Fourth Most Purchased Handgun in the CIVIL WAR
Whitney Arms Company Navy Percussion Revolver, made circa 1860 in New Haven, Connecticut. Eli Whitney Jr., began running the family business in 1841. Whitney Jr. seized the opportunity in 1847 to manufacture 1,000 of Samuel Colt’s latest revolver, the Colt Walker revolver. Production of this revolver helped both parties immensely as it kept Colt in business, and it allowed Whitney Jr. to tool up and gain experience making revolvers. With the expiration of Colt’s patents in 1857, Whitney began production of percussion revolvers based on Colt’s patents, some of them very closely copied.
The Whitney Navy Revolver came about when Fordyce Beals—later of Remington-Beal fame—came to work for the company. He was the primary designer, which was indeed why the Remington-Beals Navy and Army Revolvers came to look so much like the Whitney. The Whitney has the distinction of being one of the first successful solid framed revolvers. As their production began before the war in about 1857, both the Union and the Confederacy utilized them in the American Civil War. One very notable character known to have used the Whitney Navy was Confederate Cavalry General J.E.B. Stuart. Many of these were purchased by the U.S. government and by individual soldiers for use in the Civil War.
The overall condition is good. Original brown patina. The action is strong. Frosted bore with visible rifling. Both grips are in good shape, with the right grip marked with the letters (A X X). Markings are faint but readable. Numbers match.