Savage & North “Figure 8” Revolver

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Designed and patented in 1856 by Henry North (the grandson of company founder Simeon North), approximately 450 of these revolvers were made between 1856 and 1859. A first prototype was sent to the Washington Arsenal for examination in June 1856, and its successful testing led to an Ordnance Department order for 100 more. These were delivered in June 1857, and additional orders would follow. In 1859, the company was reorganized as the Savage Revolving Fire Arms Company (Henry North had been an employee, but not a partner) and the design was improved to what is today known as the Savage Navy revolver. These would prove much more successful, with about 24,000 produced during the Civil War.

The Figure 8 has an interesting action which allows rapid fire without altering the shooting grip, unlike the contemporary Colt designs. It also has a cylinder that cams forward and back, to seal against the barrel when firing. It has a six shot cylinder, caliber .36, with a 7 1/8 inch long barrel and a weight of 3 pounds and 6 ounces.

Savage Navy revolver:
https://youtu.be/3_5U9AoIS5I

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Hey guys thanks for tuning in to another Video on forgottenweapons.com I’m ian mccollum and i’m here today at Riaa taking a look at a very scarce Pre-civil war American martial revolver this is a Savage and north Figure 8 revolver so named for the very Obvious Figure 8 thing hanging off the bottom of The gun Now this was this comes from one of the Older firearms manufacturers in The u.s the company started as simeon North In the 1790s started manufacturing guns In berlin connecticut In 1811 he moved to middleton Connecticut And he took on a partner his Brother-in-law josiah savage thus Forming savage and north Now they would go on making guns in 1831 Josiah savage died and at the same time Simeon north decided to retire and that Left the company In the hands of their two sons edward Savage And james north now james north would Well the two of them would run the Company until 1856 when james north died By that time his son henry north was Also working for the company He wasn’t a partner in it but he was

Working for him and He patented this sort of toggle action Revolver system so let’s go ahead and Take a closer look at this And uh because it’s a mechanically Fairly interesting gun Fundamentally what we have here is a six Shot 36 caliber revolver uh has a Just over a seven inch barrel weighs in At three pounds six Ounces and it is Single action but where with a colt Revolver you have to reach up Typically break your grip and manually [ __ ] the hammer Between shots and cocking the hammer is Linked to a function that rotates the Cylinder On the savage savage and north you pull The bottom Section of this sort of figure eight Ring setup And that rotates the cylinder and [ __ ] The hammer or Wood if it weren’t already cocked you Then use your Index finger to pull the trigger which Drops the hammer So you would actually fire it with two Hands and this allows Pretty rapid fire so that rotates the Cylinder and [ __ ] the hammer And then pull this trigger to fire it

And then [ __ ] it fire [ __ ] fire and so on Oops and i didn’t quite get it all the Way there is a Bit of a hefty recoil spring in the Cylinder and so You have to exert proper force to fully Rotate The cylinder so it’s worth pointing out That north’s patent Has basically a sealed interface between The cylinder and the barrel So when i pull the caulking lever it’s First going to actually slightly retract The cylinder Then rotate it and then allow it to slip Back forward there we go and nest This sort of interlocking cones nest Onto the barrel And that will pretty much seal that will Seal most of The flash from the cylinder gap there’s A nice Spur on the back of the grip to hold Your hand in position because You never have to break your grip firing This guy because you’ve got your cocking Lever here and your firing trigger up There And so this allows you to have nice In-line recoil impulse I haven’t fired one of these but i Imagine they would actually Jump quite a bit less in the hand than a

Cold which is Sort of kind of designed to rock up in The hand to give you easy access With your thumb to [ __ ] the hammer now To disassemble this We are going to first take out this Screw at the front the cylinder access Pin Is actually one contiguous unit with the Loading lever which By the way just comes down there to Allow you to Load cap and ball into the cylinder So i can pull this screw out and then We can wiggle this guy out note that We’ve got grooves cut in it here and That’s to Give some place for powder fouling to go Before it really stops the gun from Working easily with that out And with the hammer cocked so you don’t Want the hammer actually engaged into One of the percussion cap nipples there Now i’m going to Pull the trigger to pull the cylinder Back and then i can drop the cylinder Out And then i can pull out this half of the Cylinder Plate notice this Is our whole spring that sits in the Front of the cylinder And this is what what is putting spring Pressure on

The toggle system now you don’t can’t See the toggle system because i haven’t Opened it up yet So next up i’m going to take this screw Out so that i can remove the side plate And there is our brass side plate the Whole gun here as a brass frame So what’s going on inside the action and Actually you can’t quite see everything Right now because There’s no spring pressure pushing back On this so we’ll show you this with and Without the cylinder When i [ __ ] this you can see that there Is A lug right back there that is going to Push the hammer To first the half [ __ ] notch right there And then all the way to the fully cocked Notch We have this arm right here Which is going to act on the back plate Of the cylinder it’s going to push on One of these Teeth that is the hand that rotates the Cylinder one position Per pull of the lever and then This this end stud fits into The socket right there on What is actually a toggle so you can’t Really see the toggle because There you go now you sort of can let me Put the cylinder back In and you can see a little better idea

Of how the how the whole thing actually Works Looking at just the cylinder itself we Have a little notch And peg here which ensures that these Always stay lined up so that when this Rotates in the gun It rotates the cylinder with it there’s Just a little uh Recess for the spring there The percussion caps are on the side of The cylinder instead of the back That’s really just sort of a stylistic Thing which is required here Because of the rotating mechanism being In the back and then we have these Notches that are Cylinder stops to lock the cylinder in Place So it doesn’t move while it’s being Fired They are held in place by this little Spring detent right there that prevents The cylinder from rotating backwards and It’s just Part of a little flat spring so you can Snap forward past it But you can’t push back now that we have The cylinder Installed and proper spring pressure in The system you can see how the toggle Actually works It’s going to bend right here in the Center to allow the cylinder to come

Backwards Under spring pressure because it has to Come back to disengage from the barrel Then rotate and then be pushed forward To re-engage with the barrel So you can see how this screw cams Upward There that that screw is the hinge in The toggle and you can see how This thin arm is acting on That tooth to rotate the cylinder one Position And when i let the lever forward the Cylinder is able to go Forward And there you have it now what actually Happened to these well in june of 1856 The company sent one of them Down to the washington arsenal for Testing like hey we’ve got a cool Revolver i bet you’d like it Try this one out they put all of 50 Rounds through it It performs pretty darn well and they go That’s a nice revolver We’ll buy a hundred at twenty dollars a Piece with all the accoutrements the Loading tools and everything Uh those 100 are delivered almost Exactly a year later in june of 1857 They’re eventually issued out to the Cavalry And the gun actually performs pretty Well they do eventually do a more

Substantial test on it Something like a thousand rounds and it Actually runs quite nicely it doesn’t Break parts it’s reliable Pretty good in total about 300 Or about 450 of these would be Manufactured By 1859 and what happens by then is the Company First off the company reorganizes as the Savage revolving firearms company Now that there is no longer a north as a Partner in it And they iterate this design into Something that’s a little bit Better and that would be the savage navy Revolver Which i have a separate video on the Savage navy would go on to sell Something like 13 000 copies to the us Military and another 11 000 on the commercial market and be Really quite successful and actually Ended up being used on both sides of the U.s civil war So if you’re interested in following This story i will have a link To my savage navy video in the end cards Immediately following This conclusion as well as down in the Description hopefully you guys enjoyed Taking a look these are Obviously very scarce today thanks for Watching

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