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Any one know how many were made in 1864,I HAVE A PISTOL THATS GAS OPERATING AND EJECTS THE CARTRIDGE AS ITS BEIN FIRED USING ITS OWN GAS COMPRESSION TO DO THIS,HE MADE BIKES THEN GUNS AS EARLY AS 1856, IVE RESEARCHED TO. EBONY HANDLE,ETCHING RUBBED OFF TO OBVIOUSLY DISGUISE,IM NO EXPERT BUT WHEN YOU PULL A TRIGGER THAT TELLS YOU SO MUCH ON ITS ACTION AND BOY THIS IS A SMOOTH ACTION.RESEARCHING NOW FOR TWO YEARS AND YOU JUST GET SMALL BITS WHICH YOU HAVE TO TRY AND PUT TOGETHER.I HAVE A PISTOL I BELEIVEIS AN ORIGINAL 1864 ORBEA PROTOTYPE WHICH NOT MANY WERE MADE,ANY WAY ANY INFO WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED,I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT GUNS OTHER THEN THE ORBEA SO PLEASE EXCUSE ANY IGNORANVE IN ADVANCE.ANY HELP APPRECIATED I LOVE A MYSTERY
 

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I am in the same situation as you. I have two of these pistols (two different calibers), but have never been able to find any information on them. Orbea Hermanos has a long history. They supplied black powder revolvers to the Confederates during the Civil War, and continued making firearms up until the late 1920s, early 1930s.

This gas advance and ejection system is quite unique, and I am glad to hear of someone else that has encountered one.
 

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Your revolver must be one of this two Spanish gas self-ejecting revolvers:

In 1876 the Spanish artillery officer Luis Ibarra patented a gas ejecting revolver. It was tried by Spanish Army, but not adopted. It was based upon S&W Russian revolver, but some were made starting with Spanish Army Lefaucheux model 1863 revolver at Oviedo Arms Factory. Apparently some of them were also made by Orbea.

Several years later another Spanish artillery officer, Clotaldo Piñal, designed at Oviedo Arms Factory an improvement of this. Though it was almost adopted, finally Spanish army decided to end revolver production in military arsenals, and recommend to officers to arm themselves with a Spanish copy of S&W DA .44 Top break revolver made by Orbea, also bought later by the Spanish government for the navy, gendarmerie, etc.

Both are very rare arms, specially the second. If you post some photographs I can say you more about it.

Images of Ibarra and Piñal revolvers. You can see the ejection port.



 

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You learn something new every day, this is the first time I've heard revolvers with gas ejection. I'd be interested to hear a detailed description of how they work.
 

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The system was very simple. In a point of barrel there is a gas port. The gas flow by this hole and was directed by a tube towards the front of cylinder and it simply blows out the empty shell of cartridge fired before this one.

I think it wasn’t very practical. The S&W top break revolvers ejected the empty shells by swinging the barrel, a much more effective system, but the real innovation lies in the fact it was the first arm that used a system that diverted a part of gases from the barrel to operate some part of mechanisms, though it was limited to ejection.
 

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Ahh, it ejects the PREVIOUSLY fired cartridge. Which means that you have to under-load by 1, or on first shot you're ejecting a live round...
 

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Ahh, it ejects the PREVIOUSLY fired cartridge. Which means that you have to under-load by 1, or on first shot you're ejecting a live round...
That’s right. Because of that the Piñal revolver had seven chambers and you must left one of them empty.
 
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