Or maybe Francott's systems, Lying at the bottom of the holster
Where Abadi's door is the gate
Gateway to other worlds!
Count them, behind the door of Abadi:
One two three four five six.
There is an address on every shell
On the pool - even more so there is!
Adam Lindsay Gordon
The history of firearms. Not surprisingly, this poem by Lindsay Gordon about the Bulldog revolver also mentions a Francott revolver. After all, this company also produced "bulldogs" and enjoyed well-deserved fame in the arms market in Europe. It still exists today, but it produces hunting weapons. But there was a time when, along with him, this company produced both rifles and revolvers - that's what we'll tell you about today.
And the history of the Francott rifle house began at the end of the 18th century. Sometime between 1799 and 1805, Joseph Francott began construction in Liege, a "portable weapons factory" that had opened in 1805. The firm began producing rifles and pistols for Napoleon's army, but also made civilian products - self-defense pistols and hunting rifles. In 1810, the company was headed by his son Auguste Francott, who already had two sons: Charles and Ernest, who continued the business of their father and grandfather. At the same time, Charles was engaged in actual weapons, and Ernest improved the production base of the enterprise.
In 1891, Ernest's son, named after his grandfather Auguste, continued the Francotte & C ° family business and, moreover, intensified technical development, having received dozens of patents for various components and mechanisms for revolvers and other weapons. The last of the Francott family was also August (1901-1984), who entered the business in 1926 and ran the firm from 1944 to 1972. Moreover, the company "Auguste Francotte" ("August Francott") exists to this day, and although it cannot boast of large volumes of production (it employs only a few dozen people), it nevertheless produces weapons of very high quality.
Well, in the 19th century, the name Francott literally thundered across Europe. Suffice it to say that by 1890 the company had offered at least 150 revolver models to the market! It is interesting that this company acted after the example of the current Japanese and Chinese. That is, she bought licenses for the well-proven Adams, Trenter, Smith and Wesson revolvers, and then began to produce them with minor changes, achieving a very high quality of workmanship. For the latest revolvers, a new system of locking the frame was patented using two levers to the left and right of the drum, which have become a recognizable "chip" of Francott's revolvers, made under license from Smith and Wesson.
Francott also made improvements to the Lefauche system, after which he put on the market many thousands of Lefauche-Francott revolvers. Moreover, at first they fired with hairpin cartridges, and then with a minimum amount of labor, they were converted into central combat cartridges. Francott's 1871 11mm model was produced for the Swedish cavalry and for Denmark; the 1882 model of 10 mm caliber was produced for cavalry, and the 1886 model of 9 mm caliber was produced for officers.
In 1875, the Serbian War Ministry approached Smith & Wesson with a proposal to supply 2,500 "Model 1874" revolvers (better known as the "Russian Model"). The company was busy fulfilling the order of the tsarist government, there the bill went to tens of thousands, so the Serbs were refused. But … Francott's company was contracted to fulfill the order!
The exact number of revolvers ordered by the firm is unknown, but there is no reason to believe that the actual order was different from the official offer. Since the Serbian army officially adopted these revolvers in 1875, they are commonly referred to as the "Model of 1875". However, the revolver itself was developed by Francott back in 1869, and chambered for the central battle. Based on this, this revolver can be considered the oldest service revolver in European production, designed for such ammunition.
In the same 1869, the famous Austrian Gasser revolver was released, which was adopted by the Austro-Hungarian army in 1870.
Both revolvers have a number of similar characteristics, the first of which is the ejection rod for the sleeves, which was in its own casing attached to the barrel, which provides it with better protection against possible impacts.
The most notable similarity, however, is the external flat safety spring visible on the right side of the frame. This flat spring has a transverse pin at the end, which locks the trigger in this position, so that in the event of a fall, the revolver cannot fire. This system was patented by Francott in 1865 and can be seen on countless revolvers.
Francott also used a sturdy frame with a screw-in barrel, which made the weapon much more durable. Moreover, such a frame provided a longer line of sight, since the rear sight could be placed on the top bar behind the drum. Another innovation was a coil spring around the ejector rod, which pushed it back after use.
The main difference between the Gasser revolver and Francott's Serbian model is the locking system. While the Gasser drum had protruding locking cams, Francott preferred the locking recesses cut into the drum itself. This solution was then used in the development of later revolvers.
When the so-called "cycling" came into vogue, Francott's firm immediately began to produce them, not one step behind other manufacturers, and copying Galan revolvers. Galan is believed to have invented and patented the first such revolver in 1894 to protect cyclists from street dogs. In the end, the "velodog" began to be classified as a weapon of self-defense. A feature of this type of revolvers were closed hammers and a folding trigger, as well as an elongated cylinder chambered for a 5.5 mm caliber cartridge. Later, there were "cycle tracks" in calibers.22 and 6, 35-mm.
By the way, it was Francott who was noted for the production of large-caliber "bulldogs" with very long barrels and front sight located in the middle of the barrel, for export to countries where large-caliber revolvers with short barrels were prohibited. But it was permissible to import revolvers with long barrels. So they were imported, and then they were cut off to the desired size on their own.
The Francott company was engaged in the development and production of extremely original pistols. But that will be a slightly different story …