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Author Topic: English "Hesitating Action" 54-Bore Percussion Revolver  (Read 3182 times)

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Jaxenro

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English "Hesitating Action" 54-Bore Percussion Revolver
« on: November 23, 2012, 03:48:57 AM »

English "Hesitating Action" 54-Bore Percussion Revolver

Birmingham made, “Adams style” revolver, which was probably manufactured to deceive the buyer into believing that he was obtaining a high quality Adams made revolver, much in the same way that imported knock-offs of high end designer goods are sold today. From outward appearances and with only a quick glance, the pistol appears to be a typical 1856 pattern Beaumont-Adams revolver in 54-Bore (.442 caliber). Upon closer inspection, it revealed that the gun utilizes what the British called a “hesitating action”, instead of the patented Beaumont lockwork. The gun could function as a conventional double action or single action revolver, but the actually release of the sear was accomplished by pulling the trigger far enough to the rear to trip a small sear release lever at the rear of the triggerguard. The action found on the US M-1858 Starr double-action “Army” and “Navy” revolvers is quite similar, with the exposed sear lever located at the rear of the triggerguard. The contours of the frame of the gun are very clearly intended to resemble those of a Beaumont-Adams revolver, with the distinctive bulbous lug under the barrel at the frame juncture. However, the Beaumont-Adams was a true solid frame gun, with the barrel and frame made from a single forging. This revolver is made in two pieces, with a solid frame and a barrel assembly with the under lug. The barrel is screwed into the frame, but the gun is so well assembled and the joint so perfect, that the seam is almost invisible. The solid frame revolvers of Robert Adams and William Tranter were the gold standard of English percussion revolvers during the 1850’s and 1860’s. With that quality came a high price, and this encouraged smaller English gunmakers to try to manufacture similar items with lower retail prices. This was both profitable for the makers and allowed a wider range of patrons to avail themselves of modern revolver. The fact that this gun has all the external appearances of an Adams, but is carefully constructed to avoid infringing on any of his patents, suggests that a very competent and talented gun maker manufactured it. The gun is unmarked with the exception of Birmingham commercial proof marks and the words PATENT No along with the number 2131 engraved on the frame. The top strap bears no retailers mark. The overall lack of markings suggest that that revolver was likely intended for the export market, where the retailer would likely engrave his own name on the top strap. In a foreign land, where Beaumont-Adams revolvers are not regularly found for sale, the gun could very easily be passed off as being one of their guns to any unsuspecting buyer. It is even possible that the lack of markings was subterfuge, intended to keep the maker from suffering any repercussions from the sale of the gun to Confederate speculative purchasing agents. While there are no known contracts for the purchase of Adams revolvers by the Confederate central government, numerous extant examples and period documents suggest that a reasonable number both M-1851 Adams and M-1856 Beaumont-Adams revolvers were purchased speculatively by various parties and subsequently saw service in the Confederacy. Even a reasonably knowledgeable ordnance officer would look at this pistol and simply refer to it as an “Adams” revolver.










 






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jimhallam

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Re: English "Hesitating Action" 54-Bore Percussion Revolver
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 03:58:20 PM »

I must take issue with you on this -- - sorry!
A true HESITATING action revolver is cocked by pressure on the trigger until the hammer is held at full cock.  THEN the trigger is released, and after that a slight "pull" on the trigger discharges the revolver.

This type of revolver is very rare (or, possibly, there may be a lot about, with the owners thinking that the action on their revolver is faulty!!!).

What you have discussed is a typical Birmingham Trade double-action revolver with the two actions being (using 19th century revolver terminology) ---
(a) hammer-action or cocked action --- what in America is erroneously called "single-action"
(b) trigger-action.
As the revolver can be fired TWO ways then it is a DOUBLE ACTION revolver.

The M1851 Adams is a SINGLE-ACTION revolver, (it works only one way) of trigger-action (or, later termed "trigger-cocking), whereas the M1851 Colt is a SINGLE-ACTION revolver which is thumb-cocked.

To further confuse the issue, there is one TREBLE ACTION revolver --- again at one time erroneously called Tranter's Export Model ---  and there is also only one model of SELECTIVE DOUBLE ACTION revolver of American manufacture ----- guess????
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Jaxenro

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Re: English "Hesitating Action" 54-Bore Percussion Revolver
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 05:48:07 PM »

Don't be sorry to take issue the description is from the auction and auction descriptions are never 100% reliable. I always want to learn more accurate information.
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