The Forgotten Weapons Blog has a great video about the two most common French Ordnance revolvers: the Models 1873 and 1892. I know, I know, they’re French – but you have to remember that at one time France was a major military power and arms innovator in their own right.
(Never heard of the Model 1897 75mm cannon, an artillery piece so advanced that they justifiably considered it to be a state secret? Or the first high velocity smokeless powder rifle round, the 8x50mmR, aka “8mm Lebel“? Or how about the first autoloading rifle adopted by any military – the A6 Meunier? Or perhaps the first autoloading rifle to be in general service in any military – the Model 1917 RSC? Yes, all French. The toadying, indolent France of today is nothing like the truculent, innovative France of the early 20th century. Not everything ballistically innovative has come out of Utah or Springfield, and it would do us well to remember that.)
I’ve held – though never fired – both models, and must say that I was impressed with both the workmanship and design (given the vintage, of course.) I was particularly intrigued by the 1892, as its makers managed to construct a modern double action revolver with a surprisingly small number of very well made parts. The script engraving is, to my eye, quite fetching and makes them almost decorative.
The Model 1892 is fairly common, with nice examples selling for around $250-300. The Model 1873 is much scarcer, with very good specimens fetching north of eight bills. Very neat guns!
-=[ Grant ]=-