According to some sources, approximately 700 Spiller & Burr percussion revolvers were manufactured in Atlanta, Georgia, circa 1862-1864, and another roughly 700 were manufactured at the Macon Armory after the firm was purchased by the Confederacy in January of 1864. Bill Gary's book, "Confederate Revolvers," differs in that it states that the Atlanta partnership manufactured 840 revolvers before the Confederate government takeover, and further states that Macon Armory manufactured only approximately 400 revolvers before closing upon the approach of General Sherman's forces. Production started with a very optimistic government contract of about 15,000 revolvers in 1862 but was stopped in November 1864 due to Sherman's March to the Sea. The revolver is patterned after the Whitney Navy Model and has a distinctive solid brass frame with "C.S." stamped on the left side. This Second Type features a large cone front sight, frame groove rear sight, six-shot cylinder with six cylinder stops, and smooth walnut grips. "SPILLER&BURR" marked on top of the barrel. The barrel, loading lever, cylinder, frame under the trigger guard, underside of the trigger guard, and butt are all marked with the matching serial number. "E" is marked on left grip strap. The letter "T" is carved into the top of the left grip, and five kill notches are carved into the butt of the grip. This exact revolver is pictured and described in "Spiller & Burr Revolvers: Chronology of Manufactory" by John Sexton in which it states, "SN 500, 'SPILLER & BURR' marked, Atlanta produced probably lot 3 October 1863, twisted iron cylinder failed and was replaced and serial numbered in Atlanta. Serial numbers on original parts are all early Atlanta dies. Reissued Macon November 1864. I underbid this revolver in mid 1980s auction the 'Museum of Lost Arts'. Information on these revolvers can be found in Albaugh, Benet and Simmons' book "Confederate Handguns" on pages 61-77.
Very good, exhibiting smooth applied brown patina over a few patches of light pitting. Sharp edges and markings on the balance of the metal surfaces. Brass frame is fine and retains an attractive golden aged patina with some light dings on the forward left area. Grips are very good with general wear, and some scattered light dings and scratches. Mechanically fine. This scarce Confederate revolver would make for a fine addition to any Civil War collection.
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