Welcome to FreeMyCollection.com! The whole premise of this site is to share my collection of antique guns and ammunition with the world. What fun is having a collection if others do not also get to enjoy it? Take a look around, read an article or two, view a few images and learn something new!August 10, 2016
This is the earliest version of the pinfire pepperbox revolver manufactured by Casimir Lefaucheux around 1845-1846.
Lefaucheux “borrowed” the action from Guillaume Mariette of Liège, Belgium who made a percussion pepperbox a few years prior.
Casimir’s patent modified it to make it breech-loading by adding in that middle piece and allowing the barrels to come off. He said he also added many safety features.
Mariette and Lefaucheux argued in court a few times over this but Lefaucheux ended up changing his handle and frame style and action a little bit to both appease Mariette and add newer improvements.
It is chambered for a 50 bore (based on the old French livre, making it an 11.81mm caliber) cartridge that Jules Joseph Chaudun held a patent for. This is effectively a 12mm pinfire cartridge, and most later 12mm pinfire cartridges fit it in.
Chaudun seemingly hand-made these cartridges as they all seem to be slightly different. They exist in a round-ball load, the candle-flame bullet load as shown and a shot load.
One interesting thing to note is that if you notice the little lever above the trigger, behind the hammer; when you pull it down with your other thumb (which is not extremely easy) and pull the trigger it only rotates the barrel and does not move the hammer at all.No Comments »
August 16, 2015
On the barrel is inscribed:
DUMOULIN ARQer À ROUEN
Dumoulin was a gun maker (arquebusier; ARQer) and gun retailer in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy, France. He must have procured a custom order from Lefaucheux of these guns to sell at his establishment.
All of the parts have part number “15 J” punched into them.
Based on the serial number and the frame design this would have been manufactured around August/September of 1861.No Comments »
July 10, 2015
I have finally acquired a .58 Schubarth! It is one of the more desirable American cartridges and seems to trade for insane prices. There are only around a dozen known to exist. It was patented and made in 1861 by Casper D. Schubarth who resided at 6 North Main street Providence, RI.
This particular example was once owned by Colonel Berkeley R. Lewis of the United States Army Ordnance Corps. He acquired it from the Smithsonian Institution.
The whole idea of the cartridge and rifle is based on a modification and improvement of Gallager & Gladding’s cartridge and rifle that was created a couple years prior. I have new pictures of the Gallager & Gladding cartridge that I will feature in my Journal column (which is currently detailing the relationship of pinfire cartridges and the United States) sometime in the next few months. Schubarth’s improvement was essentially to make it waterproof.
It is an inside-primed pinfire. I believe his intentions were to make it easily reloadable with Minié balls and was offered to the government which did not decided to purchase it.
Bullet Diameter: 0.61 inches
Bullet Weight: 551 grains
Powder Charge: 70 grains
Total Weight: 764 grains
Case Length: 1.13 inches
Total Length: 2 inches
While I do not have ballistic info on it, in 1861 Mr. Schubarth said that “It will be seen that the powder is fired in the middle of the charge thus causing a rapid combustion [and] that this causes so great force be generated that 60 grains of powder has driven bullet through 15 one inch boards at a distance one hundred yards ”
Also, here is the patent, and an image of it beside a .223 for scale.2 Comments »
Wilhelm Collath invented a shotshell variation that had a small pin that rested in a percussion cap half an inch into the case. The wider centerfire hammer would hit the pin which knocked it into the cap to set it off. The reasoning was to make the ignition travel backwards first so that it would have a little more time to burn the powder before building up the pressure to propel the shot. This allowed for less burning powder to travel down the barrel.
He also came up with his own size numbering system. They roughly equate like this:
0 -> 10g
1 -> 12g
3 -> 14g
4 -> 16g
5 -> 18g
6 -> 20g
7 -> 24g
8 -> 28g
As shown in the picture, they were also, but not commonly, made in a couple of the regular English gauges.
July 8, 2015
In March of 1938, the “Anschluss” took control of the company, Hirtenberger Patronen Zunhutchen & Metallwarenfabrik A.-G. of Hirtenberg, Austria and incorporated it into the Wilhelm Gustloff Foundation, which was a group owned by the Nazi Party.
On April 29, 1939 The company was officially renamed (from Hirtenberger) to Gustloffwerke Hirtenberger.
During this timeframe they typically used the letter “G” as a manufacturer’s mark on the headstamps, but also continued using the “H” for cartridges only produced in small numbers rather than replacing the bunters.
By April 3, 1945 the plant was mostly devastated from the war and fell into the hands of the Soviets and was quickly put under control of the USIA (Administration of Soviet Property in Austria) and the company again renamed to Hirtenberger Patronen Zunhutchen & Metallwarenfabrik and eventually started production of cartridges again in 1946.
So from 1939 to 1944 The Nazi’s made pinfire cartridges in Austria.No Comments »