c1848 Antique HENRY ASTON US Contract Model 1842 DRAGOON Percussion Pistol
Made at the End of the Mexican-American War
Here we present an antique Aston U.S. Contract Model 1842 Dragoon’s Pistol, made in 1848 in Middletown, Connecticut, in the end 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+. Strong action. Good, clear, semi-bright bore. The stock/grip is in good shape with less than average handling wear (minor dents and dings). “1847” dated lock. “1848” dated barrel tang. Sharp, legible markings. Cartouche remnants on the left wrist. A neat piece of US history!
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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