Metropolitan Navy Model 1864
Percussion Cap Revolver
When the Colt East Armory was lost to fire during the American Civil War, Metropolitan Arms took to producing copies of the Colt Navy revolver.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
In 1864, Colt's East Armory erupted into flames which destroyed all but two of its buildings. The event could not have happened at a worse time for the concern for America was embroiled in a Civil War and US government contracts were readily available. With the need for more and more guns for the war effort ever growing, the now-damaged Colt production lines needed assistance in keeping up with demand. As such, the Metropolitan Arms Company of New York stepped in to offer production of Colt revolver copies, giving rise the oft-forgotten species of revolver known simply as the "Metropolitan Navy Percussion".
The Navy Percussion was, by all accounts, an exact copy of the original Colt Navy sidearms. The copies went as far as recreating the navy scene engravings depicted along the cylinder. Of course Metropolitan guns were marked with the Metropolitan Arms Company brand to differentiate between them and the Colt originals. The design carried everything Colt along with it including the beautiful walnut hand grip, ergonomically shaped for a firm hold, the under-barrel loading lever and think trigger unit and integrated trigger ring. As in the Colt models, the hammer had to be manually actuated by the user to fire each subsequent round in the chamber and was thusly of "single-action" in origin. Ammunition was a .36 ball which followed the gunpowder into each chamber in a front-loading action. The contents of each chamber were then rammed home by managing the loading lever under the barrel - which needed to be pulled down to move the ramrod into each chamber mouth. The cylinder held six shots while the octagonal barrel measured 7.5 inches in length.
All told, Metropolitan Navy Percussion pistols were mechanically every bit as good as the original Colt design they represented.