Adams 1851 “Dragoon” Revolver by Francotte of Liege
A 38 bore (.50 cal) Adams 1851 revolver (top). Made in the early 1850s by Francotte of Liege on licence from Adams of London. This was the largest bore version of Adams’ 1851 pattern revolver, dubbed the ‘Dragoon’. Shown here against a standard 54 bore (.44 cal) 1851 Adams and a Beaumont-Adams (post-1856) also of 54 bore. This 38 bore example is in good condition for the age, with tight lock-up and reasonable bore. British officers preferred these to Colts, due to the double-action providing quicker firing one-handed in close action (often with a sword in the other hand to defend from attacks) and the larger calibre (than the .36 Colt Navy). They were however more expensive than Colts, were harder to fix when they went wrong and did not have interchangeable parts. Though Adams revolvers tend to jam less often than cap’n’ball Colts.