The Tucker & Sherrard (and later Sherrard & Clark) is one of the more interesting Texas Confederate revolvers. The company initially was granted a contract with the Texas state government to provide 100 revolvers per month at $50 each, and took a total of $10,000 of investment capital from the state to start up their operation. However, aside from a few initial samples they never managed to deliver any guns to the state.
What appears to have been happening was that they were making guns, but selling them out the back door to private individuals, because the guns would easily bring $100 on the open market thanks to the arms shortages of the Confederacy. In the meantime, the company was delivering a whole series of excuses to Texas about why there were no deliveries – unavailable materials, conscripted workers, and fears of national CSA agents confiscating the guns. Texas finally had enough of this, and dissolved the contract, requiring the company to repay its seed capital with interest. Thanks to the serious inflation plaguing the Confederate currency, though, the repaid amount was only worth about half of its initial value.
This particular Tucker & Sherrard is one of the ”low hammer” models, which handles much better than a standard Dragoon pattern revolver. Only three of these are known to exist (serial numbers 52, 54, and 56), and they seem to have been an experiment by the company for purposes unknown.
Hi guys thanks for tuning in to another Video on Forgotten weapons calm imean I am here today at the James Giulia Auction house I’m taking a look at some Of the guns that they have coming up for Sale in their March of 2016 auction and They actually have a remarkable number Of Confederate revolvers here including A similarly remarkable number of Texas Confederate revolvers and this is one of Them this is a Tucker and Sherrod low Hammer revolver there are three of these Known to exist all actually very close In serial number this is number 52 the Others are 54 and 56 and so I think the Story behind the Tucker and share it is Really pretty interesting you know Sometimes people go into a war Especially the Civil War with really High-minded patriotic ideals and Sometimes that works out well and Sometimes it doesn’t quite this is an Example of it not quite working out Quite so well so this starts in February Of 1862 When an advertisement appears in Lancaster Texas that a conglomerate of Guys is making guns and they’ll be happy To sell you guns this group included Included Tucker and sherrod and really It was a mixture of some businessmen and Some mechanics blacksmiths Pistol workers they knew what they were Doing they were capable of building
These guns and the Texas military board Saw this ad and was quite interested the South and Texas both were in in pretty Serious need of armaments for the Civil War and didn’t have the big Manufacturing plants like North did so The the Texas military board writes to The lieutenant governor of Texas a guy Named Crockett not Davy Crockett Different Crockett and basically says Hey we’re really interested we we could Use some revolvers do you think you Could talk to these guys and Crockett Responds that he knows who they are and And this is you know they’re well Incapable of doing this project and then He in his own somewhat self-serving way Takes without having previously told Tucker and shared about this he take he Approaches them and says basically if You make me a Co partner I’ll guarantee You a military contract knowing the Whole time that he’s already got a Military contract and it Because the military really wants these Guns so Tucker and chair take him up on The offer He becomes a co partner and shares in Whatever profit may be realized from This enterprise and they negotiate with Texas and what they end up getting is a $5,000 down payment investment seed Capital for start-up costs and to get Some extra machinery and they say that
They can produce a hundred pistols a Month and they can start delivering in May of 1862 which is pretty cool that’s That’s only a couple months away this is An ambitious project they will deliver Guns of equal quality to Colt they say And Texas agrees to take as many as they Can build up to 3,000 and pay them $40 For Navy models and $50 for army models And it appears that they pretty much Stuck with the army models 44 caliber Guns so Texas is gonna pay them 50 bucks Apiece for the guns cool good job they Presumably start get ready for Production and the end of June 1862 Rolls around and other than an initial Sample or two there haven’t been any Guns delivered to Texas and the military Board starts writing saying basically What’s up where’s our guns you said we’d Have a hundred guns last month and now It’s June and we don’t have any what’s Going on and this begins over a year’s Worth of correspondence between the Company and the military board where Basically the company comes up with this Continuous unending series of excuses as To why they don’t have any guns they and Funny most of their complaints center Around the Confederate government itself They say that CSA agents are basically Roaming the countryside buying up all Potential raw materials to make things Like guns which is probably true of
Course you’ve got the Texas government Here and you also have the Confederate National government and the national Government had its own firearms making Enterprises and it was trying to supply Materials for them so these guys in Texas are having to compete with the Confederate government to buy materials Now it’s probably not quite as bad as They claim When they’re trying to come up with Excuses for why they don’t have any Pistols to sell to Texas But yes it’s a potentially legitimate Excuse they also claim that their Workers are being conscripted that Things like you know we got we got a Bunch of materials and tools and they Were on a wagon being shipped here and The driver got conscripted enroute and The shipment got lost you know literally Their excuses are things like this Conscription was a big deal at the time The Confederacy was conscripting Able-bodied men to go and fight however Of course if you’re in the arms industry In theory you should be exempt from that Because I was a critical occupation and I think that was a significant factor in A lot of the employment at the Tucker And Sheridan Sherrod plant they do Complain that their workers are being Conscripted but they put in quite a lot Of effort to make sure that they get
Those guys back and that more people Aren’t grabbed from the factory and sent To fight in the war so ultimately this Goes on and on until September of 1863 Oh I forgot to mention October of 62 Despite still having not produced any Pistols at this point they claim they’ve Got like four hundred guns just about Ready and they’re almost there and you Know we’re kind of afraid to put the Last finishing touches on because we Don’t want the Confederacy to come in And what they called press or steel Liberate they don’t want the Confederacy To come in and confiscate all the Pistols just as they’re finished so They’re not quite done yet but you know They’re getting really close and they Managed to wheedle another $5,000 Capital investment out of the state of Texas so they’ve now gotten 10 grand in And they have produced no pistols or at Least they have sent no pistols to Texas Because in a lot of these letters They’re constantly also just kind of Mentioning that you know that $50 price That we’re pretty happy with well we can Sell these guns for like $100 without Even trying because there’s a huge Shortage of guns they mention this every Time and it seems none let me finish the The production story I guess September Of 63 finally Texas has had enough and They’re like alright screw this that
This has gone on far too long And they actually absolve the company of Its contract in exchange for a repayment Of that ten thousand dollars of seed Capital plus interest eight hundred and Fourteen dollars in interest so you Might be thinking okay well if they’re Scamming Texas they didn’t really do a Very good job because they ended up Repaying and they legitimately did repay All the money well keep in mind this is The Confederacy during the Civil War and Their currency has been inflating pretty Heavily this whole time and what they Actually repaid was about fifty percent Of the value of what they’d gotten Simply because the currency had inflated And lost half its value so these guys Made a pretty good deal that way they Made five thousand dollars in a single Year which is a significant amount of Money in 1862 63 now granted they spent A lot of that money hiring people doing Work setting up machinery because and This is where it continues to get more Interesting Tucker and sherrod revolvers Have shown up aside from these three low Hammer models there are four more Documented examples with serial numbers Up to one hundred and twenty-nine some Of these guns show a lot of holster Where they were clearly out and used in In military service so it appears that What Tucker ensured were actually doing
Was they were legitimately making Pistols but then they were selling them Unmarked out the back of the shop to People who are willing to pay a hundred Bucks for a private sale pistol because They needed something rather than box Them all up and ship them to Texas for Half that much money so they’re kind of Playing both ends of this and by they Got their seed capital from Texas that Let them get going they repaid it but They repaid it at an inflated devalued Rate they seem to have made out pretty Well now The story gets a little more interesting When we look in 1867 in the Dallas Herald an ad appears by a couple of guys A group of guys selling pistols and it Turns out they are shared and Clark Clark being one of the former employees Of the pistol factory and all the sudden They say they have about four hundred Pistols of you know 44 caliber dragoon Style as good as a Colt they’re happy to Sell you now some of the early sources Get A lot of this material a bit wrong we Have better information now than what’s In a number of the books that are out There It appears that what happened was they Actually had a decent number of leftover Parts and Clark insured and a couple of There of business associates and other
Workers got together after the war and Kept building these guns the same things That they’ve been selling out the back Door to private people in Texas they Started making again in 1867 the parts Are not exactly the same as the known Wartime guns so they’re not just a Stockpile of pistols that were left over And resold after the war the loading Levers and the barrel blanks the Dimensions are close enough that they Were probably made from existing not Quite finished components the rest of The pieces are different so so there you Go that’s the basic story of Tucker and Sherrod now this as I mentioned at the Beginning is a low hammer model why Don’t I bring the camera back here I Will tell you why that’s different and We’ll take a look at some of the other Distinguishing features of the Tucker And Sherrod revolvers so a low hammer This hammer spur if you’re familiar with The Colt Dragoon is in fact straight and Lower than you would normally expect Typically on a Colt they curve up here Like this now right off the bat I can Tell you this is a better design you can Actually reach this from a firing grip Which you can’t really do on a proper Cold so why Tucker and chair didn’t do More guns like this is really kind of a Good question there are three that are Known to exist in this configuration 50
To 54 and 56 this is number 52 for a Long time these were called Mormon Dragoons because the first one of them Found and publicized was found up in Utah and it was just kind of Automatically assumed that it would have Been a product of Jonathan browning John M Browning’s father it turns out that That’s bunk there’s absolutely no Evidence that these were made by Jonathan Browning and in fact they can Form other than this hammer they conform In every way to a tuckerton tucker and Shared so no doubt these are tucker and Shared pistols and clearly they made a Short run of experimental low hammer Versions could have been they had a Specific request from someone who wanted To buy guns in Configuration could be something totally Different we just don’t know and we Probably never will because there’s no Documentation so in every other way These match up feature wise as being Tucker and sherrod guns and there are a Couple distinguishing points that aren’t Necessarily visible immediately to the Eye the first off is that this cylinder Is actually about a quarter inch shorter Than a Colt Dragoon cylinder they’re all The Tucker insured guns share the same Cylinder measurements and they’re all a Little bit short the wartime production Ones have a square backed trigger guard
When Clark and sherrod started selling Pistols after the war they had a rounded Trigger guard as well as some other Dimensional differences so this square Trigger guard is indicative and then one Of the other interesting features are The screws at the back of the back strap Here actually have particularly large Screw heads to them and so even when They’re tightened down they stick out a Bit that’s unusual so here’s kind of an Additional weird detail these two screws Are serial numbered but they’re serial Numbered in Roman numerals each of these This you wouldn’t necessarily know it From just this one but this is an AI or Roman numeral 2 this is serial number 52 Pistol they’re also photos out there of Number 56 which has a VI inscribed on Each of these screws why they did that Absolutely no idea but that is a Distinctive feature of Tucker and shared One of the other distinctive features is There’s no loading cut out right here Typically on a Colt style revolver You’ll have a relief cut here so that You have extra space to place a Cartridge or not a cartridge a Projectile when you’re loading it of Course load with the ramrod the lever The latch on this gun is loose sorry About that Tucker insured didn’t bother to cut this Out why they didn’t don’t really know
You what you would have to do to load This is load your powder place the ball And and then rotate the cylinder around Until the ball is underneath the ramming Lever so like I said couple distinctive Features there you won’t find markings On The barrel strap here of a wartime gun The post-war guns were inscribed Clarke And sherrod Lancaster Texas so that’s Another way to distinguish between the Two versions of the gun overall this One’s in fantastic shape for a Confederate Civil War pistol usually Guns of this sort of provenance are beat To crap and really worn out you can see Serial numbered parts here the loading Lever this is pretty typical of colt Style pistols the front of the barrel The frame the trigger guard on the butt And on the cylinder 52 all around thanks For watching guys I hope you enjoyed the Video this is a really cool chance to Get a look at an exceptionally rare Piece of Texas firearms history and I Appreciate it hope you guys enjoyed it As well if you would like to purchase This one yourself add it to your own Collection it is a very actually a Remarkably good condition example of a Pistol like this a Confederate wartime Texas pistol take a look at the Description text below you will find There a link to the james juliet catalog
Page on this pistol can take a look at Their high-res pictures and read their Description and see their provenance and If you decide you’d like it you can Place a bid through the website or come Up here to maine and participate in the Auction life thanks for watching You