Lot 12: Rare James Reid New Model Knuckle Duster Single Action Revolver
November 30, 2012
Rock Island, IL, USALive Auction
Estimate: $3750 - 5500
Also known as the "Protector", this model was manufactured in 1883 with a total production of only about 360. All of the New Model Knuckle Duster fall in the serial number range of about 18240 to 18600. The iron frame is a partial reversion to the Knuckle-Duster type design which is larger in the front to accommodate the barrel and the finger hole has more of a separate "bow" appearance rather than the solid one-piece appearance. The left side of the barrel is marked "REIDS NEW MODEL .32./MY FRIEND", the serial number is marked on the bottom of the frame (finger bow) and the bottom of the barrel at the breech end is marked "15". The revolver is chambered for the 32 rimfire cartridge, has a five-round fluted cylinder, spur type hammer, knurled cylinder pin and the loading groove on the right side of the frame (not encountered on all New Models). The revolver features the standard scroll and punch-dot engraving on the sides of the grip area and trigger sheath and checkered on the backstrap. In the September 1883, catalog of G.W. Turner and Ross of Boston, Mass., the "New 5 Shot Protector" was advertised as the "Handsomest Revolver In the Market" and "Elegantly hand engraved and in mechanism and finish equal to any Colt or Smith & Wesson". A pretty bold claim at the time that was backed by a warranty equal to any Colt or Smith & Wesson as well. The selling price in 1883 was $6.75 or two for $13.00.
BBL: 2 inch round
Gauge: 32 RF
Serial Number: 18415
Condition: Excellent. The revolver retains 97% original attractive frosted nickel finish with a few areas of minor flaking. There is a small casting flaw slot which is on the frame in the loading canal. Mechanically needs work, the hammer engages when the cylinder is rotated. The markings and engraving remain crisp and clear.