Author Topic: W&J Rigby Pistol  (Read 537 times)

Pkennaday

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W&J Rigby Pistol
« on: July 04, 2020, 04:34:55 PM »



I received a W&J Rigby pistol from my Dad and I contacted John Rigby & Co to try to learn more about it. Their historian was kind enough to send my the following information, which I found very interesting. I was surprised to learn the pistol had police connections, since I am unaware of any relatives being part of the police department and also no relatives I know of have connections to Co Louth.

[/font]

[/font]
That is a two-shot, screw barrel, Turnabout pistol c.1840.[/font]
 [/font]
The trigger snaps into firing position when the hammer is cocked.[/font]
The muzzle should have what appears to be very deep rifling. It is[/font]
not rifling, rather it accepts a tool for leverage to remove the barrel[/font]
for loading. Frequently the 'tool" is the square end of one of the handles[/font]
on a bullet mould.[/font]
 [/font]
The barrel is screwed off revealing a concave area on the frame. The powder[/font]
charge fills an area up to the base of the bullet. The bullet is placed on top of[/font]
the charge and the barrel screwed back into place. No ramrod is necessary.[/font]
 [/font]
Such pistols cost approximately £2 to £3. Calibers varied but one of the most[/font]
common was the 100-bore (.36 cal) shooting a 70-grain round ball.[/font]
 [/font]
The "L-H 383 is the Irish Police registration number of 1843. "L-H represents[/font]
Louth County.Ē[/font][/font][/size]












Bread Basket

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2020, 08:11:15 PM »
Looks like you need to visit The Antiques Roadshow and speak with the guy with the red trousers and moustache  👍🏼😁

Pkennaday

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2020, 09:21:11 PM »
I almost feel like I did- except for the big payout😂. Did your horse win for you yesterday?

Bread Basket

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2020, 09:22:56 PM »
Itís still running
Nice upload of pics 🤣👍🏼

Pkennaday

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2020, 09:29:05 PM »
Thanks! I had a good teacher! I even posted the pics as a group, instead of individually.
🤞🍀  for a Big win!

James James

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2020, 09:34:17 PM »
VERY interesting and informative and extremely well researched and illustrated historical and social topic and post.

I was also thinking that it might be worth having the firearm shown to a specialist antiques weapons dealer,... rather surprised that such a, presumably rare item, doesn't appear to have a greater financial value. !

Bigali

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2020, 05:11:23 AM »
Thanks for posting this , itís obviously been well cared for and seems in excellent condition .
The trigger guard is interesting as itís a three quarter loop rather than the usual full loop so presumably even though the trigger snaps into place when the hammer is cocked the trigger could be forced into place without the hammer being cocked hence the need for the trigger guard ?

Iím guessing itís a close quarter get you out of immediate trouble type of weapon as itís only two shot plus cap and ball/charge and bullet type loaders arenít the quickest type of handgun to reload.

Just a thought but maybe the An Garda Siochana museum could give you some more info on the weapon considering that you have a serial number and know it is connected to Co. Louth or even since it dates from way before partition the PSNI museum at HQ , Knock , Belfast could help.
Support Soldier F Support Soldier B

The courageous deeds and sacrifices of the RUC and UDR must never be airbrushed from history .

Pkennaday

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2020, 03:08:06 PM »
James James- Iím glad you found it interesting because I was hesitant to share.
Bigali- thank you for the suggestion. I will try to research further. I would be really interested to find where the gun came from and see if I can link it to my family.
As I am not at all knowledgeable about guns, your question is a bit over my head. If I understand correctly, yes when the hammer is cocked the trigger opens, however the trigger can also be forced in place/closed without the hammer going down. I donít understand how the trigger guard is even beneficial at all. I do think it is a lovely piece and I love the etchings and design and if course, the fact that it was my dadís.

Pkennaday

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2020, 06:29:15 PM »
Update from PSNI Museum...
Very interesting information from Bryan Love, Trustee. Not police issue (rather police registered). Hope you enjoy.

 
This is a small double barrelled over and under Ďturn aroundí / Ďturn overí percussion pistol by W & J Rigby who operated in Dublin between 1826 - 1866; they also had sales premises in London.  Percussion was the means of ignition of the powder and ball charge and was achieved by placing a small copper ignition cap on the top of each nipple.  The hammer was pulled back to the [censored] position whereupon the folding and concealed trigger popped down ready for use.  When one barrel was fired the two were then turned until the other was on top and ready for use; hence the terms - turn around or turn over.  The folding trigger was for safety and easy withdrawal when in a pocket.
 
Because of its short length and small butt it was commonly known as a Ďpocket pistolí or a Ďmuff pistolí and was usually carried by a gentlemen in a pocket when travelling or by a lady inside her hand muff; hence the two terms.  The small silver or white metal oblong escutcheon, with clipped corners, on the rear of the butt was for engraving the initials of the owner.  The engraving work on the barrels and breech indicate this particular pistol was a private purchase by someone who was reasonably affluent; this standard of engraving was not found on either army or Constabulary firearms.  Rigby did apply to the Constabulary of Ireland (1836 Ė 1867) for contracts to supply the force and it is thought that a small number of weapons might have been supplied by him, but not this one for the aforesaid reasons.
 
Another indication it was not used by either the Army or Constabulary in Ireland is that it bears the Louth Registration Number ĎL-H 383Ď which in this case would have been applied by a Sub Constable of the Constabulary of Ireland; if it had the Dublin City registration letter ĎDUí this procedure would have been carried out by a Sub Constable of the Dublin Metropolitan police.  This number was engraved mechanically by a Sub Constable: a process which was advanced for that period of the 19th Century.  It was done in compliance with the Registration Act of 1843 which required all citizens of Ireland to produce their firearms to be registered and engraved with letters for the relevant county and an individualís firearm number.  The Constabulary designated certain days in District headquarters police barracks in each county and advertised in local newspapers for owners to attend and have the procedure completed while they waited.  The requirement of the Act did not refer to Army or Constabulary issue firearms.  It is not yet known if the original registration lists have survived and if Rigbyís records cannot produce an original owner in County Louth there is nowhere else to look. 
 
When operating the pistol always hold the hammer on the downward stroke so that it does not hit the nipple
at full strength as this will damage the top of the nipple and could also, due to age, break an internal spring. 
The pistol does not require a Firearms Certificate anywhere in the U.K.

Pkennaday

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2020, 06:31:02 PM »

Bigali

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2020, 06:41:47 PM »
Great feedback PKennaday and a very interesting read , thanks for the update.  O0
Support Soldier F Support Soldier B

The courageous deeds and sacrifices of the RUC and UDR must never be airbrushed from history .

James James

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2020, 11:40:08 PM »
What superb additional posts and information, ... and  a particular bravo to the folks at the PSNI museum.

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1853/jul/08/state-of-ireland-the-arms-act

"He must again remind the noble Lord the Secretary of State for the Home Department, that, with one exception of one year, Ireland had never been without a law controlling the possession of arms."

Pkennaday

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2020, 04:43:19 PM »
Yes, the museum was very helpful. I am grateful to have a better understanding of guns of that time. Unfortunately it didnít answer how my dad and uncle came to own it. But I still treasure it. And perhaps I will show it to antiques roadshow one day 🤣
Thank you for reading and for all your kind words!

James James

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2020, 11:02:25 PM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rigby_%26_Company

https://www.johnrigbyandco.com/about/history/

"1818 - William and John Rigby"

"The founding John Rigby died and the firm passed to his son William."

"William invited his brother, John Jason, to join him, and the business continued to grow."

"The company name changed to W&J Rigby as early as 1823."


Pkennaday

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Re: W&J Rigby Pistol
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2020, 01:01:09 AM »
It is very interesting how long this gun company has been in business. And all the while keeping the Rigby name. Interesting also is how the guns have changed- now they specialize in sporting rifles. And it all started in Dublin, though sadly the Dublin office has since closed and headquarters are currently in London. It seems there is also a museum, which would be worth a visit.