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Old March 1, 2012, 11:43 PM   #1
ckpj99
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Deane, Adams and Deane Revolver

I'm on the hunt for some information on an ancient revolver, and I'd just like to share what I have. My half-brother's grandfather gave it to him, and he passed it along to me.

I've done some research on these guns. They were produced from 1851 into the 1870s it appears.

The part that's interesting is the engraving.

Top Strap: Deane Adams and Deane 30 King Williams St London Bridge (typical marking).

Along One Side of the Barrel in a tiny script font:
"The Gift of an Affectionate Friend, To Gordon Hughes ESQ of HM 85th REG on his birthday and departure to India 22nd July 18_4"

Problem is I CAN'T READ THE THIRD NUMBER OF THE DATE. (I'm not positive about the 4 in the date either, but it's my best guess, and 85th could be off, too.

The Indian Rebellion was in 1857. That with the patent date means it could be 54, 64, even 74.

I even searched the web for British military records and found nothing.

I would love to learn more about this gun and the man who owned it. Knowing who the "affectionate friend" is would be interesting, too.

I took a quick picture with my phone. I'm going to try to get some better pics of the thing (I'm a photographer, so it shouldn't be too hard!) The thing has a lot of rust on it, which makes the engraving really hard to read.

That brings me to my next question. Is there anyway to clean it up without damaging the engraving?

By the way, the nipples are beat to hell, but the action functions. The hammer goes back and drops, the cylinder rotates and can be taken out. The trigger is really interesting to use. You can pull back with your ring finger all the way, then use your trigger finger to hit the smaller trigger "lever?". The hammer won't drop unless this is done. You know, just like a Glock.

It appears the ramming lever is gone, and for that matter, the trigger guard, too.

I have it soaked in Hoppes lube to try to halt the rusting.

Basically, I'd like to be able to display this. Any tips on the rust removal (which won't be done if it is too damaging to the engraving) and long term preservation would be greatly appreciated!
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Old March 2, 2012, 06:57 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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You sure there was a ramming lever?

Some of the Deane Adams and Deane revolvers didn't come with rammers. They used a separate loading ram road sold as part of the overall kit, as shown with this one: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...ch&um=1&itbs=1

What's interesting, though, is that this is the only trigger cocking single action DAD revolver I've ever seen...
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Old March 2, 2012, 11:05 AM   #3
ckpj99
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You said "It's the only trigger cocking single-action DAD revolver..."

I only kind of understand this phrase. Knowing very little about old cap and ball revolvers and early revolver actions, I would have assumed this would be considered a double-action revolver.

What makes this a trigger cocking single action? Also what is DAD mean? I initially thought you might have meant DAO, but as I said, I'm extremely unfamiliar with these early systems.
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Old March 2, 2012, 11:49 AM   #4
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Trigger cocking single action really probably isn't the right phrase to describe what's going on with your gun.

A better description might be a "cocking lever actuated single action." But even that might not capture what's going on there.

DAD is a short-handed acronym for Deane, Adams, and Deane. My apologies for the confusion.
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Old March 2, 2012, 11:57 AM   #5
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Thanks, Mike. I'm going to do a little more research on the action system.

My brother gave it to me years ago. At the time, we was living in apartments and bouncing around between jobs. Since then he's settled down and I've taken him shooting a few times, he's now got a house and a wife.

I think it would be nice to get it cleaned up (as best I can), put it in a nice display case with an exhibit card stating the words on the engraving and some more historical information about the gun.

Funny thing is that I'm younger than him and he knew then that I'd be able to take care of it. I think it would be nice to get it back to him.

I've been researching rust removal, but I'm really scared that I'm going to screw up the engraving.

I'm not looking to ever get it to fire again. Thanks again!
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Old March 2, 2012, 01:33 PM   #6
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That action is often called a double action, but Mike is correct, it is actually trigger cocking. To fire single action, the bottom trigger is pulled with the middle finger while the index finger is off the top trigger. The bottom trigger is then released. That cocks the hammer (hence "trigger cocking" as opposed to "hammer cocking", like the SAA Colt); pulling the top trigger releases the hammer and fires the gun. To fire "double action", the shooter uses both the index and middle finger, holding the top trigger while pulling both triggers. That cocks the hammer and releases it; not technically DA, but effectively the same.

I am going to do some digging - no guarantee of results, but I'll give it a shot (OK, bad pun).

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Old March 2, 2012, 02:43 PM   #7
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I did some digging and if the unit is the 85th Regiment of Foot (infantry regiment), they did serve in India for quite a while and were all over India and Afghanistan. The regiment fought in the Second Afghan War and on the Northwest Frontier, which means they were likely in heavy combat at times.

(Fighting in Afghanistan - the phrase sort of sounds familiar.)

Deane Adams Deane was founded in 1858; the 85th was in India before 1868, so I would guess the presentation date on the revolver would be 1864; I don't know when DAD stopped producing percussion revolvers, but by 1874, cartridge revolvers were in common use and I think a presentation of a percussion revolver would be less likely, though still possible.

An interesting sidelight: It was during the Second Afghan War (1879) that the commander of the Peshawar Field Force devised a military belt that is still mentioned in the books and bears his name. He was Lt. General Sir Sam Browne.

Jim
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Old March 2, 2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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Jim, you're amazing.

I'm going to get out a magnifying glass and take a look at the date again. It's sometimes easier to look verify a rusted over number than try to determine what it is.

1864 means the gun turns 150 years old in two years. That's pretty incredible. I'm going to try to get some better pictures of it tonight, and start on a new thread on rust removal.

Thanks so much!
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Old March 2, 2012, 07:56 PM   #9
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So the first thought I had about the OPs gun was this:

Quote:
Wow, that looks just like one of the Tranter revolvers, but its not!?!?!
Here is the one I thought of. What is the difference between his and this one?

http://www.civilwarpreservations.com/newmus89.html
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Old March 2, 2012, 09:17 PM   #10
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Winchester 73 - I believe the Tranter is based on the same design. In my research, I stumbled across a lot of them. I think the companies that produced each of them are connected in some way.

The biggest difference between what you posted and the model I have appears to be the grip angle. The photo you posted seems to have a more raked back grip.
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Old March 3, 2012, 07:34 AM   #11
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Judging by things I've read over the years it would appear that Adams, Tranter, Dean, and Beaumont were all active at the same time and were freely using each others' design features.
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Old March 3, 2012, 10:53 AM   #12
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One method that I've used with very good result for removing surface corrosion while not adversely affecting any remaining finish or "patina" is a product called "Corrosion X" and 3-4 X bronze wool.

First of all, remove the wooden grip if at all possible. If you can "field strip" the piece without damaging it, by all means do so.

Putting on a pair of solvent-resistant latex or rubber gloves is a good idea, IMHO, whenever one is working with chemical "penetrating" agents or solvents. YMMV, but I always do.

Then take a small piece of the bronze wool and wet it with the Corrosion X. Lightly rub the metal surfaces using a circular motion. Rewet and/or replace the wool as needed.

During the process, wipe the resulting residue from your work areas with a soft rag often. The Corrosion X will penetrate into all pitting and surface imperfections and effectively neutralize any "active" rust. The bronze wool, being much "softer" and less "agressive" than steel wool is much less apt to remove any remaining original finish, damage or degrade the markings and/or engraving.

This method has worked well for me on quite a few antique and badly neglected "modern" firearms and edged weapons. Both products are available from Brownell's and several other outlets.

Hope this is of some help to you in preserving your very rare and interesting find.

Last edited by Claddagh; March 3, 2012 at 10:59 AM.
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Old March 8, 2012, 01:51 PM   #13
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Just wanted to post an update on this. I slathered the gun down with Hoppes lube (not solvent). I started with a rag, and it did pick up a little of the rust, but wasn't making a visible difference. I then moved to bronze wool, same result, slightly better. I then moved to lightly rubbing with steel wool. I used a lot of lube.

It cleaned up a little. There's still a bit of rust, but at this point I can't tell the difference between rust and what appears to be some really dark finish (bluing or something). I assume this gun was not shiny when it was made.

The engraving is not damaged, but it's really not any more visible than it was before.

I'm interested in learning what this gun cost when it was made, and maybe finding a picture of the facility (which is know is pretty unlikely). Maybe just an early picture of London Bridge, as I assume the revolver was produced near there?

I've decided to give it back to my brother on his birthday in April. I'm going to get a case with glass on two sides. I'll divot out a place for the butt to sit, use a dowel to support the barrel, and another dowel to rise up and somehow grip one of the cylinder bores.

And advice on long term storage. I store my guns with a light coat of hoppes lube, but is there something better to use on this old piece?

And lastly, I also forgot to ask early on what caliber this gun is. Is it a .50, a .44, a .40?
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Old March 9, 2012, 02:24 PM   #14
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I can't offer anything about the revolver but there is a King William Street in London and when you cross London Bridge going north, you will be on King William Street for about three blocks. You will also be on the left!
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Old March 10, 2012, 08:53 AM   #15
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Just by coincidence, there were some photos of Civil War soldiers published in the Washington Post last Sunday and one of them appears to be armed with one of these revolvers or a copy. The photo appeared again in today's paper because a reader recognized the individual and had sent in their own copy. He was a cavalryman in the First Virginia Cavalry. He is displaying his drawn saber and his revolver is thrust into his belt. It's a small photo but it is clearly neither a Colt nor a Remington. There are no holsters visible in any of the photos although the men in four out of the ten photos had pistols.

There were a number of interesting weapons in the photos, suggesting that troops were armed with a greater variety of weapons than you might otherwise think. Another cavalryman, for example, has two revolvers, one in his belt and the other fitted with a shoulder stock but it isn't perfectly clear that the two revolvers are the same. Another has one of the Harper's Ferry pistol-carbines. He's also a cavalryman and the only one with a carbine belt. The prize, however, has to go to a man with a revolving rifle. I don't know the make but it has a side-hammer. I also think the photo is printed in reverse (as are one or two others) because the hammer is on the left. He also is wearing a fine hat.

Several of them are sporting knives. One man, probably Confederate, has a jacket with shoulder straps (not the US kind) in a contrasting color, the first time I've noticed that in a Civil War photo.

The man with the First Virginia Cavalry who had the interesting revolver was killed in 1863 near Warrenton, Virginia. He was 19.
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Old March 10, 2012, 09:12 AM   #16
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Got a link to those photos, Blue Train?
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Old March 10, 2012, 11:54 AM   #17
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Now let me just see if I can do this. The photos were from the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs in the Library of Congress. It says to go to: Prints 7 photographis Online Catalog at www.loc.gov/pictures/. The Liljenquist Collection is featured top right.
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Old March 10, 2012, 12:06 PM   #18
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That link does work, although you have to enter "Liljenquist Collection" somewhere in a search to find it. Unfortunately, it is a large collection and it would be an achievement to find the same photo. However, it seems to collection is sort of organized, which would help, and some photos had enlarged details. All of the photos in the paper were the little photos that you see in tin frames.

On a related subject, the Smithsonian has a collection of Confederate army records that were saved by the adjutant general of the Confederate Army, Samuel Cooper, my wife's great-great (maybe one more great) grandfather, who by the way married one of George Mason's granddaughters. Anyway, when Richmond fell, he loaded what he could into a wagon and headed south (or further south, that is) until he was captured. Apparently there was some controversy within the Smithsonian, though probably not recently, over preserving those records since they were rebels. There are some more records in private hands locally that I know about.

General Samuel Cooper was from New York.
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Old March 10, 2012, 01:35 PM   #19
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Use the search "confederate uniform holding" "Confederate revolver" or just revolver.
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource...31123/?co=lilj
Here's a well armed union boy;
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Old March 10, 2012, 11:38 PM   #20
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The Post today identified the gun as an "English revolver" but didn't identify it further, and the picture is not good enough to waste time on.

Some general comments: In those days, photography was in its infancy and taking a picture required a solid pose, a clamp to hold the head, and an exposure of minutes; there were no "candid" cameras or 1/1000 second shutter speeds, and no cell phone cameras in the shirt pocket. Photography was a studio business, only a bit less complicated than getting an MRI scan today..

Plus, soldiers on leave in town or even visiting one of the photographers who set up his wagon in the training camps weren't allowed to bring their guns.

The result is that in almost all of those CW pictures, of both Union and Confederate soldiers, the guns, knives, sabers, etc. are studio props, used so the new troops could look appropriately patriotic and ferocious for the folks back home. That is why it is never a good idea to draw conclusions about a unit's arms from the weapons in those photos.

Also, FWIW, the photo process of those days printed a reverse image. So that French (?) musket in Buzzcook's photo is not some rare left handed model. I wasn't there (I am not quite that old), but I doubt any Civil War soldier really carried three revolvers, an infantry musket, and two bowie knives in combat.

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Old March 10, 2012, 11:55 PM   #21
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Here's a link to the Daily Mail that shows the photo of the revolver that Bluetrain was talking about.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-Congress.html
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Old March 11, 2012, 06:58 AM   #22
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That set of photographs certainly got around, didn't it? That's a much better reproduction than appeared in the paper, too, as you can see.

I agree that many of the weapons that appear in studio photographs were probably studio props but it is interesting nevertheless that such a variety of things were on hand. I believe, however, that personally owned weapons were also carried into battle, mainly small caliber pistols and bowie knives, which were issued in some units. I likewise suspect that in Southern units would have had a greater variety of weapons. They manufactured what they could and had to rely on imports and captured weapons for the rest. I think most of the imported weapons, from swords to artillery, came from Great Britain.

While the number of "action" photos made during the Civil War could probably be counted on the fingers of one hand, there were many taken in the field, some soon after battles, although the process was involved. Basically, the photographer had to have his processing lab close at hand since the plates has to be prepared almost immediately before exposure. But leafing through a book entitled "Historic Photos of Alexandria," (Virginia) which I have before me, there are dozens of photos taken during the Civil War, nearly all of which were taken outside and most have a lot of people in them. The quality of the photos is very good and contain very few blurred images. Weapon-wise, however, only muskets are prominent and just a few officers are shown with swords or sabers. There is a surprising variety of uniforms (all the men shown in uniform are Federals) and, again, many fine hats.

It is an odd feeling to look at these photos and being able to recognize so many of the buildings.
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Old March 11, 2012, 06:08 PM   #23
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Anyone who lives in the VA, PA, MD area knows the feeling of looking at CW era pictures and recognizing buildings and areas. A lot has changed but a lot hasn't, in some cases because of historic preservation but in many cases because there was no need to destroy perfectly good buildings.

True, the CS army did use a variety of weapons, but they tried to keep to a standard. Standard .577 ammo was hard enough to make or smuggle in, without trying to supply ammo in non-standard calibers. Mostly they didn't bother. The soldier who brought a personal weapon (and, yes, many did, at least in the early part of the war) was on his own for ammo in both armies.

In a way, the CS was fortunate in that regard. The US ordnance department was plagued by hundreds of inventors, each of whom not only had a war-winning gadget gun that he wanted adopted immediately, but a brother-in-law who was a Senator/Conressman/Secretary-of-whatever who was using his influence to secure a contract.

Much scorn has been heaped on Ripley for turning down what (with 20-20 hindsight) turned out to be good guns, but he knew the CS had nothing better than the standard rifle-musket and felt, reasonably, that the US could win by simply having more of them and more troops to carry them.

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Old March 12, 2012, 05:58 AM   #24
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"Much scorn has been heaped on Ripley for turning down what (with 20-20 hindsight) turned out to be good guns, but he knew the CS had nothing better than the standard rifle-musket and felt, reasonably, that the US could win by simply having more of them and more troops to carry them."

During the Civil War Ripley's organization also had the incredibly difficult proposition of supplying something over 100 kinds of standard small arms ammunition to troops, a frigging logistical nightmare if ever there was one.

That was his main opposition to the Spencer repeater, not the theory that troops would fire too quickly and waste ammunition.
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Old March 12, 2012, 06:17 AM   #25
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In the book I referred to earlier, my wife had tagged several photos with sticky notes because the buildings in them were incorrectly identified. So proceed with caution with regards to what you see in books.

We've sort of strayed from the original topic. I wonder how popular British made revolvers were in the New World. I read somewhere that Custer had one, possibly an Adams at Little Big Horn.
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