The Confederate States of America didn’t have very much capacity for manufacturing small arms, and was happy to purchase guns from anyone who could make them. Among others who got into the gun-making business during the Civil War were the Dance brothers of Texas. They only managed to produce between 325 and 500 guns during the war, but they did have a formal contract from the CSA and their pistols are a bit more distinctive than most Confederate arms.
Howdy guys thanks for tuning in to Another video on Forgotten weapons calm I’m Ian I’m up here the James Giulia Auction house in Maine but I’m wearing a Big hat for this video because Texas Today we’re taking a look at a Confederate Civil War revolver from the One and only Confederate company Manufacturing guns in the great state of Texas that was the J H dance and company Company and they manufactured in total Somewhere between about 325 and about 500 revolvers through the course of the Civil War so it wasn’t a whole lot you Know that the Confederate states didn’t Have a whole lot of heavy industry they Didn’t have all that much gun production Going on and so what little there was Has become extremely collectible these Days so the damps brothers it was I Believe three brothers and a cousin who All moved to Columbia or just north of Columbia Texas on the river Brazos they Set up a factory sort of basically an Industrial company and they did all Manner of things they had a grist mill At first when the Civil War broke out They started doing work for the Confederacy of course and early on this Work was kind of a lot of miscellaneous Stuff they did work on cannon carriages Mounting mounting cannon but by late 1861 early 1862 they decided to convert Their factory into manufacturing
Revolvers so they had a couple reasons To do this of course I’m sure they Wanted to help the war effort at the Time they also well they thought this Would be a good way to make some money They were able to get a cash advance From the state of Texas to set up the Machinery that would be required to make Guns they did this on a promise of being Able to make 50 revolvers a week that They could deliver to Confederate Arsenal’s didn’t quite work out that way Obviously you know they were doing this In 1862 and by the end of the war they’d Produced at most 500 guns so the math Doesn’t quite work out ultimately what Was supposed to be the first 50 Revolvers turned into eleven that were Delivered but they frankly there weren’t A whole lot of people actually making Guns in the south so this was tolerated At least Extent and they got paid for the guns That they were able to deliver now they Made revolvers in both 44 and 36 caliber Although like three-quarters of them Were 44 and the vast majority of the Surviving examples today are 44 caliber Guns they unlike some of unlike most of The Confederate revolvers they’re not Actually an exact copy of a specific Colt model so why don’t I bring the Camera back and let’s take a closer look At the details of the dance brothers
Revolver probably the best way to Describe briefly the the dance design is To say that it is a Colt Dragoon built On a Colt Navy revolver frame because The frame is actually a little bit Smaller than the Colt Dragoon this still Has an 8-inch barrel but it’s a bit Lighter than a standard 1848 Dragoon Weight on these is three pounds six Ounces so they are a pretty darn hefty Firearm regardless but the other Distinctive feature is that they don’t Have the recoil shield on the frame Normally on a colt you’ll see this large And enlarged out to cover the profile of The cylinder it’s not known exactly why They they remove that from the design Here there are apparently a couple very Early examples where you can tell that They had a recoil shield and it was Actually milled off at the factory the Best theory I’ve seen is that the raw Iron ingot that they were able to get to Make the guns was probably not thick Enough to include a recoil shield So they may have hand-built a couple at First with them and then when they Realized the the supply was going to be Tricky for production then decided to Standardize on not having that so that’s The most distinctive feature of these Guys they often well they had brass Frames brasses easier to work with Trigger guard shape is a bit distinctive
Compared to a colt you will see some Variation in these they weren’t always Able to get brass so sometimes you’ll See some other iron components on them Now beyond that this is a pretty Standard copy of of the overall colt Design we have our ramrod here which Works just as you would expect One interesting embellishment to this Particular pistol which is it’s a One-off thing is this silver Texas Are inlaid into the grip that’s not not Standard and in fact not known on any Other examples of authentic dance Revolvers they don’t have a marking on This one which is not uncommon it does However have serial numbers on most of The parts this is serial number 46 and You’ll see that all over the place on The gun this one looks like it’s in Pretty rough condition it’s actually Pretty good for a Confederate revolver These guns saw hard use from the 1860s Through for a very long time Guns were hard to come by gun for Valuable guns got used not very many of The Confederate guns got produced and Then sat in the box never to be issued Because the Confederacy just didn’t have Enough to begin with and anything they Could get their hands on would get used So almost all of the production of these Guns was done on in this factory on the Brazos 1863 however some of the Union
Forces started getting close this was Kind of down by the ocean there were a Little bit concerned about the factory Getting shelled or getting occupied so The brothers actually sold the factory To the Confederate government and the Confederacy proceeded to move it up to Anderson Texas this happened right at The end of 1863 they were moving in November/december and ultimately for Reasons that aren’t entirely clear they Were never really able to get production Started back up this new factory was in Sort of a group of munitions companies That were all set up together there was A powder factory there as well and a few Guns were delivered right at the end of The war something like 25 but after they Left Columbia production never really Came back at all so almost all the guns That were made were in this early period Of the war of course this one is for Sale one of the things you have to keep In mind with Confederate guns is that They have been copied and faked and Counterfeited for a very long time so You always want to if you’re in spend Serious money on a Confederate gun you Want to be very sure of its provenance And this one actually has excellent Provenance to it which is part of the Reason why I’m bringing it out on camera And it’s got some cool stuff like that Texas star in the grip
It’s a one-off thing there aren’t any Other known examples that have been Modified and embellished that way if you Would be interested in having this Yourself perhaps you are from Texas and Well if you are you certainly need Yourself a Texas revolver take a look at The link in the description text below That’ll take it to the Julia auction House catalog page on the gun you can Check out the provenance of it as well As their description and pictures and Everything else and place the bid online Or come down here up here probably to Participate in the auction life thanks For watching