Horst Held†† *†† Antique Handguns
†† held@ectisp.net

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Nichols & Childs, Conway, Mass.
Ýckel: patent 24 April 1838
Flayderman's # 7A-073: ...one of the rarest American percussion revolvers, contemporary with Colt Paterson, total quantity limited about 25 pieces,


















# 4 on cylinder

the barely visible "AD" in grip


extremely rare Nichols & Childs Belt revolver manufactured in the late 1830's. Serial # 4, caliber .34 percussion, 7Ĺ" barrel. The total production was limited to about 25. Marked "NICHOLS & CHILDS / PATENT / CONWAY / MASS." on the left side of frame. This is one of the earliest American revolvers. Rufus Nichols and Edward Childs patented their revolver 24, April 1838, the 707th patent to be issued by the new U.S. Patent Office after their devastating fire in 1836. The patent covered the mechanical seal between the face of the cylinder and the rear of the barrel. Note that there is a raised cone shaped lip around each of the six chambers in the cylinder. There is a corresponding conical dish at the rear of the barrel. When the lever on the left side of the frame is raised, the spring around the cylinder pin forces the cylinder away from the barrel, towards the rear. The cylinder can then be rotated to place a loaded chamber in line with the barrel. The nipples are integral and the cylinder was either a five or six round with this revolver having a five round. When the lever is pressed down, a cam in the frame forces the cylinder forward forming a gas seal on the breech end of the barrel. The metal parts of the revolver are iron except the tiny trigger guard, back strap and blade front sight, which are German silver. The rear sight is adjustable for elevation. Fitted with bag shaped smooth walnut grips, with a silver spread eagle on the right side and a leaf on the left side. These revolvers are one of the rarest of the American percussion revolvers and believed to have been made by special order only. The metal surfaces have a smooth crisp brownish gray patina and the silver has aged to a mellow satin patina. The grips are excellent with a crude "AD" lightly scratched into the upper left side and some minor pressure dents and handling marks. The marking is crisp and clear. Mechanically functions fine.
Very good plus condition.   


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