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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Custer & The Webley Royal Irish Constabulary Revolver:

.. Interesting debate about what side-arms George A Custer would have used while in charge of the US 7th Cavalry at The Battle of The Little Bighorn .. Battle of The Greasy Grass .. or "Custer's Last Stand" - that occurred on June 25/26 1876. - I make that 141 years ago almost to the day.

Wikipedia has this to say about Webley production dates:

" As early as 1853 P. Webley and J. Webley began production of their first patented single action cap and ball revolvers. Later under the trade name of P. Webley and Son, manufacturing included their own .44-caliber rim-fire solid frame revolver as well as licensed copies of Smith & Wesson's Tip up break action revolvers. The quintessential hinged frame, centre-fire revolvers for which the Webley name is best known first began production/development in the early 1870s most notably with the Webley-Pryse (1877) and Webley-Kaufman (1881) models. The W.G. or Webley-Government models produced from 1885 through to the early 1900s, (often incorrectly referred to as the Webley-Green) are the most popular of the commercial top break revolvers and many were the private purchase choice of English military officers and target shooters in the period, coming in a .476/.455 calibre. However other short-barrel solid-frame revolvers, including the Webley RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) model and the British Bulldog revolver, designed to be carried in a coat pocket for self-defence were far more commonplace during the period. Today, undoubtedly best-known are the range of military revolvers, which were in service use across two World Wars and numerous colonial conflicts."

Columbus Museum Says:
The Webley R.I.C. No. 1 .455 CF Revolver (Royal Irish Constabulary) was first manufactured in 1872. This blued steel revolver is a double-action only pistol that fired a .455 caliber bullet from a rifled barrel.

Webley No.2 .32" Cal. BULLDOG

Wikipedia further has this to say: 
The British Bull Dog was a popular type of solid-frame pocket revolver introduced by Philip Webley & Son of Birmingham, England in 1872 and subsequently copied by gunmakers in Continental Europe and the United States.

The Bulldog was popular in Britain and America. US Army General George Armstrong Custer was said to have carried a pair at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. British Bull Dog revolvers were issued to employees of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company until 1895.

A Cased Webley Set: RIC Revolver With A No. 2 Bull Dog.

- So did Custer carry one or two Webley RIC Revolvers? .. or did he have Webley 'Bull Dogs' ? - or perhaps he had a 'Galand & Sommerville' .450"/ .44" like the one that is recorded as having been given to his brother Tom Custer?
 - Or maybe he had one of each.😎

Marty K.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

More About Custer's Revolvers:

My recent blog post about double-action PERCUSSION revolvers has prompted fresh e-mails about that era and Custers revolvers..

Hi Marty
The English D/A revolvers, both percussion and cartridge, were considerably more robust and reliable than the various US attempts.  As a consequence they were quite sought after, not only in the US but also in other parts of the World (Canada, Africa, Australia, NZ, etc).  The British revolvers had sturdy mechanisms and also fired large calibres (.44, .45) which gave them good stopping power.  George Custer carried a pair of .450 Webley D/A revolvers (not that they helped him in the end!).  The US D/A revolvers up until the 1890’s were rather fragile but the solid-frame Colt New Service and the S&W New Century changed the playing field.


PS. There is a US Cooper .31 pocket D/A percussion revolver from the 1860’s on TM at present.

Hi Rod, I too have read about Custer carrying a pair of (R.I.C.) Webleys ... but my
research suggests that the Battle where he died was BEFORE that gun was made
by Webley

- Any ideas??

Hi Marty
The battle of the Little Big Horn was in 1876.  Webley introduced the very
successful .442 RIC revolver in 1867.  A photo exists that shows Custer and
his wife in their home, and hanging on the wall in the background are two
RIC Webleys.

Old Photograph Showing Custers Revolvers
 In A Rack On The Wall.
- Now I have found an excellent Guns & Ammo story about Custers revolvers on line - Link:

That G&A story is well worth viewing.

Link to my earlier piece on D/A Percussion Revolvers:

- And I did a speculative story about Custer's guns
 way back on 10th December 2015 - LINK:

The Battle of The Little Big Horn is a fascinating subject to read about
& I guess that all attempts to sort exactly what Custer may have been carrying will be
 informed "guesses" as they are long gone into history.

Marty K.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Misleading Caliber Statements:

There is an awful lot of Marketing / Sales, P.R. Bullshit around.

Here is one possible explanation for the way some American writers "rubbish" the .32" caliber firearms .. and that is - that perhaps they feel the need to encourage sales of new guns in a bigger caliber rather than the retention and use of the older handguns.

- Here is an example of an "expert's" statement printed in the NRA publication Firearms Assembly 4 .. word-for-word describing the French Model 1935-A Pistol:

"Based on the Browning short recoil system and the designs of French engineer Charles Petter, this pistol was developed and produced by the Societe Alsacienne de Constructions Meccaniques, better known as S.A.C.M.
 It has an 8-round magazine, weighs 26 ozs., and fires a 7.65 mm Long cartridge that is underpowered for military hand-gun use by US. standards."

- A few days ago I told a factual story of this 'French 32" Long' cartridge (7.65x20mm Longue) and how it is the same round as developed & made by the US Military for their semi-auto  Pederson Device. This round was used by the French (& wartime German) military in a sub-machine gun and two auto pistols.


- So according to this NRA expert writer - this cartridge - that was designed by the US Military for use by the US Military Forces .. "is under powered for military use by US standards."


 - Tell me what is under-powered about a 73 or 80 grain bullet leaving the muzzle of a handgun at 1,300 foot per second ? .. Would you volunteer to be shot with one ?

'Alternative Facts' and 'fake news' have obviously been around for a very long time - What is actually 'new' is that many folk now seem unable to distinguish fact from bullshit.

 - Anyone imagining a handgun round that blows the bad-guys off their feet and sends them crashing back through a conveniently positioned plate-glass window - needs to stay quietly in their seat and watch the 'thriller' movie one more time.

Marty K.

P.S. Apparently those Hollywood shots are set-up for filming by a rope around the 'victims' waist to jerk him backwards onto a pile of cardboard boxes through a brittle 'window' made from sugar when the blanks are ignited in time with the sound effects.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Double-Action Percussion Revolvers:

I'd never really thought about this D/A aspect .. and I definitely don't pretend to know anything much about them .. but there does (or do ?) - seem to have been at least a couple of  DOUBLE-ACTION PERCUSSION Revolvers. The STARR - and the early Adams and Beaumont-Adams.

Starr are said to have produced nearly 25,000  Model 1858 D/A percussion revolvers in .38" and mostly .44" caliber around the US Civil War period (1861-1865) - before changing-over to a single-action model to meet the US Ordnance Departments requirement for a S/A.

But the English first model Adams with a long trigger pull dates from some years earlier in 1851 - and was double-action only. This was then remodeled into the Beaumont-Adams in 1855 which worked both D/A and S/A cocking with a hammer spur.

Model 1851 Adams.

Model 1855 Beaumont-Adams D/A-S/A.

Starr Model 1858 D/A Percussion Revolver

Starr changed to a percussion single-action iteration in 1863:

It seems that the Military "pundits" of the time were unimpressed by the long trigger pull needed to fire the double-action revolvers.

- This preference to fire even today's modern D/A revolvers in single-action hammer 'cocked mode' is still very apparent on any pistol range.. I guess that a more precise outcome can be achieved eh but personally I'll stick to training double action only.

So there you go,

Marty K.

I get a lot of laughs & satisfaction from shooting my single-action Ruger Old Army percussion revolvers and these .44"s can be surprisingly powerful and accurate .. but to ride or to have been marched into combat relying on those tiny copper caps to work every time when needed must have been nerve racking. - But much better than those even earlier flintlocks.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

They've Gone Feral:

I guess that I'm an old bugger with 'old fashioned standards' - so I sometimes have problems when I see the new "politically correct" way of doing stuff .. and the results of using the 'new way' now for tens of years.

I have this new 'guest' young cat in the house - It is a stray animal that I've now been told had been seen for weeks scavenging food scraps around a nearby school.

This young animal, at it's best, is cute .. but is also wild & unsocialized  - being a sly food thief and quick to aggressive use of it's claws and teeth.


"not socialized; specifically :  not sufficiently socialized to adjust to societal norms - unsocialized and aggressive delinquents"

I see very similar feral behavior displayed by some of the recent generations of young people.

Feral: "(especially of an animal) in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication.  "a feral cat"

synonyms:wilduntamedundomesticateduntrainedunused to humans;"
Many school-age kids and their parents seem not to have been socialised and they display similar 'wild' anti-social' patterns to an abandoned cat.

- No respect for others, no respect for property, and no awareness of the right way to behave when in a mixed group of people. - If anyone tries to stop individual wrong behavior - a typical response is a blank 'dead-eyed' stare and continuation of the anti-social activity - or increased abusive behavior.

- Am I wrong here or is this the direct result of generations of kids being told that they are the most important person and that they 'have rights' and can do what they like ... then being neglected and mistreated?

I know that I'm an "Old Fart" but what happened to discipline, self-control, respect for others, and good manners?

If you get one of these "ferals" in a work-place or on the pistol range wanting to shoot ... Best of luck.

Marty K.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

NZ Police Minister Rules on Illegal Firearms - Plus 3 New Assistant Commissioners:

Police Minister Paula Bennett has announced that she has largely rejected the recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee on possession of illegal firearms by criminal gangs.

Here is a Link to her findings and statement:

It appears that the NZ Police & The Police Federation have had their intended "CLAMP-DOWN" on law abiding firearms-users rejected in favor of some extra rules to be introduced that may strengthen the LAW regarding illegal firearms possession.

A little 'common sense' on show for once.


- Let's hope that any actual law changes are in line with the Ministers published statement .. and that a new 2017 Arms Code complies with the law when it is republished in due course.

Note: Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today announced the appointment of three new Assistant Commissioners.. I wonder if one of them will have a new broom to clean out the National Firearms Office.

Marty K.

Monday, 12 June 2017

CONFUCIUS He Say .. & NZ Police Admin.:

 “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s own ignorance”

Quick - Quick .. You need to read the Dunning-Kruger Effect page on Wikipedia before it is changed on the 17th June.

- Mind you they may not change it very much - other than to include some politicians as examples of this psychological pattern. 😈

The current 'hold' on editing must be for a reason but ..

I'm sure that most of you will be familiar with this characteristic of being too stupid to realize that they are stupid - from your workplaces eh (I knew several specimens).

It does seem that senior officers in the NZ Police National H.Q. Firearms Office may have caused to be printed and have released, more than 30,000 copies of the 2017 Firearms Code containing factually incorrect statements of LAW.

- News that these expensive booklets have now been "withdrawn" appeared in a news release that itself was inaccurate. - Cost of these Arms Codes has been reported @ $27,864.00 plus GST.

Shooters have been given information that this corrective action was at the direct instructions of the Police Minister Paula Bennett.

The officers involved will be better informed & able to perform their duties if they get copies of the Arms Act and the Firearms Regulations (Amended) and actually read them.

Marty K.