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Lancaster Oval Bore

Four-Shot Handgun (1887)

Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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The Lancaster Oval Bore attempted to solve the repeat-fire issue of a pistol by utilizing four barrels in its design.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/09/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Charles Lancaster, a barrel-maker based in London, U.K., was responsible for the handgun that went on to bear his name - the "Lancaster Oval Bore". The weapon was one of the many unique attempts of the 1800s at a repeat-fire handgun. To accomplish the action, four individual barrels were set in a 2x2 arrangement, fixed in place and each managed by an individual firing pin at the rear. a striker mechanism was used to actuate the weapon and this assembly rotated behind each barrel in succession. with each trigger pull. The operator had access to the barrels by way of a hinge which allowed a "break-action" type approach for loading/reloading. All other design facets of the gun were consistent with pistol design of the late-1800s - integral pistol grip, under-slung trigger unit, etc...

The weapon was chambered to fire the .455 Webley round and held a four-shot capacity. The trigger used a Double-Action (DA) mechanic. The pistol exhibited an overall length of 9.75 inches with the barrels measuring six inches long (each). Unloaded weight was 1.25 kilograms.


Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom


Four-Shot Handgun

Charles Lancaster - UK
National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Pistol / Sidearm
Compact design for close-quarters work or general self-defense.

Overall Length
250 mm
9.84 in
Barrel Length
152 mm
5.98 in
Empty Wgt
2.76 lb
1.25 kg



Four-Shot; Double-Action

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


.455 Webley

Rounds / Feed

4-Shot (reusable barrels)
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.

Lancaster Oval Bore - Base Series Name

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