Antique AUGUSTE FRANCOTTE Licensed ADAMS Revolver
VERY FINE Beaumont-Adams from the Civil War Period
Here we present an antique Auguste Francotte Licensed Adams Patent Double Action Percussion Revolver, made circa the late 1850s or early 1860s. Robert Adams is credited with patenting the first successful double action revolver in 1851. The Adams revolvers were initially double action only. They were well-received among professionals in the 1850s and served with the British East India Company, with British military officers, and were eventually popular among officers in the South during the American Civil War in the early 1860s, imported from Europe.
From 1853-1856 Adams Revolvers saw use by the British during the Crimean War. One quote from a soldier who was there is impossible to leave out. Writing to Robert Adams he said, “I had one of your largest sized Revolver Pistols at the bloody battle of Inkermann, and by some chance got surrounded by the Russians. I then found the advantages of your pistol over that of Colonel Colt’s, for had I to cock before each shot I should have lost my life. I should not have had time to cock, as they were too close to me, being only a few yards from me; so close that I was bayoneted through the thigh immediately after shooting the fourth man.” Also, during the Crimean War, an officer by the name of Lt. Frederick E. B. Beaumont of the Royal Engineers made design improvements which allowed the shooter to fire in single action in addition to double action, and let Adams utilize his patents. This was the precursor of the action that we still prefer to use today in our modern defensive revolver! A spur and cocking notches were added to the hammer. Demand for these new and improved Beaumont-Adams Revolvers was so great that he contracted with a few different firms to make them, including prolific and distinguished arms manufacturer Auguste Francotte of Liege, Belgium. Incidentally, the British adopted this model in 1856 and Samuel Colt closed his London manufactory in 1857.
Auguste Francotte was contracted to make this piece and it could not have been better executed. The double action trigger pull is smooth and simply cannot be improved upon, while the single action trigger is light and crisp. This is a large, solid-framed martial revolver but it is not unwieldy. In fact, it is quite lively with the relatively small grip and dramatic cant. The front sight is a blade with a generous bead and the rear sight is a notch mounted on top of the frame. The loading lever is mounted on the left side of the revolver, retained along the grip by spring tension of the lever itself and a small detent. The usual placement of the lever on the Adams revolvers is usually alongside the barrel, so this may be a feature unique to those made by Francotte. It holds 5 shots of .45 caliber ball.
This revolver is marked “ADAMS PATENT 13130” on the right side of the frame with “No. 13130” repeated on the cylinder. Auguste Francotte’s makers mark “CROWN/AF” is also seen marked on the right side of the frame and on the cylinder. The top of the frame and barrel is marked “MANUFD BY AF. LICENSED BY ROBERT ADAMS & CIE LONDON”. “ADAMS PATENT” forms an oval with “1851” in the center on the front left of the frame. A small “CROWN/M” proof is located on the left barrel flat.
The overall condition is very fine. The original blue finish is about 45% with a smooth plum patina making up the balance. The markings are clear and legible. The walnut grips are fine with a single chip just under the hump of the frame. The bore is fine with sharp rifling and shining surfaces. The action on this pistol is excellent. Own an important piece of history! Whether you are interested in British, American, general firearms history or the handsome aesthetics, this piece has it all.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 6 inches.
Caliber: .45 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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