Original U.S. Civil War Era National Arms Co. Teat Fire .32 Cal Brass Frame Engraved Revolver - Serial 26438
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, though removing the grips shows that it was once possibly gilt or plated. It is beautifully scroll engraved all over the frame and still has lovely walnut grips. The underside of the barrel is marked with serial number 26438, which we estimate puts production around 1868. Additionally, almost every part of the gun, including the barrel wedge, is marked with assembly number I N 38, which is even on the interior of BOTH grip scales. We would definitely consider this a very nice "ALL MATCHING" example.
The 3 1/4" barrel is marked on the top :-
NATIONAL ARMS CO. BROOKLYN N.Y.
The back of the cylinder is also marked with patent information:
D. WILLIAMSON'S PATENT JUNE 5 - MAY 17. 1864
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. The brass frame still has traces of the original gilding in areas, especially on the grip frame, while the rest has a lovely mustard patina. The grips themselves look to have been stained black and varnished at some time, which has now worn through in places, giving them a lovely lightly worn look.
In lovely condition and most original color, this is ready to display!
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.
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
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