Original British Victorian Officer's Tranter .442 Rimfire Revolver Retailed by E.M. Reilly Serial 5425 - c. 1870
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 a truly up market example of Tranter's patent Revolver, with the retailer information engraved on the top of the barrel:
E. M. REILLY & Co. OXFORD ST. LONDON.
This company has a somewhat long and storied history, first being founded in the early 1800s by gunsmith Joseph Charles Reilly of Ireland. He was from a well-to-do family, and originally wanted to be a lawyer, but decided to be a gunmaker instead. His store retailed his own guns, and he also sold used guns as well as those sold under license. This continued when his son Edward Michael Reilly joined as an apprentice in 1835, becoming a full partner in 1840. For a while the company was Reilly & Co. until 1857, when J.C. Reilly retired, leaving his son in charge. With new partners, the company name changed to E.M. Reilly & Co., and continued operation until the early 20th century.
As with all the revolvers made by Tranter, the left frame bears the patent markings and serial number:
William Tranter was a major Birmingham gun maker who made many private purchase weapons at his factory until his retirement in 1885. The patent marking is also present on the loading rammer, as often seen. The basic design of his revolvers was originally developed for cap and ball percussion, but was easily adapted for later Rimfire and Centerfire cartridges. Many were converted, but this example is still in the original rimfire configuration.
The metalwork retains much of the original blued finish with some wear spots, with a bright steel hammer. The walnut checkered wood grip is in great shape, and shows hardly any wear whatsoever. The cylinder is six Shot with side gate access on the right hand side to the rear of the chamber for re-loading, and the cylinder pin pulls out to break down the revolver. The bore is mostly bright, with clear lands and grooves, and some spots of oxidation. The action cycles correctly in both single and double action.
This is most certainly a very desirable and fine condition British Officer's Campaign Revolver. Fully working and ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: circa 1870
Caliber: .442 Tranter Rimfire
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Overall Length: 12 1/2 inches
Barrel Length: 6 3/8 inches
Action: External Hammer Double/Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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