Magnet fisher pulls 19th century revolver from Birmingham canal


A MAGNET fisher has pulled out an antique 19th century revolver from a Birmingham canal – similar to those used in Peaky Blinders.

Charlene Johnson was delighted to discover her “oldest find yet” in the Grand Union Canal in an area just off Tyburn Road in Erdington last month.

The 34-year-old removed the gunk and grime off the weapon to reveal what she believes to be a Smith & Wesson 1st Model 3rd Issue revolver.

Magnet fisher pulls 19th century revolver from Birmingham canal -History News UK
Grand Union Canal. The 1860 revolver was found in the canal. (c) Google Maps

The seven-shot revolver was manufactured by US company Smith & Wesson and were in production from the 1860’s to early 1880’s.

There is believed to have been approximately 131,000 Model 1 3rd Issue revolvers made by the company.

BBC hit TV show Peaky Blinders have featured several eye-catching guns in their scenes including many made by Smith & Wesson.

Charlene and husband Paul have pulled various guns and even a grenade from canals around Birmingham but were shocked when they pulled out the 19th century revolver.

Charlene and her husband Paul who found the revolver. History News UK
Charlene with husband Paul. (c) Charlene Johnson.

Speaking today, Charlene, who is from the area, said: “At first we thought it was a toy gun then we got home and looked at it more carefully and researched it on the internet and found out it was a Smith & Wesson 1860’s gun.

“We were very shocked to find a beautiful gun like that in the canal.

The mum-of-five added: “We have found six real guns including the Smith and Wesson which is the oldest one and five airsoft guns. Plus we have found a couple of grenades and a WWII mortar shell.” 

Charlene posted images of the gun on Facebook, writing: “This is the best find to date on the barrel it says (Smith & Wesson Springfield mass pat April 3.55 July 5.59 and Dec 1860)”

Dozens of impressed magnet fishing fans were impressed by the discovery.

Magnet fisher pulls 19th century revolver from Birmingham canal -History News UK
The revolver from 1860 was found in the Birmingham canal. (c) Charlene Johnson.

Jim Spence said: “That is flipping amazing. Good job.”

John Drage wrote: “Stunning find that. Well done.”

Paul Gary added: “Outstanding find, well done.”

Although the television series is set during the 1920’s and ’30’s, the “real Peaky Blinders” group rose to prominence closer to the 1890’s.