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 a lovely service used 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 only light powder burn on the metalwork, and overall a shows a lovely dark patina on the metalwork. This pistol is in very good condition, with no signs of major repairs or arsenal reconditioning, just honest use and wear from service. The ramrod and swivel link are still present, making this a very nice complete example.

The lock plate on this example is faintly marked U.S. / H. ASTON & Co. in front of the hammer, and MIDDTN / CONN / 1852 on the tail of the lock plate. The barrel tang is also dated 1852, indicating production the same year. The barrel is proof marked on the side with inspector's initials: U.S. / W.N. / P, indicating inspection by Walter North, specifically noted for inspecting "Aston Pistols and Colt M1851 .36 Revolvers 1831-1852". Definitely some great research potential here!

It has a very nice condition walnut stock with Brass mounts, all in good lightly used condition with a lovely patina. The stock does have a small crack running from the rear lock screw to the barrel, as well as a crack to the rear of the lock plate, both very common places to see these. There are however no structural cracks, and this really is a very nice stock. There are even TWO original inspection cartouches on the left side of the stock, fully legible. The first is a stylized "boxed" W.A.T., 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. There is also J.H. in an oval, which could be one of several inspectors working at the time.

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

A very nice example of a historic gun in nice honestly used condition with some great 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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