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North & Skinner Wedge-Lock Revolving Rifle

Sold for $3,738.

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Patented in 1852 by Henry North and Chaucey Skinner, about 700 of these revolving rifles were made by 1856. The design used a locking wedge to seal the cylinder forward so that the firing chamber would nest into the barrel and seal the cylinder gap. The operating lever that did this also served to index the cylinder and recock the hammer, making for a fairly sophisticated design. The rifles were manufactured by North & Savage of Middletown Connecticut; the Edward North who was partner in the company was brother of Henry North, who was co-designer. The company dates back to the North & Cheney partnership formed to produce military pistols for the US government in 1799.

The improved patent of 1856 would replace the locking wedge system with a toggle link, and would be the basis for the North & Savage “Figure 8” revolvers. The revolving rifle design was abandoned in favor of handguns, as they presumably were significantly more popular on the market.

Forgotten Weapons
PO Box 87647
Tucson, AZ 85754

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