Early revolver use

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Re: Early pistol use

Postby admin » 14 Jul 2014 13:46

Yes I have looked at the Starr, though I don't really like the exposed nipples without dividers - it looks like a recipe for a chain-fire.

Here is another account of revolvers not helping (due to human error):

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From: The History of the Indian Mutiny, by Charles Ball, 1858.
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=FBxRAAAAcAAJ
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Re: Early pistol use

Postby Dave Long » 14 Jul 2014 13:59

Looking at the "sword/lance/revolver" event in Mounted Skill at Arms, it looks like the distance being trained for revolver use was very short: 1-2 meters. (it is fairly trivial to collapse distance upon fleeing pedestrians; how many shots would be reasonable for 8 hits at this range?)
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Re: Early pistol use

Postby admin » 14 Jul 2014 14:53

Even if there were 8 shots for 8 hits, this would require either a very unusual revolver, a brace of revolvers, or a reload of some kind.

Another example of the revolver doing good service:

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From: The Story of Cawnpore, by Mowbray Thomson, 1859.
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2hzQJmZ-UYcC
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Re: Early pistol use

Postby admin » 14 Jul 2014 16:25

Capt Osborne received a nasty sword cut on his right hand and had a most narrow escape of his life. He was armed with only a Colt's revolver and seeing two pandies in a bush shot one, when the other rushed at him with his drawn sword, and caught Osborne over the right hand when cocking his pistol. Osborne fell over a stone and the pandy was in the act of cutting him down when private Addison of HM's 43rd came up and warded the blow off with his musket. The pandy was eventually accounted for, but not before the poor fellow Addison had received several bad wounds, one of which has necessitated the amputation of his left leg.

From: Allen's Indian mail, 1859.
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OGlDAAAAcAAJ

This is particularly interesting for the Adams/Colt comparision, as Osborne was cut down when cocking his revolver, whereas had he been armed with an Adams double-action he probably would have shot the second Pandy.
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Re: Early revolver use

Postby admin » 14 Jul 2014 16:48

Certainly a war crime and very sad, but from a reliable historical source it is also another example of a revolver not functioning perfectly, which suits our thread.
From 'My Diary in India', by William Howard Russell.
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Re: Early pistol use

Postby Jonathan » 15 Jul 2014 03:03

admin wrote:Nice example, though I wonder what revolver he was using, to be able to bag 8 of them, unless he was carrying a spare cylinder or in fact it was a brace of revolvers.


Eight seemed like quite a lot for one go with a single revolver, but I don't really know enough about revolvers! I enjoyed the discussion--very informative!

The next section of text does not qualify as early as it dates to the early 20th century, but it is still colonial warfare (in Africa) and it involves (presumably) a Webley revolver and "Webley's Man Stopping Bullets" and one officer's disposition as to how to best use a revolver in defense. The officer, WH Wilkin, also owned a Patent Solid Hilt P1897 so he seems to have had an interest in having the best weapons available to an officer.

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Re: Early revolver use

Postby admin » 02 Aug 2014 07:37

Meanwhile the 3rd Battalion was similarly engaged, often operating in thick jungle where large parties of the rebels had taken refuge. On one occasion a detachment of a hundred Riflemen advancing in extended order under a young officer, Lieutenant Andrew Green, lost touch with three of their number who were attacked by a large band of Sepoys. Hearing firing, Green, who was on horseback, went to their aid but was himself set on by six assailants. Shooting two with his revolver, he was cut down while dismounting and hacked at repeatedly as he lay on the ground.

But, despite his wounds, he managed to rise and fell two more of his adversaries—now joined by three others—with the butt of his revolver and to shoot a third before they finally left him senseless and apparently dead with fourteen sabre cuts as well as a gunshot wound. Notwithstanding loss of blood, extreme fatigue—for he and his men had been under arms from four in the morning till three that afternoon—and the amputation of his left arm and right thumb, he recovered. Subsequently he rose to the rank of colonel, being universally known throughout the service as "Jolly" Green on account of his unfailing good-humour. He died in 1902 at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where for the last thirty- two years of his life he was Captain of Invalids.


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