History of Gray, GA

The Griswold Revolver

Gray, GA is a city in central Georgia of historic significance

In 1818, Samuel Griswold, born on December 27, 1790, and his family moved to Gray, GA. In 1830, Samuel Griswold created a cotton gin factory, which quickly became the largest producer of cotton gins in the nation. The industrial site that housed the cotton gin plant was known as Griswold’s Village, Griswoldville.

During the American Civil War, the Griswold factory was leased to the Confederate government to manufacture pistols and munitions on the command of then-Georgia governor Joseph E. Brown. The revolver produced at the factory was introduced as the “Griswold and Grier Revolver” and later known as the “Griswold Gunnison”, named after Griswold’s business partner Arvin Nye Gunnison.

The Griswold Gunnison revolver was based on the Colt 1851 Navy Revolver. Three significant differences between the Griswold Gunnison and the Cold 1851 were the brass frames, trigger guard, and twisted iron cylinder used in the Griswold Revolver due to the steel shortage in the South. At the time of production, brass was equally difficult to obtain as steel. In most cases, the brass used to manufacture the revolvers was actually steel with a high copper content that gave the brass a rose tint.

The factory produced approximately five revolvers per day with a total output of around 3,500 revolvers. Today, the revolver is known as the “Brass-Frame Confederate Colt”. It is the most common of all Confederate manufactured revolvers. The revolver is a six-shot, .36 caliber weapon with a 7 ½ barrel and rifled six grooves right. At the time of production, the revolver cost about $50 to manufacture. Compared to the Cold 1851 which was sold for around $15, the Griswold Gunnison was significantly more expensive. Two models were manufactured; the first model had a round barrel housing while the later model featured a octagonal barrel housing.

During General Sherman’s “March Of the Sea” the in 1864, the Griswold and Grier factory was destroyed and burned by the 3rd Cavalry Division.

At U.S. Arms Company, we want to continue the tradition of Central Georgia being of historic significance by manufacturing technologically advanced firearms that distinguish themselves from other brands. Continuing the history of our community, we are producing the highest quality firearms used by military, law enforcement, and civilians alike.


  • Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms…and their values by Norm Flayderman, Gun Digest Books, 9th Edition, 2007.
  • Confederate Handguns by William A. Albaugh, III, Hugh Benet, Jr., and Edward N. Simmons, Bonanza Books, 1963.