More Confederate Arms on Forgotten Weapons

by Fred Ray on October 24, 2017 · 0 comments

Ian McCollum seems to be on some sort of roll with forgotten and rare Confederate weapons.

First up is the Griswold and Gunnison revolver.

Griswold and Gunnison were rather unique among Confederate revolver manufacturers for their ability to actually create a reliable and high quality product and produce it on a regular and predictable schedule. So many of the Confederate revolvers were made by starry-eyed novices, but Griswold & Gunnison ran a proper professional manufacturing operation, and as a result were able to produce as many guns as all other Confederate revolver makers combined.

Griswold & Gunnison: The Best Confederate Revolver Makers

Next on the list is the advanced and innovative Morse carbine, a weapon well ahead of its time which foundered on the usual lack of Southern manufacturing infrastructure, which could not produce the ammunition.

George Morse of Baton Rouge patented a design for a remarkably modern centerfire cartridge and breechloading rifle action in 1856 and 1858, using a standard percussion cap as a primer. This was coupled with a gutta percha washer for sealing and a rolled brass cartridge body that was strong and robust – easily reloaded, if somewhat complex to manufacture.

Confederate Morse Carbine: Centerfire Cartridges Ahead of Their Time

Just to keep some sort of balance, he includes a Yankee gun as well—the Shawk and McLanahan, which didn’t work out so well.

Only about 45 or 50 guns were made before the business venture fell apart, and the surviving examples are all slightly different, suggesting that a final production model was never perfected. The workmanship is quite good, though. The example we have today was actually plated and presented to a Confederate officer by his men, along with a very fancy metal holster.

Shawk & McLanahan – A Would-Be St Louis Revolver Company

 


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