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Any Here w/Lot 5 Backstrap - Mixed Art’ys?

725 Views 19 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  bill-in-texas
I came across one such example and am curious if others here have sent theirs to John Kopec, -and what did he say?

Please share, if you have such an Artillery Model.

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It seems that a fair number of Lot 5 parts appear on artillery models. Remember not all went with the 7th so many would have made the recall. Some of the 7th guns returned with benteen and would also possibly seen the recalls.
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How about a Lot 5 trigger guard?

View attachment 836874
Nice. Looks to have a well-preserved finish.
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10
Nice. Looks to have a well-preserved finish.
A few more photographs of this revolver.
Revolver Air gun Wood Trigger Plant
Air gun Plant Trigger Wood Shotgun
Revolver Wood Gas Gun accessory Natural material
Revolver Wood Gas Shotgun Auto part
Musical instrument Wood Helmet Gas Tints and shades
Wood Pet supply Sculpture Hardwood Art
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Hand Wood Water Finger Tool
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I came across one such example and am curious if others here have sent theirs to John Kopec, -and what did he say?

Please share, if you have such an Artillery Model.

View attachment 836823
Those fonts are too small for 1874 production and they have a modern design stamped too unevenly. I believe a spurious marking but that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
JP
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Those fonts are too small for 1874 production and they have a modern design stamped too unevenly. I believe a spurious marking but that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
JP
Agreed! They looked suspicious but I didn’t want to commit to this without seeing the rest of the revolver.

Can the OP provide photographs of the rest of the revolver?
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Agreed! They looked suspicious but I didn’t want to commit to this without seeing the rest of the revolver.

Can the OP provide photographs of the rest of the revolver?
Yes. None of the numbers match. Seems like a stretch to create bogus numbers on the backstrap when nothing else is in the Lot 5 range. My guess is it’s a non-original (stocks, etc.) Artillery Model. But, that’s just it… a guess.

I agree, though. Now, that you mention it, the font is smaller than the example in the above post.

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I would have to have the gun in hand to make a real call on it. It is in such average to poor condition why go to the trouble to fake anything. The butt numbers look off I agree but one thing I have learned is that pictures of stampings can be very misleading. There does not look like anything else was tampered with around the numbers. Artilleries are easy to fake and hard in some respects. The gun although mismatched must fit together like a new gun would have. All the parts were fit and finished to new condition when it left Colt the second time.
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With new screws and hard rubber grips, it’s difficult to prove these component parts have been together since circa 1895 to 1903, as an Artillery Model revolver or if this revolver was reassembled later from component parts. Is there an “A” on the backstrap just rear of the hammer or under the 4039 of the trigger guard? The resolution of the photograph cannot prove or disprove the latter. Any markings on the cylinder and under the ejector housing of the barrel?
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I’m unsure about any Ainsworth marks. There is the A. Kind “K” on the (unnumbered) cylinder, as well as an “H.”
I’ll check, again, for the “A” in the aforementioned places. I should add that I have scrutinized the trigger guard for an inspector’s mark, but don’t recall looking closely at the upper backstrap.
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After all is said here, a name comes to mind: Charles Durfee. In 1992 I attended the Colt show in Hartford. At the show, Eddie Janis and I bought a bunch of Colt first gen parts. Eddie bought about 100 hammers from this guy, I bought a bag of 150 original first generation cylinder bolts. I bought another bag of 50 for Hank Williams Jr. I got to asking him where the parts came from. He said that in the late sixties or early seventies, can't remember now, he was a building contractor and a job came up to clear out space at the Hartford plant, the old plant, to make room for new machinery and other equipment. Two dividing walls were to be taken out and the room enlarged. He said the two small rooms were filled with junk and trash, a discard location. So he and his buddy cleared out the trash and got back to the rear wall of the room where there were three 55 gallon drums filled with parts. Seeing the value in this, as he was an antique collector, he asked the management what to do with the drums. It's scrap metal he was told. Durfee asked if he could buy it and take it off the billing for the cleanout, and they agreed. He told me in that drum were hundreds of SA military parts. Frames, barrels cylinders, straps, but no wood or rubber grips. He claimed that he found over 100 useable military frames, and enough of the other parts to completely build a like number of artilleries and some cavalries. He bragged about the money he made off that scrap, which he bought for a few cents a pound. He had long used up the parts but still had damaged hammers and new internal parts available. He stated that several frames were un-numbered, as well as other parts, and most of the frames and parts still had original finish on them. Said the backstraps were the minimum because of guns used as hammers. Hard to believe that they would have thrown away useful parts, but he said when WW 2 started, all the SA machinery was moved into the back lot where it rusted shut over that 5 year period. Those parts were just in the way, like the machinery, and sold for scrap. In the late sixties, not many people were concerned about obsolete parts from all the work that had been done over the years.

Therefore, there a lot of US stamped frames and other parts out there that became whole guns. Even Kopec can't discern If they were built up. But sometimes, we find a gun with nicks all along the bottom edge of the frame and other odd dings and marks on edges that should have been protected, and I believe those frames are from that bunch. I've personally owned a beautiful artillery with no frame number and beautiful early case color, with all military parts EXCEPT the backstrap, which was civilian. Had a pair of hard rubber on it too.

Also, those four numbers resemble the fonts used on cylinders of NY Militia guns when they had to match up a part, so perhaps that is also the case. The numbers are always smaller in that group than the others but hand stamped? Who knows.
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I’m unsure about any Ainsworth marks. There is the A. Kind “K” on the (unnumbered) cylinder, as well as an “H.”
I’ll check, again, for the “A” in the aforementioned places. I should add that I have scrutinized the trigger guard for an inspector’s mark, but don’t recall looking closely at the upper backstrap.
View attachment 837164
View attachment 837163
I meant any markings along the side of the cylinder, not the face of the cylinder? Not necessarily an “A”, might be an “R.A.C.”, “D.F.C.”, etc. And often a 4 digit number, the second digit of which is often in the turn line.

I’m extremely suspicious of this being a made up revolver. The numbers look suspicious. Also, when an Artillery Model revolver contains a frame, backstrap, and trigger guard with 3 and 4 digit numbers, it certainly is possible, but does raise eyebrows.

Can you post a photograph of the underside of the barrel under the ejector housing close to the frame and also the barrel address?
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After all is said here, a name comes to mind: Charles Durfee. In 1992 I attended the Colt show in Hartford. At the show, Eddie Janis and I bought a bunch of Colt first gen parts. Eddie bought about 100 hammers from this guy, I bought a bag of 150 original first generation cylinder bolts. I bought another bag of 50 for Hank Williams Jr. I got to asking him where the parts came from. He said that in the late sixties or early seventies, can't remember now, he was a building contractor and a job came up to clear out space at the Hartford plant, the old plant, to make room for new machinery and other equipment. Two dividing walls were to be taken out and the room enlarged. He said the two small rooms were filled with junk and trash, a discard location. So he and his buddy cleared out the trash and got back to the rear wall of the room where there were three 55 gallon drums filled with parts. Seeing the value in this, as he was an antique collector, he asked the management what to do with the drums. It's scrap metal he was told. Durfee asked if he could buy it and take it off the billing for the cleanout, and they agreed. He told me in that drum were hundreds of SA military parts. Frames, barrels cylinders, straps, but no wood or rubber grips. He claimed that he found over 100 useable military frames, and enough of the other parts to completely build a like number of artilleries and some cavalries. He bragged about the money he made off that scrap, which he bought for a few cents a pound. He had long used up the parts but still had damaged hammers and new internal parts available. He stated that several frames were un-numbered, as well as other parts, and most of the frames and parts still had original finish on them. Said the backstraps were the minimum because of guns used as hammers. Hard to believe that they would have thrown away useful parts, but he said when WW 2 started, all the SA machinery was moved into the back lot where it rusted shut over that 5 year period. Those parts were just in the way, like the machinery, and sold for scrap. In the late sixties, not many people were concerned about obsolete parts from all the work that had been done over the years.

Therefore, there a lot of US stamped frames and other parts out there that became whole guns. Even Kopec can't discern If they were built up. But sometimes, we find a gun with nicks all along the bottom edge of the frame and other odd dings and marks on edges that should have been protected, and I believe those frames are from that bunch. I've personally owned a beautiful artillery with no frame number and beautiful early case color, with all military parts EXCEPT the backstrap, which was civilian. Had a pair of hard rubber on it too.

Also, those four numbers resemble the fonts used on cylinders of NY Militia guns when they had to match up a part, so perhaps that is also the case. The numbers are always smaller in that group than the others but hand stamped? Who knows.
Both, a blessing and a curse. Interesting story. Thanks for imparting your experience on us, sir!
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I meant any markings along the side of the cylinder, not the face of the cylinder? Not necessarily an “A”, might be an “R.A.C.”, “D.F.C.”, etc. And often a 4 digit number, the second digit of which is often in the turn line.

I’m extremely suspicious of this being a made up revolver. The numbers look suspicious. Also, when an Artillery Model revolver contains a frame, backstrap, and trigger guard with 3 and 4 digit numbers, it certainly is possible, but does raise eyebrows.

Can you post a photograph of the underside of the barrel under the ejector housing close to the frame and also the barrel address?
There are no markings, numbers, Mr. Clark’s, or otherwise, along the side of the cylinder. The roll mark on the barrel is the later non-italicized, IIRC. I’ll take more pictures, later. Thanks.

Edited to add brighter image, with better hand placement:
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Your Kopec letter states the backstrap serial number was crudely restamped when refurbished just before 13 December 1900. I would expect the same occurred with regards to the backstrap of the OPs revolver and explains the curious appearance.

Thank you for posting your Kopec letter.
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Yes. None of the numbers match. Seems like a stretch to create bogus numbers on the backstrap when nothing else is in the Lot 5 range. My guess is it’s a non-original (stocks, etc.) Artillery Model. But, that’s just it… a guess.

I agree, though. Now, that you mention it, the font is smaller than the example in the above post.

View attachment 837013 View attachment 837014
Bill,
Can't tell from the pic. but is the trigger guard in pic. # 2 [4939 ]?
if so, that is the same # on the frame on my Colt 4939.
The 2nd number looks like a 9, or could be a 0 ? Thanks Louis
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Why did they feel the need to restamp a serial number when the numbers were not considered important?

Not really relevant to the discussion of the numbers but all the wear and patina showing on this gun was done after it was rebuilt in the early 1900s.
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Bill,
Can't tell from the pic. but is the trigger guard in pic. # 2 [4939 ]?
if so, that is the same # on the frame on my Colt 4939.
The 2nd number looks like a 9, or could be a 0 ? Thanks Louis
It’s a zero.
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