CASED CIVIL WAR Era MANHATTAN FIRE ARMS Series I Percussion “NAVY” Revolver
With Cap Tin, Powder Flask & MANHATTAN BULLET MOLD
Here we present an antique Manhattan Arms First Series Percussion Navy Revolver, made circa 1859 with the first series being produced between January 1859 to January of 1860 in Newark, New Jersey. Serial numbers ranged between approximately 1 to 4,200 in this series. Manhattan Fire Arms Co. was founded in 1856 specifically to capitalize on the soon to be expiring Colt patents in 1857. This strategy worked very well for the company, and they began by making high quality and very close copies of both Colts and other popular pistols with expired patents. These revolvers greatly resemble the Colt Model 1849 Pocket and 1851 Navy revolvers. In fact, Manhattan’s copies of Colts were so close that Colt tried to kill their production with a lawsuit, even though their patent had expired. There were roughly 80,000 total revolvers made throughout the production run of Series One through Series Five. Series I through Series IV were all five-shot revolvers while the Series V (with its tapered loading lever) was of six-shot. All were, however, chambered for the .36 ball cartridge.
Manhattan’s revolvers were very well received by the public. The company never received U.S. military contracts, except for a small delivery, most likely on the regimental level. Nevertheless, many Manhattan revolvers found themselves on smoky Civil War battlefields, purchased privately by officers and soldiers, and they were certainly in use at home. The war created a vast and unquenchable market for firearms of all types.
The overall condition is good. Original finish/patina. Thinning silver finish on the grip frame. The action is excellent. The bore is dim with decent rifling. The cylinder scene panels are still somewhat visible. The numbers match. The grip is solid. The bullet mold is a Manhattan Arms as well. The powder flask is not maker marked but has been embossed with a dog and game birds. Eley cap tin and a few cast lead balls in this older hobbyist fitted case. A very nice set for display!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 6-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .36 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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