William B. Edwards * Nov. 10, 1927 - + Sep. 7, 2008
This study was supported by gun and CAS magazines, CAS websites, auction houses and gun dealers in Europe and the USA. However, it is you, the pards and pardettes from both sides of the Atlantic and down-under, namely Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and the USA. You responded to the call, reported data of your prized Centaure pistols. This led to some surprising and fascinating discoveries. Thanks a lot.
Much to my regret, William B. Edwards, Civil War and firearms historian, International firearms industry negotiator, consultant and business man with a dream passed away too early to observe, to be part of the rediscovery of these Belgian Colts by re-enactors, cowboy action and black powder shooters and the collectors’ community during the early 21st century. Because these Centaures were his brain-children. He smelled the market niche for this first ever re-issue of a Colt 1860 Army during the late 1950s. He masterminded their production from 1959 at the Hanquet’s family business, famous Fabriques d’Armes Unies de Liège (FAUL) in Liège, Belgium, and 1960 their introduction into the United States of America. He was a man of vision and determination. Thank you, Sir, for the formidable Centaures. We owe you!
Ms. Nadine Hanquet of Liège , the last of the owner family of Fabriques d’Armes Unies de Liège (FAUL) kindly added important facts that helped to bring the Belgian Colt story into historical perspective. They were amended by supportive technical information from Director Jean-Luc Stassen of the Liège Proof House but particularly from Alan Trigger and the Club Littlegun, a Belgian gun collectors and study group (http://www.littlegun.be/). This research could not be substantiated without their help.
Without W.T., Steel Horse Bailey and Buffalo Chip this website would be an academic paper with lots of facts for collectors but too dry to read by any red-blooded cowboy and shooter. But they edited the wealth of information collected into an easily flowing, digestible language. Chain-Fire offered fresh thoughts regarding the evolution of Centaure manufacturing at FAUL’s whereas Roger Ragland aka Major provided inspiring insight how the film industry made good use of the Centaures aka Centennial Armies in well-known Civil War and Western movies. Thanks, pards.
I am particularly grateful to Dr. Jim Davis for his advice regarding the structuring of the questionnaire, providing original literature and adding specifics of a number of very rare 1960 NEW MODEL ARMIES from the collection of the Replica Percussion Revolver Collectors Association.
I am indebted to my trusted friend Hartmut “Mullie the Bullie” Wienands who has a knack for languages. He accepted to communicate for me in French with Ms. Nadine Hanquet and also translated Flemish texts. Jean-Francois Pancé made sure that I fully appreciated the history of the Hanquet family by translating their original French family story. But without the Texas computer wizard Panhandle Paden aka James Frugé and all the energy he instilled into the research program there would be no http://www.1960nma.org/. Thank you, my friend. Technically our knowledge about the strengths but also the shortfalls of the Belgian Colt would lack solid gunsmith know how and backing without the advice of one US smith who goes by the alias Rifle. Together with Austrian master Karl Nedbal they provided important facts including comparisons of the Centaure to 1st generation 1860 Colts and Colt clones. And Herr Nedbal did not stop there, see the chapters in this site for all of his contributions.
Technically our knowledge about the strengths but also the shortfalls of the Belgian Colt would lack solid gunsmith know how and backing without the advice of one US smith who goes by the alias Rifle. Together with Austrian master Karl Nedbal they provided important facts including comparisons of the Centaure to 1st generation 1860 Colts and Colt clones. And Herr Nedbal did not stop there, see the chapters in this site for all of his contributions
Wolf D. “Long Johns Wolf” Niederastroth
Hofheim, March 2013
WDN/March 22, 2013
© 2007 Wolf D. Niederastroth