SOLD FOR: $2380
Make: French Mre d’Armes St. Etienne
Serial Number: F3838
Year of Manufacture: 1892
Action Type: Single or Double Action SA/DA Revolver with Swing Out Cylinder
Markings: The left flat of the barrel is marked with “P” in a circle and an “L” in a circle. The top flat of the cylinder is marked “MLE 1892”. The right side flat is marked “S” and “1892”. The right side of the frame is marked with two proof marks and “Mre d’Armes / St. Etienne” in a cursive script. The right side of the frame under the cylinder is marked with the serial number, “F3838”. The hammer is marked on either side with proof marks/stampings.
Barrel Length: 4 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade pinned to a base that is integral to the barrel. The rear sight is a u-notch that is integral to the topstrap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two piece checkered wood panels. There are spots of discoloration and a more notable nick on the left panel. There are few spots on the left panel where the checkering is worn down, but it is otherwise sharp overall. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips rate in Very Good-to-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is minor surface erosion nearer to the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 88% of its metal finish. There is minor thinning on the left side of the barrel near the muzzle that resolves into a light scuff. The frame on either side shows scattered light nicks and a few spots of light surface oxidation. The flats of the hammer show light surface oxidation. The cylinder shows minor thinning on most edges. There is light thinning on the trigger guard. Screws show light tool marks with strong slots and pins are unmarred. Overall, this revolver rates in Fine condition, as antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. Please note, however, that the cylinder pin is bent slightly, causing a stop at the end of extraction. The cylinder locks up with light play on each chamber. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: Made as a replacement for the Model 1873, the Model 1892 is a considered to be a firearm from the Golden Age of Firearms—factory methodology and practices were highly refined, but true craftsmanship and finishing were still a part of the process—and benefited from a long development started in 1887 that was interrupted by work on the 1886 Lebel rifle, and finally saw full production in 1892. The example on offer here is one of the first 5,000 supplied to Army Officers and Gendarmerie—note the 1892 production stamp on the barrel, as well as the serial number, F3838. Quite the distinction! The bore is bright, much of the original finish remains, and mechanically this revolver is sound, save for a minor issue with the cylinder pin (please see the mechanics section.) You have here a true French military collectible firearm. Good luck and happy bidding!