It's an H&R Arms "The American" double-action six-shot revolver with a 4.5-inch barrel, chambered for the .32 S&W center-fire round (loaded to black powder pressures, I understand). I couldn't get a picture of the bore, given the circumstances, but the rifling appeared to be a very slow twist - perhaps one turn in 12 inches.
There were six rounds in the box when she first showed it to him, so he and she fired those six rounds. The total number of rounds known to be fired through it now totals six. It's unknown whether it had been fired prior to her father's purchase of the pistol, but I could find no visible signs of wear or usage. The bluing is 100%, with no scratches of any kind. The bore looked so pristine that I'd have believed it was never fired, if Dana hadn't said he had.
From the research he's done, it seems the pistol is not particularly rare; they were manufactured in the hundreds of thousands. It's a first model, third variation, which was manufactured between 1898 and 1904, meaning the pistol is between 106 and 112 years old.
The neatest thing (to me) is that it's in the original box and waxed-paper wrapper. It was nice to handle that pistol, and to consider the times in which it was made ... and all that has transpired since.
|The original box|
|The company name, address and caliber marked on the left side of the barrel makes it a first model, third variation. It reads "H&R Arms Company, Worcester, MASS. U.S.A., 32 S.&W. CTGE".|
|"The American" Double Action|
|(Oleg Volk is in no danger from my mad photo skillz. This impromptu shot was on their dining table, under the overhead light, and with a hand-held digital camera.)|