Martially Marked Mass Arms Adams Revolver - Scarce
- Product Code: FHG-1312-SOLD
- Availability: Out Of Stock
The Massachusetts Arms Company Adams Patent Revolver offered here is one of the martially marked and accepted guns that was delivered to the US Ordnance Department in 1858. The gun is serial number 396, so it was most likely part of the 2nd batch delivered to the Ordnance Department on August 17, 1858. The gun is marked with a fairly legible JT (Josiah Tatnal) cartouche on the left grip panel and retains the shadow of a cartouche on the right panel, where the LCA would have been. The gun also bears the single letter sub-inspector mark A on left side of the barrel and the cylinder, and T on the left grip frame. The lower right side of the frame is marked in two horizontal lines: PATENT / JUNE 3, 1856 and the lower left side of the frame is marked with serial number 396 and ADAMS, PATENT / MAY 3, 1853. The cylinder is marked with the same serial number, followed by the previously mentioned sub-inspector A. The top strap is marked: MANUFACTURED BY / MASS. ARMS CO. / CHICOPEE FALLS. in three lines. The gun is in about VERY GOOD condition, and has a mostly smooth brown patina over all of the metal components. There are some small, scattered patches of minor pitting, as well as some light scattered peppering and pinpricking on the metal. As would be expected of a service used cavalry revolver, there are a handful of minor impact marks present on the frame, cylinder and topstrap. The hammer retains traces of the original case colored finish, and there are still signs of the fire-blued finish on the heads of many of the screws. The action of the revolver works as it should, in both the double action and single action modes. The gun times and locks up well. The original frame mounted sliding safety is present on the right side of the pistol. It retains about 50%+ of its original fire-blued finish and functions correctly. The fragile thumbscrew style cylinder pin retaining screw is long gone, and has been replaced by a conventional screw. The thumbscrew was notoriously weak and subject to breaking, and they are often missing from both English and American made Beaumont-Adams revolvers. It is difficult to know when this screw was replaced, but it matches the age and patina of the gun well, and is likely a period replacement. The “Kerr’s Patent” loading lever on the left side of the frame is a correct style replacement, likely of the period. It appears to be from an English made Adams revolver. The original loading levers on Mass Arms Adams revolvers were attached with a spanner style screw, making repair and replacement in the field very difficult. This original replacement lever is attached with a conventional slotted screw. The lever fits perfectly and functions exactly as it should. The five shot cylinder retains all of the original cones (nipples) and they are in fine condition, retaining sharp edges and much of their original blued finish. The bore of the pistol is in about VERY GOOD condition. It has a dark brown color that matches the patina of the revolver, but retains strong, sharp rifling and shows only light scattered pitting over its entire length. The original front sight is dovetailed into the top of the 6” octagon barrel, and the barrel retains sharp edges and good lines. The checkered walnut grips are in about VERY GOOD condition, and are free of any breaks, cracks or chips. The checkering shows light to moderate wear from actual use, and as noted the left cartouche remains fairly legible, while the right cartouche is only a shadow of its former self. The original brass ferrules remain at the edges of the lanyard hole that passes through the center of the grip.
Overall this is a very attractive example of a rarely encountered US Marital Revolver of the pre-Civil War and Civil War era. With a maximum of 500 of these revolvers having been accepted by the US Government, and the apparent heavy use that they saw during the course of the war, it is not common to find one for sale. Post war disposition records show that the US Ordnance Department sold a total of 264 “Adams’ revolvers as surplus between 1868 and 1901. Of those, most would likely have been English made 54 Bore revolvers purchased in 1861 & 1862. In fact 136 of the surplus guns are listed as being .44-caliber. That means that at most 128 Mass Arms Adams revolvers were sold as surplus after the war. This indicates a survival rate of only 21% - assuming that all of those guns were part of the 500 gun Mass Arms purchase. With additional losses to those guns over the following 100+ years, this clearly explains the scarcity of these revolvers on the market. While this gun is certainly not a “museum grade” example, it is a gun that saw real use and service, and is a great representative example of an American made, martially accepted Adams, which is not regularly seen on the market.SOLD