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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings, Gentlemen,

My wife, Cookie, bought this one as a present for my 70th birthday.
Bless her little old heart.

First, a little history. In 1872, Jean Mathieu Deprez, of Liege, Belgium,
patented a new, revolutionary system of revolver. It was known as the
Deprez - Joassart. (pronounced: De-pre' - Zwha-sar') littlegun website
has this actual piece displayed in known Belgian craftsmen section
under Deprez - Joassart. Before restoration of course.

I find the revolvers of that period quite fascinating. They were short on
precision machine tools, but long on hand tools. There were many
strange systems invented then. Most were unsuccessful and fell by
the wayside. But, I have seen mechanical functions and designs that
are still with us today. The evolution of the revolver is a fascinating study.

Getting back to the subject at hand. You all know what patina is. Well,
this specimen passed that stage ages ago. It was downright rusty, pitted,
and scaly. Internally, it was much the same. Appeared to have been
submerged a few times and never cleaned or dried.

Using careful application of heat and properly fitting screw drivers, I
managed to completely disassemble the revolver without any further
damage. Took many hours of scrubbing with phosphoric acid and steel
wool to clean down to the bare metal. In this case I was reluctant to use
the electrolisis method.

Upon examination, I found numerous items that needed attention to
bring the old girl back from the grave. Grip frame was twisted. Don't
even want to know how that happened. Straightened it.

It had some past repairs that were done improperly. The most obvious
was the main spring. The original was replaced with a much shorter one.
A slot was sawn in the grip frame to capture the spring end and was
secured with a screw through the frame. Messy work and the hammer
was really difficult to cock. I filled the screw hole, brazed the slot and
reshaped the frame. Made a new spring and screw and installed per

Next was the cylinder stop. Was broke right off. Built up the area with
Certanium hard face and reshaped with diamond files.

The hammer rebound cam was destroyed, possibly from dropping on
the hammer. Firing pin wouldn't clear the cartridge heads. Made new
one from 4140.

The hand was severely worn on the tip. Built up with Certanium hard
face. Shaped, fitted and polished.

The trigger return spring was a real cobble job, but it works, so I will use

The frame latch"V" spring is a little weak but not broke. I installed a small
coil spring to help. Added much strength to latch.

The lanyard ring assembly was missing. Made a new one.

Assembled, tested for function and timing. O.K. Took it all apart again
for the finishing. I try to keep them looking antique. When finish was
satisfactory, put it together again for the final time.

Last item is the grip panels. I wanted to use the originals, but after
cleaning they were too shrunk, warped and split to use. Out comes the
ebony. Made and checkered new panels. Made one new escutchion
and screw.

ALL RIGHT ! ! ! One more brought back to life for another go-around.

The revolver was made during the same time period as the Spirlet, so
I'm thinking it may have been chambered for that cartridge. I will use
the 12 x 18 R Spirlet. Makes it easy, as I load for it.
.44-40 case at .710" length.
.451 - 220 - heel bullet.
12 grains Goex 3fff. for 510 fps velocity.

And there you have it, Gentlemen. Thanks for listening.

Wow. Now that's a "labor of love." Kudos to you for restoring the Old Boy back to his former condition.

I, too, find the old European revolvers interesting (although I don't own any, except for a .455 Webley Mark VI). Although the revolver was an American invention, the Europeans absolutely went crazy with it, producing an incredible proliferation of them, although they look really strange to most Americans. And, to keep from stepping on others patents, some strange but interesting guns were designed.

P.S Any woman that buys guns for you is to be treasured and kept.

4,399 Posts
Hi there Ralph H,

Thank you for sharing the facinating restoration work that you have done to your old Deprez Jossart revolver. It is simply amazing!


Ralph, I hope you've mentored, trained, and taught at least one or two people in your lifetime, because you are a real craftsman, and part of a dying breed.

That is downright amazing. I can't even begin to imagine how much effort it must have taken for you to become that good at what you do.

My jaw kept getting lower and lower the futher I read, but when you said that you pulled out the ebony and went to work on the grips, it hit the keyboard.

Amazing Job. Thanks for sharing.

Premium Member
3,867 Posts
Hello, sir. Thank you so much for your most interesting post and clearly written account of how you brought another one "back to life." I appreciate your very fine accompanying photographs which illustrate this work.


399 Posts
Thank you Sir for a very interesting article. Good luck with the old beauty, and thanks for sharing with us. You are a ture carftsman.

361 Posts
Ralph H, you are just a dandy! This is the kind of post that gets me all fired up. Will you be posting shooting impressions? I won't click a button to read a Glock post but your post is nicely done with interesting photos. Tell more when you can.

103 Posts
That was truly wonderful thank you for sharing it with us. Great
reading and very good photos. Please update us on how it shoots.

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