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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a pair of Allen&Wheelock, side-hammer, lipfire revolvers. I presume .32 caliber, but an ordinary .32 won't slide into the cylinder. Both are labeled and dated on the left of the octagonal barrel, which measures 4 1/2" to the frame. The July 3, 1860 date is on the barrel on both revolvers and NOT on the frame as in the third edition. The extractor is on the left side of the hammer and moves upward to push the spent cartridge out of the cylinder.

I can't find photos on any auction site that are exact to these guns. Serial numbers match on cylinder, inside wooden handle and on frame under handle.


Any ideas?
 

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Wow!

I appreciate just looking at those.

I found one sidehammer .32 on an auction site, missing the pin, WHIPPED, and valued at 750.
NOTHING in a nice boxed set like this, and NOTHING anywhere near this nice a condition.
IMHO, you really have something here!
There is a nice history of the A&W company and products HERE.
 

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FWIW, Flayderman shows what looks like the same gun as # 5A-068. If I find my .32 lip fire rounds, I will measure them, but the late Chuck Suydam's book gives a head diameter of .320" and a rim diameter of .351" (not including the "lip"), which is a bit bigger than the average .315-.318 of the normal .32 RF but smaller than the average .335-.337 of the .32 S&W CF.

In the patent, Allen gives the rationale for that type of cartridge as confining the fulminate to the projection, thus reducing the cost of the compound, and that the remainder of the base could be made stronger, reducing the possibility of the case rim blowing out, a common problem in the old days of copper rimfires (and the same reason many .22 RF firearms have recessed chambers).

The problem, of course, is loading a lip fire revolver, since the lip has to be properly oriented.

Jim
 

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One of these came to me a few years ago to have 32 RF cartridges removed from the chambers. I had to use an arbor press. Someone had removed metal from the back of the cylinder to clear the rims, but had not enlarged the chambers. After I removed the gold paint (linseed oil and pigment) it was in new condition. A lady brought to a local antique shop and sold it for a cast iron cap pistol. What a windfall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all. Someone mentioned that NRA has a grading program, or something like that.
Would that service be advisable to get a better idea of the condition of this pair of guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the information, Jim.
From the posts on here, I think I will continue to search for persons who may have a specific interest in the Allen & Wheelock pistols. I would really like to find a few of the lip-fire cartridges to place in the box with them. I would also like to find out more about the box they're in. I can't tell if boxes like that were made in the 1860's. I doubt it, but who knows?
mike
 

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I unloaded one of these a few years ago. The 32 RF cartridges had been hammered in then filed off even with the front of the cylinder. I had to drive them out with a punch and hammer. Some of these pistols were converted to 32RF. Congrats on having such a beautiful set. Max
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I took these to a life-long friend who does very nice woodworking. We were talking about a new display box for the pair. I would really like to find some of the .32 lipfire cartridges to display with the pair of handguns. Would any of you have any leads on where to find a few cartridges???

I'm sure there are auctions where these appear occasionally, I'm just not familiar with accessing them.

Thanks for your consideration in this matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FWIW, Flayderman shows what looks like the same gun as # 5A-068. If I find my .32 lip fire rounds, I will measure them, but the late Chuck Suydam's book gives a head diameter of .320" and a rim diameter of .351" (not including the "lip"), which is a bit bigger than the average .315-.318 of the normal .32 RF but smaller than the average .335-.337 of the .32 S&W CF.

In the patent, Allen gives the rationale for that type of cartridge as confining the fulminate to the projection, thus reducing the cost of the compound, and that the remainder of the base could be made stronger, reducing the possibility of the case rim blowing out, a common problem in the old days of copper rimfires (and the same reason many .22 RF firearms have recessed chambers).

The problem, of course, is loading a lip fire revolver, since the lip has to be properly oriented.

Jim
Jim, would you happen to provide some help in locating some cartridges for the 32 lipfire?? Thanks, Mike
 

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Found a hit on "GunAuction.com" that had a cartridge - already bought. So, they are out there.....
 
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