Springfield Arms Double Trigger Navy Revolver


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The Springfield Arms Company existed only for a brief period in 1850 and 1851, making revolvers designed by its chief engineer, James Warner, before being driven out of business by Colt patent lawyers. During that time, Springfield (no relation to the arsenal) made a variety of models in .28, .31, and .36 caliber and with a variety of barrel lengths and other features (including a well-designed safety notch to allow the guns to be carried fully loaded safely). In an attempt to avoid patent infringement, Warner separated the cylinder rotation and firing mechanisms into two different triggers on some models, including this Navy pattern example. The front trigger would rotate and lock the cylinder, and then it would trip the rear trigger which released the sear and fired the gun. This was not sufficient to save him from copyright infringement suits, though, and only about 125 of the double-trigger Navy revolvers were made.

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Hi guys thanks for tuning in to another Video on Forgotten weapons comm I’m here McCallum and I’m here today at the Rock Island auction company taking a look at A couple of the guns they’re going to be Selling in their upcoming may of 2019 Premier auction what we have today is a Very rare example of one of those Revolvers that went into production and Was then squashed by the Colt company Because well these guys were kind of Explicitly violating Cole’s patent so This is a Springfield Arms Company Navy Model revolver a double trigger version They had single and double trigger guns We’ll get into that in just a moment I Do want to point out that Springfield Arms Company has no relation to Springfield Armory either the actual US Military armory or the commercial Company of the same name today just Happen to be a company located in Springfield Massachusetts so this Company existed basically in 1850 and 1851 and that’s it because they were Hounded out of business by Colts lawyers The the revolver here was the design of A guy named James Warner who is chief Engineer for the Springfield Arms Company and while he did have some he Did have a patent on this design or on a Few features of it the rest of the gun That he manufactured in fact violate Colt patent on basically the revolver

Mechanism patents exist well for better Or worse patents are the law in this Country and they have been and mr. Warner was not the only person to make An attempt to sell guns in violation of Colt patent so let’s take a closer look And I’ll show you why this thing has two Triggers this is actually a nicer Handling gun than I had expected you get A two finger grip on it third finger Under the butt of the gun but yeah it Actually it actually handles reasonably Nicely now what we have here is a six Shot 36 caliber revolver and as a General rule Navy model means 36 caliber Army model means 44 caliber that just Kind of became a naming convention we do Have a loading ramp under the barrel And so you can put a charred pour your Powder in seat a ball and then you can Use the ramrod to fully seat it nice Little spring-loaded catch holding it Under the barrel right there the hammer Is slightly offset to the side so that It clears the sights such as they are These are really really minimal sights But again that’s fairly typical for this Time period we only have two marks on The gun one is Warner’s patent right There on the frame and the other is Springfield arms company Arms Co up on The top strap of the barrel that one’s Pretty worn but you can still make it Out now the reason for two triggers was

A vain attempt to avoid Colt patents and The deal here is the rear trigger Actually fires the gun that releases This year that drops the hammer the Front trigger actually works the Cylinder stop and cylinder hand so the Front trigger rotates the cylinder the Rear one fires it and when you hold this All the way back when you pull the front Trigger all the way through it will Rotate the cylinder as it has there and Then the front trigger actually hits the Rear trigger and if you continue to pull It will trip the rear trigger and drop The hammer and fire the revolver so it’s A single action gun you have to manually [ __ ] it and note that when you do Manually [ __ ] it the cylinder doesn’t Move because that is tied into the front Trigger so then when you fire you’re Going to do that drop the hammer I Overshot it a little bit which is well Part of the potential problem for Something like this there we go and it Fires now this didn’t actually Successfully prevent Colt from suing Springfield Arms Company out of Existence but we’ll get into that a Little bit later one other neat feature That we do have here is one extra notch As you can see five of the six spaces Between the cylinders are just solid Metal however this one has Scalloped cutout in it that is to

Address the perennial safety problem With this sort of gun with percussion Revolvers of well and cartridge Revolvers to some extent of you don’t Want to carry one loaded with the hammer Over a loaded cylinder because if you’ve Got the hammer down like this on top of A percussion cap and a loaded chamber if You hit the back of the hammer or say if The gun falls and hits the ground this Could detonate and fire so you don’t Want to do that but you’ve only got six Shots so you don’t necessarily want to Leave it unloaded so what do you do well The best thing you could do is to have a Safety rest in between percussion caps Where you can drop the hammer and it’s Nice and safe in there can’t easily Rotate out of alignment Until you [ __ ] the hammer and that Allows you to carry all six chambers Loaded so that’s that’s really kind of a Neat system some other percussion guns Had mechanisms like this but this is a Particularly positive and well-designed One we can do a little bit of Disassembly here and go ahead and [ __ ] That to remove the barrel we have to Take out this screw once that comes out We can then rotate the barrel 90 degrees To the side and then pull it off so There’s a little slot there and a Locking pin right here and that’s what What keeps the barrel in place so it

Can’t come off unless it’s 90 degrees Out so then the cylinder comes right off And we have a basic field-stripped Springfield Arms Company revolver Looking at the mechanism up a little bit Closer this front trigger has it pushes The hand so that hand is going to lift Up that hand is going to act on these Notches on the inside of the cylinder Here and that’s what causes this Cylinder to rotate and then this front Surface of the trigger itself right here That is your cylinder stop so that is Going to lock against these little lugs And prevent the cylinder from moving too Far okay Once that’s in position it can it can Actually over travel but it cannot go Back So that locks the cylinder against a Stop right there then the rear trigger Of course drops the hammer note that all Of the working parts on the back of this Are recessed just a little bit below the Face of the cylinder so the whole thing Seals up fairly nice and tight that’s Also a cool design feature and lastly we Can take the grips off by removing this Screw by the way I would take the side Plate off but this screw is also the Access pin for the hammer and then Nothing gets to get it’s a little jumpy With it Springs if you try and take that Pin out so I’m leaving it in place you

Can see a little bit up into there what The grips off the main reason I want to Pull the grips off is to show you the Serial number which is here in the Center web of the frame number 107 Out of about 125 of this particular Model made in total Springfield managed To make about 250 of these guns about 125 with a single trigger and another 125 with a double trigger that attempt To avoid the patent from Colt didn’t Actually work they did also make a Variety of other models of this basic Design they made them in 28 caliber in 31 caliber different barrel lengths they Had you know the belt model the pocket Model the navy model all of these pretty Much went away at the same time and none Of them as best I can tell was Manufacturing numbers of more than just A couple hundred so they are really a Quite scarce gun today these are Occasionally considered secondary US Marshal pistols but there are no known No specific known contracts or official Military use of them so pretty cool to Get a chance to take a look at one it’s Neat to see that double trigger idea Even if it didn’t end up working out if You’d like to add this to your own Collection it is of course coming up for Sale here at Rock Island check out their Catalog entry on it for pictures and Description and of course while you’re

Over there you can check out everything Else they have in the catalog for the Upcoming sale thanks for watching


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