Lot #170
Lot #172

Lot 171: U.S. Colt Model 1890 Gatling Gun on an Original Carriage

Extremely Rare, Phenomenal, Historically Significant and Iconic Exposed Barrel U.S. Colt Model 1890 Gatling Gun on an Original Carriage

Auction Date: September 11, 2020

Lot 171: U.S. Colt Model 1890 Gatling Gun on an Original Carriage

Extremely Rare, Phenomenal, Historically Significant and Iconic Exposed Barrel U.S. Colt Model 1890 Gatling Gun on an Original Carriage

Auction Date: September 11, 2020

Estimated Price: $275,000 - $425,000
Price Realized:

Extremely Rare, Phenomenal, Historically Significant and Iconic Exposed Barrel U.S. Colt Model 1890 Gatling Gun on an Original Carriage

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1874 Gatling Gun
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70
Barrel: 32 inch round cluster
Finish: bright
Grip:
Stock:
Item Views: 7042
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 168
Class: Antique
Description:

This is the finest known example of a Colt Model 1890 Gatling Gun extant, mounted on an original field carriage. The Model 1890 was essentially an improved version of the Model 1883. In 1889 Gatling returned to the well proved classic design of the exposed barrels as used in the Indian Wars. Some of the improvements included a device called the "Murphy Stop" (a cocking switch), a new type carriage and the hopper was interchangeable with the special Bruce feed or use of the old style gravity feed magazine. Similar to the Model 1883, the Murphy stop allowed the gunner to disengage the cocking mechanism while unloading the gun and during training exercises without ammunition. The control knob was in a more convenient location on the cascabel plate and operation was more positive since the knob had to be pulled out as well as turned. This model features ten 32 inch 45-70 barrels, (5 inches of the muzzle end are octagon), has an overall length of 49 inches and weighs approximately 200 pounds without the carriage and has a rate of fire of 525 rounds per minute. Essentially all models manufactured from 1889 to 1892 were identical. The breech end of each barrel is numbered 1 through 10, proofed "V/P/eagle head" and "R.A.C." (Rinaldo A. Carr) inspected. The breech end of the breech housing is marked with the corresponding barrel number. Each barrel toward the breech end is marked with the matching assembly number "14". The top of the frame ahead of the barrels is also marked "R.A.C." and "14". The sights are mounted on the right side of the frame. The rear of the magazine feed port is marked "PATENTED/FEB. 11, 1890/R.A.C." The top rear of the breech housing is "R.A.C." inspected over a fabulous hand engraved legend, more than likely by the hand of Cuno Helfricht himself: "Gatling Gun/Patented/Manfd at/COLT'S ARMORY/Hartford Conn. U.S.A./MODEL 1890/No 505 CAL 45/SEB"(Capt. Stanhope E. Blunt). The breech end face of each bolt is marked with a "P" inspection mark. The gun is mounted on the original iron yoke. According to "The Gatling Gun" by Wahl and Toppel, the U.S. Army purchased 18 Model 1889 Gatling Guns in the serial range 492 to 509 which includes this gun (see page 119). This gun was manufactured in 1890 and is therefore marked "MODEL 1890". The U.S. Army also purchased 17 Model 1891s and 18 Model 1892s. These were the last 45-70 Gatling Guns ordered by the U.S. Government. The gun is mounted on a barracks green painted carriage with an equipment/ammunition box mounted on either side of the gun and iron banded wooden wheels. The end of each wheel hub is cast with the manufacturer Archibald Wheel Company, Lawrence, Mass. The Gatling Gun had a huge impact on the battlefield and changed the face of war forever.

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The breech housing remains bright and the very fine armory bright barrels have a smooth gray patina. All of the markings and engraving remain crisp, clear and original. The carriage exhibits period applied paint and much remains with some flaking on the wheels and top of the equipment/ammunition boxes. Mechanically excellent. The iron hardware retains most of the attractively crazed black paint. The Magazine is absent. We proudly present the finest known U.S. Government Model 1890 Gatling Gun, one of only 18 purchased by the U.S. Government and one of the last 45-70 caliber Gatling Guns purchased by the U.S. Provenance: The Gateway Collection.



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