Monday, August 19, 2013

French Revolvers

Colonel Harry Flashman, VC, Order of the Bath, owes his life to the auto ejector on a breaktop pistol. He ended up spilling his 5 rounds nervously fidgeting with it. As a cavalry man he found that patent innovation unnecessary frippery. Which I find odd, as that seems like the bees knees for a man ahorse wanting to reload his pistol (the colonel started out as a Cherry Picker.  Light Dragoons). It's hard enough without having to press and ejector rod. But ol' Flashy normally preferred the Webley. He only chose the french LeVaux (which is probably actually Belgian, but you know Brits... the wogs start as Calais.  French... Belgium... same same to him mayhaps) pistol out of his cowardice, because of the perceived security of the larger caliber (he said .45, but 12mm is more official).

The way this pistol saved his life as someone had tampered with his cartirdges, removing the propellant. The fall to the floor knocked a bullet loose revealing this and alerting Flashman that something was seriously 'up.' 

You can learn more about that 19th Century's foremost poltroon at your Library. Or check your favorite book perveyor.

Thing is...

So, 1883 and Flashy can get a revolver from 'France' with an automatic ejector, but the Webley revolver he can select doesn't have one and isn't in .45 caliber?  The Webleys all seem to have both features, and ejectors on breaktops had been around since the 60s

Oh NOES! George MacDonald Fraser might have gotten a historical detail about gun minutiae in pre Wiki 1999 wrong! To THINK!

Or maybe not. There isn't much info on European revolvers online. Compared to American, at least. But Webley did have auto-ejectors (as oppose to manually ejecting them by pressing the plunger yourself) in 1877.  If he wanted firepower, a Webley in .455 was six was around.  Did I mention the 5 shot LeVaux with ejector Flashman described also had a safety? Having trouble finding that one though I am sure it could have existed...

1 comment:

Roberta X said...

I wonder if GMF was thinking of the Enfield Mk I/II, which the Webleys replaced in 1887 and which had a notoriously finicky ejection system.