Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1246: Nearly New Colt Fourth Model 1851 Navy Revolver with Case

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Nearly New Colt Fourth Model 1851 Navy Revolver with Factory Case and Accessories

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Estimated Price: $45,000 - $70,000

Nearly New Colt Fourth Model 1851 Navy Revolver with Factory Case and Accessories

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1851 Navy
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36 percussion
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened/silver
Grip: varnished walnut
Item Views: 662
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 120
Class: Antique

The Colt Model 1851 Navy or "Revolving Belt Pistol of Naval Caliber" was arguably the most significant model in terms of making Samuel Colt the most dominant figure in revolving firearms in the mid 19th century. While it was the second most popular of his percussion revolvers in terms of the total number produced, it was the '51 Navy that met with the most international success following his exhibition of arms at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. It was an excellent revolver for lawmen, soldier, and every day citizens who might need some protection. It had more power than the '49 Pocket but was still much easier to carry than the massive .44 caliber Colts such as the Walkers and Dragoons. This is an exceptional example of a Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver manufactured in 1862. The revolver has the early Fourth Model features which include small capping cut-out in recoil shield with no capping channel, large rounded trigger guard and thin loading lever catch. The barrel has a brass cone front sight and the hammer has borderless knurling on the spur. The barrel and cylinder have the Colt commercial blue finish and the loading lever, frame and hammer are casehardened with vivid case colors. The brass trigger guard and back strap are silver-plated and the one-piece walnut grip has a high polish, "piano" finish. The cylinder is roll-engraved with the Texas Navy battle scene and "COLT'S PATENT No." "ENGAGED 16 MAY 1843." is roll-stamped on the front edge of the cylinder. "COLTS/PATENT" is stamped in two lines on the left front of the frame. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped "-ADDRESS SAML COLT HARTFORD CT.-". The full serial number is stamped on the bottom of the barrel lug, frame, trigger guard and back strap. The partial serial number "8406" is stamped on the loading lever and cylinder. The revolver is complete with a Colt American style case and accessories. The case is mahogany with a red velvet lining and five compartments. The case contains 250 count tin of Eley Bros. percussion caps with green paper label, American Flask and Cap "Coat of Arms" pattern flask with fixed charger and brown lacquer body (Rapley #F30), blued, straight leg, iron, double cavity bullet mold marked "COLT'S/PATENT" on the sprue cutter and "36B." on the right block (Rapley #M22), L-shaped combination screwdriver/nipple wrench, a sealed, six round, packets of combustible cartridges made by the Mount Pleasant Cartridge Co., key and assorted .36 caliber lead round balls and conical bullets.

Rating Definition:

Near new. The revolver retains 99% of the bright Colt commercial blue finish on the barrel and cylinder. The cylinder scene is perfect. There are only very faint turn marks between the stops. All of the safety pins are intact and not battered and there is no flash pitting on the percussion nipples. The loading lever, fame and hammer have 99% of the fiery case colors. The hammer is free from flash pitting or scuff marks. The trigger guard and back strap retain nearly all of the silver-plated finish. The grip is in perfect condition with all of the piano finish. The frame and lever screws are in near perfect condition with all of the fire blue finish. The case exterior is excellent; wear is limited to a few shallow dents in the lid. The lining has faded and there are compression marks from the revolver cylinder and a tear in the lining from contact with the front sight. The cap tin has an excellent label. The flask is excellent and retains 98% of the brown lacquer finish on the body and most of the gold plated finish on the top and charger. The bullet mold is in near perfect condition with 98% of the blue finish. The cartridge packet is sealed and in excellent condition. This is a nearly new example of an 1862 production Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver, with excellent accessories and a very good factory case. It would be extremely difficult to improve upon the condition of this exceptional cased revolver. If you want to own the best, here it is!

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