Folding Apache Knuckleduster Pinfire Revolver/Knife/Brass Knuckles, Antique

SOLD FOR: $2,000

WOA#: WY250528WOA002

Make: Unknown, likely European

Model: “Apache”, Knuckleduster Revolver

Serial Number: 39 (possibly a batch number)

Date of Manufacture: Ca. 1860s-1890s

Caliber: 5mm Pinfire

Action Type: Double Action Pinfire Pepperbox Revolver with folding brass knuckles and 3″ flamberge knife.

Markings: One side of the knuckles is marked with “D”, script “B” and “39”, the other side is marked “SN” or “NS”. The left of the frame is marked with script “B” and “39”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “39”.

Barrel Length: The cylinder is 1 3/4″.

Sights / Optics: None.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is a folding brass (iron) knuckle assembly, suitable as a pistol grip when folded away from the frame. The grip has operational and handling wear, some scattered minor oxidation and erosion, and some nicks and scratches. Overall, the grip is in Very Good condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The chamberes don’t apear to have been rifled, showing infrequent minor erosion. In this writer’s opinion, the chambers rate 8 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 50% of its finish. The surfaces have a mottled appearance with fairly evenly scattered remaining finish and areas of wear. There are some rough polish marks visible under the finish and some scattered minor surface erosion. There are some scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads are tool marked with usable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Good condition as refinished Antique (see Mechanics).

Mechanics: The cylinder does not rotate properly when the trigger is pressed. The knife blade cannot be deployed when the knuckles are folded closed, it will catch on one of the knuckle rings. We have not fired this revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: Of all the defensive implements of the late 19th Century, the “Apache” knuckleduster is one of the more visually and mechanically distinctive. Originally designed by Frenchman Louis Dolne, these intriguing weapons incorporate brass knuckles, a knife, and a pinfire revolver, with components folding into the appropriate form-factory for the use of each. The story goes that they received the nickname “Apache” due to an association with French street-thugs who were nicknamed after the American Indian tribe due to their reputation for being extraordinarily violent. This example is a 7mm pinfire that was most likely made in Europe. Rather than brass construction it is all iron/steel, giving it a little more strength than the brass framed guns, which is nice because it would be a little more potent than the smaller 5mm examples. This one has some mechanical issues that would need to be worked out before trying to fire it, but would nonetheless make a great display in any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Folding Apache Knuckleduster Pinfire Revolver/Knife/Brass Knuckles, Antique
Folding Apache Knuckleduster Pinfire Revolver/Knife/Brass Knuckles, Antique