THE TUCKER & SHERRARD and CLARK & SHERRARD
The Tucker & Sherrard Company of Lancaster, Texas, has become some kind of a myth. Who ran it? What did it make? In what period did it function? Was it some kind of a ghost company, with the purpose of misleading Union spies?
These questions arose from the day the company settled its first contract with the State of Texas in 1862. According to some writers, it was an ammunition factory, which has proven wrong; other said that other kind of weaponry was manufactured in the plant besides revolvers, but that too, has proven untrue. Finally, during the less than two years of its activity, the company was said to be a good way for some to get exemption of military service, and that the machines and tools were used to make various consumer goods for the civilian market.
Even the names given to the company are confusing: Tucker & Sherrard, Tucker & Sherrod, Taylor & Sherrod...
However, the most important question of all is to know whether the company finished more than TWO revolvers during its wartime production, the rest having been assembled with leftover parts after the war ended...
There are a few revolvers marked Lancaster, Texas in existence today; but were they produced during the Civil War, or assembled later with leftover parts? Opinions on that point still differ.
The story is long and complex, and it appears out the surviving letters and records, that the company managers were invoking all kinds of problems to explain their production shortages, complaining about the lack of raw materials, and trying to get more money advances from the Confederate Government.
One of the founders of that company was definitely Laban Tucker, about whom we will talk in a next chapter. Why he left the company, and when he was replaced by Clark, are still open questions.
Anyway, to make a long story short, let's say that the Tucker & Sjerrard revolvers were probably manufactured during the Civil War, while the Clark & Sherrard, with the etched scene on the cylinder, were manufactured and sold on the civilian market during the very first years that followed the end of the war, and probably under Union control.
THE TUCKER & SHERRARD REVOLVER
The .44 calibre revolvers manufactured by Tucker & Sherrard, are close copies of the 2nd model Colt Dragoon. The most noticeable differences are the lack of a loading aperture on the right side of the barrel lug, and the length of the cylinder, which is 1/4 of an inch shorter than the Colt Dragoon cylinder. The back strap screws and the screws on the rear of the trigger guard are of Dragoon size. The Tucker & Sherrard screws have elongated heads, on which the roman numbers Vl is stamped. Like the 2nd Model Dragoon Colt, they have a squareback trigger guard.
The barrel has seven lands and grooves, turning clockwise, with a gain twist.
The serial numbers on a Tucker & Sherrard are found on the same places as on a Colt.
The only remaining Tucker & Sherrard authentified today, are serial numbers 23, 103, 106 and 129. Others have been reported to be in existence, but their authenticity has not yet been established.
Low-Spur Hammer revolver
Three other Tucker & Sherrard, serial numbers 52, 54 and 56, and sometimes reported as the "Mormon Dragoons" because they were found in Utah, could be authentified by the traces left by the tools and many other details, that are identical with those found on the other Tucker & Sherrard. Those revolvers have an elongated low hammer spur, which renders cocking much more comfortable and faster. Besides, the barrel has eight lands and grooves instead of seven.
The reason why this better feature was discontinued on the other revolvers is unknown.
THE CLARK & SHERRARD REVOLVER
The Clark & Sherrard revolvers are close copies of the 3rd model Colt Dragoon, with the same round trigger guard and the same rectangular cylinder locking notches, but also lacking the loading aperture in the barrel lug. The cylinder is of the same length as on the Colt Dragoon.
These revolvers were manufactured by Clark & Sherrard after the end of the Civil War, and contrary to the general idea, they were not assembled from leftover Tucker & Sherrard parts. There are too many differences.
The barrel on a Clark & Sherrard has only six lands and grooves, and the grooves are larger. There is a slight gain twist.
Some have been found without etched name and cylinder scene (serial # 308 and 404). Other survivors, serial # 115, 231, 249 and 288, have an etched scene on the cylinder (allegory to the State of Texas) and the name etched on the top of the barrel lug (pictures 4 and 5). They are thought to have been issued in two different serial number series.
Based on the surviving serial numbers, one could assume that a total of 130 Tucker & Sherrard, and 400 Clark & Sherrard were manufactured. This is doubtful, however, for if the full series would have been finished, close to the end of the war, the survival rate would be much higher.
Example of a supposed - but not yet confirmed - original of a Clark & Sherrard revolver,
Thanks to "COLLECTORSFIREARMS" for the pictures
Back to "REVOLVERS OF THE CIVIL WAR"