Antique HENRY ASTON 1st U.S. Contract Model 1842 DRAGOON Percussion Pistol
Manufactured Post-Mexican-American War in 1850
Here we present an antique Aston First U.S. Contract Model 1842 Dragoon’s Pistol, made in 1850 in Middletown, Connecticut, just after the close of the Mexican-American War. Henry Aston was a gunmaker from Middletown who received a government contract to produce 24,000 Model 1842 pistols in his first contract for the firearm that spanned from 1846-1851. Between 1851 and 1852, he received a second contract for an additional 6,000 units. The Model 1842 saw service during a time of great change and increasing tension, as well as firearms innovation. The Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the numerous conflicts with Native Americans, annexing of new territory, the rising blood-pressure over slavery, and a quick 36% population increase that all culminated in the blood-letting of the American Civil War. This was the first official percussion pistol to be adopted by the U.S. and simultaneously the last large smooth bore single shot pistol. By 1845 it was the primary issued weapon to the First and Second Regiment of Dragoons, replacing many of their Model 1836 flintlocks, just in time for the Mexican-American War. The Model 1842 was the last single shot smoothbore pistol issued by the U.S. Army.
The 1842 features sturdy construction with lots of brass for support. This was important during a time when one would expend their shots and still have a fight on their hands. Striking your opponent with the pommel of your gun was quite effective. The ramrod is captive, so that it would not be lost in the heat of battle on top of a horse. Many of these were used, especially initially, by both sides during the American Civil War.
The overall condition is good. Patina on the barrel and brass parts. The rammer is a brighter replacement. The action is excellent. The bore is dim with light pitting throughout. The stock is solid and shows two good cartouches. There is a short, stable crack at the front lock-screw head on the left stock flat that is typical for the type.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 8-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .54 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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