MASS. ARMS CO. WESSON & LEVETT BELT REVOLVER, IDENTIFIED TO 12TH MASS. SOLDIER WOUNDED AT ANTIETAM & FREDERICKSBURG, CAPTURED AT GETTYSBURG, DIED IN PRISON

$6,000.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1179-107

Offered here is a novel hand gun produced by the Massachusetts Arms Company in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. This company was forced to redesign their revolvers after losing a patent infringement case with Colt. Manufactured from 1850 through 1851 with total production of approximately 1000.

This specimen is a six-shot, .31 caliber revolver with a round 5” barrel. Stamped on top of the hinge is “MASS. ARMS CO. / CHICOPEE FALLS”. Pin and notch sights are mounted on the top of the barrel. Only very faint remnants of the floral etching remain visible on the cylinder. Elaborate floral engraving on top, left and right sides of the frame as well as the hammer. All gun metal shares matching smooth, pewter-gray patina with scattered patches of browning.

Mechanically strong hammer and trigger action with unusual system to access the cylinder. There is a “hook” on the barrel that is rotated to unlock the barrel and allow it to swing upwards via a hinge at the breech. This allows access to the cylinder. As is typical with early Mass. Arms revolvers there are different assembly numbers found on the parts: “897” on the end of the cylinder pin and on the barrel breech, and “620” on the frame. Back of the cylinder is stamped “LEVETT’S PATENT APRIL 29, 1837”. Stamped “WESSON’S PATENT AUG. 28, 1849” on the bevel gear.

Trigger guard and back strap were silver plated brass. Both retain most of the plating. Varnished walnut grips are in good condition with one chip missing at left, front corner. Otherwise, there is only light wear and a few small dings.

Backstrap is engraved “Comp K,  E.F. Allen 12th Regt. Mass. Vol.   Manchester, Mass”.

Edward Farnham Allen was 35 years old when he enlisted in Company K, 12th Massachusetts Infantry on June 26, 1861. Private Allen was wounded at the Battle of Antietam and at the Battle of Fredericksburg. He was captured on July 1 on Oak Ridge at Gettysburg and help as a prisoner of war in Richmond. He died of chronic diarrhea on December 5, 1863.

A very interesting and early variety of revolver identified to a soldier who saw plenty of action. [jet] [ph:L]

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