The RCR Association Photographic Database

General Category => The Boer War => Topic started by: Mike Blais CD on April 17, 2009, 06:26:00 pm

Title: Colt Model 1878 Revolver
Post by: Mike Blais CD on April 17, 2009, 06:26:00 pm
Colt Model 1878 Revolver

This was Canada's official military-issue handgun at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. A rather curious quantity of 1001 of these pistols had been hastily purchased in early 1885 to arm the military forces mobilized to deal with the North West Rebellion. No other pistol having been acquired by the Department of Militia and Defence since that date, this model was also the first handgun to go to war with Canadian Troops in the new century. It was issued to appropriate members of the First Contingent of the Canadian Special Service Force dispatched to South Africa in late 1899 for service during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).

Configuration of Canadian-issue arms: Double-action revolver; nickel-plated finish; cast black grips; 7.5" barrel; chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge; 6 round capacity; fixed cylinder, with loading and extraction through a "gate" in the recoil shield on right side. In service 1885-1902.

According to the Canadian War Museum, the usefulness of the pistol in South Africa was debatable. Lieutenant Colonel Lessard of the Royal Canadian Dragoons considered the weapon an unnecessary burden for the mounted infantryman, and had theirs returned to stores, while Lieutenant Colonel T.D.B. Evans of the Canadian Mounted Rifles considered the weapons quite useful, especially for scouting and house searches.


Many people are not aware that, unlike our history of military longarms, Canada has never adopted any British pistol as a primary-issue military sidearm! Despite the common use of Webley, Enfield, and other British-made handguns throughout the British Empire and Commonwealth during the past 150 years or so, Canada's official military handguns - starting with the Colt 1851 "Navy" model cap-and-ball revolvers acquired in 1855 for issue to Militia Cavalry Troops - have always originated in the United States, with the exception of the "home-grown" Inglis High Power - and even it was designed primarily by John M. Browning.

Title: Re: Colt Model 1878 Revolver
Post by: rong on April 18, 2009, 01:42:16 pm
Interesting revolver.. i would think the grip might be a bit funny for guys with big hands.??  rong