Chapter 1.6.5 - Currently Recognized Miniatures of Uberti Confederate States (CS) Percussion Revolvers 

Displayed on the Confederate States Flag are four CS percussion revolver miniatures from the Hunzinger Collection (from top): #PM02 GTNW Schneider & Glassick .44 cal. "Army", #PM03 GTNW Griswold & Gunnison .44 cal. "Army", PM05 Dance & Brothers .36 cal., #PM01 Griswold & Gunnison .36 cal. 

GTNW - Guns That Never Were or Fantasy Revolvers: The two .44 cal. miniatures fitted with rebated cylinders and stepped frames, respectively (like Colt 1860 Armies) of the Schneider & Glassick and the Griswold & Gunnison pictured above follow the general contours of the other .36 caliber pistols. 

Nonethelsss, they represent examples of fantasy revolvers. Their originals are known with straight .36 cal. cylinders only! 

.44 cal. rebated cylinders combined with stepped frames in Griswold & Gunnisons or Schneider & Glassicks are not heard of.

Likewise Dance & Brothers Navy steel frame pistols (third pistol from top) are documented with a round triggerguard, wedge without spring, a totally blued finish of steel part only, i.e. no case colors and without remnants of the recoil shields.

Of the Uberti assortment of CS percussion revolver miniatures three basic models were discovered and added to the Hunzinger Collection. They comprise the 1860 Schneider & Glassick (sub-chapter 1.6.5.1), 1862 Dance & Brothers (sub-chapter 1.6.5.2) and 1862 Griswold & Gunnison (sub-chapter 1.6.5.3). 

Common Denominators of most CS Percussion Revolvers: The originals were constructed between 1860 and 1862. Except for the 1862 Dance & Brothers they share a few characteristics:

  • They are .36 cal. six-shoters,
  • follow the Colt 1851 Navy design pattern,
  • Their cylinders are straight,
  • lack the Ormsby enraving.
  • The regular barrel length is 7,5".
  • Frames were of gun metal a bronce alloy where iron and/or steel was not available.

When you scroll down to sub-chapter 1.6.5.2, you find the specifics on the 1862 Dance & Brothers.

1.6.5.1. 1860 Schneider & Glassick: The Schneider & Glassicks are Confederate 1851 Navy style brass frame, triggerguard and backstrap percussion revolvers with 7,5" octagon barrels and 6-shot plain and straight cylinders of .36. caliber. 

Rebated cylinders and stepped brass frames of two Uberti miniature CS percussion revolvers make for cute GTNW (top down): Round barreled #PM03 Griswold & Gunnison, octagon barreled #PM02 Schneider & Glassick

Comparative view of two Uberti made Schneider & Glassick percussion revolvers displayed on the Tennessee State Flag (top down): Period correct replica "father" with straight cylinder in .36 cal. #027752 year code XX8 (1972, courtesy Wolf D. Niederastroth Collection) vs. fantasy miniature "son" #PM01 with stepped frame and rebated cylinder in .44 cal. 

Between 1860 and 1862 these pistols were produced by William Schneider and Frederick Glassick of Memphis, Tennessee. They were marked SCHNEIDER & GLASSICK, MEMPHIS, TENN.. Originals are an extremely rare find. Historians questimate production at one (1) revolver a week for likely less than 20 but certainly no more than 55.1) Only a handful is known to have survived.2)

Three views of Schneider & Glassick "Army" miniature #PM02: The stepped frame to accommodate the .44 cal. rebated cylinder makes it a fantasy pistol, ditto the caliber stamp on the left shoulder of the triggerguard 

1.6.5.2 1862 Dance & Brothers:

Revolvers by Dance & Brothers of Columbia, Texas, are some of the most distinctive guns to come out of the South. The .44 cal. Army or Dragoon version was modeled after the Colt Dragoon, it's size between Dragoon and Navy, however. The .36 Navy Dance was modeled after the Colt 1851 Navy. Production began in 1862 but the exact number of units produced is unknown. Estimates range from 325 to 500 only. 

The Dance & Brothers revolvers are equipped with steel frames. Most lack a recoil shield on both sides of the frame which gives them this distinguishing flat look. 

The majority of the Dance & Brothers revolvers – estimated at 70 to 85 % of the total production - were .44 cal. variants. Hence, few specimens are recorded in .36 cal. only which the Uberti miniature resembles. Dance percussion revolvers have been found with a round triggerguards only.

THEY CALL ME TRINITY4) and TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME5) are Spaghetti Western comedies. They are often described as the films that destroyed the spaghetti westerns but saved the Italian movie industry. Be that as it may, they revitalized the genre and catapulted Terence Hill and Bud Spencer to international stardom. 

Hill in the lead role as Trinity aka the fastest gun of the West totes a 1860 Schneider & Glassick percussion revolver in .36 cal. Purists will raise their eyebrows at his gun belt, however. Because it sports a row of cartridges as the fodder of his cap & baller.

View of elegant Dance & Brothers miniature #PM05 displayed on the Texas State Flag: Note round barrel with blade front sight, straight .36 cal. cylinder w/o engraving, but remnants of recoil shields, brass squareback triggerguard 

Contemporary picture of Samuel Griswold *December 27, 1790 to † September 14, 1867

References

1. Schmidt, C.: CONFEDERATE BRASS FRAMED REVOLVERS: MYTHS & REALITIES, Part 3, The Authentic Campaigner, April 13, 2014

2. Davis, J. L.: SCHNEIDER & GLASSICK – THE "ACCIDENTAL" REPLICA REVOLVERhttp://rprca.tripod/Schneider.html

3. Albaugh, W. A., Benet, H., Simmons, E. N.: CONFEDERATE HANDGUNS, 1963, page 185

4. Western Movie: THEY CALL ME TRINITY, 1970

5. Western Movie: TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME, 1971

6. Metesh, L.: CONFEDERATE REVOLVERS: J. H. DANCE & BROTHERS, Dec. 16, 2016

7. Western Movie: THE LAST DAYS OF FRANK AND JESSE JAMES, 1986

2. Western Movie: QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER, 1990

3. Western Movie: BANDIDAS, 2006

10. Western TV series: HELL ON WHEELS, pilot of season 1, 2011

 

October 28, 2020/WDN

Very Limited Production only: To the best of our knowledge models of these Uberti Confederate States percussion revolver miniatures have surfaced in Europe only. Our research indicates they never reached regular production status. 

Assumingly ten (10) specimens per model would be the maximum number assembled by Uberti's team of miniature gun artists but more likely less were made.

Like their full sized replicas the Uberti miniatures of the Schneider & Glassick and Griswold & Gunnison are fitted with frames and triggerguards made of brass. As far as the triggerguards are concerned brass is correct but yesteryear's frames of these CS models were made of gun metal.

The Uberti miniature of the Schneider & Glassick #PM02 in the Hunzinger Collection features the stepped bass frame and rebated .44 cal. cylinders without engraving, i.e. in "Army" configuration. 

Despite this "wrong", not period correct assembly this miniature not only looks cute but it is super rare, too, hence a desirable collector's piece. 

Hopefully one of these days we can add a Schneider & Glassick miniature in the historically correct .36 caliber configuration to the Hunzinger Collection.

Confederate States' Griswold & Gunnison percussion revolvers with different barrel lengths have been found in a few more or less recent western movies like carried by Johnny Cash as Frank James in THE LAST DAYS OF FRANK AND JESSE JAMES7), or the iconic film QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER used by Ben Mendelsohn as one of the ranch hands named O'Flynn8).

Also Salma Hayek as Sara Sandoval puts one to good use in BANDIDAS9) and so does Anson Mount as former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon in the pilot episode of season 1 of the HELL ON WHEELS10)  TV series.

1.6.5.3. 1862 Griswold & Gunnison: Samuel Griswold, one of the South's leading cotton gin manufacturers, founded Griswoldville, an industrial viliage in Jones Country, Georgia. The town was located on the Central of Georgia Railways. At the outbreak of the American Civil War Samuel Griswold's Griswold Cotton Gin Factory in Griswoldville, Georgia, was leased to the Confederate government and retooled to make pistols and munitions. 

As indicated above the Uberti miniature gun artists seem to have elected their own interpretation of the famous design in the making of this Dance & Brothers percussion revolver. The use of the Navy platform with round triggerguard would have been historically correct for this .36 caliber Dance. Insofar as the remnants of the recoil shields I cannot fathom why that occurred. Because they did that right on their small scale commemorative .36 Dance from 1985 production.

Two historically pretty correct round barreled, straight .36 cal. cylinders and frames of Uberti miniature CS percussion revolvers (top down): Flat steel framed #PM05 Dance & Brothers, #PM01 Griswold & Gunnison brasser

Here is an interesting quote found in the "bible" on Southern handguns titled CONFEDERATE HANDGUNS3): "…one may wonder if the firm (Schneider & Glassick) actually existed, but it did. This is shown by the customary exaggerated newspaper praise which usually greeted the advent of a new, locally produced weapon. Appearing in the Memphis, Tennessee, Daily Appeal on December 8, 1861, the article is so short as to be terse, but also managed to overstate the truth somewhat."

"Memphis Manufacture – We were yesterday shown, by Messrs. Schneider and Glassick, of Jefferson Street between Front and Main Streets, a six-shooter Navy pistol of their own manufacture. It is a beautiful weapon, not inferior to the Colt's make in any particular. The finish of the whole, the accuracy of the parts, and the excellent working of the mechanism are admirable. Iron, brasswork and woodwork are all specimens of skill. We are proud that Memphis can turn out such splendid workmanship."

Incidentally, many contemporaries believed the Dance revolvers to be a superior design. In September 1862, the Houston Tri-Weekly called the guns "superior to Colt's best" in one of their columns6).

Griswold was the largest Confederate manufacturer of handguns until it was destroyed by Union General William T. Sherman's forces during the "March to the Sea" on November 20, 1864. 

Between 1862 and 1864 the factory produced approx. 3,700 percussion revolvers. 

Three Uberti made Griswold & Gunnison percussion revolvers presented on the Georgia State Flag where these pistols were manufactured during the Civil War (top down): Replica "father#16158 year code XXVI (1970; courtesy Wolf D. Niederastroth Collection) vs. two "son" miniatures; #PM01 fitted with period correct straight .36 cal. cylinder, GTNW #PM03 with rebated .44 cal. cylinder installed and stepped frame to accommodate the "Army" cylinder

Pair of Uberti Griswold & Gunnison percussion revolver miniatures (top down): #PM3 in .44 vs. #PM1 in .36 cal. variant

The revolvers produced at the Griswoldville factory feature the Dragoon-style octagon barrel lug with round barrel, a brass pin front sight, brass frame of 1851 Navy pattern, triggerguard and backstrap and one-piece walnut grip.

Two views of period correct Uberti's Griswold & Gunnison miniature #PM01: Note straight, not engraved .36 cal. cylinder, 36 CAL stamped on shoulder of triggerguard. 5 € cent coin is added for size comparison

The revolver was first called the Griswold & Grier revolver and later on Griswold & Gunnison, after Arvin Nye Gunnison, Griswold's business partner.

Like their originals the Uberti miniatures of the Griswold & Gunnison were made with straight cylinders in .36 cal., round barrels with post sights and Dragoon style barrel lugs. That is the historically correct version. 

The Uberti miniature pictured below with stepped brass frame and rebated in .44 cal. is a fantasy pistol. 

Both Griswold & Gunnison caliber variants are also available as Uberti replicas.

Three views of Uberti's Griswold & Gunnison "Army" miniature #PM03 in .44 cal. "Army" configuration: The rebated cylinder and stepped frame make it a fantasy pistol, ditto 44 CAL stamped on shoulder of the triggerguard. 5 € cent piece is added for size comparison

William E. Irwin: A cabinet postcard photograph of prominent Apache leader and medicine man Geronimo *June 1929 - †February 17, 1909, classic Indian Territory portrait of Geronimo holding a CS Dance & Brothers revolver

During Setember/October 2020 Austrian Master Karl Nedbal transformed Uberti Colt 1851 Navy #80802 into a historically correct .36 Dance & Brothers "father" with all blued steel parts, round triggerguard, wide loading opening in barrel lug etc. of Uberti miniature "son" #PM05.