Original U.S. Civil War Massachusetts Arms Company Wesson & Leavitt Patent Dragoon Model Percussion Revolver

Item Description

Original Item. Only One Available. Introduced in 1851 by the newly incorporated Massachusetts Arms Company in 1850, this was the first real competitor to Samuel Colt. The design was covered under patents filed by Wesson and Leavitt, but unfortunately it appears that the "new" Revolver infringed on at least three of Colt's patents. In 1851, Samuel Colt filed and won a historic patent infringement lawsuit against the Massachusetts Arms Company. This caused production to be stopped after approximately only 800 were manufactured. Daniel Wesson one of the three principals of the company, who then broke away and started Smith & Wesson in 1855.

This incredibly rare heavy dragoon revolver is beautifully made and features a side hammer, a heavy six shot cylinder, and a long and 7 inch barrel. It handles more like an arm cannon than a revolver! The design features a unique way of unhooking the barrel, which then folds upwards to allow the cylinder to be completely removed in order to be reloaded and then reassembled. It was apparently also considered that extra cylinders could be kept, already loaded, allowing a substantial rate of fire for the 1850s.

The top of the cylinder is marked with the Mass. Arms Co. address:


The side of the action is marked WESSON'S & LEAVITT'S PATENT, and there is also patent information stamped on the back of the cylinder and on the cylinder advance inside of the action.

Our lovely example has top quality walnut grip plates and has the serial number of 121, which is stamped on the frame and cylinder. There is still case hardening on the frame and the cylinder still shows the decorative scene all around it.

In just wonderful condition this is extremely rare and totally ready to display with pride!


Years of Manufacture: 1850-1851
Caliber: .40cal
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 7 inches
Overall Length: 15 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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

    This product is available for international shipping.
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