Imported Handguns

Throughout the Civil War Confederate forces were forced to utilize any weapon that was available, which accounts for the incredible variety of types in service. Large numbers of revolvers were imported from England, then one of the world's largest armament producers, but the U.S. Navy made strenuous efforts to prevent such warlike supplies reaching the South. A number of British makes were popular, including Adams, Kerr, and Tranter, all of which saw extensive use. French pin-fire revolvers were also popular, but availability of ammunition was always a problem. There were also many Southern-made copies of Samuel Colt's pistols. Excellent collections of these weapons can be found at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, the West Point Museum at West Point, New York, and the Gettysburg National Military Park,

1 U.S.-made Wesson and Leavitt Army revolver

2 British Kerr .44 caliber revolver

3 Belt and holster for item 2

4 British Webley .55 caliber double-action revolver

5 Colt Model 1848 Army revolver, 3rd Model

6 French pin-fire revolver. A popular weapon in Europe, which used a French percussion system invented in the 1820s

7 British Beaumont-Adams revolver

Beaumont AdamsBeaumont Adams Revolver

8 Tin of British Eley percussion caps

9 Belt and holster for item 7

10 British Tranter single-trigger revolver

11 British Tranter double-trigger Navy revolver. These weapons used a double-action lock which was cocked by the lower trigger and fired with the upper

12 Pistol bullet mold

13 British Tranter double-trigger Army revolver

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