Spiller & Burr 'Pistol-Carbine'
A Magnificent and Unique Spiller and Burr Confederate Revolver/Carbine ! Top of the barrel is stamped ‘South Carolina’ – William Albaugh Collection
The firm of Spiller and Burr, originally established in Richmond, Virginia and later moved to Atlanta, producing slightly more than only 700 revolvers for the Confederate Army, all made from 1863 until the very end of the war. Formed by Edward Spiller and David Burr, the company was bought out by the Confederate government due to production delays and the entire operation was moved to Macon, Georgia operated by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Burton where another 689 revolvers were making for a total production run of less than 1400. But very few of the Whitney design-copied Spiller and Burrs were ever made with the detachable shoulder stock such as this one-of-a-kind Spiller and Burr, serial numbered ‘120’. The revolvers were manufactured right up until the end of the war with Burton planning to move the operations to South Carolina as Sherman marched through Georgia.
This very revolver and shoulder stock are pictured on pages 19 and 20 of William Albaugh, Jr.’s famous work Confederate Arms. Published in 1957, this definitive book on Confederate weaponry written by the most well-known expert, Albaugh wrote than even more than a half century ago that this Confederate revolver with the shoulder stock is the only one known to exist and “quite rare”. This revolver and shoulder stock were actually owned by Albaugh until sold he to S. L. (Lew) Hutcheson in August 1957. Such rarity and excellent and distinguished provenance is unmatched among Confederate revolvers.
This Spiller and Burr .36 caliber revolver is a rarity, even among the others by the same maker. The rear sight is set into the frame of this 7 ½” revolver has all parts stamped with ‘120’ serial number, even the cylinder. ‘CS’ is stamped on the side of the brass frame with ‘South Carolina’ stamped on the top of the barrel, an extreme rarity in itself. The Roman numerals ‘IX’ (or ‘XI’) are carved into the custom-made shoulder stock and a ‘CS’ has been burned into the stock as well. This gun and shoulder stock are all original, just as described and pictured in Albaugh’s 1957 book. This is the rarest Pistol ever made for the Southern Confederacy, a museum piece and collection highlight.