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 Post subject: Sisterdale Revolver
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:03 am 
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The Sisterdale revolver is one of the most original designs of the Confederate revolvers. It was devised by a group of Texans led by one Alfred Kapp, son of a German immigrant in Sisterdale, Texas. He and his compatriots made six of these revolvers on the Kapp homestead with the intention of obtaining a contract to make them for the Texas government and for their own armament during the Civil War. The plan came to naught, most likely because the revolver’s design left much to be desired.


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 Post subject: Re: Sisterdale Revolver
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:59 pm 
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Well...been to Sisterdale many times, but had no idea anything was ever associated with it!
NICE PHOTO STEVE!

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Doug/Mule Man

"Nope!....If I gotta choose.....I'll ride the mule and pack the horse!" WD Bennett


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 Post subject: Re: Sisterdale Revolver
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:45 am 
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Howdy!

A fairly "common" theme in Confederate forearms making is the combination of patriotism and a view to make money off the War.

A number of would-be Confederate longarms and pistol makers thought they would, could, go into the gun making business but ran into trouble acquiring the raw materials, machinery, tools, skilled machinists, etc. and even factory workers to pull it off. Manpower shortages in the army siphoned off skilled workers and then unskilled workers to the point that some had to train slaves.

Dr. Ernst Kapp had been a German immigrant in 1849 likely a refugee from the 1848 Revolution. He settled in a somewhat remote area of Texas in a German settlement of Sisterdale. His son, Alfred Kapp, had been a employee of Colt at Hartford and one can see the Third Model Dragoon influences. Together with a German blacksmith named Wilhelm Schmidt they decided to make revolvers for the State of Texas in the blacksmith shop of their farm.

The original plan was to make "brass' (bronze) frames, but botched the mold making and gave up after three days. So, they hand machined the Remington style solid frames.

Even though Alfred had Colt experience, and even though the Colt "mechanism' was well known and samples were around.... Kapp and Schmidt departed from the Colt design and went with an early Beals type external cam "hand' on the OUTSIDE of the left side of the frame. And had a long narrow spring bar that went from the rear of the receiver in front of the hammer to the undersized rear sight (the front sight was larger than the rear making a poor to impossible sight picture) serving as the cylinder stop..

Obviously, in term of breakage and exposure, having an external hand and cylinder stop was not the best idea.

It is not known why the venture failed after six sample revolvers were made. Kapp had taken them to San Antonio to try to get a contract but failed. And that seemed to end that.

This is one of the six known, and was handed down through the Kapp family. It went up for auction estimating $150,000-$250,000. I did not look up to see what it sold for.

Oh, the grip frame is flatish, much like a Pettengill/Rogers & Spencer. The damaged grips are cow horn, unfortunately eaten by dermestid beetles.

An amazing revolver, considering they were hand-made in a frontier farm's blacksmith shop.

m

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 Post subject: Re: Sisterdale Revolver
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:53 pm 
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The Texas Hill Country was heavily settled by German Immigrants......i.e. Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Luckenbach, Boerne, etc........Besides the obvious mechanical genius of the Germans......today, beer and 9 pin bowling is a strong indicator of the German influence!

.........not relevant to our discussion of firearms...but it does prove I know a thing or two.
Thanks Mick for the history......if not for guys like you, the history would be completely gone!

Doug (not as brilliant as Mick Archer posse)

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"Nope!....If I gotta choose.....I'll ride the mule and pack the horse!" WD Bennett


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