Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 151: Documented "U.S. DRAGOONS" Martial Colt First Model Dragoon

Auction Date: May 14, 2021

Desirable Documented "U.S. DRAGOONS" Martially Marked Colt First Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,500 - $11,000

Desirable Documented "U.S. DRAGOONS" Martially Marked Colt First Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Dragoon
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch part octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 1821
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 145
Class: Antique

Around 7,000 First Model Dragoons were manufactured in 1848-1850, and they are important as one of the massive "horse pistols" manufactured by Colt following the famous Colt Walker revolvers of 1847. Like the other Dragoon models, they were used in the antebellum era on the frontier and also saw considerable use during the Civil War. This revolver dates to 1849 and has the rare and desirable "U.S. DRAGOONS" marking on the cylinder rather than the more common U.S.M.R. marking. Included scanned documentation shows this revolver photographed and mentioned by serial number in the March 1960 "Gun Report" article "Martial Percussion Revolver Inspectors" by C. Meade Patterson. The barrel has a German silver blade front sight and "-{ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW YORK CITY}-" reading towards the breech end. The cylinder also has a nice visible Texas Ranger and Indian running battle scene and the correct oval stop slots and single safety pin. The frame has "COLT'S/PATENT/U.S." on the left. "N" inspection marks are on the top of the barrel at the breech, left side of the loading lever, on the cylinder by the serial number, left side of the frame, bottom of the square back trigger guard, and on the top of the back strap. Wedge is unnumbered but appears to have been with the gun a long time. The other serial numbers are all matching. The grip has faint cartouches "SK" (S. Knows) on the left and "WAT" (William A. Thornton) on the right. The lower mortise of the grip is matching numbered to the gun with black ink (faint).

Rating Definition:

Very good. This revolver appears to have been used, cleaned long ago, and then nicely aged over time. Displays a very attractive light brown patina on the steel, lightly cleaned brass with dings on the butt, distinct markings, generally sharp edges, mild scattered pitting, and general mild overall wear from authentic period use. The safety pin remains solid, and the cylinder roll-scene is very fine. The grip is also very good and has mild handling and edge wear, and some dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. An attractive and desirable First Model Dragoon that will be an exceptional addition to your Colt collection.

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