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M1840 Potsdam conversion.

Article about: Hi there, Picked this up this week - it is a little older than my usual collecting fare. But I have a real thing for the older pistols so I made an exception. This is a large heavy pistol, n

  1. #1

    Default M1840 Potsdam conversion.

    Hi there,

    Picked this up this week - it is a little older than my usual collecting fare.
    But I have a real thing for the older pistols so I made an exception.
    This is a large heavy pistol, not delicate at all.
    It is all numbered "16" with the inside of the lock-plate numbered "416"
    All parts are proof/acceptance marked FW - Ferdinand Wilheim.
    And there are powder proof crowns on the barrel, section that was replaced when it was converted from Flint to percussion.
    The barrel date 1868 is the latest I have seen this model marked, amazing to think that five years later the Peacemaker would come onto the market - what a period of innovation.
    This one is made at the Suhl factory, which is not so rare, the majority I found were marked Potsdam, but the initials after Suhl I have not seen in other examples.
    In all a great piece for my collection - the quality itself looks like an older restoration, but, I am OK.

    It is shown photographed with an 1860's Austro hungarian cavalry saber from my collection.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The left side of the wood was restored with a small amount of filler, that was then painted brow. It is ghastly, but I am going to leave it as is, until I decide otherwise. The gun (it's a smoothbore) shows best from the right side. But in this pic you can see the brown colored application.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pit.

  2. #2

    Default Re: M1840 Potsdam conversion.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As you can see the lock looked like it had jammed with a sheared bolt at some time, and a previous owner used some kind of sharp tool to break it and remove it, scratching the wonderful case hardened inner plate - the lock now works, but, kinda would have preferred it left as it was.

    Pit.

  3. #3

    Default Re: M1840 Potsdam conversion.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Beautifully machined and worked wood, specifically where you don;t see it.

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    The Suhl name and the rare on this model (for me at least) initials.

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    Exterior of the conversion system, swinging cap cover.

    Happy collecting,


    Pit.

  4. #4

    Default Re: M1840 Potsdam conversion.

    A nice pistol - even with the restored section. You are correct about
    firearm innovation at this time with percussion arms becoming
    obsolete just a few short years after.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

  5. #5

    Default Re: M1840 Potsdam conversion.

    Steve,

    To really put the innovative factor into perspective.

    In March 1887, the year after this hefty cavalry pistol was marked.

    In the words of Captain F.G. Stone of the Royal Artillery, Hiram Maxim delivered... "...The first perfect automatic guns..."
    Shooting 400 shots in minute, 600 in two, and 1000 in four minutes, passing the rust and sand tests with flying colors.

    Causes one to pause for thought.



    Pit.

  6. #6

    Default Re: M1840 Potsdam conversion.

    It has to be remembered that, for example, at the start of the US Civil war many very elderly and obsolete weapons were turfed out of armouries and used in the early stages of the war-if it goes bang it's of more use than nothing at all especially if you have a large conscript army to equip.

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