Abuelo Angel's revolver


Elite Cafe Member
Nov 12, 2006
Thread starter #1
Good evening everyone

I’ll show you a few steps in the restoration of an old pistol that my grandfather Angel gave me when I was 14 years old.
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This gun didn’t have the proper hammer and therefore couldn’t not fire, I think this was the reason why my grandfather offered this gun to his young grand son.

Angel, my grand-father was a blacksmith and did not have gunsmith skills. Visiting him every summer in his forge, I saw he was very busy and wouldn’t find spare time for learning how to fix a gun. I had very good time in his forge. He had a drawer full of old swords and Moorish daggers, and he let me take one of these and fight against imaginary enemies hidden in the great fig tree behind the forge. I always won and when tired by handling these heavy weapons, I could rest near the forge and pull the chain of the bellows.

In the same village lived my other grandfather, Antonio dos Santos. He was a stone carver and he let me use a chisel and a tiny hammer for engraving my name on soft stone plates…

Antonio came to Spain when Gaudi began to build La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, and he worked here for many years. I’m happy when visiting this cathedral to caress the stones and say to myself that some of them hold the marks of Antonio’s chisels…

Many years later I become interested on building my own forge and forged some chisels to have a try at metal engraving…

50 years have passed since Abuelo Angel gave me his pistol and I thought it was time to take it out of the box where it was rusting.

This revolver was not a great gun , in the late 19th century a lot of Spanish Armourers made inexpensive guns copying American guns . This one resembles the Smith &Wesson, but the action being slightly different, is was easier to machine.

I had the chance to find a pair of very interesting videos on these ONA revolvers :

A lot of these guns where made during the WW1 for French, British and Italian armies .

Angel’s pistol is one of the thousand of them that can be found in Spain during the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939.

A friend of mine who is a collector had an old ONA from Troacaola’s and he was very kind to dismantle ant take measurements for all the parts missing: the hammer, the trigger spring and the cam for the bounce of the hammer.
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Making all these parts was very challenging for me. The machining and then polishing, took me more time than the engraving.
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For the engraving design, I chose the American New York style of the 19th century with the background dot punched.
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These guns where copies of S&W N°3 and I thought that New York Style wouldn’t be an anachronism .
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Once the pistol was engraved , I made a walnut case to display it. I’ve used the wood of an old French bed from the 1870’s . The wood was perfectly dry. It was a pleasure to work the wood with old saws and planes .
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The final touch was the label from the Trocaola Hermanos factory. They say that “Smith &Wesson American cartridges are to be used for their model of revolver “ This sentence was written in English and roll-engraved on the top of the barrel . The customer who was not familiar with English language could think he had purchased a true S&W
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I hope you enjoyed the story of Abuelo Angel’s revolver , here is a video in Youtube

Thanks for reading :graver:


:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Jan 10, 2007
Just a wonderful post. You took something which had no real value except in the memories it held and created something with immeasurable personal value. Thank you for sharing.



Elite Cafe Member
Nov 12, 2006
Thread starter #9
Merci Messieurs ;

Thank you gentlemen for your kind comments and likes.:)

For me, transmitting to the young family members is a very important thing . My grandfathers have teach me how to hold a file or a chisel for carving stones. 60 years later, it’s a pleasure to teach my grandsons and granddaughter how to hold a graver or drill a hole in a shell with a diamond burr.

Very early, they learned to hold a pencil and right now they enjoy drawing.

Here’s my grandson Clèm’s dog , he draw 2 weeks ago. He is 12 years old and his dog is carrying a tag he designed late year ( engraved by his grandfather)
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Have a nice Sunday


Staff member
::::Pledge Member::::
Feb 11, 2007
washington, pa
it's a shame there aren't more people like you in this world. youngsters these days are in great need of guidance in whatever form. i finally got my one grandson to learn welding, use a plasma torch, and do blacksmithing. his favorite is pounding iron to make useful things. he loves my forge, especially in the winter.

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