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Original U.S. Civil War Moore 1860 Patent .32RF Brass Frame "Belt" Revolver Serial 2468 - As used by Cole Younger during Northfield Bank Robbery

Regular price $1,295.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Here we have very nice "frontier-used" example of a U.S. Civil War Era .32 rimfire single action belt revolver by Daniel Moore, the first gun to feature a "Swing-out" cylinder, which Moore had patented in 1860. Born in 1813, Moore had started a firearms business in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1851, mainly making powder flasks and cartridges for the new revolver designs. However he also began working on improvements to existing designs, and after receiving his 1860 Patent, he incorporated Moore’s Patent Fire Arms Company.

The first revolver model this company produced was this brass-framed single action .32cal rimfire "Belt" revolver, featuring a 7 round cylinder that swung out to the right for loading. It was only manufactured 1861-1863 during which time the firm was sued by Smith & Wesson for infringing on the Rollin White patent for a bored through cylinder, which they had licensed. Later produced revolvers were marked by Smith & Wesson and bore Rollin White patent dates, and after 1863 Moore stopped production, instead focusing on "Teat Fire" cartridges, which did not infringe on the patent.

This very nice revolver is definitely an early version, and is marked only with the original maker and patent date on top of the barrel:

D. MOORE. PATENT. SEPT. 18. 1860

It is marked with early serial number 2468 on the bottom of the barrel by the hinge, and there is assembly number S 2 on the rear of the cylinder. The nickel-plated brass frame has lovely foliate engraving, which also is present on the grip frame and trigger guard. The plating is a bit worn, but there is no major flaking, and the engraving is well retained. The standard walnut grips are in good shape, showing the expected wear from use. There are no major chipping or cracks, and they have a great worn look.

The revolver does cycle well, though there is definitely slop in the mechanics due to wear. The spring for the latch is unfortunately missing, which allows the cylinder arbor pin to move out of alignment, and it is also loose where it screws into the barrel frame as well. The revolver still breaks open to the right side correctly, but it may require some effort. The bore is in good condition, with clear lands and grooves visible, but also oxidation an fouling from use. The spring loaded ejector is present under the barrel, but it looks to be a working life replacement.

Of note is that these revolvers, while only made for a short period, were very highly regarded as reliable and solidly built. They were somewhat sought after and saw use well into the later 19th Century. Cole Younger, a member of the infamous James–Younger Gang of outlaws, owned one with a 5 inch barrel, which was serial number 880. The gang eventually split up after the failed Bank Robbery in Northfield Minnesota, during which Cole was said to have had his Moore revolver with him. After fleeing the scene, the Cole Brothers were hunted down by a posse and captured. At the trial, the three brothers pled guilty to avoid being hanged, and were sentenced to life in prison.

Cole's brother Bob died in prison, but in 1901 Cole and his brother Jim were paroled from prison. Jim would take his own life the next year, but Cole lived until 1916, passing at the age of 72. He lectured and toured the south with Frank James in a wild west show, The Cole Younger and Frank James Wild West Company, in 1903, and also wrote his memoirs, portraying himself as more of a Confederate Avenger than an Outlaw. This also gave him ample time to identify and sell many items of interest, which is why he is so well remembered.

A very nice frontier used example of a rare and sought after Civil War era early cartridge revolver, as used by a famous outlaw! Ready to display!


Years of Manufacture: 1861-3 
Caliber: .32cal
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 3 7/8 inches
Overall Length: 8 1/2 inches
Action: Single Action 
Feed System: 7 Shot Revolver

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