Rigdon, Ansley & Co., percussion revolver manufactured in Augusta, Georgia, 1864-65. Approximately 1000 Rigdon, Ansley & Co., revolvers were manufactured by Charles H. Rigdon after the dissolution of the Leech & Rigdon Co. in 1863. The Rigdon , Ansley Revolvers were an improvement on the Leech & Rigdon Revolvers and are distinguished from the earlier model by the 12-stop cylinder and absence of cylinder safety pins. This revolver, serial number 2373, was discovered in Texas in 1995 and is the highest known serial number Rigdon, Ansley Revolver. The highest serial number previously identified for a Rigdon, Ansley Revolver is listed in CONFEDERATE HANDGUNS by Albaugh, Benet and Simons as number 2359. The revolver has a half-octagon barrel fitted with a handmade rear sight in a dovetail on the top flat and a brass pin front sight. The three screw iron frame lacks a capping groove in the recoil shield cut-out. The loading lever has a ball and pin latch. The trigger guard and back strap are brass and the revolver is fitted with a one-piece walnut grip. The top of the barrel flat is deeply struck with "C.S.A." ahead of the rear sight. The serial number, "2373", is located on the barrel, frame, trigger guard and back strap. The partial serial number, "73", is stamped on the top flat of the loading lever and "23" is visible on the cylinder. All of the serial numbers match and have identical numerals.
Very good for a Confederate revolver. The revolver is in substantially original condition. The replacement parts appear to be handmade and contemporary to the revolver. The iron components have a gray-brown age patina. The surfaces of the cylinder, frame and round portion of the barrel are generally smooth with minimal pitting and handling marks. The barrel lug is slightly textured from cleaning and has the usual disassembly dents surrounding the barrel wedge slot. The barrel wedge and loading lever plunger are old and crude replacements, consistent with other known Confederate repairs. The front trigger guard screw is a replacement and the portion of the trigger guard surrounding the screw is scratched and battered. The sides and bottom of the hammer have flash pitting and the hammer face is battered. The bottom of the back strap has numerous small dents. The grip is in good condition with moderate handling wear. The wood has shrunk slightly from age, and the lower portion of the grips are rounded from handling. The bottom of the grip has the same small dents as the back strap. The revolver action is functional. This is a solid, original example of a very rare Confederate-made revolver. The high serial number makes it very likely that this revolver was one of the very last hand guns manufactured before the Rigdon factory closed in January 1865 in the face of General William T. Sherman's advancing Federal Army.
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