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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
One of my acquisitions this year is a Confederate pistol. It is a British percussion pistol, marked "D. Bentley Patent." It is one of a group of British pistols know as a Webley Wedge Frame. I found it in Richmond in an antique shop, where it had been brought in that day, spider webs and all. It lacks any British proof marks. The gun is in excellent mechanical condition. However, it lacks the loading lever and shows age indicating the lever may have been removed during its period of use, not unusual for a combat pistol where the loading lever is often the weakest part of a percussion gun. Lt G. Julian Pratt made a list of pistols with serial numbers from his Company H of the 18th Virginia Cavalry from July 1864. Today collectors refer to it as the "Pratt's List." Listed were two Bentley pistols, serial numbers 3111 and 3221. This Bentley is serial number 3222. Few Bentleys have surfaced and are rare. Bentley shortly combined with Webley and these Webleys, along with Kerrs also appear on the list. I have also included a picture of both Lt Pratt's frock coat and an 18th Virginia Cavalry battle flag. The 18th Virginia Cavalry period of service was from December 1862 to April 1865. They fought with the Army of Northern Virginia and were at Gettysburg. Of note, the pistol fits good in the hand and has an excellent smooth double action and locks up tight. In my opinion, I would have preferred the Bentley over a Colt or Remington.
 

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Handsome Revolver..!

Is it a ".44"?

It's interesting that the British were offering a variety of large frame Double-Action Percussion Revolvers, which were reliable and well thought of, while there was not much for "DA" over here.

Wonderful find!

Will there be a "Range Report" sometime soon?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, the pistol is a .44 measuring about .445 at the muzzle, I believe the true caliber to be .442.
 
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Quite a find. I was not familiar with this type of pistol. I might have preferred this one over a Colt or Remington too. Does it have a rear sight?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quite a find. I was not familiar with this type of pistol. I might have preferred this one over a Colt or Remington too. Does it have a rear sight?
It has a decent rear sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Library of Virginia in Richmond has original militia records on micro fiche. The will even ship them to your branch for a couple of bucks.
Thanks Rick, that is very good information.
 

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That is a decent rear sight. Some(or maybe just one) of the double action revolvers of that time period still had the rear sight as a V-notch in the hammer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
One thing I forgot to mention is that the Bentley has a "Bank Vault" lockup (where by when the double action pull is back, the cylinder aligns with and is pressed up to the barrel) creating a more accurate revolver. Something that would not appear on Colt double action pistols for another 30 years.
 
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