Griswold and Gunnison Revolver


Description and Photograph



     The Confederate copy of a Colt Navy revolver manufactured by Samuel Griswold & Arvin Gunnison.

This revolver is number 1084 of approximately 3,600 revolvers made by Griswold and Gunnison during the War Between the States. 

     Samuel Griswold set up a cotton gin manufactory along the railroad nine miles south of Macon, Georgia in 1835.  Evidently, Sam was an enterprising man.  He added a foundry, planing mill, saw mill, gristmill, soap and candle factory and a post office, thus founding the town of Griswoldville.  When the South was invaded in 1861, Sam began making pikes for the Georgia Government. 

     Arvin Gunnison had begun the manufacture of pistols in New Orleans, Louisiana.  When the city fell to the Yankees in the spring of 1862, Arvin and his machinery moved to Griswoldville.  There he joined with his old friend Sam Griswold and together they made handgun history.

     From July of 1862 until November 22, 1864, when the factory was destroyed by Yankee cavalry, Griswold and Gunnison produced over 3,600 revolvers on the Colt’s pattern.  Today their brass-framed revolvers are one of the most sought after handguns in the world.

     The revolver shown here is Serial number 1084.  Serial number 1084 is stamped into the right side of frame, the side of the barrel lug, the cylinder and in front of the trigger guard.  1084 is also written in pencil on the grip, under the back strap.  Secondary number 84 is stamped on the top of the loading lever, the wedge, under the grip and on the hammer and the trigger.  A cryptic D is stamped into the underside of the barrel, on the back of the frame on the back strap under the grip and under the grip on the trigger guard.  The number 4 is stamped on the side of the back strap under the grip.  The Roman numeral III is stamped on the back strap under the grip and under the grip on the trigger guard.

     This revolver has an especially good provenance.  It is from William A. Albaugh, III’s personal collection and is recorded in his collection log, a copy of which is included.  I quote from his log:  “Depicted is g&g 1st Model serial #1084 complete in all respects.  The finest I have ever had.  Little use and no abuse.  Secondary #84 and cryptic mark D.  Bought from Jack Malloy some 10 years ago at Baltimore show.”  He paid $3,500.00 for it in 1973.

     The revolver is pictured in an article in North South Trader Magazine, July- August 1977 by William A. Albaugh, III.

     It is pictured on page 43, America-The Men and Their Guns That Made Her Great.

     It was later part of the Ted Meredith Collection.

     The revolver remains in exceptionally good condition, it is one of the very best I have ever examined.  The edges are sharp, the rifling is strong.  The grips are excellent.  The mainspring has been replaced, but otherwise the gun is just as manufactured, even the screws are original.  This example is especially well marked and in extraordinarily complete and original condition.  The revolver comes with full documentation.

     This is almost certainly the best 1st Model Griswold & Gunnison revolver in existence.     



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