?
There is a rumour in Germany that they have been varnished as the last operation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Hein:

I have seen one that was very close to the original factory finish. It weas bright, smooth (no machining marks that I could see)with no trace of any varnish or other non-metallic finish. It was not what you would call "polished" but it looked great. There most likely was a final polishing involved. It was a WW-I bringback.

I would love to see a repro of this fine revolver made, preferably in a caliber such as .44 Special, .44 Russian or .45 Auto Rim, and capable of handling modern smokeless loads and relatively heavy reloads in those calibers. Using modern metallurgical techniques, the revolver is capable of withstanding higher than black powder pressures. Perhaps a firm such as Ruger or one of the better Italian repro companies could consider such a project. They would have at least one customer!!

T0


Hein
Starting Member



Germany
6 Posts
Posted - 01/17/2004 : 1:31:42 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello TO,
thank you for your response.


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Hein


gunnersugden
Gunboards Member



16 Posts
Posted - 02/04/2004 : 6:43:21 PM
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Just for info. Lee have said that they can make the Factory crimp die for the french, so I've sent them a sample, and will post results.


Fritz K
Gunboards Member



USA
13 Posts
Posted - 09/04/2004 : 10:20:26 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello the fire!
I've learned alot reading your posts about the M1873 Chamelot-Delvigne revolver...I've wanted one ever since "The Mummy" came out. I've finally found one, and was able to decipher the markings based on your posts. Her serial number is G 1182. She's marked with a "J" so I assume her steel is from Jeumont. The date stamp is S 1876. She's all matching, and in great shape. From what I've been told, she's a bring back from WWII. Only thing is...she's blued! I've seen some blued guns on this site. Were they arsenal rebuilds, or did someone just take the time to do it? It's a nice job, akin to the old Colt blue jobs. Sorry to ramble, but I'm excited abouot this one!!!

How hard is it to reload for this weapon? I've seen someone say they used shortened .44-40 cartridges. I don't have a lathe...what's the best way to go about it? Can I use smokeless? If not, how many grains of FFFg goex should I use? Any help would be greatly appreaciated.

Man, I can't wait to play with this one!
R/S
Fritz



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"I'd rather be an outstanding Sergeant, than just another officer."


Flint
Gunboards Member



35 Posts
Posted - 09/05/2004 : 3:35:17 PM
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I have a revolver that looks just like the photo's with a few differences. It is blued and on the left side of the frame, under the barrel and ahead of the cylinder is an L shaped lever. When rotated down, it it releases the left side of the frame to pivot out and back on a bolt thru the grip and reveal the intrnal parts.
The only markings are (1) on the cylinder is a small star over a D, which from my references is a Belgian proof mark, and (2) on the barrel, written in script are the words Acier Fondue.
The person I bought the gun from said it was a Delvine Chamlot. What does Acier Fondue mean?


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Edited by - Flint on 09/05/2004 3:36:40 PM


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/05/2004 : 6:28:01 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Flint,

What you have is a copy of Chamelot Delvigne made in Belgium for the civilian market, it explains why it is blued while the military finish was "in the white".

Acier fondu means cast steel, a cheaper fabrication than the forging job done by Manufacture de St Etienne.

kelt


Ben Gunn
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



1427 Posts
Posted - 09/06/2004 : 05:32:42 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Don't know a thing about acier fondu but cast steel is a steel making process while forging is a steel shaping process. In the 19th century, cast steel was forged into bars, rods and billets. It still works that way except in the 19th century steel was produced in lots while now it is a continuous process.

I have seen several blued M73s. Usually they had fluted cylinders while the un blued ones did not have fluted cylinders.

I do know a little about cheap verses quality firearms. The wood to metal fit on this pistol is excellent and the cylinder lockup is as good as that of the several S&W and Webley revolvers I own. All internal parts have the tool marks polished out and the grips are finely checkered and appear to be ebony. In short, it's not a cheaply made gun.

Externally, mine very closely resembles your photos except mine has a fluted cylinder. The internal parts are very different, two pivot pins instead of three and one less moving part, not including springs. Bore dia. is .454 in. and .44-40 cases can't be used as brass because the rims are two thick but .45 colt would work. I found one more mark on it: a G in a circle, which isn't listed in my gunmarks reference.

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Edited by - Ben Gunn on 09/06/2004 06:09:29 AM


Fritz K
Gunboards Member



USA
13 Posts
Posted - 09/06/2004 : 10:33:31 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How difficult is it to find parts for these guns? I've looked al "Le Hussard's" web page. What is/is not available? If you can't find parts, can they be machined? Are schematics available?
Fritz

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"I'd rather be an outstanding Sergeant, than just another officer."


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/06/2004 : 11:29:38 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ben Gunn,

The Army or Navy issue revolver Model 73 has a plain cylinder and is "in the white.

The Officer model 74 has a lighter frame, fluted cylinder and is blued.

Here is a picture showing from top to bottom a model 73 Marine, a Model 74 and a Model 73 Army.
Download Attachment:
69.1 KB




Fritz K

Very little parts are available in France for the revolver 73 and 74.

The construction process was such in the 1880 that parts were not interchangeable, this is why every single part of each revolver has at least the last two digits of the serial number stamped for easy recognition.

The duplicate a missing component, one has to allow extra material for fine adjustment, parts from one gun may not work at all in another one or may require extensive touch up.

kelt

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Edited by - kelt on 09/06/2004 12:24:06 PM


Ben Gunn
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



1427 Posts
Posted - 09/06/2004 : 5:17:22 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


OK Kelt, you have motivated me to get out my antique Cannon AE1 SLR and take some photos. I think I can get the photos back and scanned in by tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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You know something is happening but you don't know what it is...


Fritz K
Gunboards Member



USA
13 Posts
Posted - 09/06/2004 : 8:29:34 PM
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I've found another, but it's missing the ejector rod, and the knurled screw just below the cylinder pin. I'd like to restore it, but I don't know if I can find the parts. A gunsmith could make them, but it'd be expensive.
R/S
Fritz

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"I'd rather be an outstanding Sergeant, than just another officer."


Fritz K
Gunboards Member



USA
13 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2004 : 08:09:26 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kelt,
What's the difference betweeen the Army and the Marine model? They look identical. As a Marine, I'm interested.
R/S
Fritz

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I'd rather be an outstanding Sergeant, than just another officer."


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2004 : 2:09:47 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fritz K, greetings to a Marine brother.

The "Marine" or Navy model has the cylinder machined for its specific ammunition in use in its revolver Lefaucheux model 1870.

The Navy ammunition,same caliber 11mm, had twice the power of the Army load!

The Army ammo could be loaded in both models, not the Navy ammo.

About 330.000 revolvers of the Army model were made, for only 13.000 of the Marine model.

The 73 Marine revolvers were used mostly by the Infanterie de Marine during the various colonial wars, and few have survived.

Here is a picture of both models showing their specific marking on the top of the barrel.


Download Attachment:
35.12 KB

kelt



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edited by - kelt on 09/08/2004 4:44:15 PM


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2004 : 2:19:11 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What Ben and Flint have, both sound like commercial variants of the Chamelot-Delvigne, and being made in Belgium doesn't necessarily make them copies. Chamelot was Belgian (a gunsmith, whereas Delvigne was an ex-officer and inventor), and it was quite common for French designers to enter arrangements with Belgian manufacturers.

The 74 has a narrower frame and internal parts than the 73, and there is an almost undetectable difference in barrel length. "Marine" is just the French word for navy, so this version is simply the naval version. They had Infanterie de Marine, more or less the equivalent of marines, who would certainly have carried it, although I don't believe it replaced the 1870 Lefaucheux centrefire quite as quickly as the army 1873 replaced the percussion single-shots which were the only previous issue. The only differences between army and navy 1873 or 1874 revolvers were the chambering, and the shape of the cartridge rim recess in the rear of the cylinder. The navy continued to use the longer cartridge inherited from the 1870 Lefaucheux, though I believe they changed to the same chambering as the army when cartridge stocks ran out. I don't know if that M on top of the barrel disappeared then.

The military Chamelot-Delvigne has the cylinder-rotating hand and a double-action hammer-lifter pivoted on the same axis on the trigger. Between them is a single spring, which thus better protected than in most revolvers of the period, in which the hand spring scraped up and down against the rear of the hand channel in the frame. It was criticised for not having a rebounding hammer, which wasn't simply a matter of safety, but could result in jamming if the firing-pin got too deeply embedded in the rather soft primers of the period. It had a simple leaf-spring.

Other people devised rebounding hammers by means of a V-spring. At first (e.g. the Webley-Kaufman), most used a complex lower limb which bore on the bottom of the hammer. But this was soon replaced by the lever or spring auxiliary which could be made to fulfil the function of trigger and hand springs as well. You can see this on the majority of twentieth-century Webleys and Colts.

The trouble is, when this is used, it is difficult to pivot the double-action lifter in the trigger as well. So it was replaced by the familiar spring-loaded pawl on the breast of the hammer, which is almost universal practice nowadays. (This actually originated with the cap and ball Dean and Harding.) In the process, too, single-action changed from a little auxiliary sear at the rear of the trigger-guard, to intersection between the trigger and hammer, making a three-pin instead of two-pin action.

In front of me as I write, I have Henri Vuillemin's "Les Revolvers Militaires Francaises", in which there is a picture of a commercial Chamelot-Delvigne, made in Belgium, with the "new" lock design. Both this and another commercial Chamelot and Delvigne, which has their own lock design, have a lever to unlatch the sideplate, thus avoiding the way the military 73 and 74 fudge the "no-tools" specification, by having a screwdriver on the end of the axis pin, and thus requiring no EXTRA tools. Their levers are at the rear of the sideplate, and could only be considered L-shaped if you count the pin through the frame as being one limb of the L. But in the Belgian firearms industry, where much of the work was done by subcontractors and outworkers, modifications which didn't alter the basic forging were pretty commonplace, and they could easily have done some the other way.

I have heard of no 73 or 74 revolvers being blued in the French military service, but that doesn't mean it never happened, particularly as they were much used in 1914-18, under conditions which would have made it desirable. Some were passed on to police or gendarmerie, and might have been blued then. But I'm pretty sure it most often happened in civilian ownership in the US. Revolvers made in France or Belgium for civilian sale were usually blued, and these were originally of the 73 pattern, but largely replaced by the 74 when it was introduced.

Cast steel, which translates as acier fondu, is indeed just a type of steel, which would be forged or milled in the usual way by the gunmaker. I don't believe it was actually melted to a liquid, but just softened enough for seams and inclusions to be removed.The next stage was Mr. Whitworth's fluid pressed steel (which by the 70s this could have been), in which great pressure was applied by hydraulics to the heat-softened ingot.

I don't think the situation on parts interchangeability is quite as bad as Kelt suggests, except for such delicate parts as the hand, which would almost certainly be made oversize, and finished to length for a particular revolver. (I made a hand for my Dutch 1873, a beautifully made revolver which isn't nearly as modern as the Chamelot-Delvigne), and it is a finicky job, but feels great when you stop.) Round pins, for example, would be easier to make to standard diameter than not. The axis pin is 7mm. diameter, and I have a piece of silver steel rod of that diameter waiting for a silver soldered and filed top, for one of my 73s. I'm pretty sure you could do the same for the ejector rod. I don't know what the knurled screw would be, as the military 73 doesn't have any. But the first thing would be to get a few metric screws, and find out if it has a modern thread, in which case you could make one with threading dies from someone like www.mcmaster.com .

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 09/08/2004 2:22:31 PM


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2004 : 4:35:53 PM
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John,

Acier fondu marked on the frame of a revolver means that it was made out of a cast, molded and not forged, and usually is of a lesser quality (more brittle).

The various French authors who wrote on the Revolver model 73 are describing the cylinder of the Marine model as having a single recess for the six case rim, like on the Lefaucheux model 70 or the Officer model 74, I own a 73 Marine whose cylinder is machined with individual recess like the Army type but chambered for the Marine load!

The year of built is 1884, its serial number #110xx tally with the list of fabrication for that year, it does not bear any repair stamp, the cylinder is numbered/proof marked and has a M marked on the front.

The chambers are bored for the Navy ammo,the six recess are deeper than on the Army model, and the 44/40 shortened cases I use in it do not need to have the rim thickness reduced like on the Army model.

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kelt


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Edited by - kelt on 09/08/2004 4:39:07 PM


Fritz K
Gunboards Member



USA
13 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2004 : 5:20:20 PM
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Dear Kelt and John,
All I can say is, "wow." You obviously know alot about these guns. I just spent the better part of the afternoon casting 405gr. flat points for my Trapdoor (1879 variant rifle). I was wondering what the best choice of molds would be for the Chamelot-Delvigne? Would I be better off trying to buy something pre-made, or using someone else's cast bullets?

John,
I found a second revolver on Guns America. He wants $295 for it. The exterior is a little rough, but I'd polish it and blue it to match my other one. This pistol is missing the ejector arm. In the front of the frame, below the cylinder pin is a radiused cut. It is filled on the left side of the frame with a matching machined part. The right side of this piece has a screw head. I'm sorry if I'm describing it incorrectly, but this is the other missing part. Since you are the experts, is it worth what he's asking? Can I obtain the parts I'm looking for? Thanks!
R/S
Fritz

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"I'd rather be an outstanding Sergeant, than just another officer."


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2004 : 5:34:42 PM
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That is undoubtedly true of cast iron, and the French, of course, have a tendency to use "fer", meaning iron, for objects which are actually steel, even to the blade in d'Artagnan's hand. I don't think a revolver frame could safely be made of cast iron, though I don't doubt people have tried. Some of the Belgian firearms marked "Acier fondu" are of good quality.

Here is "Bosworth on the Rifle", a particularly metallurgically-oriented little book of 1846, on cast steel:

"Cast-steel is a compound of iron with carbon. Of all known materials, cast-steel is, perhaps, everything considered, the most appropriate for the construction of rifle-guns. A bar of the best cast-steel will support more weight, without breaking, than any other known substance."

Mind you, he slips in a few doubts about cast steel as it was then found. He says that about forty years before, when made by hammering, it was excellent, but cheaper rolling processes had ruined its quality, so that not one good bar, except by accident, had been made in the United States in the last ten years. As England lacks the magnetic ores from which alone it could be made, they were dependent on Swedish ores. But they had performed the remarkable feat of making twenty-five thousand tons of cast steel a year from two thousand tons of ore.

And here is the Encyclopaedia Britannica article on its inventor:

Huntsman, Benjamin
b. 1704, Lincolnshire, Eng.
d. 1776, Attercliffe, Yorkshire
English inventor of crucible, or cast, steel, which was more uniform in composition and more free from impurities than any steel previously produced. His method was the most significant development in steel production up to that time.

A clockmaker and instrument maker in Doncaster, Yorkshire, Huntsman opened (c. 1740) a plant in Sheffield, where he produced steel for clock and watch springs. Considering his steel too hard, Sheffield cutlers would not use it until they discovered that continental European cutlery made from Huntsman's steel was superior to their products. While Huntsman maintained extreme secrecy at his foundry, he did not patent his process, and it was later copied by others.


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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 09/08/2004 6:02:58 PM


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2004 : 5:59:26 PM
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I've just looked up that auction, and you just might find your post deleted, as there's a rule against mentioning auctions. i don't altogether agree with this, as you're transparently not trying to promote the thing, but it's a hard line to draw.

There is just a chance that you might get the parts from this source in France. I don't know if they speak English:

Comptoir Français de l'Arquebuserie
Monsieur BARRELLIER Alain
98 Avenue Pasteur
93260 LES LILAS
Tél: 0143637317 - 0608248254
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/cfa.barrellier
[email protected]

I enquired about a part once, and they had it, but it was expensive, and I don't know if they were spares from stock, or removed from a revolver and therefore with the wrong number on. You could make these parts, with a lot of cutting and filing, but is it worth it? I have done jobs I eventually I wished I hadn't, but never for a revolver I already had one of.

With a bit of looking and waiting on auction sites, I think you would eventually find a complete revolver for around that price, and perhaps one with a better finish. This one looks like it has some pitting, and while I can't see any where its removal would erase some markings, are you sure he has photographed the worst?

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed


ralph h
Gunboards Super Premium Member



USA
327 Posts
Posted - 09/08/2004 : 7:50:42 PM
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Greetings, John and Kelt,

Excellent, informative posts, as usual.

I have a question for Kelt. What camera are you using for the photos shown in your last few posts? The focus and definition are some of the finest I have ever seen. Been looking for one to replace my Sony. I never have been satisfied with the quality of photos it takes.



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Regards, Ralph.
Boy, I love these old guns.....


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 07:14:39 AM
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Ralph,

I used for a long time a Sony camcorder with a still shot function, but quality was poor for closeup shots.
Since last year, I am using a Nikon Coolpix 5400.

If you choose any brand of digital camera with a 5.000.000 pixel capacity you will have a good tool.

kelt



John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 08:50:31 AM
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Here is the Vuillemin photo of the late two-pin Chamelot-Delvigne. Below is a drawing from Zhuk's "Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Handguns" (which is by far the best book for identification purposes, and much better drawn than my reduced scan makes it look.) This is a revolver which appears several times, described as being made in France by Manufrance, and in Belgium by unknown makers. I suspect that the Franco-Belgian relationship was often a bit like Lacoste T-shirts, with the foreign production contractor, at contract's end, deciding to carry on for himself, and try to collect a bit more of the retail price that he had seen premises and reputation bringing.


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This revolver does indeed have an L-shaped lever. In this example it may not have released the sideplate, which is on the right, but only the axis pin. It could be made to, however.

For firearms photography purposes, digital cameras are now pretty much alike. A lot depends on what you want to use it for. To sen dpictures by E-mail, or post them here, you'd have to size them down until not very different from my 1998 186 kilopixel camera. Four or five megapixels is fine for nearly all other purposes, and you only need more for rather high quality publication. More important, perhaps, is to check out its macro capacity, the quality of the viewing screen, and whether you can switch the autofocus to zero in on a point of your choosing.







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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 09/09/2004 08:57:04 AM


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 12:11:02 PM
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John,

The revolver shown on your sketch is a look alike of the Maqaire revolver (1887), a two pin system with a left side plate hinged at the back and locked by a front lever, production was carried out both at Manufrance and Liege (Fagnus).

kelt


Ben Gunn
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



1427 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 1:43:08 PM
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Here are photos of what I have. I don't have a digital camera and I couldn't find my polarizing filter so they didn't come out as well as they should. The gun is in better condition than the photo indicates. First photo is with the sideplate open.

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Left side.

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Rightside
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Bystander with nothing better to do.


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You know something is happening but you don't know what it is...

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Edited by - Ben Gunn on 09/09/2004 1:53:41 PM


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 1:47:59 PM
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Ben Gunn

Looks like it is a Maquaire revolver in 11mm caliber, three type of chambering can be found :
11mm French Army.
11mm French Navy.
455 british.


kelt

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Edited by - kelt on 09/09/2004 1:50:51 PM


Ben Gunn
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



1427 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 2:01:22 PM
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Caliber isn't marked Kelt, but the case rim of a cut down .44-40 case is too thick. A .45 Colt case is about the right thickness. There is no distinct shoulder in the chambers but it looks like it is chambered for a round a little longer than .455.
BG

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You know something is happening but you don't know what it is...


vonmazur
Moderator



USA
1762 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 2:05:16 PM
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Gentlemen: All of the Mle 74's I have seen were either temper blued, or rust blued....All of the 73's I have ever seen were bare metal, about 400 grit......

Dale in Ala

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"If those little sweethearts won't face German bullets,then they'll face French ones!"
General Mireau in Stanley Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" 1955


Ben Gunn
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



1427 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 2:25:38 PM
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Here is a top view.

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72.02 KB

And since I have the attention of people who know a lot more than I do about these, does anyone recognize this one. It's a .45 cal. The only markings are the no. 7 stamped on the cylinder between chambers and the letters Mod.83 on the frame ahead of the cylinder and just below that, the letters: A.K.

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You know something is happening but you don't know what it is...


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 2:44:20 PM
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Ben Gunn,

here is a link to a site depicting a twin of yours, the Maquaire :
http://www.littlegun.be/arme belge/artisans identifies d f/a fagnus fr.htm

As for the other one, it has the same side lever as the 11mm Reich revolver but a more modern handle...


kelt


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 2:52:46 PM
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And Flint's may be still more like the Maquaire, which I have just looked up in Vuillemin. It does indeed have not only that lever doing what I guessed, but Flint's hinge. Because this is a little more sophisticated, and because Delvigne died in the 1870s, I would guess that the civilian Chamelot-Delvigne I illustrated may predate it. Vuillemin says the Macquaire was adopted by Denmark as their M80, but was condemned in 1887 by the French government's Commission for what, to me, seem some rather fanciful inferiorities to the 1873. It probably just wasn't the time for another individually ejecting revolver.

You prompted me to search in another book, Bastié and Casanova's "Le 1873", and I found something I'm grateful to be pointed in the direction of. They illustrate a Spirlet revolver which, unlike any other I know of, very closely resembles the one I'm restoring, and illustrated in the thread "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair". I think it has the post-1877 mark of the same Belgian proof controller, L with a star, and is certainly marked "Acier Fondu", like Ralph_h's round-butt Spirlet. A three-digit number, 45?, might be for the .450 cartridge or a serial, and it's plausible for it to be in the same series as my 734. We'll never know all the reasons to be casual with stamps, which were expensive items in a cost-cutting industry. The revolver was in the Tower of London collection, and is preumably in the Royal Armouries museum at Leeds now.

I know of one other Fagnus which is of interest to me. In Taylerson's "The Revolver 1865-1888" there is a photograph of a pinfire revolver marked "A. Fagnus breveté. It looks quite a good one, being solid-frame with the cylinder attached on a chain, so that it can be removed, and the cases pushed out with a right-angled projection from the axis pin. It is rather large, being a 7-shot 12mm. The remarkable thing is that it is marked as being retailed by Charles Kerr the gun dealer and ironmonger in my home town in SW Scotland, population around 9,000. The local newspaper files mention his giving up the business somewhere around 1862, but there are still plenty of Kerrs around.

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 09/09/2004 3:51:18 PM


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 3:30:59 PM
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John,

The Maquaire design came out in 86/87, at the time French arsenals had started working already on a small caliber revolver as a replacement to the 73/74 that would evolve as the model 1892, Maquaire was too late for military contract but I believe that it did well on the civilian market.

kelt


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 3:45:57 PM
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With European revolvers, other than the most official military isue, you most often don't so much recognise them, as notice a family resemblance. Ben's second revolver is fairly typical of those usually made on their own account by the contractors for the German Reichsrevolver, such as Haenel. Besides the Erfurt arsenal, I only know of Mauser, Dreyse, Schilling and Haenel, however - nobody beginning with a K.

Improvements were needed (and I will never understand why Reichsrevolvers sell for more than the very superior French ones), most notably the provision of an ejection rod. Those of large size most often, I think, mounted this in the Nagant-style collar, rotating around the barrel, and I believe Ralph_h knows a lot more than I do about these. Some very basic private-purchase adaptations of the 1883 Reichsrevolver used the frame-pivoted ejector housing, however, and it was by far the most common on smaller-calibre pocket versions, still with the safety, which were known as German police reovolvers, Polizeirevolver or Kobold, which means goblin. They usually had a frame extending over the top of the grip, which was secured by a downward-pointing screw.

As an afterthought on photography, Kelts pictures work out at under one megapixel by my calculations. Would any of us be here if we were the type to say "What sort of lighting?" instead of "What sort of camera?" But light and angle are what make a good picture. You can do wonders with a piece of gauze or screen wire to soften sunlight, or a reflector of crumpled kitchen foil to get some light into the shadows. Flash is for when you can't get out of it.

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 09/09/2004 3:53:59 PM


Ben Gunn
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



1427 Posts
Posted - 09/09/2004 : 10:41:19 PM
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John, thanks for turning me on to Zhuk's book, I just ordered a copy from Amazon.
The second revolver does have an ejection rod. It is inside the cylinder pin, it comes out by pulling the button under the barrel and the mechanism under the barrel pivots to the right and lines up with a chamber. In addition, altho not apparent from the photo, the barrel is actually teardrop shaped with the point at the top of the barrel so as to form a rib. The side lever is a safety.

Kelt, did I understand your post correctly? Ie. that the French Army and Navy each had it's separate type of cartridge. What is the difference between the two?

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You know something is happening but you don't know what it is...

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Edited by - Ben Gunn on 09/09/2004 10:43:56 PM


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/10/2004 : 01:49:22 AM
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Yes, that is exactly what I meant by the frame-pivoted ejector, which I recognised from your picture, and the safety is copied directly from the Reichsrevolver. This was designed by a committee, and a better solution is the modern one of a rebounding and blocked hammer, which can be kept in the down position with no safety or half-cock at all. Like extractors and a reliable double-action (which the Reichsrevolver didn't have for the original non-commissioned model), it was available at the time. Perhaps the members of the commission got in each other's way.

The pear-shaped barrel had already been used on the Royal Irish Constabulary and pocket Webleys, so although it has no particular practical value, the assumption was that a policeman needs a pear-shaped barrel. That is the way fashion went in revolver design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Giant thread: Old French Revolvers Pt. 4

kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/10/2004 : 08:07:45 AM
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Ben gunn,

The French Navy adopted its first revolver in 1858, after three years of testing various design, the Lefaucheux model 1858 was an open frame six shooter single action and used a pin fire cartridge of 10,7mm.

In 1870 a double action revolver also by Lefaucheux of closed frame design with a new centre fire cartridge of 11mm, was adopted.

The old 1858 single action pin fire revolvers were transformed to double action and centre fire for the new 1870 cartridge.

The Army was testing various design in 1870 when the war broke.

The original cartridge designed by the Army "experts" for the Army 73 revolver was almost identical in size to the Navy load but had a very low speed of 130M/s against 215M/s and the third of its energy!

kelt


Ben Gunn
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



1427 Posts
Posted - 09/10/2004 : 4:10:39 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by John Wallace

Yes, that is exactly what I meant by the frame-pivoted ejector, which I recognised from your picture, and the safety is copied directly from the Reichsrevolver. This was designed by a committee, and a better solution is the modern one of a rebounding and blocked hammer, which can be kept in the down position with no safety or half-cock at all. Like extractors and a reliable double-action (which the Reichsrevolver didn't have for the original non-commissioned model), it was available at the time. Perhaps the members of the commission got in each other's way.

The pear-shaped barrel had already been used on the Royal Irish Constabulary and pocket Webleys, so although it has no particular practical value, the assumption was that a policeman needs a pear-shaped barrel. That is the way fashion went in revolver design.

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Your mention of rebound hammer reminded me: both of these guns have it.

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You know something is happening but you don't know what it is...


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/15/2004 : 05:07:51 AM
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I seem to be acquiring something else which is a bit less modern than the 1873 - a Lefaucheux revolver in pinfire, open-frame style, but centrefire, from an auction in Australia. To some extent you take a chance on all such purchases, but it looks like a good one, and I am hopeful that it is French-made and actually a Lefaucheux Lefaucheux. The site is worth a look:

http://www.antiquearmsauctions.com.au

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed


ralph h
Gunboards Super Premium Member



USA
327 Posts
Posted - 09/15/2004 : 12:09:37 PM
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Greetings, John,
Is it catalog # 597? I will check my Lefaucheux reference after work, and let you know if it is in fact a Lefaucheux.

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Regards, Ralph.
Boy, I love these old guns.....


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/16/2004 : 05:30:52 AM
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That is the one. I'd be interested to receive that information, although I think the balance of probability is that it is anonymous and Belgian. I know Geoffrey Boothroyd (whose book "The Handgun" is another one well worth having, and he thinks Lefaucheux's Paris premises couldn't have made all the revolvers that he sold.

The Lefaucheux wasn't as weak as it looks, for the front of the frame screws onto the axis pin. (Both pinfire and centrefire Belgian Lefaucheux-type revolvers, all in small sizes and possibly old stock), were catalogued at very low prices until the first World War. These were probably weak, all right, but due to their uniformly poor quality.) So far as I can tell, all Lefaucheux revolvers seriously aimed at French military contracts had the frame joint at its lower rear end. But the 1862 civilian pinfire was jointed at the front end. I think this is the better way of doing it, for a screw draws it up tight there, and I think the 1858 was secured purely by the trigger-guard.


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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 09/16/2004 06:09:37 AM


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 09/16/2004 : 06:00:30 AM
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John, Ralph,

Few Lefaucheux model 1858 (pin fire) Navy Revolver are still around.

The barrel/frame is secured both by the thread of the cylinder pin, and the bottom screw to the trigger guard.

The model 1858 T (center fire-transformed double action) had the liaison barrel/ frame to the trigger guard reinforced, and still the cylinder pin threaded into the barrel/frame.

The Lefaucheux model 1868 tested by the French army has a closed frame and the cylinder pin is threaded into the back of the frame.

here is a link to a nice picture of the Mle 68
http://www.academie-des-armes-anciennes.com/mag13.html


kelt

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Edited by - kelt on 09/16/2004 09:44:41 AM


Fritz K
Gunboards Member



USA
13 Posts
Posted - 09/19/2004 : 11:48:11 PM
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Gents, I need your help!!!
I had a pard cut me down a .44-40 case, and it fit fine. But whne I tried to cycle the cylinder around, it jammed! How do I remove the cylinder? Can you talk me thru dissassembly?
R/S
Fritz

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"I'd rather be an outstanding Sergeant, than just another officer."


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/20/2004 : 02:41:50 AM
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I don't know for sure if you are talking about an 1873 revolver, but if you are, the chances are that it is quite a simple matter. The rim thickness is probably causing the cylinder to bind, but if you haven't tried to force it round in some original way, it can't be very tightly jammed by the action of trigger or hammer.

Take off the sideplate, and remove the hammer, trigger and hand, which might either impede removal of the cylinder, or get damaged when force is applied. With luck the cylinder may then be free enough to be rotated anticlockwise (as seen from the rear) by hand, until the case is in front of the loading gate, and can be ejected in the normal way, with the ejecting rod. You should avoid trying to force the cylinder clockwise, which may worsen a rim-thickness jam. The ejector rod will stand a reasonable amount of tapping with something. If the case is stuck in the chamber, this is still the best position for that chamber to be in, for what follows.

The next stage is to swing the ejecting-rod clear of the axis pin, depress the axis pin retaining stud which goes transversely through the frame under the pin, and pull out the axis pin. Then you have to make sure the ejector rod can't foul the cylinder. If you can't get at the little screw in its rear extremity, you can pull it forward, and tape it to the barrel. Check that the loading gate is in the open position. Then you tap the cylinder out with a piece of wood or brass.

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 09/26/2004 05:53:39 AM


Fritz K
Gunboards Member



USA
13 Posts
Posted - 09/20/2004 : 9:33:25 PM
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Thanks John! Once I realized the cylinder pin released like the 1873 Colt SAA, I was alright. I got it apart, and cleaned out all the cosmoline in the process. Thanks again for the advice!
R/S
Fritz
P.S. I was talking about the Mdle 1873. FHK

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"I'd rather be an outstanding Sergeant, than just another officer."


Francis
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2474 Posts
Posted - 09/23/2004 : 1:22:15 PM
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I knew O'Connel had French revolvers but I never had any idea to what type! Thanks. Very cool.

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http://www.gutterfighting.org
Indiana's state motto should be:
Indiana! Where alcohol is a class III weapon!

Booz enforcement laws are a higher priority than Al Qaeda!


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 09/23/2004 : 5:41:23 PM
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The Chamelot-Delvigne action is alive and well, and living in America! Well, nearly.



Download Attachment:
239.4 KB

This is a section of the Iver Johnson revolver, showing how the double-action hammer lifter (shown in solid black) has been prolonged to form the "hammer the hammer" safety transfer bar which they introduced in 1892. There are one or two other minor modifications. A separate firing-pin has been used, and the single-action sear no longer being required for half-cock purposes, it has become possible to make it act on the front rather than the rear of the hammer. Wisely, a wire spring has been introduced, although it must have reduced the amount of bearing surface of the lifter and hand on their pin. This reminds us that the Chamelot-Delvigne dates from the days when you couldn't just walk into a shop and choose your gauge of music wire.

These things apart, it quite simply is the Chamelot-Delvigne revolver lock, on the American market until, I think, the 1970s. It reminds us just how good the Iver Johnson and H&R revolvers were. I repeat, this isn't bad for the work of a man who was born in 1798.

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 09/23/2004 5:44:01 PM


Francis
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2474 Posts
Posted - 09/23/2004 : 7:55:32 PM
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Its a really cool design!

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http://www.gutterfighting.org
Indiana's state motto should be:
Indiana! Where alcohol is a class III weapon!

Booz enforcement laws are a higher priority than Al Qaeda!


terryinvictoria
Gunboards Member



39 Posts
Posted - 10/20/2004 : 1:43:13 PM
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Good day, I have an 1873 Army revolver however it is a bit of a mystery to me so I thought I would ask here.

It is a 1873 Army revolver in white, the chambers fit a .455 Webley cartridge perfectly and these have been fired by the previous owner without any problems.

The bore is .452 the cylinder cutouts for the rim are joined --thats to say that the counterbored holes for the rim depth --are joined I believe this would be the Navy cylinder type of rim /chamber?

The cylinder has the --letter- that the navy cylinders had stamped on the front of them.
I have received a reply from the Birmingham proof house on the proofed pressures for the Webley Mk2 ammunition and the Webley revolvers.

They responded with the following information;---
Original Message -----

From: "Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House" <[email protected]>
To: <terryinvictoria
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 3:04 AM
Subject: Re: Web Site Feedback

Dear Sir,
When proved the .455" Revolver the service load ( using the mark II
cartridge) was 4.35 tons per square inch and it was proved with a
pressure of 5.06 tons per sqaure inch measured at 1/4" from the breech face.
The bullet weight being 265 grains. We have no load for the 11mm French Service Revolver .

Yours faithfully,
C.W. Harding
Birmingham proof house.

So is this MkII Webley .455 cartridge safe in the 1873 revolver?
The pressures at 4.35 and proofed at 5.06 tons pressure seem within the 11mm French revolver tolerances you guys have posted here.

I look forward to opinions.
Regards
Terry



terryinvictoria
Gunboards Member



39 Posts
Posted - 10/20/2004 : 1:47:38 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good day, I have an 1873 Army revolver however it is a bit of a mystery to me so I thought I would ask here.

It is a 1873 Army revolver in white, the chambers fit a .455 Webley cartridge perfectly and these have been fired by the previous owner without any problems.

The bore is .452 the cylinder cutouts for the rim are joined --thats to say that the counterbored holes for the rim depth --are joined I believe this would be the Navy cylinder type of rim /chamber?

The cylinder has the --letter- that the navy cylinders had stamped on the front of them.
I have received a reply from the Birmingham proof house on the proofed pressures for the Webley Mk2 ammunition and the Webley revolvers.

They responded with the following information;---
Original Message -----

From: "Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House" <[email protected]>
To: <terryinvictoria
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 3:04 AM
Subject: Re: Web Site Feedback

Dear Sir,
When proved the .455" Revolver the service load ( using the mark II
cartridge) was 4.35 tons per square inch and it was proved with a
pressure of 5.06 tons per sqaure inch measured at 1/4" from the breech face.
The bullet weight being 265 grains. We have no load for the 11mm French Service Revolver .

Yours faithfully,
C.W. Harding
Birmingham proof house.

So is this MkII Webley .455 cartridge safe in the 1873 revolver?
The pressures at 4.35 and proofed at 5.06 tons pressure seem within the 11mm French revolver tolerances you guys have posted here.

I look forward to opinions.
Regards
Terry



sangle
Gunboards Premium Member



USA
108 Posts
Posted - 10/20/2004 : 10:52:23 PM
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Originally posted by cameleon

The second is that of the principal controllers (see table), but another assumption is advanced: it would be absolutely necessary this second initial is that of the supplier of steel.
J =Steel-works of Jeumont
T = Steel-works of Thionville
C = Steel-works of Creusot
P = Steel-works of Pompey
F = Steel-works of Faulquemont

cameleon,
A question on the steel suppliers listed above: Three of the works listed were in Lorraine: Thionville, Pompey and Faulquemont. Only Pompey would have been on French side of the new border after the Treaty of Frankfurt. So, how much steel was provided from T and F after the war or was it only steel already on hand before the war? I read once that it took the French five years to learn how to get the impurities out of the iron sources in the Nancy area after the loss of the main iron mines in occupied Lorraine. That would imply that Pompey was not contributing steel until around 1876. Just curious.
Sangle



John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 10/21/2004 : 01:25:18 AM
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That is very significant information from Sangle. I tend to go for the theory that those marks were personal ones, rather than for the steel Below (I hope) is my own table of some known examples, which I've already posted on Page 1 of this thread, but it doesn't now appear to open for me. C, P and F don't appear at all, while we have an M and B. Kelt has confirmed that the cylinder is made of different and considerably stronger steel from the barrel, and in those days they were probably the parts where strength was most and least necessary, respectively. So why not put steel source marks on the cylinder, or on foreign contract revolvers? They seem to coincide with French government acceptance as usable revolvers - i.e. being absent on the instructional Série X prefix, made from rejected parts, but present on Minister's Prizerevolvers witha long 6mm. barrel.

On the other hand, it is possible that by late 1873 manufacture, the French were buying steel from German-controlled Lorraine. In 1914 they were embarrassed to find that some of the chemicals needed for munitions manufacture came almost entirely from Germany. They might also have been importing British silver steel for the cylinders, as Col. Colt did,enabling him to adopt the stepped-down cylinder of the early 1860s. (I wish he hadn't, for .38 rimfire conversion has left the rear cylinder of my Pocket Navy paper-thin, and only reliable revolvers are interesting.)

I think Terry's revolver must have been rechambered for the .455 Webley, or perhaps an excessively long chamber for the .450 revolver, both of which would have been fairly logical conversions outside France. I think the use of factory .455 rounds would be safe. Kelt says excessive pressure is likely to crack the 1873 topstrap before anything else, and gives us a very convincing set of calculations to support the idea that mild .45ACP loads,at about 800 bar, should be usable with a reasonable safety margin. As one bar, or atmospheric pressure, is about 14.7 p.s.i., this would correspond to about 5 tons.

As a generality, it is unwise to translate early British pressure figures into anyone else's, as they were often measured by the thrust of an oiled case on the breech face. This is actually a pretty good system for rifles, in which thrust on the breech-face is usually the main source of weakness, and it is affected by adhesion of the case in the chamber. But a quarter-inch from the breech-face suggests a conventional measurement.

Charges and bullet weights aren't the whole story. Kelt suggested that as the rifling is very deep in the 1873, military jacketed bullets would make ordinary .45 ACP hardball particularly likely to impose an undesirable increase in pressure. I think it would be important to use soft lead bullets, but if you do, the swaging down in the chamber throat, which isn't the weak part of this revolver, doesn't stress the topstrap and is unlikely to be harmful. I've measured well-made and accurate Webleys with a throat diameter of about .448in.

If the throats have been opened up to much over the groove diameter of .452in., however, I would be more cautious, and load the cartridge down slightly. Swaging down the bullet on contact with the lands is another thing altogether.

Download Attachment:
33.81 KB

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed

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Edited by - John Wallace on 10/21/2004 01:27:38 AM


terryinvictoria
Gunboards Member



39 Posts
Posted - 10/21/2004 : 09:51:57 AM
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Good day John----

To elaborate on the chamber sizing of my 1873 French revolver.
44-40 fits but is lose in the chamber.
45 colt does not slide in
.455 Webley MKII fits but is a bit loose at the front of the cartridge in the chamber.

On the web site

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/terryinvictoria/2004102195121_revolver 11mm french left side.jpg
Download Attachment:
175.3 KB

http://www.reloadbench.com/specs/fo...tion=search&sql=&name_mailing=&page=22&order=

The Webley case size is almost a dead ringer for the 11mm French cartridge both are on the reload bench . com site and the difference that I can see is the Webley is something on the order of .030 longer on the brass than the 11mm French.

So I am not sure the chambers have been modified from the Navy chamber? As it is a Navy cylinder in my revolver that I do know.
Here is a picture of my revolver.

The Webley cartridges are made by Fiocchi in Italy. They seem to measure at .448 or thereabouts and are a lead bullet with no jacket.

Regards
Terry


terryinvictoria
Gunboards Member



39 Posts
Posted - 10/21/2004 : 10:19:02 AM
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John here are the cartridge specifications for bot the 11mm french and the .455 Webley MKII.11mm French Ordnance


11mm french .455 Webley MKII


Cartridge Case type B B
Type Bullet Dia. .451 .454
Case Length .710 .770
Rim Dia. .491 .535
Neck Dia. .449 .476
Shldr. Dia.
Base Dia. .460 .476
Cart. OAL 1.180 1.230
Primer B LR/B

Yes -- now looking at these differences it is possible that the chambers have been opened up?
Still I do wonder if the chamber originally may have been big enough to take the 455 case?
Has anyone got an original cylinder for the navy here-- and have they ever tried a Webley case in the Navy chamber.

I NOTE; that the Fiocchi .455 webley MKII cartridges are not quite the measurements given above -- the sizes are smaller than the official sizes on reload bench data pages.

I do not have the cylinder or a Webley case in the house now but as an example I believe the Fiocchi case measurement was .510 compared to the reload bench figure of .534.
As well I think the base diameter on the Webley was not quite .476 so it is possible with the small size difference from the 11mm French it is possible I have original chamber sizes.

If so this is good news for many with the Navy cylinder as they now can shoot with Fiocchi ammo.

Take care
Terry in Victoria BC


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 10/21/2004 : 11:30:51 AM
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Actually I doubt whether your revolver is the navy model. The army model also had the rim rebates in the cylinder joined, and the navy version had practically no rebate at all, but just a narrow rim around the rear edge of the cylinder. Your cylinder ought to be numbered, showing whether it is original to this revolver.

I believe the Navy originally used the ordinary 1873, and only a few years later requested their own chambering, to suit the large stocks of cartridges they already held for the 1870 Lefaucheux and conversions of their earlier pinfire revolver. Perhaps finding out just how bad the new cartridge was, had something to do with this. Lefaucheux manufacture ceased in 1876, and that of the 1873M began in 1877. A circular to the ports, of September 1877, detailed the modification of the 1873 revolver, which I think included those in service. There is, therefore, a very slim possibility that pre-1877 naval revolvers might lack the M stamp, and I think it is true of late ones, after the supply of Lefaucheux cartridges ran out. They would almost certainly, though, have an anchor on the butt-cap.

These revolvers were mostly very consistently dimensioned. Both of my army 1873s, and my civilian Spirlet, have a rear chamber diameter of about .471. A .44-40 case would enter most or perhaps all of the way, and .45 Colt not at all.

If there is a noticeable step at the point where the brass ends, an army 1873 would almost certainly be a conversion. No doubt somebody with a navy revolver will contribute information shortly. About the best pistol cartridge book I know is Brandt's "Manual of Pistol and Revolver Cartridges", which lists a neck diameter of .464 to .468in. for the naval round, which is larger than the bullet. So I'm not so sure that wouldn't have had a stepped chamber. The case length would accommodate the Webley if the diameter did.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed


terryinvictoria
Gunboards Member



39 Posts
Posted - 10/21/2004 : 12:36:11 PM
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My 1873 revolver is an Army as far as I can tell.
The cylinder is serialled to the gun as is the barrel, the mfg date was 1881.

I thought the Army cylinder had each rim cutout as an individual recess compared to the Navy where the cutouts actually joined each other so there was no material on the cylinder between rims.

The cylindewr has the Navy stamp on the cylinder.
On the top of the Top strap the identifying markings are ---1873M
The serial number --H33710 this ap[pears on the frame, cylinder, and barrel-- as you can see if you click on the picture in the previous post.

Here is the right side of the revolver

Terry

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/terryinvictoria/20041021123524_revolver 11mm french right side.jpg
Download Attachment:
172.06 KB



kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 10/21/2004 : 12:40:50 PM
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Terry,

By its serial number, H33xxx, your revolver ought to be an Army model, the Navy model built to only less than 34000 had no prefix letter.

If you look at the list of revolver below, you can see that for the Army model, the letter F (F00001 to F100000) was in use from 1874 to 1876, then G from 1876 to 1879 and H from 1879 to 1882, and your H33xxx with a barrel dated 1881 is spot on.



John,

The French Navy had its own budget, and was (and still is) a totally separate entity from The Army, and its purchase of equipment was not mixed with the Army's.

As you said, Saint Etienne Arsenal started manufacturing 73s for the Army in 1874 and the construction of the M for Modified Navy model started in 1877 with its spécific cylinder.
It is only during the last year of fabrication in 1887, that Navy models were made identical to the Army specs, hence loosing its M mark on top of the barrel, and beside the year of built/serial number only the telltale anchor stamp on the buttplate can identify these last built.

Here is the list of 73/74 revolver built by Saint Etienne Arsenal.


Download Attachment:
105.62 KB


Here is a link to one of the several discussions on 73s :
http://www.gunboards.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=34420&SearchTerms=revolver,chamelot,delvigne,1873


kelt

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Edited by - kelt on 10/21/2004 12:56:45 PM


terryinvictoria
Gunboards Member



39 Posts
Posted - 10/21/2004 : 9:51:11 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for the replies.
But my cylinder is serailled to all other parts with exactly the same stamping style and type.

The cylinder has the --M10-- stamp on the front face of the cylinder and this was a sign of a navy cylinder-- was it not.
The revolver chambers the .455 Webley nicelt with the rim machining running into each others circumference, was this not a sign of the Navy cylinder as well as the M10 stamp?

Regards
Terry


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 10/22/2004 : 09:39:11 AM
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Terry,

I don't think that the M110 stamped on the cylinder front of your 73 is a Navy mark.

The standard machining on the back of the cylinders of the Navy 73 is identical to the revolver 74, all the surface is recessed leaving only a single rim on the edge of the cylinder.

For unknown reasons, some Navy revolvers like My 11045 of 1884 have the same individual recess cuts as the Army revolver, but deeper to match the thicker rim of the 1870 navy cartridge, a large M was stamped on the front of these cylinders during the machining process to identify them as chambered for the Navy ammo, (M stands for modifié not Marine).

All revolver 73 cylinders, Army and Navy have a reception mark on the front with a letter and the last two or three digits of the gun serial number.
My Army 73, H 64147, of 1882 has Q47 stamped on the cylinder front, and my Navy 73, 11045 has the M for Navy and K45 stamped on the front of the cylinder, see picture:

Download Attachment:
102.89 KB

kelt

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Edited by - kelt on 10/22/2004 10:54:29 AM


terryinvictoria
Gunboards Member



39 Posts
Posted - 10/22/2004 : 7:54:19 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks Gentlemen for all the information posted.
HEre is a picture of the rear of my 11mm french cylinder.

The recess machined overlap so that really all that is left of the rear of the cylinder is an outer rim.

The chambers measure rear .485 / front .462 / barrel entrance around .452 or so --it is hard to measure.
The revolver shoots really well.

The cylinder has M10 on the front I thought an M stamp was a sign of a NAvy cylinder?

Regards
Terry

Download Attachment:
154.98 KB


terryinvictoria
Gunboards Member



39 Posts
Posted - 10/22/2004 : 8:15:27 PM
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HEre is a pic of the stamp on the front of the cylinder that of --M10.

I do understand that the 10 is the last two digits of the serial number but I thought that the M was a navy indicator?

Regards
Terry

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/terryinvictoria/20041022201510_revolver 11mm cyl front.JPG
Download Attachment:
147.7 KB


John Wallace
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



3488 Posts
Posted - 10/23/2004 : 01:35:33 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What you have is an army cylinder, original to this revolver, and in keeping with the serial prefix which the naval 73 didn't have. That M10 mark on the cylinder doesn't mean it was naval property, but is just a letter, different from the serial prefix, which can be found on most minor parts of these revolvers. The M is probably the initial of a factory inspector.

The anomalies are twofold really. One is the chamber, which seems large in rear diameter for the naval 11mm. (a.k.a. 11.13 or 12mm.) round. Likewise, it is small in front diameter for the .455, not all of which it would admit, and a poerson would presumably chamber it to accept all available rounds. The job was probably done before the Fiocchi round, with its small neck diameter, came onto the market. The other is the M stamp on the barrel, which as K observes, didn't just mean navy property ("Marine"), but moified to the navy chambering ("Modifié"). An original 1873M wouldn't have had the H serial prefix.

I still think we have a slightly but not seriously bad rechambering here. There is a slender possibility that it was done in service for some reason - on a remote colonial posting, perhaps, where the navy didn't have enough revolvers, or the army didn't have ammunition. More likely it was done by some French private person, because supplies of the naval round, with its superior loading, were available. You might find that the M isn't in quite the usual style or alignment with the 1873 on the barrel flat. Another alternative is that somebody replaced the barrel and copied the serial number to match the revolver, not knowing that that W was a giveaway. There are people who will do an imitation of any inscription by engraving, and it takes very careful inspection under high magnification to tell the difference.

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'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

John Reed


kelt
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



France
2315 Posts
Posted - 10/23/2004 : 07:51:20 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Terry,

The individual recess cuts at the back of your cylinder are of the Army type, but the M10 marking looks like the regular inspection mark with the last two digits of the serial number, on the cylinder of my 73M, as shown on the post above, the inspection mark is K45, and the M is a separate stamp of a slightly larger size.

Here is a picture of the recess machinings on model 74, 73M and 73 cylinders, the 73M has recess of 1.6mm while the 74 and 73 Army have only 1mm.

Download Attachment:
80.7 KB



Can you post a picture of the top of your revolver, showing its markings ?

Here is a picture of the barrel markings on my 73 Army and 73 Marine.

Download Attachment:
107.52 KB

Note that the markings are etched in the middle of the available surface, and adding a M to an Army model would show.

kelt

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Edited by - kelt on 10/23/2004 07:57:33 AM


terryinvictoria
Gunboards Member



39 Posts
Posted - 10/23/2004 : 09:35:34 AM
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Good info and pictures.
It is early here, woke up with pain from my recovery - was in a workplace injury Aug-2002 , herniated a disc, protruded two other discs, broke my back, and suffered -2- calcaneal fractures.

Calcaneal fracture is a snapped off heel - I did both feet and the left one was broken in bits.

So it too early to run around for the camera and get the gun from lockup.

But I can say it is the Army marks. They are --M (with some small letters ) then the 1873 so it is ---M?? 1873 ---
So yes it is an army type.

Thanks for all the information I have just come into ownership in the past three months.

Regards
Terry


The Rhodesian
Gunboards Member



Zimbabwe
18 Posts
Posted - 11/06/2004 : 10:15:03 PM
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Very nice weapons!

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There shall never be majority rule in my life time!
Ian Smith


Fritz K
Gunboards Member



USA
13 Posts
Posted - 04/03/2005 : 2:37:16 PM
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Gents,
I finally found my second revolver! I've got a M1873, dated 1881, in an original french holster. I paid $80.00 for her (including the holster)! It's a bit brown from being in the holster for about fifty years, but it isn't pitted. I'm missing the ejector rod, the trasverse pin in the front of the frame, and the large screw on the right side of the frame. Does anyone out there have some parts they'd be willing to part with? If not, does anybody have the schematics so I can have them made?
R/S
Fritz
P.S. I'll probably sell the holster. Is anybody interested? It's in good shape, and still supple. It's not the hard shell variant. It has a period repair to the belt loop in the back, closed with wire. It also has a bit of restitching near where the triggerguard rides. What is it worth?

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"I'd rather be an outstanding Sergeant, than just another officer."


Fritz K
Gunboards Member



USA
13 Posts
Posted - 04/03/2005 : 5:01:08 PM
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Hello all!
I've been busy cleaning up my new revolver! She's gonna be pretty when I get her done.

Does anyone know of good way to clean the grips? I've used calcium carbonate and denatured alcohol in the past for rifle stocks. These aren't as big. Any suggestions?
Thanks!
Fritz

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"I'd rather be an outstanding Sergeant, than just another officer."
 

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The "
stainless steel rings in the rim recess of the cylinder" you installed are these common sized rings or did you have to have them custom made? i have a Galand 12 mm deep rim and was going to adapt it to fire web MKII .455 brass. pictures would be helpful. what did you use to have the rings stay fixed while reloading?
 
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