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Holding a piece of flint between two steel jaws requires some kind of soft, compliant pad or wrapper to secure it in place. In many cases leather was the solution. One of the seldom seen methods was the use of either improvised or government issued lead caps. Survival rate on these must be near zero but here are a few that have survived.
How often is it, with collectors, that we find part of our collections have been neglected or perhaps just ignored because our interests have gone in a different direction. Well, you responsible guys (& gals), even if it is not a habit of your own, I’m sure you know a perpetrator of this misguided act, habit or what have you.
We have confirmed four specimens of Harston’s rifle action (above), all with North American provenance. None of these Harston actions shows any sign of ever having been equipped with the sliding dust cover described in the 1871 English patent.
One of the lesser known innovations during the Civil War was the use of Calcium lights (also called “Limelights”) for night signaling and battleground illumination. Like a lot of the innovations of the period, this one had little impact on the war itself but is another example of how evolving technology always finds its way into the military mind.
Back in March of 1967, as a relatively new collector, I bought a Nepperhan revolver. There was little or nothing of consequence in the way of information on the gun or it’s maker in those days. Curious, I fired off a letter to Chuck Suydam who, at the time, was the Q & A editor at Gun Report Magazine. He wrote back that he had nothing to add to the meager information I already had but then suggested that it was a subject worthy of research. It was Chuck’s challenge that started my quest...