Original Victorian Era Fagnus-Spirlet .450cal Revolver with Tip-Up Reloading System - Circa 1870
Original Item: Only One Available. This exceptionaly rare and very interesting revolver was almost certainly made in England, and bears tiny Birmingham Proof House Marks over each chamber of the cylinder. Chambered in .450 Center fire Caliber, this was what Army Officers would purchase to accompany them during "Queen Victoria's Little Wars" all over Africa, all over Asia, North America and Australia.
Designed by A. FAGNUS & CIE, this is known as the FAGNUS-SPIRLET model of 1870. The trigger guard incorporates a rear section terminating in a flat button which upon being pushed to the left rotates allowing the front portion of the trigger guard to be pulled forward. This then allows the barrel to rise being hinged to the top of the revolver frame directly in front of the hammer. Once fully elevated the rear of the cylinder is fully exposed and by levering the front portion of the trigger guard further the entire cylinder empties itself of all spent cartridges.
Easily reloading and then closing the barrel to its normal position allows the entire process to be completed in a very short time. In 1870 this was revolutionary.
The only marking we can identify, other than the British proof marks, are the words CAST STEEL on the barrel, however I suspect this revolver to have been manufactured by one of Birmingham's leading Gun Makers of the period, as the quality is truly excellent. There is the marking HJ on on the frame under the grip, and HM on the cylinder, however we have not been able to identify the maker.
The Metal retains some scattered high polish blue finish, mostly worn to gray and brown patina, with some peppering. The 5 1/2” barrel has a bright excellent bore with strong lands and grooves. Wood grips have nice original finish and checkering, and a good tight fit with little wear to speak of. Original lanyard ring is present.
A most unusual system at a time of Great Britain's Victorian Glory.
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