Possible Unique Civil War Period U.S. Military Experimental Pattern Percussion Pistol
An Antique Possible Unique U.S. Military Experimental Pattern Percussion Pistol, dated 1864. 11 6/8" rifled steel barrel in .58 caliber marked on the top of breech; 'US', the date '1864'; on the left side of breech with a 'P' over an 'Eagles Head' over 'V' over a small 'Shield'. The tang has a number '1' and an inspector's initial 'A'. The percussion bolster has an inspector's initial 'A'. The U.S. Model 1863 musket lock plate is marked 'U.S.' over 'SPRINGFIELD' in front of the 'Federal Eagle' and dated on the tail '1864' with an inspector's initial 'A'. Steel nose cap and captive ram rod. The steel trigger guard and barrel band are marked with the inspector's mark 'A'. Rounded brass butt cap marked with the inspector's 'A' and is equipped with a lanyard ring. The stock is solid with original varnish; a few minor loses at the rear of the barrel tang; scratches and dings from handling. The pistol is in good mechanical working order. 18" overall length.
Note; Current research has not provided much other than the following; This could be an extremely rare pistol. It is well known that Gun Makers were always coming up with experimental prototypes to submit to the Federal Government Weapons committee at the Springfield Arsenal in hopes a contract purchase would be achieved. This pistol is similar to the U.S. Model 1855 Pistol-Carbine. However, this example has no provision for an attachable shoulder stock. Interesting that the tang has the serial number '1'. The brass butt cap is equipped with a lanyard ring for horse mounted troops. Unfortunate for the gun maker, there was Samuel Colt and his many models of repeating revolvers. The days of the Military single shot pistols were over...
According to Flayderman's Guide, p. 335-337 described the U.S. Model 1855 Pistol-Carbine and the Model 1869 Breech-Loading Pistol made at the SPRINGFIELD Armory (less than 50 produced). This example is very close in form to the Model 1869 pistol. Is this pistol one of the experiments that went no where ?
It is also possible that for those of you that are familiar with Francis Bannerman, this pistol may have been procured by one of his many contacts that were selling military surplus. This pistol may have been made up from left over Civil War parts ????
If anyone out there has one of these, please let us know. To date, we have not seen another.