Original U.S. Civil War Era M-1842 Percussion Cavalry Pistol by H. Aston & Co. - dated 1852

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This U.S.-made single-shot, smoothbore pistol is an excellent example of the Model 1842 percussion pistol, produced by Henry Aston & Co. of Middletown, Connecticut. Henry Aston manufactured approximately 30,000 Model 1842 Pistols under two government contracts between 1845 and 1852. The other main manufacturer of these pistols, Ira Johnson, had been a partner in Aston's firm, until he left to start his own company. Aside from the markings, the pistols from both firms were identical.

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 is still well marked, with minimal powder burn. This pistol is in great shape, with lots of markings on the barrel AND stock.

The lock plate on this example is marked U.S. / H. ASTON in front of the hammer, and MIDDTN / CONN / 1852 on the tail of the lock plate. There is powder burn around the cap bolster and breech, so unfortunately the date marking on the barrel has worn away. The left side of the barrel is proof marked with S M / P, for inspector Stillman Moore, listed as inspecting Aston Pistols only 1846-1852.

It has an excellent condition wood stock of Walnut, with the Brass mounts all in good lightly used condition. The original inspection cartouches on the left side are even still visible! It is marked with a faint stylized WN inside an oval, for Walter North, who specifically inspected Aston Pistols 1831-1852. Below this is another marking, WAT in an oval, indicating inspection by Captain William Anderson Thornton, who worked from 1841 to 1861, inspecting various small arms, specifically including pistols from Aston, Waters, and Johnson.

The lock is functional and holds correctly at half cock, firing at full. This Model was widely used in the U.S./Mexican War and then in the U.S. Civil War.

A very good example of a historic gun with tons of original markings. Ready to research and display!


Year of Manufacture: 1852
Caliber: .54 inches
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder with Percussion Cap
Barrel Length: 8 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 14 inches
Action: Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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