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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks  |  GAF Regulations (Moderator: Pitspitr)  |  Topic: Primary Milspec Handguns 1865-1901 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Primary Milspec Handguns 1865-1901  (Read 16377 times)
Drydock
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« on: September 03, 2009, 07:31:33 pm »


Upon request, I'm compiling a list of these sidearms.  We'll start with US sidearms, and add more as I research.  Please PM me with any suggestions, all are welcome.  Experimental issues may be covered in another entry.

United States:
-1865- Colt M1860 (Army) Colt 1851 (Navy)
-1870- S&W #3 .44 American, 1000 issued
-1871- Colt M1871 (Richards Conversion).44 Colt. 1200 Issued.  Navy began issue of .38 SC conversions of the 1851.
-1873- Colt M1873 Single Action Army .45
-1875- S&W #3 "Schofield" M1875, .45 S&W
-1889- Navy issues Colt M1889 DA revolver .38 LC (.41 frame)
-1892- Colt M1892,4,5,6,01,03 DA revolver .38 LC (41 Frame)
-1895- Reissue of modified Colt M1873 with 5.5" barrel.
-1899- S&W M1899 M&P, 3000 issued for use in Phillipines. .38 LC (K frame, round butt)

Those wishing to use the later model Colt .41 frame models (Army Special/Official Police) may do so if in the following configuration: 6" unshrounded light barrel, fixed sights, blued,  Square butt.  "Officers" models may be allowed if proper to the portrayal.  

Later S&W K frames may also be used if having a 6" unshrouded light barrel, blued, fixed sights, ROUND butt.  NO "Officers" models allowed.  S&W did not offer such a model in this era.

Many found here:   http://coolgunsite.com/pistols/usarevpage.htm

British Empire:
-1856- Beaumont-Adams DA revolver
-1880- Enfield MK I, MK-II,.476 Enfield
-1887- Webley MK-I. II, III, IV, V. .455

France:
-1873- St Eteinne 11MM
-1892- Lebel M1892. 8MM

Germany:
-1879- M1879-1883 Reichsrevolver 10.6MM
-Mauser C96, .30 Mauser, 9MM

Russia:
-1870- S&W #3 .44 Russian
-1895- Nagant m1895 7.62 Nagant

Spain:
-1856- Adams 10.5MM
-1858/63- Lefaucheax 11MM
-1874-S&W #3 11MM
-1884- S&W#3 System ONA 11MM
-1887- Merwin Hulbert 11MM

Canada:
-1855- Colt 1851 .36
-1885- Colt 1878 .45 Colt
-1899/1900- Colt New Service .45 Colt

This is not an exclusive list, the GAF recognizes all milspec weapons of the period, both primary and secondary, as well as those of demonstrated military usage.
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2009, 08:33:59 pm »

I got that file converted and you should have it by now.

My list came from a book on hand guns of the world. Looks like you got most of them.
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2009, 09:37:17 pm »

The Model 3 S&Ws and "New model 3" were pretty popular. Japan, Austrailia, Argentina, Turkey, in addition to Russia.
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2009, 09:44:40 pm »

I think you cover most of the ones I PM'ed you.  The only possible exception might be the C-96, although they weren't issued in quantities in those countries that used them until after 1901.

What constituted "major powers" in the timeframe of 1865-1901?  Until the Spanish-American War I doubt seriously the U.S. could have been considered a major world power, as we were pretty well tied up with the Indian Wars Campaigns.  The SA War in 1898 changed that, of course.  Would Japan have been considered a major power prior to 1902 or so?  What about Turkey?  Of course, both those countries utilized S&W revolvers at one time or another.  Not trying to be nitpicky, just trying to relate to the historical perspective.  
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Drydock
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2009, 10:10:20 pm »

The United States would probably be considered a "Significant" power militarly in the Victorian Era.  Major Status would come with the SAW.  Primarily through the Naval expansion of the 1890s.  In any case, our game heavily involves the US military of the age, and as is quite apparent, no one put as much effort into handguns as the US.  Its always been a subject of particular interest over here.  No one else takes them quite as seriously.

Once you get outside the "Major" european powers of the era, US hanguns tend to dominate, particularly the S&W #3.  Japan, China, Spain, most of the South American republics used the #3, or copied it in one fashion or another.  In the 1890s the Colt and Webley DAs began to cut into this, the Webley seen in most of the British Empire influenced militarys, the Colt dominating in South and Central America.

If you know of the Primary issue sidearms of any country, please PM me with them, so I may add to the list.
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2009, 10:43:05 pm »

What about pin fire revolvers I saw someone was making kits to make ammo for them
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2009, 02:45:01 pm »

if you dig through the old posts someone put up a list of the spanish issue handguns.
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Drydock
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2009, 05:19:13 pm »

The Lefanchaux (?)Pinfire was quite popular in its day, but never adopted as a primary issue sidearm.  Its specifications were never adopted as Milspec. The US bought a number of them during the war, issuing them to a few State Cavalry regiments in the western theatre.  France bought 3000 for some colonial regiments in the 1860s.  They were rapidly superceded by rimfire and centerfire arms.  A prime example of a non Milspec arm of demonstrated military use.  Good companion to a Spencer or Sharps carbine in a Civil War Cavalry portrayal west of the Ohio.
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2009, 09:32:56 pm »

the confederates even bought a few pinfires.       what about the S&W No. 2 Army does the 32 caliber change anything?
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Drydock
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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2009, 10:01:50 pm »

Never adopted as Milspec, caliber too small for main match.  Too fragile for modern shooting anyway.  .32 rimfire nearly impossible to find, expensive when you find it.
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2009, 04:51:35 pm »

if you dig through the old posts someone put up a list of the spanish issue handguns.


have any clue to what the title was on this posting?
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2009, 06:28:08 pm »

the title says   spanish issue handguns
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2009, 10:45:17 pm »

Canada wasn't a "major power" by any means, but I'd venture to say that Canadian military impressions might perhaps be the second most likely to participate in GAF shooting events, so I'll weigh in with a list of primary-issue handguns in the Victorian-era Canadian military.  Our close proximity to the United States (and the strong trade relationship which has always existed between us) resulted in adoption of American designs, rather than British.

1855 - Colt Model 1851 "Navy" revolver - .36 percussion 
(Admittedly, these revolvers were actually acquired in Britain, and were the "London Model".)

1885 -  Colt Model 1878 Double Action revolver - .45 Colt

1899/1900 - Colt New Service revolver - .45 Colt

(Of course, commissioned officers in the British Empire, including Canada, were not normally "issued" with the officially adopted handgun of the day.   Rather, they were required to provide their own weapons at personal expense, and could accordingly have carried any suitable handgun of the period.  Mind you, British weapons were strongly preferred throughout the Empire, and many Canadian officers carried them .....)
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2009, 05:07:46 pm »

BTT per request
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2009, 06:56:59 am »

The French 11mm 1873's are really nicely made pieces.

The round is a bit anemic but the guns are built like tanks, and almost everything is hand fitted and numbered.  A time when french guns were very well made and awesome!

It is a black powder round; however one of mine was rebarreled and nitro proofed in WWI - but kept in the original caliber.

The gun recieved undeserved bad press post WWII when they were briught home by vets and kept blowing up because people were shooting them with surplus hot 45 acp ammo.

The french 11mm round is very hard to load, but the guns are very popular in europe in shooting condition because they fall under guns with "no military value" and because it is a large caliber gun but with an "obsolete caliber" that they can own without reservation in most european countries.

A couple of the local clubs let me shoot mine at monthly matches - they are fun.

PR
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2009, 09:09:17 pm »

Hello!
     I do a 1900 Marine Officer impression.  Would it be okay to use a Colt 1917 in lieu of a New Service since they're a lot easier (and less expensive) and it's basically the same revolver?  I realize the Marine Corps didn't get the New Service until 1909, but I'm sure some carried them earlier as a private purchase.  Thanks!
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Drydock
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2009, 09:22:13 pm »

Yes, You can use a 1917, as it is indeed a New Service, production dated 1898.  A private purchase arm often seen in the Phillipines, a good sidearm to a Krag.  Be aware that as loading aids are not allowed, you will need to use Auto Rim brass.
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2009, 09:45:39 pm »

Good news!  I actually have always preferred to use Auto Rim brass.  I used to have a Smith & Wesson 1917, and the clips always seemed beside the point on that era revolver.
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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2009, 11:14:42 pm »

A few thousand examples of the Whitney Navy were issued by the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography and stamped with the anchor and inspector's marks. I have a repro made by Palmetto and would love to get the correct markings on it.
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2009, 06:13:12 pm »

The Whitney Navy was one of the sidearms of the US Revenue Marine or US Revenue Cutter Service.
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« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2009, 12:05:43 pm »

BTT.  This list needs to be stickied, and added to the battle rifle standards on the web site.
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2009, 12:43:14 pm »

BTT.  This list needs to be stickied, and added to the battle rifle standards on the web site.
So it shall be!
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« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2010, 04:27:11 pm »

The issue handgun for British Cavalry Other Ranks (almost all Lancers, and Senior Sergeants for other Cavalry regiments) up until 1877 was the P1840 single-shot, smooth-bore percussion pistol. Not that I can imagine anyone in his right mind wanting to use one in a competition, but there it is. Wink  Officers were of course a whole different deal.

Of note is that OR's in the Columbia Detachment of the Royal Engineers (active in British Columbia from 1858-1872) were all issued Navy Colts (as Grant says, made in London), due to the possibility of conflict with the American miners, all of whom were known to be packing revolvers.  Kinda cool, what?

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« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2010, 05:47:37 pm »

Hangtown Frye;  The London Colt Navy was the issue revolver for cavalry troopers in Canada from 1854 until just before 1885.  I didn't know about the Columbia detachment using them. 

When the sappers went to Yale in 1858 to confront Ned McGowan they were shot at from Hills Bar, across the Fraser River but were ordered not to respond.  I thought all they had was the issue rifled musket.  There were Royal Marines following on as back up but they held up at Hope.  The crisis was settled amicably, without gunfire when Ned paid a fine for assaulting a peace officer.  Before Judge Begbie left Yale, Ned invited him to Hills Bar for a banquet.  That was the end of "Ned McGowan's War."

I have read that civilian railway construction Navvies sent to the Crimea were issued London Navy's
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« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2010, 08:06:46 pm »

It is not well known the first "military issue" repeating handgun acquired by the United Kingdom was, in fact, the Model 1851 "Navy" Colt!

With the Crimean conflict looming large, The Board of Ordnance/War Department purchased approximately 23,700 London Colt Navy revolvers, beginning in March of 1854.  Almost 10,000 of them went to the Royal Navy, and approximately 5,000 went to the Crimea for Land Service, primarily for use by officers and sergeants major of infantry, but also with "emergency issue" authorised to Lancers, and to Dragoon and Hussar sergeants major and trumpeters, in lieu of the regulation single-shot percussion pistols mentioned by Gordon ..... 

It was not until 31 August 1855 and 3 January 1856 that contracts were placed, respectively, for British-designed revolvers - i.e.  300 "Revolvers, Dean & Adams improved on Beaumont's principle, with appurtenances" and 2,000 "Pistols, revolving, Dean & Adams' patent, with Lieutenant Beaumont's improvement, 54 gauge".

In late 1868, conversion by J. Adams of existing Dean & Adams percussion revolvers for self-contained metallic cartridges was approved (ultimately becoming known as the Mark I Adams) and in 1870, the Mark II and Mark III Adams built-as-breechloader revolvers were approved.   However, as Gordon has indicated, Adams revolvers were not approved for issue to cavalry until 1878.

Interestingly, Adams revolvers were adopted in for issue to Canada's North West Mounted Police in 1874.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks  |  GAF Regulations (Moderator: Pitspitr)  |  Topic: Primary Milspec Handguns 1865-1901 « previous next »
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