SCARCE PETTINGILL ARMY REVOLVER

$4,250.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 186-68

Pettingill revolvers are scarce, with only 2,000 delivered from October 1862 to January 1863 on a U.S. contract and issued in varying numbers to the 3rd Michigan, 1st Arkansas, 3rd Illinois, 3rd Kentucky and the 3rd and 5th Missouri Militia cavalry regiments. Patented by C.S. Pettingill in 1856, improvements were made in 1858 by E.A. Raymond and C. Robitaille, and in 1862 by H.S. Rogers, but they were actually manufactured by Rogers & Spencer of Willowvale, NY.

The revolver has a sleek design utilizing an interior hammer and is strictly double action. Early versions were in .31 and .34 caliber. They Army contracted for 5,000 in .44 Caliber in January 1862, but production delays and objections to the slowness of the double-action, inability to fire single-action, and a tendency for fouling to jam the cylinder caused the government to reduce the contract to 2,000 pistols in June 1862. Even with some improvements, the pistols suffered a rejection rate of 15 percent during inspections. For all that, the government signed a second contract for 10,000 more of the pistol in May 1863, though the company did not fulfill it, instead pushing ahead with its Rogers and Spencer single-action revolver. Some of the men issued the Pettingill seemed to think well enough of it: ninety-three were reported as retained by soldiers upon discharge.

This is a very good example of the standard configuration pistol with .44 caliber 7.5 inch octagon barrel and unfluted cylinder. The metal is smooth overall and largely a muted silver gray. There are a few small scratches to the left frame just above the grip and tiny dings to the edges of the buttstrap. The right rear frame shows a patch of thin blue faded to a bluish gray extending around the screw. The left shows it along the concave edge at rear of the cylinder. The rear edge of the cylinder shows some of the same color and a shallow crusty brown patch on one side forward. The cylinder, barrel, and loading assembly show some thin brown mixed with pewter gray, and scattered age spotting overall. The top of the frame on the right of the sight groove is stamped, “Pettingills/ Patent 1856” with just the first letter of the top line light, and on the left, “Raymond & Robotaille/ Patented 1858” with a little rubbing at lower left and upper right. The barrel shows a “WP” inspector stamp on the left, and the left frame and cylinder show a “PP” inspector stamp. The serial number 2933 appears on the buttstrap and inside the triggerguard. The grips are very good, tightly fitting the frame, with good color and edges, and just a tiny bit of rubbing to the finish below the screw on the right.

This is one of the more interesting cavalry revolvers issued during the war and would fit a cavalry display very well, especially one concentrating on western theatre troops.  [sr] [ph:L]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire!

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