BILLINGS — Reno Babcock Auctions in Billings is no stranger to selling guns, but it's not every day they sell a rare pistol from the Civil War. In this case, a 1850s Cooper Percussion Revolver in mint conduction.
“I had a consignor come in with a collection of firearms,’ said Reno Babcock, owner of the auction house. “And as I was doing research, I stumbled upon this little revolver. I didn’t recognize the name of it. So I figured I better dig a little deeper. And that is one of the fun parts about the business is getting to call clients and say, ‘You don’t know what you have here.’“
The revolver is in very good condition for its age, which is one of the reasons Babcock thinks it wasn’t used in combat. Still, it has lived a life, and one of the most unique aspects of this gun is its serial number.
“This particular model is serial number six,” said Babcock. “Which they believe makes it either a presentation model or a test model. The original patent date is 1851 and the last patent date on it is 1863. There were fewer than 15,000 of them produced, from what we can find. And more than likely, that’s the original holster as well. It is threadbare in a couple of spots, but it still functions. I hope I function that well when I am that age.”
The Cooper Percussion Revolver and many other lots are currently up for auction online.
“It’s exciting,” said Babcock. “To be able to hold a piece of history in your hands and just wish that it could talk to you.”
One thing is certain. No matter what you pay for this one-of-a-kind piece, you are sure to get a historic bang for your buck.
For more information or to make a bid, log onto the auction site here.