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An Obscure Rifle?

JampardJampard Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
edited July 2008 in Ask the Experts
A friend has an old rifle, and I told him that I would help him get some information about it if possible.
These are the markings as they were relayed to me: Forehand Arms Worchester, MA C Rev. Pat. in 1887 .32 Cal
The only info that I've been able to find so far, is that the Forehand Arms Company only produced guns between 1890 & 1902, and that they made inexpensive handguns, rifles & shotguns.
Any additional info would be greatly appreciated.


  • Mk 19Mk 19 Member Posts: 8,170
    edited November -1
    The Forehand Arms Company was founded under the name Forehand & Wadsworth in 1871. They became the Forhand Arms Company in 1890. Hopkins & Allen purchased the company in 1902.

    You did not give very much information on the rifle to really help find the information you are looking for. What type of action does the rifle have? What length is the barrels. Is it .32 RF or CF?
  • JampardJampard Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've finally been able to get some more info about my friend's Forehand Arms gun.
    It turns out that it is a revolver, not a rifle. Sorry for the incorrect description before.
    He said that it has "Pat'D Dec.7,'86 & Jan.11,'87" on it.
    He said the serial no. is 106855.
    He said that it has "F&W" on the handle grips.
    I hope that this additional info will help.

  • b.goforthb.goforth Member Posts: 982 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    when henry wadsworth retired in about 1890 he sold his share of forehand & wadsworth to his brother-in-law sullivan forehand. the name was changed to forehand arms co. and they continued to manufacture the same products as forehand & wadsworth with the only change being the markings, which was now 'forehand arms co.'

    sullivan forehand passed away in either 1898 or 1899 and his heirs sold the company to hopkins & allen. the date of this sales has been reported as early as 1898 to as late as 1902. i believe it was about 1899 or at rhe latest 1900. there was a fire at the hopkins & allen factory in norwich CT in 1899, which completely destroyed it. H&A purchased the forehand Arms co. in its entirety including factory buildings, parts inventory and machinery (forehand was located in worcester, MA.). after H&A factory in norwich was rebuilt every thing except the actual factory building was moved from worcester to norwich.

    H&A issued a catalog in 1900 that listed nothing but the old forehand/forehand & wadsworth products. the labeling on the top break revolvers were 'forehand model of 1901' by hopkins & allen. and the solid frame revolvers were marked 'forehand model of 1897' by hopkins & allen

    there are no known serial number records for forehand & wadsworth or forehand arms co. this revolver marked forehand arms co. can only be dated to the years of the company existance about 1890 to 1899. the roots of this company are deep going all the way back to 1831 and ethan allen.

    the two patent date marked on this revolver were actually assigned to the forehand & wadsworth co. and are used on most of the top break revolvers manufactured by forehand & wadsworth and forehand arms co.

    this revolver was manufactured for black powder cartridge pressures and should not be fired with modern smokeless ammo.
  • JampardJampard Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you very much Bill for all the really helpful information.
    My friend will really appreciate the history behind his old revolver.
    Unfortunately, it wasn't cared for nor preserved very well. The previous owner had used a wire brush wheel to remove the rust on it.

    Thanks again,
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