This is an Excellent example of a Moore front-loading teat fire revolver. One of the best we've seen in quite some time! These were made from 1864-1870 in an effort to circumvent the Rollin White patent which was owned by Smith and Wesson. The Rollin White patent was for a straight bored cylinder holding a cartridge....this gave S&W a virtual monopoly on catridge revolvers from 1857-1871. Prior to the Teat-Fire design, Moore had manufactured a 7 shot belt Revolver in .32 Rimfire which became entangled in a lawsuit with Smith & Wesson. S&W won their case and part of the settlement was for Moore to pay S&W damages. Part of the settlement appears to have included Moore Revolvers w/S&W markings. Here is a link to one we sold a while back:
Following the loss of their first design to S&W, Moore went back to the drawing board and this time, they were able to get around the Rollin White Patent and stay out of Court. Instead of boring a cylindrical hole for each chamber, they bored out only the front and left the end of each chamber closed with only a small hole. This small hole served as the ignition point for the end of this unique .32 caliber teat-fire cartridge. In spite of its awkward little catridge and front-loading cylinder, the Moore was quite successful and according to Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms Ed. 9, P. 497, 30,000 were produced. There were several types made under Moore and eventually the National Firearms Co. which took over late production before selling out to Colt. Moore did a fairly good job competing with the S&W No. 1 Revolver by offering engraving their brass frames and even small compliments of engraving at the ends of the barrels. To stay competitive and perhaps offset the costs of these extras I've always wondered if Moore cut a few corners with the quality of their silver plating and grips. For example, its a rare occurrence to find a Moore with much of its original silver plating over the brass frame intact. In contrast, you can usually find early S&W No. 1 Pocket revolvers with heavy wear but more often than not, nearly all of their silver plating intact.
That's what makes this Moore so special....it has over 98% of its original silver plating intact. The cylinder shows 80% bright shiny original blue with balance in the form of a light brown patina that's freckling through the blue. Barrel also shows original blue...but its mostly flaked (probably due to expansion from heat when firing which is common on guns of this era) leaving about 30% discernable blue. The hammer still shows toned case colors and the cartridge gate at the front of the cylinder has 80% vivid fire blue that tones from a brilliant violet purple to a deep golden straw temper towards the front. The two colors in the tempering reflect that the workmen quenched the part while it was not at uniform temperature. Interesting and quite beautiful in appearance. Even the barrel wedge shows most of its vivid fire-blued colors. Grips are in Excellent+ condition with condition with 98% original varnish which is definitely original. If you look very closely, you can see extremely find crazing...from 150 years of expansion and contraction like an old piece of furniture. Beautiful with no flaking. Barrel is marked "Moore's Pat. Fire Arms Co. Brooklyn N.Y." Cylinder has Williamson's Jan. 1864 Patent Date. Serial number is in the 5600 range. Engraved vignettes and scrolls are located on the side panels, around hammer, bottom of frame, and backstrap. Both ends of the hammer screw are also engraved. Action works flawlessly. A very fine example of a Moore Front Loading or Teat-Fire Revolver that we feel would present a bit of a challenge to improve upon!