Original U.S. Civil War Savage 1861 Navy Model .36 Caliber Percussion Revolver - Serial No 2371
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of the Savage Navy Model, a six shot .36 caliber revolver, which was made from 1861 until 1862 with a total production of only 20,000 guns. This unique military revolver was one of the few handguns that was produced only for Civil War use. Its design was based on the antebellum Savage-North "figure eight" revolver. The Savage Navy had a unique way of cocking the hammer. The shooter used his middle finger to draw back the "figure 8" lever and then released it forward to cock the hammer and rotate the cylinder.
This is a great very early example, manufactured in early 1861, this was made during the first 25% of production. It bears serial number 2371, which is neatly stamped on the underside of barrel, and is also present on the inside frame beneath the original wood grips. Interestingly, there is also struck-through serial number 1138 on the bottom of the barrel. We see no evidence that parts swapping occurred, and they would not have bothered to re-stamp the barrel at arsenal. The font used in both numbers is also identical. We can only surmise that early in production, there was some type of fatal manufacturing error with the original frame of serial 1138, but the barrel was fine, so it was reused.
The upper frame stamping reads-
SAVAGE R.F.A CO MIDDLETOWN. CT
H.S. NORTH PATENTED JUNE 17 1856
JANUARY 19 1859 MAY 15 1860
Overall the pistol is in great condition with a few traces of past pitting, and a nice worn gray patina, with no sign of refinishing. It functions nicely, though it definitely can be finicky, as these revolvers were known to be due to the complex action. The cylinder and chambers are crisp and all 6 cap nipples are intact, which is rare for this style revolver, as the hammer tension is strong. The barrel has clear lands and grooves, with a mostly bright finish.
These are always hard to find, especially below $2500, now is your chance! Ready to add to your civil war collection and display!
History of the Savage 1861 Model .36 Cal-
The Union purchased just fewer than 12,000 of these initially at $19.00 apiece for use by its cavalry units. Savage Navy revolvers were issued to the 1st and 2nd Wisconsin U.S. Volunteer Cavalry regiments, and 5th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry while the State of Missouri issued 292 Savage revolvers to its Missouri Enrolled Militia units.
The remaining revolvers were purchased by private means and shipped to the Confederacy for use with the 34th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry (Witcher's Nighthawks), the 35th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry (White's Rebels), 11th Texas Cavalry, 7th Virginia Cavalry (Ashby's Cavalry), and 7th Missouri Cavalry. The United States Navy also made a small purchase of 800 Savages during 1861 for use on its ships.
The Savage-North revolver is a direct descendant of the Savage & North Figure 8 Model Revolver and the Alsop revolver sharing many similarities with both arms. Alsop was also located in Middletown, CT. and three members of the Alsop family served on the Savage Revolving Firearms Company board of directors. Therefore, the relationship between the two companies and the two weapons was more than coincidental.
Year of Manufacture: c.1861
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 7 inches
Overall Length: 14 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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