Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 63: Colt Tool Room Experimental Conversion Model 1851 Navy Revolver

Auction Date: September 6, 2019

Very Scarce Colt Tool Room Experimental Centerfire Conversion Model 1851 Navy Revolver Serial Number M with Letter of Provenance

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $6,500 - $9,500

Very Scarce Colt Tool Room Experimental Centerfire Conversion Model 1851 Navy Revolver Serial Number M with Letter of Provenance

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1851 Navy
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 38 CF
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: in the white
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 1026
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 50
Class: Antique
Description:

The only serial number marking visible on the gun is "M" in place of the normal serial number on the bottom of the frame at the front. The included letter from John J. Malloy indicates this revolver was one of three revolvers (one Model 1849 Pocket, this Model 1851 Navy, and one 1860 Army) supplied to Val Forgett of Navy Arms Co. in the late 1970s to determine the feasibility of manufacturing reproduction Colt conversion revolvers under license with Colt. Malloy then purchased these guns, which were from the Colt tool room, from Forgett when the project was abandoned since these revolvers would be considered modern handguns under the law. It is essentially a Richards-Mason conversion without a loading gate or ejector and is thus also similar to some of the shorter Pocket series conversions. The barrel has a brass cone front sight, "-ADDRESS SAML COLT HARTFORD CT-" on top, a small "A" on the lug, and filled loading lever slots. The frame has the 1871 and 1872 patent marking. The cylinder has the standard navy scene and is not numbered. The left side of the trigger guard has an "L" on the front and "M" on the back. The back strap has an "H" near the top and two additional screws, one near the heel and one on the butt. The revolver appears to have been left in the white.

Rating Definition:

Fine with gray and brown patina forming on the unfinished metal and aged patina on the brass, some minor pitting, and general mild wear from age and storage. The grip is very good and has mild edge wear and some minor marks and scratches. Mechanically fine. This is certainly a very interesting revolver from the transitional period when Colt was shifting from percussion revolvers to more modern metallic cartridge revolvers and is documented as having come from the factory's collection.



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