Tuesday, May 24, 2016

- Savage Revolvers -


Civil War Sargent with a Savage M-1861 revolver.



Savage-North 1859, 2nd Model "Figure 8 Revolver". 36 caliber 6-shot percussion with a 7 1/8" barrel. Patented by Henry S. North and Edward Savage of Middletown, Connecticut. The US Ordnance Department placed an order for 100 of the unique “Figure-8” revolvers for actual field trials. The order was placed June 17, 1856 and the 100 revolvers were delivered on June 20, 1857. All but 1 of these revolvers was in the field for trial use by US cavalry units within a year. The guns utilized a unique self-cocking action that rotated the cylinder and cocked the hammer by pulling back the lower ring trigger of a “Figure-8”. The upper trigger then fired the pistol in a conventional fashion. These test revolvers were chambered in .36 caliber, the same as the Colt M-1851 “Navy” revolvers then in service with the US military. "Approximately 450 of these “Figure-8” revolvers were made between 1856 and 1859".


 Brass Frame 3rd Model
A rare 4th Model. According to Flayderman only about 50 of these were ever produced.

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In 1860 North and Savage formed the Savage Revolving Fire Arms Company. This company is unrelated to the later Savage Arms Company.
A redesigned Model 1861 "Navy" was introduced and they received contract with the government for 5,500 arms at a cost of $20.00 each. However, in the first two years of the Civil War, the government purchased 11,284 of these revolvers at an average cost of $19.00. Over 10,000 went to the Army.
"The Savage 1861 Navy was officially used by the following United States army regiments: 1st Wisconsin U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, 2nd Wisconsin U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, 5th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, and the 7th New York Cavalry
Confederate States Army regiments: 34th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry, 35th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry, 11th Texas Cavalry, 7th Virginia Cavalry and the 7th Missouri Cavalry
The United States Navy also used the revolver in small numbers.

Following the war the revolvers were offered to the soldiers, only 17 units were reported being bought".