Model 1842 single-shot percussion pistol. U. S. Dragoon 3H Cal.
The M1842's lockplate is held in place by two screws and its round smoothbore barrel is affixed to the stock via a screw in the barrel tang and a brass barrel band with a strap extension that joins the side plate. Manufactured to specs from Springfield Arsenal, the first guns were delivered to the government in late 1846. With the exception of its percussion ignition and brass furniture, the M1842 was an exact copy of the 1836 model. Like its predecessor, the heavy, walnut stocked '42 was designed for mounted use. It was equipped with a permanently affixed, swivel-type ramrod with a button-shaped head, while the opposite end was threaded for a ball-pulling screw or a wiper attachment. The .54 caliber single-shot horse pistol weighs in at 2 pounds, 12 ounces and measures 14 inches in overall length. Its 8½-inch round smoothbore barrel is held in place by a screw in the barrel tang and a brass barrel band with a strap extension that joins the side plate. The round butt cap/back strap is brass, as are the trigger guard and plate. Another departure from earlier models is that the trigger guard is attached to the trigger plate via a pair of spanner nuts, rather than being riveted. The lockplate bears the stamping "U.S./ H. Aston," on two lines in the center of the plate (forward of the hammer) and stamped behind the hammer are "MIDDTN/CONN" and the date of manufacture. Stamped on three lines on the barrel's breech, is "U.S./ inspector's initials/P" (proof mark). Another date stamping is found on the barrel tang. The sight is a simple brass blade front sight.
Civil War 1861-1864