View Full Version : Found a Whitney revolver in a Texas farm field...

July 16, 2010, 10:20 PM
Found at a friends place today while clearing out some brush....

When I pull the hammer back it still locks into place and when I pull the trigger the hammer falls.

I can barely make out the manufacturers stamp on top of the barrel.

The Serial number is 25212



Is there a place I can find a cylinder and other parts to try and complete it?

Jim Watson
July 16, 2010, 10:38 PM
At one time there were reproduction Whitneys made. You could probably part out an Italian repro at not too great a cost.

The Spiller & Burr is a Confederate copy of the Whitney, repros still in production.
Whether it is a close enough copy to use its parts to finish out your dugup, I don't know.

July 16, 2010, 11:00 PM
If that gun could talk it would probably have some interesting tales to tell. Real cool find.

4V50 Gary
July 17, 2010, 02:01 AM
Good find! :D Spray a lot of oil down the mechanism or better yet, soak it in oil.

July 17, 2010, 07:22 AM
Would that pistol be more valuable if repaired with repo parts, or just cleaned up, as is?

July 17, 2010, 07:43 AM
There's a similiar Whitney relic in an antique shop in my area, that supposedly was dug up at Antietam. It has a price of $230 and it's been there for several years. I would take this one and clean it, maybe refinish it, and replace the cylinder and loading lever with parts from a Palmetto Whitney repro.
The serial number shows it to be a Second Model, 5th type.

Spiller & Burr repro cylinder on left, Whitney on right.

July 17, 2010, 08:10 AM
Rust removal with an electrolysis bath would clean that up nice and not damage anything.
Great find.
It is yours or the landowners?

July 17, 2010, 08:25 AM
Rust removal with an electrolysis bath would clean that up nice and not damage anything.


This is the best way to clean this partial revolver with out damage to the metal.

Here is a link on several DIY methods.

July 17, 2010, 08:04 PM
Great find! It would be interesting to know the story behind this one. If I were you, I'd go back to where you found it and scrounge around with a metal detector. You might find nothing . . . but then again, you might find something??? Would be interesting to know where the rest of it is. Good luck with it . . . . a find like that has to make your day! :)

July 18, 2010, 08:25 PM
It is considered in "relic" condition as it is. Removing the rust down to shiny pitted steel would do nothing to enhance the value, would decrease it. Maybe you could brush off some of the loose red rust with one of those little plastic handled wire brushes they sell in the hwdr. stores. Not a big honking wire brush with big stiff bristles. Then leave it brown or whatever the balance of the gun is. Hard to say how long it has been out there, but if it were there for 130 years or something, the wood grips would probably be fully gone. My suspicion is that sometime in the mid 20th century, some boys found it in an attic or something, took it out and used it as a toy, not having a clue or a practical use for a front stuffing revolver like that. Lost the parts and eventually dropped the gun outside. I once had a kit Whitney from Dixie Gun Works. Was about a rough piece, all heavy mill machine marks on all the parts. I only got it partially done. Lots and lots of tedious filing to get out those really deep machine marks and the grips were two sizes too big, crudely shaped and rough. So you might inquire to Dixie or E gunparts about repro parts floating around. Or you could take it to a gun show and make up a tall tale to try to sell it. Like most of them do. :rolleyes: PS or do nothing at all to it for the time being, anything you take off of it you cannot put back.

July 19, 2010, 10:54 AM
Nice find! Where, in what State, did you find it?

I agree with Tom2 that over-cleaning will diminish the value; and that the grips do look pretty good, so it hasn't been in the dirt since the War.
I'm researching Whitney Navy revolvers, and would like to add this to my data base, since we can see the serial #. (You will also find the serial # under the brass trigger guard & on the frame under the guard.....if the screw can be removed). Serial numbers should also be on the inside of the grips.
You might want to see if there is a military inspectors mark on the brass trigger guard, just forward of the trigger, or on the right side of the barrel near the frame. I have a few others in the low 25000 range that were martially marked.

July 19, 2010, 11:00 AM
Opps....I just reread the title and saw the State was Texas. :)


July 21, 2010, 01:15 PM
What do the military proof marks look like?

July 22, 2010, 06:30 PM
I see any old weapon and my mind starts to wander; how cool it would be to know the story.
Was someone disarmed and the gun was thrown in two different directions, were kids playing with grandads gun and lost it, or was it stolen from some poor elderly grandmother and discarded because they couldnt shoot it "gangster style".

It's ok, I'm back now, just a old age:o moment!

July 26, 2010, 04:04 PM
Sorry for the delay in replying.
The military inspector marks would be small letters (most often seen is a "B") on the left side of barrel near where it enters the frame; on the left frame near the barrel; on the right side of barrel near the frame; and on the brass trigger guard between the screw & trigger guard. May also be visible on the side of the cylinder near the nipples.
I attached a couple of pictures showing the "B" on the frame&barrel; and on the trigger guard.