Percussion Pistols And Revolversby Mike Cumpston
In the early transition from the long-lived flintlock system, handgun development closely paralleled that of the long arms. With the advent of the revolving pistols, however; came patents that created monopolies in revolver production and the through-bored cylinder necessary for self-contained metallic cartridges. The caplock revolvers took on a separate evolution… See more details below
In the early transition from the long-lived flintlock system, handgun development closely paralleled that of the long arms. With the advent of the revolving pistols, however; came patents that created monopolies in revolver production and the through-bored cylinder necessary for self-contained metallic cartridges. The caplock revolvers took on a separate evolution and remained state of the art long after the widespread appearance of cartridge firing rifles and shotguns. They rode in the holsters of of explorers and adventurers across the world and granted safe conduct in the back-alleys of the Industrial West right up until the last quarter of the 19th Century.
Handguns possess a mystique distinctly different from that of other firearms. They are tools of personal empowerment-chosen by their owners to provide independence and freedom of movement. In the ambitious, optimistic early years of western industrial civilization they were the emblem of liberty and equality and the bane of repressive governments and social movements. Largely because of the traditions that emerged in the time of the caplock pistols and revolvers, they remain so in the early years of the 21st Century.
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I have been shooting black powder replicas for the past year and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is well researched and provides the reader with an in-depth description of the history and practical use of black powder firearms from early 1800's to the modern Ruger Old Army Percussion revolver. The authors provide a wealth of historical background mixed with hard to find technical data for the early percussion firearms. Much of the book is concerns the Colt product line, since Samuel Colt was perhaps the most influential gun designer in the 19th century. However, Remington, LeMat, Spencer and Rogers firearms are also discussed in length. The technical data includes tables describing the performance of different black powders and modern substitute powders,along with the effect of different projectiles used during their tests. I also was pleased with the inclusion of an explanation of the two letter date codes used by the Italian manufacturers. The only fault I find with this book is in the illustrations and photos of the different firearms . The schematics and photos are sufficient for their intended purpose, but the script used for the part descriptions can be hard to read. This is a minor distraction for a book that is well worth the price. Highly recommended.
This is a superb piece of reference work for anyone interested in the history OR practical use of percussion pistols whether your thing is historical re-enactments, recreational shooting or 'plinking', or hunting during black powder season. Plenty of illustrations and lots of ballistics data accompany several chapters of good historical data and useful tips on shooting 19th century percussion pistols. There are a lot of inexpensive reproduction percussion guns available on the sporting goods market for people interested in black powder shooting as a hobby and this book makes a good reference guide to go with them. Highly recommended.