This is a Moore "Seven Shooter" in .32 Rimfire. These belt revolver were well made with beautiful workmanship and engraving and were quite popular with Union Officers and Enlisted men who purchased them during the Civil War. Only a few thousand were built for just a couple years (1861-63) before Smith and Wesson won a lawsuit against Moore for infringement on its Rollin White Patent. S&W purchased White's Patent for bored through cylinders during the 1850's and as a result, had a virtual monopoly on all cartridge revolvers through the 1860's. That didn't stop others from trying to make a buck though and S&W sent its lawyers out to put a halt to their competition. What makes this gun interesting is that its not only a Moore revolver but was also part of the damages awarded to Smith and Wesson. The barrel is marked "MAN'D FOR SMITH & WESSON BY MOORE'S PAT. FIRE ARMS CO." Just to add insult to injury, Moore even had to stamp the cylinder with the very patent they had been found guilty of violating. It reads "PAT APRIL 3, 1855 & SEPT 18, 1860. The loss of the Single Action Belt Revolver, Moore went on to develop the .32 Caliber Teat fire revolver it introduced the following year in 1864 and produced until 1870. This revolver got around the Rollin White Patent by leaving the back wall of the cylinder closed with only a small hole for the teat of their unique cartridge to fit through. In order fire, the cylinder was loaded from the front. The resulting design. which was short and stubby was not aesthetically pleasing in contrast to the graceful line of its older sister. However, she kept the company afloat and more importantly, Horace and Daniel's lawyers from knocking on their factory door again.
Mechanically, in spite of the patent infringement with S&W, these Moore revolvers were quite a mixture of good sound design fundamentals. If anything, it was a better and more functional design than even S&W's No. 2 Belt revolver. The single action design and frame bear a strong resemblance to the Colt revolver...in fact, in some ways, this gun reminds me of the Single Action Army Colt would introduce over a decade later. The use of cartridges obviously came from S&W, but the loading design for the 7 shot cylinder is truly unique. The entire barrel and cylinder assembly rotates on an axis (cylinder pin) out of the frame to the right when a small checkered button is pushed on the back of the recoil shield (See Photo). From there, empty cases could be poked out of the chambers with a small detachable iron rod stored underneath the barrel.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Fine+. The fit and finish of this revolver is equal to any Colt or S&W...perhaps even a little better. The barrel and cylinder still show 75% original blue that is strong and bright in low and more protected areas and thinning in the more open spots. Excellent markings. The brass frame is beautifully engraved and has turned to a very pleasing rich patina with traces of original silver in protected spots. Moore silver plated the frames of their revolvers but as you can see, even weapons in fantastic shape like this rarely survive with much intact. This is not unlike later Colt Percussion revolvers which were highly prone to flaking and wear. The engraving is good quality with floral vignettes and punch dot reliefs. This came standard on all Moore revolvers. Hammer shows some nice original case colors. The grips have 97% glossy original varnish intact. Two small chips at the base of the left grip..otherwise, perfect. Nice working mechanics and an excellent bore. This is one of the best Moore Belt Revolvers we've seen in quite some time.