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Original British Victorian Officer's Private Purchase Tranter .450 Revolver serial 3889 - circa 1875

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Traditionally British Officers, all Gentlemen and from an affluent background, were expected to pay for their own sidearms, both revolver and Sword. Back in the 1600s and early 1700s The Colonel of the Regiment was often expected to provide ALL weapons and Uniforms for the entire Regiment. During Queen Victoria's "LITTLE WARS" after the Crimean Campaign, all over the empire like India, Canada and South Africa, the Private Purchase system was still in full force for Officers. This finally started to change with the 1890s with the Boer War.

Here is an excellent example, very possibly purchased by an Officer going overseas to one of the many parts of the empire where a military presence was needed. This is an up market example of Tranter's patent Revolver, with the supplier information engraved on the top of the barrel:


V.&R. Blakemore was a retailer and served as a Military Outfitter and distributor operating in Birmingham and London. They operated between 1867 and 1895, so would have retailed Tranter revolvers throughout the 1870s. Where this actual revolver actually ended up we can only speculate. There were numerous conflicts during the 1870s.

William Tranter was a major Birmingham gun maker who made many private purchase weapons at his factory until his retirement in 1885.  The basic design of his revolvers was originally developed for cap and ball percussion, but was easily adapted for later Rimfire and Centerfire cartrdges.

As with all the revolvers made by Tranter, the left frame bears the patent markings and serial number:


The serial number 3889 also appears on the underside of the barrel, as well as on the grip frame and on the wood of the grip itself. The barrel axis pin and ejector lever are marked with a different serial number, 3887, and the cylinder bears serial number 3780. These are all very close in number, so it is possible they were switched by the retailer for some reason. The right side of the frame bears a bunch of numbers, which appear to be regimental designations, so it is possible that the parts were instead switched at arsenal.

Retaining much original blue finish with some wear spots, the walnut checkered wood grip shows very little wear, and the original lanyard ring is still present. This is most certainly a very desirable and fine condition British Officer's Campaign Revolver. Six Shot with side gate access on the right hand side to the rear of the chamber for re-loading. The ejector works great, though the spring that holds it in the retracted position is somewhat worn.

Fully working and ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1875
Caliber: .450 Adams / Boxer
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Overall Length: 11 3/4 inches
Barrel Length: 6 inches

Action: External Hammer Double/Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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