James Reid's "My Friend" Knuckle-Duster
Guns International #: 100973813 Seller's Inventory #:
Category: Reid Knuckle Dusters - Derringer Antique
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Seller: Michael Lee
Company: Michael Lees
Member Since: 2/21/09
Country: United States
Phone: (727) 415-0811
Number of Active Listings: 26
Total Number of Listings: 98
Seller: Private Seller
Return Policy: 3 day inspection and return policy on used guns.
Payment Types Accepted: Cash, Bank Check, Money Order
For sale are a pair of Knuckle-Dusters, one (#4566) is original and not in working order, the hand spring is broken etc and the other (#16512) is in working order. It has been period modified to allow loading and unloading without taking the cylinder out. It can be seen in the pictures. I will sell both for $3450.00 plus SIH to your FFL. I will consider splitting them up.
The “My Friend” knuckle-duster revolver was a defensive weapon sold on the civilian market from the late 1860s until the early 1880s. It functioned both as a revolver (this one is in .22 caliber, with a 7-shot capacity) and a blunt weapon for striking. These were made in upstate New York (in the Catskills, specifically) by a man named James Reid and his company.
Reid’s background in firearms goes back to his time in Europe. Born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1827, he apprenticed with a gunsmith there. Later, he moved to Glasgow, Scotland, before coming to the United States in 1857. He settled in the Catskills where he opened up a mill and a gun shop.
The design known as the knuckleduster is named as such because it could be rotated on your finger and the butt of the piece could be used as a singular brass knuckle. The gun had no barrel and fired directly from the cylinder, adding to its ability to be concealed, but relegating it to a close-quarters firearm. They were available in .22, .32, and .41 calibers.
James Reid got a wonderful belated Christmas present in 1865. On December 26, he was granted US Patent number 51,752 for his new revolver that could fit in the palm of your hand. He would refer to the gun later as “My Friend,” even stamping that moniker into the frame.