Original U.S. Civil War Savage 1861 Navy Model .36 Caliber Percussion Revolver - Serial No 1806

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice service used example of the Savage Navy Model, a six shot .36 caliber revolver, which was made from 1861 until 1862 with a total production of only 20,000 guns. This unique military revolver was one of the few handguns that was produced only for Civil War use. Its design was based on the antebellum Savage-North "figure eight" revolver. The Savage Navy had a unique way of cocking the hammer. The shooter used his middle finger to draw back the "figure 8" lever and then released it forward to cock the hammer and rotate the cylinder.

This is a great very early example, manufactured in early 1861, this was made during the first 10% of of production. It bears serial number 1806, which is neatly stamped on the underside of barrel, under the wooden grips on the frame, and in pencil on the inside of the right grip. There is no serial number apparent on the cylinder, most likely due to the wear and external oxidation that give this revolver such a lovely patina.

The upper frame stamping is still partly legible in the light, and reads:

[17 1856]
[JANUARY 19 1859 MAY 15 1860]

Overall the pistol is in very good condition with a few traces of past pitting, and a nice oxidized brown patina, with no signs of major cleaning or refinishing. It functions quite nicely, cocking and advancing properly with the lower lever, and firing with the trigger. We did not notice any of the usual finicky behavior we see on these. The cylinder lock spring is strong, and it indexes well.

The cylinder and chambers are crisp, and the nipple cones are all still intact and have not been crushed by the strong hammer action. The barrel still shows crisp rifling with a mostly bright finish, with just a bit of wear and oxidation. Definitely one of the better bores that we have seen on any Civil War Revolver. The original grips are also in good shape, with a lovely color, though they do show cracking and have some chunks missing at the bottom.

These are always hard to find, especially in this very nice condition, now is your chance! Ready to add to your civil war collection and display!


Year of Manufacture: c.1861
Caliber: .36cal
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 7 inches
Overall Length: 14 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

History of the Savage 1861 Model .36 Cal-

The Union purchased just fewer than 12,000 of these initially at $19.00 apiece for use by its cavalry units. Savage Navy revolvers were issued to the 1st and 2nd Wisconsin U.S. Volunteer Cavalry regiments, and 5th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry while the State of Missouri issued 292 Savage revolvers to its Missouri Enrolled Militia units.

The remaining revolvers were purchased by private means and shipped to the Confederacy for use with the 34th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry (Witcher's Nighthawks), the 35th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry (White's Rebels), 11th Texas Cavalry, 7th Virginia Cavalry (Ashby's Cavalry), and 7th Missouri Cavalry. The United States Navy also made a small purchase of 800 Savages during 1861 for use on its ships.

The Savage-North revolver is a direct descendant of the Savage & North Figure 8 Model Revolver and the Alsop revolver sharing many similarities with both arms. Alsop was also located in Middletown, CT. and three members of the Alsop family served on the Savage Revolving Firearms Company board of directors. Therefore, the relationship between the two companies and the two weapons was more than coincidental.

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