Clockwork Basilisk: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Early Collier & Wheeler Revolvers

    Clockwork Basilisk (Headstamp Publishing)

    If you’re a revolver guy you’ll be interested in the latest book from Headstamp Publishing. They have launched their latest project ‘Clockwork Basilisk‘, an in-depth examination of the early revolvers developed by Elisha Collier and Artemas Wheeler. Written by Ben E. Nicholson, a Professor Emeritus at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the work spans two volumes and nearly 300 years of revolver design! Headstamp have launched a Kickstarter campaign for the book with stretch goals already being added.

    Headstamp Publishing @ TFB:

    Clockwork Basilisk (Headstamp Publishing)

    Here’s what Headstamp Publishing have to say:

    Clockwork Basilisk sets a new standard for an academic firearms publication, combining rigorous original scholarship—supported by facsimile and reproduction documents—with beautiful presentation and the very latest in digital object interactions. It is equally accessible to all generations of firearm enthusiasts.

    Clockwork Basilisk: The Early Revolvers of Elisha Collier & Artemas Wheeler reveals the first attempt to put a multi-shot firearm in the hands of the common soldier and sportsman. This novel device—patented in America in 1818 by Artemas Wheeler—was taken to England by his partner, Elisha Collier, to be trialed by the military shortly after the Napoleonic wars. Rejected by both the British and French militaries, the Collier revolver with its clockwork-advanced cylinder eventually found its place as a bespoke self-defense and hunting weapon.

    Clockwork Basilisk (Headstamp Publishing)

    Across two volumes, the book’s thirteen chapters trace the life of the design, including:

    • 280 years of revolver design from the 1530s to the 1810s;
    • Prototype phase of First Model manual- and clockwork-advance Collier designs;
    • An explanation of the Patent, supported by digital cutaway drawings created by World of Guns;
    • Military versions presented to the American, British, and French armies and navies;
    • Bespoke Second Model flintlock Colliers produced for the gentry;
    • The transition from hand-building to partial machine production;
    • Third Model Collier—the first percussion revolver;
    • The decoration of the Collier with symbolic motifs;
    • Elisha Collier’s nine engineering patents; and
    • Collier’s design as exposed in Samuel Colt’s revolver lawsuits.
    Clockwork Basilisk (Headstamp Publishing)

    Clockwork Basilisk (Headstamp Publishing)

    Check out the Kickstarter page here.

    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]