Trying to find history on Forehand pistol

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by wjnfirearms, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. wjnfirearms

    wjnfirearms New Member

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    I'm in the process of cosmetically restoring a Forehand revolver that has seen three generations in my wife's family, including her. I'd like to be able to find out more history on this model, more so the production date. The revolver is going to go into a display case after I'm done with it.

    What I've been able to find out so far is that it was produced by the Forehand Arms Company of Worchester, Mass. The company was producing small arms from 1890 until 1902. Previously from 1871 until 1890, it was the Forehand & Wadsworth Company. This particular .38 S&W pistol has a patent dated Dec. 7 1886 & Jan. 11, 1887 stamped on the frame along with Forehand Arms Company. The serial number is 287202 which is stamped on the butt. You may note that the grips have F&W embossed on them which I imagine were grips produced before the breakup of the partnership but still used on then current production models. Just a guess, here.

    Any insight anyone knows here or a direction to find out more would be appreciated.

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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Want to spend a few books for a reference? http://www.cornellpubs.com/old-guns/item_desc.php?item_id=1304

    Going back a ways, there is a lot of gun history behind your revolver. Ethan Allen (no relation to Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys) had been in the gun business, under his name, Allen & Thurber, and Allen & Wheelock (think pre-revolver pepperbox pistol days) Ehan had no sons- two daughters. When he died in 1871, his sons-in-law, Sullivan Forehand and H.C. Wadsworth ran the company under their names until 1890 when Wadsworth died, name changed to Forehand. Forehand died in 1898, and Hopkins & Allen bought the firm, ran it under the Forehand name until they went belly up in 1902.

    Odds are your gun was made 1890 and 1902, likely shortly after the name change. STRONG likelihood it is meant for BLACK POWDER .38s.
     

  3. wjnfirearms

    wjnfirearms New Member

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    You da man,c3. Thanks.