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Author Topic: Adams Revolver, from London around 1870  (Read 3290 times)

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Offline David

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Adams Revolver, from London around 1870
« on: April 09, 2014, 11:19:49 AM »
A friend brought this heavy old cartridge revolver, about .45 cal.
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# I've searched and found a few by R Adams, about 1870, and this one is similar,
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# but I've seen no photos nor description which fits this one. Top of barrel is
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# imprinted:  Adams Patent Small Arms Co. 391X? Strand, London. The under-barrel
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# rod on this model is longer than any seen on line. It is double action with
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# long, mongo pull of at least 20 lb. Barrel length is 6".  Photos are at
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/118026921@N02/
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Offline PaleHawkDown

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Re: Adams Revolver, from London around 1870
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 09:41:02 AM »
It looks like an Adams MkIII but that rod is pure MKI. As such my best guess would be a Beaumont-Adams conversion to bring the earlier MKI or II up to compliance with the MKIII. There should be a royal proof on it somewhere.

Offline Wolfgang

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Re: Adams Revolver, from London around 1870
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 03:35:46 AM »
Very interesting pistol . . .    :)
Beware the man with one gun,.... he probably knows  how to use it.

Offline Gunslinger9378

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Re: Adams Revolver, from London around 1870
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 02:39:19 PM »
Dear Friends,
            I used to haunt London Antique shops in the late 1950's & early 1960's, and saw quite  few pistols and revolvers.  I did think of buying one once, butcould never afford the asking price. British law says that one my possess an antique firearm, even a cartridge weapon, if it is owned as \, "An Antique or Curiosity."  One is not permitted to fire the thing. If you decide to shoot it, you have to obtain a Firearm Certificate, and register it.  In that period where both percussion and cartridge revolvers were in use, The Brits always seemed to favor the Double Action guns, whereas in this country, Single Actions ruled!  The Adams and early Webly's were very well made, but did not always interchange parts
precisely!  A fellow named Johnny D'Ath, a fellow member of the Ham & Petersham Rifle & Pistol Club, brought a Cartridge Adams down to the Club one Saturday. It was a boxed model, and had al the accessories that were supplied with the guns when they were first brought out in the very late 1890's.  Johnny's gun had some cartridges with it. The brass was green in places, and the lead bullets had gone a pale grey/white color. Johnny being who he was, he decided to shoot some of these cartridges.  Some of the older members cautioned against it,
more I feel from the point of view that it would diminish the value of the gun, and also lessen the number of original cartridges still around!  It was a six shot revolver, .45, or as near as made no difference, and to my surprise, all six fired!  What happened afterwards, when johnny
attempted to get the gun to break open, was that three or four of he fired cases refused to extract, and when with some rather forceful persuasion, they did extract, only half the case came with them! The cases had broken in two, and later on, Johnny confessed he wished he had not fired them, for it took a long time to coax the brass out of the chambers!  Somehow, he found a place where he was able to get new brass that fitted the old revolver, and while the double action trigger pull was too heavy for accurate fire, he did shoot some quite impressive groups with it shooting it in Single Action mode!  I seem to remember that the Original Bullets were conicals, that looked very similar to the
.455 Webly & Scott cartridges, of World War I & II.  The WW I cartridge, fired a 260 grain Bullet at about 600 fps. and my Father used to say it had a good reputation as a Man Stopper.  I owned a highly Illegal one for some time. (It was, "Off Ticket." which means it was un-registered,) and I could have gotten in a world of hurt, had I been found with it in my possession.  I took it with me one day when I visited an old RAF Friend at Southend on Sea.  He took me out to the Marshes, and we found a few bricks, and a couple of old car batteries to shoot at! I could see the bullets as they made their leisurely way to the targets!  Mind you, you could only see them if you were behind the gun! Kinda like as boys, we could see our airgun pellets as they went on their way! I also had a 1911 .45 ACP Colt Auto. That one was also off ticket, and it was a very accurate gun. Later on, when I had a Firearm Certificate, I bought a legal one, and I think that sucker must have trained half the Marine Corps of World War II. It would just about keep all it's shots in a number 3 Washtub at 25 yards! The bore LOOKED OK, but it wouldn't shoot worth a Damn!
                                                                                                        Johnnie Roper,Alias:Gunslinger9378.
Never make the mistake of thinking I will not shoot..........
Because it may be your very last mistake!

Offline PaleHawkDown

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Re: Adams Revolver, from London around 1870
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 03:50:47 PM »
" The Adams and early Webly's were very well made, but did not always interchange parts precisely!"

That sounds like standard British engineering - make it externally beautiful, shim the internals to fit.

A friend of mine bought a beautiful mid '60s Jaguar convertible that looked perfect externally, but was very much a "fixer-upper."
First he needed hoses for the fuel injector system. He found that these were nearly impossible to get in America, but that medical grade tubing was a good fix. This meant that half the hoses going into the engine were a sickly flesh color.
The transmission was an automatic, but he noticed a bit of play in the gear selector. He removed the external casing only to discover a pile of numbered wood shims, some signed or drawn on by the original builders. The right interior door panel had also been shimmed to fit. Whoever welded the "boot" had drawn Kilroy in arc weld and signed his name. He had not, however, properly welded the spare tire pin.
The electrical system was an utter disaster. Half the wires were the wrong gauge to do their jobs, several were the wrong color, and all were factory original. They were attached beneath the dash by means of a wood block and two flathead screws, one of which had been drilled right through a ground wire.
The doors were different lengths and had been shimmed in to look right.

Regarding the 1911: "... I think that sucker must have trained half the Marine Corps of World War II. It would just about keep all it's shots in a number 3 Washtub at 25 yards! The bore LOOKED OK, but it wouldn't shoot worth a Damn!"
That's what my dad said about the 1911 he was issued in Vietnam, and what his father had said about the one he was issued in WWII. Grandpa "lost" his at one point and carried an old Colt revolver until they could get him a decent 1911.
My great grandpa was offered a new 1911 in WWI, but declined in favor of the S&W revolver, and he continued to carry a S&W as a police officer, and later police chief, well into the 1950s.

In one of my other forums, people are voting on the best handgun of WWII. I was the only one to not vote for the 1911. I love the Enfield and Webley designs and am very fond of the German P38, but growing up with negative reports from two combat veterans soured me on the modern 1911's less refined ancestors.

Offline Lizardo

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Re: Adams Revolver, from London around 1870
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2014, 04:30:23 PM »
I once owned a 1918 Serial Numbered 1911. Rifling was slap worn out. Still functioned perfectly, but it didn't group, it patterned.
Weebles wobble but they won't fall down...

Offline mazo kid

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Re: Adams Revolver, from London around 1870
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 01:40:11 PM »
I had a GI 1911 many years ago and hadn't shot it when I sold it to a friend. He said it patterned too, and was very loose. I guess that is why they functioned when muddy, sandy, wet, etc.