Rare Griswold and Gunnison Civil War Confederate Revolver Second Model For Sale
Rare Griswold and Gunnison Civil War Confederate Revolver Second Model For Sale



This Griswold and Gunnison Second Model six-shot .36 caliber brass framed revolver was made under contract to the Confederate government in late 1864. Based on the Colt Model 1851 Navy percussion revolver and manufactured by Samuel Griswold at his factory in Griswoldville, Georgia, c. 1864. Griswold revolvers were close copies of the Colt Model 1851 Navy with a distinctive brass frame and round Dragoon style barrel. This revolver has the "Second Model", part octagon, barrel lug. The brass frame lacks a capping channel. The cylinder can have the distinctive twist lines that are characteristic of Griswold revolvers with six stops and safety pins between each chamber. The wedge, correctly, does not have a spring. This revolver functions properly and the fit between the barrel lug and frame is so tight it cannot be disassembled. The fit is much better than most I have seen and some are so bad the barrel is not inline with the frame. The original wood grips are in beautiful condition. Connecticut Yankee Samuel Griswold set up a cotton gin factory in Georgia in 1830. The village of Griswoldville grew around the factory. In 1862, Griswold produced pikes for volunteers from the state of Georgia. The factory soon began producing revolvers for the Confederacy. Griswold manufactured approximately 3,700 of these well-made revolvers for the Confederate government between 1862 and 1864. Collectors have identified about 350 surviving Griswold revolvers. This revolver is not listed by serial number on page 36 of "CONFEDERATE HANDGUNS" by William Albaugh. This revolver however has been know since 2005 when it was brought to a gun show in South Carolina by a direct descendant of the soldier that carried it. It is part of a database maintained by John Sexton of all known Griswold revolvers. Some in the data base including this one includes photos, measurements, and cryptic markings. I was told this is better than half if not 2/3's in condition compared to other known examples. No other Confederate factory produced more revolvers than Griswold & Gunnison. Griswoldville was the first town burned by Sherman's troops on his march to the sea.

Detailed History:

This pistol was made in 1864 by enslaved laborers in the Griswold and Gunnison pistol factory located in Griswoldville, GA, about ten miles south of Macon, for use by Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War (1861–65). In 1862, when the Griswoldville factory began manufacturing pistols, its twenty-two machines were operated by twenty-four people, twenty-two of whom were enslaved. Over the course of the war, from 1862 until 1864, when the factory was destroyed in Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s (1820–1891) March to the Sea, it produced approximately 3,700 revolvers—more than any other Confederate firearm factory. Its importance to the Confederate war effort was acknowledged by a visit from the President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis (1808–1889) in 1863, an event described in contemporary newspapers:

“The President at Griswoldville. – At Griswoldville, on the Central Railroad, where the President arrived between eight and nine o’clock on Friday night, about forty negroes, laborers in Mr. Griswold’s pistol shops at that place, had collected and manifested great anxiety to see Mr. Davis. Being told of it he got off the car and went the rounds, taking each one by the hand and giving him a pleasant word.” (The Macon Telegraph, Macon, GA, Monday, Nov. 2, 1863, p. 2).

Based on the Colt Model 1851 revolver, the design of the Griswold and Gunnison revolver differed from the Colt in several respects, most noticeably the grip’s rearward tilt and in the materials from which the revolver was made. The Griswold and Gunnison revolver featured a brass frame and iron components, instead of steel. The scarcity of raw materials in the South during the Civil War necessitated that the metals required for firearms production be sourced and recycled from unconventional sources, including brass church bells, which were melted down to make pistol frames of Griswold and Gunnison revolvers as well as those of other Confederate manufacturers.

The Griswold and Gunnison factory was owned by Samuel Griswold (1790–1867). Originally of Burlington, CT, Griswold moved to Georgia in the 1820s, eventually establishing the town of Griswoldville on four thousand acres of land he purchased. His factory manufactured cotton gins before the War, becoming one of the largest producers of the machines in the nation. In 1862 it ceased its manufacture of cotton gins to make pikes. Later that year, the factory switched its production to pistols. The serial number on the revolver indicates it was manufactured soon before the factory was destroyed.

The family information that I have will be only available to the buyer. This was purchased by me from a direct descendant. I have not confirmed ownership but there are several members of the family that served in the Civil War one of them, Philip Daingerfield Stephenson, D.D.: Private, Company K, 13th Arkansas Volunteer Infantry wrote a memoir which is available on Amazon. The family is from St. Louis, Missouri and several family members are buried there including Civil War veterans. John Sexton believes he can put a name to the revolver which will solidify the value. .

Condition: NRA Very Good Plus Overall
This revolver is fine survivor, not over cleaned, authentic & matching throughout, numbered and marked on every part that can be marked. The brass frame is not polished and has natural patina. The metal is covered in dark patina with some areas of light rust that cannot be cleaned without disassembly. The bore is dark and needs cleaning to see exact condition. It is hard to see without disassembly. Usually bores are not too much of a concern with antique firearms. The revolver does appear to be mechanically fine. The cylinder rotates and locks. The tigger works as it should.
Cylinder - 3254
Barrel Lug - 3254
Brass Frame - 3254 / Z
Base of grip - #14
Trigger Guard - #14 / XXXIIII / Z
Hammer - #14
Wedge - #14
Brass Grip Frame - XXXIIII / Z
Loading Lever - #14
There maybe more if it was completely disassembled.
All parts appear to be original other than one of the grip frame screws maybe a replacement. This was the assessment of a well known appraiser as well.
Scroll down for a link to high-quality photos.

Rare Griswold and Gunnison Civil War Confederate Revolver Second Model For Sale

Griswold and Gunnison Civil War Confederate Brass Framed Revolver Rare Original For Sale

Griswold and Gunnison Original Rare Civil War Confederate Brass Framed Revolver For Sale


Also see You Tube for some for most of the photos at lower resolution.



Now accepting the best offer from serious buyers.


Certified Bank Check (held until cleared) or Cash Only - No Credit Cards
U.S. citizens only. NO CA, AK, OR HI
Sold As Is
This is listed on
Gun Broker
Starting bid $43,000 :
GunsAmerica :
Guns International :

I also am considering Poulin's or Rock Island but I may just keep it at that point. They have around a 17%-22% buyers premium so when you look at sold prices that must be considered in your offer.


Fred E. Emerson III
A.P. Inc
681 Bog Road
Hermon, Maine 04401
E-Mail is the best way to reach me.
NEW TEXT ONLY NUMBER: 207-814-8979


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