R. G. Wilson Revolver

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sourdough

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I would like to pick your collective brains for more information about this revolver.

It is a "copy" of a Colt 1860 Army .44 that was entirely handmade by a machinist/gunsmith R. G. Wilson, Fulton MI in the early 1960's. It is serial number 7 with a total of only ten revolvers like this produced by him. It has a two-piece grip, a blued steel trigger guard, a smooth non-engraved cylinder, the wedge (with no spring) enters from the right, and the rammer pivot screw enters from the right (but it is possible to create that by installing the rammer upside down). The existence and whereabouts of the other nine revolvers is unknown to me, the owner, or anyone else to our knowledge.

It was part of the extensive Dr. Jim L. Davis (RPRCA) collection which was sold to October Country (Idaho) when Dr. Davis passed last September. I saw it on the OC website in early December 2019 but passed on it because of the 2-piece grip, and I had never heard of Wilson or Firearms Specialties prior to that. I mentioned the revolver to a friend on another forum and he purchased it (cased) for $325(!). It has been discussed by Dennis Norton (Cap & Ball Revolvers, Pistols and Rifles Facebook group) who is in the process of obtaining access to Davis' voluminous notes about reproduction revolvers.







Wilson also created a vastly oversized rendition of the Colt 1873 SAA in .45-70 caliber which weighed 6.5#. Century Arms produced a similar revolver in the 90's.



Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Jim
 

Zonie

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Interesting version of the 1860 Colt. I wonder if it was made with the barrel wedge loading from the right side to eliminate any possible confusion about the pistol being a newly made Colt? Because of this feature, no knowledgeable Colt collector would ever think that the gun was an original.

As for the other pistol, talking about guns that shoot self contained cartridges on the forum is against the rules so everyone, please don't start talking about it here. I'm only leaving it here because it represents something that was made by Mr Wilson.
 

hawkeye2

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Back when the first replicas came out there was a lot of concern about them being reworked and passed off as originals and yes it did happen. I expect he made it a mirror image to prevent that. I have a friend who was a machinist and he built a 2nd. model Maynard carbine from scratch with all the screws going in from the "wrong" side for just that reason. Interesting piece, looks like top quality work. I think your friend got a bargain.
 

sourdough

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I wonder if it was made with the barrel wedge loading from the right side to eliminate any possible confusion about the pistol being a newly made Colt? Because of this feature, no knowledgeable Colt collector would ever think that the gun was an original.
That is the exact conjecture by Dennis Norton. Very good observation.

Thanks for leaving the photo of the .45-70; I only included it so as to maybe jog an old memory via name association. This will be my last reference to it.

Regards,

Jim
 

Zonie

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It's a good thing that gun the lady is holding in the picture isn't cocked. If it was loaded and cocked and she fired it holding it that way it would probably kill her by bashing in her forehead.
 

Woodnbow

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It's a good thing that gun the lady is holding in the picture isn't cocked. If it was loaded and cocked and she fired it holding it that way it would probably kill her by bashing in her forehead.
I doubt she had the hand and arm strength to hold it any other way. That’s a beast of a pistol and a pretty petite little lady!

Btw, best of luck flushing one out Jim! That looks like a unicorn...
 

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