This is a well-worn Kerr Revolver made by the London Armoury Co. was one of several thousand run through the blockade from Great Britain and into the Confederacy during the Civil War making it one of the most widely distributed of all Confederate sidearms. The grip has the Confederate viewer's mark on the bottom front of the checkered grips and reads "JS" with the anchor symbol underneath. Left side of frame marked "Kerr's Patent" with the serial number in the 4000 range. The lockplate is marked "London Armoury Co" as well as the left side of the frame in smaller fonts. The left side of the barrel on the uppper slant of the octagon is also marked with the London Armoury Proof "L.A.C." along with London Proofmarks. 5 shot cylinder in .44 Caliber.
Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Fair+ to Good condition with some well-done restoration. Like the vast majority of weapons used by the Confederacy, it shows prolonged usage and from its appearance, kept in less than ideal storage conditions. This revolver has had some cleaning and it looks like someone put in a great deal of time to bring this revolver back from its war-time and post war injuries. So no, this isn't a cream puff but its complete, its real, its Confederate, its JS Anchor marked, and its certainly a testament to the London Armoury Co who built it. A lesser gun could have never survived the demands placed upon this design. Best of all, it is price well under what you'd pay for Kerr revolver these days.
From experience, the body of this weapon must have been almost indestructible...they're just a big, almost clumsy looking hunk of iron! Kind of like what I've read about Ferrari's....you can wreck one, break it, run it off a cliff, but the frames are usually so tough, they can almost always be fixed. Kerr's are the same thing...just not as pretty! The barrels were cast integral with the topstrap, lug, and lower section of the frame. The grips were fortified by 4 pieces of metal...the lockplate, a butt cap, and an upper and lower tang. Yes, these were tough in terms of the main components and framework. However, other parts tended to have not survived as well. After several years of seeing these, it seems that the smaller moving parts on the outside of the guns tended to suffer the most. Today, you often find Kerr's with missing loading levers, broken hammers, pesky missing cylinder pins...which is often the result of almost obligatory broken and missing retaining spring located on the left side of the frame. How many Confederate Enfields have you seen with home-made blacksmith hammers, missing swivels, rear sights and ramrods? Kerr's aren't much different.
The afore-mentioned paragraph is common to a great many Kerr's and holds true for this gun as well. Its had the hammer, cylinder pin, and cylinder pin spring, and lanyard ring replaced while the loading lever appears to have had some restoration. Yet, aside from those common problem-areas has survived quite well with good checkered grips and fairly decent metal with markings that are mostly legible. The most important thing is that this gun is now complete due to someone putting forth a great effort. When it comes to Kerr parts, you can't just pick up the phone and order these. Each has to be hand-made which probably took someone a lot of hours to complete. Many Kerr's have not been so fortunate. Work-wise, they did a pretty good job.
The metal has been cleaned bright at some point although its starting to age back to a more neutral grey patina. It looks and photographs quite well. Grips are in good condition and surprisingly solid with good checkering throughout. There is even a little original varnish remaining up on the flat near the frame. The JS Anchor marking is still visible in spite of someone stamping the initials CL (pointed down towards the butt) partially over the anchor. The letters JS are fine and quite visible...but the letter C from the initials is partially over-lapping the cross-bar of the anchor and a little of the shaft...it actually missed most of it but you do have look at it a little closer. I'll try to take a decent photo of this...but bear in mind that pictures are only 2 dimensional interpretations....in person, the markings are easy to see. The mechanics are in fair condition. The hammer cocks on both half and full cock...and the cylinder rotates when the hammer is cocked some of the time...sometimes it doesn't want to....due to the trigger return spring appearing to be a little weak. All in all, a fairly good representative of a Confederate Kerr rifle. Currently, Kerr revolver bring 4-10,000 dollars. This one is the most affordable complete examples with a JS Anchor we've seen in several years....last one we had in this price range was about 3-4 years ago, a late one with no JS Anchor marking. If you're a Confederate collector but on a budget, this is a lot of gun for the money!