Sunday, August 21, 2016

Alsop Percussion Revolvers


The Alsop is one of the rarer of secondary martial US percussion revolvers, with an interesting lineage. The Alsop Navy percussion revolver was based on patents granted to Charles R. Alsop, and was produced in the Middletown, CT factory of his father, Joseph Alsop Sr. The revolver was based on patents granted to Charles R. Alsop and Charles H. Alsop, Joseph’s sons.

Charles R. Alsop was granted eight firearms related patents during his career, including four related to revolvers (2 in 1860, 1 in 1861 and 1 in 1862). Charles H. received only two firearms patents, one related to revolvers in 1861 and one for a breechloading firearm in 1868.

At first glance, there are clearly some similarities between the Alsop Navy and the Savage revolver. Likely due to the fact that members of the Alsop family were listed as members of the Savage Revolving Firearms corporation in the Savage incorporation papers, so it makes sense that some design similarities exist between the revolvers of the two firms.
Both have an awkwardly shaped grip, with an odd hump or spur near the top of it. They both have center-hung hammers that ignite the percussion cap through the top of the frame of the revolver. Approximately 500 Alsop Navy revolvers were produced, likely all in 1862. The first 100 were produced with a fluted cylinder and a frame mounted safety and the following 400 were produced without the safety and a non-fluted cylinder. There were also about 300 pocket revolvers were manufactured around 1862 to 1863.
I find no mention of Alsop submitting revolvers to the U.S. Ordnance Board so I assume the revolvers were all sold to the civilian market. 

The Alsop featured a complicated and somewhat fragile single action lock work. The cylinder engages a rotating plate at its rear that indexes the cylinder. This system is similar to the system used on some of the Allen & Wheelock side hammer

Pocket Model Alsop