Moore’s Pat. Fire Arms Co. Front Loading .32 Caliber Teat-Fire Single Action Revolver – Antique

LSB#: 140325XX232

Make: Moore’s Patent Fire Arms Co.

Model: Front Loading Teat-Fire Revolver

Serial Number: 3689

Year of Manufacture: circa 1864 – 1870

Caliber: .32 Teat-Fire

Action Type: Single Action Cartridge Revolver with Front Loading Cylinder

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “MOORE S PAT. FIRE ARMS Co. BROOKLYN N.Y.” and the underside of the barrel is marked “3689”. The lower right side of the barrel lug is marked “APR 28 / 1863” and the rear face of the barrel lug is marked “AJ89”. (The “1863” is very faint.) The barrel wedge is marked “AJ89”. The circumference of the cylinder is marked “D. WILLIAMSON’S PATENT JANUARY 5, 1864” and the ratchet on the cylinder’s rear face is marked “AJ / 89”. The cylinder arbor is marked “AJ / 89”. The left side of the grip frame is marked “T” and “AJ89”. The insides of both grip panels have been stamped “AJ89”.

Barrel Length: 3 ¼”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a half round blade. The rear sight is an exceedingly tiny “V” notch.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The bird’s head grips are smooth walnut with brass escutcheons. The left grip panel shows only light handling marks while the right grip panel shows both handling and compression marks. There are no crack, chips or scratches noted. The grips rate in about Fine overall condition for an antique.

Type of Finish: Silver Plated Brass Frame and Blued Barrel and Cylinder with possibly case colored Hammer and Trigger.

Finish Originality: All Original

Bore Condition: The bore is nearly bright and the rifling is almost sharp. There is some light scattered pinprick erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 50% of its metal finish. The barrel shows thinning and some compression marks on the right side above the wedge. The cylinder has some compression marks on the leading edge between two of the chambers, but the bluing largely remains along with some scattered light surface erosion. The frame is in-the-white below the cylinder and around the spur trigger. The grip frame shows tarnished blackened silver with brass coming through. The side plates retain more silver plating but start to show brass as you look farther back. The hammer and trigger checkering remains sharp. The scroll engraving still shows well. The screw heads are sharp, but show signs of being turned. The markings are clear except as discussed above. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good to Fine condition for an antique. Please see our photos.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There are half cock and full cock notches. There is a loading gate of sorts on the lower right side of the barrel assembly, which when swung down allows cartridges to be loaded and unloaded. This same gate when secured in the up positions retains the cartridge to keep it from falling out. There is a slot in the lower right portion of the recoil shield that allows a thin rod (not provided) to push the cartridge out through the loading port when the gate is in the lowered position. We did not fire this handgun.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None

Our Assessment: From Norm Flayderman’s “Guide to Antique American Firearms” 8th edition, page 398: “An attempt to circumvent the Rollin White patents, the Moore was one of the most successful competitors to Smith & Wesson.” This revolver fires a proprietary cartridge designed by Daniel Moore and David Williamson called the .32 Teat-Fire. For photos of these cartridges please see: unique-rare-6-teat-fire-32-cal.-front-load-ammo (a link to a closed auction.)

“Moore was a fairly substantial firearms manufacturer in Brooklyn, New York, who developed revolver and cartridge designs on his own account. In 1863, he fell foul of the U.S. master patent of Rollin White for the bored-through cartridge chamber, and lost over 3,000 of his infringing revolvers to Smith & Wesson. These pistols were made to the same design as that protected by [Moore’s] Br. Pat. 35419/1862.

Moore’s answer was to produce a front-loading metallic cartridge . . . and these arms enjoyed a modest success until the expiry of Rollin White’s patent, in 1869. Moore crossed swords with Smith & Wesson again in 1875, when he sued them for a design infringement, and he was successful in securing an out-of-court settlement.” (From A. W. F. Taylerson’s “The Revolver 1865 – 1888” page 229 of the Bonanza Books edition)

This example is in Fine condition for a revolver over 140 years old. It is also an example of the ingenuity employed by Smith & Wesson’s competitors to offer a cartridge firing revolver which would also give them an advantage against Colt’s cap and ball revolvers. Own a true piece of 19th Century technology, the Moore Front Loading Cartridge Revolver.

CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This antique handgun can be sold in California.

Moore’s Pat. Fire Arms Co. Front Loading .32 Caliber Teat-Fire Single Action Revolver - Antique

Moore’s Pat. Fire Arms Co. Front Loading .32 Caliber Teat-Fire Single Action Revolver – Antique