ENGRAVED Antique JAMES HARPER Transitional .44 Caliber PERCUSSION Revolver
Double Action PEPPERBOX to REVOLVER Transitional Firearm!
Here we present an antique James Harper Transitional Revolver made in Birmingham, England circa the late 1840s. Harper is listed in an 1849 directory as a gunmaker at the address of 85 Weaman Street in Birmingham.
Between the invention and patenting of the more “modern” revolvers and their widespread affordable availability, a transitional style of pepperbox self defense firearm was produced, largely in the United Kingdom. These guns used a barrel cluster truncated into a cylinder and a single rifled barrel affixed to the end of the axis pin. The resulting firearm was rather weak, but one which was accessible and inexpensive, and more accurate than the traditional smoothbore pepperbox revolvers. After Colt’s appearance at the Crystal Palace’s Great Exhibition of 1851, everyone wanted a “revolving pistol”. The English gunmakers attempted to meet this demand without infringing on Colt’s English Patents. Thus, the “Transitional Revolver” came into being.
The overall condition is near fine. Original blue and case colors. The action is strong, although the cylinder indexes intermittently. The bore is in good shape for its age with sharp rifling. The engravings on the frame and hammer remain well-defined. Both grips are firm with sharp checkering. The top of the barrel reads “JAMES HARPER”. Here is a wonderful example of the short-lived, and therefore scarce, transitional revolver!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 5-3/4 inches.
Caliber: .44 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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