Original British Enfield MkII .476" Service Revolver Issued to Canadian N.W.M.P - Dated 1882
Original Item. One Only. These are only ever encountered in a very great while and were introduced as the Enfield Mark I Revolver in 1880. This version was quickly superceded by the Mark II Revolver in 1882. The beauty of this extraordinary revolver is that when you "open" the the action the cylinder just slides forward upon its axis ejecting all the empty cartridge cases in the cylinder. Due to loaded cartridges being slightly longer, they do not fall out when this operation was performed. The revolver would then be closed again, and the right side loading gate opened to allow live cartridges to be loaded. Unfortunately this proved to be tedious, as each empty chamber needed to be loaded one at a time. There were also issues with the spent cartridges getting stuck, and overall the revolver was large and cumbersome. It was never popular, and the introduction of the Webley MkI top-break revolver made it obsolete.
Company owner Christian Cramer had one of these as a kid in England and his father told him it had been issued to the Canadian Mounties. Unfortunately he traded it away, probably for flintlock with realizing how hard these were to come by. However, now we have one of these very revolvers available for sale.
Our example is marked and dated on the left side of the frame: CROWN / V.R. / ENFIELD / 1882. / II. It also has matching serial number 5264 on the frame, barrel, and rear of the cylinder, and the frame is broad arrow marked. The left side of the grip is marked: NWMP / 118 / CANADA, indicating service with the North-West Mounted Police, which eventually became part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, commonly called the Mounties.
NWMP Commissioner Acheson G. Irvine ordered 200 Mark IIs in 1882, priced at C$15.75 each, which were shipped by London's Montgomery and Workman in November that year, arriving in December. Irvine liked them so much that, in one of his final acts as Commissioner, he ordered another 600, which were delivered in September 1885. However, only the first batch of 200 was stamped NWMP-CANADA (issue number between) after delivery; later purchases were not, so this is definitely one of the original 200 received in December 1882. Definitely an interesting piece of RCMP History.
The cylinder is of a church steeple design and most attractive. Condition of the revolver is quite nice, with much of the original finish present, with the expected wear of age. The lanyard ring is still present, and the grip is solid without any chips or major dents. The revolver action functions correctly, as does the extractor system. The bore shows clear lands and grooves, with a mostly bright finish, though there is some wear to the rifling and spots of corrosion.
This model however received many complaints and was replaced in 1887 by the equally rare WEBLEY MARK ONE Revolver. For more information see THE WEBLEY SERVICE REVOLVER by Robert Maze, published 2012, pages 14, 15 and 16.
A truly well-manufactured revolver in very nice condition ready to display.
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