The Soldier’s Attic is proud to introduce this new section by highlighting a special arm that recently entered our inventory, the Nichols and Childs Revolving Percussion Rifle. Only 100-150 of these beautiful rifles were made in the late 1830s/early 1840s and they represent early developments of the American revolving rifle. While we tend to see (and focus) on the successful models that are produced in greater numbers, the whole story of an arm should include prototypes, failures, and, as seen here, the less popular designs so we can better understand the evolution that leads to later successes.
Sources reference numerous variables seen on these rifles, including barrel shape and length, caliber, and shot capacity, suggesting the possibility of custom orders or, perhaps, experimentation within the limited series production. The specimen highlighted here uses an external, manually operated cylinder lock, and external indexing system operated by cocking the hammer. The unusual presence of a loading lever mounted under the barrel indicates that the rifle seen here was made towards the end of the early variation but before the cylinder indexing mechanism became internal to the frame as seen on late variations. The patch box, butt plate, trigger guard, and animal silhouettes are all plated in German silver while all other metal parts are in the white. The rifle is as much a work of art as it is a functioning rifle and an absolute must for a complete collection of the American revolving rifle. See more on our website by clicking here: Nichols and Childs Revolving Rifle