19th century underhammer percussion cane gun with detachable stock.
Wes Hardin’s Navy Colt
Beaufort, S.C. Gen. Isaac I. Stevens on Porch
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Stevens was commissioned as a Colonel of the 79th New York, known as the “Highlanders.” He was promoted to Brigadier General on September 28, 1861, and led troops during the Port Royal Expedition. He led a division during the Battle of Secessionville, but after suffering heavy casualties, was transferred to Virginia. He took command of the IX Corps, and led them during the Second Battle of Manassas.
He was killed in action at the Battle of Chantilly on September 1, 1862 after picking up the fallen regimental colors of his old regiment, shouting “Highlanders, my Highlanders, follow your general!” Charging with his troops while carrying the banner of Saint Andrew’s Cross, Stevens was struck in the temple by a bullet and died instantly.
- Digital ID: (digital file from original neg. of left half) cwpb 00756 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cwpb.00756
- Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-cwpb-00756 (digital file from original neg. of left half) LC-DIG-cwpb-00757 (digital file from original neg. of right half) LC-B8171-164 (b&w film neg.)
- Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
The Doomed Soldiers of the Forlorn Hope
A popular term during used by the British in the 18th and early 19th century, a “Forlorn Hope” was a unit of soldiers tasked with being the first to storm a breech in a fortification’s walls. Being ordered to the Forlorn Hope was a very gloomy situation as the odds were great that one would not survive. The soldiers of the Forlorn Hope faced a formidable ordeal as the breech would be covered by every cannon and musket in the fort in order to repel the assault. The first soldiers in would face the brunt of the first volley and most certainly would be cut down. It was not uncommon for entire units of the Forlorn Hope to be utterly annihilated; killed to the last man. It was hoped that at least enough men would survive to seize a foothold or weaken the enemy’s defenses for a successful second attack.
Despite the dangers there was never a shortage of volunteers. While the Forlorn Hope mean’t certain death for many, those who survived were awarded medals, commendations, promotions, and large cash bonuses in pay. Taking part in the forlorn hope also offered a high degree of honor and respect in the army. Often the men who would take part in the Forlorn Hope were new recruits and junior officers who felt they needed to prove themselves in combat.
Most of the grizzled veterans who had experienced bloody combat were smart enough to stay behind.
Wasn’t there only a 50 fps increase in velocity?
Something like that, the increase in muzzle velocity in practical terms was negligible, but experiments in gas seal revolvers were all the rage back then. Webley made a model, all of the big name manufactures made experimental prototypes, and small firms made some models. It was just a passing fad that the Russians caught on to.
Also, why did the russians go from a revolver that ejected all the cartridges at once to the nagant later on?
I would guess that Russian ordnance liked the gas seal design and were willing to trade power at the price of slower reloading.
Do you mean 19th century in that first paragraph?
Yes I did, thanks for catching that.
The Rarest Winchester —- The Winchester 1876 Centennial Revolver,
In the later half of the 19th century the big names in revolver production were Colt and Smith & Wesson. Winchester was not really a pistol company, instead famous for its lever action rifles. However Winchester did make a few unsuccessful attempts to enter the revolver market.
One such attempt occurred in 1876 when the Russian government opened up submission for a new service revolver. Winchester turned to the gun designer Hugo Borschardt, famous for making the Borshardt automatic pistol in 1893. The new design featured a double action mechanism, a swing out cylinder, and was chambered for .44 caliber. A pocket model lacking with a fold out trigger was also made in .32 caliber (pictured above). The new Winchester revolver was called the Model 1876 Centennial, in celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Despite this grand statement and the pistol’s revolutionary swing out cylinder, the revolver was rejected for one reason; empty cartridges had to be ejected one at a time.
Instead the Russians chose the Smith and Wesson Model 3, which ejected all cartridges at once. Very few Winchester Model 1876 revolvers were made, and few are known to exist. Today it is considered the rarest Winchester firearm and is highly sought by collectors. The revolver pictured above is valued at $90,000 - $150,000.
Flintlock musket crafted by Francois Albert for Leonard Roux, Écuyer and Sieur de Puissenac of the Diocese of Limoges and Antoinette Roux de la Garde, 1730.
The real Annie Oakley demonstrates her shooting ability by shooting glass balls at Thomas Edison’s Black Maria studio on November 1, 1894.