Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1139: Colt U.S. Contract Model 1851 "Army" Navy Revolver

Auction Date: May 15, 2021

Exceptional and Desirable Colt U.S. Contract Martially Marked Model 1851 "Army" Navy Percussion Revolver

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $11,000 - $16,000

Exceptional and Desirable Colt U.S. Contract Martially Marked Model 1851 "Army" Navy Percussion Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1851 Navy
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 1401
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 97
Class: Antique
Description:

This Colt M1851 U.S. contract "Army" Navy revolver was manufactured in 1856 and included as part of a contract with the U.S. Ordnance Department for approximately 20,000 revolvers in the 42,000-80,000 serial number range. Model 1851s were first issued to the 1st and 2nd U.S. Cavalry Regiments in 1858 and subsequently replaced the Colt M1848 Dragoon Revolver as the standard handgun for the Dragoons and U.S. Mounted Rifles prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. As a result of hard use in the west prior to the late 1850s and subsequent use during the Civil War, U.S. Contract "Army" Navy Revolvers are rarely found with significant amounts of original finish intact. The revolver has a 'military blue' finish on the barrel and cylinder, casehardened loading lever, hammer and frame, and brass trigger guard and back strap. The cylinder is roll stamped with the Texas Navy battle scene. The top barrel flat is marked "-ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW YORK CITY.-" in one line. The left side of the frame is stamped: "COLTS/PATENT/U.S." in three lines. The full serial number, "62933" is stamped on the barrel lug, frame, trigger guard, cylinder, and butt. The partial serial number, "2933" is marked on the loading lever, wedge, arbor pin and back side of the grip mortise in black ink. All of the visible serial numbers match. Small Ordnance Department sub-inspection stamps are present on most major components. "S" inspector mark on top of the breech end of barrel and on the cylinder. "L" and "M" on the left side of the trigger guard. "B" marked behind the trigger guard and on top of the back strap. "C" stamped into the top of the left grip, and "A" in the left grip heel. Left grip marked with circled script cartouche "CGC" (C. G. Chandler), and right grip with "RHKW" (Capt. Robert Henry Kirkwood Whiteley).

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine, retaining 70% original military blue finish on the barrel with light scattered brown patina, The cylinder shows 50% blue finish with the balance a smooth bluish brown patina with clear naval engagement scene markings. 60% bright original case colors with the high edges turned to a smooth mottled gray patina, and light brown patina on the loading lever and hammer. Grips are very fine plus with some light dents and scratches, and crisp cartouches. Mechanically excellent. One of the nicer examples of a desirable U.S. contract Civil War used Model 1851 revolver!



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