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Original U.S. Civil War Era M-1842 Cavalry Percussion Pistol by I.N. Johnson dated 1849/55

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This U.S.-made single-shot, smoothbore pistol is a very nice example of the Model 1842 percussion pistol, produced by Ira N. Johnson of Middletown, Connecticut. Ira Johnson received a contract from the U.S. Ordnance Dept in March 1851 to produce 10,000 M1842 pistols. Johnson was a partner in the firm of H. Aston & Co when he resigned to start his own company to manufacture single shot pistols. Johnson delivered pistols that were identical to Aston’s arms save for the markings on the plate.

The Model 1842 was intended for use of Cavalry, and has a .54" caliber 8 1/2" barrel, with a with swivel steel "captured" ramrod for easier loading while on horse back. The pistol is 14 inches long in total, and has some interesting markings, some of which were purposely marred.

The lock plate on this example is marked [U.S.] / I.N. JOHNSON in front of the hammer, and MIDDTN / CONN / 1855 on the tail of the lock plate. The barrel is proof marked with the inspectors initials: [U.S.] / SK / P, and may have further markings on the left barrel facet. However, the barrel tang appears to be dated with 1849, which most likely means that barrels on hand were used to fill the contract. Interestingly, the "U.S." stamp on both the lock plate and barrel have been stamped over with some type of "sun" shaped design, possibly indicating that this pistol was issued to a soldier that became part of the Confederate army.

Lovely almost untouched wood stock of Walnut. Brass mounts all in very fine condition. Lock holds correctly at half-cock, and fires at full-cock. This Model was widely used in the U.S./Mexican War and then in the U.S. Civil War.

A splendid example, almost as issued, ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1849/55
Caliber: .54 inches 
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder with Percussion Cap
Barrel Length: 8.5 inches
Overall Length: 14 inches
Action: Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s): New Jersey

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