FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How old is my Manhattan?
Manhattans were made from 1856 until 1873. No one knows exactly which year any particular gun was
manufactured. But, we know which models were made first and last so sometimes we can make educated
guesses and get within a year or two. Look in the Manhattan guide pages for more info.
2. What models did Manhattan make?
Manhattan made many different models. The most common are the .36 caliber Navy percussion revolver and
the .22 caliber cartridge revolver. See my Manhattan Guide pages for other models.
3. Where can I find more information on Manhattan Firearms Manufacturing Co.?
There is a great book published in 1958 "Manhattan Firearms" by Waldo E. Nutter. You can still find these
on-line at used book searches or sometimes on EBay. Also, there is a nice chapter on Manhattans in the
"Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms. . . and their values".
4. What is my Manhattan worth?
yesterday! I consult price guides such as Flayderman's Guide as a starting point.yesterday! I consult price
guides such as Flayderman's Guide as a starting point.
5. What can you tell me about my Manhattan shotgun?
Manhattan Firearms Company did not make any Shotguns. They only made pistols.
According to reference book "Shotgun Markings 1865 to 1940, A List" compiled by Joseph T. Vorisek:
Manhattan Arms Co shotguns were made by the following manufacturers:
Neumann Feres until 1903 if Belgian made
F. Dumoulin 1903 and after if Belgian made
J.P. Sauer if German made
Harrington & Richardson if single gun
Hunter Arms Company if U.S. made hammerless double
They were all sold by Schoverling,Daley & Gates.
6. Should I fix, refinish, or repair my gun?
Good question. You can drastically hurt the value of antique firearms by doing this yourself, if you do not know
what you are doing. It is usually best to leave it alone, that's what I do.
7. Can I shoot my Manhattan or American Standard Tool Co .22 revolver?
No! These guns were made for .22 short caliber "black powder only". You should not shoot modern
ammunition in these.
8. Were there any Manhattans used in the Civil War?
Manhattan decided that if everyone else was selling out to the government, that they would corner the market
by selling all their production to the civilian market. Several soldiers and state militias bought these guns as a
personal sidearm for officers. There are government papers showing the U.S.did buy a few Manhattans, but
no government contracts were given by the War Department. The Government payment dated September
23,1861 was for 26 blued seven-shot cylinder pistols and 10 plated seven-shot cylinder pistols and 5000
cartridges. This was payment for a shipment of the new .22 revolvers that had been mistakenly confiscated.
9. WOW! My Manhattan Firearms Pistol is engraved!
Unlike Colt's and other percussion pistols, most Manhattans had some standard engraving on the frames,
except for the .36 caliber Navy model on which engraving was special order. Cased, Inscribed and
Presentation Manhattan pistols however, are much rarer than Colt firearms of the same era. The cylinder
engraving on Manhattan pistols are many times deeper than that on Colt pistols. Where a good cylinder scene
is rare on a average Colt Navy. It is rare to not see a scene on an average Manhattan Navy.
10. Who the heck are you and who made you the expert on Manhattan Firearms?
My name is Michael Meuwly and I have been collecting Manhattan Firearms for 30+ years. I get asked
questions about Manhattans every week that I don't have the faintest idea what the answer is. But, I sure am
having fun emailing back and forth with other collectors. Please email me and tell me about your Manhattan
and how you acquired it.
11. What do you call all of the parts??
Here is a guide to the parts of a Manhattan 4th Model Navy. Double-click on the thumbnail below for a full size
view, Thanks to Jerry B. for this layout!
12. Where do I get parts??
Original parts are hard to come by. Most people end up trying to hand-fit parts from a Colt 1849 Pocket Model
that are close in size. Try also www.dixiegunworks.com. They do have a few reproduction parts like wedges
and screws. But they sometimes also need a little file work to fit.
Also try Two Flags Sutlery for parts. http://www.twoflagssutlery.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=34
13. What happened to the Manhattan Factory?
The Manhattan factory was located at the corner of Orange and High streets in Newark, New Jersey. This
building was destroyed in 1910 in a spectacular fire that killed 25 women workers. Among other uses of the
building, the Ironclad U.S.S. Monitor was designed there by John Ericsson!
14. How much did a "new" Manhattan cost?
I have never seen a Manhattan sales advertisement. If someone has let me know! Other Pocket (.31 caliber)
pistols at the time of the Civil War were around $9.00. Navy (.36 caliber) pistols were around $13.00.
Manhattan sold a small number of Manhattan .22 caliber pistols to the Federal government for around $11.00
15. Does a Manhattan have a "blade" style front sight or a "post" style sight?
Either type is possible. The post-type sight is rarer and seems to be used mostly on later model 4" and 4 1/2"
barrels. The smaller Pocket (.31 caliber) models also have both sight types.
|Repro Manhattan cases and
cartrididge packets are available
I have been asked several times if I know
where to get a case or accessories for
Manhattan pistols. Bill at Bills Cases does a
quality job making reproduction cases etc.
He has made his own "factory style" label for
cases ad well as a great cartridge packet.
Here are some photos. Bill paid nothing for
this ad, he just makes good stuff!!
The Stackpole company has republished the book "Manhattan Firearms" by Waldo
Nutter. When you finish reading my site (LOL), order one now! This is the"Bible" of
Manhattan Collecting, but also a look at the American Entrepreneurship of a new
company taking on the giant Colt Firearms company. This is the only book ever
written on the Manhattan Firearms Company, so order one now at your favorite
Manhattan Firearms by Waldo E. Nutter
5067 Ritter Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
16. Do you know if Manhattan Firearms recorded the buyers of their firearms with the serial
numbers like Colt did?
As far as I know the Manhattan factory records are lost. I wish I could find them!!!
To contact me, please send emails and photos to