January 06, 2022
Question: I have a pistol that was handed down to me by my uncle. It was originally owned by my great grandfather who lived in central Georgia and worked as a blacksmith. The maker is “BACON”, and a Google search showed the company manufactured a number of arms in the mid-to-late 1800s. The condition seems to be typical of wear and age. My family has always owned items to use and not for show. It is a .31-caliber ball-and-cap, and there is a “92” number under the grips. My uncle was, perhaps, the last person to actually fire it when he was a kid. I have attached a picture of my great grandfather on the far left standing next to a woman who I believe was his sister. It shows her holding a revolver that I think may be the same pistol. I am curious to find out everything I can about this revolver, and was hopeful you might share what you may know. Value is not my objective; I doubt it will ever be sold.
-T.A. via Email
Answer: A moderate number of .31-caliber percussion pocket revolvers were made by the Bacon Manufacturing Company of Norwich, Connecticut, between 1858 and 1867. While about 1,400 were sold with “BACON” markings, they were also offered with the names of other dealers. Yours is a First Model, also known as the “Excelsior.” It has an engraved cylinder scene, a feature that was lacking on the Second Model. Barrel lengths were 4, 5, and 6 inches. Both round and octagonal barrels were used, the former being the most common.
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