View Full Version : Identification of pistol/caliber needed

March 3, 2008, 03:32 PM
Does anybody know this pistol?
http://i40.servimg.com/u/f40/11/50/35/28/armst010.jpg (http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=88&u=11503528)


If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you see the pistol with a brief description. But I'm especially interested in what caliber it's chambered for. The site says "A .22 inch long rimfire (Saloon) pistol". Does that mean .22 long rifle? I know somebody who has one and he wants to know what caliber it uses.

I'd appreciate your help, like always :)

March 3, 2008, 04:31 PM
It could also mean .22 Long, not .22LR. I believe .22Long is still available but it's not as cheap as .22LR.

An antique pistol with a similar appearance could also be chambered for another rimfire caliber such as .22Flobert or .22Short or perhaps something else I'm not aware of. It's not possible to tell by looking at the outside of the gun.

March 3, 2008, 05:15 PM
Whatever you do do NOT shoot it with modern .22 ammo. It can't handle the pressure. If you simply must shoot it get some CB or BB caps.

Mike Irwin
March 3, 2008, 05:50 PM
I've seen a number of rifles and handguns with similar actions, and all have been Flobert parlor pistols.

March 3, 2008, 06:17 PM
In European use, many of these were actually chambered for 6mm Flobert, which the .22 rimfire was copied from; the only way to actually tell which specific cartridge a given example is chambered for is to either look at the proof-marks (which may not tell you even then), or to do a chamber cast.

March 4, 2008, 09:11 AM
Thanks for all the answers :)

Today he gave me a empty shell that he found with the gun (his parents have it in an old cottage where they go on vacation sometimes) and it definitely looks like a normal .22lr. Only one thing is different. I don't know what it is or how it's called, but there is a ring/notch around the brass. Like on Sellier&Bellot .38 special rounds. It's probably nothing special, but I haven't seen that on a .22 before... So do you think it would be safe to fire standard pressure .22lr in it? Or should he get some subsonic rounds? Or not shoot the pistol at all?

edit: the ring aournd the shell looks like the one on this WC round: http://i40.servimg.com/u/f40/11/50/35/28/sb311010.jpg (http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=89&u=11503528)

March 4, 2008, 12:42 PM
IMHO it shouldn't be fired at all or only with bb or cb caps. I've seen a revolver about the same age fired with a .22 short that bulged and split the cylinder and blew the top strap off. The cartridges for that gun were black powder

March 4, 2008, 01:12 PM
Thanks again for the warning Hawg, you're probably right. I wouldn't fire a pistol like that anyway. I'll tell this friend of mine what you told me. What he does with the pistol after that is not in my hands...

Bill DeShivs
March 4, 2008, 01:54 PM
There is no real breech block on Flobert-style pistols, just the hammer holds the firing cartridge in place. They are not safe with anything other than real bb/cb caps. Don't even use the newer CCI mini caps.

March 4, 2008, 03:11 PM
I forgot to ask, what are BB / CB caps? I really don't know much about these old (flobert) guns.

March 4, 2008, 03:16 PM
BB ("bulleted breech") and CB ("conical bullet") loads are essentially shortened versions of the 22 Short, that are loaded only with priming mixture, and without any powder. Despite that, they may be too powerful for many of the older rimfire designs.

James K
March 4, 2008, 04:09 PM
The so-called "salon" (room) guns were made for the old .22 BB Cap, which had no powder at all, only the primer. They were, like the one pictured, of the Flobert designs which as Bill says are locked only by the mass of the hammer itself. If anything more powerful is fired in them, the hammer mass is overcome and the empty shell comes flying out backwards. With luck it is deflected by the hammer and doesn't hit the shooter in the eye, but I wouldn't guarantee that. Since the last time I checked Gun Parts catalog, spare eyeballs were listed as "not available", I strongly suggest shooting those guns only with BB Caps and even then with care until it is known what happens.


February 21, 2009, 07:23 AM
Jim, thanks for posting about the empty cartridge coming out. I thought this was an ejector mechanism. Was wondering why it was so "out of control". Your explanation helps very much.

The Super Colibris, having no powder, do just fine! Here's a list of the powder-free cartridges available: http://www.22ammo.com/bbcb_caps.html

Mine is grand to shoot! That long barrel is nice.