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Hello everybody. I'm new to all this and have never used an online forum before. I'm hoping that someone out there may be able to help me identify a few items I've aquired. I've been interested in military history for a few years now but never collected any militaria. A few years ago my father-in-law retired and bought an old thatched cottage in rural Normandy a few miles north west of the town of Vire. When he bought the house he also bought alot of the contents, as is the custom in France. In the house was a wooden chest containing various militaria. The seller told my father-in-law that during WWII there used to be another house in the field next door. As the house was occupied by the Germans it was heavily shelled by the advancing allies. After the war the house was never reoccupied and was eventually pulled down. The items in the chest were unearthed amongst the ruins of the house. My father-in-law sold the house recently and moved back to the UK. Luckily he decided to give the militaria to me. As he's still unpacking after the move I haven't had it all yet. So far I've identified an American canteen dated 1943 and a K98k bayonet (42ffc). However, I haven't been able to identify the shell and the revolver. As can be seen from the photo's they're in pretty poor condition after spending many years in the ground. I'd be grateful if anyone can shed some light on their identity.

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As someone who lives in France I know it's quite common to find a pistol in house contents after purchase, especially from older people who have died. I know someone who did just that, it was a modern, after WW2 Baretta, but not a military model.

The guns were kept for self defence and a lot of them just got forgotten.

The pistol looks like an elderly civilain pattern.

My reference is in France so I can't id the shell. The date of 1939 in Normandy would indicate German or French.

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I'd agree with Dave that it is civilian which are not really my field , it appears to be a civilian pin-fire revolver probably circa 1890's are there no markings on it? I would think most likely French manufacture.

 

As for the shell I cant really make out the markings ,any idea what it says? Andy D is our munitions expert but I would be inclined to think this is also French. :thumbsup:

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The pistol is some sort of civilian pocket pistol, you can tell by the trigger which is hinged to allow it to fold away and be kept safe in a gentlemen's pocket so as to prevent accidental firing.

 

Still no clue what model though. I agree with Kenny's dating though.

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Can you read the shell case markings and put them on the forum. Someone might be able to id it then as it is not possible to see from the photo.

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Thanks for all the info so far. Yes, I believe the revolver is a civilian model. A friend of mine who's ex-forces believes it's a .22. The closest match I've been able to find is a Velo Dog Gun, however, they all seem to have hidden hammers, which this one doesn't. Sadly there aren't any markings on it. I'm guessing that this was either already in the house prior to WWII or one of the German occupants picked it up as a souvenir on his "tour" of Western Europe. As for the shell casing I'm afraid that the base is far too corroded to make out anything other than the year "1939". Does anyone know what calibre it might be?

 

Cheers, Robin

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A Belgian pinfire pocket revolver, a mass produced weapon of it's day, no particular make, smallish calibre. Around 1870-90, an obsolete weapon today, and therefore free, like many examples, has suffered from massive rust, as for many years these weapons were discarded, due to later legal problems. I had a comparable example many years ago, which I bought in France for 100 francs around 1970, but later sold it to a gunsmith for a very small sum.
However, owning an old revolver in France was not illegal in the old days, nobody was interested. The laws have very much changed since. In the UK this is however, ok, as considered obsolete.

The shell could well be a German WW2 shell, or captured Russian material, the 1939 stamping is otherwise obliterated by rust pitting, as of iron construction Could be 75 or 77 millimetre, or even 88 depending on the size and length?

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