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Old 07-16-2017, 02:16 AM
AlanDavid AlanDavid is offline
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Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
This gun certainly did not formally enter military service, as the required military proofs and acceptance marks are not present. I only see the London proofhouse's view mark (crown over V) and on the barrel the proof mark (crown over GP, a bit mis-struck). As mentioned, an officer's private purchase is always a possibility.
The U.K. agent for Smith and Wesson at this time was Chas Osborne & Co, Gunmaker. He had a factory in Birmingham and a retail shop in London. He was friends with Mr Wesson so that's how he became the agent for S&W in the United Kingdom. Chas Osborne went out of business around 1928. S&W were approached by Le Perssone & Co of 99 Cannon Street , London (a wholesaling and agency firm) to become there UK agent but were only prepared to give S&W one or two pages in their catalogue, so S&W said , no thanks. A. G. Parker which went on to become Parker Hale were appointed as the sole UK agents for S&W and remained so up to at least the 1970's.
This being the case I have never understood why Wilkinson Sword Co purchased the surplus 123 .455 revolvers in October 1914. Perhaps Chas Osborne turned the offer down and Wilkinson's picked them up by default?
Unfortunately, the Chas Osborne & Co records appear to be lost, I have put a bit of effort into trying to locate them, but the consensus is they no longer exist - pity.
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