Original U.S. Civil War Era National Arms Co. Teat Fire .32 Cal Brass Frame Engraved Revolver - Serial 22981 - All Matching

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a really cute example of a small just post Civil War Moore's Patent revolver with a six shot cylinder in .32 Teat-fire caliber. The frame is brass, and unlike all other examples we have had, it still retains a good amount of the original nickel plating. It is beautifully scroll engraved all over the frame and even on the sides and top of the barrel, something we have not seen before! It still has a set of lovely walnut grip scales installed.

The underside of the barrel is marked with serial number 22981, which we estimate puts production around 1868. Additionally, the gun is marked on the rear of the barrel, on the rear of the cylinder, under the grip scales, and on the barrel wedge with assembly number H N 81, which is even on the interior of BOTH grip scales. We would definitely consider this a very desirable "ALL MATCHING" example, with no parts swapped out over the years!

The 3 1/4" barrel is marked on the top :-


The back of the cylinder is also marked with patent information:


The action is tight and moves smoothly, without any of the finicky behavior we often see on revolvers of this age. It properly breaks down when the barrel wedge is removed, and it even has an ingenious spent cartridge ejection lever on the right side. We checked the bore, and it is in excellent condition, with crisp lands and grooves and a bright finish. The brass frame still has much of the original nickel plating present with the rest faded to a mustard patina. The grips are in good shape with a lovely color, though there is a repair on the rear of the left scale.

In lovely condition with some fantastic engraving, this is almost certainly the best example of a Moore's Patent revolver that we have ever had. An interesting stepping stone in firearms development, ready to add to your collection!


Years of Manufacture: 1864-1870
Caliber: .32 cal Teat-fire
Ammunition Type: Teat-Fire cartridge
Barrel Length: 3 1/4 inches
Overall Length: 7 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

The Teat-fire cartridge was a .32 caliber pistol cartridge designed by Daniel Moore and manufactured by Moore and his partner David Williamson for their Pocket Revolver and was produced under both the Moore and National Arms marques by the National Arms Company of Brooklyn, New York in the mid-19th century.

The Moore Caliber .32 Teat-fire, which used a unique cartridge to get around the Rollin White patent owned by Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson, proved very popular during the Civil War, with both soldiers and civilians. The "Teat-fire" cartridges did not have a rim at the back like conventional cartridges, but were rounded at the rear, with a small "teat" that would protrude through a tiny opening in the rear of the cylinder. The priming mixture was contained in the "teat" and when the hammer struck it, the cartridge would fire. Thus, it was akin to a rimfire cartridge, but instead of having priming all the way around the edge of the rim, it is centrally located in the teat. This also meant that the revolver cylinder was loaded from the front, which is why there is a loading gate at the front of the frame, and not the rear.

Moore's Caliber .32 Teat-fire Pocket Revolver proved very popular during the American Civil War, with both soldiers and civilians. National Arms produced about 30,000 of the revolvers from 1864 to 1870, when it was acquired by Colt's Manufacturing Company.

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