Relic Rollin White Arms Revolver

This relic .22 revolver was found in the bush in the area around Pine Creek in Australia's Northern Territory. The steel parts have rusted badly and the grip has rotted away but the brass frame is near perfect. Best of all the revolver has an Australian retailers name engraved on the left frame "James W. Rosier, Gun Maker, Melbourne". Rosier is perhaps Australia's best known early colonial gunsmith. Born in England in 1834 he arrived in Australia in 1850 and settled in Melbourne. He established a gunsmithing business in Little Collins St, Melbourne in 1857 which continued at several different addresses until 1916. 

This revolver was found in the Pine Creek area of the Northern Territory. In 1871 workers constructing the overland telegraph line between Adelaide and Palmerston (now Darwin) found gold in the soil triggering another Australian gold rush. The area grew rapidly with the influx of miners, many of whom were Chinese immigrants. By the 1890's 15 mines operated in the area and the town's population exceeded 3000. But the gold soon ran out and from in the 1900's the region entered a long period of decline.

It's likely that this revolver, after being purchased in Melbourne in the late 1860's or early 1870's, was carried to the area by an early gold prospector. If only such guns could talk.

The revolver itself is a Rollin White Arms Company pocket revolver. It has a 7 shot cylinder chambered in .22 rimfire. The octagonal barrel is 3 1/8" long. The brass frame would have originally been nickel plated and the barrel and cylinder was blued. The grips were walnut. According to Flayderman (9th Ed) about 10,000 were made in the 1860's. This is a later variation which was fitted with a loading gate and extractor rod (both now missing). These later types were also marked on the right frame with "PAT. APRIL 2, 1867" which was the patent date of the extractor design.


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