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CAP1
July 24, 2002, 12:40 PM
I recently came into possession of an old revolver from a company I have never heard of before - Forehand Arms, Worcester, Mass. It is a top break model possibly in .32 caliber, but I'm not sure about caliber, and cannot find any notation as to model or caliber. It does have patent information on the top of the barrel - Pat'd Dec7 86, and Jan 11 87 . Serial # 122XXX. The only other writing I find anywhere on the gun is on the cylinder on the loading end - 22 9 35. The gun appears to function properly - double action only, with star cartridge extractor. The grips have an F&W logo, and also a badge/shield emblem with stripes, stars, and bars.
Any information on either the gun or manufacturer would be greatly appreciated. The gun is not in very good condition.
Thanks,
CAP

Alex Johnson
July 24, 2002, 04:10 PM
The Sears & Roebuck company carried the Forehand & Wadsworth line, later on they carried the Audbrey line of pistols and shotguns. The 1900 Sears & Roebuck catalog lists several different Forehand revolvers I'll quote the description under their $3.10 Forehand Automatic.

"The Celebrated Forehand & Wadsworth Automatic revolver for $3.10: a revolver that retails for at from $5.00 to $6.00. The very latest improved model, automatic shell extractor, rebounding locks, double action, self cocking, simple and accurate, interchangeable parts made from drop steel forgins. The frame is cast steel, no malleable iron about it; nickel plated throughout; fancy rubber stock; every revolver is fully warranted; length of barrel 3.25", weight, 17 ounces; entire length, 7.75" inches. The fact that we sold more of these revolvers during the last year than ever before is evidence of the general satisfaction they give.
N0.6R1219 32 caliber nickel plated, taking Smith & Wesson center fire cartridges, 5-shot. Our price.........$3.10
blued..............$3.50"

This model was also offered in 38 S&W. I owned a 38 caliber Wadsworth revolver for awhile and thought that it was a nicely made gun. In 1900, when this advertisement was out, it cost 24 cents to have the gun shipped to you through the mail. To give you a comparison in price a Winchester Hi-Wall in a plain version in 38-55 Marlin would have cost you $10.69 while a surplus 50-70 Sharps Carbine would have run you only $2.90 (which would you rather have now?). Smith & Wesson revolvers of similar styles retailed for about $10.75. Times change I guess.