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  1. #1
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    Default 1879 British pistol used during the Zulu Campaign

    What type or model of pistol did the British use in Africa during the Zulu campaign of 1879 and can you still find them.
    Garry Lycos
    Dimondale, Michigan

  2. #2
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    Primarily the (John) Adams .450 Mark II and Mark III. Can you still find them? If you look long and hard, mine are not for sale!

    Peter
    Last edited by PJGP; 09-12-2011 at 11:38 AM.

  3. #3
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    Dec 1969
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    532

    Default

    Would that also be the Webley MP revolver?

  4. #4
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    Anyone know a good sight to find them
    Garry Lycos
    Dimondale, Michigan

  5. #5
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    Way Up North
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    Black as hell, and thick as grass
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 37881_415009271603_552341603_5150219_680526_n.jpg  

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJGP View Post
    Primarily the (John) Adams .450 Mark II and Mark III. Can you still find them? If you look long and hard, mine are not for sale!

    Peter
    Yes, you certainly can find them here in UK for a start. They were all privately purchased rather than issued [as were ALL officer's accoutrements], so famous names of the prestigious dealers will abound. As such, there are no bargains.

    If buying from a UK antiques dealer, figure on paying out a minimum of around $3000-3500. Here is a very fine example -

    http://www.onlineguns.co.uk/info.php?id=437
    - on sale at Bisley for 2750.00

    Here is a quote from a well-revered book on the subject -

    '"British Service Revolvers

    Cartridge Revolvers

    .450 Adams Revolver
    ca. 1867~1882

    Between 1865 and 1867, the British War Office adopted the .450 Adams Revolver, the first cartridge revolver to be issued to the British Army. Based on the patent of Robert Adams, the .450 was developed from the Beaumont-Adams percussion revolver. This gun was a solid frame, double action, six-shot revolver. Loading was through a gated loading port on the right side of the revolver's frame. The loading gate was opened and cartridges were loaded one at a time, while manually indexing the cylinder to bring the chambers in line with the loading port. A rod ejector was on the right underside of the barrel, in line with the loading gate. The ejector rod was not spring loaded, nor was it enclosed in a housing, such as was the Colt Single Action Army.

    The .450 Revolver cartridge was of .45 caliber, having a 225 gr. lead bullet ahead of 13.0 grs. or black powder. Muzzle velocity was a stated 650 f.p.s., even then a very low powered round for a military cartridge.

    The Adams revolver was unpopular with the British Army from the beginning, and frequent failures were cited during the Egyptian Campaign. These failures were not specified, but may have resulted from the exposed ejector rod. Declared obsolete in 1882, these revolvers continued in service for over a year until replacements could be produced and issued.'

    A friend of mine bought one, cased with all accessories, originally bought from the Army & Navy Store in London, at an auction in Bedford last year for only 1800.00, and was very happy. Such guns can be owned here in UK without any kind of license, unless, or course, you want to shoot it, when it suddenly becomes VERY difficult and expensive, if not nigh-on impossible, as it is a cartridge-firing handgun.....

    tac
    Last edited by tacfoley2; 09-13-2011 at 03:45 AM.
    I am an international Gunboards patron

  7. #7
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    Dec 1969
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    14,014

    Default ammunition

    Oddly enough .455 ammo is declared as obsolete but you can still buy it in Italy.
    However it was only a few years ago that 5.5 velo-dog was on the prohibited list
    Obviously some gubmint type found a box of the stuff on a dusty back shelf.

    Other Zulu war revolvers
    The Tranter and the Kerr and the Deane Adams

    I did have to laugh at ZULU when Chard and Bromhead were using Mk6 Webleys that were not available until 1915!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Sukey View Post
    Oddly enough .455 ammo is declared as obsolete but you can still buy it in Italy.
    However it was only a few years ago that 5.5 velo-dog was on the prohibited list
    Obviously some gubmint type found a box of the stuff on a dusty back shelf.

    Other Zulu war revolvers
    The Tranter and the Kerr and the Deane Adams

    I did have to laugh at ZULU when Chard and Bromhead were using Mk6 Webleys that were not available until 1915!
    True thing, John - it is available here too, but as I noted, in order for you to shoot it, it has to be treated as Section whatever-it-is prhobited weapon.

    Sooooo, to shoot it legally with store-bought ammunition, you must -

    1. already have a valid firearms certificate for other firearms and

    2. be a member of a registered gun-club in which guns of this type may be fired.

    3. pay out a LOAD of money for the privilege of owning AND shooting such a prohibited weapon.

    4. Store it in one of the SEVEN authorised storage locations in England where they not only have to be stored, but fired under supervision [none in either Scotland or Wales].

    Life, bro, is just too short to make it worthwhile.

    tac
    I am an international Gunboards patron

  9. #9
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    Jun 2011
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    Outside of the USA in New Jersey.
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    When I hear British collectors discuss the horrors of owning a firearm in Great Britain, I thank god I live in the USA, even in the gun unfriendly state of New Jersey, which arguably has the most restrictive gun laws in the United States!

  10. #10
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    Dec 1969
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    South Africa
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacfoley2 View Post
    They were all privately purchased rather than issued
    Not so tac. The Mk II was adopted in 1872 (LoC 2227) and the Mk III the same year (LoC 2355), both for Naval Service. In 1878 (LoC 3272) the Mk II was adopted for cavalry and a lanyard ring fitted. The Mk III must have also been adopted because in 1879 (LoC 3602) the front sights of pistols in possession of cavalry and infantry were to be filed down to a gauge. Both my Mk II and Mk III have WD markings and issue dates, the former not until May 1877 and the later a year later.

    The book you quote is not known to me, but appears to be more than a little suspect!

    Peter

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PJGP View Post
    Not so tac. The Mk II was adopted in 1872 (LoC 2227) and the Mk III the same year (LoC 2355), both for Naval Service. In 1878 (LoC 3272) the Mk II was adopted for cavalry and a lanyard ring fitted. The Mk III must have also been adopted because in 1879 (LoC 3602) the front sights of pistols in possession of cavalry and infantry were to be filed down to a gauge. Both my Mk II and Mk III have WD markings and issue dates, the former not until May 1877 and the later a year later.

    The book you quote is not known to me, but appears to be more than a little suspect!

    Peter
    Thank you for putting me right. the only ones I've ever seen were private purchases, with the names of the owners enscribed on them.

    tac
    I am an international Gunboards patron

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