Freeman’s Patent Revolver (No, Not Half Life)

Patented by Austin H. Freeman in 1862, 2000 of these revolvers were manufactured by Hoard’s Armory in Watertown New York in 1863 and 1864. None were purchased by the Federal government, but they were sold to states and private individuals, and saw use in the Civil War. Freeman’s patent was for an interesting cylinder removal mechanism, in which a sliding latch allows the cylinder and axis pin to slide out the right of the frame as a complete unit, quickly and easily. Otherwise, the Freeman is a fairly typical Army-type revolver, with a .44 caliber bore, 6-shot cylinder, single action mechanism and 7.5 inch barrel.

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Hi guys thanks for tuning in to another Video on Forgotten weapons calm I’m Ian McCallum and I’m here today at the Rock Island auction company taking a look at A Freeman’s patent revolver this is a Revolver from the United States Civil War a one of the rarer types of what Would be called a secondary Marshall Revolver which is to say a revolver that Was used in the war but not actually Purchased directly by the United States Government so this was patented in 1862 Like I named Austin Freeman and what he Came up with was the gun that was kind Of inspired by some others does Aesthetic wise but he had a really Interesting and unique cylinder removal System that’s what he patented and That’s what really made his gun unique So let me go ahead and show it to you so At a basic level the Freeman is really Kind of a typical army style pistol it’s 44 caliber seven and a half inch barrel Six shots it is of course muzzleloading Percussion-cap fired so you’ve got a Little cutout in the rear shield here so That you can cap the cylinder single Action only we’ve got a half [ __ ] notch And a full [ __ ] notch sights are a a Groove in the top of the receiver and a Little semicircular front sight we have Some markings up on the top of the frame Here Freeman’s patent 1862 and then these

Were actually manufactured by a guy Named William Horne at what he called Hoards Armory in Waterton New York he Did also make rifles long guns for the US military he made something like Twelve thousand eight hundred rifled Muskets in addition to 2,000 of these Pistols for Freeman now what makes this Unique and pretty cool is the cylinder Removal mechanism so there’s a little Latch here which is locked in place and On the other side we have the room in The other side of the latch and we have This flat spring there is a button right Here that I can push in and that is Going to lift up the spring such that I Can push the latch forward now I Actually need it to go a little further Forward I’m not sure if this latch this Spring is slightly long Anger than it needs to be but I actually Need to push the latch just a bit Farther under it when I look at pictures Of others of these this spring appears To be a little bit shorter and so I Think this may be a replacement spring That was cut slightly long now once We’ve got this latch all the way forward The latch and the axis and the cylinder All come out as a single unit there so Now you can see what this button does It’s actually not really a slider it’s Actually integral to the still under Access pin here and there’s this cutout

In the frame to accommodate it with the Flat spring is sitting right there to Make sure that things lock in place this Is to ensure that this latch doesn’t Come forward unintentionally you have to Actually push in on this little button Right here to push the spring up and out Of the way it doesn’t have its own Spring tension it is tensioned by the Flat spring on the other side so this Leaves the remainder of our Freeman Revolver we’ve got a solid frame which Is a nice strong design choice we’ve got A hand right in there that’s going to Move up and that’s going to cause the Cylinder to index we have our stop here On the bottom so when the hammer is Fully cocked this stop lifts up and Locks the cylinder in place that stays In place as long as you’re holding the Trigger when you go and put the gun at a Half [ __ ] this drops down to allow the Ham the hand to lift and rotate the Cylinder one one chamber the cylinder Itself is fairly normal Partially recessed percussion cap Nipples in there it is serialized this Is number 1400 and that’s also on the Frame see it right down there total Production was 2,000 like I said all Sold to maybe state governments and Definitely private individuals so got The cutouts here for the hand to act in To rotate the cylinder and that’s pretty

Much all there is to it now some people Will look at this and say that the Revolver was inspired by the star or a Copy of the star well it’s definitely Not a copy I can certainly see why there Would be some talk of the – of the Freeman being inspired by the design of The star the frame shape the grip shape Is in fact very similar however Mechanically there’s really nothing Between the two except that they’re both Single action percussion revolvers you Just saw the disassembly mechanism of The Freeman the star is completely Different it actually has a hinged frame It has recessed a recessed hand in here A lot of very different elements so Freeman definitely wasn’t stealing Anything from star beyond just the shape Of a revolver grip and that’s not Exactly something that’s a big deal to Copy so despite the fact that there were No sales specifically to the United States government this was purchased Privately and probably by some state Forces and so these guns did show up in Various battles through the Civil War After this after production ceased on This the patent would actually be Purchased by Rogers and Spencer and this Design would evolve into the Rogers and Spencer pistol which was actually Purchased by the military so an Interesting developmental step and a

Really cool revolver in its own right Hopefully you guys enjoyed the video if You want to find out more about Rock Island you can take a look at the Description text below where you’ll find A link to their YouTube channel and also A link to their Instagram page thanks For watching

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