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Old June 8, 2008, 01:33 PM   #1
mhuegerich
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Pics of a British Bulldog??? No markings.

I need some help identifying this gun. The top of the frame is marked British Bulldog, but other than that there are no identifying marks. No proof marks, serial number, nothing that I can find. The machining seems second rate. From what I've read, the British Bulldog style of revolver could have been produced any any number of manufacturers in America or Europe. Does anyone have any other information?

Thanks.

Mike





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Old June 8, 2008, 01:45 PM   #2
SDC
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This revolver is a Belgian copy of the British Bulldog, as many (probably most) were; the "ELG" in an oval on the rear of the cylinder is a Belgian proofmark.
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Old June 8, 2008, 02:14 PM   #3
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SDC,

Thanks for the quick response. Thought I was going to stump the everyone

It funny, I scoured the gun for markings before my post, and as I was uploading the pics I noticed the mark on the cylinder. Although I still wouldn't have known what it meant.

Any idea on the years these were produced?
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Old June 8, 2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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The general design and pattern of these revolvers dates from before WW1, but without any maker's information or inspector's marks on it, it could be from anywhere between ~1880 and ~1910; there may be some marks on the grip frame underneath the grips?
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Old June 9, 2008, 12:57 PM   #5
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Webley's produced the first "Bulldog" revolver of that type in 1878 and about three nanoseconds later, Belgian makers were turning out copies. Copies were also made in the U.S. Winchester sold the Webley Bulldog through its New York store starting in 1882.

Jim
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Old June 9, 2008, 10:47 PM   #6
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E.C Meacham Arms Co., St. Louis (1884)

Improved British Bull-Dog.
"F. & W." Make.
Double Action, Self-cocker.
The .32 Cal. are 7 shot, 38 Cal. 6 shot, and 44 Cal. 5 shot.

No. 250, New Model, Rubber Stock, Rebounding Hammers,
Plated.........................$3.12
Extra Pearl Stock, $1.87, Ivory, 71.25, Engraving, $1.25
SEVEN SHOTS IN 5 SECONDS. Weight 15 oz. Length of Barrel 2 In.

(The trigger guard screws are more exposed than the catalog picture)
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Old June 10, 2008, 11:08 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for the info. I'm always amazed at what some of you guys know.

Gbro, you're right about the exposed trigger guard screws. Every bulldog picture I looked at had more flush mount screws. In fact, most parts of the gun don't have a quality feel to them.

Here's a pic of the grip frame marking. I believe it's marked AF. You can also see the screw that retains the leaf spring is sticking through the grip frame.

Mike

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Old June 11, 2008, 02:04 AM   #8
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During the late 19th century and early 20th century Fabriques d'Armes Unies de Li├Ęge (FAUL) made their version of the British Bulldog in .44 cal. Most are just identified as Belgian made by the ELG Oval of the Liege proof house. FAUL did not add their trademark but let their worldwide dealer network add theirs, which they did not.
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Old June 11, 2008, 03:30 AM   #9
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"AF" would likely be "Auguste Francotte", one of the larger Belgian gun-makers; they made at least 150 different models of revolver, according to this page: http://www.littlegun.be/arme%20belge...cotte%20gb.htm
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Old June 11, 2008, 02:12 PM   #10
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mhuegerich,

The fact that your revolver is not top brand does not make it less interesting.
IMHO you have a very nice looking piece of gun history. There might be more guns like yours that really have a history than high class pieces that never left the gun cabinet.
If you like it, treasure it, if you do not like it, trade it.

I would buy it, but the government don't allow that.
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Old June 11, 2008, 08:16 PM   #11
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Sometimes the oddities are more interesting than the better known guns, though seldom as valuable. I have several pinfire Belgian revolvers, each one different from the others. They are not at all valuable, but they are interesting. True, my interest is not in collectors items per se. A Singer M1911A1 or a Colt Paterson belt model is valuable, but not really very interesting - when you have seen one, you have seen them all.

But the endless variations of the Belgian guns, and our own revolvers of the same period, can really be fascinating.

Jim
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Old June 12, 2008, 12:06 AM   #12
mhuegerich
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SDC, thanks for posting the link. Not sure how you found it, but great information.

Jim and Dutchy, I find the bulldog very interesting, in fact I often wonder about the history of my guns. 100+ years is a long time, and I'm sure these guns have passed through more than a few hands. My comment on quality had more to do with my preconceived notions of the state of the art in the 1890's. I have a Colt model 1908 vest pocket made in 1909, and a S&W 4th model produced about the same time. I'm amazed at the quality of these guns. Both still function like they were new and seem tighter than many of my modern guns.

For lack of a better analogy, the Bulldog seems like the Hi-Point of the 1890's. Not trying to ruffle any feathers, but just making an observation. And yes, I also own a Hi-point.
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