a reply to: Trueman
Another interesting find!
Okay, let's see what we've got here...I'm going to say it's a toy or some kind of a replica. There are a couple reasons...
First, the cylinder size is less than 1" long. A .22 long rifle rimfire cartridge is 25.4mm in overall length (exactly 1"). And, just judging by the
diameter of the cylinder I'd say it is less than 1" in diameter as well. So, if it was real, it would be a very small caliber firearm.
Second, the style of the firearm is fairly modern, but judging by the amount of rust present it suggests the metal was of very low quality. Again,
pointing to a toy.
Third, if you look carefully, in your left side photo, you will see a hinge pin right at the very top of the trigger. This is not how a typical
trigger works. Normally a trigger would be pinned up inside the frame up about level with, and forward of, the sear. If this were real, the
trigger-pull would be impossibly heavy to overcome the main spring. And, a spring light enough to be overcome by this mechanical arrangement would
not be sufficient to fire the primer (even in a rimfire cartridge).
Additionally, there appears to be another hinge pin on the lower front of the piece suggesting it might be some kind of a break-action like an old
Iver Johnson Safety Automatic. If this were the case there would be additional metal in this area, a protruding circular area to strengthen the
action at this point. I don't see that.
Forth, if you look at the tip of the hammer you can see an area broken away like there was some kind of a coating on this piece, say something like
chrome maybe (?). Normally, the hammer on a firearm is one of the harder steels and a plating process wouldn't leave that much material in this area.
In other words, it looks like a cheap chrome job over some pot metal which would further indicate a toy or replica of some sort.
Now on to a couple of other interesting observations which I can't quite understand (and which argue the toy/replica theory). ...
Interestingly, on the right side there appears to be an area where there used to be a loading gate which is now missing or broken away, and
immediately forward of this area there appears to be an indentation in the cylinder where a cartridge would go. Also, corresponding with the area
where the loading gate should be there is a concave groove similar to what you would see on an 1882 Schmidt. These would not be things I would expect
to see on a toy.
Summary - Hard to say what it is for certain. If it's real, it's almost certainly a small caliber like a .22LR.
Best I can do at 04:15am in the morning.