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Object Title

Snaphaunce six-shot revolver - Self-rotating possibly by John Dafte

Snaphaunce six-shot revolver - Self-rotating possibly by John Dafte

Date

1660-1670

Object Number

XII.1780

Provenance

Transferred from the Royal United Services Museum 1963 R.U.S.I. No 2363. Presented to the R.U.S.I. by Sir James Beauvoir in 1840

Physical Description

Technically of snaphaunce configuration, but made well into the 'true' flintlock era. The separate steel and pan arrangement and back-action lock are dictated by the use of a revolving cylinder and especially the design choice of having priming pans integrated into said cylinder. The weapon is utilitarian in appearance and is largely devoid of engraving or other embellishment, but the superior craftsmanship employed is self-evident. Metalwork is brass save for the iron lock assembly, trigger, belt-hook, and of course the necessary screws and pins. It is stocked, in burr (burl) walnut, after the fashion of a period horse pistol, albeit with the more massive proportions required by its large and heavy brass cylinder. Swamped, unrifled barrel.

A sheet brass shroud covers the revolving cylinder and is screwed onto the lock-frame, no doubt to prevent inadvertent movement of the pan covers as suggested by Norman and Wilson (1982, 80), at least in part. It may also have been an aesthetic choice, and would further have have afforded a safe place for two-handed support should the user tire. Another possibility is that it was intended as a flash-shield to reduce the risk of ‘chain fire’, that is, the communication of flame from the ignited chamber to one or more of the others.

Featured in

Techniques

Filing, Forged, Wood carving

Materials

Dimensions

OverallLength21.7 in
OverallLength551 mm
OverallWeight2.83 kg
OverallWeight6.2 lbs
BarrelLength9.49 in
BarrelLength241 mm

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number None visible

Calibre

.497 in (38 bore)

Associations

Bibliographic References

Illustrated in 'English Pistols' p.11.

'An Important Early Self-Rotating Revolver c.1680, possibly by John Dafte'. The Antique Arms Fair At Olympia London 21 April 2018

Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft. XII.1780
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft. XII.1780
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft. XII.1780
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft. XII.1780
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft. XII.1780
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft. XII.1780
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft. XII.1780
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver possibly by John Daft.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver - Self-rotating possibly by John Dafte Believed to be the earliest of its type.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver - Self-rotating possibly by John Dafte Believed to be the earliest of its type.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver - Self-rotating possibly by John Dafte Believed to be the earliest of its type.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver - Self-rotating possibly by John Dafte Believed to be the earliest of its type.
Thumbnail image of Snaphaunce six-shot revolver - Self-rotating possibly by John Dafte Believed to be the earliest of its type.