This 38 Bore Beaumont Adams percussion revolver was one of a batch issued to the Victorian Police Force in the early 1860's. Marked on the top strap with LONDON ARMOURY and on the right frame is B.19,802 over ADAM'S PATENT No. 35,556R. The B number is the Beaumont patent use number whereas the serial number is 35,556R. This serial number is also marked on the cylinder.
The other interesting marking on this revolver is the Broad Arrow WD marking on the right loading lever lug. This is the mark of the British War Department often found on British military issued firearms. Does this mean this gun was once a British military revolver? Possibly, but probably not. The War Department did use Beaumont Adams revolvers in the mid 1850's in both 38 and 54 bore. Those guns that survive are of a much lower serial range and the WD marking is different in that it is engraved on the frame above the grip rather than stamped like this example. In addition, the few remaining 38 bore revolvers with confirmed British military history are of a slightly different pattern, being fitted with a Rigby patent rammer which is quite different to this. It's likely that the British War Department was contracted by the Victorian government to inspect these firearms prior to their shipment to Victoria. The W^D stamp would indicate they passed the inspection and were fit for purpose.
On arrival in Australia the Victorian Police revolvers were engraved on the barrel with POLICE FORCE VICTORIA and also marked on the lower front of the frame with a code (Like G8) which corresponded to the police district to which the revolver was issued. Unfortunately, when these revolvers were sold out of the police service the markings were crudely ground off prior to sale. On this example you can still make out the word VICTORIA on the barrel but the rest has been removed.
This revolver also shows a non original but period replacement rammer on the left side. Like many Australian colonial firearms, these revolvers suffered a very hard life both in the police service and afterwards in civilian duty. Few survive and those that do are mostly in quite poor condition.