Pistol / Hand GunsRevolverUsed£ 2,250
This is an exquisite and rare little Maynard “automatic” pocket revolver.
Edward Maynard was a prolific inventor and introduced his tape primer system to the USA army very successfully from a commercial point of view. He later went on the design a carbine which realistically was the first breech firearm to use a reloadable brass cartridge case. This developed quickly into the centre fire case we are familiar with today.
This is a Maynard Automatic revolved cylinder revolver made in 28 calibre with a 3.5" barrel and is tape primed. The back strap is marked Patent/Jan 2 1855 and the primer door is marked Maynard's Patent 1845. Less than 2000 of these revolvers are known to have been made and the Massachusetts Arms Company that manufactured them was in dispute with Colt and had previously manufactured a similar hand revolving cylinder to avoid Colts patent. Interestingly the tape primer has only one nipple which fires each of the cylinder chambers in turn which had a firing hole large enough to allow the flame from the nipple to fire the cylinder chamber but small enough to stop the powder from exiting at the rear of the chamber. There is much original finish on the revolver and altogether this is a very interesting and uncommon revolver to be encountered.
By far the majority of these revolvers have trigger faults which this one doesn’t have. This is caused by people trying to fire the revolver in double action and damaging the springs. Fortunately, this revolver has not been damaged and works as it should. To circumnavigate Colt’s patent the revolver is single action and cocking the hammer does not revolve the cylinder. The action of cocking turns a spigot wheel which pushes the tape primer over the nipple. Once cocked the cylinder is turned by pulling the trigger half way. Pulling the trigger all the way releases the hammer for firing. By interrupting the cylinder from the hammer Maynard “beat” Colt’s patent and avoided further litigation.
John Brown of "John Brown's Body" etc fame purchased several hundred Maynard revolvers.
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