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Author Topic: An Unrecorded Bliss?  (Read 3147 times)

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The Colonial

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An Unrecorded Bliss?
« on: April 03, 2015, 11:54:52 PM »

I’d like some comments from some more experienced collectors about this little nickel plated gun I bought a while back. The tag read ‘Bliss & Goodyear, .28 cal serial number 625’.

It definitely looks like a Bliss & Goodyear, the barrel measures 3 inches but:
there is no Barrel address;
the cylinder measures 25 instead of 28 calibre and
the cylinder stops are slightly different than in photos I’ve seen of other ones.
Could it be an unrecorded ‘F.D. Bliss’ percussion revolver made after the partnership with Mr Goodyear dissolved and before Mr Bliss started production of his 25 calibre rimfire revolvers?

Cheers, The Colonial


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sourdough

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Re: An Unrecorded Bliss?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 05:43:31 PM »

I am absolutely no expert on this era of percussion pistols.

I am relying upon a 1990 version of Flayderman's Guide. Made ca. 1860, total number about 3,000. .28 caliber. 6-shot round cylinder. 3" octagonal barrel.  Featured a spur trigger, removable sideplate, and solid frame. Wooden grips. Blued finish, iron frame. Serial numbered from 1 on up. On top of barrel: BLISS & GOODYEAR - NEW HAVEN, CONN.:

Values: Good $215  Fine $450

This is just for reference for others. I am sure you have researched this pistol extensively.

Flayderman makes no mention of nickel plating, and you have stated there is no barrel address. The load lever latch looks different than Flayderman's photo, and the spur trigger is almost not discernably protruding from its shield, possibly due to wear.

The frame flat as it meets the barrel seems to have been reduced and the load lever pivot screw head does not fit anywhere flush with the frame.

At any rate, if it has been nickel plated, it was performed post-factory, IMO.

Insofar as the .25 cal cylinder with a .28 cal barrel, I have no idea. As I understand it, Bliss concluded his relationship with Alfred D. Goodyear soon after 1860. That .25 cal cylinder may have been (my speculation) a trial for a .25 cal pistol and was assembled as a "parts" gun after the partnership dissolved, although the low 625 serial number (out of ~3000) probably does not make sense as far as my hypothetical response, unless the pistols were not released for sale in numerical order. The F.D. Bliss .25 cal pistols (1863) were rimfire pistols. It would not be out of line for a manufacturer to make prototypes and, therefore, sell them to the general public. It was not, as in this day and age, to have all parts interchange.

At any rate, it is a rare pistol that, I would speculate, someone carried during the Civil War and it came home banged up and dirty, and was passed on to someone who later plated it to make it nice looking, not knowing that it was a rare variation, and was not taken care of throughout successive generations. And now you have it in your possession.

Wish I owned it.

Jim



« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 05:57:09 PM by sourdough »
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The Colonial

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Re: An Unrecorded Bliss?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 04:35:58 AM »

Jim

Thanks for the reply, a trial gun from parts seems like a good theory. There has not been much written about these small revolvers that I can find so any input is appreciated.

And I am pleased to have it in my collection.

Cheers, John L
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