POTD: Serial Number 1 John Walch 12 Shot Navy Model Revolver
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a very rare revolver, but not only that but the one pictured in our Photo of the Day is serial number 1! The John Walch 12 shot Navy percussion revolver was a very short-lived and brief manufactured revolver. Only about 200 of these revolvers were made. Their mechanism is ingenious and extremely odd. The picture unfortunately does not do that description justice so please bear with me while I attempt to elaborate. The John Walch revolvers had six chambers but each chamber had two percussion nipples assigned to it. the chamber would be loaded with a charge and ball and then a charge and ball again! This pistol has two hammers and two triggers. One hammer/trigger ignites a percussion cap that leads to a flash hole in the center of the cylinder at the forward most charge and the second hammer/trigger fires the second chard manually as well.
“Manufactured circa 1859 to the early 1860s with a total production of about 200, these unique 12 shot revolvers were manufactured at the Union Knife Company in Naugatuck, Connecticut, for Walch and J.P. Lindsay. The Walch mechanism is one of the most unusual of the American percussion revolvers. There are double hammers and triggers, six cylinder chambers and 12 percussion nipples (outer and inner). It is single action with each chamber holding two charges. The front charge is fired by the outer nipple being struck by the right hammer, which is released by the right trigger (which is set slightly forward of the left trigger), continual pulling on the triggers engages the left trigger which strikes the inner nipple firing the inner charge. The revolver lacks the barrel address. The left side heel of the frame under the grip, front face of the cylinder, and loading lever are marked with the number “1”. Cone front sight and no rear sight, Colt style two piece loading lever and rammer, and fitted with two piece checkered walnut grips.”
Lot 261: Walch John Navy Revolver 36 percussion. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved February 16, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/67/261/walch-john-navy-revolver-36-percussion.