Only 6,000 of these Dec. 17, 1861 patent Army revolvers were manufactured in 1862 before production shifted to the New Model series. The army found the ability to slide the cylinder pin out with the loading lever closed to be too insecure for battlefield use. Many of the 1861s were altered by adding a screw on the loading lever, but this example has not been altered and is a late production revolver with safety notches on the cylinder. It has a German silver cone front sight, the two-line patent and address markings on the top of the barrel, small single letter inspection initials on various components and a boxed script "BH" (Benjamin Hannis) inspection cartouche stamped on the left grip panel. Matching serial number "5068" marked on the left of the grip frame, rear face of the cylinder, bottom of the barrel (double struck, factory error) and handwritten underneath both grip panels.
Very fine, retains 70% plus original bright blue finish, strongest on the barrel, with scattered light flaking to a smooth brown patina, a moderate cylinder drag line, and sharp markings and edges in the metal overall. Grips are also very fine with rich oil finish and defined edges, some light scratches and handling marks, and an exceptionally crisp cartouche. Mechanically excellent.
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