Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1144: Colt 1851 Navy Revolver 36 percussion

Auction Date: May 2, 2014

Rare and Exceptional Colt Model 1851 U.S. Navy Contract Percussion Revolver

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $35,000 - $50,000

Rare and Exceptional Colt Model 1851 U.S. Navy Contract Percussion Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1851 Navy
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36 percussion
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 3233
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 80
Class: Antique

Colt Model 1851 'Navy/Navy' revolver manufactured in 1859. This revolver is one of 600 Colt Model 1851 revolvers delivered to the U.S. Navy at the Boston and New York Navy Yards in September 1859. These Navy/Navy revolvers have distinctive blue iron back straps and trigger guards and are stamped "U.S.N." on the bottom of the back strap. This revolver has the early Fourth Model features which include a large rounded trigger guard and large capping cut-out with no capping channel. The revolver has the Colt military blue finish on barrel, cylinder, trigger guard and back strap. The loading lever, frame and hammer are casehardened. The one-piece walnut grip has an oil finish. The cylinder is roll-stamped with the Texas Navy battle scene and "COLTS PATENT No.". The barrel has a brass cone-shaped front sight. The hammer spur has borderless knurling. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped "- ADDRESS SAML COLT HARTFORD CT.-". "COLTS/PATENT/U.S." is stamped on the left front of the frame. The full serial number "89613" is stamped on the bottom of the barrel lug, frame, trigger guard, back strap and on the side of the cylinder. The partial serial number "9613" is stamped on the loading lever. The "I/G.W.R." inspection mark of New York Navy Yard inspector George W. Ransom is stamped on the bottom of the left side of the grip. U.S. Navy contract Model 1851 Navy revolvers are rare in the original percussion configuration. An estimated 1200 of the Model 1851 Navy/Navy percussion revolvers that survived the Civil War were subsequently converted to cartridge configuration by Colt between 1873 and 1876.

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The revolver retains nearly 90% of the original military blue and casehardened finish overall. Most of the blue finish remains on the rear and lower barrel with some thinning and discoloration on the top and sides. The blue on the iron trigger guard and back strap is thin and shows light handling wear. The cylinder retains more than 90% of the original blue finish and all of the Texas Navy battle scene. All of the cylinder pins are intact and the percussion nipples show only very minor flash pitting. The loading lever, frame and hammer retain nearly 95% of the original casehardened finish with strong case colors. The barrel, frame and grip screws are excellent and retain significant amounts of the fire blue finish. The walnut grip is nearly new and shows only light handling marks. The Navy inspection marks on the left grip heel are extremely crisp. The barrel and frame markings and serial numbers are sharp. The action is crisp and functions perfectly. This is an exceptional example of a rare Model 1851 U.S. Navy contract revolver in the original percussion configuration.

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