Under the "forlorn hopes" heading, I'm looking for any information regarding the Colt New Service revolvers in .45 Colt caliber that were purchased by the Canadian Government in Feb. 1900, being shipped from Colt on Feb.07, 1900 (as a batch of 100) and delivered to Lewis Brothers and Company, Montreal.
I've attempted to attach a digital shot of one of this batch of revolvers (s/n 3445) as verified by a Colt historical letter. Logically it would seem to have been ordered to equip the Boer War contingent, however it has no military markings of any kind. And being one of the Lewis Bros. shipments, it was definitely part of the Militia and Defense inventory. Very puzzling ...
Thank you for that prompt reply. It's a very interesting photo, but I think the revolver that he's holding is a break-action, an old Smith and Wesson by the look of it. The picture I attached lacks clarity so here are a few more, which may make it easier to spot similarities.
The only reference book I've been able to find with useful information in it is Clive Law's standard work "Canadian Military Handguns 1855-1985" in which he states that the total Canadian order to Colt encompassed 943 revolvers and that the First Contingent consisted "mostly of soldiers from the Royal Canadian Regiment and the Canadian Mounted Rifles".
It does seem likely then that the first order of 100, of which this revolver was part, was there in time to be issued to that First Contingent, but that would still leave a large deficit, even though, as he points out, officers were responsible for their the acquisition of their own fire-arms.
Also, since s/n 3445 was paid for by the government, it would not likely have been issued to an officer. However if issued to a trooper, why was it not marked with some military ownership marks? Law does say that it was not unlikely that the old model Colt 1878 revolvers were written out of inventory and given to returning troopers to take home, but would that have been done with a "new" firearm like the "New Service"?
I had a chat with someone who has a lot more knowledge than I and he has seen some of the revolvers that came from Colt in that shipment..... Some of the revolvers he states were chrome plated and the Govt. refused to accept them...... He is trying to get some more information for me.....
Military Historical Society