Adams Model 1878 Mark III .450 Double Action Military Revolver 1879 Antique

SOLD FOR: $2605

LSB#: 210721TS96

Make: Adams

Model: Mark III, Model of 1878

Serial Number: 13228

Year of Manufacture: The acceptance mark is January, 1879, indicating production in late 1878 or early 1879.

Caliber: .450 Adams/Boxer

Action Type: Single or Double Action Side-Loading Gate Revolver with Ejector Rod

Markings: The right side of the frame is marked “TRADE MARK” with “AJ” monogram in the middle, “ADAMS’S / PATENT” in oval, and “13228”. The outside of the cylinder is marked with a proof at each chamber and “13228”.. The front face of the cylinder is marked “228” as is the underside of the loading gate, the inside of the hammer channel on the back of the frame, the left of the backstrap, the rear of the ejector arm and the top of the grip. The left of the frame is marked with broad arrow over “WD / III.” in front of the cylinder, opposing broad arrows below the cylinder, “C” and “G” to each side of a broad arrow behind the cylinder and “1.79” above the rear of the trigger guard. The bottom-left of the barrel is marked “BR / 20” toward the rear, the top-left has two British proof marks. There is a proof/inspection mark on the left of the grip at the top.

Barrel Length: 6″, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch at the rear of the topstrap.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is one-piece checkered walnut with a dinstinctive knuckle at the top-rear and a lanyard ring on the buttcap. The grip has light handling wear with only a few light marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-plus condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Most remaining finish is Original, the cylinder shows treatment with cold blue.

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with shallow but sharp rifling. There is some scattered light erosion in the bore with infrequent pitting.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 40% of its metal finish. There is thinning at all edges. There is scattered light finish wear, the worn areas show discoloration from oxidation. There is scattered light surface erosion, mostly on the barrel. The cylinder shows treatment with cold blue. There are some scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots and there are light tool marks around some screw heads. The markings are clear. Overall, his handgun rates in about Fair condition as Antique (see Mechanics).

Mechanics: The hammer is stuck in the cocked position. It can be moved back and forth a little bit, as can the trigger, but we could not get the hammer to fall. 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: The first centerfire cartridge service revolver officially adopted by the British War Department was the Adams Mark I, a conversion of the percussion Adams-Beaumont revolver devised by John Adams, brother of Robert Adams who had helped design the original revolver. The Mark I was chambered in .450 Adams, a black powder cartridge not dissimilar to the later .455 Webley. The later Mark II was a purpose-built cartridge revolver which borrowed heavily from the percussion design and finally the Mark III was developed which incorporated a new ejector rod housed in the cylinder pin which could be swiveled out to punch out spent casings. This is one such Mark III revolver which is chambered for .450 Adams. The revolver’s hammer is stuck back, but it would be well worth repairing with some of its original finish remaining, matching serial numbered parts and a pretty good bore for a 140 year old gun. This is a must-have for a British military revolver or handgun collection and if a qualified gunsmith deems it safe to fire it would probably make a fun shooter as well. Please see our photos and good luck!

Adams Model 1878 Mark III .450 Double Action Military Revolver 1879 Antique
Adams Model 1878 Mark III .450 Double Action Military Revolver 1879 Antique