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MAS 1873 French Army Revolver, 11mm, With Provenance
The French Army adopted this massive "Manufacture d'Armes a St Etienne" (MAS) revolver in 1873 as the standard side arm for the armed forces. The Chamelot & Delvigne designed gun was the first double-action revolver for the French Army, and was officially in use until 1887 however many found their way into the hands of soldiers, militia and the French Resistance all the way to WWII. 
This particular specimen is in very good to fine condition. It was originally finished "in the white", meaning it had not been blued or nickel plated, and is now covered in an age-appropriate grey patina. The action is excellent, lock-up is tight and the cylinder indexes perfectly. The bore of the 4 1/2 inch barrel is very good, with strong rifling and a bright bore showing minimal wear. The grips are well worn, with a few handling marks and scrapes, but no cracks or missing chips. The serial numbers match on the entire gun, including the trigger, extractor, screw heads and even the trigger guard is numbered. The gun comes with what looks to be an original holster which is in very fine condition, with some period repairs to the stitching. Also included is a collection of documents stating that this gun was brought back from occupied Europe in November of 1945 by an American GI. Apparently it was either purchased or received as a gift (or perhaps bartered for a pack of smokes) from a French Resistance fighter. There is also information on the GI and some of the other people who are mentioned in the original documents. This is a rarely seen "War Trophy" and should be of great interest to collectors of French militaria. SN H12455, rated very good overall.
$3,200
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