Forehand & Wadsworth Old Army Revolver
Note: Rock Island has not yet posted the catalog for this auction - I will replace this note with a link when they do.
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The Forehand & Wadsworth company was a better firearms manufacturer than most people tend to give them credit for. It evolved from Allen & Wheelock, with Sullivan Forehand and Henry Wadsworth both having married daughters of Ethan Allen. When Wheelock died in 1863, the two were made partners in the firm, which became Ethan Allen & Co. Forehand was a particularly hard worker, and when Allen also passed away in 1871, the company again changed names to Forehand & Wadsworth. Their main business was .32 and .38 pocket revolvers, which they made a quiet large number of. In 1873 they decided to compete in the service revolver arena, releasing the Army model we see here today. It was a 2.5 lb gun with a 7.5 inch barrel, chambered for the .44 Russian cartridge. Single action only, with a 6-shot cylinder and a rather weak and clumsy manual ejector rod. Ultimately, the gun simply could not compete with the superior Colt and Smith & Wesson offerings, and less than a thousand would be made in total. A slightly improved version chambered for .44-40 was introduced in 1878, but this also failed to gain any significant traction in the market.
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