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Scarce French/Civil War Era George Raphael Officers Double Action Revolver
This is a nice example of a very rare George Raphael revolver. 1,000 of these large frame double action 11 mm Raphael revolvers were purchased on the commercial market by the Federal Government during the Civil War. Some Raphael revolvers may have been privately purchased by officers during that same time period. It is assumed that the revolvers were manufactured in France. George Raphael was a friend of Abraham Lincoln and he supplied revolvers and swords to the Federal Government. The only visible marking are the serial number "188" on the left side of the frame ahead of the cylinder and "75" on the cylinder face, however this is normal for the Raphael revolvers as the Civil War Era revolvers were unmarked. The revolver featured a very interesting design with a loading gate on the upper left side. The cylinder and breech plate rotate at the same time when the hammer is cocked, however the cylinder can also be rotated separate from the breech plate when the loading gate is open for loading and unloading. The revolver has a solid open top frame design, dovetailed front blade sight and a dovetailed notch rear sight mounted on the breech end of the barrel and six round cylinder. The revolver is fitted with smooth two piece varnished walnut grips. The usual butt cap lanyard bolt which doubles as an ejector rod is still present. Raphael revolvers are famous for very precise machining of their complex mechanism.