Original U.S. Civil War Era Remington Rider .31cal Double Action Pocket Percussion Revolver - Serial 699
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a .31cal Remington Rider Double Action Pocket Percussion Revolver, with a lovely patina from age and use. This model was introduced in 1860 as an improvement over the Remington-Beals Pocket Revolver, with a smoother and more robust action. Total production was only about 2,000 units between 1860-1873, meaning every example is quite rare. They were originally produced in percussion with 3 inch barrels, but later with the expiration of the White patent, they left the factory as cartridge revolvers, often with shorter barrels.
Introduced before the Civil War, these were introduced to take advantage of the lucrative "pocket revolver" market, as many army officers liked to keep smaller caliber pocket revolvers as backup for when their larger revolvers ran dry. When the war broke out, they were then only available to Union Officers, but undoubtedly some had been acquired before the war by those who would join the Confederacy.
The overall design is similar when compared to other makers: it is a .31 caliber percussion, 5 shot with a 3 inch octagonal barrel. However it is in double action, definitely not typical, and has the characteristic Remington cylinder arbor pin that pulls forward, allowing the cylinder to be removed easily. The design also features a solid "German Silver" trigger guard, and on early examples such as this one, a German Silver cone shaped front sight dovetailed into the front of the barrel.
This revolver has matching serial number 699 appearing on the underside of the barrel and on the inside of the trigger guard. We could not see any markings on the cylinder or arbor pin, and under the grips there was just assembly number 2 on the grip frame. With the early pattern front sight and percussion configuration, we believe that this example was made during the Civil War, however there are no serial number records we can consult.
The top of the octagonal barrel still shows the original markings, which are a bit faint due to past peppering:
MANUFACTURED BY REMINGTONS', ILION, N.Y.
RIDERS PT AUG. 17, 1858 MAY 3, 1859
Overall condition is very good, with the original blued finish worn to a lovely gray aged patina, showing some areas of peppering and light past pitting. It has the look of a revolver that saw long service, either during the war or possibly on the western frontier. It still retains the original checkered hard rubber grips, which show some wear, and both have missing chunks at the bottom.
The revolver functions well in double action, with good indexing and a a strong dry fire. The hammer can be cocked back in single action, however this does not lock the cylinder in place, only pulling the trigger does, so it was most likely only intended to be used in double action. The bore is in good condition, but is quite worn, with just some remnants of the original rifling.
In very good display condition, this revolver will make a fine addition to any U.S. Civil War collection. Ready to display!
Years of Manufacture: 1860-1873
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 3 inches
Overall Length: 7 3/8 inches
Action: Double / Single Action
Feed System: 5 Shot Revolver
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