LSB#: 140331BC04 & 140331BC05
Model: 1851 Navy (2)
Serial Number: 3970USG 3970REL
Year of Manufacture: 1971 (ATF classified as antique)
Caliber: .36 Caliber
Action Type: Single Action Cap and Ball Revolver
Markings: Lee: The top barrel flat is stamped “Address SamL Colt New-York City”. The left barrel flat is inscribed, “Robert E. Lee Commemorative – Nineteen Seventy One”. The left side of the frame is stamped “Colt’s /Patent”. The serial number “3970REL” is inscribed on the bottom of the barrel assembly, the bottom of the frame, the trigger guard, and the heel of the grip frame. The cylinder is etched with the naval battle scene commemorating the battle of Campeche, and is inscribed, “Colt’s Patent No. 3915 / Engraved by W L Ormsby, New York”, and “Engaged 16 May 1843.”
Grant: The top barrel flat is stamped “Address SamL Colt New-York City”. The left barrel flat is inscribed, “Ulysses S. Grant Commemorative – Nineteen Seventy One”. The left side of the frame is stamped “Colt’s /Patent”. The serial number “3970USG” is inscribed on the bottom of the barrel assembly, the bottom of the frame, the trigger guard, and the heel of the grip frame. The cylinder is etched with the naval battle scene commemorating the battle of Campeche, and is inscribed, “Colt’s Patent No. 3915 / Engraved by W L Ormsby, New York”, and “Engaged 16 May 1843.”
Barrel Length: 7 ½”
Sights / Optics: The guns are mounted with brass bead front sights and notched hammer rear sights.
Grip Configuration & Condition: The stocks are varnished wood, with nice grain. These show practically no wear and are otherwise in Excellent condition. As befits a Colt, they are well fitted to the grip frame.
Type of Finish: The barrel, cylinder, and trigger are Blue, the rammer, frame, and hammer are Case Colored, and the grip frame is German Silver. The case coloring is especially attractive.
Finish Originality: Original Finish
Bore Condition: The bores are unfired and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: These guns retain about 99% of their metal finish. The balance of the finish shows storage marking only. The silver has just begun to naturally tarnish. The guns have been zip-tied to prevent cocking of the actions and it is likely these are unturned.The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear and distinct. Overall, these guns rate in about Excellent and Near New condition.
Mechanics: The actions are reportedly unturned by our consignor. We have neither cocked nor fired these guns.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: These guns come with fitted wood cases, emblazoned “Robert E. Lee Commemorative/Nineteen Seventy One” and “Ulysses S. Grant Commemorative/Nineteen Seventy One”. Brass Colt medallions are inlaid into the tops. The boxes show only storage marks to the corners and a slight rub on the lid of Grant; they rate in Excellent condition. Inside, the box compartments are lined with gray and blue velvet, and fitted inside are the revolvers, powder flasks, brass two-cavity bullet molds, a nipple wrench, and a period-style percussion cap container. The inside tops are upholstered in satin, inscribed in gold, “Robert E. Lee Commemorative/Nineteen Seventy One” or “Ulysses S. Grant Commemorative/Nineteen Seventy One” and the Rampant Colt logo. Lee’s has a key for the box, not Grant’s. The key is unopened and likely works for both. Each wood box comes in a slightly tattered two piece cardboard box, both of which fit into the original cardboard shipping box. Also included are: two sheets of wax paper, three manuals/directions pamphlets, two Warranty Cards, two Warranty Stations Pamphlets, two “Handling the Handgun”, two pre-addressed envelopes to the Colt Commemorative Gun Collector’s Association of America and one flyer for a hunting Magazine.
Our Assessment: What an attractive package! This one is for the collector, although this gun could be loaded and fired, just as its ancestors were in the American Civil War! The 1851 Navy was a favorite of gunslingers, soldiers, and sailors alike, notably, Wild Bill (James Butler) Hickock, who once killed a man at 78 yards with a single shot from his 1851 Navy. These are collectible though, a Commemorative Set in fitted boxes with matched accessories and serial numbers. Many regard Lee as the greatest general West Point ever produced, and he was the archetype of the aristocratic Southern gentleman. Grant obviously preserved the Union and led the Union to victory in the Civil War. In addition, made with modern steel, and hand fitted in the US, the 2nd Generation Colt Black powder pistols are a great area for collecting, and would fit nicely in the collection of any fan of the Civil War, the Old West, or just anyone who wants investment grade revolvers at a realistic price. These are handsome guns, and with the attendant accessories and fitted case, will make a very happy owner of the winning bidder.