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Revolving Automatically

Revolving Automatically

While semi-automatic pistols are in common use throughout the world today, the semi-automatic revolver is a much rarer item. Two of these “unicorns” that are now represented in the NRA’s National Firearms Museum are the British Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver and the American-made Union Automatic Revolver. Both operate on the same principle: A break-open revolver top end is mounted atop a spring-loaded receiver. On firing, the recoil drives the upper section backwards, cocking the hammer and rotating the cylinder. While the .455 Webley-Fosbery has a manual safety, the Union does not. It has been estimated that fewer than 100 of the .32-cal. Union revolvers were ever made at the company’s Toledo, Ohio, factory.

The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va.; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M.; all have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit nramuseums.com, phone (703) 267-1600 or email nfmstaff@nrahq.org.

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