The Westley Richards Patent percussion revolver is amongst the rarest of the British percussion revolvers with a total production of only 323 five-shot revolvers recorded. Serial number 323 was completed in 1857, so it is reasonable to suppose that this revolver, number 320, was completed in the same year. The revolver incorporates British patent nos. 14027 of March 20, 1852 (mechanism) and 993 of May 3, 1854 (rammer). With blued octagonal barrel with large blued bead front sight and signed “WESTLEY RICHARDS. 170. NEW BOND ST. LONDON (PATENTEE)” on the top flat, the barrel extending to the topstrap with integral off-set blued notch rear sight. The left side of the barrel with blued Westley Richards patent rack and pinion rammer. Blued cylinder serial numbered to the revolver. Casehardened border and scroll engraved frame with blued sprung plunger hammer safety stop and blued locking catch on the left side, the right side with blued hammer. Blued scroll engraved trigger guard and butt cap, the latter with hinged trap cover. Figured walnut butt with multi-point checkering. Birmingham proof marks. In original fitted oak case lined in green baize with some accessories including a japanned tin, a brass mounted wooden loading/cleaning rod with worm, and a ‘crank handle’ loading tool, with its Small Arms School Corps collection number disc numbered “D8/0452”.
Very fine. The revolver retains 75% plus original blued finish and 80% original faded casehardened finish. Engraving is crisp and clear throughout. Butt with well-defined checkering and scattered minor age related handling blemishes. The case lid and hinges are missing. The lid was removed by the Small Arms School Corps for display purposes and lost over the years. The base of the case is generally in good condition with some age related wear and staining to the lining material. The corner joints at one end of the case base require attention. The shape of the partitions fit the revolver and also conform to other known Westley Richards cases for their patent revolvers. The japanned tin is worn and has a loose cap. The other accessories are good.
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