A Manhattan Navy .36 Calibre Percussion Revolver, 11” overall, 5” octagonal barrel with blade foresight, marked with the 2 line address "Manhattan Fire Arms Co. Newark N.J Patented March 8th 1864” 5 shot cylinder stamped “Patented December 27th 1859”, 10 cylinder stops. Cylinder scene engraved in 5 oval panels with military and naval scenes. Brass backstrap and trigger guard, 2 piece walnut grips Numbered on all parts 65534.
In good condition, engraving faint, action crisp
The Manhattan Fire Arms Company of Newark, New Jersey, was formed in 1856 by a group of businessmen to take advantage of Colt's revolver patents due to expire in 1857. The founders hired Thomas Bacon to become the Superintendent of Manufacturing. The company first began in Norwich, Connecticut and in 1859 moved to Newark, New Jersey The firm produced very good quality copies of Colt's .31 and .36 caliber revolvers and quickly became a major handgun manufactory. During their 17-year existence the company produced some 175,000 firearms. Manhattan didn't aggressively pursue government contracts choosing to target the civilian market that was being somewhat ignored by the principal gunmakers that were concentrating on securing army contracts. Their Navy pistols were made between 1858 and 1868 totaling about 78,000 guns. It was offered in 5-shot or 6-shot with barrel lengths of 4, 5, or 6-inch lengths. The finish was blued except for frame, trigger, and hammer which were case hardened. The brass grip straps were silver plated and the one-piece grips were varnished walnut. These options made the Manhattan appealing to many Union officers.