The Rogers & Spencer Percussion Revolver was originally manufactured in Willowvale, NY about 1863-65. In January 1865, the United States government contracted with Rogers & Spencer for 5,000 of the solid frame pistols. Delivery on the contract was made too late for war service, and the entire lot was sold as scrap to Francis Bannerman and Son in 1901. Bannerman then sold the pistols throughout the first quarter of the 20th Century. Many original Rogers & Spencer revolvers are seen today in excellent condition as is this one.
The Rogers and Spencer Army Model Revolver was actually an improvement of earlier pistols produced by the firm - the Pettingill and Freeman revolvers. The Pettingills were produced in the late 1850's and early 1860’s and were double action revolvers. The Pettingills were ahead of their time, being designed as hammerless pistols, which were popular in the last decade of the 19th Century, but certainly too Avant Garde for Army purchasers. The Navy Model was a .34 calibre, of which less than 1,000 were produced. The Army Model was a .44 calibre, and only about 3,400 were produced in the early 1860's. The Freeman Army Model Revolver was a solid frame .44 calibre pistol with a round 7 1/2" barrel, of which 2,000 are believed to have been produced in 1863-64, and in appearance the Freeman resembles a Starr Revolver.
The Rogers & Spencer is an improved Freeman, with a less severe grip style, a heavier frame and a stronger octagon barrel of identical 7 1/2" length. This particular Rogers & Spencer has a high degree of original finish left and original varnish on the grips. Rotates, cocks and locks and the bore is excellent. These revolvers are favoured today by black powder shooters for the superb grips and excellent mechanics. The flared grips were prone to damage and this one has some chips, but the grips show little other wear and the military inspector’s cartouche is highly visible. There are three notches or etches carved into the grip and I cannot make my mind up if they are an initial or "kill" marks, that is for you to decide. A very pleasing revolver at the right price for the condition. Read more