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FRF2
September 9, 2001, 11:20 AM
This pistol has Belgium markings on the underside. It has an unusual rib(?) and a very long firing pin. The breach loading opening appears to be about 40 caliber. Does anyone know who might have made this and when? The attached scan is one of six that can be viewed for more information.
Bubba
http://albums.photopoint.com/j/ViewPhoto?u=314358&a=13737698&p=53958192&f=0

James K
September 9, 2001, 03:14 PM
That looks a lot like the so-called "salon" pistols that were used for indoor target shooting, except that those were usually in much smaller calibers, .22 or 4mm being common, and not as large. Still, the type of pistol seems to place it in that category.

It certainly seems well made and expensive. I have found nothing on the name V. Collette.

Jim

Paul B.
September 10, 2001, 04:36 PM
FRF2. This is from the book, FIREARMS CURIOSA by Lewis Winant, which has a photograph that matches exactly, except for the firing pin length, which is shorter in the book.

"Such guns as the Winchester, Marlin, Henry, Volcanic, have accustomed us to a magazine under, not over the barrel. A peculiarity of the repeating pistol illustratrated in figure 298 is the location of the magazine above the barrel. The gun is usually called the gravity feed pistol. It fires a cartridge which is nothing more than a lead bullet hollowed at the base to hold a thin primer and a light charge of powder, quite like a Volcanic cartridge.
The process of getting a cartridge from the magazine to the chamber requires that the hammer be brought to hald cock and left there until the cartridge is fully inserted into the chamber.
Drawing the hammer to half cock raises the chamber block, or carrier, until the chamber is in line with the magazine. Pointingthe muzzle up lets a cartridge slide down to the chamber. A very small rammer, operated with the thumb and forefinger, is provided to insure that the cartridge is pressed fully back. The illustration shows the gun at half cock with the little pivoted rammer having finished pushing the cartridge into the chamber.
When the pistol is brought to full cock the carrier gores down violently and with considerable noise, and aligns the loaded chamber with the barrel. The gun is Belguin, finely finished and ornamented. I can find no maker's name on the example illustrated."

I have no way to scan the photo which is quite small, but with only very small differences in minor details, I feel sure that your pistol is like the one described. Unfortunately, the author does not give caliber. The book is long out of print, and the copyright date is 1955.
I hope this helps some.
Paul B.

James K
September 10, 2001, 11:20 PM
Great call, Paul! I have the book and didn't think to look there.

Jim

FRF2
September 11, 2001, 07:06 AM
:) Paul, thanks for the information. It sounds like you have the right item based upon my working the pistol's action. Jim, I appreciate your quick response, and as is usually the case, I learned something new and interesting about (old) target guns.

Bubba