Handguns, York Sunbury Historical Society, Fredericton Region Museum artefacts

Handguns in the Collection of the

Fredericton Region Museum

The Fredericton Region Museum, formerly known as the York Sunbury Museum, is a small, non-profit museum founded in 1934 by the York Sunbury Historical Society. The museum was housed in several different locations until 1959, when it moved into Officers' Square on Queen Street in Fredericton, New Brunswick.  The Fredericton Region Museum focuses on preserving the history of the York and Sunbury region as well as central New Brunswick.  The museum possesses a large and diverse collection of artefacts, including an extraordinary firearms collection, a few of which are illustrated here. The firearms have been deactivated.

Photos of handguns found in the museum are by the author or as credited.

Musée de la région de Fredericton, armes de poing

Le Fredericton Region Museum, anciennement connu sous le nom de York Sunbury Museum, est un petit musée sans but lucratif
fondé en 1934 par la York Sunbury Historical Society. Le musée a été installé dans plusieurs endroits différents jusqu'en 1959,
date à laquelle il a emménagé sur la place des Officiers sur la rue Queen à Fredericton, au Nouveau-Brunswick. Le Fredericton Region
Museum se concentre sur la préservation de l'histoire de la région de York et de Sunbury ainsi que du centre du Nouveau-Brunswick.
Le musée possède une grande et diversifiée collection d'objets, dont une extraordinaire collection d'armes à feu, dont quelques-unes sont
illustrées ici. Les armes à feu ont été désactivées.

Les photos des armes de poing trouvées dans le musée sont de l'auteur et créditées.

Accession No. 1969.2950.1, Reg. No. D418941.  Liège, .45-cal six shot pinfire revolver made in Belgium, ca 1870.

Accession No. 1969.2951.1.  Liège, 9-mm Military Pinfire six shot revolver made in Belgium, ca 1870.  The pistol is furnished with wood grips and a lanyard ring, Serial No. 1636.  This is a side gate loading revolver missing its integral ejector rod.  It is both single and double action, with a 5-inch round steel barrel and plain wood grips. The metal retains some of its original nickel finish.  The butt is fitted with military lanyard ring . The cylinder is stamped with Liège ELG* proof mark and has a star above an X mark.

Accession No. 1969.2952.1, .55 cal, double barrelled side-by-side percussion pistol, Serial No. 1666.  There are no other identifying marks, but it likely dates from the late 1800s.

The percussion cap, which came into service ca 1820, is a type of single-use ignition device used on muzzleloading firearms (guns that use a caplock or percussion lock system), that enabled them to fire reliably in any weather conditions.  The cap is a small cylinder of copper or brass with one closed end.  Inside the closed end is a small amount of a shock-sensitive explosive material such as fulminate of mercury.  The percussion cap is placed over a hollow metal "nipple" at the rear end of the gun barrel.  Pulling the trigger releases a hammer that strikes the percussion cap and ignites the explosive primer.  The flame travels through the hollow nipple to ignite the main powder charge.  Percussion caps were, and still are, made in small sizes for pistols and larger sizes for rifles and muskets.  While the metal percussion cap was the most popular and widely used type of primer, their small size made them difficult to handle under the stress of combat or while riding a horse.

Accession No. 1969.2953.1, Reg. No. D418942.  R. Redman, London & Birmingham, .32 cal six shot revolver, Serial No. 2969.

Accession No. 1969.2954.1.  Belgian .38 cal, six shot, pinfire revolver with lanyard ring, ca 1860s, Serial No. 1651.

Accession No. 1969.3118.1.  British Pattern 1718 Royal Navy Long Sea Service .577 calibre Flintlock Pistol made by Edge, dated 1759.  This pistol may have had a belt hook that was removed during the period of use.  It is also missing its ramrod.  The pistol is 19 and 1/2 inches long overall, with a round 12-inch long steel barrel.  At the rear of the hammer (which holds and accelerates a piece of flint), the lock is engraved with the letters "EDGE", and dated "1759".  Between the hammer and the frizzen (the piece of steel the flint strikes), is a crown over the letters GR (for King George II, who reigned from  9 November 1683 to 25 October 1760).  Under the pan (where a small quantity of gunpowder waits to receive the spark), is a broad arrow mark.  (The broad arrow was used in England (and later Britain), apparently from the mid-16th century, to mark objects purchased with the monarch's money, or to indicate government property.  It was particularly associated with the Office or Board of Ordnance, the principal duty of which was to supply guns, ammunition, stores and equipment to the King's Navy).  This flintlock pistol has heavy bronze regulation furniture (the metal parts reinforcing the pistol grip and the parts that would hold the ramrod).  19.5" overall length.  This is a very scarce Sea Service pistol.

Flintlock mechanisms replaced older ignition systems such as the matchlock and wheellock firearms.  The flintlock ignition systems produced flint-on-steel sparks to ignite a pan of priming powder and thereby fire the gun's main powder charge.  Unfortunately, flintlocks were prone to misfire in wet weather, and many flintlock firearms were later converted to the more reliable percussion system.

Accession No. 1969.3130.1.  Witton & Daw and Co .38 cal six shot percussion revolver.  Made ca 1858-1860 at 57 Thread Needle St. London, with a wedge frame and under the barrel-loading lever.  It retains elements of its original blue finish.  This revolver was used by both sides in the American Civil War.

Accession No. 1969.3142.1a.  H.  Nock, London,  .64 cal, percussion single shot pistol, Serial No. 1704.   H. “Henry” Nock of Great Britain, 1790-1810.  Henry Nock was a firearms maker for the King of England, and founded the Henry Nock Gun establishment in 1772.  He became Master of the Gunmaker's Company in 1802.

Accession No. 1969.3144.1a, Reg. No. D418927.  British H.W. Mortimer .54 cal single shot saw handle percussion pistol with an octagonal barrel.  H.W.  Mortimer was considered to be one of Britian's most renowned gunmakers from the 18th century.  His outstanding work allowed him Royal patronage and the right to sign his firearms "Gun Maker to His Majesty", at that time King George III.  This pistol is one of a pair in the museum, often called "duelling pistols".

Accession No. 1969.3148.1, Reg. No. D418797.  Sharps and Hankins Model 3C, .32RF four shot pepperbox pistol, Patent 1859, Serial No. 5985.  Manufactured from 1859 to 1874, Model 3C pistols were produced without a side plate and are generally found with a shell extractor.  The top of the barrel cluster in the flute has the one-line Philadelphia address of "ADDRESS SHARPS & HANKINS PHILADELPHIA. PENN." The pistol has an extractor mounted vertically between the barrels at the breech.  The left side of the frame has the barrel release and the right side of the frame has the two line "C. SHARPS PATENT/JAN. 25, 1859" patent date.  It has a rounded grip to frame juncture, very faded blue finish barrel cluster with casehardened frame and it is fitted with wood grips.

Accession No. 1969.3154.1, Reg. No. D418940.  Colt Pocket Model 1849, .31 cal six shot pocket revolver, Serial No. 78814.  This revolver has brass grip straps and a case hardened frame.  Although smaller than the .44 calibre pistols, it has a proportionately larger trigger guard. It is difficult to fit all four fingers onto the slender grip, even for a person with average-sized hands.  It has slab-sided webbing around a regular pivoting loading lever, an octagonal barrel, and an unfluted cylinder.  The Pocket Model came with and without attached loading levers and with barrel lengths from 3-6 inches (the museum example has the longer 6-inch barrel).

Accession No. 1969.3155.1. Reg. No. D418932.  Remington New Model Army .44 cal single-action, six-shot, percussion revolver, Serial No. 100451.  (Also referred to as the Model 1858), these revolvers were made ca. 1863 - 1875.  It has an 8-inch octagon barrel.  Remington percussion revolvers are very accurate and capable of considerable power with muzzle velocities in the range of 550 to 1286+ feet-per-second, depending upon the charge loaded by the shooter.  The Remington revolver owes its durability to the "topstrap", solid-frame design.  The design is stronger and less prone to frame stretching than the Colt revolvers of the same era.  One of its innovative features was the use of "safety slots" milled between chambers on the cylinder.  The milled slot positively secured the hammer between chambers for safe carry by placing the hammer's firing pin where it did not rest on a percussion cap, eliminating the risk of an accidental discharge if the gun was dropped or the hammer struck . Most 19th-century revolver designs lacked such safety features.  The Remington revolver permitted easy cylinder removal, allowing a quick reload with a spare pre-loaded cylinder; this being an advantage over other revolver designs of the time.  It was in service during the American Civil War as well as in the American West, both in its original percussion configuration and as a metallic cartridge conversion.

Accession No. 1969.3160.1.  English .26 cal single shot Percussion Pistol combination knife pick, with bag-shaped ivory grips.  The pistol has a single bead sight and a folding trigger.

Accession No. 1969.3161a.  John Dickson & Son, Edinburgh (Scotland) .44 cal single shot percussion pistol, Serial No. 1707, Edinburgh.

Accession No. 1969.3161b.  John Dickson & Son, Edinburgh (Scotland) .44 cal single shot percussion pistol, Serial No. 1707, Edinburgh.

Accession No. 1969.3162.1. Liège, .38 cal double barrelled percussion pistol, made in Belgium, ca 1850s, Serial No. 1700.

Accession No. 1969.3165.1.  Richard Johnston, London, .52 cal flintlock single shot pistol with folding bayonet, ca. 1800, Serial No. 1692.

Accession No. 1969.3175.1, Belgian .60 cal, percussion pistol, Liege proofed, with a bronze single shot octagonal barrel, Serial No. 1690.  This pistol likely dates from the 1840s to the 1850s.

Accession No. 1969.3176.1.  British .66 cal flintlock converted to percussion pistol, single shot, Serial No. 1687.  This pistol is missing its ramrod.

Accession No. 1974.12.1.  Hebel Model 1894, German First World War 26.5-mm single shot flare gun, break-top, single action, Serial No. 13170.

Accession No. 1979.12.1.  Walther P38 9-mm semi-automatic pistol, Serial No. 1903b.  The P38 was developed by Carl Walther GmbH as the service pistol of the German Wehrmacht at the beginning of the Second World War.  It was intended to replace the expensive to make Luger P08.  P38s were used by the prisoner transport services of the Correctional Service Canada until the late 1980's.  Also, a number of these pistols were collected by Canadian soldiers and brought back to Canada after the Second World War.

Accession No. 1979.12.2, Iver Johnson revolver, Serial No.  80327, .36 cal six shot.

Accession No. 1979.12.3, DWM Luger P08 9-mm, semi-automatic pistol, missing wood grips, clear plastic grips making the magazine visible, Serial No. 1877.  This has a Second World War aluminum magazine release knob.

Accession No. 2022.28.1. German Luger P08 9-mm, semi-automatic pistol, wood grips, Serial No. 9861.  Model 1940, stamped 42 and 61, with an aluminum magazine release knob.

Company Sergeant-Major Paré and Sergeant R. Richards of the Régiment de la Chaudière examining a German Luger pistol, Bergendal, Netherlands, 24 January 1945.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238983)

Accession No. 1979.12.4, Allen & Wheellock .32 cal six shot side hammer lip-revolver with 4-inch octagon barrel, wood grips, ca 1860, Serial No. 1880.

Accession No. 1979.12.8.  Spanish Astra Modelo 400, semi-automatic 9-mm pistol, Serial No. 622115.  The Astra modelo 400 was a Spanish service pistol produced by weapons manufacturer Astra-Unceta y Cia SA.  It was the standard issue sidearm in the Spanish Army during the Spanish Civil War and also saw service in Germany during the Second World War.  The 400 was considered heavy as in order to handle the power of the 9mm Largo round in a blowback action the 400 had a reinforced slide and tough spring.

Accession No. 1979.12.9.  Beretta Model 1934 semi-automatic 9-mm pistol, Serial No.797143.  This compact pistol was issued as a standard service firearm to the Italian armed forces beginning in 1934.  It is chambered for the 9 mm Corto, more commonly known as the .380 ACP.  It is marked P. BERETTA Cal .9 CORTO Mo 1934 BREVETTATO GARDONE VT 1940 XVIII.  A number of these pistols were collected by Canadian soldiers and brought back to Canada after the Second World War.

Accession No. 1979.12.11.  Mauser Model 1934 7.65-mm, semi-automatic pistol, Serial No. 544232.  This was a small pocket pistol chambered for .32 ACP (7.65-mm) based on the earlier Model 1910/14.  The Model 1934 is virtually identical to the Model 1914 except for the grip, which has a more curved back.  It was used by the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) and was also sold commercially.  A number of these pistols were collected by Canadian soldiers and brought back to Canada after the Second World War.

Accession No. 1969.3166.1, Reg. No. D418969.  Manhattan Fire Arms Comapny (MFA Co) .36 cal single shot boxlock percussion boot pistol with a spur trigger pistol, Serial No. 1699.  These weapons were popular as backup guns from the 1840s onward.  Most went out of favour with the advent of cartridge guns in the 1860s.

Accession No. 1969.3167.1, Reg. No. D418972, W.W. Marston .36 cal single shot breech loading percussion pistol with a screw on barrel and bag handle.  The half round half octagonal barrel is marked W.W. MARSTON & KNOX / NEW YORK 1854, with Serial No. 1673 on the underside.

Accession No. 1969.3168.1. British T.K. Baker of London pattern .44 cal six shot percussion revolver.

Accession No. 1969.3169.1.  W.W. Marston six-shot percussion pepperbox pistol, .32 cal., 3-1/4” rotating barrel group, wood grips.  Allen's patent 1849.

Accession No. 1969.3170.1. British .32 caliber six-shot percussion pepperbox pistol, 3” barrel group, engraved frame, wood grips with a diamond symbol, ca 1840s, Serial No. 1669.

Accession No. 1979.12.10, Reg. No. MU000072.  Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works .32 cal five shot revolver, ca 1896, Serial No. 5409.   Iver Johnson Safety Automatics, were designed for the automatic ejection of cartridges upon breaking open the revolver.  Presidential assassin Leon Czolgosz shot and fatally wounded US Preseident William KcKinley in Buffalo, New York on 6 Sep 1901 with an Iver Johnson .32 calibre Safety Automatic revolver.  In 1933, Giuseppe Zangar shot and killed Chicago mayor Anton Cermak at a political event in Miami, in an apparent attempt to assassinate president-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Zangara used a .32 calibre revolver made by the United States Revolver Company, a subsidiary of Iver Johnson.  Sirhan Sirhan shot and killed Presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles, California on 5 June 1968 with an eight-shot Iver Johnson ,22 calibre Cadet 55-A revolver.

Accession No. 1979.12.12.  Harrington & Richards Top-Break Automatic Ejecting .32 cal six shot revolver, Serial No. 804.  The revolver has rubber grips with a target logo, a modified American Double Action mechanism and frame, and a fairly intact nickel finish.

Accession No. 1979.12.13.  FN Model 1910 semi-automatic 9-mm pistol, made by Fabrique Nationale, Belgium, Serial No. 353557.  A pistol similar to this one was used by Gavrilo Princip to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, on 28 June 1914.  France and Germany had been preparing to invade each other for many years, but this act is said to have triggered the First World War.

Accession No. 1979.12.15.  Defender '89 .32-cal rimfire five shot revolver.  The Defender 89 was made under contract by Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works Worcester, Massachusetts, for J.P. Lovell Arms Boston, Machusetts ca.1889-95.  Some traces of its original nickel finish.  Hard rubber grip with "DEFENDER '89" and target logo.

Accession No. 1979.12.16.  Harrington & Richards (H & R Arms) .32 cal five shot revolver, with a manual ejecting rod under the barrel, Serial No. 804.  The revolver has bone grips with a target logo, and a fairly intact nickel finish with floral designs engraved, ca 1885–1889.

Accession No.1979.12.17, Buffalo Bill .22 cal six shot revolver.   Buffalo Bill .22 cal Short Rimfire six shot Revolver, Suicide Special.  This revolver was made from 1875 to 1885.

Accession No. 1992.5.23, Reg. No. MU000072.  Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works .32 cal five shot revolver, ca 1896, with extended grip, Serial No. 634T.

Accession No. 1992.23.1a, Reg. No. D418941.  Webley Mk. V .455 cal six shot revolver, Serial No. 142277.  The Webley Revolver (also known as the Webley Top-Break Revolver or Webley Self-Extracting Revolver) was, in various marks, a standard issue service pistol for the armed forces of the United Kingdom, and the British Commonwealth, from 1887 until 1963.  The Webley is a top-break revolver and breaking the revolver operates the extractor, which removes cartridges from the cylinder.  Firing large .455 Webley cartridges, Webley service revolvers were among the most powerful top-break revolvers ever produced.  The museum Mk. V has a rounded grip with military lanyard ring.

Accession No. 1993.12.1a.  Colt New Service .455 cal six shot revolver, Eley (Webley), Serial No. TBC.  This weapon is a large frame, large calibre, double-action revolver made by Colt from 1898 until 1941.  Firing one the most powerful handgun cartridges available at the time, it was easily capable of penetrating the automobile bodies and body armour used by gangsters, bacnk robbers and fugitives of that era, making it very popular with Lawmen, State Troopers and Highway Patrolmen.  In 1899 Canada acquired a number of New Service revolvers (chambered in .45 Colt) for Boer War service, to supplement its existing M1879 Colt Double Action revolvers in the same calibre.  In 1904/5 the North-West Mounted Police in Canada also adopted the Colt New Service to replace the Enfield Mk. II revolver in service since 1882.  New Service revolvers, designated as Pistol, Colt, .455-inch 5.5-inch barrel Mk. I, chambered for the .455 Webley cartridge were acquired for issue as "substitute standard" by the British War Department during the First World War.  British Colt New Service Revolvers were stamped "NEW SERVICE .455 ELEY" on the barrel, to differentiate them from the .45 Colt versions used by Canada and the USA.  The Colt New Service was a popular revolver with British officers and many of them had privately purchased their own Colt New Service revolvers in the years prior to the First World War as an alternative to the standard-issue Webley Revolver.  British and Canadian forces received 60,000 Colt New Service revolvers during the First World War and they continued to see official service until the end of the Second World War.

Accession No. 2001.19.1.  Smith & Wesson Model 1 1/2 .32 cal Rimfire five shot revolver, introduced in 1860.  Serial No. 29053.  This firearm was known as a "tip-up revolver", (the barrel was turned up to load the cylinders), with the barrel release catch located on the side of the frame in front of the trigger.  It has a 3-1/2-inch barrel with a faded blued steel finish.  It was made without a trigger guard, and has wood grips.

Accession No. 2016.7.4, Hopkins & Allen Ranger No. 3.

Accession No. 2016.7.5.  Albion (Enfield) No. 2, Mk. 1*, 1942, .38 cal six shot top break revolver, Serial No. A9588.  These revolvers were manufactured from 1932 to 1957 and served as the standard British/Commonwealth sidearm in the Second World War.  Albion Motors in Scotland made the Enfield No. 2 Mk I* from 1941 to 1943.  By 1945, 24,000 Enfield No. 2 Mk. I* and Mk I** revolvers had been produced by Albion and and the Coventry Gauge & Tool Co.

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