Rare Connecticut Arms .28 Cup-Primer Cartridge Front Loading Single Action Revolver – Antique

LSB#: 130106XX01

Make: Connecticut Arms Company

Model: .28 Cup-Primer Cartridge Single Action Revolver

Serial Number: 3241

Year of Manufacture: Late 1860s

Caliber: .28 Cup-Primer Cartridge

Action Type: Single Action, Front Loading and Unloading Revolver

Markings: The rib atop the barrel is marked “CONN. ARMS CO. NORFOLK CONN.” The circumference of the cylinder is marked “PATENTED MAR. 1ST 1864. / PATENTED JAN. 16. 1866.” And the front face of the cylinder is stamped with a “C”. The underside of the grip frame is marked “3241” as is the left side of the grip frame and the insides of both grip panels.

Barrel Length: 3”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a half round blade. There is no rear sight.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are smooth varnished rosewood. The grip show numerous small handling and compression marks, but no chips, cracks or scratches. The grips rate in about Fine to Excellent overall condition for an antique.

Type of Finish: Silver Plated and Blue

Finish Originality: All Original

Bore Condition: The bore is surprisingly bright and the rifling is sharp. There is some light, scattered erosion in the bore, but none of the pitting typically seen on black powder arms.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 70% of its metal finish. All the leading and sharp edges show thinning to loss. The barrel flats show thinning as does the cylinder and extractor lever. The silver plating on the grip frame has worn through to show brass, as has the left sideplate. There is some very light pinprick erosion around the cylinder window. The hammer and trigger are case colored, but it has faded and is now quite muted. The screw heads all show marks of a screwdriver, except for the strain screw which is sharp. The markings are clear. The hammer is checkered and the spur trigger is smooth. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition for an antique pocket pistol.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. This revolver loads its special cartridges from the front, and extracts them with a lever mounted on the frame’s right side, between the trigger and cylinder. The extractor reaches through the same notch in the cylinder that the hammer uses to strike the primer. The extractor then hooks into the rear of the cylinder and pushes the cartridge out the front. The revolver can only be loaded and unloaded with the hammer in the half cock position; otherwise the chamber openings are partially blocked by a portion of the barrel assembly. We did not fire this handgun.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None

Our Assessment: This revolver was created by the Connecticut Arms Company utilizing patents by S. W. Wood. It was designed as a front loading cartridge revolver in an effort to circumvent the Rollin White patent held by Smith & Wesson which allowed for chambers bored completely through the cylinder and loaded from the rear. Unlike the rim fire cartridges used by S&W and familiar to all of us, the cartridges used in this revolver had a priming compound in the cup shaped base of the cartridge. The hammer swung through the hollowed out center of the “cup” and struck the compound from the side, pinching it against the inside of the cartridge wall. For an interesting discussion of attempts to get around the Rollin White patent and excellent photographs of the cup-primer cartridges, please see: http://armscollectors.com/mgs/rollins.htm.

This revolver was manufactured by the Connecticut Arms Company utilizing 1864 and 1866 issued patents by S. W. Wood. It was designed as a front loading cartridge revolver in an effort to circumvent the Rollin White patent held by Smith & Wesson which allowed for chambers bored completely through the cylinder and loaded from the rear. Unlike the rim fire cartridges used by S&W and familiar to all of us, the cartridges used in this revolver had a priming compound in the cup shaped base of the cartridge. The hammer swung through the hollowed out center of the “cup” and struck the compound from the side, pinching it against the inside of the cartridge wall. For an interesting discussion of attempts to get around the Rollin White patent and excellent photographs of the cup-primer cartridges, please see: http://armscollectors.com/mgs/rollins.htm.

This revolver loads its special cartridges from the front, and extracts them with a lever mounted between the trigger and cylinder on the frame’s right side. The extractor reaches through the same notch in the cylinder that the hammer uses to strike the primer. The extractor then hooks into the rear of the cylinder and pushes the cartridge out the front. The revolver can only be loaded and unloaded with the hammer in the half cock position; otherwise the chamber openings are partially blocked by a portion of the barrel assembly. This design prohibits the unrimmed cartridges from falling back out through the chamber’s front opening.

This is a parts complete pocket pistol with matching serial numbers on the frame’s butt and both grip panels. Perhaps 70% of the original silver plating and bluing remain on the interesting and unique front loading single action revolver from the Reconstruction era.

Rare Connecticut Arms .28 Cup-Primer Cartridge Front Loading Single Action Revolver - Antique

Rare Connecticut Arms .28 Cup-Primer Cartridge Front Loading Single Action Revolver – Antique

Rare Connecticut Arms .28 Cup-Primer Cartridge Front Loading Single Action Revolver - Antique  - 3

Rare Connecticut Arms .28 Cup-Primer Cartridge Front Loading Single Action Revolver – Antique – 3

Rare Connecticut Arms .28 Cup-Primer Cartridge Front Loading Single Action Revolver - Antique  - 2

Rare Connecticut Arms .28 Cup-Primer Cartridge Front Loading Single Action Revolver – Antique – 2