Working the Marlin .38 Standard 1878 Pocket Revolvers
by David R. Chicoine
Did I hear you right, Marlin revolvers? Yes, in fact the company we know so well today as being famous for making hunting rifles started during the Civil War and their first products were handguns. Gunmaker John Mahlon Marlin began his distinguished career in 1863 by manufacturing .22 single shot pistols at his New Haven, CT factory. During this time, the Rollin White patent, covering the manufacture of revolvers with cylinders bored through to accept a rimmed, metallic cartridge, stood and the rights were assigned solely to Smith & Wesson. Thus, S&W and Rollin White himself were the only parties who could legally manufacture and sell metallic cartridge revolvers until this patent expired. The S&W Model-One .22 rimfire (a design using a barrel that tipped-up) was the first successful metallic cartridge revolver.