Our friend Max shows us here a very uncommon little pocket revolver of Liège manufacture. I think it may be regarded as a great rarity.

What we have here is a very compact pocket personal defence revolver, 5-shot in calibre .320 Short, with folding/concealed trigger, that can be compared to the innumerable variants of the British BullDog that were available without legal restrictions at the end of the 19th century.

The proof stamps on that little gun indicate a post-1894 manufacture, probably between 1894 and the beginning of World War I. However, it seems not to have been nitro-proofed.

At first glance, the revolver shows an important advantage compared to the classical BullDogs with fixed cylinders: on this one, the cylinder is mounted on a pin that can be pivoted to the left up to 90° out of the frame, exposing all 5 chambers at once and allowing for a far more easier and quick an ejection/reloading that on the classical system that had to be loaded one by one.

The basic idea is not new. It had already been introduced in 1879 in the United States by the Shattuck Company of Hatfield, Massachusetts. This little American pocket, ingenious yet of cheap manufacture, is part of the innumerable "Suicide Special" of all sorts that were available all over the US in the 1880's.

Pressing a locking button on the right side of the shield releases the cylinder pin, which could then be pivoted  to the left or right and even make a 360 degrees turn, since it was only held by one screw.

That screw and the tiny locking cam had a serious tendency to get worn rapidly, which rendered the Shattuck unreliable. This is regrettable on a firearm that featured a far advanced loading system.

As quite usual, our Liège manufacturer - unfortunately not yet identified - has adopted the basic idea of the pivoting cylinder pin, yet endeavoured to eliminate all its weaknesses.

He first conceived his weapon in such a way that the cylinder pin could only be pivoted to the left and not further than a right angle; the opposite side was made integral with the frame and barrel lug. This feature reduces greatly the risk for the holding screw to get loose.

On the other hand, the maker replaced the Shattuck locking cam by a far better system involving a heavy button in the front of the frame under the barrel, of which the internal part engages a deep notch cut into the cylinder pin.

If on top of that he has added a small flat spring between the pin and the frame (not visible on the pictures), he has eliminated all risks of play.

These improvements on a concept that had already be issued 20 years or more before, make this little revolver far advanced in comparison to the classical ones of the time.

It is also superior to the scarce models with classical swing-out system, which proved too weak for a revolver of this dimensions.

Let's not forget that the .320 Short ammunition, even loaded with black powder, was a naughty one and was sufficient for a small pocket weapon for personal defence.