Connecticut Arms .28 cal "Cup Primed" Revolver

From 1855 to 1870 the Rollin White patent no. 12648 protected the design of loading metallic cartridges from the rear of the cylinder of a revolver. It was owned by Smith and Wesson, and they, as well as White himself, would spend 15 years defending this patent vehemently. By the mid-1860's everyone agreed that metallic cartridges were the way of the future, and many other manufacturers attempted to invent their own system to get around White's patent. Moore's Patent Firearms Co. had Williamson's "Teat-Fire" cartridge, and Connecticut Arms, Mervin & Bray, and others, used the Ellis & White patented "Cup Primed" cartridge. Both these designs required the shooter to load the cartridge from the front of the cylinder, thus circumventing White's patent. There were other, even more outlandish designs on the market, all doomed to failure eventually.
Not much is known about the Connecticut Arms Co. and only two handguns are known to have been made by them: the "Bulldog" single-shot deringer, and the cup-primed pocket revolver shown here. This gun is in fine condition with most of the original blue on the 3 inch steel barrel, and about 10% tarnished silver on the brass frame. The action is tight and accurate. The rosewood grips are fine, without cracks or missing chips, and about 75% original varnish. The bore is clean and bright, with a few spots, and sharp rifling. This is a truly unusual example of American gun making history. SN 1813, rated very fine overall.


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