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FD Bliss .32 Caliber Revolver

This is a very interested revolver manufactured by FD Bliss of New Haven Connecticut circa 1863-4.  We were suprised there is no mention of this particular type of Bliss revolver in Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms...which is a very extensive work based on decades of cataloging early American weapons. We've never seen one quite like it before either so this could be something special.  Given the design, it appears to be some type of dual percussion/cartridge revolver with a percussion loading lever but a cartridge cylinder. Its similar to of an early Remington pocket revolver which used dual percussion and cartridge cylinders.  This was probably supplied with dual cylinders as well. Don't let the spur trigger fool you in the photos, this gun is a little large for a spur trigger and comparable in size to a Colt Model 1849 Pocket revolver. 

The caliber is in .32 Rimfire with 5 shot cylinder, spur trigger, 4 1/8" octagon barrel, and walnut grips.  The top of the barrel is marked "FD BLISS".  The cylinder design is quite complex and perhaps done in attempt to circumvent the Rollin White Patent owned by Smith and Wesson.  The cylinder is bored out but has a removable backing plate which serves as a recoil shield and provides the turn notches for the hand to rotate each chamber into position.  The loading lever uses a spring-loaded ball type release similar to the Bacon and Whitney revolvers while the cylinder pin is released via a small spring loaded catch located just in front of the frame.  The mechanics are very similar to a Colt or Whitney revolver with a traditional hand and stop notches located on the outside of the cylinder.  Its also a fairly large gun for a spur trigger pocket revolver...but fits the hand and functions quite well with the balance of a Colt.  A well-thought out design that incorporates a multitude of 1860's era advancements in firearms technology.

Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Good+ to VG- with smooth metal with little to no pitting.  Nice edges and markings throughout except for a few dings here and there.  Barrel shows traces of original blue in protected areas.  Very good screws.  Hammer shows traces of silvered out case that has mostly subsided to a light brown patina.  Nice grips with great wood to metal fit, no chips, no cracks, and no repairs and traces of original varnish in protected areas.  Very good mechanics and VG+ bore with strong rifling...still mostly bright...and a few scattered pits.  A rare and very unique Civil War era Percussion/Cartridge weapon.

Item# 0749




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