Extremely Rare Confederate First Model Cofer Revolver - Serial No. 7

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  Lot #12  (Sale Order: 12 of 285)  
Sold for: $75,000.00 to onsite
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.36 caliber, 7.4375" octagonal barrel, S/N 7. Brass frame, blued barrel, case hardened hammer, checkered two-piece walnut grips. Single action, spur trigger, 6-shot percussion revolver with unique two-piece cylinder that uses Cofer's patented percussion ignition brass cartridges. Top strap marked in two lines: T.W. COFER'S PATENT / AUGUST 1861. Barrel marked in a single line: PORTSMOUTH VA. Bottom of butt marked No 7. No other markings present externally or internally. Sand cast brass frame with removable side plate on reverse, secured by two screws, allowing access to the action. Frame shows some minute casting flaws on the exterior and rougher workmanship and tool marks on the interior and on the bottom of the top strap. Iron barrel screwed into the solid brass frame with about 3.5 threads exposed inside the frame shows some minute apparent flaws under strong light and magnification. Fixed notch rear sight cast integrally with the frame, brass cone front sight about .25" from the muzzle. Seven-groove bore with extremely slow rate of twist, appearing nearly straight. Checkered round, spring-loaded push button release on front right side of frame allows withdrawal of the cylinder arbor pin to remove the cylinder for loading and unloading. Cylinder shows some minute streaky flaws and measures 2" in overall length, not including the .135" ratchet on the rear, with the removable section measuring .5". The main body of the cylinder is nominally 1.43" in diameter with the the slightly rebated removable rear section measuring nominally 1.42" in diameter. Cylinder chamber mouths vary slightly but nominally measure .393". Barrel measures nominally .368" at the breech and muzzle. Includes 6 brass empty Cofer percussion cartridges with percussion cone bases, two with conical lead bullets press fit into the brass cases. These appear to be museum quality replicas produced from original Cofer cartridges in the same collection. To date only two examples of the Type I, "split cylinder" or "patent cylinder" Cofer revolvers are known.

This exact revolver is pictured on page 145 of William Albaugh's Confederate Handguns with the photograph noted as courtesy of the National Rifle Association. When the revolver was discovered it had previously experienced a catastrophic failure that resulted in the forward portion of the topstrap and the top portion of the frame where the barrel screws in being blown away. No barrel was present in the photo. The frame showed a diagonal break through the topstrap that extended from just to the right of the letter "U" in "August" and traversed the letter "R" in "Cofer." For more details on this gun, please go to cowans.com 

Provenance: ex-Fred Slaton Collection

Condition: Very good as restored. Retains no finish on the replacement barrel with a lightly oxidized pewter gray patina showing some scattered age discoloration and evenly distributed pin pricking. Barrel marking remains mostly clear and legible with only the letter "M" in "Portsmouth" mostly obscured. Bore extremely dirty, moderately oxidized and evenly pitted. Hammer with traces of case coloring, most visible with the side plate removed. Brass frame and side plate with a wonderful, untouched deep mustard patina with hints of ocher. Side plate shows no remarkable prying or tool marks along the sharp edges. Both the original and restored markings on the repaired topstrap remain very crisp and clear, as does serial number on bottom of grip. The repair itself is all but undetectable. Revolver remains mechanically functional and times, indexes and locks up as it should. Grips remain in about good condition with wear and age and some old repairs. A small piece of reinforcement wood has been inlet into the interior of the left grip around the screw escutcheon and a triangular piece of wood has been repaired on the right grip along the backstrap measuring about 1.5" along the base at the backstrap with the two legs measuring roughly 1" in length and meeting at the grip screw escutcheon. Otherwise the grips show the bumps, dings and handling marks expected on a Civil War period revolver's grips. A wonderful restored example of one of the rarest of all revolvers of the Southern Confederacy.

EST $75000 - 150000

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This item is part of Arms & Armor:Premier Auction
 Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019 | 10:00 AM  Eastern
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Extremely Rare Confederate First Model Cofer Revolver - Serial No. 7
Extremely Rare Confederate First Model Cofer Revolver - Serial No. 7
Lot number: 12
Seller: Cowan's Auctions
Event: Arms & Armor:Premier Auction
Ends: Wednesday, December 4 | 10:00 AM  Eastern

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