Old South Military Antiques

Published Spiller & Burr Revolver Once Owned by Author Bill Gary
Item #: OS-7585a

This is the same revolver shown earlier, but with better images.

In November of 1861, Edward Spiller of Baltimore, Maryland and David Burr of Richmond, Virginia, along with Lt. Col. James Burton contracted to make revolvers for the Confederate Government. The factory was first set up in Atlanta, Georgia. The first guns were completed in December of 1862. The First Models proved unserviceable and a Second Model began production in the spring of 1863. Spiller & Burr continued production until January of 1864, when the C. S. Government bought them out and moved the armory to Macon, Georgia. The armory was closed permanently in December of 1864 due to pressure from Sherman.

During its short life-span, less than 1,500 revolvers were completed. Number 287 is shown here.

It was made or finished in the second half of 1863, at the Macon, Georgia armory. The serial numbers 287, are stamped into the butt strap twice, both inside and outside. Also, the arbor pin, the underside of the barrel, the loading lever, frame, trigger guard and 287 is penciled inside of both grips. The name GARY is stamped into the inner surface of one grip, this is the marking of Bill Gary, author of one of the best books ever written on Confederate Revolvers. All of the revolver’s stampings are clear and crisp. When Bill Gary wrote Confederate Revolvers, he used this particular example because it was so well marked; it is shown on pages 32, 33 and 34 of his book.

The revolver is in perfect working order. It is one hundred percent original, even the screws and the springs. The grip stocks are tight. The brass frame has a beautiful natural patina. The barrel is smooth and has very sharp lines.

The cylinder has two areas of pitting; the top strap and frame conceal the pitting when aligned; apparently someone kept the revolver oiled through the years, but did not rotate the cylinder when oiling. I have intentionally made the pitting visible in the accompanying pictures. When rotated properly, this pitting cannot be seen. But the cylinder is otherwise smooth. The head of the small screw that goes into the arbor retaining pin is wrung off, but the retaining pin remains tight. The barrel retains very good, strong, rifling. The gun’s mechanics work perfectly.

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