Sunday, December 11, 2016

Evans Model 1826 Navy Pistol


Surprisingly the US Government never really entered the business of producing handguns at the various National Armories until the 20th Century.
Harper’s Ferry did produce an estimated 2050 brace of M-1805 English Light Dragoon style pistols. Springfield Armory did a small production run of the M-1817 pistol, which were never actually issued. Springfield also manufactured 4021 of the unsuccessful US M-1855 pistol carbines.
With these minor exceptions, the US government relied almost exclusively on private firms to supply sidearms during the 19th Century.
The firm of Simeon North of Middleton, CT was the primary provider of handguns to the US military from 1799 to 1826. North’s M-1826 Flintlock Naval Pistol was the last pistol he produced and it became the pattern for other 
manufactures to follow.

The W.L. Evans Model 1826 Navy pistol is nearly identical to the pistols made by North. It is estimated that less than 1000 Evans pistols were produced making them rather rare as compared to M-1826 pistols by better known makers.  
I find the exact origin of these pistols a bit murky. 
John Rogers was a gun manufacturer and owner of the Valley Forge Armory. Sometime in the late 1800s he obtained a government contract for the pistols. Rogers was unable to fund the contract, so he went into business with William L. Evans of Evansburg, a practical gun maker.
Apparently about 1830, the Valley Forge Armory was leased by William L. Evans, who assumed the contract and manufactured pistols between the years 1830-1831, 

The pistols are marked "W. L. Evans V. Forge 1831 USN". 
It is a .54 caliber smoothbore flintlock with iron mountings including an iron backstrap from the tang to the buttcap with an iron belt hook.The barrel bands are secured by springs. It has a swivel type steel ramrod and a brass flash pan.


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