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Revolver for a Redcoat


by NRA Staff

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, once known as the Northwest Mounted Police, were in need of a sturdy sidearm to replace outmoded cartridge Adams and percussion Colt handguns the force had accumulated. As the British Army in 1880 selected the Enfield Mark I revolver, so the Mounties followed suit and ordered more than 1,000 of the design.

This hinged-frame, double-action revolver was chambered for the powerful .476 cartridge. Broken open, the barrel pulled the cylinder forward, leaving an extractor plate in place, pulling the cylinder away from any fired cases. After service in the far North, this revolver made its way to a California movie prop house, where it was used in Cecil B. DeMille‚Äôs Northwest Mounted Police (1940) and by John Cleese as Sheriff John T. Langston in the film Silverado (1985). On loan to the National Firearms Museum as part of the “Guns West!” exhibition in the William B. Ruger Changing Gallery this year, it is one of dozens of arms once part of the cinematic frontier shown on the silver screen.

For National Firearms Museum information and hours, please call (703) 267-1600 or e-mail Admission is free for arms enthusiasts of all ages (donations are encouraged).