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  1. #1
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    Default 1870s "Protector" Revolver

    Does anyone have any information (maker, number produced, etc.) about the so-called "Protector" revolver? An example is shown in this link. Thanks!

    http://www.coincollectables.com/pics/gn01.jpg

    C/

  2. #2
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    Default

    It looks like a Hopkins and Allen type revolver that was popular at the turn of the last century. Nicknamed 'suicide specials' they were cheap revolvers. From what I remember, they were made in .22, .32 S&W and .38 S&W (not Special) and in fairly large quantities.

    From the picture, you can see there is no loading gate, and no ejector. You put the revolver on half cock, pushed the cartridges down the slot on the frame into the cylinder. After the cartridges are fired, you'd either have to poke the empties out through the cylinder lining them up with the slot, or remove the cylinder by pressing the lever under the cylinder pin, and pulling the pin (after you put the hammer on half cock).

    The 'Suicide Specials' don't command a lot of cash (unless they're of good quality or manufacture) but they are collectable. I've seen them as cheap as $75 to several hundred.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks Paul. The one I'm considering is supposedly in .30 rimfire caliber. I was just looking for maker information for this particular model, i.e., the "Protector."

    C/

  4. #4
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    Default

    Hi Seinen,

    I was checking the Flayderman's guide and they do mention a revolver made by Jacob Rubertus from 1870 to 1880 marketed under 'Protector Arms'. Flayderman's said the pistols were marked 'Protector Arms' but I guess there could have been variations. The picture I saw was similar to the one you have except that the cylinder pin was a little fancier, having a ball at the end, instead of being straight.

    J. Rupertus produced revolvers in Philadelphia in a few different different calibers, a .22 Rimfire, .32 Rimfire, 32 centerfire, .38 Rimfire, 38 centerfire and a .41 Rimfire. The quantitys for the .22 were about 1,000 the .32s and .38s about 1,500 each. I'm not sure about the .41s. The prices for the 3 smaller calibers run from $125-350 with the .41 starting about 300.

    The finishes were blue and nickel.

    I can recommend the Flaydermen's guide for the antique revolvers and such, I picked mine up at Borders, with a 25% off coupon.

    Back in the 1880s or so, a lot of small revolvers were made looking a lot alike. There's a chance it's not the same revolver as I mentioned above, but I would hazard a guess it's correct.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paulh View Post
    I was checking the Flayderman's guide and they do mention a revolver made by Jacob Rubertus from 1870 to 1880 marketed under 'Protector Arms'. There's a chance it's not the same revolver as I mentioned above, but I would hazard a guess it's correct.
    Paul,

    Many thanks for your follow up. I looked through Flayderman's this morning at a local shop and unfortunately I don't think the Rubertus is the same revolver as the one shown in the photo.

    On the left-hand side of the barrel, reference is made to an April 23, 1878 U.S. patent date. Last night, I did some searching on the U.S.P.T.O. website and found the U.S. patent claiming certain mechanical aspects of this revolver. The inventor has the surname "Bliss" and an address in Norwich, CT. For that reason, I tend to believe the maker was located in CT, possibly in the Norwich area. Hopkins and Allen was located in Norwich, but so were several other makers.

    C/
    Last edited by seinen; 05-16-2009 at 04:41 PM.

  6. #6
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    Hopkins and Allen made a bunch a revolvers all marketed under different names.

    I have 2 that were given to me some time ago. The pic of the 1st one is only marked "Victor" but is in .38 S&W. The other is actually marked Hopkins and Allen and is in .32 centerfire.

    From what I understand, the Victor was made by Hopkins and Allen, even though it's not marked as such. I can honestly tell you I've never shot either, but the trigger pull on both are horrible. If I had to fire it throught the double action, I'd probably never hit anything.

    Good luck in your search. Something will probably turn up on it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulh View Post
    Hopkins and Allen made a bunch a revolvers all marketed under different names. From what I understand, the Victor was made by Hopkins and Allen, even though it's not marked as such.

    Good luck in your search. Something will probably turn up on it.
    Thanks! Earlier today, I spoke with another local shop owner who's collected the so-called "suicide specials" over the years. He indicated that many makers, like Hopkins, produced generic revolvers and others put their respective brands on them. There is a historical society and museum up in Norwich that may have some answers, so I'll pursue the matter from that angle. Thanks again for all of your help.

    C/

  8. #8
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    To conclude this matter, I've determined from some additional research that the revolver was likely produced by the Norwich Arms Co.

    Apparently, Frank Bliss and Alfred Goodyear formed the Norwich Arms Co. during the American Civil War. After the war, they produced revolvers using the Bliss patent issued April 23 1878. Some typical revolvers produced by the Norwich Arms Co. were marked "America", "Challenge", "Protector", or "Patriot."

    C/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default This thread brought me here

    Quote Originally Posted by paulh View Post
    Hi Seinen,

    I was checking the Flayderman's guide and they do mention a revolver made by Jacob Rubertus from 1870 to 1880 marketed under 'Protector Arms'. Flayderman's said the pistols were marked 'Protector Arms' but I guess there could have been variations. The picture I saw was similar to the one you have except that the cylinder pin was a little fancier, having a ball at the end, instead of being straight.

    J. Rupertus produced revolvers in Philadelphia in a few different different calibers, a .22 Rimfire, .32 Rimfire, 32 centerfire, .38 Rimfire, 38 centerfire and a .41 Rimfire. The quantitys for the .22 were about 1,000 the .32s and .38s about 1,500 each. I'm not sure about the .41s. The prices for the 3 smaller calibers run from $125-350 with the .41 starting about 300.

    The finishes were blue and nickel.

    I can recommend the Flaydermen's guide for the antique revolvers and such, I picked mine up at Borders, with a 25% off coupon.

    Back in the 1880s or so, a lot of small revolvers were made looking a lot alike. There's a chance it's not the same revolver as I mentioned above, but I would hazard a guess it's correct.

    Sorry to bump an old thread but this was the best result I found. I also apologize for the bad phone pics.

    The top of the barrel is engraved PROTECTOR and the side is PATD APR 28 1878.

    Any help or advice is appreciated by this newb.

    Thanks!




    Last edited by Cavalier12; 11-30-2009 at 12:48 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavalier12 View Post



    Sorry to bump an old thread but this was the best result I found. I also apologize for the bad phone pics.

    The top of the barrel is engraved PROTECTOR and the side is PATD APR 28 1878.

    Any help or advice is appreciated by this newb.

    Thanks!




    Cavalier12,

    Thanks for the photos and bump. I located some information on this model several months ago, but forgot to update this thread. I'm fairly sure it was manufactured by the Norwich (CT) Falls Pistol Company in the late-1800s. They were produced in large numbers and sold widely.

    C/

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