Rock Island Auction Company
Back to Catalog
Auction Date: May 7, 2017

Lot 3071: Colt 1851 Navy Revolver 36 percussion

Sold for Colt 1851 Navy Revolver 36 percussion
Full Screen
Sold For:
Extraordinary Colt U.S. Contract Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver
Estimated Price: $60,000 - $80,000
Item Views 639 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Colt 1851 Navy Revolver 36 percussion ManufacturerColt Model1851 Navy
TypeRevolver Gauge36 Percussion Catalog Page
Barrel7 1/2 Inch Octagon FinishBlue/casehardened GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionColt Model 1851 Navy revolver manufactured in 1857 as part of the Ordnance Department contract for nearly 17,000 revolvers delivered to the U.S. Army between 1855 and 1859. Many of these Model 1851 "Army/Navy" revolvers were initially issued to the newly formed 1st and 2nd U.S. Cavalry regiments stationed on the Texas frontier. The U.S. contract Army/Navy revolvers remained in service throughout the Civil War. This revolver has the Late Third Model features which include: (1) small rounded, brass trigger guard, (2) brass back strap, (3) beveled loading cut-out, and (4) frame and loading level screws that enter from the left side. The right recoil shield lacks the capping channel found on Fourth Model Navy revolvers. The barrel and cylinder have a military blue finish; the loading lever, frame and hammer are color casehardened; and the trigger guard and back strap have the natural brass finish. The one-piece walnut grip is oil finished. The barrel has a brass cone-shaped front sight and the hammer spur has borderless knurling. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped: "- ADDRESS SAML COLT HARTFORD CT.-" in a single line. The left side of the frame is roll-stamped: "COLTS/PATENT" in two lines with a small "U.S." property mark stamped below it. The cylinder is roll-engraved with the Texas Navy battle scene, "COLT'S PATENT No." and "ENGAGED 16 MAY 1843". The right side of the grip is stamped with the Ordnance final inspection mark which consists of the script initials "WAT" enclosed in an oval border while the left side of the grip is stamped with the Ordnance sub-inspection mark with the script initials "CGC" in a rectangle with rounded ends. "C" Ordnance sub-inspection marks are stamped on the top of the back strap, left grip heel, trigger guard, and top barrel flat. An "H" sub-inspection mark is stamped in two locations on the cylinder and on the left side of the barrel lug. A "K" Colt sub-inspection mark is stamped on the left side of the trigger guard bow, and "M" is stamped on the left trigger guard flat. The full serial number "79917" is stamped on the cylinder, barrel lug, frame, trigger guard and back strap. The partial serial number "9917" is stamped on the loading lever. All of the visible serial numbers match.

ConditionExcellent plus. This exceptional revolver retains close to 98% of the military blue and vivid color casehardened finish. The barrel has traces of edge wear on the muzzle and high points with a few scattered and very minor storage marks. There are a few light dents on the right side of the barrel lug surrounding the wedge slot. The cylinder retains 100% of the Texas Navy scene. There are no drag lines between the cylinder stops. All of the safety pins are present. The percussion nipples and rear face of the cylinder show no flash pitting. The loading lever, frame and hammer have more than 98% of the vivid case colors. The screw heads are perfect and retain most of the fire blue finish. The trigger guard and back strap have a good looking patina and are free from scratches or handling marks. The factory markings and Ordnance sub-inspection marks are extremely sharp. The walnut grip is in excellent condition and retains nearly all of the original oil finish. Wear is limited to a few very minor storage marks. The Ordnance inspection marks on the sides of the grip are clear and fully legible. The U.S. Contract Army/Navy Model 1851 revolvers saw hard wear on the Texas frontier and during the Civil War. Nearly all of these revolvers were issued and very few survived with significant amounts of original finish. This is quite possibly the very finest example of a U.S. Army contract Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver extant and an exceptional example of the classic Colt Model 1851 Navy percussion revolver.
Click here to see keyboard shortcuts.
F Enters/exits full screen view for items
Esc Exits full screen view for items
Moves to previous lot, or moves to previous image if full screen view is enabled
Moves to next lot, or moves to next image if full screen view is enabled
Fully zooms the image when full screen view is enabled
Fits the entire image to the screen when full screen view is enabled


Buyer’s Premium: 17.5%

Cash Payment Discount: 2.5%

Participation Requirements: Valid Credit Card required for bidding approval. You will have the option to pay with these payment options: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Check, Money Order, Wire Transfer, and Cash.

Sales Tax: It varies each auction typically around 94% of auction items are not subject to sales tax. Read more here on sales tax.

We will contact you after the auction to arrange payment and shipping.


Premiere Auction Terms

Terms and conditions regarding Premiere Auctions. Revised : 08/29/2014


SHIPPING CHARGES. All shipping charges must be paid by the successful bidder prior to delivery of the firearm. If Rock Island Auction (RIAC) is asked to ship the purchased lots, there will be a separate charge for such shipping. Shipping charges will be based upon what it costs RIAC to ship the purchased lots to the purchaser. All items must have shipping insurance; this insurance is mandatory. RIAC will not charge any labor charges for shipping. RIAC is not liable for any acts of omissions in packaging or shipping. Purchased lots handled by outside carriers or packers, including those RIAC may have recommended, may carry their own insurance and any claims for losses or damages should be addressed directly to the outside carriers or packers. RIAC will arrange for packing and shipping at RIAC’s earliest possible convenience. RIAC will attempt to ship as soon as possible; however, due to RIAC’s high volume of absentee bids, shipping can take up to two weeks after full payment is received. In the case of crating or any exceptional packaging, the purchaser will be charged RIAC’s cost from outside agents. Purchaser pays shipping, packing materials, and insurance charges. The shipping of any purchased items outside of the United States is hereby classified as “foreign export”. All foreign export is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.