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A VERY UNUSUAL "BRIT"  AND IT'S AMERICAN COUSIN

 

     This is the first of a two part posting on the English made "Adam's patent " Deane Adams & Deane 5 shot .44/.450 caliber double action percussion revolver and the American made Adams/Massachusetts Arms Company 5 shot .36 caliber double action Navy percussion revolver. Both of these arms, with a few exceptions, share the same design and makeup. A large number of Adams revolvers were used by both sides during the Civil War.  These include the 500 or so bought by the government from The Massachusetts Arms Company during the period of 1857 to 1861 and 1,049 imported English made Adam revolvers purchased on the open market from 1861 - 1866. Additionally, at least 1,000 Adams are known to have ran the blockade into the South. Many were also privately purchased by officers on each side.

 

A VERY UNUSUAL "BRIT"  AND IT'S AMERICAN COUSIN

TOP:  DEANE ADAMS & DEANE 5 SHOT .44/.450 CALIBER DOUBLE ACTION PERCUSSION REVOLVER
BOTTOM: MASSACHUSETTS ARMS COMPANY ADAMS 5 SHOT .36 CALIBER DOUBLE ACTION NAVY PERCUSSION REVOLVER

 


 

PART I
THE DEANE ADAMS & DEANE 5 SHOT .44/.450 CALIBER
DOUBLE ACTION PERCUSSION REVOLVER

ONE UNUSUAL ENGLISH MADE REVOLVER

 

The Deane Adams & Deane revolver

 

     The Deane Adams & Deane revolver, pictured here, is somewhat of a mystery as it lacks any English proofs at all and other than the name "DEANE ADAMS & DEANE, LONDON" on the top barrel flat and "CAST STEEL" stamped on the side of the cylinder, the only other marks are the number "6" (or "9") stamped on the cylinder pin, ramming plunger and rear of cylinder. It is perhaps a trial or sample arm that was not meant for distribution.

 

TOP STRAP MARKING

"DEAN ADAMS AND DEAN, LONDON"
TOP STRAP MARKING

 

 
NUMBER ON CYLINDER PIN

"6" (or "9") NUMBER ON CYLINDER PIN

 

NUMBER ON RAM ROD PLUNGER

"6" (or "9") NUMBER ON RAM ROD PLUNGER

 

NUMBER ON BACK OF CYLINDER

"6" (or "9") NUMBER ON BACK OF CYLINDER

 

"CAST STEEL" STAMPING ON CYLINDER

"CAST STEEL" STAMPING ON CYLINDER

 


 

     This double action revolver can also be used in a single action mode. It is 13-3/8 " overall with a blued octagonal barrel length of 6-1/4". The 4-1/4" one piece grip is fine English walnut with the upper 2/3's of the grip having world class checkering. The deep blued flat sided frame is scrolled engraved on both sides. There is no recoil shield (wear shooting glasses with this one). It has 6 groove rifling and weighs approximately 3 pounds. There is an external side spring on the right side forward of the cylinder. This spring retains and locks the cylinder pin in place. The cylinder is 2-1/8" long. The Kerr type left side mounted ramrod lever is retained in place by a small narrow protrusion 5/32" long cast into the left side of the barrel 1-9/16" from the muzzle which keys into a rather rough narrow 3/8" long groove on the inside of the lever. It takes some effort to disengage the lever. The lever is bright or unfinished on the inside. The operating lever, when drawn up, is pulled back to actuate the plunger and pivots on a large screw that enters the frame on the left side. The plunger action seats the bullet in the cylinder. The blued metal butt cap flares out to a raised diamond. There are floral etchings on the diamond facing on each side of the incised butt screw. Scroll engraving will also be found on the outside bottom of the large oval blued trigger guard. The hammer is casehardened.

 

LEFT SIDE OF DEANE ADAMS & DEANE REVOLVER

VIEW OF LEFT SIDE OF DEANE ADAMS & DEANE REVOLVER WITH
 CYLINDER & CYLINDER PIN REMOVED
(Note Raised Loading Lever)

 

GRIP DETAIL

GRIP DETAIL

 

LEFT REAR FRAME DETAIL

LEFT REAR FRAME DETAIL
(Note Straight Line Rear Cylinder Opening)

 

RIGHT REAR FRAME DETAIL

RIGHT REAR FRAME DETAIL
(Note Curve in Rear Cylinder Opening)

 

 
CYLINDER PIN RETAINING SPRING

CYLINDER PIN RETAINING SPRING

 

FRONT OF CYLINDER

FRONT OF CYLINDER

 

RAISED DIAMOND BUTT CAP

RAISED DIAMOND BUTT CAP

 


 

     The notched low rear sight is integral to the frame. The front 1/4" high blade sight  has a top comb shaped as to appear to be a ball to the shooter's eye. The shooter's hand is protected from the hammer by the pronounced hump at the top of the grip. The swept back grip gives a unique streamlined appearance to the revolver as a whole.  The overall design is generally pleasing to the eye as well as the hand.

 

TOP VIEW OF HAMMER AND REAR SIGHT

TOP VIEW OF HAMMER AND REAR SIGHT

 

SIDE VIEW OF HAMMER

 

VIEW OF FRONT SIGHT

VIEW OF FRONT SIGHT

 

TOP VIEW

TOP VIEW

 

BOTTOM VIEW

BOTTOM VIEW

 


 

LEFT SIDE VIEW

LEFT SIDE VIEW

 


 

     I sincerely apologize for going so long between postings but the summer days have a tendency to disrupt schedules and the best of plans. Hopefully, next week we will post Part ll of "A VERY UNUSUAL "BRIT" AND IT'S AMERICAN COUSIN". This will be the second of a two part posting and will feature the American made Adams/Massachusetts Arms Company 5 shot .36 caliber double action Navy percussion revolver, a true "cousin" to the Deane Adams and Deane revolver posted this week.

 

     Reference credits go to "A HISTORY OF FIREARMS" by Major Hugh Bertie Campbell Pollard, originally published in 1936 and reprinted in 1973. It is an eye opening book as Major Pollard accurately forecasted in that book all of the gun control laws we have today. Amazingly, this book could well have been written last year. It also contains a valuable detailing of the history of firearms and pictures weapons of various eras and countries. "CIVIL WAR GUNS" by Edwards also furnished information for this posting as did Reilly in his write-up on the Massachusetts Arms Company revolver in his book "U.S. MILITARY SMALL ARMS 1816-1865."

 

     For more information on Deane Adams & Deane please use the following links:

http://www.civilwarcourier.com/articles/colts_competition.htm

http://www.gundealer.net/collector/adams.htm

 

    Lastly, but not the least in importance, credit must go to Reed Radcliffe, my son, who magically puts my writings and pictures out there in "Web Land" for all of us to travel to. We don't need visas or passports and thankfully we don't need a license or permit to enjoy these postings, be they of guns, swords or other items - thank God.

 

Dave Radcliffe