CIVIL WAR GUNS, REVOLVERS, PISTOLS, HANDGUNS
Michael Simens, a noted authority and appraiser of Civil War Guns, buys and sells original Confederate and Union Handguns used by the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Navy manufactured before 1866, with special emphasis on Engraved, Inscribed, Identified and Presentation hand guns.
We collect, buy, sell, authenticate and appraise Civil War Pistols and Revolvers and provide free information, estimates of value, and authentication services on single pieces or entire collections. Cased and Identified guns are our specialty, and we collect Colt and Confederate Revolvers. Contact us for information.
I don't suppose I have to describe how rare this holster is, but I'll do it anyway. I've seen two military style flap-holsters for the Colt Walker, two civilians that were very nice and two sets of pommel holsters that were bonafide originals. Everything else I've seen has been extremely questionable. This one is an absolute no-brainer, and it is world-class in terms of form, artistry and condition. When I first received photos of this holster, I couldn't tell exactly what it was other than the fact that it swallowed up a Dragoon in the photo. I was pretty sure that it was for an 8" Dragoon or a Walker. When it came in, I tried an 8" and it swallowed that as well, with the hammer dropping an inch into the holster, an absolute no-no as that hammer spur would have torn the holster up in no time. I then shipped it off to a Walker owner and lo-and-behold, we found ourselves one of the great rarities in Colt Accessories. The Colt Walker is the only gun I know of that fits this rig properly. The carving and bordering is exquisite, with about the finest detail I've ever seen on any early holster regardless of origin or period.
This holster isn't just carved, it's a combination of incised and relief carving and rivals the height and grandness of that on a fine, Golden Age Kentucky Rifle. The entire field of display is carved with a single flower stem, starting at the muzzle and rising with larger and more detailed foliage of leaf clusters and stems to terminate at the breech end with a large flower, possibly a Texas Rose. Lined backgrounds adorn each leaf and a simulated punch-dot background is scattered in other areas. The bordering is extremely detailed and the coverage is virtually 100% on the front side. The back-side shows some of the same bordering but the rest of the panel is absent of decoration. The leather is in wonderful condition and is softer than one would expect, probably due to age and a breakdown of leather fibers over time. I would expect that it was quite stiff originally. The plug is missing and that doesn't surprise me. This is not a slim-jim type holster that was closely form-fit. To hold a revolver the size and weight of a Walker, form-fitting at the front of the cylinder and trigger-guard would have distributed the weight of the gun better. I would expect that the plug blew-out on this holster within a few months of carry, and that's probably why it remained in such wonderful condition over the years. It's original belt loop is still on the back and there's an additional scabbard loop on the front that shows it was definitely used to hold a dirk or small Bowie. The rub lines from a sheath are still present. The interior is lined but now torn and creased in several areas and deteriorating. This may have been padded with raw cotton or other media originally.
Walkers were a big heavy gun and issued with pommel-holsters. All those government issued guns ended up with Texas Rangers and frontiersmen as well as in the California gold-fields. They didn't wear pommel holsters with a waist-belt, so a fine Martial Revolver would be just as appropriate with this rig as a Civilian Gun. All in all and in my opinion, this is one of the rarest and finest antique holsters ever discovered. Several years ago there was an original Walker Revolver in very good to fine condition that was period engraved. It was in an auction in California. If you know who currently owns that gun, please let him know I have a holster for him. That, or buy a great piece of Antique American leatherwork to park your own Walker in.
PRICE - $20,000.00
This is a very nice 1849 Colt Pocket with 4" barrel and New York address. It is sharp and crisp to include an excellent action, light cylinder scene and excellent grips that retain almost all of their original varnish. As one can see in the photos, the frame retains about 60%b vivid case colors starting to fade and the balance of the gun is gray with the exception of slight traces of scattered color. The gun appears to have been cleaned to gray at one point during its life leaving only the frame colors. A really nice example for the price.
PRICE - $ 995.00 - SALE PENDING !
This is a good condition Allen & Wheelock marked 31 caliber pepperbox with engraved nipple shield and fluted barrels. markings are visible but not sharp. Action is perfect when pointed down, but does not function when pointed up. It obviously needs a hand-spring. Fine, full grips showing most original varnish. A very presentable example.
PRICE - $450.00
This is a Metropolitan Arms Company Police Revolver featuring the creeping loading lever that was basically a copy of the Colt 1862 Police Model Revolver. It is in relic condition with a group of horrible looking brass screws holding it together. I can only surmise that whoever found this gun basically destroyed all the original screws while attempting to remove them, which is not surprising. Regardless, it could be put back together with proper screws and internal parts or just left as the relic it is. It is thought that the Metropolitan Arms Company was formed as an attempt to capitalize on the destruction of the Colt factory and for a short period saw relatively brisk sales. When Colt recovered its production capabilities and the Civil War ended, Metropolitan could no longer compete and dies a financial death in 1866. If one were to be in need of a decent lever, trigger guard or excellent grips for their metro, this could fill a void.
PRICE - $ 275.00
I'll make this description short and sweet. The action on this gun works great, it is all matching numbers and the markings are faint due too somebody whizzing it with sandpaper. It is still a real gun and should be salvaged by removing these marks. A good project gun for someone with skill and patience.
PRICE - $ 995.00
Without question, this is one of the most outstanding Confederate Revolvers ever offered for sale. This is an absolutely gorgeous 12-stop, Augusta Machine Works Revolver that has seen little, if any use. The markings, edges and action on this beautiful gun with 7 & 3/4" barrel are nearly flat perfect. The grips show 99% original finish and the metal parts on this gun have a stunning, untouched patina. There are traces of original blue on the barrel. Note the brass wedge screw that I believe to be original, that contrasts with the blue hue. The gun is in dark, untouched brown patina and I have taken photos of the gun on both a light and a dark background so that you can see the color and texture of the metal properly. I picked up this gun in central Pennsylvania with a couple of Patersons and a very good Confederate Dance Revolver (Dragoon Size) along with some other goodies. I found a more common six-stop just a few weeks later. As I researched these guns, I found one with a ton of finish that had sold in an East Coast Auction for over $90,000 in 1993 with holster and unquestionable provenance direct from the family descendants of Lieutenant Colonel Roswell Russell of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry. After finding that the heaviest action the 9th ever saw was the Battle of Griswoldville during Sherman's famous "March to the Sea", the eventual landing places of the guns became clear to me. The Russell gun and this 12-stop were discovered in the Harrisburg, Pa. area, and the 6-stop on this website came from York, only 20 miles away. It was found at a garage sale and was thought by the owner to be a reproduction. All 3 guns, 20 miles apart from each other. During my reading, I learned that just a few days prior to the battle, word went out to all nearby towns (including Augusta) that the Union was on their way to destroy all the Military Works at Griswoldville. The local Militias and worker citizens from all the nearby towns converged on Griswoldville to help in their defense, but the Union forces were too much for what was primarily an army of citizen soldiers. It is clear to me that the eventual overwhelming victory of the 9th resulted in their troopers carrying home these guns as war trophies. Somebody should write a story about it. The 6-stop revolver I have is priced much lower than this gun. I love this classic 12-stop as it almost speaks to me and I don't mind keeping it. In a recent auction on the West Coast, some eye-popping prices were garnered for lesser guns. If you are a person of means and want the very best, this could be a candidate to add to your collection. It is unquestionably one of the best Confederate Arms ever found and sometimes such a chance to own is a once in a lifetime event.
PRICE - $70,000.00
This is a very good condition Colt Third model 1851 Navy Revolver that shows heavy carry. This carried history is evident due to the worn muzzle and heavily weathered but full grips. The site is actually worn down flush to the barrel. All markings remained extremely crisp and the cylinder seen is about 90% visible, though showing wear. The action is nearly perfect. There are traces of original silver plating on the back strap and trigger guard. The gun is in an overall gray patina. The hammer and lever screws appear to be replacements, but other than that the entire gun is original and matching. The gun is missing all its nipples, easily replaced. It's rather surprising to find a gun with this much muzzle where and yet still be in generally good to very good condition. It certainly appears to be a fine old veteran of the American Civil War and probably saw use on the frontier for an extended period as well.
PRICE - $1,485.00
This is a very ggod condition Massachusetts Arms Pocket Revolver in 31 caliber bearing the Wesson's & Leavitt's patent marking on the lockplate. This gun looks a bit blotchy as it was obviously found in brown patina and someone has cleaned, being done long, long ago. It shows good markings to the top-strap and lock-plate and nearly all of its acid etched cylinder scene. Nice full grips with chips to the toes but they retains no varnish. This gun is locked in the hammer-back position and needs work on the action. Not bad for a fairly rare gun in very decent shape.
PRICE - $ 1,350.00
I know this 1861 Colt Navy Revolver doesn't look like much, but it's better than it appears. One need only look at the front sight and the grips that retain 99% of their original varnish to realize that this gun saw little use. It shows strong markings and edges but needs a little TLC to bring it back to full glory. The action is sharp, but it needs a hand-spring as the cylinder doesn't index unless you have the gun pointing down. It's obviously missing a wedge and wedge screw and the hammer screw needs to be replaced as the head is busted off. It shows an artificially aged barrel and cylinder of an ugly light brown and could use a good cleaning. The scene is light as on most 1861's. I have priced this reasonably for someone that knows what they're doing and they'll have a very nice gun for their efforts. If it doesn't sell, I'll have the aforementioned problems taken care of myself and raise the price. This is could be a very nice gun.
PRICE - $1,785.00
This is a good condition third model Colt Root Revolver with a 3 1/2 inch octagon barrel, Hartford address with pointing hand motif. It is in generally good condition. The gun is in overall gray patina with traces of blue on the barrel and frame. The stagecoach cylinder scene is light but visible. The grips are sound and full retaining approximately 70% original varnish. The action appears to be perfect however there is no hand and spring installed in the gun. This is a very reasonable price on a colt such as this
PRICE - $ 750.00
This is a very nice, untouched condition Henry style Derringer. It is totally unmarked and I therefore suspect Great Britain as its place of origin. It is tastefully engraved on the lock, side-plate and hammer and has a coin-silver thumb-piece. The wood is excellent save for a crack on the left side near the barrel escutcheon and they are checkered.
PRICE - $ 850.00
This is a very solid and good condition Large Frame Volcanic Pistol as manufactured by Smith & Wesson with iron frame. It has a good, crisp action, is in a medium gray patina and has very fine grips. It shows standard engraving as is found on most Volcanics of this type. The metal on this gun is not super-smooth but has a bit of an etchy surface but no roughness or pitting.
PRICE - $ 18,500.00
This is a very sharp and crisp Belgian made Mariette five shop pepper-box revolver. Although this gun retains no original finish it is in nearly excellent condition. The entire frame to include both sides top and back strap are covered in beautiful flowing scrolls. Each barrel exhibits a unique, roll applied Damascus style and a proof mark at the breach. There is an ELG in a circle on one base. The grips are fluted with a touch of carving at the upper base on each plaque and are in excellent condition as well. The action works perfectly. This is a very fine condition gun.
PRICE - $1,250.00
Here we have a late fourth model variation of a Colt 1851 Navy is in generally very good condition retaining approximately 70% of its original cylinder seen all numbers are matching to include the wedge. The action and markings are sharp and crisp and the grips are full, showing the little use. The gun is an overall great patina. This gun is in the 200,000 serial range and was manufactured after the Civil War. Ffrom its general appearance I would say that it definitely saw use on the Western frontier. These Navy revolvers are of a similar size to the colt single action revolver and were popular among cowboys and gunslingers most notably Wild Bill Hickok, who wore a pair of engraved 1851 Navy's with carved ivory grips. You'll note in the photographs that this gun has a very small wedge screw. This wedge screw goes all the way through the barrel lug and is a perfect example of a high quality field repair.
PRICE - $1,675.00
This is an extremely unusual Starr double action revolver and the only one like it that I have ever laid eyes on. On the other hand, I haven't owned as many as some dealers. It appears to be a standard revolver but has none of the usual martial markings, nor cartouches. However at the bottom of the barrel juncture to the frame there is an absolutely authentic, deeply and crisply struck anchor. This marking is unquestionably original and obviously represents issue to the United States Navy, if you collect martial arms of the Civil War there's a pretty good chance you've never come across this one either. The gun is in generally very good condition with traces of bright original blue mixing with patina. The action functions perfectly, however three of the pulls take a Yeomans finger strength. This is obviously a very rare 44 caliber gun issued to the United States Navy just prior to or during the Civil War.
PRICE - $1,450.00
Here is another high condition large frame Volcanic pistol. We have probably sold more Volcanic pistols in the last 10 years than all other dealers and auction houses combined. This excellent brass framed example with desirable six-inch barrel retains 95% original blue to its barrel blending with untouched brown patina the frame is a beautiful brass patina with minimal nicks and dings and the grips are almost meant with 97+ percent varnish. While continuing to make the Volcanic rifle and pistol, Henry began to experiment with the new rimfire ammunition, and modified the Volcanic lever action design to use it. The result was the Henry rifle. No Winchester collection is complete without one or more of the Volcanic Series of pistols or rifles within it.
PRICE - $ 22,500.00
This is a very nice 5 inch colt pocket revolver. It's very early, and in the 34,000 serial number range. It shows an overall gray patina and has an almost complete absence of original finish other than a trace of blue under the barrel. The nice part about it is it's very crisp with almost all of its cylinder sscene, 98% original silver plate on the back strap and trigger guard and 98% original varnish on fine, full grips. The cylinder has a score mark around it that's actually very slight where someone screwed the wrong screw into the front of the trigger guard and it protruded out the top of the frame. As the cylinder was rotated, it left a line where the screw scratched the cylinder. The timing was also off on this gun at one time and the result are the visible score marks from the hammer scraping the back shoulders of the cylinder. With a little TLC this could be a very presentable gun. It's the type I wouldn't mind having in my own collection if it had some history to accompany it. I like sharp crisp guns that look like they were used, not guns that look like they sat in a drawer.
PRICE - $ 875.00
This is a good condition Starr Arms single action 1863 Army revolver. Manufactured in New York, these guns were of 44 caliber with 8 inch barrels and approximately 32,000 were made. Next to Colt and Remington products, the Starr single action was the major model of revolving handgun bought by the US government. This example is in very good condition showing a medium gray patina finish and solid grips. The edges are relatively sharp but show use and the markings and action are crisp. If you looking for a good, solid example to fill a collection need this one is priced correctly and very representative of a gun that has not been abused but was probably used throughout the war.
PRICE - $995.00
This is another completely untouched offering that came in just last week. It is an English Adams revolver in 45 caliber that has never been cleaned or touched in any way, nor have the box or accessories. It is left exactly as we received it. The photographs of this gun are horrible but I wanted to get them done as quickly as possible. The integral barrel and frame retain 90% very bright shiny blue. The cylinder shows about 50% bright shiny blue mixing with scattered patina and pinpoint rust with one area of slight pitting across the cylinder where it laid on its side in the case. This gun shows other very minor spots of corrosion and edge wear which lead me to believe that it was holstered and carried, but well cared for. The action, edges, markings and screw heads are all excellent and the one piece walnut grips are finely checkered and in virtually perfect condition. The case retains its original and near mint 54 bore marked bullet mold (44.2 caliber), a nice powder flask retaining 90% original lacquer with 100% original gold gilt on its top and spout, a tin of percussion caps, an excellent cleaning and oiler. The barrel is marked with a Robert Adams address and the case retains a Robert Adams label in the lid. All in all a very fine set save for the aging of the cylinder. I have no doubt that this gun was carried during the Civil War and if so, probably by a Confederate Officers who cared for it in a proper manner.
PRICE - $ 3,650.00 - ON HOLD !
LeMat Revolvers are "hands-down" the most romantic of all handguns used by the Confederacy during the Civil War. The LeMat revolver was used by such famous Confederate officers as Generals P.G.T. Beauregard, Braxton Bragg, J.E.B. Stuart, Richard Anderson, Major Henry Wirz and others. I can remember first learning about the LeMat Revolver over 30 years ago from Damon Mills of Montgomery, Alabama when we examined a near mint, ivory stocked example that I dug out of an auction in Texas. I have no doubt that since that time, Damon has uncovered 20 or more Lemats directly from families who have owned them since the Civil War and more than half showed up without a loading lever. This is the 6th LeMat that I have turned up in the last 10 years, and every one of them came in without a loading lever. Damon and I have surmised that the lever was so notorious for getting hung up in a belt or holster that users just removed them and threw them away. This example is straight out-of-the-woods and has never been offered for sale before. It is sharp and crisp to include all edges and markings, especially the Paris barrel address which is particularly bold. The action was frozen when it came in, but a good soaking and oiling has freed it. The barrel fastening pin is missing with a screw in its place. This gun is completely untouched. It is in gray patina mixing with gun-metal gray with the slightest traces of blue in protected areas. The grips are fairly sharp and all parts are matching in the 17XX range. This is a nice condition LeMat.
PRICE - $ 6,850.00 - SALE PENDING !!