A RUSTY revolver has been handed to police after a fisherman spotted it sticking out of the mud at the end of a pier on a drained loch.
The Smith and Wesson handgun found at Cameron Reservoir, on the outskirts of St Andrews, Fife, is badly corroded.
Only a small silver button bearing the Smith and Wesson logo on the stock of the weapon has survived the effects of decades under water. Its bullet-holding cylinder was missing.
The discovery was made as half the loch has been drained by Scottish Water for the first time in decades.
The angler who found the gun said it was sticking out of the mud about 30 yards off the end of the now high-and-dry pier.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm that a small handgun was handed in to St Andrews Police Station on Thursday June 2 and will be appropriately disposed of in due course.”
A fellow angler who witnessed the find said: “I don’t know enough about guns to tell its vintage, but I’m pretty sure a revolver flung into the depths of a loch from the end of a pier won’t have an entirely innocent back story.”
Horace Smith and Daniel B Wesson formed their first partnership in 1852 in Connecticut, USA, with the aim of marketing a new type of pistol but it was not a financial success.
They formed a second partnership two years later to produce the first successful fully self-contained cartridge revolver in the world.
They later designed the first large calibre cartridge revolver which established them as a world leader in the handgun business.
Later they introduced a line of hammerless revolvers and probably the world’s most famous - the .38.
They also produced the model 29 .44 magnum which found fame in the hands of Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry.