Old British Bulldog (Pistol)

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by hntrgry, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. hntrgry

    hntrgry New Member

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    This is an old British Bulldog. I inherited from my grandpa. THe gun has some rust but probable 90% of finish is left. It seems to work well, but the cylinder doesnt turn at the pull of the trigger....Hand Checkered walnut grip. SO anyway.. Whats it worth? If you need specific pics, dont be afraid to ask...

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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  2. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum. You have a typical anonymous Belgian example imported in large numbers ca. 1880s. Open the loading gate and rotate the cylinder and there should be the Liege ELG in an oval proofmark on the cylinder face.

    Have you determined caliber? Hard to tell with nothing to show scale, but if 5 shot cylinder and large caliber it's probably .44 Webley caliber, the U.S. version of British .442 revolver round. If so, value will be significantly higher than a .38 or other smaller caliber, and in condition shown often sell for $200-$300 range and sometimes higher.

    It probably just need a hand spring to correct the mechanical problem.
  3. hntrgry

    hntrgry New Member

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    Um, I think its a .44 and the l.e.g is there. Thanks for the info, u should check my other gun (manhattan arms second model)
  4. orpheus860

    orpheus860 New Member

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    I have one of these that has the exact same mechanical issue. It appears to be a .32 caliber 7 shot. It says "Eagle Mfg. Co" on top of the barrel. Does anybody have any information on this gun?
  5. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum orpheus, but your post is much too vague:

    "One of these" implies you also have a gun marked "British Bulldog" but the only 7-shot .32 BBD I know of was the one made by Forehand & Wadsworth and none are known to be marked Eagle Mfg. Co.

    If you post clear photos, maybe it can be identified.
  6. orpheus860

    orpheus860 New Member

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    Here ya go! I am guessing at the caliber, as a .357 Mag will not quite fit into the cylinder.

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  7. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Your gun appears to exactly match this example, identified as Forehand & Wadsworth's First Model in George Layman's book.

    He apparently had not seen one marked Eagle Mfg. Co. but states only 14 examples were known.

    Suggest you contact George through his publisher: Stuart@manatarmsbooks.com

    Caliber should be .32 S&W, and you might check to see if there are serial numbers on front end of cylinder and on frame under left grip.

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  8. orpheus860

    orpheus860 New Member

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    Thank you for the info. So are you saying that this might be "rare"? No markings of any kind on either end of the cylinder. There is a serial number of 515 under the left grip at the butt, inverted. One additional comment. My gun only has two side screws. All the others I have seen (including your picture) have three.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  9. orpheus860

    orpheus860 New Member

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    Delete attempted. How do you delete a errorant post?
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  10. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Very odd as it has the usual spur on trigger to trip the sear normally held by the third screw. Off hand, I don't see any of this type in Layman's book that don't have the third screw.

    Does your gun have a "safety" first click, or does hammer rebound?
  11. orpheus860

    orpheus860 New Member

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    No "safety" first click, just straight D/A. I have not seen any with just the two screws either. So again, do you think this is rare, or just weird?
  12. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    I think it's scarce, but that doesn't mean high value. There aren't many collectors of this type, or of Forehand & Wadsworth revolvers, if that's what it is. Contact Layman and see what he thinks.
  13. orpheus860

    orpheus860 New Member

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    Thanks again for all of the information. I sent an email to the address your supplied. I hope I get a response from Layman. I don't really care so much about value (although if it IS valuable, it won't hurt my feelings) as much as just curious about it. I love a good detective/research project. The Eagle Mfg Co thing has me intrigued. I can't even remember who gave it to me, but do remember something about them thinking it was a "theater prop gun"! If I hear back from Layman, I'll let you know. Thanks again. I know a lot more (or leads anyway) than I did before.
  14. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  15. orpheus860

    orpheus860 New Member

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    WOW! Well that does add some broth to the soup now, doesn't it? You are right. The Eagle stamp looks just like mine. I has to be the same company. Where did you find this? This is getting more interesting all the time! I appreciate the addition information and input.
  16. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Bulldogs are a bit out of my area of "expertise" (such as it is), but FWIW that third screw holds the rebound lever, usually a design advancement in solid frame pistols, eliminatng the need for a half cock notch in the hammer for manually turning or removing the cylinder. Without the rebound lever or the half cock, the firing pin remains in the primer of the last round fired and prevents the cylinder from manually turning or being removed.

    Jim
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  17. orpheus860

    orpheus860 New Member

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    Interesting. So if this gun had rounds in the cylinder, the cylinder would not be able to turn without pulling the hammer back a little; is that correct? If so, it sounds like this gun is in deed an early version.
  18. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The two-screw model would presumably have a half cock notch. When a round is fired, the hammer remains down and the firing pin remains in the primer. The cylinder will turn when the trigger is pulled or the hammer cocked, but if the user wants to turn the cylinder manually to eject the empty cases and reload, he will have to put the hammer on half cock first. With the rebound lever, the hammer is cammed back and that is not necessary.

    Jim
  19. orpheus860

    orpheus860 New Member

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    Thank you for the input and your interest.
  20. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    As Jim states, revolvers must have either a "half-cock" or a rebounding hammer, and this example must have (or had) an internal sear or rebound lever held by other than the normal external screw. That spur on rear of trigger could only be to trip a sear, or hold a rebound lever out of way when hammer falls:

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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
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