Rare Confederate Leech and Rigdon Revolver #1386
Rare Confederate Leech and Rigdon Revolver #1386 – This Leech and Rigdon, perhaps one of the finest extant examples remaining today, was manufactured in Greensboro, Georgia, Spring, in 1864, on Confederate contract; of note is the CSA inspector Wescom Hudgens’ diamond cartouche impressed at base of butt, in the wood. There was an estimated total production of 2,400 these revolvers. This gun was amongst those sent to the Confederate ordnance department at Augusta, Georgia.
This revolver exhibits Iron construction, a blued finish, with a case-hardened frame, brass trigger guard and backstrap. The serial number “1386”appears on all external parts, including the trigger guard, backstrap, cylinder, wedge, loading lever lug, cylinder frame and barrel frame. The grips are of a dark walnut. The top of the barrel is stamped “LEECH & RIGDON CSA”.
All major and minor parts are 100% original and distinctly of L&R manufacture. The joinery remains tight, although the cylinder does not index. The gun has an overall, highly pleasing dark patina; traces of original to manufacture, bright blue remain. The rest of the blued finish remains, in an overall oxidized, plum-brown state . The left side of the barrel contains a pitted blemish resulting from past improper storage. This minor blemish has been minimally treated and stabilized and does not detract from the overall patinated presentation. All of the brass parts are smooth and display a pleasing plum-brown color, as well. The walnut grips are smooth, with only a few minor scratches and dings. This gun was never subjected to heavy wear, therefore all of the original machining marks are evident throughout, especially the lathe-marks on the barrel and the cylinder. The rifling in the bore is well preserved. The #1 in all of the serial numbers was stamped with a broken die, consistent with other L&R’s in this serial range. The cryptic mark (bench assembly mark) is (four dots resembling cloverleaf).
This rare revolver was found in 2011, in Lexington, Virginia. It was found discovered within the joist supports of an attic. The barrel rested on the joist support, causing the previously mentioned blemish. The gun was taken to the local antique mall where it was sold. Ongoing research is under way to determine if there is any additional provenance, thereby explaining the pistol’s appearance in Lexington. This exact revolver was a featured artifact in First and Last…To Pay The Price: Brownsburg’s Civil War Story; it appears as part of the cover art and is photographed, in color, on page 31, of the book. There is a register of all known Leech & Rigdon, and Rigdon & Ansley revolvers, and this gun is now on that register, by serial number and description. This is an important and highly significant weapon which ranks amongst the finest of examples of this rare Confederate revolver.