The Lucius W. Pond Single Action Belt Revolver was an American Civil War era revolver, produced by Lucius W. Pond. The Belt Revolver (as it was often called) was the subject of a patent infringement, by Pond, of a Smith & Wesson patent from 1855. This ultimately ended the production of Belt Revolvers in 1870, the final few thousand of which were stamped, "Manuf'd for Smith & Wesson Pat'd April 5, 1855".
Lucius W. Pond began making the Belt Revolver in around 1861, at a time when America was fighting itself in the American Civil War. For a year or so, Pond was able to produce a number of Belt Revolvers, in partial accordance with a patent issued to Abram Gibson on the 10th July 1860. In 1862, however, Smith & Wesson made a challenge to the Belt Revolver's production.
Smith & Wesson's challenge centred on a patent issued for their 'Rollin White' patent, issued in 1855. The court ruled in favour of Smith & Wesson, however Pond (alongside Bacon, Moore and Warner whom were also found infringing that patent) was able to continue producing the Belt Revolver, on the grounds that each one was marked "Manuf'd for Smith & Wesson Pat'd April 5, 1855" (as well as a payment of royalties to Smith & Wesson).
However, Pond continued production of the Belt Revolver, under the clause of the contract which stated that the Belt Revolver remained 'in the course of production'. The final run of 4,486 Belt Revolvers were marked as the court demanded, with production ending in 1870.
The Belt Revolver had several distinctive features. The most notable of them is the small trigger, which lacks a trigger guard. This was combined with a single action mechanism and a break open frame, allowing the shooter to load the cylinder. However, the hinge was located above the cylinder, rather than below as has become the norm (the latch could be found on the lower part of the frame). This meant that the cartridges could fall out of the cylinder, as it would be pointed downwards.
The Belt Revolver also features an octagonal barrel, measuring four or seven and a half inches (on average) in length. Later Belt Revolver barrels were enscribed with the required "Manuf'd for Smith & Wesson Pat'd April 5, 1855" mark. The grips were made from rosewood, while the frame and barrel are manufactured from iron.
The Belt Revolver was chambered to fire one of two different calibres. Those designated as 'Navy' models were chambered for .32 rimfire cartridges, while 'Army' model Belt Revolvers were chambered to accept .44 rimfire cartridges. Those calibre choices were intended to match those in use by the US Army and Navy during the period.
- ↑ http://www.thespiritoftheoldwest.com/Collecting-Firearms-PondFirearmsCompany.htm
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Walter, John, The Guns That Won the West: Firearms on the American Frontier, 1848-1898, (MBI Publishing: 2005), p.108
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 http://www.nramuseum.com/the-museum/the-galleries/a-nation-asunder/case-38-arms-for-the-union-union-pistols/lucius-w-pond-single-action-belt-revolver.aspx
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/13315/lot/2361/