Sunday, July 17, 2016

Forehand & Wadsworth Army Revlovers

                  Forehand & Wadsworth "Old Model" Army
 Sullivan Forehand and Henry Wadsworth each married one of Ethan Allen's daughters and were part of E. Allen & Co. until they restructured the business as Forehand & Wadsworth upon Allen's death in 1871.
The "Old Model" Army was manufactured in the mid 1870s, it is estimated that less than 1,000 of these revolvers were manufactured and there is no suggestion these revolvers were purchased by the U.S. Government, although collectors classify the revolver as a "Secondary Martial" weapon. The revolver is chambered for the 44 caliber Russian centerfire cartridge.


                 Forehand & Wadsworth New Model Army 
 As with Allen's firearms, their guns were high quality weapons. The New Model Army revolvers were improved versions of the mid-1870s Old Model.
Manufactured circa late 1870s to 1880s with a total of less than 1,000 produced. The new model is similar to the old model except for the barrel length, the side mounted ejector rod, a safety notch in the hammer and the presence of an exposed cylinder pin. 

Being no dummies, Forehand and Wadsworth also pursued the military market, inspired by the lucrative government procurement's during the Civil War. However, postwar contracts never came. 
This resulted in what enthusiasts consider the Holy Grail of F&W collecting: the .44-caliber Old Model Army and New Model Army.

Largely forgotten today, Forehand & Wadsworth was for a time one of the nation’s best-known manufacturers of small, concealable revolvers. In a market flooded with inexpensive pocket guns the guns of Forehand & Wadsworth managed to retain some respectability.
Wadsworth sold his share of the company to Forehand in 1890 in order to retire and the company was rebranded as Forehand Arms.

Forehand's sons ran the business for several years following the death of their father, but sold it in 1902 to Hopkins & Allen, whom had been making Forehand Arms other lines of revolvers under contract.