Antique HENRY ASTON US Contract Model 1842 DRAGOON Percussion Pistol
Pistols Heavily Used by 1st & 2nd Dragoons!
Here we present an antique Aston U.S. Contract Model 1842 Dragoon’s Pistol, made in 1851 in Middletown, Connecticut, just after 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 Regiments of Dragoons, replacing many of their Model 1836 flintlocks, just in time for the Mexican-American War, and they continued to be used in attempts to tame the Southwestern tribes such as the Apaches (see the Battle of Cieneguilla).
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 barrel tang is dated “1850”. The top of the barrel reads “US/JW” and “JH” can bee seen stamped on the left barrel flat. The lock is dated “1851” and “US/H. Aston & Co.” has been stamped.
The overall condition is fine. The action is strong and tight. The bore is in very nice shape and semi-bright. The stock is in fine shape with minimal wear and showcases 2 visible cartouches on the left side. This is a fantastic piece of American history that very well could have been one of those issued to the 1st or 2nd Dragoons who were sent into the Western Frontier.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 8 inches.
Caliber: .54 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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