Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1077: Exceptional Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver

Auction Date: December 8, 2013

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $30,000 - $45,000

Exceptional Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1851 Navy
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36 percussion
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened/silver
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 3308
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 42
Class: Antique
Description:

This Colt Fourth Model 1851 Navy revolver was manufactured in 1866. The revolver has the Colt commercial blue finish on the barrel and cylinder with color casehardened loading lever, frame and hammer and silver plated brass trigger guard and back strap. The one-piece walnut grip has a highly polished piano finish. The revolver has the late Fourth Model features which include large oval trigger guard, capping channel in the recoil shield cut-out and thick loading lever latch. The hammer spur has bordered knurling and the barrel has a brass cone-shaped front sight. The top barrel flat is roll stamped with the one-line legend "-ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-". "COLTS/PATENT" is stamped in two lines on the left side of the frame. "36 CAL" is stamped on the left shoulder of the trigger guard. The cylinder is roll engraved with the Texas Navy battle scene and "COLTS PATENT No." "ENGAGED 16 MAY 1843" is roll stamped on the leading edge of the cylinder. The full serial number "194679" is stamped on the bottom of the barrel lug, frame, trigger guard, and back strap. The partial serial number "4679" is stamped on the cylinder. The "7" on the cylinder serial number is a factory over-stamp on the serial number "4649" but is an original factory correction. The loading lever is, correctly, not serial numbered. All of the visible serial numbers match. After the Civil War the Model 1851 Navy remained a popular Colt revolver and production continued until 1873 at serial number 215348. The famous gunfighter "Wild Bill" Hickok was armed with a pair of percussion Colt Model 1851 Navy revolvers when he was killed in Deadwood, Dakota Territory in 1876.

Rating Definition:

Excellent. This revolver is in exceptional original condition and shows only collector type handling and storage wear. The barrel and cylinder retain more than 95% of the original high polish commercial blue finish. There are a few very minor finish blemishes on the right side of the barrel lug above the wedge slot and traces of edge wear on the high points of the barrel and lug. The cylinder retains all of the Texas Navy scene; finish wear is limited to some minor patches of flaking on the cylinder shoulders and some turn marks in the cylinder slots. The percussion nipples have minimal flash pitting. All of the cylinder safety pins are intact. The loading lever, frame and hammer have 98% of the vivid case colors with minimal fading or handling wear. The frame, barrel lug and loading lever screws have 90-95% of the original fire-blue finish. The brass trigger guard and back strap have some light handling wear on contact points but retain 75% of the delicate silver plated finish. The one-piece walnut grip is in near perfect condition; nearly all of the high polish piano finish remains intact; wear is limited to three very small handling marks on the right side of the back strap and traces of finish loss on the edge of the right grip heel. The action is crisp and functions perfectly. This is an exceptional example of a post-Civil War Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver in nearly new condition. It would be difficult to obtain a better example of this historic Colt percussion revolver.



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