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Instant Collection

2422 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  NavyOgre
This one will take even me a while to digest.

A friend manages a local gun shop. He called me about the "detritus of a collection" he had just brought in against the owners wishes. He wanted help ID-ing some "old weird European guns" and figuring out prices. It had been a few BAD days at work and home, so WTH, I went to play. Three hours later we had gone through all the books and ID'd all but 2 of 16. My buddy asked if I wanted any at a good package deal as he'd bought them as rusty clunkers.

Long story shortened, I picked some, the owner OK'd the deal, and I just added a half dozen old revolvers and a rifle
to my collection. New to me are as follows:
1. 1873 French 11mm Ordnance Revolver dated 1881. Almost identical to my existing 1883. Now I just have to get a "Mummy" double shoulder rig!
2. 1874 Italian 10.35mm Service Revolver. Will go nicely with my 1889 Bodeo, 1915 and 1935 Beretta(s).
3. 1883 German 10.6mm Reichsrevolver.
4. A Webley Mk.III, .38 Pocket Revolver. Interestingly marked as "Made in USA" on the top strap.
5. A Neumann Freres Belgian 9 shot revolver in about .32 caliber.
6. A Champion 22 Caliber 7 shot spur trigger, looks like a Colt New Line but has no markings except the name on the barrel.
7. An 1866/74 Chassepot conversion to a Gras rifle. With the original cleaning rod. I'll definitely have to post pics of this one on the French boards as I now have an original Chassepot and a 1874 Gras too. This fits between them nicely and really shows the changes in the bolt design over the adoption of metallic cartridges.

I still have some clean-up to do, but all are functional and complete (with exception of every dang lanyard ring is missing!). They are all covered with many decades of goo-ed up WD-40 and dust, but seem to have good original blue or bright steel underneath (working very delicately with brass wool and oil to clean dirt and debris but not remove any "patina of age".

Only back story I got was "the widow and her grown sons" had let "friends" cherry-pick the majority of the collection, about 80 items, were grateful for the "hundreds of dollars" the friends gave them, and just wanted to dump the remainder at the shop because "nobody really wanted them". With friends like that, I'd rather burn my collection. Lesson learned to prep for the inevitable so the family will get more than "hundreds".

The stuff remaining after my buy ranged from a 44 Mosin Nagant, nice "suicide-specials, older European .25 autos, and a Ketland screw barrel folding trigger "deringer" (just found out it was sold over the weekend).

I was told later that my purchase put them in the black on the pile and the rest would be pure profit. More power to them if it keeps a shop in business. They valued the little 25s and 32s more than my "big" revolvers due to perceived condition and effort to clean up. I can't complain. I will post more pictures as soon as I recover a little bit of equilibrium. For some reason I'm still buzzing pretty hard. a winter's worth of wood pellets. And the best part is my darling wife not only approved of the play date, but the purchase as well!!! She does want to know if I sell any so she can "help" me spend any proceeds... not any time soon though, I've got a LOT of research to do.

The collection is the actual revolvers. The Neumann Freres is one of the only pictures I can find online that matches mine. It has a safety on the left side that mine does not but otherwise is an exact copy of mine, sans lanyard ring which I lack.
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Nice group. Concerning your 1874 Italian 10.35mm Service Revolver, it appears from your photo that the metal is blued. Yes? Does it look original or do you think it might be reblued? Any hint of the smell of cold bluing solution? I ask because I am not certain whether these revolvers were originally issued "in the white" or blued. :confused: I have seen numerous examples of each and I have seen conflicting information online.

Here's another example that appears to be blued, but like yours I can't tell if it is an old reblue:

By the way this piece should make you feel good about your new acquisition when you see the sale price. It's for sale for here:

Model 1874 was Kingdom of Italy's first officially adpoted Army revolver. It was very similar to French M1874 Chamelot Delvigne but featured a longer 6.3" barrel. Unlike French revolvers these are fairly uncommon in the US. Most of them saw action in the World War I and World War II and those that survived were shipped to Italian colonies in the late 1940s. This particular one is also unusual because it has a serial number 0. Its stamped on the frame, barrel, cylinder, trigger guard and ejection rod. Overall condition is fine, with about 85% original blue, excellent shiny bore with strong rifling and tight action. Unit marked. $ 995.00
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Richard, yes the Italian is blued, and it looks like a very old blue. There was such a build up of fuzz, dust, dried oil, etc that everyone who handled it (me included) swore it was a painted Brazilian. No marking were initially visible under any light. It took solvent, brass wool, and a flat brass scrapper to show Brescia markings and a blue finish. Needless to say, it is very slow going. Hmmm... maybe I should break out the grinder and the SS coarse wire wheels?
Thanks for the info N-O.

Why do I get the feeling you're pulling my leg about the grinder and the course wool? ;)
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