The Manhattan Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. was founded by a group
of New Jersey businessmen in 1856. Their goal was to take advantage
of Colt’s patent for revolving firearms that was due to expire in 1857.
The founders hired Thomas Bacon to became the Superintendent of
Manufacturing began in Norwich, Connecticut and in 1859 moved to Newark,
New Jersey. Thomas Bacon remained in Norwich and started his own
firearms company. During their existence, Manhattan Firearms produced
approximately 175,000 pistols. Only Colt, Remington, and Winchester
produced more guns during this era in which included the Civil War.
While waiting for Colt’s patent to expire, Manhattan first made copies of
American firearms that no longer had patent protection. These included
pepperboxes and various single-shot designs. Shortly thereafter, they
turned their attention to making Colt-style revolvers in both the .31 caliber
Pocket and .36 caliber Navy styles. Manhattan patented an extra set of
cylinder safety notches on these models. Manhattans can be easily
identified by the many notches on their cylinders.
After the Civil War, Manhattan production primarily consisted of a copy of
the Smith & Wesson .22 caliber cartridge revolver and a single-shot boot
pistol under the name "HERO". Manhattan changed it's name in 1868 to
American Standard Tool Company and began to market industrial tools as
well as firearms. American Standard Tool closed during the financial panic
Manhattan Firearms also manufactured guns under the trade names “Hero”,
“London Pistol Company”, and “American Standard Tool”.
|Matched Pair of
Manhattan Navy pistols
from Waldo Nutter
collection. Featured on
page 182 of his book
|Manhattan Firearms Manufacturing Co.
(circa 1856 to 1873)
|You are visitor number
|This Website is dedicated to the collecting of firearms made by
the Manhattan Fire Arms Manufacturing Company.
Click on the buttons at the top and bottom of each page to move around the
website. Check out the "guide percussion" and "guide cartridge" buttons for
help identifying your Manhattan firearm. The "pictorial index" button shows
detailed photos of lots of Manhattans! Double-click all photos for a larger look.
Click on FAQ "frequently asked" questions to see what other people
are asking about!
|**New** Manhattan Navy
(double click this
thumbnail photo for
|This website was last
updated in Spring 2017
Please email me a photo of your Manhattan if you get a chance. I never get
tired of seeing a new one. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also I am
helping a Manhattan Firearms researcher in a study of barrel lengths of Pocket
Models and Navy Models. If you would like to help please email me your Model
number,Serial number, and Barrel length and a brief description.
I have so far answered every email to me! But I get a few that did not put their
return email address or it is incorrect. If you did not hear from me,
please write again!!!
Join the Manhattan
Do you have Manhattan
questions or better than
Write me below or go to:
This is a new Yahoo
Group for Manhattan
aficionados to discuss
Also for more on
Manhattan revolvers try
these fine websites
|Want to see a Manhattan Navy in Action?!!
My new friend Ernest has taken gun collecting to a new level on the
Internet. He has made the world's first Internet video of a Manhattan
Navy "in action". See it now and be sure the sound
volume is on. Click on the link below.
|New Site Search
|My Email Address!!!!