British Bulldog Revolver Question.

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Old Gun Guy, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    Hello!
    I have just finished working on this British Bulldog revolver, but I don't know much about the markings on it, or the caliber. The chambers are just slightly too small to accept a .32 S&W cartridge. It is a 6-shot, DA only. The left side of the barrel is roll-marked "PARIS". The top barrel flat has the engraving "g. Paul, e??". The right side of the barrel has upside down engraving " C. ?. Magenta, ?08". It has the Liege British proof mark of E over LG over a star, in an oblong circle with no crown on top. (black powder proof for rifles, ??) There is an R above this symbol. Anyone have any info on this beast? Believe it or not, this revolver functions and locks up nice and tight.
    Thanks!

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  2. hrf

    hrf Active Member

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    There's no such thing as a "Liege British" proofmark. The ELG in oval without a crown indicates it's pre-1893 Belgian and proofed in Liege, Belgium. Thousands were made by anonymous cottage industry workers 1870s-early 1900s. The "Paul" and "Magneta" marks may have been retailers.

    If it's centerfire, caliber is probably .32 Short Colt/.320 European.
  3. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    hrf,
    The "Blue Book Of Gun Values" lists that symbol as a British proof mark, proof house in Liege. Is this a typographical error?
    Old Gun Guy
  4. hrf

    hrf Active Member

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    Absolutely an error, typo or otherwise!
  5. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    hrf,
    Thanks for the info. BTW, a .32 short colt fits the chamber perfectly.
    Old Gun Guy
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Unless they moved Liege when I wasn't looking, the book is in error (I think they got their page headings mixed up). British revolvers had conventional trigger guards, not folding triggers.

    Jim
  7. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    Jim K,
    Thanks for the additional info.
    Old Gun Guy
  8. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Britain had as part of its agreements, proof houses, barrel houses and booze ware houses in trading nations , most where run by imperial companies , but authorised to buy local stuff to "brit spec " so to say anything that attracted crown revenue was marked as much as possible out of country for smuggling reasons

    sorry its actually possible
  9. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  10. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    I aint saying it is , but read of some licensed makes and a few have turned up in catalouges and been described as a euro made BB pistol with folding trigger

    and all a while ago
  11. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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  12. RJay

    RJay Active Member

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    Well light my fire and call me smokey, that goes against every thing I knew about proof marks. Well, I guess the next thing you will be trying to tell me is that the world isn't really flat.:D:D
  13. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Jack, I know you are far more familiar with British and Commonwealth guns and the gun trade than I am, but are you saying that British authorities were authorized to put Belgian proof marks on guns? That is contrary to everything I know about European proof practices, and seems totally absurd. It also seems impossible, again from everything I know and have read, that the UK proof houses would allow their marks to be used outside their houses and indeed outside the country.

    A proof house is a fairly complex operation, not just someone with a stamp and a hammer, and to establish proof houses all over Europe would be a very expensive proposition. And why not in the U.S., which did, and still does, a thriving arms trade with the U.K.?

    I wonder if there is not some misunderstanding of the "bond" system, where materials are brought into a country physically, but placed under bond until they can be given any required approval or markings. But that is common commercial practice and doesn't require any proof houses to be established on foreign soil.

    As to guns imported into England, at most times, Belgian proof was recognized and British proof was not needed (and vice versa), but at other times, guns imported from Belgium were proved in England and have both sets of proof marks, or Belgian-made guns were exported without proof and proved in the importing country. (U.S. guns were always proved when imported into England, because the U.S. has no government proof law and no recognized proof specifications or marks.)

    Again, with all due respect, I think the explanation of a simple typo in the BB is more reasonable and more likely.

    Jim
  14. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    no ,,

    please read the book above , i did this before once , everyone yelled and abused the hell outta me ,

    some twat called the cops even saying i was trying to pull a fraud ..

    its all explained in the book .. again no one will read it . thats a easy bet

    belgium folks put on there marks on in one room , then took them to the next room where a brit put on the brit trade marks and put em in a box to ship home .. all under the officials eyes

    or thats what i beleived happened under the system ... two officials got to sign a document

    read the book its a complex trade thing that was on again off again for almost a century

    i know i'll get it wrong and i loaned my copy and its errr been loaned ..

    as i understand it they had a deal to buy stuff , they did it this way so there was no funny business, smuggling and fakes , proofs where serious things then

    i think this way they kept faith in the proofs system

    all that from a book made all way before i was even a possibility , let alone born ..
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  15. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    want to abuse someone? abuse the author the customs officials of britain at the time

    if its all lies the lies go back 120 years or more

    but again no-one will read it , they'll just make smart jokes inferring i'm wrong ..

    i may be . see i went by the book

    i also read how they traded with the USA in there , thats all probably wrong too ..
  16. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    OK, Jack, I have ordered that book. If I am wrong and there were British proof houses in Belgium and all kinds of British proof officials running about the world stamping guns with London or Birmingham proofs, I will apologize, most humbly. I just wonder how they kept it such a secret from Parliament (which passed the proof laws and designated proof houses) and why all the articles and books on the history of British proof never mention it.

    Jim
  17. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    dunno , how did 2 customs officials get killed in marceilles ??

    lots i dont know , just read that it was done .. they even have a suggested desihgn for a place for all this

    they did it with wine and alcohol they did it with silver and hall marks on that

    they had lots of ways that made no sense to me ,

    i just go by what is stated as fact by the government own books
  18. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    maybe you can explain the 4 US customs guys at port botany here in Australia ,

    they dont stamp proof marks that i know of but they do inspect stuff

    the furs i sent last time , they signed the inspection report

    US customs in Australia !! shocking!!
  19. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    :thumbsup:jack404,
    Thank you for sticking to your guns. (no pun intended). I posted what I had read, and if it was a typo why didn't BB correct it a long time ago? I'm with you on this one. Thanks again for your inputs.
    Old Gun Guy
  20. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    brits where funny about taxes and duty ,

    while police where not armed , customs folks got a horse and a pistol and lantern besides the uniform ..

    i could be wrong in understanding , but been in this spot a couple times , even sent someone a book to sort it , never seen the book since nor heard back , ,

    so i wish i had it so i could scan it .. my memories not good and 6 years is a long time
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
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