Horst Held   =   Antique Handguns
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VC = Victor Colette
Støckel: "in Liège, Fabricant, received 1853 patent for 20-shot gravity repeating pistol".

  Dessard presentation case

 

      

 

VC = Victor Colette

serial # 726, cal. ~.30 for a cartridge similar to the Volcanic. Unlike Volcanic and later Winchester, where the cartridge is pushed by a spring into the breech, this pistol is held upright using gravity to drop the cartridge into the breech. The magazine is on top of the barrel and the sliding breechblock rises to pick up the next cartridge. Like the early Volcanic, these pistols used self-contained cartridges with the primer and powder inside the bullet, which were produced by Loron and Gaupillat. Nicely floral engraved, channeled stocks with iron butt cap. 9½" barrel with fine rifling and  mounted magazine. In good working order.
Rare and in fine condition, showing minor use.    $5,000.

Jongen Freres à  Liėge

VC 1260

ELG * proof

 

VC = Victor Colette

serial # 1260, cal. ~.30 for a cartridge similar to the Volcanic. Unlike Volcanic and later Winchester, where the cartridge is pushed by a spring into the breech, this pistol is held upright using gravity to drop the cartridge into the breech. The magazine is on top of the barrel and the sliding breechblock rises to pick up the next cartridge. Like the early Volcanic, these pistols used self-contained cartridges with the primer and powder inside the bullet, which were produced by Loron and Gaupillat. Nicely floral engraved, channeled stocks with iron butt cap. 9½" barrel with fine rifling and  mounted magazine. In good working order. The trigger guard is deeply engraved by the retailer Jongen Freres à  Liėge, Stockel 1856 - 1873.
The pistol is rare and in fine condition, showing minor use.  
The pistol comes in a wooden show case with extremely rare engraved bullet mold for the longish projectile, a similar rare "stud" with handle to push the inside hole into the bullet to carry the powder, a screw drive and a cleaning rod. The escutcheon is not engraved and the case is in fine condition. The unique set     $11,000.

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An assortment of Gaupillat-Collette cartridges....

In 1854, a Frenchman named Gaupillat received a patent for a cartridge that consisted of a hollow bullet with an inverted percussion cap inserted in the hollow. I believe this is the same Gaupillat who was a partner in the French ammunition company Gevelot &   Gaupillat that used the back-to-back 'GG' monogram headstamp. Like the Volcanic cartridge, the hollowed bullet of the Gaupillat cartridge acted as the case, but unlike the Volcanic, there was no powder charge used; the explosion of the primer was all that propelled the bullet. It was a very simple design, as is obvious from the patent drawing shown here, and likely met with little enthusiasm due to its lack of stopping power. The cartridges were produced in the four sizes shown in the picture: 6mm, 8mm, 10mm and 11.2mm. The second and fourth examples in the picture closely match the cartridge in the patent drawing, and the latter of the two appears to be fitted with a common military top hat style musket cap. I would assume that the percussion caps used for all of these not specially made, but were nothing more than the standard caps in production at that time. With that empty space in the cartridge, you can bet that it didn't take long for some creative shooter, in search of a little excitement, to add a few grains of powder, seal the base with wax, and proceed to blow up his pistol with the resulting magnum load. I've included a couple of pictures of one of the pistols that used the Gaupillat cartridge; this is a Colette patent pistol made in Leige, Belgium. These pictures are from Horst Held's superb web site at www.horstheld.com. The pistol is loaded by dropping the lever which raises the breechblock up to the magazine that is located on top of the barrel. Tipping the pistol back drops one of the cartridges into the chamber that is on the front side of the breechblock. Lowering the breechblock brings the cartridge in line with the barrel, ready to be ignited by the long, pointed firing pin attached to the hammer.