This is a nice example of one of the less often encountered pistol molds of the Civil War era. While Colt “Navy” .36 caliber molds can usually be located for sale with some ease, rarely is the Manhattan Firearms Company manufactured .36 caliber pistol mold offered for sale. Outwardly, the dual cavity iron mold appears very similar in size and style to the iron Colt Navy mold, except that it has slightly bow-leg shaped handles instead of the straight handles common on the Colt. The iron sprue cutter is marked in four lines, with the top line in an arc around the lower three and reads:
The mold retains some traces of the original blued finish, to as much as 10%+, on the exterior, mixed with a mottled plum-brown dove-gray patina, with some darker age staining. The exterior shows some light peppering and pinpricking scattered over the surfaces, and some areas of pitting, mostly on the ends of the handles. As is very commonly encountered on molds used with pistols that have barrel wedges, the exterior of the mold shows some impact dings; likely the result of driving the wedge in and out of the pistol. The interior of the mold and protected areas retain about 10%-20% of its original blued finish, mixed with a similar patina to that found on the exterior of the mold. The mold is designed to cast a .36 caliber round ball, closest to the hinge, and a heeled .36 caliber conical bullet with a grease groove, closest to the handles. The round ball cavity measures .364” and the conical cavity is .362” in diameter at the widest points. Both cavities are in very good condition and remain crisp, sharp and quite usable. The iron sprue cutter moves freely and functions exactly as it should.
Overall this is an about VERY GOOD condition example of a rarely encountered pistol mold that would be a nice addition to the display of your Manhattan Navy revolver or to add to a cased Manhattan Navy that needs a Manhattan marked mold to complete it.