Whitney Navy Revolver Question

Bonedaddy

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Jan 2, 2020
I own a Whitney Navy Revolver manufactured in 1862 that I purchased at the Chattanooga Civil War Show in Eastridge, TN. in July, 2019. I have posted pictures of it several months ago in this forum. The gun was purchased from an older fellow who stated that Whitneys were special in that they were made with iron frames. I have The Whitney Navy Revolver book by Mr. Williams and I don't believe he makes a mention of this in his research. My question then is were Whitney Navy revolvers manufactured with an iron frame, and if so, what were the advantages (if any) over a steel frame? Thanks in advance for your input.
 

ucvrelics

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I own a Whitney Navy Revolver manufactured in 1862 that I purchased at the Chattanooga Civil War Show in Eastridge, TN. in July, 2019. I have posted pictures of it several months ago in this forum. The gun was purchased from an older fellow who stated that Whitneys were special in that they were made with iron frames. I have The Whitney Navy Revolver book by Mr. Williams and I don't believe he makes a mention of this in his research. My question then is were Whitney Navy revolvers manufactured with an iron frame, and if so, what were the advantages (if any) over a steel frame? Thanks in advance for your input.
They were made with an iron frame and the main reason was cost, also the frames were cast from iron rather than forged from steel. All other parts, exception of butt plates were made of forged steel. Whitney used what is known as malleable iron. After being cast the iron is heat treated, which apparently changes the crystalline structure of the iron and allows it to be bent, stamped, or cold formed without breaking. It also is a lot cheaper then forging steel.
 
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