SOLD FOR: $2,099.24
Make: Mre. D’Armes St. Etienne
Model: Mle. 1873
Serial Number: 5153
Year of Manufacture: 1882
Caliber: 11mm Center Fire
Action Type: Traditional Double Action (DA / SA), Six Shot, Loading Gate Fed Revolver.
Markings: The following parts are marked with the serial number: left sides of the sideplate, hammer, sear, trigger, pawl, cylinder; the underside of the trigger guard, cylinder pin and the left shoulder of the seven sided portion of the barrel. The left side of the barrel is marked circled “R” and “T”. The top flat of the barrel is marked “Mle _ 1873. M”. The right flat is marked “S.1882”, the bottom is marked “11”, circled “D”, “F” in shield and crown over “E”. The cylinder pin is marked “b53 / 5”, circled “E”. The left side of the frame is marked with “P / C / B” in separate shields. The right side is marked with scripted “L” in circle, “Mle d’Armes / St_Etienne”, “B / B / G / G/” in separate shields and “37 / 90” on the right side grip frame. The right side of the trigger is marked “B53”, along with the inside of the trigger guard, inside of the left sideplate, sideplate screw head, right side grip screw, right grip panel, front of the cylinder face and right side cylinder pin release screw head. The butt is marked with an anchor. The cylinder is marked with a crown over “E”, the serial number, circle “D”, “1 / M” and “B / F” in separate shields. The front strap is marked “7”. The inside of the leather flap holster lid is marked with an acceptance ink stamp; all that we could make out is “16-7 / A”. Please see our photographs.
Barrel Length: 4-1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded steel post, integral to a base that is dovetailed onto the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch on the top of the frame.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two piece checkered wood panels that have smooth borders. The left panel is cracked and was glued back together at some point. Both panels have compressions in the checkers, along with scuff and scratch marks, as photographed. The grips rate in about Good overall condition given their age.
Type of Finish: The pistol was finished “In the Bright”, with straw colored hammer, trigger and internal components.
Finish Originality: All original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling shows light wear, but is highly defined. There is light pin prick erosion in the bore in sparse areas, up until the muzzle where there is slightly deeper erosion in patches.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 91% of its metal finish. The metal surfaces show scuffs, scratches, sanding marks and a forming patina, throughout, as photographed. There are areas of pin prick surface erosion throughout, please see our photographs. The chambers of the cylinder are bright and sharp; the exterior of the cylinder shows scuffs, wear marks and a building patina with hints of shallow erosion. There is moderate pitting on the back of the frame, under the hammer. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are slightly faded in some areas, smaller acceptance marks are difficult to read. We cleaned out some of the markings and they became more legible, a thorough cleaning should render further clarity. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition, given its age.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is side-to-side play on all chambers, but not measureable amount of fore-to-aft play. The pistol has a very smooth double and single action pull, with a sturdy, reassuring ‘snap’ to the action. We did not fire this handgun. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: One correct French Military Ordnance leather flap holster is included in this item. There is a marking on the inside of the flap, as photographed. The leather is supple, with scuffs, scratches and losses of finish throughout, as photographed. The holster rates in about Fine condition.
Our Assessment: This is a beautifully preserved St. Etienne Model 1873 military revolver, chambered in 11mm Center Fire, with a correct flap holster. The pistol’s bore is bright with lightly worn rifling, with some clusters of pin prick erosion at the muzzle (along with lighter erosion drizzled in small patches past the bore). The cylinder has wobble from side to side but is firm fore to aft. The left side grip panel has a large repaired crack as photographed. The revolver was made in 1882 and still has a stiff action. This pistol’s serialized parts are all matching, making for an enticing collector’s piece. From http://thearmsguide.com/773/weird-gun-wednesday-the-mle-1873-french-service-revolver/ : “If you’re a fan of the film The Mummy as I am, you may already know that the chunky brace of revolvers Brendan Fraser wields akimbo style throughout the first film are venerated 1873 French Service Revolvers, or “Chamelot Delvignes.” It famously makes another appearance in the film Defiance , when Daniel Craig uses one to blow away a family of Nazi soldiers during dinner.”…” The 1873 French Service Revolvers were issued to the French Foreign Legion, undoubtedly ended up (at least in small numbers) in the holsters of immigrant cowboys in the American Wild West, and was dragged back into service for both World War I and World War II (in the latter war, these were largely used by police and other secondary forces). That’s over 70 years of service!”