Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have an innovative revolving rifle. This is the North & Skinner Percussion Revolving Rifle. The North & Skinner was an early revolving rifle designed in the 1850s by Henry North and Chauncy Skinner. Their 1852 patent used a lever action with the trigger guard to rotate the 6-shot cylinder. About 600 were made from 1856-1859, mostly .44 caliber rifles along with some .60 caliber shotguns. Unlike other revolving rifles plagued by cylinder gap blasts, the North & Skinner tried some innovations to seal the gap. It recessed the chambers and used a wedge to push the cylinder forward on firing. How well it worked is unclear, but it showed an effort to address an inherent flaw in revolving rifles. Few North & Skinner rifles remain today to represent this transitional percussion era design. Despite low production, it was an important step in the evolution of revolving firearms.
“Six shot revolving rifle manufactured by H.S. North and Edward Savage of Middletown, Connecticut, c. 1856-1859. Total production is estimated at about 600 rifles. The rifle has a distinctive combination trigger guard/cocking lever, external self-cocking hammer and partial shield that covers the top and front of the cylinder. A blade front sight, adjustable notch rear sight, sling swivel, and loading lever are fitted to the barrel. The buttstock also has a sling swivel eye and swivel, an iron buttplate, and brass cap box on the left. “168” is marked on the rear sight, bottom of the barrel, and part of the cocking mechanism, and “XXXXVI” is hand scratched on the bottom of the barrel ahead of the loading lever.”
Lot 3078: North & Skinner Percussion Revolving Rifle – Very Scarce North & Skinner Percussion Revolving Rifle. (n.d.-o). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved September 10, 2023, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/77/3078/north-skinner-percussion-revolving-rifle.