Make: Eli Whitney & Co. in North Haven, Ct.
Model: Pocket Pistol
Serial Number: 20809
Year of Manufacture: Mid 1860's
Caliber: .31 Caliber Ball
Action Type: 5-Shot, Single Action, Cylinder Loaded Percussion Revolver
Markings: The top of the barrel's marking is missing. The underside of the barrel is marked "8 / 9 / F", with a gap between the numbers, we believe the rest of the numbers of the serial number were removed at some point, top of the loading lever, inside of both grip panels, frame under the trigger guard and left of the grip frame are marked correctly for the serial number. The left of the frame has inspection mark "O". The right of the grip frame is marked "3".
Barrel Length: 6" Octagonal
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a small brass stud, which has heavy wear, it is slotted onto the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch on top of the hammer.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are smooth walnut and are serialized to the pistol. There is heavy scuffing throughout, some chip losses are on the lower edges by the butt grip strap, please see our pictures. There are no visible cracks. The grips rate in about Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Refinished with cold blue.
Bore Condition: The bore is dark and the rifling is shallow and interrupted by heavier erosion.
Overall Condition: The nipples of the cylinder have marring, all exposed surfaces were sanded at some point, there appears to be an old cold blue on the surfaces. The frame has heavy pitting, seen also on the cylinder and in its chambers. There is a general mottled brown and gray patina on all surfaces, please see our pictures. The remaining markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fair condition.
Mechanics: The cylinder is still activated by the hammer, however when the hammer comes forward, the cylinder comes out of alignment with the nipple to hammer strike. Heavy play is found in full lockup. There are multiple leafs under the mainspring, all looking to be replacements, they are oxidized and have uneven lines. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: After Colt's original patent expired in the late 1850's, other companies began their own renditions of the famous revolvers that literally transformed our nation. This is an Eli Whitney .31 Pocket Revolver made just before, or at the beginning of the Civil War. Given its aesthetic condition, we can assume it was an important part of someone's life and may have even seen service in the war; we do not have any documentation to know for sure, however photographs of Union and Confederate troops alike show an array of Whitney and other make revolvers tucked into their sashes. Please see our pictures and good luck.
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This antique handgun can be sold in California.
LSB#: 161129LV43 Make: Eli Whitney & Co. in North Haven, Ct. Model: Pocket Pistol Serial Number: 20809 Year of Manufacture: Mid 1860's Caliber: .31 Caliber B
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