Edged Weapons

Model 1832 Foot Artillery Sword

The U.S. Model 1832 foot artillery shortsword has a 6-inch (15 cm) solid brass hilt, a 4-inch (10 cm) crossguard, and a blade usually 19 inches (48 cm) in length. This model was the first sword contracted by the U.S. with the Ames Manufacturing Co. of Springfield (later Chicopee), Massachusetts, with production starting in 1832. In later years, it was also imported and supplied by W.H. Horstmann & Sons of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a personal side arm, it was intended for use by the regular or foot artillery regiments of the United States Army and remained in service until 1872 for use of foot artillerymen. It was the issue sword for sergeants and musicians of infantry regiments from 1832 until 1840. As most artillery regiments were trained and equipped as infantry prior to 1861 a single weapon for both types of troops made sense. It replaced the earlier Starr pattern sword used throughout the 1820s. While the design was impractical for actual combat, it is believed that artillerymen put this weapon to other uses, such as clearing brush or creating trails. It was an effective tool for cutting paths through the Florida swamps during the Second Seminole War, which occurred during the time it was issued to infantry sergeants, drummers and fifers. This is somewhat corroborated by the French nickname for their version of this the sword, coupe choux (cabbage cutter). The last Ames contract for this sword was completed in 1862, although as a stock item it continued to be listed in company catalogs for decades afterwards. The design was based on the French foot artillery short sword of 1816, which with minor changes was basically repeated in 1831. The French model was based on the Roman gladius, the standard sidearm of the Roman legionaries. Distinguishing Features French versions can be distinguished from American versions by the hilt design, manufacturers' marks (French manufacturers include Chatellerault, St. Etienne, Tailbot, and Thiebaut), and the lack of U.S. markings. Swords supplied by Ames typically bore an eagle on the blade until the Mexican-American War, whereas those made during the Civil War by Confederate arsenals were typically unmarked. The Ames Model 1832 has a hilt with an eagle cast into the pommel and a scaled grip surface. French versions have either textured grips (model 1816) or ringed grips (model 1831), and like later English models a plain or smooth pommel on the hilt.

Model 1840 Light Artillery Saber

The U.S. Model 1840 light artillery saber has a brass hilt and knuckle-bow of about 6 inches in length, the grip wrapped in leather and bound with brass wire, and a blade of 36 inches in length. Unlike the Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry Sabre the artillery model has no basket. As a personal sidearm, it was intended for use by all mounted members of the field artillery, including musicians, of the United States Army and was in regulation use between 1840 and 1851, continuing through the US Civil War. This model was one of the many weapons produced by the Ames Manufacturing Co. of Springfield (later Chicopee), Massachusetts. The design appears to be a copy of the French sabre style of 1829. The mounted artillery units accompanied dragoons to provide them with more firepower. The primary weapon of the mounted artillery were their cannons. The sabre was more a traditional accoutrement than a combat weapon. The fact that Ames manufactured far fewer 1840 light artillery sabres that the number of soldiers in the artillery branch attests to this. Distinguishing Features This sabre has a flat, brass handle, black leather grip wrapped in brass wire, and steel scabbard. Its slightly shorter but more steeply curved blade and single brass knuckle-bow distinguish this sabre from similar cavalry designs. French versions can be distinguished from American versions by the presence of French manufacturers' marks and the lack of U.S. markings.

Model 1840 Army Noncommissioned Officers' Sword

The Model 1840 Noncommissioned Officers' Sword was based on a German version of the infantry sword used by British troops during the Napoleonic Wars. [1] The sword had a 31in blade, a cast brass hilt resembling the more expensive wire-wrapped leather grips,[2] and a leather scabbard rather than the steel used by cavalry troopers and officers. It was carried by sergeants during the American Civil War and worn either on a baldrick or with an Enfield bayonet frog. A shorter version with a 26in blade was carried by musicians, this was called the Model 1840 musician's sword.[3] NCOs of shorter stature and cadets also carried this variant.[4] Other ranks allowed to carry it included Sergeant-major, Quartermaster, Ordnance Sgt, Hospital Steward, Corporal (as an optional item) and Pioneer.[5] Many were very badly made with a blunt edge but still effective in combat, used like an iron club to break bones. It was the main weapon of standard bearers (along with the Colt Army Model 1860 and Colt 1851 Navy Revolver) and hospital stewards, as well as a secondary weapon for infantry NCOs.[6] The sword was also used by the Confederates who captured many after seizing state arsenals. The M1840 has had a long service life, seeing frontline service from the Mexican War until the Spanish-American War.[7] It remained in service during the 20th century as a ceremonial weapon.[8] A modern version of this sword with steel scabbard is currently permitted for wear by US Army platoon sergeants and first sergeants; in practice it is rarely seen outside the 3d Infantry Regiment and honor guards. Some Army NCOs have this sword and wear it for social occasions, regardless of duty as a platoon sergeant or first sergeant.

Model 1840 Cavalry Saber

The Model 1840 Cavalry Sabre was based on the 1822 French hussar's sabre. Unlike its replacement the Model 1860 Light Cavalry Sabre the M1840 has a ridge around its quillon, a leather grip wrapped in wire (rather than grooves cut into the wooden handle) and a flat, slotted throat. It is 44in long with a 35in blade[1] and weighs 6lbs. The M1840 was designed for slashing and because of its heavy flat-backed blade was given the nickname "Old Wristbreaker."[2] It was adopted due to the army's dissatisfaction with its predecessor the model 1833 dragoon sabre, the first cavalry sword adopted by the US Army.[3] The iron-hilted M1833 was based on a Napoleonic-era British sword used by heavy cavalry and reputed to wrap "rubber like around a man's head and was only good for cutting butter"[4] An ornate gilded version of this earlier sword was used by general Philip Sheridan during the Civil War; Sheridan had it's sheath engraved with the battles he participated in.[5] It was evident a replacement was needed so in 1838 the US Ordnance Dept bought British, French and Prussian swords and field-tested them. The troopers overwhelmingly preferred the French sabre, and a copy of it was put into production in 1844.[6] 2000 were ordered and by 1846 600 were in frontline service. The 1840 sabre was used during the U.S.-Mexican War by US Cavalry. The main contractors were Ames of Cabotville, Horstmann, and Tiffany but due to the large number of swords required at least 1000 were made in Germany by S&K and imported. Some troopers used Prussian sabres as an alternative, which in contrast to the M1840 had straight blades.[7] When production ceased in 1858 over 23700 were made.[6] During the US Civil War it continued to be issued to Union Cavalry as in the early years it was more readily available than the M1860. George B McClellan carried one at the front,[8] keeping his regulation officer's sword for full dress occasions.[9] Many were also used by the Confederacy including general Nathan Bedford Forrest who had both edges of his sword sharpened to increase combat effectiveness. Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber The Model 1860 Light Cavalry Sabre (also known as the M1862 as this was when the first 800 were issued)[1] was used by US cavalry from the Civil War[2] until the end of the Indian wars; some were still in use during the Spanish-American War.[3] It was 41in long with a 33in by 1in blade and weighed 3lb 9oz.[4] During the Civil War there was no light or heavy cavalry in the US army. Instead there were "Dragoons" (founded 1830) "Mounted Riflemen," (founded c.1840) and "Cavalry" (founded 1856), distinguished by the orange, green or yellow piping on their uniforms.[5] In 1861 these mounted regiments were renamed cavalry and given yellow piping.[6] The M1860 sabre received its name to distinguish it from the larger and heavier Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry Sabre that it replaced. Like its predecessor it had a brass guard, leather-wrapped grip and steel scabbard but unlike the M1840 it was smaller and easier to handle.[7] By the end of the Civil War over 300000 1860 sabres had been produced: 200000 by Ames, 32000 by Roby and many more by firms like Tiffany and Co, Glaze, Justice, and Emerson and Silver.[8] M1860s were carried not only by cavalry but also by many infantry and staff officers as the regulation Model 1850 Army Staff & Field Officers' Sword had to be privately purchased. High ranking officers, like their European counterparts, often had their swords ornately engraved with gilding and foliage.[4] Famous users included George Armstrong Custer and Jeb Stuart. Later in the Civil War European-style cavalry charges became less common[1] and the cavalry took on the role of skirmishers.[9] Many replaced their sabers with extra revolvers, or left it in the saddle while fighting on foot[10] with their repeating Henry rifles and Spencer carbines. This is the sword the cavalry use in Westerns, many being original antiques purchased by the movie industry in the 1920s when surplus Civil War equipment was cheap. This model is currently used in some U.S. Army Cavalry units in Color Guards, or when in period type uniforms.[11] Most are given as PCS (Permanent Change of Station) or ETS (Expiration of Term of Service) gifts to a departing Cavalry Trooper. Usually engraved on the scabbard with his name, rank and dates of service. Some are also worn, in full Dress Blues, (when earned on a "Spur Ride" or combat tour) with Stetson and Spurs.[1]


The cutlass is best known as the sailor's weapon of choice, the naval side arm, likely because it was robust enough to hack through heavy ropes, canvas, and wood. It was also short enough to use in relatively close quarters, such as during boarding actions, in the rigging, or below decks. Another advantage to the cutlass was its simplicity of use. The cutlass required less training than the rapier or small sword, and was more effective as a close-combat weapon than the full sized sword. The cutlasses portrayed in films set during the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1720s) are often anachronistic 19th century weapons. The cutlass was also used on land, particularly by cavalrymen such as the mamluks, since its curved blade made it useful for slashing combat. In times of peace the Ottoman Empire supplied no arms, and the janissaries on service in the capital of Constantinople were armed only with clubs; they were forbidden to carry any arms save a cutlass, the only exception being at the frontier posts. A cutlass is as often an agricultural implement and tool as it is a weapon (cf. machete, to which the same comment applies), being used commonly in rainforest and sugarcane areas, such as the Caribbean and Central America. Woodsmen and soldiers in the 17th and 18th centuries used a similar short and broad backsword called a hanger. Cutlasses are famous for being used by pirates, although there is no reason to believe that Caribbean buccaneers invented them, as has sometimes been claimed.[1] However, the subsequent use of cutlasses by pirates is well documented in contemporary sources, notably by the pirate crews of William Fly, William Kidd, and Stede Bonnet. French historian Alexandre Exquemelin reports the buccaneer Francois l'Ollonais using a cutlass as early as 1667. Pirates used these weapons for intimidation as much as for combat, often needing no more than to grip their hilts to induce a crew to surrender, or beating captives with the flat of the blade to force their compliance or responsiveness to interrogation.[2] [3] [4] [5] In 1936, the British Royal Navy announced that from then on cutlasses would only be carried for ceremonial duties and not used in landing parties.[6] The cutlass remained an official weapon in United States Navy stores until 1949, though seldom used in training after the early 1930s. The last new model of cutlass adopted by the US Navy was the Model 1917; although cutlasses made during World War II were called the Model 1941, they were only a slightly modified variant of the Model 1917.[7] A United States Marine Corps engineer NCO is reported to have killed an enemy with a Model 1941 cutlass at Incheon during the Korean War.[8] A cutlass is still carried by the Chief Petty Officer of recruit divisions at US Navy Recruit Training Command.

Model 1850 Army Staff & Field Officers' Sword

The Model 1850 Army Staff and Field Officers' Sword was carried by all members of staff departments, Field Grade officers of Artillery and Infantry, Company Grade Officers of Artillery, and Aides-de-Camp between 1850 and 1872. It was based on a French pattern. Though other swords were by regulation allowed, this model was by far the most popular sword carried by officers during the American Civil War. The Staff and Field Officers' Sword is distinct from the Model 1850 Army Foot Officers' Sword.

Mameluke sword

A Mameluke sword is a cross-hilted, curved, scimitar-like sword historically used by Mamluk warriors from whom the sword derives its name. It is related to the shamshir, which had its origins in Persia from where the style migrated to India, Egypt and North Africa[citation needed]. It was adopted in the 19th century by several Western militaries, including the French Army, British Army and the United States Marine Corps. The Mameluke sword remains the ceremonial side arm for some units to this day.

Bowie knife

The historical Bowie was not a single design, but was a series of knives improved several times by Jim Bowie over the years.[1] The earliest such knife, made by Jesse Clifft at Rezin Bowie's request resembled the Spanish hunting knives of the time and differed little from a common butcher knife.[1] The blade, as later described by Rezin Bowie, was 9.5 inches (24 cm) long, 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) thick and 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide. It was straight-backed having no clip point nor any hand guard with simple riveted wood scale handle.[2] Rezin presented the knife to his brother because of a recent violent encounter with one Norris Wright.[1][2] This is the knife that became famous after the sandbar duel of 1827.[2] Bowie and Wright were attendants on opposite sides of the duel. When the principals quit the field, a fight broke out among the attendees and Bowie, though seriously injured by a rifle shot, killed Wright and drove his companions from the sandbar.[2] Bowie and his knife, described by witnesses as "a large butcher knife," quickly attained celebrity and the Bowie brothers received many requests for knives of the same design. They commissioned more ornate custom blades from various knife makers including Daniel Searles and John Constable.[2] The version most commonly known as the historical Bowie knife would usually have a blade of at least 6 inches (15 cm) in length, some reaching 12 inches (30 cm) or more, with a relatively broad blade that was an inch and a half to two inches wide (4 to 5 cm) and made of steel usually between 3/16 to 1/4 in (4.763 to 6.350 mm) thick. The back of the blade sometimes had a strip of soft metal (normally brass or copper) inlaid which some believe was intended to catch an opponent's blade while others hold it was intended to provide support and absorb shock to help prevent breaking of poor quality steel or poorly heat treated blades. Bowie knives also often had an upper guard that bent forward at an angle (S-guard) intended to catch an opponent's blade or provide protection to the owner's hand during parries and corps-a-corps. Some Bowie knives had a notch on the bottom of the blade near the hilt known as a "Spanish Notch." The Spanish Notch is often cited as a mechanism for catching an opponent's blade, however, some Bowie researchers hold that the Spanish Notch is ill suited to this function and frequently fails to achieve the desired results. These researchers, instead, hold that the Spanish Notch has the much more mundane function as a tool for stripping sinew and repairing rope and nets, as a guide to assist in sharpening the blade (assuring that the sharpening process starts at a specific point and not further up the edge), or as a point to relieve stress on the blade during use. The version attributed to blacksmith James Black had the back edge of the curved clip point, also called the "false edge," sharpened in order to allow someone trained in European techniques of saber fencing to execute the maneuver called the "back cut" or "back slash".[2] A brass quillon was attached to protect the hand, usually cast in a mold. Knives made in Sheffield, England, were quick to enter the market with "Bowie Knives" of a distinctive pattern that most modern users identify with the true form Bowie. The Sheffield pattern blade is thinner than the Black/Musso knives while the false edge is often longer with a less pronounced clip.[2] The shape and style of blade was such that the Bowie knife could serve usefully as a camp and hunting tool as well as a weapon. Many knives and daggers existed that could serve well as weapons, and many knives existed that could serve well as tools for hunters and trappers, but the Bowie knife was designed to do both jobs well, and is still popular with hunters and sportsmen even in the present day.[2] The curved portion of the edge, toward the point, is for removing the skin from a carcass, and the straight portion of the edge, toward the guard, is for chores involving cutting slices, similar in concept to the traditional Finnish hunting knife, the "puukko" (though the typical early 19th-century Bowie knife was far larger and heavier than the typical puukko). Arkansas culturalist and researcher Russell T. Johnson describes the James Black knife in the following manner and at the same time captures the quintessence of the Bowie Knife: "It must be long enough to use as a sword, sharp enough to use as a razor, wide enough to use as a paddle, and heavy enough to use as a hatchet."[3][2] Most such knives intended for hunting are only sharpened on one edge, to reduce the danger of cutting oneself while butchering and skinning the carcass. Since the 1960s, Bowie knives with sawteeth machined into the back side of the blade appeared inspired by the United States Air Force survival knife (NSN 7340-00-098-4327). The sawteeth were intended to cut through the acrylic glass canopy of a downed aircraft. During the Vietnam War the United States Army issued them to helicopter crews for the same purpose.

Tomahawk (axe)

The tomahawk shaft is usually less than 2 ft (0.6 m) in length, traditionally made of hickory, ash, or maple.[1][3][2] The heads are anywhere from 9–20 oz (255–567 g) in weight, with a cutting edge usually not much longer than four inches from toe to heel.[2] The poll can feature a small hammer, spike or simply be rounded off, and they usually do not have lugs.[2] Stone tomahawk heads were typically made of polished soapstone, and ornately carved examples were used in some Native American rituals.[1] These usually had a pipe-bowl carved into the poll, and a hole drilled down the center of the shaft for smoking tobacco through the tomahawk.[2] There are also metal-headed versions of this unusual pipe.[2] Pipe tomahawks are artifacts unique to North America: created by Europeans as trade objects but often exchanged as diplomatic gifts.[1] They are powerful symbols of the choice Europeans and Indians faced whenever they met: one end was the pipe of peace, the other an axe of war.[1][2][3] In Colonial French territory, a very different tomahawk design, closer to the ancient Francisca, was in use by French settlers and Indigenous Peoples.[3] In the late 18th Century, the British army issued tomahawks to their Colonial Regulars during the American Revolutionary War as a weapon and tool.[4]


Bow and Arrow

Hand Guns Colt Army Model 1860

The Colt Army Model 1860 was a muzzle-loaded cap & ball .44-caliber revolver used during the American Civil War. It was favored as a side arm by cavalry, infantry, and artillery troops. The Colt 1860 Army uses the same size frame as the .36 caliber 1851 Navy revolver. The frame is relieved to allow the use of a rebated cylinder that enables the Army to be chambered in .44 caliber. Also, the barrel on the 1860 Army has a forcing cone that is visibly shorter than that of the 1851 Navy, allowing the Army revolver to have a longer cylinder. A major distinguishing feature introduced with the 1860 revolver was the "creeping" loading lever. This arrangement employs a cam interface between lever and barrel and ideally, prevents the lever from dropping and tying up the revolver if it should recoil loose from the barrel catch during firing. More than 200,000 were manufactured from 1860 through 1873. Colt's biggest customer was the US Government with over 127,000 units being purchased and issued to the troops. The weapon was a single-action, six-shot weapon accurate up to 75 to 100 yards, where the fixed sights were typically set when manufactured. The rear sight was a notch in the hammer, clearly visible only when the revolver was cocked. The Colt .44-caliber “Army" Model was one of the most widely-used revolvers of the Civil War. It had a six-shot, rotating cylinder, and fired a 0.454-inch diameter round lead ball, or a conical projectile, that was propelled by a 30 grain charge of black powder ignited by a copper percussion cap that contained a volatile charge of fulminate of mercury (a substance that explodes upon impact). The percussion cap, when struck by the hammer, ignited the powder charge. When fired, balls had a muzzle velocity of about 750 feet per second. There are very few variations on the 1860 Army Revolver but there was limited production of a 7.5-inch barrel model.(Wilson 1985), and a lightened model with cylinder flutes. According to importer, Cimarron Arms Company, this was called the "Texas Model" because a number of them came into Texas shortly after secession. The goal was to make use of silver spring steel of controlled carbon content and greater strength but the thinned cylinder proved inadequate and sometimes exploded.(ibid wilson) Military 1860s had elongated screw lugs on the side of the frame to mount a detachable shoulder stock Loading is a somewhat lengthy process, with each of the six chambers drilled into the revolving cylinder being loaded from the front, or "muzzle" end. A measured amount of black powder is poured into a chamber. Next a lead ball is placed at the opening of the chamber and seated by firmly pressing it in with the pivoting loading lever which is attached beneath the barrel of the revolver. For sealing each chamber, an over-size 0.454-inch diameter lead ball would be trimmed slightly by the loading ram to enter the chamber. Today, most shooters place a lubricated wad between balls and powder, or, alternatively, pack lard or a commercially-sold bore lubricant at the mouth of each chamber to prevent powder in one chamber from being ignited when another is fired, which is known as a chainfire. At the time the Colt model 1860 was originally used, shooters most often used pre-made paper cartridges. These cartridges consisted of a pre-measured load of blackpowder and a ball wrapped in flammable paper. To load each chamber, one only had to slip the cartridge in the chamber, seat the ball with the loading lever ram, and break open the paper wrapper by poking a small stick or needle through the fire hole (nipple) at the rear of the chamber. Finally, a percussion cap is placed on the hole, called a nipple, at the end of the chamber. At the time that this gun was manufactured, it cost the army around $20 per gun, which was rather expensive for the time. The Colt "Army" revolver is to be distinguished from the Colt "Navy" revolver of which there were two models, the octagonal barrel Model 1851 Navy, and the round-barreled Model 1861 Navy, both Navy models being in the smaller .36-caliber. Replica Navy revolvers sold today are often sold in the historically-incorrect .44-caliber; originally, all Navy revolvers were only manufactured in .36-caliber.

Stock (firearm) were made that could be screwed onto the butt of the pistol allowing it to be held at the shoulder, increasing range and accuracy. Some had a second function such as a liquor flask or storage for cartridges.[1]

Colt 1851 Navy Revolver

Samuel Colt designed the Colt Revolving Belt Pistol of Naval Caliber (i.e., .36 cal) between 1847 and 1850 - the actual year of introduction. It remained in production until 1873, when revolvers using fixed cartridges came into widespread use. Total production numbers were exceeded only by the Colt Pocket models in concurrent development, and numbered some 250,000 domestic units and about 22,000 produced in the Colt London Armory. (Wilson, 1985) The designation "Colt 1851 Navy" was applied by collectors, though the popular name "Navy Revolver" is of early origin, as the gun was frequently called the "Colt Revolving Belt Pistol of Naval Caliber." (ibid, Wilson) The cylinder was engraved with a scene of the victory of the Second Texas Navy at the Battle of Campeche in May 1843. The Texas Navy had purchased the earlier Colt Paterson Revolver, but this was Colt's first major success in the gun trade; the naval theme of the engraved cylinder of the Colt 1851 Navy revolver was Colt's gesture of appreciation. Despite the "Navy" designation, the revolver was chiefly purchased by civilians and military land forces(ibid Wilson 1985). Famous "Navy" users included Wild Bill Hickok, Richard Francis Burton, Ned Kelly, and Robert E. Lee. Usage continued long after more modern cartridge revolvers were introduced in 1873. Characteristics The .36 caliber Navy revolver was much lighter than the contemporary Third Model Dragoon revolvers developed from the .44 Walker Colt revolvers of 1847, that had been designed to be carried in holsters on either side of a saddle pommel. It is an enlarged version of the .31 caliber pocket revolvers that evolved from the earlier Baby Dragoon, and, like them, is a mechanically improved and simplified descendant of the 1836 Paterson revolver. As the factory designation implied, the Navy revolver was suitably sized for carrying in a belt holster. It became very popular in North America at the time of Western expansion. Colt's aggressive promotions distributed the Navy and his other revolvers across Europe, Asia, and Africa. The .36 caliber (.375-.380-inch) round lead ball weighs 86 grains and, at a velocity of 1,000 feet per second, is comparable to the modern .380 pistol cartridge in power. Loads consist of loose powder and ball or bullet, metallic foil cartridges (early), and combustible paper cartridges (Civil War era), all combinations being ignited by a fulminate percussion cap applied to the nipples at the rear of the chamber. Sighting consists of a bead front sight with a notch in the top of the hammer, as with most Colt percussion revolvers. In spite of the relative crudity of the sighting arrangement, these revolvers and their modern replicas generally are quite accurate. Loading and Handling Sequence Common to Percussion Revolvers The loading sequence and basic operation of the Colt revolvers remained constant throughout the percussion period, and mirrors the operation of most other percussion revolvers. A shooter familiar with the basic operation of the Colt would find the function of a Remington, LeMat, Adams, or Cooper double action essentially identical. Percussion revolvers are carried with the hammer down between chambers, with a groove or protuberance in the hammer engaging either a safety peg or notch in the rear of the cylinder. This method prevents inadvertent rotation of the cylinder, and prevents the hammer from touching the percussion caps and firing the weapon unintentionally. Patersons and a few later revolvers such as the Rogers and Spencer lacked these safety detents, requiring that they be carried with the hammer down on an empty chamber. To load: 1. Draw the hammer back to the first detent, placing it on "half cock" and allowing the cylinder to rotate for loading; 2. Fill the chambers with powder, leaving enough room to seat a bullet or ball, and place a ball on the chanber mouth with the sprue (mark or projection left from filling the mould) facing exactly forward; 3 Rotate the chamber under the rammer and use the loading lever (if present) to seat the projectile firmly on top of the powder column and at or below the chamber mouth; 4. Place percussion caps on each of the nipples at the rear of the chambers; 5. Rotate the cylinder as necessary and return the hammer to down position (pull it back slightly, squeeze trigger and let hammer down carefully) engaging the safety detents; or 6. Draw the hammer back to full cock for immediate firing. A single-action revolver is thumb-cocked before firing, which rotates the cylinder and puts a loaded chamber under the hammer; the trigger then is pulled to fire. With double-action revolvers, a single long pull on the trigger cocks the hammer, rotates the cylinder and fires the arm. Variations: A. In the case of foil or combustible-paper cartridges containing bullet and powder, place the cartridge in the chamber and use the loading lever to fully seat the projectile. In the case of foil cartridges, insert a nipple pick through the cone openings to pierce the rear of the cartridge envelopes, then cap the nipples. B. After #3 above, it was (and still is) common practice to put heavy grease over and around the seated bullet, to lubricate the ball, reduce fouling and prevent multiple (chain) fires; or C. After #2 above, some early shooters (and modern shooters, too) placed a rigid, greased felt wad over the powder column before seating the bullet, as a hedge against chain fires which may occur with undersized or poorly-shaped bullets or chambers(Bates,Cumpston 2005). It also effectively minimizes fouling buildup in the bore and allows for accurate extended shooting (Keith 1956). It also is common to run a bristle brush or patch dampened with black-powder solvent through the bore before reloading. D. Most modern target shooters use less than full charges, filling the remaining space over the powder with an inert filler (often Cream of Wheat) so the ball is at the front of the cylinder when loaded. This procedure improves accuracy by reducing the "jump" of the ball before it enters the barrel.

Cold Dragoon Revolver

The Colt Model 1848 Percussion Army Revolver is a .44 caliber revolver designed by Samuel Colt for the U.S. Army's Mounted Rifles, also known as "Dragoons." This revolver was designed as a solution to numerous problems encountered with the Walker Colt. Although it was introduced after the Mexican-American War, it became popular among civilians during the 1850s and '60s, and was also used during the American Civil War. Popularity In the troublesome events that led to the Civil War, Colt Dragoons became extremely popular. In the beginning Colt Dragoon Revolver were issued for the U.S. Army's Mounted Rifles. They were carried in pommel holsters on the saddle. The Colt Dragoon Revolver gained popularity among civilians in the Southwest where many had served in the Mexican-American War. The Dragoon became a master weapon for civilians who hailed it as a powerful weapon of the time. Famous users included Joaquin Murietta, the California resistance fighter (or bandit, depending on perspective), Charlene (Charlie) Parkhurst, California teamster, Union general George B McClellan[1] and, probably Harriet Tubman of the underground railroad. Parkhurst, while driving freight, was confronted by two bandits whom she dispatched with the Colt Holster Pistol. According to Harper's Weekly, James Butler (Wild Bill) Hickock arrived in Springfield, Missouri carrying a Dragoon though it is generally accepted that he used a Navy in his street duel with Davis Tutt[2]. Production The Colt Dragoon Revolver was produced between 1848 and 1860, when the Colt Model 1860 revolver replaced it. The Dragoon was produced in three different types. The names were First Model, Second Model, and Third Model Dragoons. Government records showed an order for 8,390 Dragoons. The First Model Colt Dragoon Revolver has oval-shaped cylinder notches, a V-type mainspring and a squareback triggerguard. Colt produced about 7,000 first models between 1848 and 1850. The Second Model had rectangular notches. Until the no. 10 000 the V-shaped mainspring was standard and then replaced with a flat leaf mainspring. All the Second Model Dragoons had the squareback triggerguard. The company made about 2,550 Second Models in 1850 and '51. The Third Model Dragoon numbers stand at ten-thousand from 1851 through 1860.[3] This design had more variations as compared to its earlier counterparts. Some of the third model Colt Dragoon Revolvers had frame cuts for detachable shoulder stocks, horizontal loading lever latches and folding leaf sights. Third Colt Dragoon Revolvers had a round trigger guard. Other variants included the Colt "1848 Pocket Pistol" now known as the Baby Dragoon, marketed in California with success during the Gold Rush days. With the addition of a loading lever this evolved into the 1849 pocket revolver (see Colt Pocket Percussion Revolvers) The Dragoon was the large bore colt revolver until introduction of the 1860 Army Revolver- based on a Navy-sized frame rebated to accommodate a cylinder with .44-inch chambers. Well known users of the revolver include Joaquin Murietta, the Mexican resisitance fighter and Harriet Tubman of the Underground Railroad.

Remington Model 1858

The Remington Model 1858 was a cap & ball (also called "percussion") .36- or .44-caliber revolver used during the American Civil War from 1862 onwards. It was used primarily by Union soldiers, and widely favored over the standard issue Colt Army Model 1860 by those who could afford it, due primarily to its durability and ability to quickly reload. It also saw use in the American West, both in its original cap & ball configuration and as a metallic cartridge conversion. The Remington military-sized percussion revolvers were single-action, six-shot, "cap-and-ball", revolvers produced by Remington Arms Company, based on the Fordyce Beals patent of September 14, 1858 (Patent 21,748). The Remington Army revolver was large-framed, in .44 caliber, with an 8 inch barrel length. The Remington Navy revolver was slightly smaller framed than the Army, and in .36 caliber with an 7.375 inch [Beals Navy 7.5 inch] barrel length. There were three progressive models; the Remington-Beals Army & Navy (1860-1862), the "Old Model" Army & Navy (1862-1863), and the New Model Army & Navy (1863-1875).[1] The three models are nearly identical in size and appearance. Subtle but noticeable differences in hammers, loading levers, and cylinders help identify each model. The "Old Model" Remington actually transitioned into "New Model" appearance by late 1862, slowly transforming throughout 1862, as continual improvement suggestions came from the U. S. Ordnance Department.[2][3] By the time of the Civil War, most percussion revolvers were fired with commercially made combustible paper cartridges, constructed of a powder envelope (usually paper) glued to the base of a conical bullet. The treated envelope self-consumed upon firing. To load a combustible, a cartridge was dropped envelope first into each chamber and seated firmly with the loading lever, the process continuing until all six chambers were loaded. After all six chambers were loaded, placing a percussion cap on each of the six nipples at the rear of the cylinder readied the revolver for firing. The six chambers of a revolver cylinder could also be loaded one chamber at a time, by dropping in a powder charge from a flask, followed by seating either a round ball or conical bullet in each chamber with the loading lever. For safety, and to reduce black powder fouling, grease, (such as tallow), was put into each chamber on top of the loaded projectile. (Combustible cartridge bullets were already pre-greased with beeswax, so the greasing step was unnecessary). The final loading step was capping as in the combustible cartridge loading method described earlier. The combustible cartridge loading method speeded revolver loading considerably, simplified ammunition management, and became the loading method specified by the U.S. Ordnance Department just prior to the Civil War.[4] Remington percussion revolvers are very accurate, and capable of considerable power with muzzle velocities in the range of 550 to 1000+ feet-per-second, depending upon the charge loaded by the shooter. Combustible cartridge velocities averaged from 700 to 900 feet per second (270 m/s), depending on powder quality, charge and conical bullet weight. Combustibles were usually loaded with a special high performance sporting grade black powder, using the minimum charge required for a specified impact level, usually determined by pine penetration tests. The special powder and minimal charge reduced black powder fouling, allowing revolvers to be fired as much as possible before cleaning was necessary. [5][4] In 1868, Remington began offering cartridge conversions of the revolver. Remington paid a royalty fee to Smith & Wesson, owners of the Rollin White patent (#12,648, April 3, 1855) on bored-through revolver cylinders for metallic cartridge use. The Remington Army cartridge-conversions were the first large-caliber cartridge revolvers available, beating even Smith & Wesson's .44 American to market by nearly two years. Remington percussion revolvers have appeared in notable movie scenes in films such as Pale Rider, Gone with the Wind, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, as well as early episodes of Bonanza. Easily identified by octagon barrel, brass trigger guard and distinctive loading lever web, the streamlined Remington is easy to spot in movie and television scenes.

Smith & Wesson Model 1

The Smith & Wesson Model 1 was the first firearm manufactured by Smith & Wesson, with production commencing in 1857. It was also the first commercially-available revolver which used modern rimfire cartridges instead of loose powder, ball and percussion caps. It is a single-action, tip-up revolver holding 7 .22 Short cartridges. In 1860, the model 1, second issue was introduced with some significant changes. In 1868 the model 1, third issue was brought to market with notable alterations being a round barrel and fluted cylinder. The model 1 was discontinued in 1882.

Beaumont-Adams Revolver

The Beaumont-Adams Revolver was a muzzle-loading percussion revolver. Originally adopted by the British Army in .442 calibre (54-bore, 11.2mm) in 1856, many were later converted to use rimfire cartridges. It was replaced in British service in 1880 by the .476 calibre (actually 11.6mm)[1] Enfield Mk I revolver.

Kerrs Patent Revolver

LeMat Revolver

The LeMat revolver was a .44 or .36 caliber cap & ball black powder revolver invented by Dr. Jean Alexandre LeMat of New Orleans, which featured a rather unusual secondary 16 gauge smoothbore barrel capable of firing buckshot, and saw service with the armed forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War of 1861–1865.

Pistol Sword

A pistol sword is a sword with a pistol or revolver attached, usually alongside the blade. It differs from a rifle with a bayonet in that the weapon is designed primarily for use as a sword, and the firearm component is typically considered a secondary weapon designed to be an addition to the blade, rather than the sword being a secondary addition to the pistol. Also, the two components of these weapons typically cannot be separated, unlike most bayonet-fixed rifles.

1861-1865 U.S. Civil War Bullets

Here is a quantity of genuine Federal "drop" from the war between the states. These lead based bullet heads were backed by some gun-powder ( the charge ) and then carefully wrapped in newspaper forming a complete unit.

Bullets with 2 strips are Confederate drop, whereas the 3- strip variety is from the Northern armies. When the battle lines were drawn up, the ammunition supplier would "drop" large quantities of these bullet heads in front of the shooters, so that they could be picked up and rolled as needed. These bullets known as "minies" were made to fit nearly 400 different types of guns and were accurate to about 1,000 feet ( 300 meters ).

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