Watch: Russian-French-Belgian Galand C F Double Action Revolver


Watch: Russian-French-Belgian Galand C F Double Action Revolver

In this video, Ian takes a look at a Galand C F double action revolver, which although of French design was made in Liege, Belgium–for Russia. Like so many military arms, it was a truly international effort.

Not only was this one of the first centerfire cartridge handguns, it was also one of the first to really speed up the process of loading and unloading. A lever, which doubles as a trigger guard, slides the barrel and cylinder forward. An extractor plate stops partway forward, essentially holding the cartridges or fired cases in place while the lever pulls the cylinder forward and off of them. Quite clever.


Like any average modern DA revolver, it can be fired double- or single-action.

The Galand was an innovative revolver design created by Frenchman Charles Francois Galand and patented in 1868. It is most notable for using a long lever system to eject cartridges by throwing the cylinder and a separate cartridge retention plate forward. It was also one of the early adopters of centerfire ammunition (a .45 caliber cartridge with an unusually thick rim, specifically).

One bone of contention I have with Ian is that he repeatedly calls this and other revolvers “pistols,” which they are not (to truly be a pistol, a handgun’s chamber must be integral with the barrel). For a man who usually appreciates precision, he is remarkably sloppy with that terminology.

In addition to being licensed for production in England, Belgium, and France, the Galand was adopted in 1870 by the Imperial Russian Navy, and several thousand (including this example) purchased by them. Some were made by the Nagant brothers in Liege, and some by the Tula factory in Russia.

The Galand is an interesting and innovative handgun, to be sure.

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