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What is it?

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by R.H. Lee, Jul 11, 2004.

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  1. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    It says "Bentley Patentee London" on the top of the barrel. Anyone have any idea what this is?
    [​IMG]
     

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  2. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    Here's the muzzle
    [​IMG]
     

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  3. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    I'll start it out - -

    - - - By stating what seems obvious to me.

    Single shot, underhammer percussion "boot top" pistol. Old style rifling. Damaged condition but certainly subject to restoration. Probably worthwhile, too, though I don't know what a collector of this type arm would say about that aspect. Nice exterior condition.

    These were really pretty neat pistols, given that they were only one-shooters. The underhammer made the pistol far sleeker than those with the lockwork on top.

    Historically, the window of production of percussion single shots (and double barrels) was fairly narrow. After percussion was well established as a method of ignition, the perpperboxes and revolvers followed on soon.

    Hope some other member can come up with information of the maker.

    Best,
    Johnny
     
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Both the marking and the looks of the gun indicate English manufacture; if so, it should have English proofs on the barrel.

    There were a couple of Bentleys involved in the English gun trade at the time that pistol would have been made. They may have been related, but my source does not indicate that.

    John Bentley worked in Birmingham and London; the firm was Bentley and Playfair (how's that for as English as you can get?). In 1900 they merged with Isasc Hollis to become Hollis, Bentley and Playfair.

    The other Bentley was Joseph, who worked in Birmingham and Liverpool and traded as J. Bentley and Son.

    Jim
     
  5. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    Thanks for the replies :)
    Doing google searches on Bentley & Playfair, I only come up with shotguns. How old is this pistol? Is it mid 1800's or earlier?
     
  6. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    My guess would be from 1830s to 1850s. By 1850s Colt Revolvers and English revolvers were on the scene.

    BTW Jim, good research. I didn't find any Bentley in my books.
     
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