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03-30-2012, 03:26 AM #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 1969
Need Some Info For My Moms 100 Year Old Palm Pistol
I've posted this info and pics in the past about Moms antique palm pistol. Her Grandma packed it on the old S. Dakota homestead around the late 19th turn of the 20th century. I spoke with mom recently and she has seen the cool kind comments on this forum when I have posted this info in the past. Mom is finally giving some thoughts to having the weapon restored and yet is still quisey about even letting it out of her possesion. Mom asked me to check with the forum experts and maybe some of you folks can recommend to me someone whom is truly expert honest and incredibly reputable so as to restore moms old knucklebuster. I expect some parts will have to be fabricated At the same time if mom decides to put up the money and we can have this great old piece restored I will be so excited and proud that such an old original piece of her heritage and American firearms history is not only in my family at the same time fully restored would make anybody proud as hell. Need some input please. Mike / Mgfrd
03-30-2012, 05:56 AM #2
When my dad received the Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol from my grandfather (his father-in-law), it was in about the same condition as your mom's pistol. Dad semi-restored it by replacing the worm-eaten grips, main spring, hammer, and a few small parts. This revolver was carried in the War Between the States by my great-great grandfather, who was 14, and participated in the Battle of Atlanta (and other middle-Georgia skirmishes/battles). When he was able to join up, it was with the same amount of hope as Rhett Butler when that fictional character joined up in Gone with the Wind. But his father and the rest of his brothers/uncles were fighting and he went at first opportunity. According to the Federal government, none of them actually fought for the Confederacy as they were all members of the Georgia or Alabama militias (I have his paperwork denying him the $15 per month pension when he was 75 hobbled by an abdominal hernia from farming stating that fact, but that is a digression from the story.
When I received the revolver, Dad was still alive and I began a search for original parts to change out with the Dixie Gunworks parts he installed. While Dad had indeed restored the pistol and test-fired it, I wanted it all original. Fortunately, I did not pursue the endevour with great zeal and when Dad passed away suddenly, it was unchanged. I decided not to change a thing on that revolver, because now a part of Dad goes with it. The value would be low on the collectors' market, but that is fine since I would never sell it.
My point? I never fire that family heirloom, nor would I want to. It's value lies in its existence and the family history that goes with it. It is obsolete and of minimal value today as a defensive arm (good grief, it fired a puny little 31 caliber ball!). It was the best a family of Georgia farmers could get for a teen-age boy to finally join the rest of the family in defense of home-and-hearth against an invader (not to politicize the history, but to frame it - my family never owned slaves). Any of my arms would be better for the job. At present, the revolver is clean, lightly oiled, and stored in a silicone cloth. I take it out once a year and clean it. Otherwise, it stays in the safe, a separate fire safe bought just for it (but now carries all my family documents, coins, etc.). Perhaps you should just clean it, keep it nicely oiled, and leave it at that? I have no problem using a gunsmith, but this is a rare piece as it is, that has family meaning. You have no plans, nor needs, to carry this oddity in self-defense. It's value lies in its meaning to you. Inscribe important info on a card/paper/something and keep it inside the cylinder/magazine for future generations to know what it is and who it belonged to. Keep it safe and leave it alone. Just my opinion and by no means it is the best one nor does it refute you opinions.Ruthless Russians...
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03-30-2012, 06:55 AM #3
If I were you I'd just clean it lightly and carefully and preserve it in a temperature controlled area (heat, AC). A microcrystalline wax like Renaissance Wax or even a spray with Boeshield T9 is much better than any oil for long term preservation, although a heavy grease like RIG runs a close second. Avoid handling it, but there's no problems with displaying it in a case or glassed frame that'll keep the dust off it.
Restoration is very expensive if done well. A lot of firearms "restorations" are really just gunsmith rebuilds, not museum quality, replacing too many parts with modern substitutes, hurting its originality and historical value. In the case of this palm pistol you probably can't get cartridges anyway, as most used a special short one, so a firing restoration would be useless.I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.
03-30-2012, 10:51 AM #4
I see that model palm at most gun shows I attend. That appears to be a Chicago Palm Protector .32 rim. I would suspect that you could buy a working model for A LOT less than a restoration on that poor example. Most of the ones I see are in the $1500-$2500 range, although ammo for these is pretty scarce! just my 2c Z"Of all the things I've lost.....I miss my mind the most!"
03-30-2012, 03:58 PM #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 1969
Thanks to all for the great input. I will relay the info to mom and tell her to just keep it as is. Dad can get the oil or wax product you folks have recommended and have a great day to all on the forum. Mike / Mgfrd