Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1465: Desirable Colt Model 1874 Gatling Gun with Field Carriage

Auction Date: December 8, 2013

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $95,000 - $160,000

Desirable Colt Model 1874 Gatling Gun with Field Carriage

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1874 Gatling Gun
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70
Barrel: 32 inch part octagon
Finish: black/green
Item Views: 4553
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 198
Class: Antique

This is a highly desirable Colt Model 1874 Gatling Gun mounted on a two wheel carriage. This new model marked the beginning of the collector named "Classic Gatlings". The Model 1874 offered several improvements over earlier versions. The Model 1874 was of reduced size and weight. The bolts were smaller than on previous Gatling guns which allowed the entire gun to be downsized. The Model 1874 had improved headspacing and headspace adjustment and an improved automatic oscillator that could be used as a windage adjustment. The Model 1874 featured a bronze breech casing and an improved feed hopper which was designed to accept a new kind of magazine. With the exception of the drum feed, all previous magazines were inserted at a 45 degree angle with the hopper being designed in such a way to view the centrally located sights without obstruction of the magazine. The rear sight is adjustable for elevation and the front sight is a fixed large brass inverted "v". The Model 1874 sights are mounted on the right side of the arm and the hopper opening is located left of center on top and the magazine is inserted vertically. The newly designed gravity fed box magazine holds 40 rounds. The Model 1874 could also to equipped with the Broadwell drum magazine (not included) as well as the standard magazine. The Model 1874 was made in an 18 inch barrel variation (Camel Gun) and 32 inch barrels (musket length), as this example has. The gun measures 49 inches overall and weighs approximately 200 pounds without the carriage. The 32 inch barrels are each marked 1 through 10 at the breech end with the corresponding number on the brass breech plate. The top of the breech casing has a legend plate which is marked "GATLING'S/BATTERY/GUN/PAT. NOV 4, 1862/MAY *, 1865/FEB 28, 1871/APR 9, 1872/MADE BY COLT'S/PT. FIRE ARMS/MFG CO/HARTFORD, CONN./U.S.A.". The wooden field carriage has iron fittings and wooden wheels with iron hubs. The carriage is fitted with a brass elevation wheel with jack screw. There is a folding seat mounted on the tongue. The width from hub to hub is approximately 52 1/2 inches and the wheels are 45 inches. The iron components are black and the wood is a very attractive dark green. The carriage weighs approximately 715 pounds making the gun and carriage weight approximately 915 pounds. The Gatling gun comes with a 17x21 framed photograph of Imperial Council members with rifles standing in front of a stately building, which is the home of the founding Gatling Gun Club, marked "Imperial Council Session/19 Indianapolis 41" at the bottom and 2 8 1/2x11 photographs, one of 14 Imperial Council members in line with rifles and the other of members looking at two Gatling guns.

Rating Definition:

Good as partially restored (see above). The barrels have a gray patina with some scattered pitting. The brass and bronze components have an aged patina (most likely from being exposed to the elements). The reproduction carriage is fine with 99% plus black and dark green paint remaining. The action functions well. A very nice highly desirable Colt Model 1874 Gatling Gun.

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