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Early Moore/National Arms Teat-Fire Revolver w/Hooked Extractor

This is an early Moore Pocket Revolver in Caliber .32 Teat-fire.  There were about 30,000 of these produced under the Moore and National Arms Co names from 1864 to 1870. This appears to be an early one with the hooked extractor mechanism secured across the right side of the bottomstrap.  Serial number is in the 2800 range.  Barrel is marked "NATIONAL ARMS CO. BROOKLYN, NY".  Brass frame has nicely mellowed to a nice patina with engraving showing some light scrolls and vignettes with punch dot reliefs. Barrel still has 30% bright original blue showing mostly on the lug area with light speckles mixing through the balance of patina. You almost never find these with original blue remaining. Cylinder is borderline engraved with a light brown patina with a few light speckles of original blue.  Grips are in good condition with no chips, cracks or repairs showing 75% original shellac finish...interestingly, Moore used a dark shellac on their walnut grips probably in an effort to simulate their main competitor, S&W's more exotic dark rosewood grips.  Hooked extractor.  Action still works pretty well at both half and full cock notches. Near excellent bore...still very bright with sharp rifling.  This was one of the smallest .32 caliber pocket revolvers you could buy as it was considerably smaller than the S&W No. 2.  Interestingly enough, the year after production began for the Moore Teat-Fire,  S&W introduced a scaled down version of the No. 2 in 1865 called the 1 1/2.  A unique gun with a rather unusual early production feature.

Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson must have been a little upset when this little cartridge revolver hit the market back in 1864.  After all, holding the Rollin White patent since 1857 and having a pack of Pit Bulls for a legal team to go after Patent Infringers; this left Smith & Wesson with a virtual lock on the cartridge revolver market.  Their No. 1 and No. 2 rimfire revolvers were highly successful selling several hundred thousand units. 

However, with thousands of Union Soldiers and Civilians alike purchasing these small cartridge revolvers for personal protection and back-up weapons, the market must have seemed too lucrative to ward off a couple of gentlemen by the name of Daniel Moore and David Williamson. It wasn't easy at first though....at first Moore produced a medium size belt revolver in .32 rimfire and ran head-on into a patent infringement lawsuit by S&W's lawyers.  I'm sure S&W must have won their case and I suspect part of the damages were settled in a quantity of Moore Single Action Revolvers...as occasionally these will even turn up with S&W barrel markings. 

Well, if first you don't succeed, keep on trying......so for their next attempt the pair came up with a new unique design this time designed to completely by-pass S&W's patent altogether!  They called it the .32 Caliber Teat-fire cartridge....and yes, this time around, they even went out and got their own patent! Ha!!!!! they must have said to the growls of Daniel and Horace but there was nothing they could do this time!  Instead of a traditional rimfire cartridge loaded from the back of a cylinder or chamber, the teat-fire cartridge was loaded from the front of the cylinder with the end tapering off to a small teat exposed through a small hole at the back of the chamber.  Rather than the hammer striking forward, the hammer struck downwards through a small hole to strike the teat and ignite the round in the chamber.  Not the easiest or most efficient idea and it certainly wasn't a better mousetrap than the simpler S&W rimfire cartridge but from a legal standpoint it was absolutely BRILLIANT!  It did the trick well in circum-navigating around S&W's Rollin White patent and the Moore revolver became some of S&W's fiercest competition.

Item# 0320




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