The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, once known as the Northwest Mounted Police, were in need of a sturdy sidearm to replace outmoded cartridge Adams and percussion Colt handguns the force had accumulated. As the British Army in 1880 selected the Enfield Mark I revolver, so the Mounties followed suit and ordered more than 1,000 of the design.
This hinged-frame, double-action revolver was chambered for the powerful .476 cartridge. Broken open, the barrel pulled the cylinder forward, leaving an extractor plate in place, pulling the cylinder away from any fired cases. After service in the far North, this revolver made its way to a California movie prop house, where it was used in Cecil B. DeMille's Northwest Mounted Police (1940) and by John Cleese as Sheriff John T. Langston in the film Silverado (1985).
Reprinted from America's 1st Freedom, September 2009.