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DateOriginal Topic
9th February 2005Revolvers as a soldier's back-up firearm
By Coll
Although revolvers like the Adams or Tranter used by the forces were probably very expensive to purchase privately, usually only bought by officers.

Is there any chance that the actual soldiers (privates) acquired revolvers (any makes) as a secondary firearm in time of conflict ?.

9th February 2005John Young

Certain mounted o/r's carried issued pistols - the 17th Lancers & the K.D.G.'s for example.

Post Isandlwana a number of revolvers were also issued to R.E. & A.S.C. drivers, I do have details of the R.E. provision, but not to hand. Prior to that a R.E. Field Company with an establishment of 202 all ranks only had 152 Martini-Henry rifles and one pistol. The six officers of a Field Company would have to provide their own.

At least the R.E. & the A.S.C. were better supplied with small-arms at the time a field battery of artillery, ideally 167 o/r's per battery, they only had 12 Snider carbines and 74 sword bayonets with which to defend themselves.

John Y.
9th February 2005Paul Cubbin
Somehow reminiscent of WW2 gunners using pick axe handles to defend against Panzer III's !
9th February 2005Coll

Thankyou for your reply.

In a previous topic it was mentioned that soldiers sometimes opted for hunting knives instead of the military issue knife.

Is it possible that Imperial infantry soldiers (privates) approached the idea of privately purchasing a revolver as a personal choice, rather than being as part of government issue equipment, again a secondary firearm, to be used in the event of their rifle ammunition being depleted and fighting at close quarters with the enemy ?.

This question is to find out if soldiers would add pistols, other weapons or various other items of equipment not usually included in their military kit, but they felt were required during a campaign, and so supplied it themselves.

10th February 2005Michael Boyle

Now that you mention it I seem to recall one account of an NCO using a pistol in combat(may have been colonial),although I also seem to recall that officers weren't permitted to carry loaded pistols in camps due to a number of unfortunate incidences (including a dead horse[?], I think from newspaper accounts of the time). If that's true I doubt that private soldiers would have been encouraged to carry personal hand guns as they don't seem to have had any training in their use.

It takes a great deal of pistol training to be able to drop an enemy but none at all to drop a mate.