Manhatten Navy Pistol, .36 Cal., Series II Model, SN 7901, 5" Barrel 5-Shot, Original.
The advent of the Manhatten Navy .36 caliber pistol sounded the death knell for the .31 caliber Manhatten Pocket Pistol. The company's resources were channeled into the production of a .36 caliber gun that would be a blend of the Colt M1849 and the Colt Navy M1851. The Manhatten Navy pistol would be lighter in weight than the Colt Navy and was a high quality weapon of the time. The Manhatten Navy .36 caliber pistols were produced in what has come to be identified as five different series.
This pistol is a Series II, and can be identified by the New York address on the top of the barrel and by the patent date around the circumference of the cylinder between the cylinder stops and the nipples. Later models will not have the New York address. This was the first model to have the patent date around the cylinder. The Series II pistols were in the 4200 to 14500 serial number range, and were produced between January 1, 1860 through September 1, 1861. They came with barrel lengths of 4", 5", and 6 1/2".
Serial number of this pistol is 7901. It has a 5" barrel, and a 5-shot cylinder. Has "Manhatten Firearms Mfg. Co. New York" on the top of the barrel, and has "Patented Dec. 27, 1859" around the circumference of the cylinder. None of the original finish remains on the barrel, cylinder, and frame, and all is now a dark gray patina with spotty discoloration. Has some light pitting on the cylinder. The roll engraved scenes on the cylinder are still legible. The brass trigger guard and grip backstrap were originally silver plated, of which maybe 5-10% remains in the protected areas. The walnut grip still retains about 95% of its original finish, and has some light dings with some wear to the bottom edges on both sides. The loading lever functions perfectly. The hammer functions perfectly, in full cock and half cock. The cylinder indexes when the hammer is pulled, but the timing is a little off on two stops (which could probably be corrected by a competent gunsmith). The pistol is tight and has all original screws.
This is a very nice example of an early pre-war Manhatten which probably saw action throughout the Civil War, and would be a fitting addition to any collection. Condition Very Good.