The Colt Third Model Dragoon was the last of the large .44 caliber "Horse Pistols" that descended from the famous Colt Walker and was replaced by the more compact Model 1860 Army. 10,500 were manufactured around 1851 to 1861 making it the most widely used of these famous large Colts that became popular with both military men and civilians in the antebellum era and saw use through the Civil War. This one was manufactured in 1858 to fulfill a contract with the U.S. Ordnance Department and has the frame and grip frame cut and the "fourth" (actually fourth and fifth) screws for mounting the included shoulder stock which is numbered "17551/17552" on the lower tang and buttplate heel. The revolvers with those serial numbers may well have been in the same shipment as this revolver. The stock has "GGS" and "WAT" cartouches on the wrist. The revolver also has a German silver front sight, notch and folding leaf rear sight mounted on the barrel near the breech, "ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW-YORK [rear sight] Y-" on the top of the barrel, multiple "S" and "M" inspection marks, "COLTS/PATENT/U.S." on the left side of the frame, standard cylinder scene, "WAT" cartouche on the grip, and matching serial numbers on the barrel, frame, trigger guard, back strap, wedge, cylinder, and cylinder pin. Part of the hand-written serial number ("175") is legible in the back strap mortise of the grip along with a more recent "RAS" marking in pencil. The replacement loading lever number is mostly gone aside from a "7."
Good with mottled gray and brown patina, moderate pitting concentrated on the barrel, aged patina on the brass, generally distinct markings aside from portions of the cylinder and those mentioned above, hammering marks on the butt of the grip, chips at the toe and heel, moderate lower edge wear on the grip, rub wear from mounting the shoulder stock, legible slightly enhanced cartouche on grip, light original cartouche on stock, some dings and scratches on the stock, and general mild wear. The shoulder stock yoke and buttplate are both artificially browned. Mechanically fine. This is a very attractive Colt Third Model Dragoon that likely saw use during the Civil War and certainly has the look of a weapon that was used but also cared for. This would make a great addition to a collection of antique Colt, Civil War, or U.S. martial handguns.
There are currently no customer product questions on this lot