SOLD FOR: $1030
Make: French Mre d’Armes St. Etienne
Model: 1873 (Army Model)
Serial Number: J23273
Year of Manufacture: 1885
Action Type: Single or Double Action SA/DA Revolver with Swing Out Cylinder
Markings: The left side flat of the barrel is marked with “R” and “T”; both letters are encircled. The upper left flat is marked with the serial number, “J25273”. The right side flat is marked “S. 1885”, denoting the year of manufacture. The top flat of the barrel is marked “MLE 1873” in cursive script. The left side of the frame is marked with the serial number, “J25273”. The right side of the frame is marked “Mre D’Armes / St. Etienne” in a cursive script. The ejector rod housing, trigger guard, and cylinder (twice) are marked with the serial number, “J25273”. The bottom of the barrel and the cylinder are marked with the Crown “E” St. Etienne stamp.
Barrel Length: 4 1/2”
Sights/Optics: The front sight is a blade integral to a base that is fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a v-notch that is integral to the topstrap.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The grips are two piece checkered wood panels. The panels are weathered in overall appearance. There are moderate nicks throughout the smooth borders. There is a minor loss in the back of the left panel and a more notable loss in the bottom of the right panel. There is light play in the left panel. The checkering ranges from worn smooth to well-defined. There are no cracks. Overall, the grips rate in Good-plus condition.
Type of Finish: Strawed and White
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with well-defined rifling. There is minor erosion present with some minor stubborn fouling.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 0% of its strawed finish. All metal surfaces have light pitting from surface erosion. Other small areas such as the cylinder pin and the underside of the grip frame have light surface oxidation. Screws have light tool marks with strong slots and` pins are unmarred. Overall, this revolver rates in Good-to-Very Good condition, as antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The French, if history is to be observed, seem to develop new firearms on the heels of a massive defeat, or ahead of a perceived walloping. After losing dearly in the Franco-Prussian War, they set about to make an up-to-date sidearm, and the fruit of the initial endeavor was the Model 1873 on offer here. This example is the more standard Army variant. In overall Good-to-Very Good condition, this antique has a fair bit of wear, but does function quite well mechanically, and the bore is in rather good condition considering its age and previous use. Some care and attention will certainly serve this historically significant firearm well, and the winner will have on their hands a fine collectible. Good luck and happy bidding!