Lot 3322: Scarce Massachusetts Arms Company Wesson & Leavitt Patent Dragoon Revolver

Rock Island Auction Company

May 5, 2008, 10:00 AM CST
Moline, IL, US
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Description: Scarce Massachusetts Arms Company Wesson & Leavitt Patent Dragoon Revolver Wesson & Leavitt dragoon revolver with barrel catch marked: "NOV 26, 1850". Approximately 800 examples of this early percussion revolver were manufactured in 1850-51. The lock plate is marked: "WESSON'S & LEAVITTS PATENT" and the top strap is marked: "MASS.ARMS CO./CHICOPEE FALLS" in two lines. A faint acid etched design is visible on the cylinder. The Wesson & Leavitt Dragoon was a well made revolver that was one of Colt's first competitors. Samuel Colt successfully sued Mass. for patent infringement in 1851. The injunction imposed as a result of the lawsuit led to abandonment of the dragoon pattern and redesign of the Wesson & Leavitt revolvers.
Condition Report: Very good, showing a mottled gray and brown finish overall. The barrel has been shortened. A smooth gray patina is visible on the high edges, along with some light handling marks and dings around the nipples. The original casehardened pattern is partially visible, and well aged silver is present on the mellow brass. Grips are good, (as period revarnished) with some chipping along the backstrap and moderate pressure dents. Action is fine.
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