Second Model

Griswold and Gunnison Revolver

Serial # 2178


Description and Photograph





     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 # 2178.  This dates its manufacture to late 1863 or early 1864.  Serial number 2178 is stamped into the right side of frame, the right side of the barrel lug, and the cylinder.  Secondary number 7 is stamped on the top of the loading lever, the trigger guard, the hammer, the ratchet arm and spring, the trigger, the back strap and bottom of the frame.  The cryptic letter “N” is stamped into the underside of the barrel.  The cryptic letter “W” is stamped into the back-strap and trigger guard.  The Roman numeral “V” cut into the trigger guard, the back-strap and the bottom of the frame.   The mainspring and all screws are original.                                                           

     This example 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 revolver comes from the Fred Edmunds collection and includes his report.  Because serial number 2178 is so well marked and in such excellent condition it was used as the example of Griswold and Gunnison’s Second Model shown on page 130 of Collecting the Confederacy.



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