Kerr Revolver Serial # 9900

Manufactured by the London Armoury Company from 1859 through 1866 with a total production of about 11,500 pieces. With its 54 bore (44 caliber) and single action this 5 shot revolver was a favorite weapon of Confederate officers and calvary men.

Over 9000 revolvers were purchased by the Confederate States in three variations. Most of the wood grips have the JS/anchor viewers mark below the trigger guard. The three variations are serial numbered as follows: 1st 1 – 1050, 2nd 1051 – 2700, 3rd 2701 – 11,500. The highest known serial number confirmed to date bearing the JS/Anchor mark is 9975.

The Kerr (pronounced Carr) was preferred in the field with its ease of maintanence and repair. Having a Lock Plate (similar to a Rifled Musket) built into the wood grip handle allowed for easy repair of its internal hardware with the removal of two screws. It wasn’t as prone to fouling as other revolvers, such as the Colt and Remington and its early pattern arbor pin retaining catch which allowed the user to change cylinders quickly without tools.

Some of the Kerr Revolvers have unquestionable provenance, serial # 1041 was presented by President Jefferson Davis to Captain Given Campbell as well as serial # 8977 which was presented to Colonel Josiah Gorgas, Confederate Chief of Ordnance by the London Armoury Company.

Well known pages from the pocket notebook (ledger) of Lieutenant G. Julian Pratt, Company H, 18th Virginia Calvary. In his ledger (Squad Roll) he documents the names of troops, revolver types, and serial numbers. Among the serial numbers mentioned in his ledger are Kerr Revolvers 9240, 9740, 9927, 9949, 9955, 9961 and 9974. He makes mention of other revolvers Adams, Tranter and Webley but we’ll save that for another time.

My new Civil War Arsenal weapon is a 3rd variation Kerr Revolver, serial number 9900. It’s in good condition for its age, however the cylinder plunger may have been replaced at one time. The wood handle is in good condition with no cracks but on the left side someone has used a small wood screw to hold the handle tight against the frame of the revolver. It’s not uncommon for the wood to separate a bit here which could lead to the grip cracking.

This revolver does not have the JS/Anchor found on so many of the Confederate imported Kerr’s. Revolver # 9974, which is in a private collection from the Pratt ledger (squad roll) doesn’t have JS/Anchor viewers mark either. It’s fair to say that this revolver #9900 which is only 74 serial numbers away from that revolver and only 27 serial numbers away the lowest revolver #9927 in the Pratt ledger (Squad Roll) is a surviving Confederate Import.

Thanks for stopping by the Civil War Arsenal, if you have any questions about this weapon or any of the other weapons in my Arsenal feel free to contact me at attn: Gene West and if you have any Confederate weapons you’re looking to part with let me know maybe we can strike a deal.

Kerr Patent, .44 Caliber, Percussion Revolver

Imported by the Confederate Government, the Kerr Revolver was made by the London Armory Company in London England, approximately 7,500 were imported by the South with a serial number range from about 3000 – 10000, interestingly enough the U.S. Government imported 16 revolvers in 1861.

The revolver was made in both .36 and .44 calibers with a double action version released in 1863, however the Confederacy only purchased single action .44 caliber revolvers. The overall length is 10 ¾” with a 5 ½” barrel that has London proof marks. The lock plate is marked London Armory as well as the left side of the frame. The serial number is located on the cylinder and the bottom right side of the frame under the cylinder compartment.

Many, but not all of the Confederate Kerr Revolvers are marked with the C/S import proof/inspection stamp of John Southgate, Chief CS viewer/proofer for the Confederacy in England, with the JS/Anchor demarcation.

Which brings me to the next example in the Civil War Arsenal. This relic condition revolver is a true Southern classic. I consider it relic condition due to the pitting on the lock plate, hammer that doesn’t stay in the cocked position all the time and the poor condition of the wood hand. It seems to me at one time or another it must have been dropped or crushed causing a crack to the wood handle, some damage to the checking on the handle and the worst part of the damage is a small portion of wood is missing from the area of the handle where the JS/anchor demarcation is located. It’s still clearly visible but the top portion of the JS is missing, it’s still a bummer (the damage that is).

This Revolver has a serial number of 6605 on the cylinder as well as the frame which puts it in the range of confederate purchases. Along with the JS/Anchor demarcation assures us this is a Southern Imported Revolver.

I first saw this weapon a couple of years ago on a web site of one of the more prominent Civil War dealers, I called him up and negotiated a price. The photos that he used to advertise the revolver were not the best quality and did not show the damage to the handle. I trusted his reputation and that he would alert me to any condition issues (he didn’t). So I probably paid more then I should have for this weapon due to the damage on the handle but I guess it’s all part of the learning experience. I’ll be certain to be more careful in the future and not trust the reputations of dealers.

So there you have it another Confederate beauty and another addition to the Civil War Arsenal. If you have any questions about this Revolver or any of the weapons in my Arsenal fell free to contact me at attn Gene West.

E.P. Bond Enfield Rifle Musket, JS/Anchor

At the outbreak of the War Between the States the Confederate Central Government contracted for the purchase of 30,000 Enfield Rifle Muskets to be delivered between October 1861 and April 1862. These Weapons had hand engraved inventory numbers put on the tang of the butt plates, 3 series were to be delivered each numbered 1 to 10,000, with the second series engraved with an A suffix and the third series an B suffix.

This is one of those historically significant Imports.

The Civil War Arsenal newest member is an E.P. Bond Enfield Rifle musket that has many of the distinguishing marks that collectors want to see with any Confederate Imported Weapon. The JS / Anchor is the stamp of John Southgate who was the Confederate States Chief Enfield Inspector, kind of like a quality inspector, hand engraved # 8199 on the tang of the brass butt plate, and B for Bond stamped on the comb of the stock which represents the maker/furnisher of the weapon.

Overall this E.P. Bond Enfield is a beauty, missing its rear adjustable sight is a bummer but it’s not that unusual since they were soldered on and either broke off or fell off due to the barrel heating up during rapid fire. It was missing the rear sling swivel which I replaced with original that I purchased from Lodgewood Mfg.

I purchased the socket bayonet made by J.R. Field from an EBAY auction. Its not a Salter made bayonet but I thought it was appropriate for the Bond Enfield since it was from a private contractor rather a British government contract.

Hope you enjoy the photos and if you have any questions about this weapon or any of the other Weapons in the Civil War Arsenal feel free to contact: Eugene West at

R.T. Pritchett Rifle Musket, Enfield

Over the last week or so I’ve been struggling with what I was going to write about this week, then I remembered that Greg posted a comment on my article about the 1862 Enfield SH&G #3 Musket, so I thought what better time to write about yet another weapon in my Civil War Arsenal.

The R.T. Pritchett Enfield Rifle Musket, Sinclair & Hamilton Company, (Crown/ SH/C/ Arrow). I think this mark is referred to as Type #2. The mark is on the bottom of the stock close to the trigger guard. The mark is faint but under the right light it is clearly there. I will be using the macro setting on my camera to photo the mark I hope it is clear enough to be seen.

Pritchett was a well known contractor who supplied many Enfield Rifle Muskets and parts to Confederate brokerage houses. Two of the more famous ones were S. Isaac & Campbell and Sinclair, Hamilton & Company.
Pritchett the inventor of the improved bullet for the 1853 Enfield, firing one of his own rifles on a windy, rainy day, shot 98 out of 100 shots in a 7 foot circle at 600 yards. Pretty good shooting especially at that range.

Aside from inventing and building guns Pritchett was also a business man who like so many others took advantage of the financial opportunities the American Civil War had to offer. Another one of those opportunists were Archibald Hamilton. Archibald was the Director of the London Armoury Company; they were a major gun making company in London. The quality of the London Armoury Guns was superior to other London Contractors since the L.A.CO’s parts were interchangeable and the others were not.

Archibald was a major player in the English arms industry, Director of the L.A.Co and was partners in a brokerage firm, this would create the perfect storm for the Confederacy to purchase, ship and receive the much needed weapons.

It wasn’t long before the South became the London Armoury Company’s principal client and it manufactured and shipped more than 70,000 rifles and about 7,000 revolvers (out of a total production run of about 10,000) to the South. However these weapons had to pass through the Union blockades and the number that actually reached the Confederate army is unknown. Confederates acclaimed the Armoury’s guns as the best weapons made in Britain.

Towards the end of the war the London Armoury Company was almost completely dependent on sales to the Confederacy and survived for only a year after the end of the war, dissolving in the Spring of 1866.

So back to the Pritchett Rifle Musket, this gun is in fair condition with a wonderful mocha color stock. The barrel and hardware have a brownish color throughout but no rust. This is one of the first Civil War guns I purchased and I probably paid a little more then I should have but all and all it’s a very nice example of a Confederate Import with the crown/ SH/C/arrow mark.
Your thoughts are welcome, contact Gene West at

1862 Enfield, P-1853 Type III Rifle Musket

Over the last bunch of weeks I’ve written about many of the domestic weapons in my Civil War Arsenal, but today I’m going to write about one of my imports muskets. The 1853 Type III Enfield was the most common imported weapon of the Civil War. Both the North and South imported this weapon to the tune of 900,000 from 1861 to 1865.

At the outbreak of the war the Enfield was considered the rifle of choice. The Enfield was the first production gun to use rifling in its barrel and it fired the .577 caliber Pritchett minie ball (which was innovative for its time) and considered by many the prettiest rifle made with its brass accents.

There were many private contractors manufacturing Enfield’s but the better quality Enfield’s were made by the Birmingham Small Arms Factory and the London Armory Arsenals. The reason for this was that these two companies made muskets that had interchangeable parts, the dozens of other gun making companies made muskets that looked the same but the parts would not interchange from one gun to the other. This did not fare well in battle, as one musket failed you could not take parts from another and fix it.

So that takes us to the 1862 Enfield in my Civil War Arsenal. I purchased this musket a few years back on Gun Brokers Auction Web Site. The fellow that was auctioning musket did not know much about it, other then it was old. He was selling off a collection of antique weapons for someone. When I first saw the gun I thought there was no way I’d win the auction, thinking that everyone interested would be jockeying for position. However I did have the winning bid and I think I got it for a great price.

This Enfield is super clean with hardly a mark on it. The stock is absolutely stunning with its tiger wood finish and the barrel and hardware are almost flawless. It has the Birmingham stamp on the right side of the stock with the maker’s name of Joseph Wilson. On the top of the stock by the tang of the butt plate is the stamp of Schuyler Hartley and Graham, or SH over G3. I think 3 and 5 are the most common numbers found on these imports with 1, 2, 4 being less common.

Schuyler Hartley and Graham had Military Goods, stores in N.Y.C. at 19 Maiden Lane and 22 John Street, and are considered by many to be the first store to sell Military accessories, kind of like a modern day Army Navy store.

Because they already had connections overseas as buyers of military accessories the U.S. Government and State Governments turned towards them to purchase weapons (rifles, pistols, swords, etc…). Most of the Enfield’s they purchased were bought for the State Militia’s of Massachusetts and New York.
However some of the weapons that S.H & G sold were sold over the counter to soldiers who wanted better equipment then the Government was issuing, and all officers were required to purchase their own uniforms and swords, so during the war S.H.& G. was the perfect tool for soldiers and officers alike to purchase quality weapons and accessories.

But we know this Musket wasn’t purchased by a soldier over the counter. First of all if a soldier wanted to upgrade his Government Issue weapon he would have bought a breech loading rifle or carbine. But the most telling sign is the Government cartouche on the left side of the stock, which tells us this was imported by S.H. & G for the U.S. Government, very neat stuff. I love it when the markings on the weapon tell the story.

This Enfield is a beauty I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Any questions about this posting or any of the other postings at the Civil War Arsenal feel free to contact me at attm: Gene West