Aviation & Aerospace Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks U.S. Military Pay Special Forces DoD Dictionary (Alpha-to-Zulu) Military Alphabet Code

Spiller & Burr Model 1861

Percussion Cap Revolver

Confederate States | 1861

"The Spiller and Burr Model 1861 revolver was a modernized Confederate copy of the earlier Whitney Revolver design."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/14/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
During the American Civil War (1861-1865), James H. Burton took on a commission as Lieutenant Colonel for the Confederate Army with a role of ensuring forces had the tools to see a Southern victory through. This entailed getting all manner of capable firearms into the hands of fighting forces so he joined Virginia businessmen Edward N. Spiller and David J. Burr in founding the arms concern of "Spiller & Burr" to produce as many as 15,000 revolver pistols for the Army - these to be based on the Colt Navy Model 1836 revolver firing the .36 caliber ball.

Burton, however, elected to pursue the still-in-production Whitney Revolver which he felt was the better choice and, after convincing authorities, the deal was put in place to produce a modernized form of the Whitney type in .36 caliber. Like the original, this would entail a percussion cap firing action and all other qualities of the gun would be comparable including its solid frame. One advantage in the new design was lower production costs. An octagonal barrel was featured that incorporated blued steel and measured 7 5/8" long.

Early models (about 37% of the stock of the 52 submitted) suffered various defects which resulted in examples being shipped back to Spiller & Burr for reworking. At this point, two production types were identified: the "First Model, First Type" (12 examples) and the "First Model, Second Type" (40 examples). Due to the Union Blockade, brass was used in place of the much-needed steel but production was destined to never meet expectations due to external circumstances.

Before the end of 1861, the Spiller & Burr Richmond, Virginia-based plant was relocated further south to better protect its output from encroaching Union forces. It first ended at Macon, Georgia but - after General Sherman's surprising takeover of Atlanta - tooling was moved again, this time to Savannah, Georgia. With the demand and restrictions of war, just 1,451 of the 15,000 contracted pistols were made (about 9.7%) and quality accordingly deteriorated as the conflict went on - material substitutions were commonplace throughout its production run.

Its history, coupled with its low production run totals, make the Spiller & Burr revolver one of the more pricey arms to emerge from the American Civil War - proving something of a rarity in today's gun collector's market.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Spiller & Burr Model 1861. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
150 ft
45.7 m | 50.0 yds
The physical qualities of the Spiller & Burr Model 1861. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
330 mm
12.99 in
O/A Length
193 mm
7.60 in
Barrel Length
2.00 lb
0.91 kg
Percussion Cap
.36 Ball
Six-round revolving cylinder.
Notable series variants as part of the Spiller & Burr Model 1861 Percussion Cap Revolver family line.
Model 1861 (First Model, First Type) - Initial production batch numbering just twelve examples.
Model 1861 (First Model, Second Type) - Second production batch numbering forty examples.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Spiller & Burr Model 1861. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Spiller & Burr - Confederate States

[ ]
Going Further...
The Spiller & Burr Model 1861 Percussion Cap Revolver appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)