Original U.S. Civil War Manhattan Firearms Series II .31cal Pocket Model Percussion Revolver - Serial 3799
Original Item: Only One Available. Well THIS is a real peach! This is a very good condition Civil War revolver, made by the MANHATTAN FIREARMS COMPANY of New York, N.Y., and is in great shape! It has some lovely factory engraving, and has a beautiful set of figured walnut grips. The company was originally founded in 1856, mainly to make Colt-style revolvers once their patent ran out in 1857. These revolvers look similar to Colt pocket percussion revolvers, but have a more elongated body. They were popular among officers as a "backup" pistol to keep inside their uniform pocket for when their main revolver needed reloading.
This very nice example features the standard 4" barrel and matching serial number 3799, which is found on the barrel, frame under the grips, and on the rear of the cylinder. The barrel wedge is marked 3766, which we believe is a stamping mistake, as the same stamp was used for both 6 and 9. We would definitely consider this to be an "All Matching" example! The cap nipples are all clear, and the cylinder still has a mostly intact "Stagecoach Robbery" scene on the side, something we rarely see!
From internet research, we know that the "Pocket Model, Series II" revolvers have serial numbers from around 1,000 to 4,800, and were manufactured from February 1860 until December 1862. This makes this a definitely Civil War produced gun, probably made in early 1862.
Top of the barrel still has a clear single line Series II manufacturer address marking, from before the move to Newark:
MANHATTAN FIRE ARMS MANUF'G. CO. NEW YORK
It also is marked PATENTED / DEC. 27. 1859. on the trigger guard, where the serial number would usually be marked, another hallmark of a Series II revolver.
The Walnut grips are solid, with only a bit of wear at the edges, and a lovely color, with lots of the original varnish present. The grain is so figured that we would almost consider them "burl" walnut. The finish is a lovely aged blue, with traces of the original intact finish visible on the trigger guard. The cap nipples on the cylinder are all clear, and appear to be original. The barrel is excellent, with clear lands and grooves, and a partly bright finish. It functions correctly, though as with any revolver of this age, it can be finicky due to wear on the internals.
This is just a great civil war percussion revolver, in very good condition, ready to add to your collection and display!
History of Manhattan Firearms:
The Manhattan Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. was founded by a group of New Jersey businessmen in 1856. Their goal was to take advantage of Colt’s patent for revolving firearms that was due to expire in 1857. The founders hired Thomas Bacon to became the Superintendent of ;Manufacturing.
Manufacturing began in Norwich, Connecticut and in 1859 moved to Newark, New Jersey. Thomas Bacon remained in Norwich and started his own firearms company. During their existence, Manhattan Firearms produced approximately 175,000 pistols. Only Colt, Remington, and Winchester produced more guns during this era in which included the Civil War.
While waiting for Colt’s patent to expire, Manhattan first made copies of American firearms that no longer had patent protection. These included pepperboxes and various single-shot designs. Shortly thereafter, they turned their attention to making Colt-style revolvers in both the .31 caliber Pocket and .36 caliber Navy styles. Manhattan patented an extra set of cylinder safety notches on these models. Manhattans can be easily identified by the many notches on their cylinders.
After the Civil War, Manhattan production primarily consisted of a copy of the Smith & Wesson .22 caliber cartridge revolver and a single-shot boot pistol under the name "HERO". Manhattan changed it's name in 1868 to American Standard Tool Company and began to market industrial tools as well as firearms. American Standard Tool closed during the financial panic of 1873.
Manhattan Firearms also manufactured guns under the trade names “Hero”, “London Pistol Company”, and “American Standard Tool”.
Year of Manufacture: c. 1862
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 4 inches
Overall Length: 9 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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