Monday, June 20, 2016

Augusta Machine Revolvers

Revolvers attributed to the Augusta Machine Works have long been a source of discussion among collectors. A letter written in 1918 by Samuel C. Wilson, secretary, Department of Public Health, Augusta does indeed state a Confederate Government factory producing pistols existed late in the war; however, no pistols marked as being produced in Augusta have been found.

Collectors of Confederate revolvers have long admired the workmanship of these .36 caliber, iron frame, octagon barrel revolvers, manufactured with both six and twelve stop cylinder, and share the collective frustration of not knowing the true origin. Albaugh/Benet/Simmons arrived at the 'Augusta' origin in 1963, based on a number of points yet, as of today, there is still no definitive proof of the origin other than it is probably American. However, the hypothesis established by these authors has prevailed, and hence the "Augusta Machine Works" designation.

These revolvers were very well made and (like most Confederate revolvers) are almost identical in appearance to the Colt Model 1851 Navy revolvers.
They are not marked with a makers name or serial numbers. They bear all sorts of assembly marks. Some are marked with cryptic letters and others with numerals. These numbers and letters found on both types are not all visible until the revolver is disassembled and are usually of a single character.

Pictured below are different revolvers purportedly to be Augusta Machine Works revolvers. You be the judge. Oh yea, the one the Confederate gentleman is holding? Don't have a clue.