By Lars Dalseide | August 16 2012 18:14

Only 400 revolvers made before Smith & Wesson enforces patent

E.A. Prescott Revolver from the NRA National Firearms Museum on NRANews

Fairfax, Virginia - Phil Schreier likes to make a splash when standing before the bright lights of NRANews. As Senior Curator for the National Firearms Museum, we've come to expect the same. A beautiful gun. A powerful gun. An unorthodox rarity that few have seldom seen. Something like the E.A. Prescott revolver.

"It's a .38 revolver," started Schreier. "Most would not guess that it is a Civil War period gun because there are no telltale percussion cones on the cylinder."

E.A. Prescott Revolver Cylinder out from the National Firearms Museum on NRANews

There are no percussion cones because the Prescott fires self contained metallic cartridges. After taking off the ejection rod, the cylinder comes out allowing for a quick and easy reload. So why didn't this particular pistol take off? Patents.

"Smith & Wesson (along with Roland White) owned a patent on cylinders where you dropped in a cartridge with a rim on it. As long as they owned the patent on the gun, no one was allowed to make a firearm that worked that way."

As only 400 of the Prescotts were ever made, that means there are probably only three places where you can see them: at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia, the National Firearms Museum website or tonight exclusively on NRA News.

Choose wisely my friends.

Civil War era E.A. Prescott Revolver from the National Firearms Museum on NRANews

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