In the mid-19th century, most firearms, especially long guns were single shot or double barrels, but Colt's revolving firearms allowed you to keep five or more shots ready to go. These powerful 10 gauge shotguns were among the most powerful firearms available at the time and would have been excellent coach guns and cavalry shotguns, but only an estimated 600 of these 10 gauge (.75 caliber) large frame shotguns were manufactured c. 1860-1863 in addition to around 500 of the 20 gauge (.60 caliber) small frame versions. They are thus among the rarest Colt percussion firearms and are hard to find in collectible condition like this one which has matching serial numbers on the barrel, forearm (inside in pencil), bottom of the frame, and toe of the buttplate. The barrel has a small nickel-silver bead front sight and under-rib with the cleaning rod secured in two ferrules and a walnut forearm with brass forend cap. The frame has "COL. COLT HARTFORD CT. U.S.A." marked in the sight groove on the top strap, a casehardened hammer, and the patent marking on the left. It is fitted with an attractive scroll pattern trigger guard. The cylinder has the patent marking in one of the flutes. The nicely figured buttstock has multi-point checkering and brass rod extensions under the buttplate.
Very fine with 70% original blue on the frame, traces of original case colors on the hammer and loading lever, traces of original blue finish and cold blue on the barrel and cylinder, mostly smooth brown and gray patina on the balance, some light oxidation and flash pitting, and general mild overall wear. The highly figured buttstock wood is also fine and has distinct checkering, some nice figure, and mild dings and scratches. The forearm has a coat of added protective varnish. Mechanically fine.
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