French Ordnance 1873 revolver 11mm

01. Original name Revolver d’ordonnance modèle 1873  
02. Other official names Revolver Modèle 1873, Revolver d’ordonnance Français modèle 1873  
03. Popular names 1873, 1873 French, M 1873, “Le Colonial”, Chamelot-Delvigne.  
04. Chamberings 11x17R  
05. Designed by Chamelot and Delvigne  
06. Design date 1871 improved in stages until 1873  
07. In service date(s) 17th August 1873. Officially retired on the adoption of the Modèle 1892 but was repeatedly brought back into service in times of need  
08. Adopted by France. Sweden in limited numbers for Marine service. Greece, Serbia and Monaco also listed this as a service arm  
09. Production quantities Figures vary but in excess of 335,000. More if variations are included.  
10. Mechanism Double action revolver with non-rebounding hammer. Rounds inserted via loading gate and ejected individually  
11. Weight 1220 grammes  
12. Mountings Holster commonly known as Le Jambon because the shape and large covering flap look like a ham  
13. Practicality in action Very reliable and non-complicated. Adequately powerful although range and effect limited by comparatively low-powered black powder cartridges. Slow to load and slow to clean but can be very accurate  
14. Comments / Other information Commonly believed to fire the lowest power military cartridge ever. Ammunition came in two loadings. The original had a 180 grain bullet powered by 10 grains of fine black powder and the improved load (1890 onwards) had a 165 grain bullet using 12.5 grains fine black powder which increased power dramatically. The revolver was in official service for almost 20 years until phased out by the introduction of the 1892 revolver but was reintroduced for support services in WW1, used by the French Resistance in WW2 and was issued to troops in French colonies until the mid 1950s. Several versions are found including marine versions, officers version (1874) officers marine, Swedish marine and civilian copies