As you may remember, Ian at Forgotten Weapons has been chronicling the various automatic revolvers that have been made over the years. Except for the Mateba Unica, they’re generally rare (with appropriate price tags, of course.) This variant on the theme follows the trend: there were only 300 Union Automatic Revolvers made. Of those 300 it’s hard to know how many survived. In fact, it’s hard to know if all 300 actually made it to market!
The gun was designed by Charles Lefever, of the famed Lefever shotgun family, and intended to sell in the low end of the revolver market. It was chambered in .32 S&W (short), throwing an 85 grain bullet at a leisurely 700 feet per second, and intended for close-range self defense.
According to Ian the guns were far too expensive to build relative to their price point, and it’s likely that the company never made a dime on them. The Union Firearms Company of Toledo, OH also tried marketing an autoloading pistol designed by J.J. Riefgraber. Less than 100 of those guns were made, and the company closed its doors after those two failed attempts at capturing a market.
Charles Lefever, however, did go on to success. He went to work for the Daisy company and designed what is probably the second-best-known BB gun in the country: the pump-action Daisy Model 25. Depending who you talk to, the company made somewhere between 15 and 20 million of those light, handy spring-powered rifles since its introduction in 1914.
Ian managed to get his hands on a Union revolver, and posted a video about it on his blog. He also posted the sales page for the gun from the Union catalog (with only two products, it couldn’t have been much of a catalog!)
-=[ Grant ]=-