Original U.S. Civil War Union Arms .31cal Percussion Revolver with Holster & Knife Belt Rig- Serial 12215
Original Item: One of a Kind Set. The exact history of the Union Arms company is somewhat hard to trace, as the Civil War market produced such a demand that companies almost sprung up over night. The company is often associated with Thomas Bacon, who had acquired his gunmaker skills in the 1840s working for the Ethan Allen Company. Later on and before founding his own company, he worked for different other makers, such as the Manhattan Company.
The company made a lot of smaller "pocket" revolvers, which were very popular among officers as "backup" weapons, for when their larger percussion revolver ran out of bullets. This revolver comes as part of a lovely set, complete with a leather belt, holster, and Mexican fighting dagger. We assume that it saw service post war on the southern frontier, where the knife would easily have been acquired. They look to have been together for some time, and will make a fantastic display piece.
The revolver in this set is a very handsome pocket percussion revolver made in the "Remington" style, measuring 9" in overall length with a 4 1/4" round barrel. It has a six-shot cylinder, and is in the popular .31 caliber, as used by the Colt "Pocket" series of revolvers. It was made curing the U.S. Civil War era by the Union Arms Company of New York, and is marked THE UNION ARMS CO. on the top of the barrel. Under the barrel on the frame it is marked with serial number 12215, and there are various assembly numbers are different parts of the revolver. Most look to be 5, but under the grips are also 81 and 26.
Condition of the revolver is quite good, with a lovely lightly worn patina on the metal. The action is crisp, and we did not notice any of the usual finicky behavior we usually see on revolvers from this era. It indexes well, with a good cylinder lockup and a crisp dry fire. The original grips are in very good condition, and still have most of the factory varnish applied. We checked the bore, and it is in very good shape, with clear rifling and a mostly bright finish.
The knife part of the set is a typical stiletto type design, with a spear point blade and minimal crossguard. In form it is quite similar to many later designs used as fighting knives during WWII. It is marked MURO / OAXACA on one side of the blade, and MADE IN MEXICO on the other. The wooden handle is in nice shape, though it is a bit loose. It comes in a lovely tooled leather scabbard, which also has MADE IN MEXICO on it. The leather definitely looks to be younger than that on the holster and belt, so it definitely looks to be a more recent addition, most likely during the 1870s.
The belt and holster are in good shape, but do show much wear from service. The belt in particular is a bit delicate, as the surface has a lot of deep cracks and deterioration of the finish. Definitely suitable for display only, and not for wearing.
This is a wonderful Civil War Era Revolver Rig set, most likely used in the post war years on the Southern Frontier. This type of patina can simply not be duplicated. Ready to add to your collection and display!
Year of Manufacture: c.1860
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 4 1/4 inches
Overall Length: 9 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
Blade Length: 6"
Blade Style: Spear Point Dagger
Overall length: 10 1/2“
Crossguard: 1 1/2"
Scabbard Length: 7 1/8" + Belt Loop
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