British Bulldog Revolver

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Old Gun Guy, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    Hello!
    I have this copy of a British Bulldog revolver. It is totally functional, and has an amazingly good bore. It is chambered for 6-.38 rimfire black powder cartridges. The only markings on it are on the cylinder and the inside of the loading gate which look like a small "7" followed by "29", and the words "Ryans New Model" on the top strap. I am wondering if these have any collector value, and approximately when it was manufactured?
    Thanks in advance
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  2. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    T.E. RYAN FIREARMS CO. Years this company manufactured firearms is around between 1865 and 1895 ? called suicide specials value in the condition it shows around 175.00 to a collector only not to be fired under any circumstances even if you could find ammo
    Manufactured Firearms under the following names:
    A. A .CO *
    CUTLERY COMPANY
    HELCA --( For American Arms Co )
    PREMIER
    MARQUIS OF LORNE
    MARQUISE OF LORNE
    NAPOLEON
    NERO
    NORTH FIELD KNIVE CO *
    RED CLOUD
    RETRIEVER *
    RYAN
    SPORT
    SPORTSMAN
    VEILED PROPHETS
  3. grcsat

    grcsat Active Member

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    Thomas J. Ryan Pistol Manufacturing Company in Franklin St. NYC.
    , also made inexpensive revolvers under the name Napoleon ect.

    Your pistol should be made at around 1878.
    Do NOT fire with any ammo!! including BP ammo !!

    oscarmayer...you beat me to it LOL
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    A Google search turned up another revolver marked the same way, except that it is an entirely different gun.

    http://gundersonmilitaria.com/pistolsuicidenapoleonGmG.html

    The manufacturer appears to have been Thomas J. Ryan, of the Ryan Pistol Manufacturing Co, Franklin St., NYC, who made "suicide specials" under the trade name "Napoleon". The descripitions I have found of Ryan's guns are all of the kind shown in the reference link; there is no mention of either a Bulldog type or a .38 of any type. There is little doubt, though, that the stamp used to mark that gun is the same used to mark yours.

    Incidentally, I can't find any connection between Thomas J. Ryan and another Thomas Ryan, Thomas Fortune Ryan, the billionaire financial backer for the Thompson sbmachine gun.

    Jim
  5. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    the info i passed on comes from a book long out of print called guns of the 1800's
  6. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure there's no ELG in oval Belgian proofmark on the rear cylinder face? If not, it might be Spanish, as both countries used many misc. American sounding names on exports to USA.

    Never saw one of these in .38 rimfire, or with that odd raised rib.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  7. Old Gun Guy

    Old Gun Guy Member

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    hrf,
    I cannot locate any proof marks on the rear of the cylinder. It almost has to be rimfire, because the firing pin on the hammer strikes at the outer edge of the chamber, and nowhere near where a primer would be located.
    Old Gun Guy
  8. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    After comparing the stampings side by side, they certainly do appear to have been made with the same die, including the defective O in Model!
  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    That is a bit odd, since the smaller makers tended to stick to one type, not having the capital to set up the tooling for any large variety.

    Incidentally, the NYC address was apparently an office and retail shop; the guns were made in Norwich, CT. But did Ryan have his own factory or have guns made for him? I don't know, but it was common for New England makers to have New York City offices and addresses; an NYC address was considered more prestigious than Norwich (or Hartford).

    Jim
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