CASED METROPOLITAN POLICE REVOLVER

$3,995.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 490-2596

The Metropolitan Arms Company was formed within weeks of the February 1864 Colt armory fire that would interfere with much of that company’s business for two years. One of the five principal partners in the firm was William J. Syms and the factory was housed in a building owned by Orison Blunt, who likely had a silent interest. The firm devoted itself to making close copies of Colt’s 1851 Navy (about 6,000,) a few of the 1861 Navy (about 50,) and about 2,750 copies of the Colt Model 1862 Police. The firm closed up shop in 1866, likely foreseeing the end of the percussion era and a revival of Colt production. Given the production numbers the company could not have made much money, but it must have provided some satisfaction to Blunt and Syms to have escaped any lawsuits and to have taken some of Colt’s business. Their partnership in the 1850s is thought to have foundered on possible patent infringement lawsuits by Colt.

The Metropolitan version of the Colt’s 1862 Police is five-shot and .36 caliber, with a fluted cylinder, closely following Colt, but uses a pivoting loading lever rather than the Colt patented rack and pinion. Serial numbering started at 1100, likely as a marketing ploy, and reached about 3850. This one has matching serial numbers, 2246, and does not have a Metropolitan barrel address, which is quite proper for the serial number range. Numbers 1100 to 1800 omit it, as do numbers 1950 to 2400. In the first case the company may well have been covering their tracks until they saw what Colt might do. With the second group, which includes this one, it may simply the die may simply have broken. Manhattan offered these with 4 ½, 5 ½, and 6 ½ inch barrels. This one is 4.5 inches.

The pistol follows the standard company finish with a blued barrel and cylinder, cased hardened loading lever, hammer, and frame, and silvered triggerguard and backstrap. The pistol rates excellent for condition. Barrel and cylinder retain 90 percent blue with just some thinning around the muzzle and rear of the cylinder, which shows a very slight drag line and a little wear along the edge of the rebate to the rear of the flutes.  The case colors of the frame are muted and show some spotting, but are visible, particularly around the screws, which themselves shows some blue. The silver is very strong on the triggerguard and backstrap with some of the underlying brass showing only as sharp edges or corners such as the front and rear turns of the buttstrap or the edge of the triggerguard immediately adjacent to the trigger. The grips have a very nice surface, finish and tight fit to the frame. The serial numbers are crisp. There are small tapping dings on the right frame near the wedge. The varnish around the lower edge of the butt shows some wear. The bore is excellent. The mechanics are good.

The revolver is housed in key fastened oak case is 6 by 10 ½ by 2 inches, with no cracks and excellent finish showing nice graining. As with the implements, it was likely obtained from a New York maker or dealer rather than made by Metropolitan. It is lined in green, with dividers for a cap tin, cartridge pack, bullet mold, and flask, along with a screwdriver-nipple wrench combination tool. The cap tin is ELEY BRO / LONDON marked with good varnish and just some wear to the high points of the letters. The cartridge pack is complete and has been protected with a plastic wrap. The printed cover reads: “5 Combustible Envelope / Cartridges / Made of Hazard’s Powder / for either Colt or Whitney’s / Revolving Belt Pistols, / 36/100 inch Calibre / Warranted Superior Quality.”  The bullet mold casts one conical and one round ball. The sprue cutter shows some blue on top. The sides and handles show largely gray with some dark stains. The combination tool shows a lot of blue. The flask has nice deep brown lacquer finish with a raised eagle on either side. The brass collar, thumbpiece and spout have a medium brass tone. The spring shows blue. There are no dents, dings, or open seams.

This is a very good looking revolver produced with remarkable speed to take advantage of Colt’s misfortune. The nice finish is reminiscent of some the better quality arms produced by Blunt and Syms a decade earlier. [sr] [ph:m]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire.

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