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O Will (attrib.) crank-wound air pistol

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O Will (attrib.) crank-wound air pistol 

With thanks to John G.

On the, he said: "Unfortunately the pistol has no markings, but the general design has all the hallmarks of being made by Oscar Will.

The front lever is to release the barrel. The barrel pops up under spring pressure, much like the Bugelspanner rifles, but in their case the release catch is always on the side of the gun. 


I have now managed to have a look inside and the spring is a conventional coil spring, but made of hefty square cross section wire. The use of square section steel to make a coil sping seems to be a peculiar to early- to mid-nineteenth century airguns. 


Although the spring is a real toughy, cocking is relatively easy thanks to the long length of the crank handle, and the gear system, which means that cocking takes about one and a half turns.


Although shooting the gun makes a very loud crack, the power is not much to write home about. The bore is slightly larger than .22 and normal pellets slide through fairly easily. Also the seal between breech and cylinder is metal-on-metal and there was quite a bit of air loss at the join. I measured 150 fps with .22 pellets on the chrono. As it stands, the gun is fine for shooting darts at short range, but as it is really a collector's item I will not be using it much."